Lets just start off saying that I am trying to make an older computer last a little longer by upgrading it. I currently own a Dell e520 2.66ghz duo core, graphics card ati radeon Visiontek 4550, 4gbs ram, 305 watt power supply, windows 7 operating system. The rest of the specs are here: http://www.dealtime.com/Dell-Dell-E520-Desktop-Computer....
I plan on upgrading both the CPU and Graphics card (cpu to intel 4 651 3.4ghz, which is the highest I can go with my MOBO). The graphics card I was looking at is the Visiontek 4650 1gb. I had contacted dell and asked about a better graphics card and the 4650 1gb is the best one they recommended for my power supply.
I also asked if I upgraded the power supply if I could get a better graphics card but customer service rep told me upgrading the power supply is not possible? One I have never heard anyone say that upgrading the power supply isnt possible but 2 if I cannot upgrade the power supply then which 4650 1gb graphics card is the best? I see there are different brands like visiontek, diamond and sapphire.
SO I guess I have multiple questions:
1. which brand of 4650 1gb graphics card is better?
2. Can I upgrade my power supply and where do I find a bigger one for my computer if I can?
3. Can I get a better graphics card then the 4650 for my system?
4. Is the intel 4 651 chip the highest or best chip for my MOBO i can upgrade to?
1. Sapphire has been good in my experience, but look on Newegg for reviews on each brand. Quality varies from product to product.
2. Upgrading the power supply in the Dell might not be impossible, but it certainly would be very difficult to find one that for sure fit. Unfortunately, you may find it more beneficial to purchase a new case and motherboard to go with a new power supply. Otherwise, you would need to do a ton of research or even possibly have to mod your case a little bit.
3. Unfortunately, your motherboard lacks PCIe x16 slots. This means that your choices in graphics cards is not only slim, but moderately expensive. The 4650 is fine for this system. Unless you plan on either building a new computer entirely, or replacing almost everything on your current system, it isn't worth the money to attempt to pull much more out of it.
4. That processor you're planning on "upgrading" to would actually be a downgrade. A Pentium 4 running at 3.4GHz may sound nice because of its high clock speed, but in reality the dual core is a bit better. The dual core obviously benefits from the two cores as opposed to the P4's one and the architecture of the dual core is better as well. Don't let clock speed fool you into thinking the P4 is better.
That said, I don't think upgrading your CPU would be worth the money or effort in this case. Before you can start upgrading to a true gaming rig, you really should should start from scratch and possibly just save the disk drive and hard drive from your Dell.
Alright I wanted to avoid this but where can I go to find a barebone computer kit thats better then mine which includes: CPU, motherboard, power supply and case. Possibly memory too or I could just used my current memory from my older comp. I would also use my video card (visiontek 4550) in it as well. I was thinking under $300?