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Upgrade concerns (old build)

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September 6, 2010 5:34:07 PM

Hi guys,

I built this computer about 6 years ago and it has served me well since then. I'm getting to the point, however, that games are starting to require more than this little guy can handle. I'm wondering if it's possible to upgrade it, or would that be wasting money that could go to a completely new build. Here are the parts:

(These are out of production at this point)

CPU - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116238

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

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

Ram (Two of these sticks) - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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

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

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


Main concerns:

As I mentioned above, I do some gaming on this machine. I wouldn't say it's 100% of the purpose, but it's maybe 70%. I'm getting low FPS and a lot of tearing when I try to play some games. I'm also forced to put some games in the "low" category. I'd like to run things a little smoother...

Hand in hand with the above problem however, the motherboard I have in this machine does not support PCI Express 2.0 x16, it only does 1.0. :(  I'm pretty sure that if I want to replace the video card I have now, I'd need to get a new motherboard. And if I upgrade the motherboard, I may have to get a new CPU, since I'd have to find a 755 socket board that supports whatever the heck the CPU I have above is.

The CPU isn't labeled clearly, so I don't know if it's a Pentium D, or a Dual Core, or a Pentium D Dual Core. I tried looking for a motherboard on newegg that supported a 755 socket CPU, that also has a PCIE 2.0 slot, but wasn't coming up with anything good - mainly because I wasn't sure what to specify with that CPU.

Advice? Worth throwing money into upgrading this machine? Should I salvage some parts and build a new one? Normally I'd just build a new one, but I've been out of the building game for a while, and don't want to spend a lot of money. Would consider it though, if an upgrade is not viable.

Thank you!

More about : upgrade concerns build

September 6, 2010 5:58:16 PM

your cpu and gpu are quite old and will really hold back any new graphics card ,pci 2.0 cards are backwards compatible with pcie 1.0 slots
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September 6, 2010 6:07:23 PM

obsidian86 said:
your cpu and gpu are quite old and will really hold back any new graphics card ,pci 2.0 cards are backwards compatible with pcie 1.0 slots


Oh, really? I hadn't realized that, but I guess it makes sense. I figured there were new connections on the PCI 2.0 cards that wouldn't be utilized by the 1.0 slots. Good to know!

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September 6, 2010 6:09:52 PM

Your board support 2.0 cards fine, just not 2.1 cards.

However, you board doesn't seem to support C2Ds, so you best option is a "new" rig based on AMD, recycling your old Case+PSU+RAM.

Heres a solution:
Athlon X3 + 770 Mobo $120AR http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

2GB DDR2 800 $40 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HD4850/GTS250 $85AR/$75AR (Choose the one you like, the GTS250 costs more upfront but has more MIR)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total: $245/235

Try OCing you old RAM to 800Mhz and you'll have a potent gaming rig. But if you're not comfortable with OCing, go with an AM3 Mobo and spend $80 on 4GB of DDR3. Additionally, Id suggest a new HDD also.
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September 6, 2010 7:17:40 PM

Timop said:
Your board support 2.0 cards fine, just not 2.1 cards.

However, you board doesn't seem to support C2Ds, so you best option is a "new" rig based on AMD, recycling your old Case+PSU+RAM.

Heres a solution:
Athlon X3 + 770 Mobo $120AR http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

2GB DDR2 800 $40 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HD4850/GTS250 $85AR/$75AR (Choose the one you like, the GTS250 costs more upfront but has more MIR)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total: $245/235

Try OCing you old RAM to 800Mhz and you'll have a potent gaming rig. But if you're not comfortable with OCing, go with an AM3 Mobo and spend $80 on 4GB of DDR3. Additionally, Id suggest a new HDD also.


That looks pretty good and also affordable, heh!

Figure I'll leave the thread open for another day, since newegg wouldn't ship anything until tomorrow. I'll see if anyone else has confirming or conflicting information - but your information looks good to me, Timop.

One additional question - since I'm replacing the motherboard and CPU, I would think that I'll be able to upgrade more easily again in the future, if I need to. Is that correct?

Some additional information I forgot. Dunno if it helps or hinders things, hehe.

OS - Windows XP
Budget - 300$ Max for upgrades. Doesn't include shipping/tax.

Thanks!
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September 6, 2010 7:26:50 PM

StizzleD said:
That looks pretty good and also affordable, heh!

Figure I'll leave the thread open for another day, since newegg wouldn't ship anything until tomorrow. I'll see if anyone else has confirming or conflicting information - but your information looks good to me, Timop.

One additional question - since I'm replacing the motherboard and CPU, I would think that I'll be able to upgrade more easily again in the future, if I need to. Is that correct?

Some additional information I forgot. Dunno if it helps or hinders things, hehe.

OS - Windows XP
Budget - 300$ Max for upgrades. Doesn't include shipping/tax.

Thanks!

With that mobo, you're guaranteed AMD's top of the line 6-core, so upgrade paths are definitely there.

Id suggest this ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ) HDD also since you have $300, fast and huge for $60. A huge step up from your IDE drive.

There is one problem however, with XP, you'll be limited to 3GB of RAM and 2GB per app/game. I would recommend upgrading to Win7. Unless you're using XP64 of course.
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September 7, 2010 7:13:06 PM

Timop said:
With that mobo, you're guaranteed AMD's top of the line 6-core, so upgrade paths are definitely there.

Id suggest this ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ) HDD also since you have $300, fast and huge for $60. A huge step up from your IDE drive.

There is one problem however, with XP, you'll be limited to 3GB of RAM and 2GB per app/game. I would recommend upgrading to Win7. Unless you're using XP64 of course.


