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2011 Gaming system in old 2004 chassis

Last response: in Systems
May 11, 2011 6:16:37 AM

Trying to put together a gaming PC (for my son) that's powerful enough to run mindcraft fluidly. I have an old HP gaming system in an ATX box but with only a AGP card and slot. Did some research and purchased a EVGA GeForce GTS450 FPB used video card. I'm trying to keep the dollars low so I'm planning on using the old HP box (its well built and has several fans and a 400W power supply). I believe I now only need to purchase a Motherboard, CPU and memory and replace the old Motherboard with it. This is my first crack at trying to make this all work - any advice? I have a couple of Seagate barracuda HD's and a CD/DVD that are already in the box.
May 11, 2011 7:13:47 AM

OK - great method of learning information - I'll need to open up the box and get some info and I'll be back - thanks!
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a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
May 11, 2011 3:21:10 PM

Using the Case and optical drives shouldn't be a problem so long as you get a motherboard with 1 IDE connector. The problem though may be the old PSU. Make sure it has a working 4-pin CPU connector (which it really should but you never know) and has enough amps on all the rails, especially the 12v rail(s). Chances are though it's too wimpy to power a GTS450, so I'd consider a decent $40 PSU just in case.
a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
a b α HP
May 11, 2011 3:59:56 PM

One more thing you should probably look out for is the front power/reset/HD Activity connections. You may have to pull that apart in order to connect it to your new motherboard.

-Wolf sends
May 11, 2011 7:37:04 PM

The system I have (ie 2004? box) is a Compaq Presario X09. I tried to make this work for my son's Minecraft game - but the graphics where just too slow - unfortunately he has gotten used to running the game on my Dell Studio XPS which shows very fluid graphics (be it on a smaller screen) for the game. My goal here is to end up with a system for my son to show Minecraft fluidly (best word I can think of). I was hoping the X09 would handle this with it's installed NVIDIA card (original to X09) - just did not do the job. I had loaded Windows 7 and it could not find the board and then Windows Vista and that did identify the NVIDIA board but still no improvement in the graphics. The screen size we have is a 21" Dell and hope to run things whatever resolution would work best for this game (Minecraft).

Everything I have in the X09 is original and in working order. I have added another 1GB of ram bringing it to 2GB.

The box has been sitting for a long time and then about a year ago I started using it for a Unbuntu development machine and now I working toward it's new life as gaming machine for my son.

As I said earlier - I have purchased a new "EVGA GeForce GTS450 FPB 1 GB PCI-E 2.0" graphics board with the intent of that being a part of this remodel machine for my son. So... I believe I need a Motherboard, CPU and memory (at least) and hopefully I can keep and use the rest?.

Here are the specs of the P09:

Power Supply: Antec True 480
Case: Cooler Master Wave Master aluminum PC case
Motherboard: ASUS P4C800-E
CPU: Intel Pentium 4 3.2GHz Processor with 800MHz Bus and Intel i875P Board
Memory: 1GB Registered PC3200 DDR Memory (added 1GB for a total of 2GB)
HDD: 2x120GB (240GB) Seagate 7200.7 Serial ATA Hard Drives in RAID0 Array
Optical Drives: HP 4x DVD+R and Samsung 48x CD-RW Combo Optical Drives
Sound: Sound Blaster Audigy 2
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForceFX 5950 Ultra Video Card with 256MB Memory
Communication: Intel 1Gbps Ehternet with CSA and v.92 56Kbps Modem
Ports: Six USB 2.0 and Four FireWire Ports
Power Supply: Antec True 480

Already have Monitor (Dell 21"), Keyboard, Mouse, Speakers

I want to now spend the -bare- minimum to get this system going as a something that can handle Minecraft (which I believe to be a low intensity graphics compared to other stuff out there).

Can I use a Pentium based mother board (for the lower cost) for this with the graphics card I acquired (EVGA GeForce GTS450 FPB 1 GB PCI-E 2.0) - or do I have to have at least an i3 or something like that?

Thanks for any advice and/or input!
a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
May 11, 2011 9:34:26 PM

Well, you can certainly build a system for less than the i3. But, it would be wasted. If you go with the 2100, it will last you another ~3-4 years.
May 11, 2011 9:42:25 PM

I'm not all the knowledgeable of new PC components so I'm a little light here - is that an AMD processor? Thanks for the help striker410!
a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
May 11, 2011 11:33:17 PM

I was thinking out loud in that last post lol. I'm sorry it didn't make sense.
Ok, let me break it down. You want to spend as little as possible, yet you have a pretty good graphics card. You could probably upgrade the internals for as little as $200. If you want this PC to stay relevant, I encourage you to spend a bit and get a good system. But, here's my budget build.




