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Upgrade advice or time to pull the plug?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 26, 2010 3:11:10 AM

I've kinda been out of the loop for a while and not sure if it makes sense to upgrade my machine or if its time to start from scratch. Its a hp Media center with PentiumD 920 (P) DC 2.8 GHz, 2gig ram, and I swapped out the stock video card for a radeon x1650 512mb.

http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c00...

Worked rather well for my gaming needs. But its slowly dated. Games like fallout 3 and some mmo's for examples run on min settings. I'm not sure if adding the 2 more gig of ram the motherboard supports (4gig total supported) or adding a better graphics card will bring this thing up to speed. Would it even make sense putting in a newer/faster video card than a x1650 in this machine? Think it makes sense to upgrade or is it just time to move on? Any advice thoughts or opinions would be nice.
January 26, 2010 5:24:18 AM

yeah, youre due for an upgrade. even a lowly (new) dual core processor will run circles around that PD920..and create less heat to boot.
are you open to building your own machine? price range? monitor resolution?

er, yeah, by upgrade i mean pull the plug :D 

time for a new rig
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a c 376 U Graphics card
January 26, 2010 5:35:57 AM

If you have the money building a new computer would be a good call. Upgrading the card could make it viable for gaming for a while longer if necessary though.
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a b U Graphics card
January 26, 2010 5:51:44 AM

It would be wiser to upgrade your system first to be able to enjoy the performance gains by upgrading your video card.
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a b U Graphics card
January 26, 2010 6:41:50 AM

As all said,
It would be a great move to upgrade your CPU to, say, i3.
And adding 2 GB more RAM will definetly help.
And a graphics card around $120 will be AWESOME upto 1920x1200
Like GTS 250 or 5750 HD
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a c 376 U Graphics card
January 26, 2010 6:45:52 AM

Awesome? You really need to check out some benchmarks before saying that kind of stuff. The only cards I would say are "awesome" for 1920x1200 are HD5850 and above.
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a b U Graphics card
January 26, 2010 7:02:04 AM

^ Maybe he had a shallow definition of "awesome".

I wouldn't even say it is good for this resolution.

Plus he cannot just upgrade his CPU to i3 with the mobo of a PentiumD920. I would rather get a fresh 4gb kit than buying another 2gb just to re-use the RAM you have.
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a b U Graphics card
January 26, 2010 7:19:31 AM

To both of you;
have you checked recent graphics card article on toms hardware?
Which says GTS 250 and 4850 are the cards for 1920x1200
5750 is in the same league

And about i3.
Its AWESOME for budget builders dude.
Don't compare it with 975 extreme.
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a b U Graphics card
January 26, 2010 7:26:52 AM

And you believed that? Seriously, why would you game at 1920x1200 using only a GTS 250/4850/5750? Unless you prefer to reduce the graphics details then yes it would do.
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a b U Graphics card
January 26, 2010 7:37:44 AM

I think I believe in professionals experience more than your statements
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a b U Graphics card
January 26, 2010 7:43:20 AM

mfarrukh said:
I think I believe in professionals experience more than your statements


For gaming at 1920x1200 you need the equivalent of a 4870 at minimum. That is if you like high/very high details in your games. Otherwise lesser cards will only limit the gameplay quality of current or future games.
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a b U Graphics card
January 26, 2010 7:48:11 AM

Okay. You are free to do so. Learn to be critical, not just a mere believer.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
January 26, 2010 10:24:42 AM

mfarrukh said:
I think I believe in professionals experience more than your statements

Why don't you look at actual BENCHMARKS instead? They are all over the place. You can easily look up the card's exact performance on many, many games on many, many website. If you do you'll see that it's far from "awesome" at that resolution. It will be ok if you are willing to use medium settings on the more intensive current games but the better word to describe that is "acceptable."
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January 26, 2010 11:00:04 AM

I would start from scratch. By the time you spend all that money on upgrades, you might as well get a new PC. I just did that myself, for a reasonable price.
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January 26, 2010 2:54:34 PM

*Running MediaCenter OS if that makes a difference

huntergren said:
I've kinda been out of the loop for a while and not sure if it makes sense to upgrade my machine or if its time to start from scratch. Its a hp Media center with PentiumD 920 (P) DC 2.8 GHz, 2gig ram, and I swapped out the stock video card for a radeon x1650 512mb.

http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c00...

