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Upgrading my Acer Aspire

Last response: in Systems
January 1, 2012 4:47:51 PM

Hello, I have an Acer Aspire Ax1200-U1520A and I was wondering how easy it would be to upgrade it a bit. Heres a link to it on Newegg ; I know ill need a new case in order to put in a power supply, but thats about all I know.

More about : upgrading acer aspire

a b ) Power supply
January 1, 2012 6:13:28 PM

Honestly, both easy and not very easy.

You could change some things around here and there, but all the parts are many generations old so the whole computer kinda serves as one big bottleneck.

It would be better to just get a whole new computer from DELL or something.

$650ish will get you a full set of parts that are the bread and butter of today's computing world.

It really depends on how much you have and what you want to use the computer for.

You can get a full computer deal with an AMD Llano processor for like $250. It won't have awesome graphics, but you can't expect that for $250 either. Awesome graphics cards cost more than that just for the graphics card, much less the whole system.

In any event, I can guide you for how to squeeze a little bit more out of this computer, but I would honestly advise against buying older parts and trying to keep this computer going a lot longer.
a b ) Power supply
January 1, 2012 6:19:19 PM

Wow that's one old dinosaur. I would just completely start from scratch and get a cheap Llano build (like Raiddinn said). What are you doing with your computer? Do you want to upgrade for gaming, web, or just faster computing?
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January 1, 2012 6:25:54 PM

Well I have been doing a lot of Photoshop, Illustrator, and blender but have kinda hit my max with the 3d. Im just looking at extending this computer for a bit; I will be buying something new in probably 6-12 months so a cheap patchwork fix is all im needing. Thanks.
a b ) Power supply
January 1, 2012 6:47:30 PM

It is hard to tell which is the best processor your board can support, but the best strictly AM2 processor is probably the Athalon 2 6400+ which is probably going to be sold out everywhere, but even if you could get it then it wouldn't be a huge upgrade over the one you have.

If you got one, you could expect to go about 25% faster on photoshop for all of the expense.

4850e in Photoshop Retouch Artists = ~56 sec
6400+ in Photoshop Retouch Artists = ~43 sec
2500k in Photoshop Retouch Artists = 12.6 sec

On Amazon, you can get the 6400+ used for $99 or new for $250.

On Newegg, you can get the 250k new for $220 with free shipping.

You are really just throwing good money after bad if you try to keep this thing going longer.

Better to just not upgrade now and do the whole upgrade 2 months sooner in the future.
January 1, 2012 6:49:33 PM

$50 isn't bad; ill look at what my power supply wattage is and go from there.
a b ) Power supply
January 1, 2012 6:59:15 PM

The reason the card is so cheap is because it is borderline not worth having.

The GeForce 520 gets a Passmark score of 343, a HD 6770 (which is the lowest I would suggest to anyone in terms of discrete cards) costs ~$100 and has a Passmark score of 1749.

That is ~ 6x more power for 2x the cost.

Usually you pay 2x the cost and get like 20% more power, but in this instance it is 600% more instead of 20% more.

Still, I wouldn't suggest getting that right now.

New video cards will be available in the next few months that will cause the prices of all the previous cards to get slashed most likely.

Better to just wait on this too until you are ready to do the whole thing in one shot.
January 1, 2012 7:37:12 PM

Thank you, ill look into my next system then. I just hate getting a whole new computer after only 4-5 years.
a b ) Power supply
January 1, 2012 7:45:46 PM

4-5 years is generally a pretty standard lifetime as far as a computer is concerned.

Businesses often go on a 3 year rotation.

You can just continue to use what you have till it dies, but if you want more power its tough to bring a 4-5 year old computer up to speed with individual parts.

You can salvage things like the hard drive and CD drive fine, but the parts that do the real work can't really get brought forward into today's world easily.
January 1, 2012 7:59:33 PM

I realize that a 520 is not the best bang for the buck card around but his case is a slim case, and there are no lo-pro 6770's atm, and the the 520 doesnt require a 6pin power cable, and many apps can benefit from the cuda tech. This way you can upgrade for just the cost of a video card, go the 6770 route and you'll be buying other parts as well, granted you'll get more performance but my way is cheap and plug and play.

just sayin
a b ) Power supply
January 1, 2012 8:21:19 PM

His board already has onboard graphics on it. We can't even be sure the 520 will be a step up from there. The 520 may very well be a downgrade.