Newbie upgrading an old prebuilt

The computer in question probably isn't the oldest thing some of you have heard of, but being manufactured in 2003-ish, my emachine T3256 is sorely outdated. Rather than scrapping it though, I actually want to replace the essential pieces and save what money I can from just buying a whole new PC. Here are the specs for the computer : http://www.dealtime.com/EMACHINES-T3256-Desktop-Computer/prices

Now, I'm pretty new to this, but I suspect the motherboard, CPU, and PSU need replacing. (maybe the GPU?) Could I please get some suggestions on what to upgrade and what to buy? End result criteria: Should play Starcraft 2 on high with zero trouble - if it meets this requirement, then it's perfect. Oh right, nothing too expensive, that would defeat the purpose of upgrading it :p

Thanks in advance :D
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  1. I don't think you should bother upgrading that. You won't be able to use the RAM, you won't be able to use the processor or motherboard (with integrated graphics), you won't be able to use the PSU (it's most likely too low wattage to power a modern, dedicated gpu), and you won't be able to use the case. If money's not an object, build a new one. It's been 8 years, no one can blame you.

    With Starcraft 2 in mind, and a budget of 1000 to 1200, you can build a pretty good system. I'd wait for the Sandy Bridge motherboards to be re-released (some time this month?) and then build something like this:

    i5 2500k ($230)
    Gigabyte UD3P ($160)
    GTX 570 ($350)
    Spinpoint F3 500 GB ($45)
    Antec 650 Watt ($80)
    4 GB of DDR3 G.Skill Ripjaws X series ($50 - $60 depending on timings)
    HAF 912 Case ($60)
    Optical Drive ($20)

    Which is about $1005.

    Add money to PSU and motherboard for SLI capability. That would probably add $80 to $100 to the total cost. Or maybe you'll feel that's better spent on a copy of Windows 7 Home Premium for system builders ($99)
  2. DreamingofDRAM said:
    The computer in question probably isn't the oldest thing some of you have heard of, but being manufactured in 2003-ish, my emachine T3256 is sorely outdated. Rather than scrapping it though, I actually want to replace the essential pieces and save what money I can from just buying a whole new PC. Here are the specs for the computer : http://www.dealtime.com/EMACHINES-T3256-Desktop-Computer/prices

    Now, I'm pretty new to this, but I suspect the motherboard, CPU, and PSU need replacing. (maybe the GPU?) Could I please get some suggestions on what to upgrade and what to buy? End result criteria: Should play Starcraft 2 on high with zero trouble - if it meets this requirement, then it's perfect. Oh right, nothing too expensive, that would defeat the purpose of upgrading it :p

    Thanks in advance :D

    Like mortonww says, upgrading your existing pc is like repairing an old car...You unscrew the radiator cap, lift it up, take it to a new vehicle, lower it to the radiator and screw it down. :o

    The only thing worth saving would be the optical drive, and maybe not that if it uses an IDE interface instead of SATA. The same goes for the hard drive. You would have to re-install all of your applications anyway. :cry:

    That being said, here is a pretty good $500 build from the System builder's marathon here @Toms:

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/build-a-pc-overclock-athlon-ii-x3,2811.html
  3. Hey, thanks for the quick response! The whole system looks amazing, I googled up most of the parts and checked for myself. How long does it usually take to build a rig once I have all the parts? Remember, I've never done anything like this before.
  4. DreamingofDRAM said:
    Hey, thanks for the quick response! The whole system looks amazing, I googled up most of the parts and checked for myself. How long does it usually take to build a rig once I have all the parts? Remember, I've never done anything like this before.

    It can take anywhere from an hour or so up to a week or more depending on how much time you take to be careful and make sure you are putting it together right. There are several "How-to" videos on youtube, as well as here on the forums to assist you in assembling your PC. The big secret? Read the manuals that come with your parts! :bounce:
  5. clarkjd said:
    Like mortonww says, upgrading your existing pc is like repairing an old car...You unscrew the radiator cap, lift it up, take it to a new vehicle, lower it to the radiator and screw it down. :o

    The only thing worth saving would be the optical drive, and maybe not that if it uses an IDE interface instead of SATA. The same goes for the hard drive. You would have to re-install all of your applications anyway. :cry:

    That being said, here is a pretty good $500 build from the System builder's marathon here @Toms:

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/build-a-pc-overclock-athlon-ii-x3,2811.html



    One of the components of this PC is a triple-core cpu. Don't these things usually come in factors of 2? Sorry if this is a stupid question, I've never really had much experience with computer hardware. . .
  6. DreamingofDRAM said:
    One of the components of this PC is a triple-core cpu. Don't these things usually come in factors of 2? Sorry if this is a stupid question, I've never really had much experience with computer hardware. . .


    That's true...AMD does offer some triple core CPUs..They are just Quad cores with one core locked off.Sometimes they can be unlocked and you get 4 cores for the price of three! :D
  7. Thanks so much for your help! It does suck I'm gonna have to shelve my old comp, but the gaming build you gave looks really solid - though the case looks a little dorky.
  8. DreamingofDRAM said:
    Thanks so much for your help! It does suck I'm gonna have to shelve my old comp, but the gaming build you gave looks really solid - though the case looks a little dorky.


    That build is just a starting point...Feel free to change the case to something you like better...Just remember that you will also need a Power supply as the PSU comes with the case :bounce:
  9. clarkjd said:
    That build is just a starting point...Feel free to change the case to something you like better...Just remember that you will also need a Power supply as the PSU comes with the case :bounce:


    Hmm. . . yeah I did notice that, so I decided to keep it as is. Not really planning on impressing someone :P And while Mortonww's Haf 912 case looks soo nice, sadly, no psu
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