Upgrading a 12yr old's pc...

Hello all,

I am looking to upgrade my GF's daughter's PC for christmas... Right now she has an OLD system in a new case... I have been looking at newegg all morning and I am more confused than when I started :?

Here is what I/She already has...
1 case with a 350W PS...
1 XFX 6600GT PCI-E card(I upgraded my pc to 7600gt)
2 PATA HD's.
1 DVD/CDRW.
1 CD Rom Drive.
I need advise on MB/CPU/Memory looking to spend <$300 US dollars...
I am open to Intel or AMD.

Will be used mostly for Web surfing, Homework, light gaming(SIMS2, Zoo Tycoon and the like) nothing really hardcore. I want to get her something current with some upgrade paths to better CPU and such down the road when it is needed.

I realize I will probable need a new PS as well...

Thanks for all the help I really appreciate it...

JonC
37 answers Last reply
More about upgrading 12yr
  1. $300 is pretty tight for mobo, cpu, and ram. how much ram do you want? you can get a pretty good mobo+cpu for $300, but extra funds would be needed to get ram. $400 would do it for everthing.

    edit: just noticed the part about pata hdds, i only know of one C2D mobo that has two IDE ports, and i only found out about it about an hour ago.
  2. Not looking to put a whole lot of memory in... Maybe 512 now and another 512 later...
  3. ok, heres a setup thats close to the $300 target price.

    E6300-$180
    G. Skill 512MB Ram-54.99
    MSI P965 Neo-F-$93

    total- $327

    not sure what your going to do about the lack of sufficent IDE ports though. amd is always an option though, dont know much about amd compatible mobo's though.
  4. The only problem with that MB is that there is only 1 IDE controller = 2 devices... she has 3-4 if I put the cd rom drive in... 2HDD and the DVD/CDRW is at least 3... That was the problem I was having, I can't find the right price combo with a mb that has PATA controllers...
    I did find this though P5NSLI open box

    Any Thoughts?
  5. You can always use SATA->IDE adapters.
  6. hmm, i know that is a problem, main reason is that the use of pata drives is really falling. you could get an IDE add-on card, then route some of the harware it.

    something like this would work.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16815104214

    dont know about the quality of that card though, this is a problem thats ive only encountered twice, and both cases have been tonight. im sure somebody else will now of a better add-on card, im sure you can buy pata to sata cables on newegg or something too. the C2D's are worth it to spend the extra couple of bucks.
  7. I don't recommend buying open box items because they have been returned by a customer because of a problem. You don't know if they handled the item properly or not.
  8. Quote:
    I don't recommend buying open box items because they have been returned by a customer because of a problem. You don't know if they handled the item properly or not.


    i already knew that, but what item where you talking about in this thread? as far as i can tell the only links that have been posted where mine, and none of them where open box.
  9. Quote:
    I don't recommend buying open box items because they have been returned by a customer because of a problem. You don't know if they handled the item properly or not.


    i already knew that, but what item where you talking about in this thread? as far as i can tell the only links that have been posted where mine, and none of them where open box.

    In my last post I put in a link to an Open box MB on Newegg...
  10. oh, sorry. i wonder how i missed the open box part though? hmm, maybe im just tired.
  11. as far as I can see, there is no reason to upgrade at all, and waiting till NEXT christmas would be a better idea. is there any reason that the computer even needs an upgrade?

    if all she is doing is using the internet/word/light gaming etc, why would you need something high powered.

    the 6600GT is NOT a weak graphics card.
  12. I am not sure why you would want to spend this kind of money on an upgrade when, with all the holiday sales comming up you will be able to buy a new computer for a little more than this same amount you want to spend
    Kman378
  13. how about Asrock 775dual Vsta.

    Seems ideal for your situation perhaps.

    2ide, 2sata, AGP PCI-E, DDR and DDR2.

