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Looking to upgrade old computer any help appreciated

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July 18, 2014 1:56:30 PM

A friend of mine recently gave me there old HP Pavilion p6310y and I thought it'd be a nice upgrade from my laptop however the system is quite dated and I would like suggestions as to a future build (which I planned on making regardless.)

This is the exact computer:

Specifications: http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?cc=us&dlc=e...

Motherboard: http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c01...

Monitor: HP w2338h (1920x1080p)

Everything on the board is pretty much stock other than a network adapter I installed for them previously. I realize there's not much headroom for upgrading on this old board as its an AM3 (not AM3+), and the power supply is only 300 Watts. I game on my laptop (albeit very frustratingly having to optimize everything and mess with cfgs) and plan to turn this machine into my main gaming PC.

I'm a student right now and don't have a reliable source of income yet so for now I have around $500 dollars to work with. My question is, where should I start at? Should I just go ahead and get a new motherboard and CPU (which would be all I'd be able to afford if I were to get a motherboard), or should I add a graphics card (and which) to the current setup and wait until I have more money to go ahead with a full build?

Preferably the build would be Intel as there graphics cards and CPU's from what I've saw have lower power consumption and are overall better, though much more expensive so I'd be able to compromise for now (and get an AMD motherboard and CPU)
July 18, 2014 3:02:35 PM

For $500 you can actually make something pretty decent.

I left out the OS (~$90), i'm not sure if you needed it, and you could probably do with a new HDD (~$60) too. Then look at upgrading the case (~$40-50).

I'm also not sure if the CPU cooler will fit, you'd need to measure the space you have from the motherboard to the door.
These are the dimensions 120 x 80 x 159 mm (4.7 x 3.1 x 6.3 in), but you should check them on the CM website (it's not working for me atm so i can't get you the link)

For now, overclock the CPU and it will do alright, when Broadwell releases around christmas time you will probably have enough cash to look at an upgrade. I went with an mATX board so it should fit straight in.
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel Pentium G3258 3.2GHz Dual-Core Processor ($69.99 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.98 @ OutletPC)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z97MX-Gaming 5 Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($107.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-2133 Memory ($76.50 @ Newegg)
Video Card: MSI Radeon R9 270 2GB TWIN FROZR Video Card ($149.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: EVGA 500W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($34.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $469.44
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
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July 18, 2014 3:09:41 PM

BananaAgent said:
A friend of mine recently gave me there old HP Pavilion p6310y and I thought it'd be a nice upgrade from my laptop however the system is quite dated and I would like suggestions as to a future build (which I planned on making regardless.)

This is the exact computer:

Specifications: http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?cc=us&dlc=e...

Motherboard: http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c01...

Monitor: HP w2338h (1920x1080p)

Everything on the board is pretty much stock other than a network adapter I installed for them previously. I realize there's not much headroom for upgrading on this old board as its an AM3 (not AM3+), and the power supply is only 300 Watts. I game on my laptop (albeit very frustratingly having to optimize everything and mess with cfgs) and plan to turn this machine into my main gaming PC.

I'm a student right now and don't have a reliable source of income yet so for now I have around $500 dollars to work with. My question is, where should I start at? Should I just go ahead and get a new motherboard and CPU (which would be all I'd be able to afford if I were to get a motherboard), or should I add a graphics card (and which) to the current setup and wait until I have more money to go ahead with a full build?

Preferably the build would be Intel as there graphics cards and CPU's from what I've saw have lower power consumption and are overall better, though much more expensive so I'd be able to compromise for now (and get an AMD motherboard and CPU)


keep the case, dremel out the io shield or take it out idk how hp does io shields these days lol

see if your mobo supports FX series processors and get a FX-6300 along with a hyper 212 evo.

upgrade ram to 8gb

get a radeon r9 270

get a antec vp-450

get a few 120mm fans and ziptie them to desired mounting points.

theres your sleeper dell build. good luck :D 

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July 18, 2014 3:20:55 PM

His mobo doesn't support FX series and he'd be bottlenecked by PCIe v1.
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July 18, 2014 4:08:27 PM

Well as said above the only way you are going to be able to keep that case with a different motherboard would be to dremel the IO Shield since they are most always a solid plate and not removable on HP models. If you are not comfortable doing that you will need to factor in a case into the build.

But even at that with the build listed above you could still bring it in really close to the $500 mark.
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July 18, 2014 7:21:55 PM

If you can't/don't want to dremel the other case I'd recommend the Corsair 200R. There are cheaper cases, but this is generally considered one of the best budget cases. If you can't quite afford this build, you could use your old RAM for a while, but it's only 1066 which is pretty slow.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel Pentium G3258 3.2GHz Dual-Core Processor ($69.99 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.98 @ OutletPC)
Motherboard: ASRock Z97 EXTREME4 ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($115.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-2133 Memory ($76.50 @ Newegg)
Video Card: MSI Radeon R9 270 2GB TWIN FROZR Video Card ($149.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Corsair 200R ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: EVGA 500W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($34.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $527.43
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
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July 18, 2014 8:27:33 PM

byza said:
For $500 you can actually make something pretty decent.

