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Updating my old computer

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January 21, 2012 4:21:37 PM

Hey folks! I've got an older computer I would like to update to run modern games on max or close to max settings. Unfortunately I am not overly hardware-savvy so any help would be greatly appreciated!

Here's what I have right now:

Motherboard: ASUS A8N32-SLI Deluxe 939 NVIDIA nForce4 SLI X16 ATX AMD

Processor: 2.20 gigahertz AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core

Hard Drive: NVIDIA STRIPE 465.77G

RAM: Patriot, 3 gigs (had 4 but one went bad a couple years back)

Graphics Card: Radeon X1900

Sound Card: Creative SB X-Fi

Operating System: Win 7 Pro SP1


Here is what I was thinking of getting:

Graphics Card: HIS IceQ X Turbo H695QNT2G2M Radeon HD 6950 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666)

Will these work with my current components? I'm not sure what kind of power supply I have, would these run on whatever is running my current stuff or is that an overly important consideration? Also, I'm not sure if my motherboard or processor would be holding these newer components back, should I worry about updating these as well? I'm trying to be cost-conscious. Any advice is helpful! Thanks in advance.

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January 21, 2012 4:25:37 PM

ok well talking out of exp becuase i got a better version of the 6950 it cannot run max settings it runs games on high with a 1055t x6 processor
you also gotta get a new proccesor so that means you want amd to not have to upgrade your mobo

whats your power supply you want aroudn 750w for that 6950 and make sure your case can fit that fat card.
January 21, 2012 4:28:31 PM

Thanks for the info about the power supply. I'm not sure what mine is but I'll pull it out and check before I buy anything; I'll get one that's at least 750w if mine is not. Any rough guidelines as to what I should be looking at for a processor?

Bummer that this card wouldn't run at max settings but I can't shell out money for a nicer one at the moment. Any cards that you know of at a comparable price that would be preferable? (this one is $269 on NewEgg and highly rated)
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January 21, 2012 4:30:20 PM

well you should be looking for something that will be capable for your motherboard, you can scout fro sales and look for a 1055t x6 amd but that is am3 processor googel around for that term. or get an 990 x4 phenom something like that that is capable with your motherboard, and a aftmerarket cpu cooler around $30 will lower the sound signifigantly and increse performance
January 21, 2012 4:32:12 PM

oh and about the card uhm you might have to run crossfire cards or sli cards to achieve max settings for new release games like bf3 etc. but it is a good card none the less.
January 21, 2012 4:45:28 PM

Hmm, I googled around a bit and it looks like I'll have to upgrade the motherboard too then, unless there are any socket 939 processors that are still competitive. Sounds like they are being phased out though. Damn, I was hoping to not have to upgrade everything :p 
January 21, 2012 4:52:03 PM

Well your system isn't that terrible compared to what most had during that era. If you want the most modern ram and drives you will have no choice but to upgrade board and cpu as well. As for the card it will be held back by your cpu.

There are no AM1 939/940 era boards that support anything over DDR1.
January 21, 2012 5:00:14 PM

Yeah, it still runs Skyrim so I'm not overly complaining! (albeit on lowest settings with constant heat warnings, hah)

So now I'm looking at:

BIOSTAR A880G+ AM3 AMD 880G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard

AMD Athlon II X3 455 Rana 3.3GHz Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Desktop Processor ADX455WFGMBOX (reviews say a 4th core can be unlocked, I've no idea what that even means...)

HIS IceQ X Turbo H695QNT2G2M Radeon HD 6950 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666)

New power supply if necessary.

That brings me to about 500 bucks if I get them all on NewEgg. A bit more than I wanted to spend but not terrible. Any further advice on these combined items?

Thank you both so much for your help thus far!

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January 21, 2012 8:29:21 PM
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it looks like you'd be looking for a complete upgrade as your cpu will not run new cards effectively and your ram slots won't fit the new ram.

you should scale back the gpu and get a 6870 and get a slightly better cpu, the 6950 is good but it might be a waste for a lower end cpu, also the 6870 is the card to get right now for its price and performance. for about $150 you get a card only 15% slower than the 6950.

you can use the money to get a phenom II x4 960t which will give you a much more rounded computer or save it if you really want to save money.

the athlon x3s can be unlocked into athlon x4s but its not always garenteed, also its not always stable once you do. Basically the x3s are x4s with 1 core disabled because of either defects or because AMD needs to ship x3 chips. 3 cores is still ok.

you'd mostlikely be needed a psu, a quality on from antec or corsair would be recommended. You'd want one with more than 300watts but you do not need more than 500watts unless you want to crossfire 2 gpus. Something like the cx430 or earthwatt380d would be enough for your system.
January 21, 2012 9:02:54 PM

That's great advice! Thanks very much.
January 21, 2012 9:03:11 PM

Best answer selected by Aguycalledhaney.
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