    You can get the cheaper RAM at not much of a performance hit.
  14. Quote:
    I am not sure why you would want to spend this kind of money on an upgrade when, with all the holiday sales comming up you will be able to buy a new computer for a little more than this same amount you want to spend
    Kman378


    um, $300 for a new computer? yeah you could find a new one for that price, but even with the savings from holiday sales it would be the worlds worst emachines piece of crap (intagrated graphics, probably a low end celeron proc, like a 40gb hdd, ect.) that would get he s**t kicked out of it if comparded to the machine that this guy is upgrading.
  15. Quote:
    ok, heres a setup thats close to the $300 target price.

    E6300-$180
    G. Skill 512MB Ram-54.99
    MSI P965 Neo-F-$93

    total- $327

    not sure what your going to do about the lack of sufficent IDE ports though. amd is always an option though, dont know much about amd compatible mobo's though.


    The memory that you pointed out will not work with the 965 chipset according to the specs on new egg
    Quote:
    Only DDR2-800 memory supporting JEDEC approved 1.8V operation with timings of 5-5-5 or 6-6-6 is supported on Intel Desktop Boards based on Intel 965 Express Chipsets.
  16. $300 and an upgrade path may be tough to do right but I applaud your efforts mate. Anyways, upgrade path today is a misnomer. There are too many things in flux.

    I suggest you do the best you can with what you have and hunt for discounts on gear that is nearing EOL but is still awesome. In a year and a half or so, look seriously at a whole new rig.

    What procesor and mobo is she now using? If the processor is solid you can overclock it. Likewise, if the mobo is solid you can get a used CPU for cheap. Look at 939 gear as it is still great stuff albeit EOL. PATA is fine, if outdated, but you didn't mention if she has a copy of XP. Remember, moving to a new mobo usually means an XP reinstall.
  17. hmm, but ive seen plenty of people use 533 and 667 ram with the 965 chipset without a problem.

    here are a few links for proof.

    P965 chipset review, using DDR2-1066 ram

    anandtech mobo review featuring the P965 chipset, using DDR2-533 ram

    wikipedia article listing DDR2-533 ram as supported
  18. Ok so it comes down to these parts basically...

    MSI P945 Neo3$79.99
    PCI IDE Controller$14.99
    Intel E6300$180.00 OR Intel P930$153.99
    G-Skill DDR667 512 MB$60.99
    So with the E6300 total is $336
    With the Intel P930 is $310
  19. the extra $26 fpr the core 2 duo is definitely worth it, the c2d's run cooler, faster, and use less power then there pentium brethren. plus they OC like monsters. (hey, its still a plus!)
  20. Uh..Oh! Sorry, I'm in the wrong room!

    I thought what was asked was "upgrading a 12-year old PC" (man...is there a PC that old nowadays)?

    I was about ready to dig my Nintendo Family Computer in our basement and ask around how to biblically resurrect it from the dead! :lol:
  21. I say what apt403 is suggesting it a good idea. though I dont know how much less power a c2d uses you might need a new psu, but maybe 350 will do it.
  22. As a few people have said, you might be better off not upgrading that much. Particularly due to the hard drives, you might just want to stick with the same mobo as is in the comp right now. And you haven't mentioned how much RAM the comp has. Unless the current pc has less than 512, leave it alone or just buy another stick to upgrade to 512 (granted, this is a little skimpy for Windows XP - you're going to be using the hard disc as virtual RAM - pagefile - slowing down the performance). This assumes you're not using outdated RAM in the comp.

    But anyway, the people telling you to leave well enough alone are right. As long as you have a somewhat recent mobo (and I imagine you do, since it is PCI express compatible), just buy a CPU to fit the case - even an Intel 805D would be fine - and call it a day. Your power supply should be fine. You only start to drain power when you overclock or have lots of stuff pulling lots of power all at once. I'd say it's at least worth trying the current one. If your comp is restarting at funny times (like, if she's playing games and there are lots of moving characters on screen, which means more power to the vid card), then yeah, time for new power supply.

    Basically, if the mobo is for AM2 or LGA775, don't bother upgrading it. It isn't like a teenage girl is going to care if she has an Asus vs MSI vs Foxconn. Also, it obviously has what you want for the HDs and devices.

