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Can I revive this old PC for around $500?

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January 16, 2012 3:40:24 PM

So my old PC is starting to get pretty bad at running today's games, and I'm pretty sure the PSU is dying, as it keeps resetting under heavy gaming load. I'd like to try to upgrade it, but I'm not sure what I can save on it. If possible, i'd like to keep it to around $500, but there's no hard cap.

All i'm fairly sure I can keep the HDD and the peripherals, but obviously if I can reuse anything I'd like to.

Below is the template, as well as my build:

=========================================

Approximate Purchase Date: February 2012

Budget Range: ~$500

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming (SWTOR, Racing Sims, Flight Sims, occasional FPS). I don't care about graphics being on extreme. Mid-High level is fine.

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, Mouse, Speaker, and See List Below

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com

Country: USA, Massachusetts

Parts Preferences: N/A

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: 1440x900, 1680x1050, 1920x1080

Additional Comments:

==================================
Current System
==================================

Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 Conroe 1.86GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor BX80557E6300

GIGABYTE GA-965P-S3 LGA 775 Intel P965 Express ATX Intel Motherboard

EVGA 01G-P3-N981-TR GeForce 9800 GT 1GB 256-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

Kingston ValueRAM 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 667 (PC2 5300) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model KVR667D2N5K2/2G

Rosewill R604TBLK-N 3 x120mm Cooling Fan Pre-Installed on the TOP,Front and Rear ,ATX Mid Tower Computer Case with 450W Power Supply

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F4 HD322GJ/U 320GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

Acer S211HLbd 21.5'' 5ms LED-Backlight LCD Monitor Slim Design

SAMSUNG 18X DVD±R DVD Burner With LightScribe Technology Black IDE Model SH-S182M LightScribe Support - OEM

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit 1-Pack for System Builders – OEM

More about : revive 500

January 16, 2012 3:53:26 PM

You can definitely reuse your HD, fans, case, DVD burner and maybe OS (but if you're upgrading it'd be best to run 64-bit as you won't have full access to your RAM).

All you'd really need is to replace the motherboard, CPU, RAM, and video card. Maybe try something like this:

Motherboard: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
RAM: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Video card: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total: $536

Or maybe replace the motherboard and CPU with this:

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

Total: $545
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January 16, 2012 3:54:01 PM

save the Hard drive, case, and motherboard. New parts, thinking maybe core 2 quad, any kind of better video card, you already have a pci-e card which is good there are lots of upgrades there, you could get say a Radeon 6770 or 6780 or something, maybe a GTX 460/470 something along the 120-150$ line, not sure about nvidia prices on certain GPUs. get a better power supply, maybe a OCZ Fatal1ty Gamer series 500W or something.
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Related resources
January 16, 2012 4:03:23 PM

mildgamer001 said:
save the Hard drive, case, and motherboard. New parts, thinking maybe core 2 quad, any kind of better video card, you already have a pci-e card which is good there are lots of upgrades there, you could get say a Radeon 6770 or 6780 or something, maybe a GTX 460/470 something along the 120-150$ line, not sure about nvidia prices on certain GPUs. get a better power supply, maybe a OCZ Fatal1ty Gamer series 500W or something.


The problem is that a lot of the parts you're suggesting have been discontinued. I've tried to find a Q6600 but the only place I could get one is eBay and the in-box ones were going for almost $400. :ouch: 

If you're going to get a low cost video card I'd actually suggest the 6790. It's won Tom's "best video cards for the money" for like 6 - 8 months straight. The 6770 is the same GPU as the 5770 - and it's certainly not a bad one per se, but if you're going to spend the money you should get the newest one you can.
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January 16, 2012 4:06:43 PM

