I agree that it depends but normally the consensus is no. Think about it, can you fit an AGP graphics card into a PCI-E slot or vice versa? Can you fit DIMM memory into a DDR3 slot and vice versa? You may find the only interchangeable parts from different computer generations are peripherals, storage devices, fans and power supplies.
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If they'll actually fit yes. However, the old machine may not have BIOS drivers that support the new hardware, and the OS may not have suitable drivers either. Check the system requirements for the new parts you wish to install against the spec's for the old machine.
. It depends. The further apart they are in time the more problems you will run into, but all-in-all, many parts are interchangeable.