Piece by Piece Upgrade - which piece first?


I'm in the process of upgrading my AMD system to Intel. I roughly know what spec I'm after but wondered which parts to upgrade first...let me explain...

My old system is an AMD Sempron 2800, 512mb pc3200 (400) memory, GT6600 128mb AGP graphics and 2 x 80gb IDE HDs. I've made up my mind to switch to Intel Core 2 Due - and as I'm on a budget I expect the E6300 so....

I can't afford to buy all the bits in one go and so bought an ASROCK DUAL VSTA motherboard and a second hand Pentium D 820. I've plonked all my old bits that fir into the MB and now have an intel system on which to build on - stage 1 complete

Now , I intend to spend about £50-£100 per month and get the rest of the bits over the next few months - my question is in what order should I replace the bits and see noticable improvements?

The bits to get - 1gb DDR2 memory, 250gb SATA HD, E6300 CPU, PCI-e graphics card. Eventually I will change out the MB but that can wait a while.

I was thinking of this order:
1 - Memory (room to breathe)
2 - HD - (nice and clean re-installation of XP)
3 - CPU - (just about have enough saved by then)
4 - Graphics card

I left the CPU towards the end as I thought my existing kit would just hold it back - I want to see it fly when I put it in!!!

On another issue......
My now Intel set up appears no faster than the Sempron 2800. Is that expected bearing in mind the components I've retained? Not done any benchmarks - just my jusgement on start up times etc

Thank you all!!!

8 answers Last reply
More about piece piece upgrade piece first
  1. Your order of operations (RAM, HDD, etc) sounds good to me.

    Seeing if your computer is "faster", especially without benchmarks, is misleading. Startup times are not just a function of one thing. You must understand that you've only replaced 1 part really right now. That won't make much of a difference. But adding more RAM, then a faster hard drive, and then a faster CPU WILL make a difference by then. PLUS, what you need to know about a dual core CPU is that it makes a HUGE difference in certain scenarios, but not so much in others.

    For example, having a C2D 6800 won't make your browser work any faster. But having a faster dual core CPU will make Windows run better, smoother, and allow you to do some hardcore multitasking while your virus scanner is running in the background without your system crashing. Add another gig of RAM and now you can do just about anything without lag.

    I bet your Sempron would puke just thinking about doing a FEW of those things at the same time ;)

    Add a new graphics card to your setup as the final piece, and you'll be driving a Porsche compared to your current system. No doubt.

    But you have to look at the overall, not one particular piece like a startup time. If you want some basic quick "proof", then run Super Pi Mod on your Sempron, then run it again on your 6300 when you get it ;) A stock 6300 can run Super Pi to 1 Million digits at stock speed at about 28 seconds. Check how fast your Sempron is and then you'll see what I mean. Probably take over a minute. THAT will be noticed ;)

    Super Pi Mod:
  2. Do you game, or do you want to play the latest games?

    :) Go out- buy Oblivian, or the Need for Speed Carbon and try to play them now.
    Leave them installed and when you finally get that nice new top end graphics card see what happens!
  3. Hi skyguy - sadly my sempron is now in pieces as I've used most of the bits on my interim intel system for now - I've never been one to use benchmarks - It was just a feeling I had that the intel Pent D appeared no faster than the sempron 2800 but I take your point. (I suspect alot of my troubles lie within my OS despite the repair once I swapped the MB and cpu out - there's so much junk in there!)

    I must admit to looking forward to finally installing the final CPU - may make a day of celebration!!

    JITPublisher - my pc is a bit of a family workhorse! the kids (and of course me) like to game but I'm never desperate to run the latest games at highest detail - as long as they run smoothly and look OK i'm happy. We do alot of video editing, web site construction, plenty of browsing, database work, and usual office stuff - a bit of an all rounder really

    Thanks for your help!
  4. You cant use that RAM, CPU, or GFx card on your current motherboard, the only thing that you would be able to use is the HDD (assuming its IDE, or if you have SATA on you current motherboard).

    The way I would do it is get them all at the same time, then if something is broken you will know straight away rather than trying to send it back 4 months later. Or, get the motherboard first, and add bits to it. That way you can see the computer growing under your eyes, and gives you some motivation at work.
  5. Actually, he can.

    The ASROCK DUAL VSTA can use DDR or DD2, and AGP or PCI-e. So in this case, he can upgrade bit by bit ;)
  6. Sorry my bad, im a twat that cant read.
  7. LOL, I'm a blond that can't type LOL ;)
  8. Yep - definately can - and have!! :lol:

    Thanks again for advice peeps!
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