You can save your case, dvd burnner, OS,HDD.
I choosed an Z68 mobo for a future cpu upgrade, quad core i5 2300,4GB RAM ,video card 6790 , power supply 450W 80+ bronze .
MOBO BIOSTAR TZ68A+ LGA 1155 Intel Z68
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CPU I5 2300
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
MEMORY Mushkin Enhanced Essentials 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GPU PowerColor AX6790 1GBD5-DH Radeon HD 6790 1GB 256-bit
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PSU COOLER MASTER GX 450W RS450-ACAAD3-US 450W ATX12V v2.31 80 PLUS BRONZE
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
TOTAL : $496.95 without rebates.
for 30$ more you can buy a 6850 video card http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
In the near future you must to change you case at 49$ this is a good option http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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January 16, 2012 4:14:53 PM

Quote:
MOBO BIOSTAR TZ68A+ LGA 1155 Intel Z68
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6813138319


Biostar motherboards are terrible, and that PSU is a bit underpowered for a 6800 / 6700 series (Sapphire recommends minimum 500W).
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January 16, 2012 4:18:41 PM

Why buy a z68 motherboard if you don't intend on overclocking it ?
If I were you, I'd hunt down a q6600, buy a few gigs of ddr2 ram and stuff the fastest GPU you can find for the money left.
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January 16, 2012 4:25:21 PM

nevertell said:
Why buy a z68 motherboard if you don't intend on overclocking it ?
If I were you, I'd hunt down a q6600, buy a few gigs of ddr2 ram and stuff the fastest GPU you can find for the money left.


Q6600's aren't cheap. They're going on eBay for the $300 - $400 range. And most 775 motherboards don't really have the capacity to be able to handle a GPU like the 580 or 7970. Your motherboard and RAM would still be a huge bottleneck and that would actually be a huge waste of money. You don't want to buy the same parts twice if you can help it.

Having a Z68 motherboard in a system doesn't have anything to do with whether you intend to overclock or not. Z68 supports the newest CPUs and has better support for things like SSDs and larger hard drives.
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January 16, 2012 4:57:56 PM

PC Power and Cooling Silencer 760W High Performance 80PLUS Silver SLI CrossFire ready Power Supply $120 ($100 after rebate)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASUS P8Z68-V LX LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS $120 ($110 after rebate)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Intel Core i5-2300 Sandy Bridge 2.8GHz (3.1GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 2000 BX80623I52300 $184
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9 $40
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Galaxy 60XGH6HS3HML GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) GC Version 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card $120
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total = $584 minus a few rebates

You still should upgrade to 64Bit to take full advantage of the memory, this motherboard supports up to 32GB of Ram.
I also noticed that your current power supply is only rated at 400Watts and that might be your main problem right there.
Don't skimp on the power supply, after all, it is this part the one that gives "life" to your whole system.

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January 16, 2012 5:09:37 PM

i5 2400 + Patriot 8GB DDR3 1600 $212
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
Corsair CX430 $45 (MIR $10)
http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-430-Watt-Certified-Compat...
Asrock H61M-VS $60
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Sapphire 6870 $165 (MIR $20)
http://www.amazon.com/SAPPHIRE-Radeon-6870-GDDR5-Graphi...
Lite-On Litescribe DVD Burner SATA $23
http://www.amazon.com/Lite-LightScribe-Layer-Drive-IHAS...
Total: $505 before rebates

Cheap OS since your current OS probably isn't 64-bit
http://www.softwaresupplygroup.com/microsoft-windows-7-...

Oh for the PSU since it only has 1x6+2pin for the graphics, remember to get this cable to split the PCI 6+2 pin to 2x6+2 pins
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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January 17, 2012 3:23:14 PM
January 17, 2012 3:41:13 PM

Quote:

Also planning on upgrading the power source at this time:
COOLER MASTER GX 450W RS450-ACAAD3-US 450W ATX12V v2.31 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply


Go with the Corsair CX500 or CX600 instead as the minimum power requirements for a 6870 per Sapphire's website is a 500W PSU.

The 6870 should work in your motherboard as long as it has at least one PCI-e x 2.0 x 16 slot.

