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HP Pavilion a6130n Upgrade

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November 16, 2011 11:31:29 AM

Hi everyone,

First off, I am new to this site and have been browsing the forums and it looks like a really nice community!

Now for my situation...

I have an HP Pavilion a6130n that I bought in 2007. The only upgrade it has recieved in its life has been a new graphics card. Nvidia Geforce 7300 GT.

It is getting a old and I like to play games. There was once a time when my desktop was far better than my laptop or console. Not so much nowadays.

What would be my best options for upgrading? I can try and dig up the specs on the PC, but Im not at home right now to check.

Thanks in advance!

(note: not sure what category-subsection this should be in)
a b B Homebuilt system
November 16, 2011 12:45:16 PM

This belongs in the prebuilt sub-forums ;) .

Specs would be useful. Where do you want to see the speed improvements? Gaming solely, or overall? What is your budget?

You'll be limited on your PSU for upgrading graphic cards. Might want to check the wattage of that if you can (might have to take the side panel off and look at the sticker on the PSU).

Some quick advice: more RAM. If you have less than 4GB, then you need to add more RAM to it. RAM is cheap, you can get 4GB of RAM for $50. (Cheaper still if you had a computer that supported DDR3 =P).

Depending on your budget, what goals you have in performance increases, and your current specs, you might just be better off with a new computer. But we'll hold off on that. :) 
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November 16, 2011 1:20:01 PM

Could we get a moderator to move this to the correct sub-forum?

As for specs...

RAM- 3GB DDR2 SDRAM
Video Card - Nvidia 7300 GT or GTX not sure
HDD - 400 GB SATA 3G 7200 rpm
Processor - Athlon 64 x 2 (B) 5000+ 2.6 Ghz
Motherboard - MCP61PM-HM

I would like to see it be faster in general, but I really want to see some nicer fps while gaming. I'm looking into partitioning the HDD better. 20-25 GB for OS and software, and maybe just divide the rest in half, not sure on that yet.

As for budget, I have a Dodge, that means I'm steadily broke fixing it. It depends on the month whether or not I will have money to throw at the PC. But say $75/month isnt unreasonable. Could be upwards or $150 if the truck is ok.

This is a bit of a project, and I have a decent Laptop that I can use if the PC has to be down indefinately. Even if I ended up building a really decent PC over the next few months piece by piece.
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 16, 2011 1:56:18 PM

Oi, she is an oldie all right.

Well, you have two options. Press forward with upgrading her. -Or- apply that $75 - $150 a month towards a new computer.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... for a new computer.

However, I've upgraded ancient computer before and I will help you out. As such, lets proceed with the upgrades, shall we?

Now, first thing is first. Upgrade your RAM. BAM! http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$14 and only a dollar for shipping. Its compatible with your system too (cause I checked).

Second, what Operating system are you running, and are you running it in 32-bit or in 64-bit?

Second, graphics card. This *should* work with your PSU. I'm guessing your PSU is 300 watts or below, and its only $75. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Finally, that HDD of yours *might* be filling up. I don't know. But the fuller the harddrive, the slower your system performs. Now that doesn't mean you'll take a hit every time you put something on it. But typically past 70% full is when you start get slower as more data gets slapped on it. I wouldn't replace it right now, as prices are incredibly high right now. Wait about 6 months if you can. If not, then let me know and I'll try to find a good one for you.

Now, you did say if you had to end up building a really decent PC over the next few months piece by piece... dude, I recommend that totally. And I can help you with it. I've built very fast budget systems for people before.

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November 16, 2011 2:41:37 PM

I'm all for just doing the slow budget build then. I have my laptop to occupy myself with in the meantime. That and Skyrim for my PS3 ;) 

If I do a complete build from scratch, minus keyboard, mouse and monitor, what are we looking at?

Oh monitor is a Samsung, not awesome, but no complaints.
http://wholesalecomputer.ca/index.php?_a=viewProd&produ...

I also have a 40" Samsung LCD HDTV that I could plug into :D 
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 16, 2011 3:56:42 PM

Haha, well hey it works right? My previous monitor was a 19" LG and that did me good until I broke down and got my current monitor.

Price range, it can vary from 500 to 700. It depends on what you want. I don't think you'll need anything mind blowing or insanely fast. Just something the snappy and responsive, and gives good frame rates in games at medium to high settings. Right?

Also, partitioning a HDD to put just the OS on isn't going to work. Laptop people do that, its horrible. IF you want to get performance, you need a stand-alone boot drive. Got to make sure its big enough for any programs and games you'll need to install. Minimum I would recommend is 80 GB, but that is also just me. Some games now a-days take 7 to 20 GB each.

I'll hop back in here to get you started with the build in a bit. Actually, I'll probably do this via PM with you.
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November 16, 2011 4:08:30 PM

PM sounds good. I was going to use 75 GB for Vista and games, 200 for videos, music, documents etc, 40 for downloads (until installed or moved to appropriate drive), 60 for Norton Ghost images for a backup and maybe spread the remaining 75 around to the other or use it for a games only drive.

Stand alone boot drive is new to me. What exactly do you mean by this?
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November 16, 2011 4:15:16 PM

Wait, you mean grab a SSD thats about 80 GB and load my games and OS on that and use my 400 GB for everything else?
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Best solution

a b B Homebuilt system
November 16, 2011 4:51:47 PM

Partitioning is a waste of time other than to organize but what's the point if you can just organize it in a folder. Having a hdd boot drive and a hdd storage drive is not a noticeable improvement, if you want a snappiness improvement, you'll want a ssd. A 64gb is all you need for a boot drive. 80gb if you want all your games but it only affects load times.

But I would only suggest a psu+graphics card upgrade then save up for a new rig and reuse these 2 parts. There's no point in upgrading and dumping more money in such an old rig. A gt 430 is a horrible buy when a 5670 can be found for $70 and is better performance but similar power consumption. If you upgrade the psu, I would suggest going up to a 460 or 6850.
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November 16, 2011 5:31:28 PM

I am a fan of Asus...6850 looks nice. As for the psu, what wattage would I need?
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 16, 2011 8:57:52 PM

Well if you want to reuse it for when you get a new rig, I'd say a 500w.
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November 17, 2011 12:15:27 PM

Heres a question. Can I use my existing case? Or should I bother?

I do like all of the memory card slots at the top and over the years I stickered the hell out of it with brand stickers for my truck parts. Sentimental value if you will.
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 17, 2011 3:30:09 PM

Yes you can use the case. Although it's not the best airflow for a gaming rig, you won't have to worry about overheating as the 6850 is a pretty cool card.
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November 24, 2011 10:04:51 AM

Best answer selected by Brandoss.
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