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Need help upgrading an old comp

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October 21, 2009 9:48:53 PM

Hello, I am new here. I have spent a few thousand on making a new computer with the parts in transit or on hold until the next hardware gen. arrives by 1st quarter.

Until then,I got one built I would like to spend a few hundred upgrading. I am limited by an old mobo "D915GAV."

Roughly I have the following hardware that I am looking to replace

Running Windows xp 32-bit with 4x1gb sticks of ram reading as 2.87 gb's
CPU Type: Intel Pentium 4 550, 3400 MHz (17 x 200)
GPU: Nvidia Gforce 256 mb
Sound: Creative SB X-Fi PCI

I plan on making this a my main gaming comp until said hardware arrives.

I imagine, crappy as the soundcard is, it won't be worth the upgrade. I shopped newegg for awhile and landed on the "radeon 4850 HD 512mb" as the best buy, even though the geforce 9800 ranked higher the former seems to run cooler and uses less power.

Which brings me to my main questions, "unless I can upgrade on the previous."

Will my games have a significant improvement if I upgrade my OS to vista-64 for the last gig of ram?
Is there a cheap (under 100.00 dollar) CPU that would show gains in fps?
and last, is there something I missed or got wrong that would make an improvement.

thanks in advance for reading and/or replying.

More about : upgrading comp

October 21, 2009 10:10:41 PM

Pigwood said:
Hello, I am new here. I have spent a few thousand on making a new computer with the parts in transit or on hold until the next hardware gen. arrives by 1st quarter.

Until then,I got one built I would like to spend a few hundred upgrading. I am limited by an old mobo "D915GAV."

Roughly I have the following hardware that I am looking to replace

Running Windows xp 32-bit with 4x1gb sticks of ram reading as 2.87 gb's
CPU Type: Intel Pentium 4 550, 3400 MHz (17 x 200)
GPU: Nvidia Gforce 256 mb
Sound: Creative SB X-Fi PCI

I plan on making this a my main gaming comp until said hardware arrives.

I imagine, crappy as the soundcard is, it won't be worth the upgrade. I shopped newegg for awhile and landed on the "radeon 4850 HD 512mb" as the best buy, even though the geforce 9800 ranked higher the former seems to run cooler and uses less power.

Which brings me to my main questions, "unless I can upgrade on the previous."

Will my games have a significant improvement if I upgrade my OS to vista-64 for the last gig of ram?
Is there a cheap (under 100.00 dollar) CPU that would show gains in fps?
and last, is there something I missed or got wrong that would make an improvement.

thanks in advance for reading and/or replying.


First the question about Operating System 32/64 bit. Yes you will notice better use of your memory, as far as gaining FPS. It is unlikely. But you will be able to multi task a bit better (no heavy gaming/multitasking).

Second, can your power supply handle a 9800 GT, or a HD 4850? Also what is your monitor resolution? For resolutions under 1440x800~ it is recommended you get 512mb dedicated ram, anything higher you will need 1gb for the optimum FPS for that video card..


Third as for processor, there are $100 processor better then your pentium 4, however the socket might be an issue. As well as the motherboards maximum TDP, Thermal design power. Also I would not recommend upgrading the processor if it is just a temporary solution, since a P4 3.4 ghz is enough for games which dont use multi threading, in which case some of those games are : GTA IV which requires a good quad core processor anyways Crysis=quad core, C&Q4=4 cores etc.(Im guessing it's the P4 pinless version I have one of those sitting at my shop they run hot...).
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a c 113 B Homebuilt system
October 21, 2009 10:20:20 PM

While your board IS socket 775, it does not support newer processors according to Intel.

I do not see any processors available for your board, that would be an upgrade, for under 100 dollars.

You would not get very significant improvements by switching to a 64-bit OS at this time. Most games need at most 3GB.

Depending on your power supply, you could upgrade the GPU. 4850 is a nice choice for the price. 4770 requires less power.
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 22, 2009 1:36:20 AM

If you're stuck with a P4 though, even a x1950 Pro would be bottlenecked. Going all the way to a 4850 seems a bit foolhardy to me.
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October 22, 2009 1:59:19 AM

I would preferably not upgrade the system at all. Just pick up a 4650 or something.
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 22, 2009 2:51:40 AM

If you must, you'd be better off replacing the mobo, CPU, and RAM.

You could get a 770 or 780g AMD chipset for under $50, get a CPU for $60, 2 gigs DDR2 for $30, and a 4670 for about $40 after rebate. Then you'd also have a good backup build for LAN play or whatnot.
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