What Do I need to Upgrade in my PC?

Hey Guys, I'm fairly new to the whole "building a computer" thing and my dad built my computer, except it wasn't good at the time. I saved up quite a bit of money (200+ still saving) and was wondering what I need to upgrade to make it faster. My monitor and hdd's are fine, it's the things inside I'm alittle weary of. I'm upgrading my RAM from 1gig- 3 so I can use windows 7. I though I should ask the experts here! Any help is appreciated, thanks!

Specs:

Processor-
.25 gigahertz AMD Athlon
128 kilobyte primary memory cache
256 kilobyte secondary memory cache
Not hyper-threaded

Main Circuit Board-
Board: nVidia-nForce
Bus Clock: 100 megahertz
BIOS: Phoenix Technologies, LTD 6.00 PG 06/19/2004

Display-
NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GS [Display adapter]
Samsung SyncMaster [Monitor] (23.0"vis, s/n HVDP802559, August 2007)
27 answers Last reply
More about what upgrade
  1. The things that you should upgrade are things that you will be able to take to the next build, such as video card (if your motherboard's video card slot is PCI-E), power supply, case, monitor, DVD drive, potentially harddrive. I suppose potentially you could buy a new CPU, mobo & RAM and then replace all the other components when you have more money.
    And you should probably post what components you have now, in more detail.
  2. Please list all components with make and model for each.

    CPU-Z might make it easier to find some of the information:

    http://www.cpuid.com/cpuz.php
  3. this was the original thread of the components in my computer, didn't know how to delete
  4. Thanks, but I just needed make and model on components, not all of the detail. I suggest you go in and erase it all as many might not want to wade or scroll through it all.

    The relevant facts are these:

    AMD Athlon XP - Core Speed 1253.0 MHz
    Corsair Memory 133 MHz - 2x 512 MB
    Mobo – nVidia nForce

    I am afraid this is all very old and obsolete - and probably not worth upgrading.

    Do you have any other components that are salvageable? Case, power supply, video card, DVD writer? If so please provide make and model on those so we can understand what we are working with. What are you planning to do for an operating system?

    I think your best bet might be to save and buy an inexpensive new system on sale for $300 - $400. But I will know more after you provide the information on the other parts and O/S.
  5. I would definately suggest gettin a new mobo, ram and processor that'll help alot.. What interface are your cd/dvd drives and hdd's are the PATA(the ribbon cable) or SATA,

    if they are sata that is excellent. Because then there are tons of options especially since you have a pcie graphics card.. for example. For 200 you could get a mobo for round 50-75, processor for 50, and 4GB of RAM for around 75-100.


    Just for example if you have SATA hdd's, and SATA cd/dvd writers.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813135250
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103688
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231149


    Those three things before the mail in rebate would be $180 dollars, would be real basic you could reuse your case, video card, power supply(pretty sure just post the watts, if it runs now I don't see why it wouldn't after) re-use two PATA devices so one cd/dvd drive and one hdd, if you want more they need to be SATA. But basically man thats a nice upgrade from what you got going already.

    What does everybody else think?


    Also there are computer available in the 400 dollar price range that are not bad machines at all plus you get everything new as rockyjohn said.
  6. Unfortunately its going to be an all or nothing type of situation. You'll want to upgrade the CPU, which will require a new motherboard. Any current motherboard will require DDR2 or DDR3, so you'll need new ram. Your current graphics card is AGP, and that too has fallen out of use, so you'll need a new PCI-E card, though perhaps you could get away with onboard for a while if money is too much of a problem.

    For the good news, even the lowliest Athlon II will be a significant upgrade for you, and they are quite cheap. You'll want to go with an AM3/DDR3 board because the ram will be available longer and cheaper, and the price difference is small. Since you're talking about spending only $200 I'd suggest a 785G based board, that way you can use the IGP temporarily until you can afford a dedicated video card.

    You could go with something like this for example:
    AMD Athlon II X2 245 2.9GHz
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103687
    ASrock 785G AM3 board
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157168
    Crucial 2GB DDR3
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148194

    or

    Corsair 4GB DDR3
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145251

    Comes to $220 with 4GB or $194 with 2GB

    That'll give you a solid upgrade then after you've got a bit of cash you can throw in a new GPU

    *edit* Cheesybacon does have a point about the drives, you likely have IDE drives and most current boards support only a single IDE port, you could use a single HDD and a single DVD rom on the same port, but it isn't optimal. Eventually you'll want to go SATA for at least the HDD.
  7. id bet my lunch money that your current power supply will be inadequate for a new mobo/cpu, much less vid card
  8. I'd guess that the motherboard would be fine, video card you may be right depending on what card he winds up selecting of course.
  9. 1) Edit your post to eliminate the extraneous garbage. Rockyjohn has a good point.

    2) What are you doing that needs better performance?
    I might presume gaming?

    3) $200 will not be enough to make a big difference, since multiple parts probably need to be updated.
  10. Please post that components list.

