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Upgrade or start again??

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April 8, 2007 12:07:48 PM

Hi there,

My desktop PC is beginning to show its age and I would like to improve it. However, I’m not sure whether I am in a position to upgrade or will have to start again from scratch. I’d be very grateful if someone could help me decide what my best options are please.

I have the following setup at the moment:

Motherboard: Asus A7V8X-X
CPU: AMD Athlon XP1800 1.1.5Ghz
RAM: 1Gb
HDD 1 x 80GB Seagate Barracuda, 1 x 160GB Seagate Barracuda
Graphics card ATI Radeon AGP card (very old!)
CD/DVD Samsung DVD, LG DVD-RW

The HDD drives and CD drives all connect via IDE.

I use my PC mainly for music, entertainment, web browsing and work/study (Word, Excel, Powerpoint). I’m not a gamer or video editor. I’d just like something a bit quicker and more reliable. I’d like to salvage as much of the existing kit as possible, however, I’m prepared to spend some decent money to get something good.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks.

Cheers!!

More about : upgrade start

April 8, 2007 12:31:14 PM

The motherboard you have is too obsolete, there are no new CPUs made into socket 462. So, the cheapest reasonable upgrade seems to be some cheap motherboard using DDR1 memory (which you have), AGP slot (for your old AGP card, while you're not a gamer)...ie ASUS P5PE-VM...well it's a piece of crap but its reliable and cheap, and you will be able to use your old RAM, 4 ATA drives and AGP card..and, put some Celeron D inside, like 347 or 352, these ones cost almost nothing : )
April 8, 2007 1:53:32 PM

I would check to fing an AMD X2 socket 939 and a motherboard with integrated video from ATI or nvidia chipset. You'll be able to reuse your RAM, And the integrated video will probably be a bit better than your current video card.

Then you reuse all your other stuff, but get a decent PSU.

Or, Since you don't need much power, and ready to spend more, check for the Asus M2A-VM. Nice integrated motherboard, with everything you may ever need for music and entertainement. Couple it with a cheap X2 like the 3600+ or 3800+ and you'll have plenty of power and smoothness. get 2 gigs of RAM (rather cheap now), and an enclosure that support USB2 to put one of your HDD. Newer board only have 1 IDE connector. So I would use only the DVD burner and 1 HDD in the computer.

Better would be to get a nice SATA HDD, put the 160 in the external enclosure, and the 80 in your other computer, that will still be functionnal as a spare. so, with the external, data can easily be moved between both computer.

Get a nice 500w PSU, like the silverstone element which is silent and powerfull enough(personal PSU here) and a nice case. Maybe you'll like a nice HTPC case, since all your internal devices will be putting low heat, like the Nmedia HTPC-280SA or SAV(include the nice display in front). The 280SA is 105$ CAN.

What is good with this CPU and MOBO combo is that it is cheap while very good performer for all around computing, which let you more money for other stuff like more RAM or better SATA HDD.

If you still have some budget, grab an OEM copy of Vista Home Premium 32 bits. Don't bother now for 64 bits, there is not enough stuff supported at the time.

I have one friend that is looking for a new computer, for all around computing (like you, and we ended up with all that I've listed, apart of the case, as it is not sure if he want that or a tower. The features supported by the motherboard (HDMI, for HD DVD and BLURAY playback or nice integrated video performance, digital sound output,..) make it one that will last long for him (and as I can see from your need, for you too..)

Then the CPU is powerfull enough for everything, but if you still have some cash left, get and better one, without going to excess.. Even the 3600+ is enough for what you'll do.. as gaming and video is what is taxing the the cpu the most, two things that you won't do a lot from what you say. So no need to spend too much on that, get RAM or storage instead.

Vista is running here. Running very well too. You can give it a try if you want. The better dual core support and memory management will really make your CPU used as it should. Not like XP when one core most of the time sit idle..
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April 8, 2007 2:40:10 PM

Get an ASRock-VSTA 775 mobo. It'll take your AGP and DDR. However, it'll also take PCI-e and DDR2 ;)  AND.....it'll let you upgrade to Core2Duo if you ever have the itch. But in the meantime, you can simply get a cheap dual core 805 and it'll do the trick.

