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Upgrade Question and Suggestions

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September 13, 2011 8:03:27 PM

Hello, TH peers. :hello:  I've build computers in the past, but never upgraded any. My question is, what components can I upgrade without having to format the computer?

I want to upgrade my friend's computer that's mostly used for storing camera surveillance video and web browsing. Currently, his prebuilt computer has the following components:

Intel E2200
Foxconn G31MX
1x 512MB DDR2 RAM

He's also running Windows XP Professional SP2. I'm thinking about upgrading the RAM and CPU, but would I have to format and reinstall XP in order for it to recognize the components? Also, what components can you guys suggest at a budget of $200? Your expertise is greatly appreciated!
September 13, 2011 8:16:22 PM

If buying a new system is out of the question, and you are not willing to use Acronis TureImage to swap the HDD for a SSD, just max out the RAM. You don't need to reformat your PC to add RAM.
As long as you use a CPU with the same number of cores, you can upgrade your CPU.
Since the E2200 is a dual core, you should be able to upgrade to whaever processor is the top of the line (that you can afford from ebay) for your motherboard...
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September 13, 2011 8:31:35 PM

I'd suggest switching to AMD for that price range, as a replacement CPU will eat up most of your budget (not mentioning the price of DDR2 either). I would highly recommend switching to Windows 7 ASAP, as microsoft no longer supports XP. The below parts would be able to be put into his case (I also listed an OS). What you can change out (without calling MS) is: Video, CD/DVD ROM, RAM, PSU, HSF, and NIC.


MB: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$50 Foxconn A88GMV AM3 AMD 880G HDMI Micro ATX (same size as the foxconn you listed)
CPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$75 AMD Athlon II X3 445 Rana 3.1GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core (less than the E6500 dual core)
RAM: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$23 G.SKILL Value Series 4GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333
OS: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$100 Windows 7 home 64bit (upgrade is $20 less)

Total: $248 + S&H (not counting MIR, combo or specials)
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Best solution

September 13, 2011 11:47:47 PM

re: "upgrading the RAM and CPU...without having to format the computer?"

Absolutely no problem. You can get up to a little less than 4GB recognized by win XP pro in 32 bit mode. The MB max is 4GB, so anything between 3GB adn4GB is fine.
Here is the foxcon supported CPU list. *important* get on the latest BIOS installed before you pull the old CPU so the new one is recognized. http://www.foxconnsupport.com/cpusupportlist.aspx?type=...

Look for deals in overstock on a Core 2 quad. Or drop in the dual core below. Here is a rating by tiers of various CPUs you can use as a reference http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/cpu-gaming-performa... You want to get a CPU at least three tiers about the E2200.

Net: Slap in 2GB or 4GB DDR2 ram that supports 1333 FSB speeds (discard the 512MB already there. if you don't know it's speed) $45 anywhere. Add in an E6850 $123, boxed, and you have a little life in this system. http://www.amazon.com/Intel-Dual-Core-3-0GHz-1333MHz-Pr...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

With shipping, etc, you have a nice system for less than $200. No reformat required.
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September 14, 2011 12:31:05 AM

Thank you all for your expertise! I greatly appreciate it! :hello: 
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September 14, 2011 1:33:08 AM

Best answer selected by feelingBULLISH.
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September 14, 2011 3:03:22 PM

feelingBULLISH said:
Best answer selected by feelingBULLISH.

n
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nYou really should be careful about getting a Quad Core. I don't recommend it. XP can behave badly, or may not even be able to recognize the addition of more cores to the CPU... Stick with a Dual Core chip, you will save some money and will be a big improvement.
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September 15, 2011 1:58:41 AM

If you get a heat spreader make sure that it does *not* extend above the dimm. In some uses the raised heat spreader interferes with the CPU cooler. (or check the clearance carefully.)
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September 15, 2011 2:04:49 AM

ntel E8400 Core 2 Duo Processor 3 GHz 6 MB Cache Socket LGA775
by Intel
4.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (48 customer reviews) | Like (7)
List Price: $191.99
Price: $154.99

Amazon.com is $30 cheaper. See if newegg will pricematch.
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September 16, 2011 5:24:59 PM

I already purchased and received the following parts:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Thanks, anyways. :sol: 

Several more questions, guys.

Does anyone know how to update the Foxconn G31MX BIOS software without having to go into the BIOS and updating it with Foxconn's tedious instructions?

How do I properly remove the CPU and what do I clean the surface of the old CPU with?
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September 19, 2011 1:04:57 AM

feelingBULLISH said:
I already purchased and received the following parts:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Thanks, anyways. :sol: 

Several more questions, guys.

Does anyone know how to update the Foxconn G31MX BIOS software without having to go into the BIOS and updating it with Foxconn's tedious instructions?

How do I properly remove the CPU and what do I clean the surface of the old CPU with?


Bump. I would really appreciate the help, guys.
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September 20, 2011 3:02:44 AM

"How do I properly remove the CPU and what do I clean the surface of the old CPU with?"

Hi, There is a lever on the MB. The MB manual should show you how to operate it. Then the old cpu pulls strait up with no side to side or twisting action.

"Does anyone know how to update the Foxconn G31MX BIOS software without having to go into the BIOS and updating it with Foxconn's tedious instructions?" Sorry, no. GL.

Artic makes a cleaner for the old heatsink/cpu == but I thought your new CPU was a boxed CPU that included the new heatsink and fan. So not sure what you are cleaning (unless you are selling old parts on ebay).
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September 21, 2011 4:26:34 AM

tsnor said:
"How do I properly remove the CPU and what do I clean the surface of the old CPU with?"

Hi, There is a lever on the MB. The MB manual should show you how to operate it. Then the old cpu pulls strait up with no side to side or twisting action.

"Does anyone know how to update the Foxconn G31MX BIOS software without having to go into the BIOS and updating it with Foxconn's tedious instructions?" Sorry, no. GL.

Artic makes a cleaner for the old heatsink/cpu == but I thought your new CPU was a boxed CPU that included the new heatsink and fan. So not sure what you are cleaning (unless you are selling old parts on ebay).


Thank you for your expertise. So after updating the BIOS and installing the CPU and RAM, it should work accordingly with the existing Windows OS, correct?
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!