What do you do with the computer parts you remove when you do an upgrade?
Well first you have to have more than one computer. I have three desktops and half a dozen laptops.
As an example I will use two hard drives, a new 1 TB drive and an older 500 GB drive.
The 1 TB will go in to my server and the 500 GB will come out and go in to my tower desktop. The 1 TB cost around $90 and the 500 GB is old enough to have paid for itself over time but I think I paid about $120 for it three or so years ago (savings of $120).
Troubleshoot, repair, maintain, upgrade & secure...
I have some DDR2 memory ( 2 GB modules) that I removed from my tower computer that will also go in to my Wife's computer giving it 4 GB physical memory (saving $45 or so).
I bought a new Core 2 Quad Q8400 processor for my tower computer, it is a FSB 1333 it cost $145, the Core 2 Quad Q6600 will go in to the Server (this will save me $120 or so) and the Core 2 Duo will go in to my Wife's computer replacing a Pentium 4 D (this again will save $120 or so).
When I upgrade the video card in my tower computer in a month or so it will cost around $180 to $250, my older BFG NVidia G250 (which cost around $130) will go in to my Wife's computer giving that computer HDMI video (saving $130 or so).
As you can see you can take an older computer part that is known good and use it for an upgrade for another computer.
The processor upgrade will only work for the same socket type processor that is a 775 processor will not work in a 1155 socket, and a DDR2 memory module will not work in a DDR3 slot.
My $200 investment in the tower computer will save approximately $400 for upgrades to three computers. And it will speed up my Wife's computer, she will like that!
I have two ASUS laptops and six IBM T series laptops (only three of the IBM laptops are in use). The problem with a laptop is upgrades are hard to hand down
used computer parts. You can do a hard drive or a CD/DVD but the processors and memory are a larger challenge. Like a desktop the socket has to be the same series and with older (such as the Pentium III) motherboards the processor speed has to be close. I tried to putting a 999 MHz processor in a motherboard that had a 750 MHz processor and it would not power up.
If you don't have multiple computers and do an upgrade keep the old
computer parts as spares. I had a nice PNY video card fail that was in my server, if I hadn't kept an old VGA card when I upgraded many years ago the server would have been down for the length of time it would have taken for a new video card to be shipped to me. (The motherboard doesn't have an embedded video device).
It did take me some time to find a higher speed Core 2 Quad processor they seem to be getting rarer as time goes by so if you are considering upgrading your processor and not the motherboard to stay with the older Core 2 vs. the new i series processor you may want to do it now instead of waiting, there may not be any available in the near future ...
Thanks Kermit for letting me know the cheapest ones were at