Can I upgrade this budget PC to run diablo 3?

I want to possibly upgrade one of the old computers I have so it will be able to run Diablo 3. Here are the minimum specs for the game:

Windows® XP/Vista/7 (latest service packs) with DX 9.0c
Intel Pentium® D 2.8 GHz or AMD Athlon™ 64 X2 4400+
NVIDIA® GeForce® 7800 GT or ATI Radeon™ X1950 Pro or better
1 GB RAM (XP), 1.5 GB (Vista/7)
12 GB available HD space
DVD-ROM (required for retail disc versions only)
Broadband* Internet connection
1024x768 minimum resolution

I'll list the 2 old comps I have, and ideas I had for them. Tell me what you guys think, as I know almost nothing about modern day hardware.

Comp 1 - 2008 (I think)
HP a6403w - mid size ATX towe, 250 watt psu
Intel e2160 dual core 1.8 ghz
2 GB ram
Geforce 7100 (integrated)
Here is a link to the product page -

Comp 2 - 2003 or 2004
Alienware, old full-size tower. I think it's got a 480 watt psu.
Stats not important, but if you're interested:
pentium 4 2.0 ghz
geforce ti4600
2 GB ram

Idea 1:
The HP won't run D3 because the graphics aren't supported.
The core 2 duo E2160 should be fine - min specs say pentium D 2.8 ghz. My core 2 is faster correct?
Ram is fine but I could throw 2 more ghz in there if necessary
HDD is fine
****Can this 250 watt PSU support dedicated graphics good enough to run D3? Low, medium, high options? Is there room in this case for dedicated graphics at all? What do I have to do to throw a graphics card in there?

Idea 2:
If there's no room in the HP case, what if I transplant the internals into my Alienware case with the bigger PSU. Any issues using such an old case?

Any other ideas?
4 answers Last reply
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  1. I like idea 1. Get a low power pci-e gpu (no 4 or 6 pin, if possible -- ref monthly gpu charts?). I think it'll fit.

    I like the idea of swapping bodies, so to speak. That said, many branded PCs have kinda proprietary connections, I you may have trouble getting your board properly connected to the old alienware's power switch / hdd indicator, etc. Also, even though the PSU is more powerful, you have to be sure the connections are the proper ones to power the board.

    Good luck and let us know what you decide.
  2. That core2 is indeed above minimum specs.

    The 250 watt power supply is gonna be a little tight.

    With such a low power processor and a single hard drive and disc drive you might be able to sneak in a low power graphics card no guarantees of it working at all or even being stable.

    I see no reason you couldn't just move the power supply from the Alienware tower to the hp tower, if its the same size of course

    Something like this for low power
  3. Thanks for the replies - George, that was my other idea. I'm not sure if the Alienware PSU will fit in the case but I suppose it probably would. But to dotaloc's point, the connectors might not be the same.
  4. Hi.

    (1) a HP 250 watt PSU will power your low power CPU and a good enough card no problem. Look at the HD7770 -- it's a little pricy for it's performance because it's new and because it only pulls 80W. Your processor only pulls 65W. No problem for the 250w psu.

    (2) No point in updating the Pentium D. Look at a new MB/CPU/Memory to fit the alienware case if you want to use that system.

    (3) HP uses standard ATX power supplies, I think alienware/Dell did too except for a few PCs. Google to see if your alienware was one with the messed up pinouts. If not then you can swap the PSUs if you like and get a bigger video card (e.g. HD6850)

    (4) Your 32-bit windows can only see 3.2GB of memory. IF you are going to add memory then add another 2GB ddr2 soon -- ddr2 is getting harder to find so the price is starting to climb. When you add the extra 2GB to get 4GB you'll only be able to see the max 3.2GB. You can't carry forward DDR2 into your next system.

    (5) ti4600 is not worth moving from one system to the other.
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