    Your best bet is to swap the CPU and maybe reformat. But I'm guessing you don't want to do much reformating since you want to keep both PATA HDs. In this case, burn everything to DVDs and get a Dell. The right answer to this whole thing is to upgrade CPU, memory, mobo, AND the HD, but that's going to cost >$300 and she probably won't care or even notice much of a difference. Considering the demographic (almost teenage girl), what is probably the problem is the comp is bogged down with spyware, background programs, and fragmentation.

    So, my suggestion is, instead of doing an upgrade for Christmas, make your Christmas present to her 1. a complete DVD+R backup of all her data, including savegames and schoolwork, 2. a reformating of her pc, including 3. a fresh install of her favorite software, and 4. a defragmentation following complete install, plus 5. an external enclosure for those hard drives (real cheap ~$30 on Newegg) so that when you buy her a WHOLE brand new computer next Christmas with all that money you saved this year and put into a savings account (*hint hint*), she can just plug the HD with all her data into it as a USB device. Or just pop in the DVDs full of data you made her when she needs them. This will cost you ~$250 less than your budget, and she'll probably appreciate it more.
  23. well, rosewill isnt exactly know for quality ps's, neither is coolmax, although the coolmax ones seems to be of a little better quality, so i would go with that one.
  24. Ok, Now that I have picked a new PS I think I have gotten everything... Here goes the list...

    Koutech IO-PIR133 PCI IDE Controller Card - Retail
    APEVIA (ASPIRE) See-Through ATX-AS500W-BK ATX12V 500W Power Supply - Retail
    Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 Conroe 1.86GHz LGA 775 Processor Model BX80557E6300 - Retail
    G.SKILL 512MB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 667 (PC2 5400) Desktop Memory Model F2-5400PHU1-512LA - Retail
    Total Price $315.97 BF shipping...

    Any final thoughts? This is for x-mas... should I wait a little as the prices may drop or get the stuff now?
  25. I wouldnt bother with upgrading it.

    You would be far better off buying a prebuilt basic pc. (just the base unit) Something like an E-machine then salvageing any parts from the old unit.

    It may cost a little more but you will get a DVDRW and a much bigger Hard disk thrown in.

    Quote:
    1 XFX 6600GT PCI-E card(I upgraded my pc to 7600gt)


    I missed that bit, The motherboard can't be very old if you are using the above card.
  26. looks good, and that psu is of better quality, but what about going with this one? thermaltake 420w psu doesnt look as nice, but its of higher quality and will still suport the system, same price too. that apevia one seems to like dieing on people. i guess your keeping your current mobo? what kind is it? just want to make sure it'll work with the c2d's and the ddr2 ram.

    if it's for xmas then i think you should wait, prices could only go down if you waited a few more weeks.
  27. Quote:
    she has an OLD system in a new case...

    C'mon jonkc - how old can it be if it has a PCI-E slot!?
    Yeesh, may folks with very powerful ~2004 PCs have only AGP...
    And you never did mention exactly what you are calling 'old'. What does she have now?
    You guys are loopy buying 512MB new memory anyway - you want to buy a Core2 but you don't have a memory budget? You don't want 4 x 512MB - 2 x 1GB much better (eventually).
    I would look at upgrading what she has now, maybe to 1GB memory, if she has the CPU for it. What mobo/CPU does she have now?
    Regards
  28. Ok let me clarify things...

    Her system now is a p3 600E and all the crap that goes with that...
    I kept forgetting to put in the MB in the new specs as somehow I deleted it out of my wish list from Newegg...
    So here is the build as it stands now, if anyone has any recommendations as to any changes, I am open to them... INCLUDING going with AMD. I am spending a little more than I would like, but I feel(as does my GF) that it is worth it because it will last her for a long time...