Quote:

CORSAIR XMS 4GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 Desktop Memory Model CMX4GX3M1A1333C9


You need two sticks in order for a dual channel system to work properly, and RAM is so cheap that you should get 8GB instead of 4GB. This would be a better choice: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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January 17, 2012 4:17:01 PM

I assumed you wanted to reuse your OEM Win7 32-bit OS. Obviously, buying 8G RAM would be a waste, and buying another copy of Win7 adds $100 to your bill.

However, I failed to see that the combo I linked to has a a single 4G memory module. You can get a 2x2G kit for the same price.

Can you re-use that Win7 OEM copy for a new build? I think you can if you "retire" the old PC. I have no idea what that means tho, maybe have it send MS postcards from Florida?
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January 17, 2012 5:46:40 PM

g-unit1111 - thanks for the info. i'll be upgrading the PSU and GPU first, followed by the other stuff. I'll change the RAM as well when I get around to ordering the new MOBO and processor.

DXRick - I'll splurge and get new Win 7 64bit OS when I upgrade the MOBO and processor.
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January 17, 2012 6:36:37 PM

DXRick said:
I assumed you wanted to reuse your OEM Win7 32-bit OS. Obviously, buying 8G RAM would be a waste, and buying another copy of Win7 adds $100 to your bill.

However, I failed to see that the combo I linked to has a a single 4G memory module. You can get a 2x2G kit for the same price.

Can you re-use that Win7 OEM copy for a new build? I think you can if you "retire" the old PC. I have no idea what that means tho, maybe have it send MS postcards from Florida?


you coudl retire the old PC by re using the old hard drive completely, maybe use a new one for storage and the old one just for OS and any games etc you already have installed on it. that would essentially retire the old PC, even though this isnt what they mean by retire usually, but it would allow you to save money and keep the OS and any old files you wanted to keep without the time taken up by transferring files over via external HDD or flash drive or what have you. Saves money, saves time, much simpler.
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January 17, 2012 7:13:13 PM

g-unit1111 said:
Q6600's aren't cheap. They're going on eBay for the $300 - $400 range. And most 775 motherboards don't really have the capacity to be able to handle a GPU like the 580 or 7970. Your motherboard and RAM would still be a huge bottleneck and that would actually be a huge waste of money. You don't want to buy the same parts twice if you can help it.

Having a Z68 motherboard in a system doesn't have anything to do with whether you intend to overclock or not. Z68 supports the newest CPUs and has better support for things like SSDs and larger hard drives.


use ebay.co.uk you can get one for $70 shipping might be like $30 but im sure sellers will work something out.
these are used though.
new is about £140 like $170
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January 17, 2012 9:44:19 PM

CJ, just go with the PSU I listed in my suggestion, you don't need the CX500. If that was the case, I would've suggested this Antec Neo Eco 520C $60 also:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Go with the CX430:
http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-430-Watt-Certified-Compat...
It's perfectly fine, Toms Hardware did a monthly build with the i5 2400 and a 6870 using the Antec EA380 and it ran fine. There is no need for the extra $15.

With only a 151w TDP + the CPU TDP of 95, that's a total of 270-ish at most. You'll be fine with the CX430. Save some money, use the money for an upgrade later.

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January 17, 2012 9:50:22 PM

Sorry to double post but I just wanted to emphasize on to points. You should just stay with the H61 board mainly because you'll save money but also the Pro3 isn't really that much better than the VS because it still only has 1 PCI Express 2.0 slot, although it does have USB and SATA 3 which if you wanted you should go with this board instead.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Only $10 more and you get USB 3.0 and SATA 3

As opposed to the Pro3 which you'd pay $50 more since the discount won't be there anymore and the PCI 3.0 only works if you are using Ivy Bridge but by that time a better board would be out for the similar price. As for the ram, just stick with the patriot I suggested. It's good enough and great for the price. Although your 32-bit OS won't be able to take advantage.
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January 17, 2012 10:13:41 PM

Why the hate on BioStar? I just did a new build with a cheap BioStar motherboard and it seems rather solid.
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