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Upgrade Ideas

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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June 11, 2010 5:51:48 AM

hello everyone, long time computer user but I kind of got out of computers for a while (due to job/money issues) and a lot of stuff has changed in a few years, lol. currently I'm running this custom system:


Processor: AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+ 2.4GHz
Mobo: ASUS A8N32-SLI-Deluxe
RAM: 4 GB
-slots 1+2: OCZ 1GB PC3200(200MHz) DDR
-slots 3+4: Kingston 1GB PC3200 (200MHz) DDR
Video: NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT OC (256MB DDR3)
OS: Windows 7 64bit

wanted to get you guy's ideas for possible upgrade ideas, video card fan stops working so thats where I'd like to start, any ideas would be helpful, I've kinda been gettin swamped tryin to research through all the new stuff on hardware now. thanks in advance

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June 11, 2010 6:11:39 AM

oh yeah and I'm also runnin dual monitors via DVI right now
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a c 169 U Graphics card
June 11, 2010 6:47:32 AM

Hello and welcome to the forums :) 
Well if your system had an AMD socket,things were different,you could have only upgraded your CPU/VGA,but now,finding socket 939 CPUs is hard;furthermore,since they aren't produced any more,its not worth it too get one.
So what is your budget for upgrading ? and what's your usage ?
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June 11, 2010 6:55:03 AM

usage is for school (computer engineering, electrical engineering, simulation and robotics) as well as general internet usage, moderate gaming, PC is used daily

Budget it varying, I'm lookin at upgrading a bit at a time when i have extra moneys, I just need someone who has kept up with this stuff for some advice, like i said (as you know) a few years can do some damage for what you think you know, lol
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June 11, 2010 5:11:12 PM

Best bet is to find an AM3 board & CPU + DDR3 ram and use your video card for a while longer.

Athlon II X3 440 is a good inexpensive cpu and a decent upgrade from your 4400+.

OK so I re-read and your GPU fan stops...

5770 would work but you would not see much performance gain till you upgraded the Cpu...

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a c 192 U Graphics card
June 11, 2010 5:12:54 PM

You're in a tough spot. I'm all for being frugal, but money spent on that system could be easily wasted. About the only sure thing is a video card. Your CPU and platform will be a serious bottleneck to any modern GPU, but you could still save it (the new GPU) for your next build, so that part would not be a waste.
What PSU do you have? It may limit the power of what you should get, so please let us know.
Although I have reasons to dislike nVidia, it isn't because I'm an ATi fanboi, and your technical applications may benefit from a nVidia card able to do CUDA / PhysX; that being the case, a low-power version of the 9800GT would be a safe choice as far as your PSU is concerned, and would be a big upgrade from what you have now. If your PSU is strong enough though, with the future in mind you may want something stronger like a GTX 260.
If you want to use an ATi card, (i.e. if CUDA is a non-issue), you may safely choose up to a HD5670 with any PSU, as that card uses very little power and doesn't even have an auxiliary power connector. Again though, if your PSU can support a stronger card, a HD5770 is a much stronger choice while not being unreasonably expensive.
You will likely not realize the full potential of any of these cards in your current system. Your next upgrade will need to be a more substantial one, as your mobo, CPU, and RAM will all need to be upgraded; by this time you may also have decided to upgrade your PSU, but we can keep that a separate issue; same with your drives, although if they're IDE, you will certainly want to get a SATA drive as well.

Short answer: The only piece to consider upgrading in this system is the video card. Get a low-power 9800GT or a GT 240 if nVidia, or a HD5670 or HD5570 if ATi. No other upgrade will be required in order to do that. You're better off doing a new build (incorporating the new video card) than trying to add to your existing machine, which, as is inevitable, has become obsolete.

Edit: r-sky, his video card fan is failing, so it must be replaced.
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a c 189 U Graphics card
June 12, 2010 2:05:20 AM

^+1 for jtt283.
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June 12, 2010 3:14:33 AM

I currently have a 400 watt PSU in the comp
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a c 192 U Graphics card
June 12, 2010 3:26:50 AM

In that case (unless it's a Corsair), most likely it is a generic that would not be safe to use with anything stronger than a HD5670 (ATi) or GTS 240 (nVidia).
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June 12, 2010 6:12:53 AM

not corsair, its a dynex
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!