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Upgrading Mobo, CPU, GPU, and PSU on an old Compaq Presario SR1817CL

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July 22, 2010 8:10:53 AM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Preferably within two weeks.

BUDGET RANGE: $400 after rebates

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, watching videos, internet surfing

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, mouse, LCD monitor w/ speakers, OS, HDD

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Any well-known, trusted site. I'm open to newer sites if they use a secure payment method like PayPal.

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: United States

PARTS PREFERENCES: I have no preference.

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1280x1024

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I want an affordable gaming rig that will last at least two more years.


Info about my current system:

Model: Compaq Presario SR1817CL

General Info:

http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/documentSubCategory?...).

Here is the Mobo info:

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

http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c00...
July 22, 2010 8:43:54 AM

How about these combos I found on Newegg?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboBundleDetails.aspx?I...


Intel Core i3-530 (Clarkdale) 2.93GHz 4MB L3 Cache Socket 1156 73W Dual Core Integrated Graphics Desktop Processor (Model: BX80616I3530)

ASUS H55 Express Chipset HDMI Micro ATX Motherboard (Model: P7H55-M Pro)

G.Skill Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Dual Channel Desktop Memory Kit (Model: F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL)

Lian Li Lancool Black 0.8mm SECC Plastic/ Mesh Mid-ATX Tower Case (Model: PC-K58W)

Rosewill Green Series 700Watt Continous@40c, 80Plus Certified, SLI & CrossFire Ready, Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 & i5 Power Supply (Model: RG700-S12)


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July 22, 2010 9:18:03 AM

Hey again Harman! That combo doesn't include a GPU and The power supply is overkill for your setup. For the upgrade you want I would suggest this.

CPU/GPU: AMD Athlon II X3 440 and Radeon 5670

Mobo/RAM:Gigabyte GA-870A-UD3 and G.SKILL 4GB DDR3 1333

PSU: Antec EarthWatts 500W 80 Plus Bronze Certified

The mobo is currently out of stock on newegg so you'll probably have to wait a couple days or so before it comes back in but the total comes out to ~$365 and should do pretty well for you at your resolution for at least the 2 years you want it to.
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July 22, 2010 9:12:32 PM

Damn Newegg and their combos! I changed my mind about the i5s.
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July 22, 2010 9:14:50 PM

The i5's are very good. However, for your budget you would be better off getting an AMD processor.
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July 22, 2010 9:20:56 PM

fharper said:
The i5's are very good. However, for your budget you would be better off getting an AMD processor.


You're comment showed up right after I changed my mind. I thought I had it all figured out until I realized I forgot the GPU... again :p 
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July 22, 2010 9:26:02 PM

I'm going to see if I can get a better CPU/GPU.
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July 22, 2010 9:33:01 PM

NVM, my current supply is only 300W. I opened up my PC to figure it out.
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July 22, 2010 10:07:37 PM

I checked the PSU inside my PC and it is only 300W :( 

I have a question:

These two cards:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

and

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

are twenty dollars apart, however the more expensive one is a 1gb card instead of a 512mb card. How much does the memory really matter?

I also found this, by Sapphire. What is the diff between Sapphire and XFX cards?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The Sapphire one has a 15 dollar rebate as well.
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July 23, 2010 12:45:39 AM

If you go with what I recommended you'll gett a good quality 500W which would be fine for pretty much any one card and more efficient than the one you have now. For your resolution you wouldn't notice much difference between the 512mb and the 1gb. The main diff between them that would make me lean towards the XFX is the warranty, as XFX has a double lifetime warranty so you and the next person who gets it would be covered and Sapphire only has a 2 year warranty.
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July 23, 2010 1:11:53 AM

For the long term, do you think I would ever notice a difference? Will I eventually need 1gb of GPU memory to play a game on high resolution? I don't really know how this stuff works but I'll take your word for it. I like the Athlon II X3 and hope that I can unlock the 4th core, however its fine if I cannot.
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July 23, 2010 1:27:57 AM

I don't think you will really notice too much of a difference between the two. Here's a review with some benchmarks including the two different version of it so you can decide if the ~$20 difference is worth it.
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Axle/Radeon_HD_5670/...

For a card in that price range it performs pretty well, especially if you don't mind some lowered settings. It should get you by for a while till you can get a new GPU. And I actually have the CPU I recommended and it's awesome! I haven't even tried to unlock or overclock it yet because I'm very happy with the way it runs at stock right now.

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July 23, 2010 1:44:56 AM

I have another question. Is there any way to keep my Windows 7 64-bit install after changing the mobo? I have a Win7 DVD if that helps. I don't have an external HDD right now but can go get one to backup all my data before upgrading the mobo if there is no way to preserve the install and the data. I expected to have to do a fresh install of Win7 but after researching a bit I found that it wasn't always necessary.
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July 23, 2010 2:05:12 AM

That one I'm not too sure about. I would think that the fresh install would make it easier because you're going to need different drivers for the parts when you get them.
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July 23, 2010 2:08:49 AM

Ok, thanks for all the help. I'll be ordering those parts soon.
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July 23, 2010 2:09:07 AM

Best answer selected by Harman_M.
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September 15, 2010 4:58:33 PM

Good Luck! Keep us informed on how the rebuild goes, I'm really curious to know. Thanks!.. :) 
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