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Old Sony PCV-RS 520 Basic Upgrades

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Anonymous
September 23, 2010 2:26:44 AM

So, I have this really old desktop computer from Sony : PCV-RS 520.
Pentium 4 Processor 3.0 GHz Hyper Threading Technology
1.0 Gb DDR PC 2700 RAM
ATI Radeon 9600 128 mbit
800 MHz BUS Speed

I know its freakin' old but not much choice as I don't even have 500 dollars to replace this with another desktop. Just trying to manage for another year or two before I really need to buy a new comp.
I did some searching and found that people would go no further than Radeon HD 3650. [http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...]

I also wanted to max this piece out at 2.0 gb of RAM and read somewhere that PC3200 would fit but again, it really wouldnt make a difference with my computer I feel. Would anyone know if buying an additional gb of ram would do anything? I would need 2x 512 mbs.

The powercolor vid card + ram would bring me to around $110 or so with shipping.

I also think I messed up by installing Windows 7 on here. Sony did this weird thing where they put a C drive with only 12gb of HDD space and then a D drive with 160gb. I was thinking about getting another HDD to replace the 12gb C drive because I only have 5 gb left and I recently installed Windows 7 only 2 weeks ago. Space is dwindling fast. I believe an okay seagate HDD with around 160gb would cost me only 40 dollars.

So my total would be $150 for RAM, Video Card, and new HDD.

Is any of this even worth it?!

I feel like the RAM would do nothing at all. The HDD seems pretty necessary to me in my opinion. As for the video card, I wanted to upgrade it because these newer games seem to require it. I played WoW on this fine on fairly high settings with no problems. I lagged A LOT when lots of things were happening; so much that my screen was pretty much frozen. Same thing happens when I play DOTA on WCIII. I'm not sure if RAM would fix that.

I installed SCII but even on low settings the game is pretty choppy. It's bearable but I haven't tested it online yet so can't say for sure. Wouldn't call myself a gamer but I do play once in a while so would like a computer that won't threaten to blow up on me. I don't mind playing on low settings at all. Just don't want things to lag.

Thanks for your help and let me know if I am mistaken about anything. Trying to learn.

More about : sony pcv 520 basic upgrades

September 23, 2010 3:06:51 AM

Quote:
I know its freakin' old but not much choice as I don't even have 500 dollars to replace this with another desktop. Just trying to manage for another year or two before I really need to buy a new comp.
I did some searching and found that people would go no further than Radeon HD 3650. [http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...]

Yeah, it will have to be an AGP card so your choices are very limited and somewhat overpriced.

Quote:
I also wanted to max this piece out at 2.0 gb of RAM and read somewhere that PC3200 would fit but again, it really wouldnt make a difference with my computer I feel. Would anyone know if buying an additional gb of ram would do anything? I would need 2x 512 mbs.

If your system is using up all of its available ram while in operation, adding more would make a huge difference. If you aren't running out of ram, adding more won't make any difference.

Quote:
I also think I messed up by installing Windows 7 on here. Sony did this weird thing where they put a C drive with only 12gb of HDD space and then a D drive with 160gb. I was thinking about getting another HDD to replace the 12gb C drive because I only have 5 gb left and I recently installed Windows 7 only 2 weeks ago. Space is dwindling fast. I believe an okay seagate HDD with around 160gb would cost me only 40 dollars.

That 12GB space is just a partition; your hard disk has been artificially divided into two parts. You might be able to expand the 12GB partition. Here's are some instructions on how to do it:

http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/resize-a-p...

You will need to try to shrink your larger partition/disk (the 160GB one) and then you can try to expand the smaller one. It may get complicated, though. If the smaller partition is located at the front end of the disk (and it should be), you will need to shuffle extra space down to it. This would involve shrinking your larger partition/disk as much as possible, creating a new partition out of the freed space, and then moving your files from the larger partition/disk into the new partition. You would then shrink the larger partition/disk as much as possible again, resize the new partition larger, and move more of your files over. You would have to repeat those steps until all of your files are in the new partition. Then you could delete the old partiton, what is left of the original 160GB partition, and add that space to the smaller 12GB partition. There is software that can do this for you, but it isn't free and isn't always reliable.

IDE hard drives seem to be overpriced for an outdated technology; 500GB SATA drives regularly go on sale for $40, 1TB drives for $60. I would avoid investing in a small, overpriced, outdated drive like that seagate one if possible.

Quote:
So my total would be $150 for RAM, Video Card, and new HDD.

Is any of this even worth it?!