Hi again.

So I'm definitely sold on the motherboard/cpu combo. Both seem well reviewed.

It sounds like I should be able to tune up my current RAM and forgo purchasing any additional RAM until I upgrade to Windows 7. This is something I'd like to do eventually, but I think I can deal with the 2 gigs for now.

Unfortunately the Hard Drive you recommended sold out this morning, Do you have another you can suggest? That seems like another thing I can add in either when it comes back in stock or just later in general.

The one thing I'm not entirely on with is the Video Card. I've never used an ATI card, and I'm outdated when it comes to Nvidia. So I'm kind of flying blind with both your suggestions.

You suggested getting the 250 if I had the extra money, and I may considering the GPU is pretty important for games. This one (the 250) had 9 reviews vs the 4850 which had 29. Both sets are favorable, but I'm not sure which direction to lean, heh. If I said the $10 wasn't an issue, which would you suggest? :D 

So, after I hear your opinion on that video card (and if the rest of my assumptions are correct) I'll be ready to pull the trigger and get upgraded!

But please let me know if you think I'm holding the machine back too much by not getting the HDD, RAM or Windows7. Like I said, I'll plan to get those things (Maybe in a month or so), but for now I just want my gaming to run a little prettier/smoother.
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September 7, 2010 7:42:02 PM

Why was a biostar mobo recomended?

It isnt bad or anything but I would have went with an asus or gigabyte.

Lastly, might need to reinstall windows.

( Windows 7 is awesome and for around 100 bucks. AVOID EBAY.)
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September 7, 2010 7:46:02 PM

MechaNintendoMaster said:
Why was a biostar mobo recomended?

It isnt bad or anything but I would have went with an asus or gigabyte.

Lastly, might need to reinstall windows.

( Windows 7 is awesome and for around 100 bucks. AVOID EBAY.)

biostar aint too bad these days the been breaking records with their new boards
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September 7, 2010 8:02:36 PM

MechaNintendoMaster said:
Why was a biostar mobo recomended?

It isnt bad or anything but I would have went with an asus or gigabyte.

Lastly, might need to reinstall windows.

( Windows 7 is awesome and for around 100 bucks. AVOID EBAY.)



I added this one to the cart, but like I said, was planning to hold off on it.

Win7 Premium 64bit - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I probably would need to re-install windows with the cpu/mobo upgrade, huh? At which point it would make sense to go all in and pick up the extra ram, the HDD, and the Windows 7 disc.

As for that motherboard - I figured it looked decent (AMD newbie here) and in the combo it saved me 20 bucks (ish). Obsidian seems to think it'll be alright, as do the reviewers. Do you have a better/approximate price one to suggest?

I appreciate the feedback! Thanks!

Edit - Seems this is a decent replacement to the harddrive suggested by Timop.

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

Less space, but I really don't need a terabyte, haha. I've been making due with the 250 gigs for quite a while now. Double that should be sufficient. Hard drives are easy and cheap (usually) anyway, so...

Another edit:

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

Will this work/fit with the AMD and Motherboard configuration? I'm concerned about the fan not being able to sit in there with the RAM so close.

Would I be okay using the stock fan? I know my old intel chip had a pretty crappy fan (poor cooling and super noisy).

Sorry for all the questions.
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September 7, 2010 11:26:22 PM

Youll be fine with the stock fan, yo can even do a moderate OC with it if you want.

For the HDD, get this one since you went for 500GB anyways: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Better performance for less.

Biostar isn't bad at all, quality is actually nice especially for a 445. You just miss out on some premium features like "Smart OC", "Icy Chokes", "4oz Copper" and USB3/SATA6. Though if you REALLY want something from the "big brands" heres an alternative: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Finally on the GPU, just pick one you like more. Performance is nearly identical, as well as the cooling capability. I think Zotac is a subsidiary of Sapphire too IIRC. So its really a AMD/Nvidia preference and whether you like MIR or not.

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September 8, 2010 7:52:49 PM

Alright, last checking point!

How do either of these GPUs compare to the 250 gts?

XFX HD-577A-ZNFC Radeon HD 5770 (Juniper XT) 1GB 128-bit GDDR5
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAPPHIRE 100283-3L Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

They're both 50~ dollars more, but if it means I don't need to upgrade as soon, or it'll run stuff significantly better, I'd rather spend the $50 now. I did notice that these were 128-bit vs the 256 on the 250. Is that relevant - or am I jumping up a whole tier? Are there any tech specs that would push one brand over the other? (I'm leaning Sapphire because of previous recommendations in this thread).

Will one of these jive with the rest of the parts I'm adding?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Everything looks alright to me, but figured I'd run it by more tech savvy people one last time before I click the buy button.

Funny that this went from a "I want to upgrade cheaply" to "Might as well upgrade everything" but the price only went up $240 ($215 after rebate). It'll be nice to have a quicker computer again.

Continual thanks!
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September 8, 2010 10:24:33 PM

The 5770 is a step up performance-wise from the 4850, 20% or so, but its newer and much more power efficient.
The narrower bus is made up by using GDDR5, which has double the bandwidth as GDDR3 at the same speeds. Brands wise, its really the same features wise, regardless of brand, performance will be the same. Though even the 4850 is a huge jump in performance from the 7600GT.
Though if yore not in a MAJOR hurry, you can wait for a month for the GTS450 or HD6000. Its not a bad buy now regardless.

But since you're going for a full 4GB, I don't see a reason for AM3 and faster DDR3 RAM, its practically the same cost, with a nice combo with a 5770 also:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

.
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September 9, 2010 12:37:14 AM

Best answer selected by StizzleD.
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