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Upgrading my dinosaur!

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May 19, 2008 12:27:10 PM

Ok guys. I have a:
MSI MOBO socket 939 AMD compatible, pcie 16x (1 slot)
AMD athlon +3200 2.0ghz
PSU 350W single 12v rail
3gb ddr pc3200
7600gt 256mb OC'd slightly

I am looking to upgrade my video to a 8800 gts:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
and maybe this, 2.4ghz amd san diego core 40 bucks:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I need to know if I can run this with what I have. Just want to make it for another 7-8 months on this baby if I can until i have some money. I am going to be playing games, for now Age of conan, but in the future other games of similiar good graphics. At the moment I run WOW on full with 60fps, Counter strike maxed out at about 80fps, and Age of conan at about 20-30fps on medium. Im thinking with a small upgrade to video i should be fine and dandy. Just wondering if my PSU can handle the card, and if there is anything else that will suffer from this upgrade (im thinkin cpu hence the one posted above). I am on a tight budget or I would just go all out and get a new everything, but thats where my problem is. I have about 200-250 to spend, so any other ideas for upgrading this dino would help me :)  thanks

P.S. Im pretty sure my psu needs a replace. If so, please post a cheap, reliable PSU since I have no clue which one to get. Thanks :) 

More about : upgrading dinosaur

May 19, 2008 1:05:36 PM

Buy the video card and overclock your processor. You can carry the video card over to your new rig later. You can overclock your processor to 2.4 Ghz pretty easily. Don't spend the $40 for the new processor. You will need a good power supply though, your current one will just not cut it, and you can also carry that over to your new rig. As far as a PSU goes, here is a list of what is good and whats not. Just shop around and check against the list.
http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?t=10...
May 19, 2008 1:10:03 PM

Post the detailed specs with:

http://www.cpuid.com/pcwizard.php

No, I don't think your psu can handle gts512. It's not $250. You totally forgot to factor in the resale price of the 7600gt. Should be $300-ish.

The Minimum Specifications for AOC:

Windows XP Service Pack 2 or Windows Vista
Intel Pentium 4 3Ghz or equivalent
1GB
NVIDIA GeForce 6600 or better
128MB
Quad-speed (4x) DVD-ROM drive
30GB of Free Space
Broadband connection required for online gameplay

Your cpu pick is still single core and doesn't meet the req. There are some s939 3800+ X2 on ebay. It's a faster chip than the 4000+.

I think you can upgrade the dinosaur to an ok AOC build. The upgrades are:

3800+ x2 $80 ebay
9600gt oem $100-ish new
Fortron/Sparkle/Corsair/Earthwatt 450w $60 new

If you shop around, you get the psu for less. OEM GPU is the same as retail minus the garbage box, print, CD which you can download from nvidia, etc.
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May 19, 2008 1:37:30 PM

Ok will post system specs when i get off work. Publisher, i cant OC my processor. It wont let me. I try to increase multiplier and BIOS resets is to x10. it sucks cus i'd like to OC it, it would help alot. thats why i was thinking of getting CPU upgrade.

Akhilles, I like what you got there. I will look into it and thanks for the input guys.
May 19, 2008 1:38:04 PM

IMO, with the system you got, any upgrade in you budget range will be an expense, not an investment; beside the PSU, very few components will be reusable in the next build. A 8600GTS or 9600GT will hold your next system back unless you SLI, but the cost of a second card + SLI MB extra will probably be greater than the cost of a mid-range card which will give similar performance. Moreover, you will have to get a better PSU for SLI.

My suggestion is to just have a general idea of what you want in your next system then start buying parts that won't loose too much value in the next 7 months, while still giving you a decent AOC experience. Your current video card already exceeds the minimum requirements so you will be able to play, but nowhere near the video quality you have seen in the previews, so I suggest you keep the 100$ for your next build (unless you fell OK spending 100$ for a card you probably won't reuse in your next build). Just upgrade your CPU to any socket 939 dual core CPU you can find that is at least 3800+ and get a good 520W PSU that you could reuse in your next build (or 620W if you plan on using SLI in your next build). That way you will meet requirements for AOC and waste minimal money.
May 19, 2008 1:39:25 PM

leland16 said:
Ok will post system specs when i get off work. Publisher, i cant OC my processor. It wont let me. I try to increase multiplier and BIOS resets is to x10. it sucks cus i'd like to OC it, it would help alot. thats why i was thinking of getting CPU upgrade.

Akhilles, I like what you got there. I will look into it and thanks for the input guys.
The multiplier is locked, you have to OC by increasing the FSB.
May 19, 2008 1:49:10 PM

Zenthar said:
The multiplier is locked, you have to OC by increasing the FSB.


Okay thanks. Not too much into OCing my processor, havent tried it much at all. I'll have to look around for the FSB thing.

Im thinkin about doin the 6 month interest free thing with newegg and just getting a l33t computer. Im torn between spending 200 bucks on upgrades for now that may be useless for my next build so im throwin money away... or I could get a nice gaming rig for about 600, right? I saw a topic that i'll read up on in a bit, and I have a decent idea of what i want already. and i have HD, dvd, keyboard, mouse, etc sooo...

