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Upgrade Question and Suggestions

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!
13 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about upgrade question suggestions
  1. 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...
  2. 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=N82E16813186205
    $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=N82E16819103872
    $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=N82E16820231421
    $23 G.SKILL Value Series 4GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333
    OS: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116986
    $100 Windows 7 home 64bit (upgrade is $20 less)

    Total: $248 + S&H (not counting MIR, combo or specials)
  3. Best answer
    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=mb&socket=Socket%20775&model=G31MX&cputype=Intel

    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-performance,3007-5.html 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-Processor/dp/B000R99ESI/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820178219

    With shipping, etc, you have a nice system for less than $200. No reformat required.
  4. Thank you all for your expertise! I greatly appreciate it! :hello:
  5. I think I'm going to order this CPU:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115037

    Which RAM can you guys recommend out of this list? I'm debating weather the DIMM's should have a heatsink or not, since the computer will be closed in a closet.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100007611+600006107+600006066&IsNodeId=1&bop=And&Order=PRICED&PageSize=20&Page=1
  6. Best answer selected by feelingBULLISH.
  7. feelingBULLISH said:
    Best answer selected by feelingBULLISH.

    n
    n
    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.
  8. 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.)
  9. 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.
  10. I already purchased and received the following parts:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115037

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145184

    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?
  11. feelingBULLISH said:
    I already purchased and received the following parts:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115037

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145184

    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.
  12. "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).
  13. 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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