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Desktop upgrade - tiny budget - opinions

Last response: in Systems
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July 19, 2012 7:27:12 PM

Hi everyone. Be prepared to laugh if you want because this isn't going to be about upgrading to the newest supermachine, I'm seeking advice for upgrading from useless to slightly-less-useless.

Currently using a Sony VAIO PCV-RX860 (I think this is about 10 years old now). Used a friends newer HP P6110F (new in 2009 I think) for a while and really liked it but found out they do have some upgrades in it (RAM, video card). But for under $200 I could get a stock HP like that and am still considering doing it.

CPU: SONY 2.4GHZ // HP 2.6GHZ DUAL CORE
RAM: SONY 1.5GHZ MAXED // HP 6GB (8GB MAX)
HDD: SONY 80GB // HP 640GB
EXPANSION SLOTS: SONY PCI, AGP // HP PCIe x16, PCIe x1 (4), PCI

Sony has an FX5200 card thrown in it and Audigy 2 zs for sound. Rather than spending similar money just to get a bigger HDD and newer cards for the Sony, is it more logical to get the HP or is this more of a lateral move than an upgrade? Anything else in similar price range that I could get used/eBay rather than the HP? I realize my price range will not get me far, just wanting something less than the total dinosaur I am using now.

USES: Heavy web browsing (multiple tabs Google Chrome), PhotoShop editing, occasional light weight video editing, wouldn't mind being able to load up a few games like the Sims but not at all expecting to have a "gaming" rig. Sony currently bogs down just to have multiple browser tabs open, cannot even handle displaying a video in HD without struggling, HDD clicks sometimes like it's ready to die, such a lack of storage I can't even install Windows 7 unless I want constant warnings about low storage every few hours.

YES?
NO?
GET _____ INSTEAD?

FULL Sony specs here: http://www.docs.sony.com/release/specs/PCVRX860spec.htm
FULL HP specs here: http://reviews.cnet.com/desktops/hp-pavilion-p6110f/450...
July 19, 2012 7:42:24 PM

you could look into some older shuttle machines. i have one and it is a pretty decent computer, and has an okay graphics card. enough to play a few games, but not at ultra settings or anything. also i know there is one guy that was selling some lenovo mp series small form factor computers with core 2 quads for somewhere around the 200 dollar range (eBay). they had a pci express slot too so you could add a low profile card to them. Just a thought
July 19, 2012 7:53:10 PM

The presence of a PCIe x16 slot will make a huge difference. I had the FX 5200, and it was only half decent when I was using it 8 years ago. Even integrated graphics crush it today.

The HP will definitely be faster, but I'd be reluctant to spend any money on it. You could probably get better performance out of a cheap Intel rig using the IGPU on one of their low end chips for a similar price.

Related resources
July 19, 2012 8:10:30 PM

carowden said:
you could look into some older shuttle machines. i have one and it is a pretty decent computer, and has an okay graphics card. enough to play a few games, but not at ultra settings or anything. also i know there is one guy that was selling some lenovo mp series small form factor computers with core 2 quads for somewhere around the 200 dollar range (eBay). they had a pci express slot too so you could add a low profile card to them. Just a thought


Thanks I'll see if I can find those on eBay. I know there are guys who like to slap systems together and throw them on ebay the hard part is trying to figure out which keywords to search for.

willard said:
The presence of a PCIe x16 slot will make a huge difference. I had the FX 5200, and it was only half decent when I was using it 8 years ago. Even integrated graphics crush it today.

The HP will definitely be faster, but I'd be reluctant to spend any money on it. You could probably get better performance out of a cheap Intel rig using the IGPU on one of their low end chips for a similar price.


Thanks for replying. Yeah that's the thing, even if I wanted to just upgrade the Sony, I'm stuck with an AGP and a PCI slot, so I can't even get a more modern card really. The motherboard on this thing is too outdated. The HP would at least give me the option.
July 19, 2012 9:26:54 PM

Thanks for the link. I will keep that one in mind. I'm currently combing eBay myself right now, realizing there are plenty of options aside from that specific HP I was looking at, which is good because they sold out anyway.

These are mainly my preferred specs, maybe I should have worded my original post this way instead of focusing on that specific HP.

2.4ghz+ (multi core would be nice)
2GB RAM at least to start and would like it to be able to handle at least 4GB total
PCIe x16 slot for future use
Storage wise anything 160GB+ is going to seem like a luxury to me after using this 80GB for so long
Don't care if it comes without an OS, don't need any other accessories

Been chasing my tail for a while now, I've found a few good choices but either they come lacking storage or memory and I'd have to spend more money just to get it where I want right off the bat, or they lack some of the expansion slots that I'd like to be able to utilize at a later date.

Like these little refurbished micro systems seemed pretty cool but I'd be stuck with the same 80GB of storage and I'd want to add more RAM right away so it's not really cost effective.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Intel-Pentium-Dual-Core-3-0GHz-...
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