You can keep your current PSU as long as it has a 6pin PCI cable.

Total: $168 (before OS)
May 12, 2011 12:28:20 AM

This is great stuff striker!. I will need a standard sized motherboard tho - to fit the same box - the MoBo now is a standard ATX
May 12, 2011 12:45:46 AM

tomspatg said:
This is great stuff striker!. I will need a standard sized motherboard tho - to fit the same box - the MoBo now is a standard ATX

Micro-ATX motherboards will fit in cases designed for ATX, as they are pretty much the same shape, just shorter on the PCI bus side. Going with a micro-ATX will save you money, and won't sacrifice any performance unless you want to crossfire later, which I doubt.
May 12, 2011 2:05:04 AM

Iinteresting - I didn't know a micro ATX would fit in a standard ATX box - thanks a bunch SpringHalo - and you are right - don't plan or need the crossfire route
a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
May 12, 2011 2:11:20 AM

Yes a micro ATX will fit, but it will be a bit roomy on the bottom lol. By the way, the build I have there is not only capable of playing Minecraft, but also higher tier games such as BFBC2 or crysis (not maxed though lol) and probably upcoming BF3.
May 12, 2011 3:18:54 AM

This all sounds good so I'm going for it - thanks for the help!
a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
May 12, 2011 3:31:34 AM

Glad we could help.
a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
May 12, 2011 3:36:42 AM

Just one more note. You will have to reinstall windows (or whatever OS you have on there) when you put the parts in. In fact, a clean install is required most of the time for a mobo swap. Do you have an OS handy?
May 12, 2011 5:20:43 AM

I assumed a reload of the OS. I have Windows 7 and Windows Vista... I'm thinking Windows 7 for the "new" system.
May 12, 2011 6:02:45 AM

I'm looking into the micro ATX board you suggested. The graphics board I'm getting works in a PCI Express 16 2.0 slot and this board has PCI Express 16 but not 2.0 - does that make a difference?

The board is a GREAT PRICE... But I'm thinking I wouldn't mind paying just a bit more for some more features. You have been great with my budget BTW!

What do you think of this board? > ASRock M3A770DE AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard It doesn't have graphics on board but I don't need that, it's ATX standard for a little more breathing room on the board? It also has a PCI Express 16 2.0 slot - would this MoBo use the same CPU you suggested. I see it would use the same memory. the board is only $59.. Here is the link >

May 12, 2011 6:05:48 AM

I could also use a wireless adapter for the system - I have a USB Netgear but it's not to strong. Thanks for all the help!
a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
May 12, 2011 6:22:51 AM

That mobo you posted would do fine. If you don't mind paying for features, check out the ASRock Extreme3: It's certainly more expensive, but it's packed with features. USB 3.0, sata6, UCC (which will be very useful for you, may allow you to turn that x3 into a quad) crossfire support, you name it, it's got it! I used one in a buddies build and the board is just awesome. however, it's quite a bit to pay for just playing minecraft on it.
May 12, 2011 6:45:50 AM

OK - I got 3 mobo's to consider now at different price points and features - I'll check em all out - thanks again!
May 21, 2011 5:32:21 AM

We got the 3 components via UPS yesterday from newegg >
Motherboard > ASRock M3A770DE 770+SB710 RT
CPU> AMD|ATH X3 450 3.2G AM3 RT (as suggested by Striker410 earlier in this thread)
Ram> MEM 2Gx2|GSKILL F3-10666CL9D-4GBNS (as suggested by Striker410 earlier in this thread)

Video Card> VGA GeForce GTS450 (Purchased via eBay)

My 12 year old son and I performed the brain transplant on our old Presario and right after he got home from school. The results are astounding! - on my Studio XPS system, Mindcraft ran at 20 FPS and that was adequate for running the program. On our system with the new components installed, Mindcraft is running at 150+ FPS and on a 21" Dell Monitor.

We used the old power supply, old CD drive, old DVD drive and old SATA disk drives and all are working fine

So GREAT success with your GREAT advice and all are happy here. THANK you very much!!
a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
a b α HP
May 21, 2011 1:37:08 PM

Congrats on the rebuild!

-Wolf sends