Unless you really have some burning reason to stay with AMD. But this is a much better upgrade path.....it'll let you use what you have PLUS ensure compatbility for current hardware too. Win-win situation there ;) 
April 8, 2007 2:57:10 PM

Quote:
Get an ASRock-VSTA 775 mobo. It'll take your AGP and DDR. However, it'll also take PCI-e and DDR2 ;)  AND.....it'll let you upgrade to Core2Duo if you ever have the itch. But in the meantime, you can simply get a cheap dual core 805 and it'll do the trick.

Unless you really have some burning reason to stay with AMD. But this is a much better upgrade path.....it'll let you use what you have PLUS ensure compatbility for current hardware too. Win-win situation there ;) 


The 805D would do good for him, will probably be enough he will need. but the motherboard will have him to reuse his old video card. For him, who don't need processing power that much, the integraated feature of this motherboard will make him a nice system..and AMD CPU, at the price, worth much more the money that the old tech 805D...

CPU performance is the last thing he should worry.
April 8, 2007 3:56:00 PM

If it were me, i would get a x2 3600 , 1gb ddr 667 and nvidia 6150 or amd 690g motherboard, thats a upgrade for less than 200 dollars. the motherboards have decent onboard video, but since you are not a gamer it doesnt matter. Or if you really wanted to go cheap, get a nfroce 6150 motherbaord and a socket 939 3200 processor, thats about 90 dollars total.
April 8, 2007 5:47:04 PM

Hi,

Thanks all for the input. I like the idea of the amd 690g motherboard. I'm looking at the Asus M2A-VM with an AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ and 2GB DDR2 Corsair RAM. The integrated video will be fine for me at the moment. I might have to get a SATA HDD too but for now I should be ok. Not sure about the current case though. Its an ATX tower so the midi-ATX format of the new Mobo might not fit. I'll have to wait and see!

Thanks again
April 8, 2007 6:34:27 PM

Quote:
Hi,

Thanks all for the input. I like the idea of the amd 690g motherboard. I'm looking at the Asus M2A-VM with an AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ and 2GB DDR2 Corsair RAM. The integrated video will be fine for me at the moment. I might have to get a SATA HDD too but for now I should be ok. Not sure about the current case though. Its an ATX tower so the midi-ATX format of the new Mobo might not fit. I'll have to wait and see!

Thanks again


Yes, matx mobo fits atx case 99% of the time. There is a Biostar motherboard with the 690g chipset too. Don't know about the feature of it thou. The 4200+ should be more than fine for what you do.
April 8, 2007 6:59:04 PM

Good choice, i was hoping you would go with the 690, 2gb and a 4200 x2 is gonna be a decent system for what you do. Might wanna grab a decent power supply though.
April 8, 2007 7:41:34 PM

Quote:
If it were me, i would get a x2 3600 , 1gb ddr 667 and nvidia 6150 or amd 690g motherboard, thats a upgrade for less than 200 dollars. the motherboards have decent onboard video, but since you are not a gamer it doesnt matter. Or if you really wanted to go cheap, get a nfroce 6150 motherbaord and a socket 939 3200 processor, thats about 90 dollars total.


AMD CPUs benefit more from DDR2 800 ram, and it's cheap nowadays on newegg...
April 8, 2007 8:13:24 PM

Thanks for all the input again!

I think my current PSU is ok. Its 400W but I'm not sure if it will fit the new Mobo. I'm also assuming I will need a new heatsink and fan for the new CPU. I presume the old one on the Athlon XP will not be useable.

Cheers!
April 9, 2007 12:47:03 AM

Quote:
Thanks for all the input again!

I think my current PSU is ok. Its 400W but I'm not sure if it will fit the new Mobo. I'm also assuming I will need a new heatsink and fan for the new CPU. I presume the old one on the Athlon XP will not be useable.

Cheers!


Boxed CPU come with the fan and heat sink. Your PSU may be sufficient, but it need the 4 pins connector with yellow and black wire
!