Trying to resucitate a good, reliable machine

Ok, I'll try to be brief because I know its just another post of 'tell me what to buy!'.

Here is what I have been using for last 6 or 7 yrs. I built this thing for 600 bucks and absolutely have loved it. I have had it continually overclocked at what I'm guessing is around 10-11% and only issues I have had is smoking a RAM module, burned up 2 PSU's, and had to upgrade cpu fan as well as anually (ANUALLY...not anally) reapply some ArcticSilver. Only complaint is she is gettin old now and can NOT handle any of the newer stuff with any eye candy turned on or the system just hangs, locks up, etc. Assassin's Creed, Fallout, etc. I was pushing the machines limits when I was playin Oblivion and was absolutely at its best playing BF2 or DAoC.

MSI 865PE Neo3 motherboard (LGA775 socket) with 2.9ghz Prescott cpu (OC'd to 3.26ghz) I have 4 case fans I have added with an independant powersupply
4gb dual channel DDR400 PC-3200 RAM
1 80gb WD PATA drive (only has OS on it)
1 320GB Raid-0 drive (2 WD caviar 160gb SATA drives)
1 Nvidia 7600GT 256mb AGP 8x card
550w PSU
other usb peripherals, flight sticks, throttles, wireless keyboard/mouse, etc.

I guess what my main question is is this:
What the heck can a guy salvage out of this to at least jump me forward to the stoneage? I would not be opposed to new cpu if that would help things as I know mine is tired,...soooo..would ANY LGA775 processor work? Surely not, right? How about a good MB/CPU combo with new ram...what's a good pkg for a full time gaming PC? I'm having a hard time finding a MB where I don't have to replace my graphics card as well. I have seen a couple where you can use an older AGP for a bit on an AGP port then later when you can afford an nice PCI E you can switch. I even saw two boards where you can use both simultaneously somewhat like a crossfire or SLI pairing. Anyways. What I am trying NOT to do is buy a new PC's worth of parts. That's the plan next year, I'll build a new one when budget is no concern...but right now I just want to bump up the graphics to full on Fallen Earth. :)

Hopefully my question is clear enough to you folks. I have twin 4yr olds needing some Dad-time so I might be choppy and terse. Anyhow, any help or insight you can offer would be greatly appreciated.
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More about trying resucitate good reliable machine
  1. Hmm possibly salvage ODD/HDD and if it is half decent that PSU? I say ditch AGP? Something like HD 4670 AGP will still choke for BC2 nvm your single core....
  2. Yeah the PSU and the 2 sata drives are staying for sure. LOL Will get TB drives next yr. This cpu isn't a single core. Its a dual core Pentium 4 and I have been playing BF2 for years on full settings with barely a hitch. (I know BF2 is outdated anymore) Basically I know that I won't be jumping into anything new to play this year but I would like to spend the next year enjoying my old favorites while I anxiously await the date of purchase of my new PC. This pc is tired and my memory has been far too hot for far too long. Just wondering if theres anything out there that can inject a little life into my dying system so I can enjoy her a little bit longer before I hafta put her down. If I have to buy a new MB for her it looks like I gotta buy a new cpu so if I can squeak a little bit more performance out of the system with new or higher spec parts I would prefer to do that.
  3. P.S.

    Yeah I know AGP is a dinosaur and I plan on replacing it. If my only option is a new MB/cpu with PCI card then so be it. Just keeping cost down for now if I can because if I have to buy brand new everything I can't afford to buy anything.
  4. Oops yep BF2 and BC2 worlds apart hehe Well for better gaming performance your current platforms/chip is GG to be honest but hey u could start cheap with an entry level DDR3 platform ...with say 2GB DDR3 maybe?
  5. <nod> Thx Batuchka. Yep I kinda figured my system was about at its end. When I built it I went for all-out-on-a-budget and 6 or 7 yrs has been a long run with it. I've been largely happy with the longevity (although I do get a rare pang of jealousy when I work on someones modern system) and I plan on building my new one pretty much the same way although with a larger budget. Which brings me to now....

    Okay, so say for now I just wanna get a little more modern (new MB ((will have to have integrated video till I can afford: eVGA GeForce GTX 470 - 1.28 GB DDR5 )) / new CPU , enough ram to at least carry the system well until I can piecemeal more in, and I wanna reuse my old cd-rw and DvD, and Sata drives... can you offer some good suggestions? Remember I am tryin to stay cheap -these items will prolly end up on ebay in a yr- and cpu doesnt have to move to new pc. I havent stayed current on this stuff in at least 4 yrs so I dont even know what the next breed of 'long-in-the-tooth' components is. I would buy a 3 yr old system and I'm sure the technology is superior to what I have now. Also, if you know of anything good at that would help too ( I have an account through work there).

    Once again...thanks for the input! Any other help or insight you can offer is greatly appreciated. :)
  6. Best answer
    Hmm the GTX 580 and HD 6.9k would be out and i would rate HD 6870 > GTX 470 as far as good buys go but for cheapo CPU/Mobo/RAM

    If still to expensive hit a single 2GB DDR3 stick ^^
  7. Batuchka,

    Thank you for your input and advice! I have taken it to heart and am trying to put together a similiar build based on what I have learned in the past few days and what you have advised me. Those particular parts you listed are unavailable to me due to the fact that I have to use to order so I can get my 20% discount through work. SO FAR, here is what I have come up with. Please tell me if I made a mistake or choice which I will regret but I believe these items are comparable if not a little higher grade (but then $$$ don't always translate to quality). Also, I picked a mobo with integrated video so I could save a little money to push towards that 4GB ram and buy the wife a monitor as well. I will buy a PCI card after Xmas when next gen stuff comes out and my money is starting to reappear. Figured the system will suffer some due to the integrated video but I guess ya can't have it all for under 400 bucks... SO, here goes:




    CPU FAN:


    I believe all of this will work together if I have been fully RE-educated. Would love to hear any thoughts about it.
    Once again, thank you for all of your help. I plan on placing this order tomorrow or friday if everything looks good to go.

    Also, based on anything you might come up with, I am more than willing to substitute any components if you think I can do better than this for less.
  8. Oooops, one more thing I wanted to add. I alrdy have a 540w PSU only a yr you think that would work for the time being until I get my video card? For that matter, what would be the recommended PSU for this system? It will eventually run (4) 4gb modules and the HD gfx card you referenced. Will also be adding the latest and greatest (2) 1TB drives for a raid drive. If I can shave that 80 bucks out of the pkg it would be nice. If I'm gonna need more than that then can I afford to wait or get something big now? I see alot of peeps talkin about 750w PSUs but Im guessing (hoping?) it isnt necessary just yet with only stock cooling? Prolly wrong there, I know.
  9. Hmm ok

    +$10 go TT TR2 series to a Earthwatts 80+ EA650
    Sticking to integrated you could get by with the EA380 actually ^^
    750Watters for peeps planning to run CF/SLI with higher end GPUs

    No OC - sticking to stock cooler that comes with processor in box is also fine

    That Asus 880G/ATX is 16/4 when used with 2 GGPUs hence is not recommended if u thinking of doing that ^^

    If mATX is doable:
  10. Best answer selected by Cratevoodoo.
  11. Yep happy shopping/building and cheers ^^
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