All in all, this system cost me only around $290 + $100 for the memory/power supply upgrades. I still have to get a new power supply that has the 12V 2x2 connector for the processor voltage. My current power supply is around 7 years old. :/ Luckily, I only spent $70 for a gigabyte of dual-channel, DDR2 SDRAM (Circuit City discount with mail-in rebate.)
I really need an external hard drive with at least 50GB of space (the cheaper it is, the better.) External, I say, because my computer case won't fit any more drives in its 4 drive bays. But that what you have to deal with when you want to upgrade your system as cheap as possible and have to deal with a microATX system.
The computer used to house a Pentium II, 400MHz, Slot 1 type processor on a 440BX chipset, microATX board. So such a huge upgrade (about a 7 years increase in the technology) is going to be one hell of a problem. For example, I have to cut the I/O shield out of the case directly to fit the new one. Yeah, I said 'cut', because Gateway decided to build the I/O shield directly into the case. No easy clip-on shield like they have nowadays.
Plus I need a new monitor. The red blew out on mine. And it must be a CRT monitor. They are cheaper and more versatile in graphics applications than LCD monitors.
I really wanted a Pentium Extreme Edition with a 975X chipset (don't we all........) :(
But that would be running around $1200 just for those two components. And who knows how much I'd be spending if I would have waited for the new Core 2 Extreme processors to hit the markets.
And I am not going with AMD. They run way, way too hot and have stupid processor names.
Anyway, here are some pics so that you may also share in the glory that is Intel...
Take note of the last two pictures. I said my board was the Media series of the D945GTP board family, but the box in pic 2 says "Classic series". The actual board in pic 3 is a genuine "Media series". Yeah, that's right, someone somehow somewhere sometime screwed up and put the wrong board in the wrong box. And ONLY the wrong board. Every other component is of the Classic series, even the software and the I/O shield (although I don't think the I/O shield even fits ANY of the D945GTP boards. It's missing a couple USB holes.) So I will have to contact Newegg.com tomorrow and see if I can get the right components.