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Upgrading my Hardware from Pentium D

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May 28, 2013 1:56:17 PM

I've been a light gamer lately, playing games like MW2 and Minecraft at about 60 FPS, kind of fluctuates here and there, but I'm looking to upgrade my hardware.

I've been on an ancient Dell OptiPlex GX620, which, as you all may know, it's bios is locked up so you can't overclock it or anything. I've been looking at a lot more advanced games such as Portal 2, and I thought about it, and I think it's time I upgrade my hardware.

Current specifications are:

Intel Pentium D 830 3.00 GHz
EVGA NVidia GeForce 9400 GT 1GB
4GB Dell Standard DDR2 RAM
Standard Dell 300w PSU (barely supplies enough power)

Surprising enough, it handles some older games from 2007-2009 very good, GTA IV at lower settings, but I'm looking for better.

My budget is around $250, and I'm willing to buy a new case, motherboard, ram, graphics card, and processor.

I was looking around on YouTube and saw multiple $250 budget PC builds, but they all turn out more pricey with shipping and such.. I saw one post about how an old C2D 1.8 GHz overclocked to about 2.5 GHz can outrun an old Pentium D because of it's architecture, but I really don't know. I also looked into the newest Sandy/Ivy Bridge Pentium processors and they seem nice but need a new power supply and motherboard.

So, again, I'm leaving it up to you guys. My budget is $250, upgrading from an old GX620, and willing to buy a new motherboard, case, processor, graphics card, RAM, and PSU.

Thanks

Edit: I don't believe I stated it above, but I'm looking toward a bit more graphic intense games, like Assassin's Creed and Portal 2.
May 28, 2013 2:23:38 PM

$250 is kinda tight, and what I will suggest will improve your PCs performance, but it still won't be nothing like a new build.

Your CPU is ancient. Your best upgrade will be to a Core 2 Duo E4700 at 2.6 Ghz, its clock speed is lower, but it is more powerful then the Pentium D. Its about twice as powerful.

Your video card needs a update as well, your computer should have an PCI-Express 16x slot, which is good because you can add a modern GPU to your PC. Due to your small PSU, I would recommend a HD 7750, it doesnt require any special power plug and it runs on only 55 watts.

Upgrade to faster DDR2-667 RAM.

You are looking at $100 for the video card, $50 for the E4700 Core 2 Duo, and $50 for some decent RAM.

With this all said, I say it would be best to save another $250-300, and allow a complete new build instead of trying to revive an ancient PC.
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May 28, 2013 2:29:56 PM

mattius92 said:
$250 is kinda tight, and what I will suggest will improve your PCs performance, but it still won't be nothing like a new build.

Your CPU is ancient. Your best upgrade will be to a Core 2 Duo E4700 at 2.6 Ghz, its clock speed is lower, but it is more powerful then the Pentium D. Its about twice as powerful.

Your video card needs a update as well, your computer should have an PCI-Express 16x slot, which is good because you can add a modern GPU to your PC. Due to your small PSU, I would recommend a HD 7750, it doesnt require any special power plug and it runs on only 55 watts.

How about a Core 2 Quad? I may be able to convince one of my buds to get me a 2.6 GHz Core 2 Quad..

Upgrade to faster DDR2-667 RAM.

You are looking at $100 for the video card, $50 for the E4700 Core 2 Duo, and $50 for some decent RAM.

With this all said, I say it would be best to save another $250-300, and allow a complete new build instead of trying to revive an ancient PC.


How about a Core 2 Quad? I may be able to convince one of my buds to grab me a 2.4-2.6 GHz Core 2 Quad off eBay...

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May 28, 2013 2:35:01 PM

The Front Side Bus on your motherboard is 800 MHz max, no core 2 quad is 800 Mhz, more like 1333.
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May 28, 2013 2:38:39 PM

mattius92 said:
The Front Side Bus on your motherboard is 800 MHz max, no core 2 quad is 800 Mhz, more like 1333.


Hmm.. I'm just trying to think of possibilities..

What if I were to grab a Sandy Bridge Intel Pentium G645, an ASRock H61M motherboard, and the graphics card you were talking about, I'm just reading something I saw earlier. I have an ATX case laying around where I can install the ASRock H61M-DGS, I have DDR3 RAM laying around, I'll buy the G645, and buy the graphics card you were referring to.. Would that be a good idea?

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May 28, 2013 2:49:00 PM

Much much better. Even a Pentium G645 will have much more power then an old Core 2 Duo. That sounds like a good idea, you do need to get a new PSU. A Corsair CX430 is like $40 and will be handle all your needs.

However, the biggest cost you might not be factoring into the build is a new OS. Windows 7 will be about $90.
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May 28, 2013 2:50:35 PM

mattius92 said:
Much much better. Even a Pentium G645 will have much more power then an old Core 2 Duo. That sounds like a good idea, you do need to get a new PSU. A Corsair CX430 is like $40 and will be handle all your needs.

However, the biggest cost you might not be factoring into the build is a new OS. Windows 7 will be about $90.


The PSU shouldn't be a problem as it's only $40, and the OS isn't either. I've got loads of installation CDs lying around. Thanks so much for your help!

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May 29, 2013 6:29:08 AM

mattius92 said:
Much much better. Even a Pentium G645 will have much more power then an old Core 2 Duo. That sounds like a good idea, you do need to get a new PSU. A Corsair CX430 is like $40 and will be handle all your needs.

However, the biggest cost you might not be factoring into the build is a new OS. Windows 7 will be about $90.


I just want to add a bit. GX620 maximum upgrade is only Pentium D960 and nothing more, E4700 was not documented, it was mentioned once and never proven (to the best of my knowledge), so new motherboard and everything is the only way to go.
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May 29, 2013 6:47:35 AM

Kisianik said:
mattius92 said:
Much much better. Even a Pentium G645 will have much more power then an old Core 2 Duo. That sounds like a good idea, you do need to get a new PSU. A Corsair CX430 is like $40 and will be handle all your needs.

However, the biggest cost you might not be factoring into the build is a new OS. Windows 7 will be about $90.


I just want to add a bit. GX620 maximum upgrade is only Pentium D960 and nothing more, E4700 was not documented, it was mentioned once and never proven (to the best of my knowledge), so new motherboard and everything is the only way to go.


Agreed, no need to upgrade from ancient tech, to faster but still ancient tech. New build is the way to go.
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May 29, 2013 7:12:00 AM

I agree with Mattius about the wisdom of saving up for a little longer and making a new build. You can continually update a PC's parts over time without ever doing a completely new build, but in your situation, with what looks to essentially be a computer with the same parts as the original 2005-2006ish build, it's not very cost-effective at this point.

You're too far back on the treadmill, so to speak, for an upgrade to be the best option. You will get more performance out of the upgrade -- you're going from a mid-range 2005 CPU to a higher-tier 2006 CPU, but it's still a 2006 CPU.
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