Have No Idea What I'm Doing. Console Gamer New To PC

So I been bored with console gaming for awhile now and want to get into building a PC. I think it's cool to not only have the hobby of gaming but also the hobby of building the best PC you can. My friend built his own rig awhile ago. I believe around 2006 or so and hasnt used it for awhile. He gave it to me as sort of a bare bones way to start off. Problem is i am a little bit lost. I want to purchase a new gpu so I can play diable 3 but im not exactly sure if it is that simple since his system is quite old. Right now he has a ATI VisionTek X1300. Any suggestions on what route i should take to ensure I can play diablo 3. I was thinking around the ball park of 150-200 price wise. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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  1. Radeon 5770/6770? They are cheap nowadays, but will get you playing most games at decent settings. Anything more than that and you may be bottlenecked by your CPU. What is the CPU, BTW?
  2. What are the full specs? It doesn't take much to play Diablo 3. A 6770 would do you fine. Other modern games will also run with that card on lowish settings, but if you're going for better graphics you'll have to spend more. The 6770 certainly has no place in "building the best PC you can". How much money are you willing to spend overall?
  3. You will find that PC game requirements is going to be vastly different from console game requirements. Since the hardware in a console basically does not change any game published for that console will be playable regardless what year that game was published.

    PC games are not like that. Since new hardware is constantly being released, game requirements will always increase. If your friend built that PC in the 2nd half of 2006, then it might have an Intel Core 2 Duo / Core 2 Quad or a dual core AMD Athlon 64 X2 / Athlon 64 FX CPU. If he built it in the 1st half of 2006, then the PC might have the older dual core Intel Pentium D CPU (pretty bad performance). If you are real lucky, then the PC will have a Core 2 Quad which has 4 cores.

    Something that old will likely only have a PCI-e 1.0 slot for the graphic card. It now up to PCI-e 3.0. The old PCI-e 1.0 or 1.1 card slot might have problems with PCI-e 2.1 cards which are mainly released by AMD starting with the Radeon HD 5000 series. For most people it seems sticking a PCI-e 2.1 card in a PCI-e 1.0 / 1.1 slot is fine, but there is a small percent that have compatibility issues. There are absolutely no problems with PCI-e 2.0 cards which basically means any card up to the Radeon HD 4000 series (pretty old) or any nVidia card excluding the recently GeForce GTX 600 series like the GTX 670 and GTX 680.

    You need to provide info as to exactly what components are in your PC. Most of the information can be gathered using a program called CPU-Z.


    However, you need to open up the case to find out what power supply (PSU) you have. That's going to determine how powerful of a card you can attempt to install. But due to the age of the machine I recommend buying a new PSU since they degrade over time and provide less than the rated power output. It would be best if you can post a picture of the sticker on the PSU which will list the specs. below is an example of the type of info on a PSU sticker.

    The relevant info given is that the PSU is made by Antec and can prove up to 520w of power in total. On the +12v rail it can provide up to 40 amps which translates into 480w. Most power hungry components draw power from the +12v rail(s) like the CPU and graphic card (GPU) which is why it is very important. Others include fans and the motors in hard drives and optical drives.
  4. Sheesh, ok thanks for the input guys this kinda stuff is really interesting. Okay so, again, I don't know a whole lot about computers but I believe it may be an integrated motherboard since I can't find the actual CPU chip. I did however find the PSU and it has a 430w Max. There is a lot of dust so this thing seems pretty ancient. The actual name of the PSU is an Antec True 430. The motherboard may possible be an AMD as that is the type of fan that is fit into the fan slot, but I could be wrong. I typed in the serial number and came up with it actually being a K8-800T motherboard. The picture is identical and it says "The K8-800T, an ATX form factor motherboard for AMD processors, is based on the VIA K8T800 chipset. This feature packed motherboard includes one AGP 8X slot, 5.1 channel audio, support for Ultra DMA ATA 66/100/133 and DDR 400, as well as 1 AGP and 5 PCI expansion slots. The K8-800T also includes suspend to RAM, auto power failure recovery and hardware based intelligent anti-virus protection."

    "Special Features
    Athlon 64 clawhammer (K8) up to 3600+ VIA K8T800 Chipset
    6 channels software audio codec Realtek ALC 655 1 x AGP 4X / 8X slot
    Support DDR 266/333/400 DDR SDRAM AC' 97 codec 5.1 Channel
    Serial ATA : VIA8237, 2 ports (RAID 0,1,0+1)"

    With this in mind, is this thing as old as Methuselah making it more ideal for me to just start from the ground up?
  5. Yeah, that's pretty old: Pentium 4 generation.
  6. Yeah, that's pretty old: Pentium 4 generation.
  7. Yeah, that's pretty old: Pentium 4 generation.
  8. I doubt anything's worth salvaging. Maybe the HDD.
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