New mobo and CPU

DP

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Following is written for information only to get advice from people with knowledge in this section.
The computer I am working on for this post is a DELL XPS 420 with a quad processor.
I also have an AUSUS machine that looks like a large shoe box with handle on top (but this machine is becoming temperamental.
I have an old gateway computer that my son refitted with AUSUS motherboard and Athlon CPU. While this computer was fast (my son said my old DELL computer described below, cost less than the graphics card on his refitted PC) motherboard is burnt near the RAM sockets and lot of capacitors are leaking. Looks like the area that is burnt, has capacitors that have been leaking a lot.
DELL PC that was slow which was replaced by the XPS420
Another Gateway PC that was working but has not been put to use for a long time. It is just sitting there occupying space.
My son set up a wireless network. XPS and Ausus ‘shoebox’ have been used at two points for business. While the shoebox is for entry of data and for use as need arises throughout the day, XPS is for preparing accounts, doing estimates and quotes and searching the web for information as required (two monitors connected to it make that a doddle)
Now the XPS is used full time in place of the shoebox..
I am considering fitting a motherboard and processor into one of above ‘redundant’ PCs. Could you guys please advice cheapest solution possible that will enable me to trawl the web (that does not requiring making and drinking tea between download), run windows and microsoft office at a reasonable speed (mostly Excel). Microsoft office outlook is used for emails and diary function for appointments. Will need to buy Windows software and MS Office.
Any help you guys can give will be most appreciated.

Thanks in Advance

Dan
 
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For the web, email and office applications you intend to use, then anything produced in the last 5 years will do.
If you are buying new then go for a basic Intel or AMD dual core processor (e5300 or Athlon 64x2) , sub £40 motherboard (Asus, Gigabyte, Asrock) and 2GB of memory (cheapy cheap these days) or 4GB of you intend to run windows Vista.

No need to buy MS office if you use Open Office (it's free to download and will do most of what MS will do)

Ditto the operating system if you use Linux, or you may have a Windows XP product sticker on the machine you are retiring, which you can re-use. May have to phone MS and say you are 'repairing' a damaged machine to activate the program.

Be aware that Microsoft have just started a scheme which will mean that anyone buying Vista, either standalone or preinstalled, will get a free upgrade to Windows 7 when it's released on October (much better than crappy Vista)

You could also buy a complete refurbished unit with XP for under £150

or, one of the new low power usage Atom systems like this
 
Thanks for taking the trouble to write. Much appreciated
 
You may need to change the power supply, recent motherboards I have installed have extra/different connectors also, a mboard with built in graphics/sound/ is simpler to install.
 
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