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Upgrade for Intel D945GCZ. Advice please.

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November 3, 2009 3:50:43 AM

Hi,

Long time reader first time poster.

I am looking to help a buddy out with a few PC parts purchases and was just wanting to get some feedback on my selections.

His current specs are:

HDD: Some old 80GB thing
PSU: FSP275 (275W)
Motherboard: Intel D945GCZ
CPU: P4 640 (3.2GHz)
RAM: 2GB DDR2 800
VIDEO: Onboard
22" LCD

The main uses for this beast will be audio recording, video playback and light gaming (AoE 3, UT3, MAME and similar).

He is very much set against doing a complete upgrade, but I have convinced him that he can improve his machine for <AU$200 with a new HDD and GPU.

I was thinking that a WD Caviar Black 640GB and a HD 4670 would get decent mileage, although I am very concerned about the power supply.

As he will be doing some audio recording, noise is also a concern.

Would anybody like to comment and help me out?

Thanks for your time.

a c 81 B Homebuilt system
November 3, 2009 5:59:35 AM

Yeah the HD and onboard GFX are the weak points for sure. Almost 100% going to have to upgrade that PSU as well.

That 4670 looks fine to me. Not sure of the US/Aus dollars exchange rate so I cant comment on price.

Also if you could find a Pentium D for cheap somewhere that would be a super cheap upgrade.
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November 3, 2009 9:08:19 AM

Thanks for the advice, anort3.

I tried looking around for Pentium D processors, but they are pretty hard to track down at reasonable prices, and I just can't be bothered with ebay for this.

I have downgraded the HDD to the WD 500GB Black so I can try and squeeze a few more dollars outta the budget for a PSU. I'd like to get something decent enough to run the (upgraded) rig, and also leave some room for future addtions. I know my mate is planning on adding a tuner card, and I am sure he will end up adding more storage sooner or later.

Currently I am looking at the 500W "SilverStone" ST50F-230 (http://www.megaware.com.au/index.php?main_page=product_...)

So I have:

HD 4670 $59 http://www.megaware.com.au/index.php?main_page=product_...
PSU $59 http://www.megaware.com.au/index.php?main_page=product_...
WD Black 500GB $84 http://www.megaware.com.au/index.php?main_page=product_...
SHIPPING $26
______________
TOTAL $228

It's his b'day though, so I thought I would srping for shipping and put it all together, which would bring it in right on budget.

Seems ok, right?

Thanks for your time.


a b B Homebuilt system
November 3, 2009 10:33:50 AM

I dont think its worth upgrading to be honnest - its a single core rig
November 3, 2009 10:56:09 AM

I hear you, apache_lives. I tried talking him into building his own machine instead of buying this one, to no avail.

Having said that, he would still like to do some gaming, and still requires some decent storage. The only options he has is to upgrade, or buy a new system. As (I have already stated) he is unwilling to purchase a new system, I am simply offering what advice I can, given the parameters.

My buddy is not an avid PC user, and does not really require the latest and greatest. His gaming requirements are fairly minimal, (he still spends hours on his PS2), as are his other software requirements. I am going to chuck XP Pro. on this machine, as I have a spare license key doing nothing, and get him where he would like to be for as cheap as I can.

Also, a simple motherboard and CPU upgrade would still see all these purchases recycled into a multi-core machine anyway (well, maybe he would need some new RAM =P). Alternatively, I don't see why this build wouldn't make an ok beginner's HTPC.

Cheers.

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a c 81 B Homebuilt system
November 3, 2009 6:39:36 PM
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That PSU should be fine.

For an Internet/E-mail machine with limited gaming those upgrades should really help. The new HD alone will probably amaze him especially with a clean XP install. Its never going to multitask as well as a dual/quad but it will be much faster than it was.

I had a P4 530 (3.0 ghz) I bought when LGA775 was new and its still running in a box I gave to my sister. I still maintain it and its not bad unless you try to multitask too much.

I think your friend will be happy and like you said you can move the new parts to a new box when he does decide to do a full upgrade. Glad to be of some help although looks like you did fine on your own :) 
!