...Hope the wife goes for this one :sweat: 
May 19, 2008 2:11:06 PM

...I'm in a similar boat as you...I couldn't decide whether to upgrade my current setup or save up to build a new one....in the end, I decided to save my money and wait until I REALLY have to build a new rig...hopefully I'll be able to make a little money back by selling the old rig as well...
May 19, 2008 2:11:17 PM

ahslan said:
...I'm in a similar boat as you...I couldn't decide whether to upgrade my current setup or save up to build a new one....in the end, I decided to save my money and wait until I REALLY have to build a new rig...hopefully I'll be able to make a little money back by selling the old rig as well...


Word. I was thinking the same. Hey another question: NVIDIA is releasing new GPU's in june/july right? or was that rumor? I could definitely get a cheaper GPU if i wait until then. Im gonna try to tough it out until some new technology comes out to maximize my money spent.
May 19, 2008 2:12:11 PM

akhilles said:
Post the detailed specs with:

http://www.cpuid.com/pcwizard.php

No, I don't think your psu can handle gts512. It's not $250. You totally forgot to factor in the resale price of the 7600gt. Should be $300-ish.

The Minimum Specifications for AOC:

Windows XP Service Pack 2 or Windows Vista
Intel Pentium 4 3Ghz or equivalent
1GB
NVIDIA GeForce 6600 or better
128MB
Quad-speed (4x) DVD-ROM drive
30GB of Free Space
Broadband connection required for online gameplay

Your cpu pick is still single core and doesn't meet the req. There are some s939 3800+ X2 on ebay. It's a faster chip than the 4000+.

I think you can upgrade the dinosaur to an ok AOC build. The upgrades are:

3800+ x2 $80 ebay
9600gt oem $100-ish new
Fortron/Sparkle/Corsair/Earthwatt 450w $60 new

If you shop around, you get the psu for less. OEM GPU is the same as retail minus the garbage box, print, CD which you can download from nvidia, etc.





Hold on a minute akhilles, I usually agree with your advice, but I think you missed something here.
An Athlon 3200+ is greater than a P4 @3.0ghz.....He is fine here.
A 3800+ X2 is no gaming upgrade from a 3200+ single core. You won't see any difference. Not worth spending the money on for gaming over his current CPU at all. (been there done that, it's a waste of money)
Sure the GTS may not run at it's peak with the 3200+, but it will still run, and quite nicely I might add. Then he has something worth bringing over to his new system later. The GTS (g92) is a really strong card. It will be quite a while before anything comes out that for the price, that will touch it.
You can pick up a G92 GTs for less than $200. If that fits your budget with a power supply, I'd still get the G92, and forgo any CPU upgrades.

However, all in all if you can wait for a bit and then just do a whole new build, that is the best course to take.
May 19, 2008 2:21:32 PM

yeah publisher thats exactly what i was thinking too. I figured the GPU would give off enough graphics to hold me over and it shouldnt bottleneck too terribly until i upgrade. at least it would run strong enough to let me play games at a decent fps. 350W definitely wouldnt run it though right?
Gah i hate hooking up PSU's. Last one i hooked up for my friend, it screwed his sound up lol

BTW: I do meet minimum specs for AOC across the board (other than vista, not buyin that crap).


May 19, 2008 2:31:28 PM

Well, there are so many PSU's out there and opinions vary a lot.
For instance, I have a Raidmax 650watt Volcano PSU. Most people say Raidmax is junk, but I have had no problems with mine for over 2 years.
I picked mine up on sale at Frys for $35! Just google for some reviews, there are tons of them out there for PSU's.
(see my specs for what I am running)
May 19, 2008 2:45:44 PM

jitpublisher said:
Hold on a minute akhilles, I usually agree with your advice, but I think you missed something here.
An Athlon 3200+ is greater than a P4 @3.0ghz.....He is fine here.
A 3800+ X2 is no gaming upgrade from a 3200+ single core. You won't see any difference. Not worth spending the money on for gaming over his current CPU at all. (been there done that, it's a waste of money)
Sure the GTS may not run at it's peak with the 3200+, but it will still run, and quite nicely I might add. Then he has something worth bringing over to his new system later. The GTS (g92) is a really strong card. It will be quite a while before anything comes out that for the price, that will touch it.
You can pick up a G92 GTs for less than $200. If that fits your budget with a power supply, I'd still get the G92, and forgo any CPU upgrades.

However, all in all if you can wait for a bit and then just do a whole new build, that is the best course to take.


...did u really not see any performance increase with the dual core upgrade??? damn...well thank god I decided not to upgrade my rig...
May 20, 2008 12:52:48 PM

Not for gaming, not much at all. I had to go to a 4600 X2, ($180) then I saw a big enough difference that I actually felt the money I spent was worthwhile. For gaming, and when we are talking upgrading within a CPU family, you have got to look at more Mhz to get results. Just going from single to dual core (or dual to a quad especially) won't do a whole lot for you unless the Mhz of the CPU goes up significantly. The dual core will sort of "smooth" things over a bit, but if you are going to upgrade from an Athlon single core to dual core, it's best to jump up in Mhz quite a bit as well, or you simply won't get the bang you are looking for.
!