Worked rather well for my gaming needs. But its slowly dated. Games like fallout 3 and some mmo's for examples run on min settings. I'm not sure if adding the 2 more gig of ram the motherboard supports (4gig total supported) or adding a better graphics card will bring this thing up to speed. Would it even make sense putting in a newer/faster video card than a x1650 in this machine? Think it makes sense to upgrade or is it just time to move on? Any advice thoughts or opinions would be nice.



justaguywithagun said:
yeah, youre due for an upgrade. even a lowly (new) dual core processor will run circles around that PD920..and create less heat to boot.
are you open to building your own machine? price range? monitor resolution?

er, yeah, by upgrade i mean pull the plug :D 

time for a new rig


I actually think I must be missing something. I thought this machine would be a lost cause until I started looking around for a new pc for my wife. Thats when I noticed that alot of the cpu speeds were not flying well above 2.8 like the one in this machine. And also many of them dual core. I feel like I must be missing something because I don't see why a newer dual core 2.8 chip would be any faster than my old pentiumd.

jyjjy said:
If you have the money building a new computer would be a good call. Upgrading the card could make it viable for gaming for a while longer if necessary though.


Unfortunately I will not have the budget for a new pc for about a year. My main concern is if I dump say 150-200$ on this old box is there going to be a drastic improvement? At the same time I am in the market for a new pc for my wife so I am looking into building/buying a brand new pc.

mfarrukh said:
As all said,
It would be a great move to upgrade your CPU to, say, i3.
And adding 2 GB more RAM will definetly help.
And a graphics card around $120 will be AWESOME upto 1920x1200
Like GTS 250 or 5750 HD


Think I'm probly gonna stick with this cpu until I replace the motherboard etc. I don't really expect to have top end graphics on this pc with its age. But I might just be able to drop that kinda money on a new card. Guessing the x1650 is pretty dated? Question is would it make any sense to put one of those new cards in this machine or would it be like putting a jet engine on a moped?
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a b U Graphics card
January 26, 2010 2:57:39 PM

If you have the money,
do it all now
If you don't have it
Do it one by one
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a b U Graphics card
January 26, 2010 2:58:31 PM

I would suggest you to start with GPU
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a b U Graphics card
January 26, 2010 2:59:47 PM

It'll be good even with your current system
Then, after some time when you have, say, like $400
Go for i3, a motherboard and DDR3 RAM
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January 26, 2010 4:43:06 PM

mfarrukh said:
It'll be good even with your current system
Then, after some time when you have, say, like $400
Go for i3, a motherboard and DDR3 RAM


How far you folks think I could go as far as a new card without the rest of my system bogging it down?
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a b U Graphics card
January 27, 2010 12:44:29 AM

^ You may opt for a HD 4670.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
January 27, 2010 12:49:58 AM

Yeah, if you cant do a full upgrade just get an HD4670 and start saving. It doesn't have to be too expensive btw. A pretty good gaming computer can be built for under $500, less if you can recycle some parts(case, hard drive(s), dvd burner, ect.)
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January 27, 2010 1:29:48 AM

I kind of did the same thing, I had a inspiron 531s that I wanted to get a new video card for, I ended up getting a new low profile video card that was a bit too much power for the 250watt psu so I ended up getting a new psu which wouldnt fit in the case, so I ended up getting a case and putting the motherboard in it, then I couldnt run games as good as I wanted so I got a new cpu and ram, I couldnt play crysis on high so I got a 9800GT and here i am, I suggest that you go from scratch unlike what I did, I do love my system but for how much I overall spent I could have a i7 system
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