Build, Fix, or Buy and Upgrade

Approximate Purchase Date: Next 10 Days for a 7/9 Birthday

Budget Range: $350

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Older Games, Surfing Youtube

Parts Not Required: See details

Preferred Website(s) for Parts:,,

Country: US

Parts Preferences: No preference, smaller footprint the better.

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: 1440 x 900

Additional Comments: Low Power Use


I have an Acer Aspire 1700x that used to belong to my wife. About 2 years ago, it stopped powering on. I replace it with a laptop as a graduation present for my wife. About a year ago, I broke it out, determined it had a bad hard disk and replaced it. My son has been using it since then as a gaming PC. It currently has:

Intel Core 2 Duo E2220 CPU
4GB GDDR2-800 Ram
Geforce G100 GPU (Pce-e 2x16 Low Profile card)
Caviar Blue 500GB Hard Disk
DVD-R/W Drive

(One note, this is a very small form factor, I think it's called mini-ATX. I know it uses a special low profile video card and a power supply that's not normal size.)

Okay, well, last week, it stopped powering on. I'm fairly certain it's the power supply based on the tests I've done and conversations I've had with some tech friends. Here's my dilemna. The PSUs for these Aspires are expensive. The PC was outdated graphically even when it was working. My son could not run even older games at low settings. So this computer was on it's last legs unless I was able to upgrade it.

I see my options as this:

1. Fix Existing and find upgrade video card in this small form factor. $80 for PSU, ???? for Video Card.

2. Build from scratch using existing hard drive (has Vista Home Premium installed), DVD Drive.

3. Buy a cheap new/refurbished PC and upgrade graphics/memory.

I don't really have a good idea for which is the easier, cheapest, or best solution or if there maybe is another option I've not considered

Finally, laptops are so cheap now compared to desktops. Might I be better off going that route? Is something like this going to be good enough for most games like Left for Dead, Team Fortress 2, Portal, WoW?
3 answers Last reply
More about build upgrade
  1. option 2 but i would get a new everything personally.

    budget for new everything?
  2. I really can't go more than $350-400, which is why I would keep HD, DVD and anything else I could. I do have access to 3 2GB sticks of DDR3-1333 ram as well.
  3. you can reuse the drive but you will not be able to use the OS(vista). a reinstall would be required on the new board, and anyway its an OEM license tied to the Acer and will deactivate if you try to move it to another machine
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