My computer is getting some upgrades. I have a 160gb hard drive which is fine. The video card and ram are little outdated. I have 1gb of RAM and i play games on it. Also the video card graphics are in the toilet. The computer is rouglhy 6 years old. So my question is, if i upgrade to ddr3 ram, and a new video card, do i need a new motherboard?
Thing is with your old system you will be wasting the money you spend upgrading it since the end product is only as good as the combination of pieces - so keeping the old HDD for example will effect the overall performance (as most games rely on loading a lot of files from the HDD to RAM during play and a 6 year old HDD is not going to keep up with the speed of a new MOBO and DDR3 memory so your system will slow down waiting for the info from the HDD causing stuttering in game and poor overall performance ! ( you need a balanced system to get good results and overspending on a few pieces will just lead to a waste of resources if you keep other parts that can not match the performance ! -- and things have changed a lot in the past 6 years !)
Also figure in order to upgrade to DDR3 memory and a new GPU you will also need a new MOBO and with that usually a new CPU (since the newer MOBOs will be based on new CPU socket design) so at a minimum you are looking at a new MOBO, CPU, RAM, Video card to get things going and $200 is not going to get anything but low end for that combination of parts. As far as your friends build $350 is pretty much a low - mid level build from scratch ( and probably used Onboard graphics to save on $) and is pretty much where you'd be at as well (figure the only parts you will be keeping are the mouse\keyboard, case, DVD drive, and possibly the Powersupply (though even that is probably going to need replacing since new systems use much more +12v and 6 years ago the PSUs were designed with more +5v and less +12v and were usually only in the 250-300w range which will not work well in a modern system ! - and the total cost of those items is relatively low so you are not saving much over going from scratch ! (and definitely not $150 less so that you could go from $350 to your $200 budget)
To really get an idea we'd need to know your current inventory of parts ( to be able to know whether it is worth trying to keep anything at all !) and have a better idea of the use you plan on (ie. if only playing 10 year old games then the current onboard video is sufficient so you could get by on a lower budget than if you want decent performance in current games by not having a discrete video card ( and this would mean you could probably skip buying a new powersupply as well saving more on the build budget !)
Nice video !! -- Good to see someone actually put together a decent video explanation that can clarify to people why they are not getting the type of performance increase they were expecting when upgrading one piece of a system without considering the other parts and the importance of doing some research to build a balanced setup overall !
Hard Drive - 160gb
Ram - 2x 152gb
Video Card - ill have to look
Motherboard - ill have to look
Its a dell.
OUCH -- a 6 year old DELL - then you'll also want to read this article -- years ago DELL was using a proprietary wiring config on the MOBO connector from the PSU (so if you bought a new MOBO and tried reusing the old PSU it would burnout the new MOBO ! - and if you tried using a standard PSU on the DELL MOBO it just would not boot - they did this to keep you having to buy directly from them at their increased prices !!) and also for the front panel of the case --- so trying to reuse that case and Powersupply may be another problem (so you'll probably be better off just starting from scratch !)