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Upgrading 7 Year Old Desktop

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July 6, 2012 10:41:42 PM

Cyberpower NXZT

Snazy casing with 8 fans, and a water cooling system.

Motherboard - ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe ACPI
Processor - AMD Athlon 64x2 2.41 Ghz Dual Core (4800+)
RAM - 2GB (2x 1GB)
HDD - Samsung HD400LJ (400GB)
External HD - 1TB WD
Graphics - ATI Radeon HD5500 Series (1 year old) / Upgraded from Geforce 7900GTX (Broke)
OS - Windows XP Proffessional x86

Hi,

This PC was top of the range 7 or 8 years ago and very expensive. But I stopped playing top end games on it a long time ago so had no need to upgrade it (have an xbox 360). But I still play the odd strategy game eg. Total War, FM + Portal 2 and things like that, and want to play some upcoming games like Sim City, Xcom, Rome TW2.

But the main reason to upgrade is that its incredibly slow at everything these days, loading a steam game can take 5-10 mins, even years ago it took 5mins to get into a team fortress game. And running anything makes it feel like its about to drop dead. And its faster browsing the internet on my iphone. (although i barely get 4mpbs speed at the best of times). My graphics card went a year ago so I replaced it with a modern budget one, and at that time reset and deleted everything, i barely have anything installed, 2-3 games and basic things like open office, abobe, and internet stuff.


So where do I start?, my budget is as little as possible in order to have a smooth running PC which feels new. I also want to upgrade to windows 7 64bit, but should I change my motherboard, and I have heard RAM would be easy update but which one and is it compatible with motherboard. And are SSD drives a good idea? Will i be able to run some of the games i mentioned with current graphics card and cpu? Also is poor broadband effecting slowness or is it my PC too.

So many questions, really am way out of my depth.

Thanks in advance for your help.

David


More about : upgrading year desktop

July 6, 2012 10:49:08 PM

forgot to say i live in UK
July 8, 2012 8:37:42 AM

anyone...need some advice
Related resources
a b B Homebuilt system
July 8, 2012 8:39:29 AM

We understand that your budget is limited, but any chance you can give us an exact (or at least a budget range) for us to go by?
a c 118 B Homebuilt system
July 8, 2012 9:41:03 AM

I understand that your budget is limited, unfortunately that computer is so old its a money pit. $500-600 US dollars (not sure of the conversion rate) would build a tower that would run circles around that system all day. Meanwhile, putting 500-600 into upgrading that system would get you nowhere fast. And believe me can old computer parts cost a lot sometimes, since they're often priced by availability, not performance.

Fill out this form if you would, but honestly, at bare minimum, if you don't have the budget to consider at minimum, new RAM, Mobo, CPU, hard drive and most likely a power supply, you're better off suffering with it until you can.

As far as SSDs, on a budget, forget it. Not worth it.

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261222-31-build-advic...
July 8, 2012 9:42:28 AM

I hate to say it. But by the sounds of it. You're not looking at an upgrade. RAther an entirely new build. Sure some things can be salvaged. But changing any two things will not resist in a faster computer. And even if it did. The margins would be negligible. I can help you put together a build that would suit your needs.

Corey.
July 8, 2012 9:42:40 AM

I hate to say it. But by the sounds of it. You're not looking at an upgrade. RAther an entirely new build. Sure some things can be salvaged. But changing any two things will not resist in a faster computer. And even if it did. The margins would be negligible. I can help you put together a build that would suit your needs.

Corey.
July 9, 2012 10:37:02 AM

ok thanks for your replies and advice

My budget is about £200 ($300) at the moment...but maybe £400 ($600) in a few months time...(it all depends on how i can convice my wife this is for her benifit too)

I was thinking about getting windows 7 and just upgrading the RAM for about $200...but if you guys think that is not going to make much difference then i wont bother...
was really trying to see whether it was worth keeping my motherboard and proccessor for a bit longer

can anyone tell me if my current motherboard can run 64 bit windows 7?

I have a Cyberpower NZXT case, water cooling, lots of fans, do you not think it is worth salvaging these parts if i were to spend $500 on new motherboard, and intel quad core...

and that brings me onto graphics...current 5500 ATI card is only 1 year old, isnt this still servicable for now?

and you mention power supply, how do i check which model i have? and what kind of minimums for quad core proccessor am i looking for?

again...ur replies are much appriciated
July 9, 2012 6:13:01 PM

forgot to say i have a 20" screen with only 1360 x 768 resolution
a b B Homebuilt system
July 10, 2012 3:36:18 AM

Your case fans and relatively new GPU can be salvaged. But your CPU, MB, and RAM are all toast - there's no chance you can upgrade them to the point where they'll be competitive with a modern budget rig.

To check the power supply wattage and brand, just open up the case and look at the label. I personally wouldn't trust the PSU out of a PC that old.

Unfortunately I'm guessing that your water cooling won't be salvageable. I'm not a water cooler myself, so I'm speculating, but I would assume that a new processor socket would be different enough that your old water cooler would not fit; however, you could possibly reuse the reservoir and piping. Again, I don't know about that.

Is your internal HD a SATA or an IDE drive? If it's SATA, then you will be able to reuse it without any problem. If it's IDE, you'll probably want to upgrade to a new one and put your old one into an enclosure and connect it via firewire or USB.

The silver lining is that you can probably pick up a few bucks for your old DDR2 RAM on eBay.
a c 118 B Homebuilt system
July 11, 2012 9:27:34 PM

Quote:
My budget is about £200 ($300) at the moment...but maybe £400 ($600) in a few months time...(it all depends on how i can convice my wife this is for her benifit too)

Definitely wait for the $600, that would be much better. For gaming your video card even though its only a year old is not a particularly impressive gaming card, and with games, video cards are what really count. As far as your power supply, look on the unit itself, it should have a sticker to tell you what brand and model it is. If it doesn't, plan on upgrading it. Honestly as old as it is and given the fact that CyberPower tends to go cheap on PSUs, I'd plan on upgrading it anyway.

Quote:
was really trying to see whether it was worth keeping my motherboard and proccessor for a bit longer


That motherboard ran its course of usefulness out 4 years ago. Yes Windows 7 64 bit would work on it, although realistically it would slow the computer down not speed it up by installing it. As Win7 has higher system usage than XP.

As far as what you should be considering for a decent gaming setup in 2012: (in US prices)

CPU- Intel i5-3450 $200
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Mobo- Z77 Chipset board- $95
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hard Drive- 1TB ~$100

RAM- 8GB (2x4GB kit) ~$50

Decent power supply (Corsair, Antec, Seasonic, etc 500 watt) ~$50

Video card- Several options available, decent gaming cards start around $150 and can go up to as much as $1000.

A very decent upper end card currently would be an AMD 7850 (about $240), 6870s are very decent ($160), although if you're saving for a few months, Nvidia is rolling out their GTX 6 series, no benches available yet but based on the performance of their GTX 670s and 680s already out, expect 660 TIs and 650 TIs to be worth considering. Although, if you're only playing low level games, you might want to consider AMD's upcoming Trinity APUs, they're looking pretty promising.

Don't forget you still need Windows 7, or 8 (which is supposed to be out this year)
!