Upgrade my 4 Year old Gateway

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: This week
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT:gaming, surfing the internet, watching hd movies

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: just need to upgrade parts.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: No Newegg.com due to taxes.Prefer Tigerdirect or other website with no CA taxes

PARTS PREFERENCES: XFX

OVERCLOCKING: Yes (in the future) / Maybe SLI OR CROSSFIRE:Maybe

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1440 X 900

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: It will be use for SC 2 COD games,and some HD video.
Want to upgrade (in order)
Graphics card
CPU
Mobo if possible

Here is a screenshot of the rig i have right now.
What should I upgrade?
http://img35.imageshack.us/img35/5096/77885437.jpg Uploaded with ImageShack.us" class="img lazy">
6 answers Last reply
More about upgrade year gateway
  1. think i will stay with cpu.I can overclock it to run at 3.2ghz :)
  2. Overclocking is the best bet for your CPU because 1) it's free and 2) on machines by Dell, Gateway, HP, etc., you get an OEM motherboard and you never know if they decided to add support for any CPUs beyond the one you have already. Usually this gives you few options for a CPU upgrade, because they want you to buy a new machine, not put new parts in the one you have. I would've said to drop a quad cord in, but it's really rolling the dice.

    Upgrading the motherboard is pretty much pointless unless you also plan on upgrading the CPU at the same time, or you enjoy wiping all your programs in order to reinstall Windows (which you have to do when you replace the mobo). Also, since you have a Gateway, I'm betting they gave you a "repair/recovery disc," not a regular of Windows, so that'll probably be a bitch. I'd avoid messing with it.

    Graphics card is by far the best option for you, since you're apparently still working with onboard video. With that CPU, I don't think there's much point to a card past the $100 range, so maybe the HD 4850.
  3. capt_taco said:
    Overclocking is the best bet for your CPU because 1) it's free and 2) on machines by Dell, Gateway, HP, etc., you get an OEM motherboard and you never know if they decided to add support for any CPUs beyond the one you have already. Usually this gives you few options for a CPU upgrade, because they want you to buy a new machine, not put new parts in the one you have. I would've said to drop a quad cord in, but it's really rolling the dice.

    Upgrading the motherboard is pretty much pointless unless you also plan on upgrading the CPU at the same time, or you enjoy wiping all your programs in order to reinstall Windows (which you have to do when you replace the mobo). Also, since you have a Gateway, I'm betting they gave you a "repair/recovery disc," not a regular of Windows, so that'll probably be a bitch. I'd avoid messing with it.

    Graphics card is by far the best option for you, since you're apparently still working with onboard video. With that CPU, I don't think there's much point to a card past the $100 range, so maybe the HD 4850.

    if i overclock my cpu and upgrade the heatsink and add a 4850 GPU will i have a decent pc to run SC2 on 1440 x 900.Will also upgrade the Ram to 4gb or 2gb.
  4. Oh yeah, you should be able to get by with that. The video card will be more than enough, and according to their system requirements, you can even get by with an old Pentium 4.

    However, the RECOMMENDED specs say a dual-core at 2.4Ghz, so that overclock is definitely key.

    I would also say 2GB of RAM is a good idea for any game that comes out these days. Though 4GB may be a bit much unless you're going for a true "performance" machine, which your motherboard unfortunately limits you from doing.
  5. I would not go for the 5670 over the 4850. The 5670 is designed to be the "entry level" El Cheapo card for DirectX11, and isn't really very useful right now. The 4850 outperforms it substantially -- the only thing the 5670 has going for it is DX11, which is not required yet. And when they do come out with games that require DX11, the 5670 is not going to be very good at rendering them because of its overall mediocre performance. For reference, here are some performance benchmarks comparing the 5670 to other cards (the 4850 would be slightly above the 4770 they used in these tests):

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-5670,2533-6.html
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-5670,2533-8.html
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-5670,2533-13.html

    Anyway, for the money, I think you're better off getting a 4850 for the same price if you're just after price/performance -- or the 5750 for $20 or $30 more if DX11 is really important to you.

    As for the RAM ... I would get something with a higher clock speed. The one you picked was only 533 Mhz. With DDR2, 800Mhz or 1066 Mhz is what you want, or 667 if you have to settle for it. I'm not sure what your motherboard supports because there are no specs on it, but I'd see if I could get 800 to work. It'll most likely just slow down to the max supported speed if it's too fast for your board.

    Zalman heatsinks are among the best out there -- don't worry, that one says it fits LGA775, so it should be no problem on your machine. You may or may not have to use a mounting bracket, but that shouldn't be too hard. Just whatever you do, remember to clean off the thermal paste and apply new; that's really really important.
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