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Worth upgrading?

Last response: in Systems
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August 8, 2012 4:29:21 PM

Greeting! My laptop died and I'm forced into using my wife's old desktop (Emachines ET1810) until my next gamer box is in the budget. I'm wondering if it is worth throwing a few bucks into this thing. I don't need crazy high framerates or max details, but I'd like to be able to play some modern titles. It currently has on-board Geforce 7050 graphics :( 

General Spec

Brand
eMachines

Model
ET1810-03

Type
Home / Home Office

Processor
Intel Pentium dual-core E2210(2.2GHz)

Processor Main Features
64 bit Dual Core Processor

Cache Per Processor
1MB L2 Cache

Memory
3GB DDR2

Hard Drive
320GB SATA 7200RPM

Optical Drive 1
18X DVD+/-R/RW SuperMulti Drive featuring Labelflash Technology

Graphics
NVIDIA GeForce 7050 Integrated Graphics

Audio
High-definition audio

Ethernet
10/100 Mbps Ethernet LAN

Power Supply
250W

Operating System
Windows Vista Home Premium

Motherboard

Chipset
NVIDIA GeForce 7050

CPU

CPU Type
Pentium dual-core

Installed Qty
1

CPU FSB
800MHz

CPU Speed
E2210(2.20GHz)

L2 Cache Per CPU
1MB

CPU Socket Type
LGA 775

CPU Main Features
64 bit Dual Core Processor

Graphics

GPU/VPU Type
NVIDIA GeForce 7050

Graphics Interface
Integrated video

Memory

Memory Capacity
3GB DDR2

Form Factor
DIMM 240-pin

Memory Spec
2GB x 1 & 1GB x 1

Memory Slot (Total)
2

Memory Slot (Available)
0

Maximum Memory Supported
4GB

Hard Drive

HDD Capacity
320GB

HDD Interface
SATA

HDD RPM
7200rpm

Optical Drive

Optical Drive Type
DVD Super Multi

Optical Drive Spec
18X DVD+/-R/RW SuperMulti Drive featuring LabelFlash Technology
Write Max: 18X DVD+/R, 6XDVD-RW, 8X DVD+RW, 8X DVD +/-R DL, 12X DVD-RWM, 48X CD-R, 32 CD-RW
Read Max: 16X DVD-ROM, 48X CD-ROM
Supports Label Flash on disc printing (req. Label Flash media)

Audio

Audio Chipset
Integrated

Communications

Modem
56K. V92

LAN Chipset
Integrated

LAN Speed
10/100Mbps

Front Panel Ports
Expansion

PCI Slots (Available/Total)
(1/1) PCI-E x16
(1/1) PCI-E x1
(1/2) PCI

It has a free card slot. As far as I can tell it's a PCI-E x16 slot. Doesn't say anything about 2.0 or higher so I'm thinking it's vanilla x16. I'd need a new PSU. Something inexpensive that will accommodate the GPU.

Will this processor work? Intel Pentium D 950 3.4GHz 800MHz 2x2MB Socket 775 Dual-Core CPU
http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?invtid=PD950-R&cat=CPU

What could I use for a GPU?

Thanks for any and all help!

More about : worth upgrading

August 9, 2012 7:59:14 PM

For gaming no need to touch the CPU, you have enough and getting a new one to be recognized by your eMachine BIOS could be a problem.

For gaming you need video.

Your processor is 65W, your PSU is 250 watts so you have about 100W to play with for video. Suggest you look at adding either an HD7750 (55w, $110) or HD7770 (80W, $125). If these are higher priced than your budget a $65 HD6670 will make a huge difference. None of these cards require a $40 PSU swap.



August 9, 2012 8:03:49 PM

Thanks for the reply! I'm a big fan of keeping it simple. I'll price a few video cards. Those are not out of my budget. There is hope for this old box.
Related resources
August 10, 2012 12:04:06 AM

If you budget is flexible, this article is great: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-car...

The HD7770 is about the strongest video card you can get with your current PSU because it draws rediculously low power for its display capability. If you go stronger then you need a new PSU. There are weak/no standards on PSU rating and plenty of bad PSU out there. Price is not an indicator. Consider an Antec VP450, or a Corsair Builder series -- they both have good reviews. If you go for a $$ video card you'll need two PCIe 6 pin connectors. Easiest way to get those is to get a PSU that has them (or two of the 6+2 pin you can use as a 6 pin).

I didn't see the BM layout, but a review says you can toss teh modem to free up a slot. Make sure the slot next to your 16X slot is free if you get a double-wdie video card.

For memory, 3GB is enough. You have a 32-bit OS, can't use more than 3.4GB in any case and you have 3GB already.
August 10, 2012 12:29:30 AM

The components in your PC are not worth upgrading but it's worth sticking a decent video card in there to play games. One thing to note though is that some of the 7770's are larger than the 7750 and might not fit in your case. Also the OC versions of the 7770 consume just over 100W at max load.

My PC has a 250W PSU with 15 amps on the 12V rail so if you do the math that's 180W. if i stuck a sapphire 7770 OC in there it would probably fry at max load or at the very least it would live a very short life and possibly bring down my PC with it. That being said my PC could not even fit that card in the first place.

If you're wanting to save money i would recommend a 6670 DDR5 ($70) or if you are looking to get the best card without upgrading your PSU it would be a non overclocked version of the 7770 ($130 before rebate)
August 10, 2012 1:59:40 PM

K K0 said:
...
If you're wanting to save money i would recommend a 6670 DDR5 ($70) or if you are looking to get the best card without upgrading your PSU it would be a non overclocked version of the 7770 ($130 before rebate)


Good Advice.

Hd6670 is sharply better than integrated and is cheap. Trivial to install.

HD7750 is both lower power and a better performer than the 6670. The only downside is the large-ish price difference. Install same as HD6670 http://www.hwcompare.com/11733/radeon-hd-6670-oem-1gb-v...

HD7770 is a significant performance step up over the HD7750 for a small ($25?) price difference. 7770 is the first step out of entry into something you'll keep for your next PC. HD7770 also requires a 6 pin PCIe connector for power. If your PC does not have one (and it probably doesn't) then you also need to order a $5 MOLEX to PCIe power adapter. I've used these on a few HP systems that got new video cards. The good thing is the extra cable length the adapter gives you makes getting the power to the video card easier. Here's an example adapter: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
August 10, 2012 5:09:32 PM

I guess I'm going to try a smaller HD7770. If I have to, I'll upgrade the power supply but I think I'll try just the card first. Quieter would be better also. I've heard the 7750/7770 run fairly cool and quiet. I really appreciate the help.
August 11, 2012 12:13:42 AM

Chester Burnett said:
I guess I'm going to try a smaller HD7770. If I have to, I'll upgrade the power supply but I think I'll try just the card first. Quieter would be better also. I've heard the 7750/7770 run fairly cool and quiet. I really appreciate the help.



Good luck, Can you give me a update on how things go when you instal the 7770 on your current psu?
!