I left out the OS (~$90), i'm not sure if you needed it, and you could probably do with a new HDD (~$60) too. Then look at upgrading the case (~$40-50).

I'm also not sure if the CPU cooler will fit, you'd need to measure the space you have from the motherboard to the door.
These are the dimensions 120 x 80 x 159 mm (4.7 x 3.1 x 6.3 in), but you should check them on the CM website (it's not working for me atm so i can't get you the link)

For now, overclock the CPU and it will do alright, when Broadwell releases around christmas time you will probably have enough cash to look at an upgrade. I went with an mATX board so it should fit straight in.
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel Pentium G3258 3.2GHz Dual-Core Processor ($69.99 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.98 @ OutletPC)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z97MX-Gaming 5 Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($107.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-2133 Memory ($76.50 @ Newegg)
Video Card: MSI Radeon R9 270 2GB TWIN FROZR Video Card ($149.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: EVGA 500W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($34.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $469.44
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available


Thanks, I really like this build for the cost however I would prefer to spend that later when I have more than just $500. What would be the viability of just adding in a graphics card on the current system like the GTX 750Ti which should work as it requires a 300 Watt PSU? Would I even notice any improvements or would there be too many bottlenecks in the system.
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Best solution

July 18, 2014 10:55:29 PM

People have run the 750ti on 300w PSU's, but it actually depends on the amps on the 12v rail, not the wattage of the PSU. So i'm not sure if your PSU will power a 750ti or not. Being an OEM PSU I would suspect not, but as I said, I really don't know.

If your read this article on PCIe compatibility, I'm not even sure you will be able to run a 750ti on your motherboard.
http://www.overclock.net/a/the-final-answer-to-the-cont...

If you get the second build I recommended, the motherboard, RAM, cooler and case are all as good as they will ever need to be. Even if you got top of the line mobo, cooler, case and RAM, at most you would add ~7fps. If you look at the review of the G3258 and compare the results to the review of the 750 ti, you will see that except in CPU intensive games, it would actually be the GPU holding you back. You will also see that the 270 is much better than the 750 ti despite being only ~$30 more expensive. So pretty much the build I suggested will have you playing all current games on high settings @1080p with decent fps except for CPU intensive games such as DayZ. It would probably keep you reasonably happy without spending any more on it, but if you wanted to continue to upgrade than the CPU/GPU/PSU will last you until Broadwell CPU's and the 800 series GPU's come out.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/pentium-g3258-overc...
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-750-ti-...

Say your goal is to get an i5-4690k and r9 290 with the other parts remaining the same and lets assume you get 2/3 back on your already purchased parts. If you buy a 750ti now, save up and buy the rest later, you lose ~$40, if you buy the build I said and upgrade the CPU, GPU and PSU you lose ~$85. So you could be gaming on high-ultra settings for months, or save $45 and play low-medium. Even if you sell for half the value of the CPU/GPU/PSU, you lose ~$125, with the difference if you bought a 750 ti being only ~$85.

A bit of a long post but my point is, you're not going to save much money, or get a much better PC even if you wait and I don't think a 750 ti will work anyway.

Update: Forgot to link the reviews.
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July 19, 2014 12:02:33 AM

byza said:
People have run the 750ti on 300w PSU's, but it actually depends on the amps on the 12v rail, not the wattage of the PSU. So i'm not sure if your PSU will power a 750ti or not. Being an OEM PSU I would suspect not, but as I said, I really don't know.

If your read this article on PCIe compatibility, I'm not even sure you will be able to run a 750ti on your motherboard.
http://www.overclock.net/a/the-final-answer-to-the-cont...

If you get the second build I recommended, the motherboard, RAM, cooler and case are all as good as they will ever need to be. Even if you got top of the line mobo, cooler, case and RAM, at most you would add ~7fps. If you look at the review of the G3258 and compare the results to the review of the 750 ti, you will see that except in CPU intensive games, it would actually be the GPU holding you back. You will also see that the 270 is much better than the 750 ti despite being only ~$30 more expensive. So pretty much the build I suggested will have you playing all current games on high settings @1080p with decent fps except for CPU intensive games such as DayZ. It would probably keep you reasonably happy without spending any more on it, but if you wanted to continue to upgrade than the CPU/GPU/PSU will last you until Broadwell CPU's and the 800 series GPU's come out.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/pentium-g3258-overc...
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-750-ti-...

Say your goal is to get an i5-4690k and r9 290 with the other parts remaining the same and lets assume you get 2/3 back on your already purchased parts. If you buy a 750ti now, save up and buy the rest later, you lose ~$40, if you buy the build I said and upgrade the CPU, GPU and PSU you lose ~$85. So you could be gaming on high-ultra settings for months, or save $45 and play low-medium. Even if you sell for half the value of the CPU/GPU/PSU, you lose ~$125, with the difference if you bought a 750 ti being only ~$85.

A bit of a long post but my point is, you're not going to save much money, or get a much better PC even if you wait and I don't think a 750 ti will work anyway.

Update: Forgot to link the reviews.


Yeah didn't think about compatibility issues. You have a good point, i'll consider what you said some more and make my decision, thanks for all the research and feedback it really helped!
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