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Mild upgrade to old tech system - which way to go?

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September 13, 2010 5:45:39 PM

I am looking to spend a very small sum on upgrading my 3rd PC.

E7400 Core2duo
2GB Kingston Valueram DDR2 667
ASROCK 4-Core/Dual Sata II Rev 2.0
ATI Radian 9800 AIW Pro 128 (yeah, the tuner no longer works - no software to run it)
Thermaltake 420 W psu
Roswell Case
Liteon DVD-Rom
Seagate 80gb Hd
Windows 7 Home Premium

I am planning on replacing the ASROCK with an inexpensive newer board either with an onboard GPU or negotiating with the spouse to get a newer Fermi 460 GPU for my Primary PC and installing the MSI GTS 250 512 on this one.

My question - is it at all worth just buying another 2 pack of DDR2 667 ram or ponying up for 4 gb of DDR2 800 or 1066?

I'm not gaming this one. It's just a net surfer for the bedroom (mostly for the spouse to play Literati and Magic Spheres) and it MAY get a Hauppage TV tuner some day.

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September 13, 2010 8:35:59 PM

wayneepalmer said:
I am looking to spend a very small sum on upgrading my 3rd PC.

...
My question - is it at all worth just buying another 2 pack of DDR2 667 ram or ponying up for 4 gb of DDR2 800 or 1066?
...


It is NOT worth going from 667 to 800 (or 1066 if the new mobo even supports it). It would hardly be worth it for a mainstream gaming rig, and it certainly isn't worth it for casual gaming/net surfing.

DDR2 is being phased out. Unless you would have a need for 2x2GB of DDR2 in the future, go with whatever is cheaper (and I assume that would be adding 2x1GB of 667 into your system).

NOTE: Don't go looking specifically for DDR2 667 memory skipping past possibly cheaper DDR2 800 memory. DDR2 800 will slow-down to 667 speeds if necessary. I'm sure you can find 667 memory, I'm just saying if there's a good deal on 800, go for it.

EDIT: I should have started out this way, but why do you need 4GB of memory in that machine anyway? 2GB should be more than enough for casual gaming and net surfing. If you are considering on-board graphics, 2GB should be plenty. I'd put the money towards that GTX-460 instead.
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September 14, 2010 10:30:56 AM

^ Agreed.

2GB should be enough. But if your looking for RAM as above said the speed doesn't matter but make the voltage is the same otherwise you could have problems.

Why do you want to upgrade the motherboard? Is it just for the integrated graphics? If so I'd say buy a low end graphics card like a 5450 instead.

Though I also agree that this PC is pretty fine how it is, is there any definite reason why your upgrading it? I think you'd be happier with the GTX 460 but that still means you GTS 250 goes to waste in that old computer. Maybe you could SLI GTS250s instead...if your board supports it.

Thanks.
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September 14, 2010 11:54:15 AM

for the gpu you could go for the new gts 450 which replaces g92 or a 460.
even a 5550 would do. you would want to go for dx11 right?
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September 15, 2010 2:06:41 AM

Wolygon said:
^ Agreed.

2GB should be enough. But if your looking for RAM as above said the speed doesn't matter but make the voltage is the same otherwise you could have problems.

Why do you want to upgrade the motherboard? Is it just for the integrated graphics? If so I'd say buy a low end graphics card like a 5450 instead.

Though I also agree that this PC is pretty fine how it is, is there any definite reason why your upgrading it? I think you'd be happier with the GTX 460 but that still means you GTS 250 goes to waste in that old computer. Maybe you could SLI GTS250s instead...if your board supports it.

Thanks.


Right now I'm using an old ATI 9800 AIW Pro 128 AGP on this rig and I am concerned about how much longer it will live.

There IS a PCI-X4 slot but it's a PCI-X or AGP (not both) and I'd like the option to add a Hauppage Tuner this unit at some point so I'll need another PCI-X port.

It only has 2 DDR2 slots and they can ONLY handle 1 gb 667 each (it aslo has 2 - 184 pin DDR slots) AND it only has 2 sata ports.

I've thought about SLI'ing the GTS but once the 9800 dies - I gotta make the jump as I'll need another gpu.
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a b } Memory
September 15, 2010 4:48:12 AM

Ok I believe your reasons are sufficient.

I'd say grab a new motherboard and then also if the budget allows it a GTS 250.

The 4GB of RAM you think you need isn't needed for your PCs use, so I think it would be better to spend it on the new GTS 250...
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September 15, 2010 8:02:23 PM

wayneepalmer said:
Right now I'm using an old ATI 9800 AIW Pro 128 AGP on this rig and I am concerned about how much longer it will live.

There IS a PCI-X4 slot but it's a PCI-X or AGP (not both) and I'd like the option to add a Hauppage Tuner this unit at some point so I'll need another PCI-X port.

It only has 2 DDR2 slots and they can ONLY handle 1 gb 667 each (it aslo has 2 - 184 pin DDR slots) AND it only has 2 sata ports.

I've thought about SLI'ing the GTS but once the 9800 dies - I gotta make the jump as I'll need another gpu.


Don't mean to be a nerd, but you meant PCI-E, PCI-X is different.

Ok, think about it this way, do you really want to spend more money than you have to on this machine? Here are your options:

1) Go with a PCI TV tuner (you have 4 PCI slots on that board, and Hauppauge does still make those). They work just fine. Then, if your AGP card dies, replace it with a cheap PCI-e or another AGP (yeah, they still sell those).

2) Go with a PCI-E TV Tuner. Then, go with a PCI (yes, traditional PCI) graphics card. You aren't playing games on this PC, you just need to drive a Monitor/TV.

3) Buy a new motherboard with onboard graphics (even if you want to move down your old GTS-250, boards without on-board graphics are more expensive). This should have enough PCI-E slots for whatever you want.

Price out the components for each, and determine what you feel you want to spend. It's always nice to upgrade, but I'd focus on your main/gaming rig for upgrades. Your old PCs should scrape-along with whatever they can.
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September 25, 2010 12:46:40 AM

Best answer selected by wayneepalmer.
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