    All these suggestions are based on certain assumptions about the remaining elements of your system - assumptions that might not be valid but you can clear up and focus discussion by listing your components. That is why I have waiting for list and information about your OS. Also regarding the OS, is this the retail boxed edition or did it come with system - and do you have the CD to reinstall?
  11. kiren said:
    Unfortunately its going to be an all or nothing type of situation. You'll want to upgrade the CPU, which will require a new motherboard. Any current motherboard will require DDR2 or DDR3, so you'll need new ram. Your current graphics card is AGP, and that too has fallen out of use, so you'll need a new PCI-E card, though perhaps you could get away with onboard for a while if money is too much of a problem.

    For the good news, even the lowliest Athlon II will be a significant upgrade for you, and they are quite cheap. You'll want to go with an AM3/DDR3 board because the ram will be available longer and cheaper, and the price difference is small. Since you're talking about spending only $200 I'd suggest a 785G based board, that way you can use the IGP temporarily until you can afford a dedicated video card.

    You could go with something like this for example:
    AMD Athlon II X2 245 2.9GHz
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103687
    ASrock 785G AM3 board
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157168
    Crucial 2GB DDR3
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148194

    or

    Corsair 4GB DDR3
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145251

    Comes to $220 with 4GB or $194 with 2GB

    That'll give you a solid upgrade then after you've got a bit of cash you can throw in a new GPU

    *edit* Cheesybacon does have a point about the drives, you likely have IDE drives and most current boards support only a single IDE port, you could use a single HDD and a single DVD rom on the same port, but it isn't optimal. Eventually you'll want to go SATA for at least the HDD.



    Just a question. Why do you say its agp??


    Also, ya my link was too a ddr2 mobo with dd2 memory, didnt realize athlongs supported ddr3 and jsut got a board w/ ddr2... v.v silly me...
  12. the only valuable parts I have left in in it is the lightscribe burner and my hdd's, maybe I can buy a whole new computer not including the hdd's? is that a possibility? thanx, also sorry this was so late!
  13. Should I use Belarc and add all the components from there to here, is that enough or do I need to do more?And also I have a xp service pack 3 disc installer on my pc at the moment, so software wise I'm fine.

    Operating System- System Model
    Windows XP Home Edition Service Pack 3 (build 2600)
    Install Language: English (United States)
    System Locale: English (United States)

    Processor- Main Circuit Board
    1.25 gigahertz AMD Athlon
    128 kilobyte primary memory cache
    256 kilobyte secondary memory cache
    Not hyper-threaded

    Drives- Memory Modules c,d
    250.06 Gigabytes Usable Hard Drive Capacity
    193.64 Gigabytes Hard Drive Free Space

    LITE-ON DVDRW LH-20A1H [CD-ROM drive]
    TOSHIBA DVD-ROM SD-M1502 [CD-ROM drive]
    3.5" format removeable media [Floppy drive]

    WDC WD2500JB-00REA0 [Hard drive] (250.06 GB) -- drive 0, s/n WD-WCANK5560242, rev 20.00K20, SMART Status: Healthy

    Controllers- (I have no idea what this means)
    Standard floppy disk controller
    NVIDIA nForce2 ATA Controller (v2.6)

    Main Circuit Board-
    1.25 gigahertz AMD Athlon Board: nVidia-nForce
    Bus Clock: 100 megahertz
    BIOS: Phoenix Technologies, LTD 6.00 PG 06/19/2004

    Memory Modules-
    1024 Megabytes Usable Installed Memory

    Slot 'A0' is Empty
    Slot 'A1' has 512 MB
    Slot 'A2' has 512 MB

    Memory Modules c,d
    1024 Megabytes Usable Installed Memory

    Slot 'A0' is Empty
    Slot 'A1' has 512 MB
    Slot 'A2' has 512 MB

    Multimedia-
    NVIDIA(R) nForce(TM) Audio
    NVIDIA(R) nForce(TM) Audio Codec Interface
    NVIDIA(R) nForce(TM) MCP Audio Processing Unit

    I like Kiren's idea of fully upgrading my computer for about 230$, is that a good idea?
  14. I ask again, please post a list of other components if you want others to really be helpful.

    You ask if Kieran's solution would work but you still have not posted the information on the rest of your build so we can tell. The big question mark is what power supply you have but it would also might be important to know what case and video card - if any.

    Also note that while you may be able to use your HDs to meet budget requirements, todays HDs are much faster so you should plan to update one as soon as you can - you can get a good 500 GB drive for about $60.
  15. Yeah all you need to do for us to be sure is tell us the power supply you already have. Which there will be a sticker on the power supply to tell you what the max is, post that for us.

    Rockyjohn. He said he has a GeForce 7600 gs.

    Yea I would go with his idea. The only thing is I dunno why he said that your card was AGP... when I googled it i got that it was pcie x16.