    MSI 945P Neo3-F Socket T (LGA 775) Intel 945P ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail 79.99
    Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 Conroe 1.86GHz LGA 775 Processor Model BX80557E6300 - Retail 180.00
    Patriot Signature Series 512MB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 667 (PC2 5300) System Memory Model PSD251266781H - Retail 54.99
    APEVIA (ASPIRE) See-Through ATX-AS500W-BK ATX12V 500W Power Supply - Retail 59.99
    Koutech IO-PIR133 PCI IDE Controller Card - Retail 14.99
    Total before shipping $389.96
  29. I have one little tweak

    FSP 450 W $ 53.99

    I always suggest avoiding no name brand Power supplies
  30. That package should be fine. I'd still say don't waste your money on a new power supply unless you're sure the old one won't work. There's always some debate over just how much power anyone needs for a decent comp, and you can either check with a wall outlet power detector (checks the wattage being drawn from the outlet), or you can see if the power supply works or not. (i.e. plug it in)

    Although one thing I just thought of is, if the form factor on the current power supply is old, you'll want to upgrade that no matter what. But as long as you're at ATX 2.0 or greater, (2.2 is the current rev, but changes from 2.0 to 2.2 are pretty insignificant at the consumer level) you're fine. 350W should be fine to handle that system, depending on how much power the video card sucks. I'd say it's at least worthy of investigation. Why spend the extra $60 on equipment you don't need? But hey, your money, not mine.

    One last point - care to explain how you got a motherboard that operates a p3 and a PCI-E graphics card in conjunction? Because to me, that seems on the surface to be quite the anachronism.
  31. Quote:
    I have one little tweak

    FSP 450 W $ 53.99

    I always suggest avoiding no name brand Power supplies


    Well I have an aspire ps and it has kicked A$$ for over a year with no problems... I have never heard of FSP though and reading the reviews more than a few people said that the voltages were low at least on the 12V rail if not all....

    Anyone else have any experience with this PS?
  32. Quote:

    One last point - care to explain how you got a motherboard that operates a p3 and a PCI-E graphics card in conjunction? Because to me, that seems on the surface to be quite the anachronism.


    The old PC does not support both, it is a P3 etc. the new one will have a PCI-E board and I have a 6600gt from My system that I just upgraded to 7600gt...

    Hope that clears that up...

    As for the PS it is a cheap 350w no name one that I bought because her original one died about a year ago and I am sure that it will not be anywhere near enough to power the e6300, the motherboard, the 2 HDD and 2 Optical drives as well as the case fans... I would rather have everything working right away as opposed to having it sit for a few extra days after xmas and her not being able to use it...
  33. I just want to say thanks for all the help... and Happy Thanksgiving! :D
  34. I would go with something like this.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-AMD-64-x2-4200-CPU-NEW-ECS-MOTHERBOARD-COMBO_W0QQitemZ320050387762QQihZ011QQcategoryZ80139QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem


    with the remaining $60 (after shipping) buy your G.Skill additional memory, and I recommend using your existing power supply, when/if it dies,only then buy a new one.

    I have been using AMD for 3 years now, and have sworn never to go back to Intel. AMD is cheaper and runs just as good if not better. Only draw back is, I have found most fans for the AMD processors run louder than those for Intel.
  35. Quote:
    AMD is cheaper and runs just as good if not better.


    dude, seriously? i might be able to give you the cheaper part, but better? right now C2D's beat the hell out of every cpu AMD has.
  36. Quote:
    I would go with something like this.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-AMD-64-x2-4200-CPU-NEW-ECS-MOTHERBOARD-COMBO_W0QQitemZ320050387762QQihZ011QQcategoryZ80139QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem


    with the remaining $60 (after shipping) buy your G.Skill additional memory, and I recommend using your existing power supply, when/if it dies,only then buy a new one.

    I have been using AMD for 3 years now, and have sworn never to go back to Intel. AMD is cheaper and runs just as good if not better. Only draw back is, I have found most fans for the AMD processors run louder than those for Intel.


    Well I appreciate the info, but there is no way that I would get any AMD over a C2D at this point, the price/performance does not warrant it. I also am leary about getting a board from a company I have never heard of and from a person that offers no warranty. Where as for a little more I get piece of mind from newegg for any RMA returns and good customer service.
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