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5 year-old gaming computer needs a tune up

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May 30, 2011 4:17:56 AM

Hey guys. I use my computer for gaming, pretty much. It's old and gets bogged down, even on Starcraft 2 on minimal settings. I'm wondering what I need to upgrade the most. My budget is around 300-500 bucks and I'm not looking for super high performance. Just something functional with some amount of long-term value. Here are my current specs:

OS: Windows 7 64 bit

CPU: 3.00 gigahertz Intel Pentium D
16 kilobyte primary memory cache
2048 kilobyte secondary memory cache
Multi-core (2 total)

VGU: NVidea GeForce 9500 GT 512 mb

Motherboard: Board: ASUSTeK Computer INC. P5LD2-VM Rev 1.xx
Bus Clock: 200 megahertz

Memory: 3GB DDR ram (2 stick of 1gb, and 2 of 512)



Also-- I'm a total hardware noob so lemme know if there are any other system specs I should list. Any advice is appreciated! Thanks.
May 30, 2011 4:35:55 AM

since its a revision 1 ima assume that it doesnt support the Core 2 cpus like my mobo did.

it was the p5ld something, like yours only full size.

so you might have to do quite an upgrade. new mobo and cpu and ram.
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May 30, 2011 4:54:57 AM

Okay-- what's a Core 2 cpu?

From what I've read you can get a decent cpu+motherboard combo for under $200. My graphics card is up to date then?

Thanks for the reply.
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May 30, 2011 8:10:47 AM

-Both the 9500gt and pentium D dual core are about cpu-gpu matched.
So if you want to upgrade you have to upgrade both the card and cpu/board/mem/hdd. Also since the newer gaming cards are larger than the 9500gt, you will need a new power supply and put case fans in any empty fan spots on your current case.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$29.99 AMD Sempron 130 Sargas 2.6GHz 512KB try and unlock some cores..
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$64.99 ASUS M5A78L-M LX AM3+ AMD 760G Micro ATX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$42.99 WINTEC One 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$21.99 MASSCOOL 8WA743 92mm Long Life CPU Cooler
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$109.99 SAPPHIRE 100297L Radeon HD 5830 1GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$39.99 BFG Tech BFGR650WGSPSU 650W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$39.99 Seagate Barracuda ST3500413AS 500GB 7200 RPM

Subtotal: $309.94

- The cpu is a sempron 130. The 1mb cache sempron 140 and 145 usually unlock to a dual core regor and overclock well with some extra voltage.
- The sempron 130 is 512kb cache, Most unlock to a dual core regor, however i would try and see if the 3rd and 4th cores are there and unlock, 512kb cache suggests it could be a propus core aka athlonIIx4 core, maybe a tri core is possible?. Some higher voltages and a larger aftermarket cooler will be needed here.
The chip usually comes with a tiny 45 watt cooler. So if the cpu is a dud and does not unlock any core, that single core should overclock really high with more volts and a large cooler, maybe to 3.8ghz.
-Its a $29 cpu.

The motherboard is am3+, not am3. meaning the new 32nm bulldozer cpus will drop in. The sempron is just to have a cpu to use and play with untill the bulldozer cpus are out for a while and have reasonable prices and speeds.
You can practice overclocking and core unlocking without risking frying a expensive cpu first before moving on the the bulldozer cpu.

Well good luck.
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a b 4 Gaming
May 30, 2011 3:39:50 PM

Nothing in that computer is up to date except the OS. I'd suggest ram, mobo, cpu, gpu and probably psu and hdd, so yeah, new computer.
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May 31, 2011 4:42:46 AM

Best bet. Do you have a microcenter near you? If so, much of the time, they have deals where you can get an entry level board and AMD quad for about 100 bucks. If you could do that, maybe grab a power supply for 50, you might be in business. Last time I got ram there it was 35 bucks for 4 gb of ddr3 1333.

If you could do those things, you'd have around 200 before tax. With what you've got left, stretch the budget a little, and grab a gtx 460 768 mb video card. Reuse your case, hard drive, Windows 7, and optical drive/drives. That would put you a little over 300, but would give you a pretty nice system on a budget.
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