Not really. All of the things you are buying are already significantly outdated. I would just save up and buy new components when you can.
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Best solution

September 23, 2010 3:26:21 AM

Here's a new build that would make more sense:

Reuse your old power supply, hard drive, and case:

Athlon II X2 245 2.9GHz Socket AM3 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor (Low end but at least twice as powerful as your P4)
BIOSTAR A880G+ AM3 AMD 880G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard (Cheap motherboard, but has everything you need)
$84 after a $10 rebate
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Kingston 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Dual Channel Kit
$42
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PowerColor Radeon HD 5550 512MB DDR3 PCI Express Video Card (Around double the performance of an HD 3650 at barely half the power consumption)
$45 after $15 rebate
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

or

SAPPHIRE 100287VGAL Radeon HD 5670 (Redwood) 512MB 128-bit DDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card (Around 3x the performance of an HD 3650 with ~20% lower power consumption)
$70 after $15 rebate
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total (Including shipping and rebates):
$171 w/HD 5550
$196 w/HD 5670


Optional:

Western Digital Caviar Green 500GB 32MB Cache SATA Hard Drive (This will only work with a new motherboard like the one above)
$40 with promo code EMCYXZT28
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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Anonymous
September 23, 2010 4:11:42 AM

Wow that sounds really great!

My network card and sound card should all fit on that motherboard right? And I don't really know about thsi, but the specs for the motherboard seems to say that only SATA HDDs can be used but my HDD is IDE. Can I still use my HDD?

And realistically speaking, how long do you think that upgrade would last me? At least a 2-3 years hopefully? Or would I probably need to part it out and rebuild after a year or two..at which point even these parts might be way outdated anyway.

Thanks for all your help.
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September 23, 2010 5:24:43 AM

Quote:
Wow that sounds really great!

My network card and sound card should all fit on that motherboard right? And I don't really know about thsi, but the specs for the motherboard seems to say that only SATA HDDs can be used but my HDD is IDE. Can I still use my HDD?

And realistically speaking, how long do you think that upgrade would last me? At least a 2-3 years hopefully? Or would I probably need to part it out and rebuild after a year or two..at which point even these parts might be way outdated anyway.

Thanks for all your help.

You will no longer need your network card or sound card with this motherboard; they are both built in. It has two PCI slots so you could add them if you really wanted to.

Yes, you can use your old hard drive on that motherboard; it has one PATA port (IDE by another name) which supports two devices (HDD & CD/DVD drive).

Yeah, that build could last you 2-3 years. It will be less outdated in 2-3 years than your current build is now. With this motherboard you could even upgrade the processor to a Phenom II 4 or 6 core later. You could also upgrade your graphics card later on with this motherboard (PCI-Express is sticking around for longer than 2-3 years).
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Anonymous
September 23, 2010 6:19:17 AM

My power supply is only 360W or something like that. I know you said to reuse it but will that be enough to cover all this new stuff? Do I have to worry about overheating or anything? Lastly, I'm just worried that it won't fit in the case correctly. Which would mean a whole new computer then.
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September 23, 2010 6:58:24 AM

Quote:
My power supply is only 360W or something like that. I know you said to reuse it but will that be enough to cover all this new stuff? Do I have to worry about overheating or anything? Lastly, I'm just worried that it won't fit in the case correctly. Which would mean a whole new computer then.

These new components are much much more efficient than the ones you have now. I ran the components through a power supply calculator program, and there is no way they could use more power than what you already have.

At full CPU & GPU load (Including all other components, peripherals):
3GHz P4, 2xDDR, Radeon 9600: between 194 and 214W (there are many different 3GHz P4s)
Athlon II X2 245, 2xDDR3, HD 5550: 152W
Athlon II X2 245, 2xDDR3, HD 5670: 161W

I wouldn't worry about overheating, either. All of these components have good cooling solutions/low heat output, and there should be less strain on your power supply.

These components should fit your case without a problem; all of the physical ways and wheres of how things are installed haven't changed. I still use cases that are older than yours without a problem. The cooling isn't great with a single 80mm fan, but that isn't a problem unless you use really high end components or overclock.
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September 23, 2010 7:20:49 AM

Your power supply likely has a 20-pin power connector instead of the now standard 24-pin. This isn't a problem, though. You will just need to install the connector like this:

http://www.playtool.com/pages/psuconnectors/20in24.jpg

They added the extra 4 pins for more power throughput. The components you're looking at don't draw nearly enough power for this to be a problem.
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Anonymous
September 23, 2010 8:10:50 PM

Best answer selected by byukag.
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Anonymous
November 15, 2010 5:33:52 PM

I had the same exact issue - small C drive, big D drive. same exact model. I used the reformatting options the VAIO came with, and it walked me through the whole thing. It told me how to partition again, and it was relatively easy. Took very little time. The time consuming part is backing up your data to an external hard drive. that is a must. Also took me some time to make sure that when I reinstalled programs they would run properly and have access to the right files.

You should look for the "VAIO Recovery Wizard" in the Start Menu. That will walk you through it. I've had my computer since 2004, and repartitioning has given it new life. I think I may need to replace the burner, though that will be relatively cheap.

Brian
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