    Either way though the mobo has an onboard video card so you would be good to start out with the basics. You will only be able to have one cd/dvd drive and one hdd though unless you bought new SATA drives. This is because the mobo has one PATA connector which will support two PATA drives. (Which is what I did for my moms computer. Got her a new power supply, case, mobo w/ onboard, ram and cpu)
  16. my power supply says its max is 300W DC output (I already know it's a bad power supply because of how loud it is along with the cpu fan) if that is what you're looking for? Maybe I should just order a new stock pc or order these parts:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119068

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145251

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157168

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103687

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371015

    Which is going to be around 480$ including shipping, which was more than I intended to spend. But I do want to upgrade this machine
  17. cheesybacon said:
    Rockyjohn. He said he has a GeForce 7600 gs.... Yea I would go with his idea. The only thing is I dunno why he said that your card was AGP... when I googled it i got that it was pcie x16.


    The card was made in both AGP and PCIe flavors - might be helpful to know which he had.

    cheesybacon said:
    Either way though the mobo has an onboard video card so you would be good to start out with the basics. You will only be able to have one cd/dvd drive and one hdd though unless you bought new SATA drives. This is because the mobo has one PATA connector which will support two PATA drives. (Which is what I did for my moms computer. Got her a new power supply, case, mobo w/ onboard, ram and cpu)


    Good point. Another option is to get a PCI or PCIe card with a SATA connector. Again this is just another reason to ask for complete specs on the system.
  18. also space for my hdd isn't a porblem, I have a tb external harddrive which I store alot of my videos on, so I'm fine with that. Maybe I should order the parts that rockyjohn said to get along with the new case I added (my case is horrible, it looks about 15 years old) and then the power supply later on?
  19. sorry, those were parts Kiren posted. Also I see that the pci slots are similar to the RAM slots but smaller. What do those slots exactly do out of curiosity?
  20. I total your package to $373 AR with shipping - but before tax if any. And you can cut $40 off that by going with a less expensive PSU:

    OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ500MXSP 500W ATX12V V2.2 / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply compatible with core i7 - Retail - $40 AR with free shipping
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817341016

    That should get you down to $333 before the PCI add in card or considering graphics.
  21. It looks like the cheapest add-in card on newegg for IDE is $25. So I would skip that and instead pay $55 to get a new HD with a SATA connector and then plug the DVD drive and, if you want one IDE HD, into the IDE slot.

    Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3500418AS 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive - $55 with free shipping
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148395

    This drive will probably be twice as fast as your old drive. Or, since you don't have a DVDRW drive, you might want instead to first get a new DVDRW with a SATA connector to replace the CDRW drive at a cost of about $30 - although the HD upgrade should have a significant impact on performance. But certainly better to pay about $30 for a SATA DVDRW instead of paying $25 to get a SATA card to connect old CDRW.
  22. Brooks G said:
    sorry, those were parts Kiren posted. Also I see that the pci slots are similar to the RAM slots but smaller. What do those slots exactly do out of curiosity?


    PCI slots are for add in cards. Was used for video cards before AGP and PCIe. Still can be used for things like sound cards, TV-in cards, and adapters to add USB, IDE, and SATA connectors and parrallel and serial ports - and probably some other things. The PCI slots are slowly being replaced by the PCIe x1 and x4 slots.
  23. Well I was talking to my mom about this (I'm not 11 I'm 16 btw) and she says I should just get parts at the local thrift store. Why do I feel like that's a bad idea? How can I persuade her in ordering these parts instead of buying used parts which I'm a little weary of and have a feeling they won't deliver what I hoped they would?
  24. Hmm. I am not aware of any local thrift stores that have much in the way of computer parts and I live in Silicon Valley. You must have different thrift stores.

    I agree that buying parts could be risky as you have no idea how long or how hard it has been used, or even if it works. Will the thrift store give you a guarantee at least that it is in good working order and give you a few days to test it? You would need to spend some time using it heavily right away to check.

    Obviously it just takes money lost on one bad part that you have to buy a second one for to start taking the advantage out of buying used.
  25. If you have a budget problem, consider used parts. When I upgrade, I often sell the old parts on e-bay. I think others do also. If the parts are working properly and described accurately, they can be a good value. Do check the seller's feedback details. Look for itemswith low shipping costs. Cases, for example are heavy and cost $20 or so to ship. Craig's list is another source for parts, but I mostly see old and obsolete pc's. Remember that today's state of the art will be old hat in a year. Get what does the job today and not much more.
  26. Sorry, I know I've been out a bit, was pulling ridiculously long workdays.
    Anyway, the reason I said AGP is because its an nForce2 board, and as far as I know there was not ever any pci-e support on them. The earliest boards I remember seeing with PCI-E were for athlon-64, and that was later, the first athlon-64 machines I worked with were still AGP.
    Craigslist is mentioned as a possible source of parts, and that can be. Some areas I've lived in had quite a lot of listings, others hardly anything worth noting, you'll just have to look at your local listings and see.
    With just a 300w generic PSU you may want to look at replacing that as well, though I still think my original suggestion is probably the best/cheapest upgrade I can come up with.
  27. hey noob here. I was wondering what I need to upgrade in my pc.. and if I could play games on it.

    Specs:

    Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
    8.0GB of RAM

    CPU- AMD A6-3500 with Radeon HD Graphics
    GPU- AMD Radeon HD 6530D

    465GB Hard drive space
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