Upgrading PC

Time to Build: Will be doing upgrades in the next 3 to 4 months

Current PC/Build: HP A6203W Desktop w/ Upgrades

Upgrades: New GPU, ATI 5450 1G, New Fans and Cool, 4G's of Ram, Antec 430W 80 plus PSU

Budget: 200 dollars preferred, but 300/350 will be reachable toward the end of time-to-build timeline.

Link to specs of PC: http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c01080282&tmp_task=prodinfoCategory&lc=en&dlc=en&cc=us&lang=en&product=3554326#N254


Okay, at the moment I can't afford a 500 or 700 new build, but I will in about a year, so I know its pointless now to try to do that.
I am trying to do minor upgrades to my current PC to make it better for gaming.

I have upgraded the PSU to an Antec 430 Watt 80 Plus PSU, Ram to 4 gigs, and the VGA/GPU to an ATI 5450 1 gig card over clocked to 700mhz on the core clock and 575 on the memory I think. I can run it stable without it going over 60C.

I've also put in a 90mm case fan, a HDD fan, and a VGA cooler in the PCIx1 slot right above my card (because it has no fan, just heatsink).

The only thing I haven't upgraded is the Mobo/CPU. Which is what I would like to do.

I know this build won't run anything major, but since I got the ATI 5450, and might be getting another, better card, from a friend for free, I would like to upgrade the CPU as well.

So getting down to the question, I'm looking for a Micro-ATX board, with an AMD chip (just because they are cheaper and I won't have this comp for more than another year and half, two at max). If possible I would like to be able to re-use my RAM, PC2-5300, but will toss it and upgrade if I have to. I'm looking at a 200 to 350 dollar budget here, if anyone can help.

Like I said, I'm just doing an upgrade to this PC, I plan on keeping the PC anyway, even when I do make my new gaming PC in 2013/2014, but it will be primarily a work PC. So please, don't just post saying I need to build a whole new PC, or something.
6 answers Last reply
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  1. I never heard of someone overclocking a 5450 before. Personnally, I would go out on Craigslist and look for someone's used gaming PC. For example, the first desent computer I see listed in my area is this one for $375.

    "The computer is in a NZXT case and comes with 1 xbox 360 type controller and 1 playstation 3 type controller, 1 wireless mouse, 1 wired mouse, and keyboard. The computer specs are as follows: AMD PHENOM II X 4 3.4 ghz Quad core proceesor, 8 GB DDR3 RAM, 750GB hard drive, radeon HD6850 Graphics card 1GBddr5 with 3d capabilities, new EliteGroup A885gm-a2 motherboard. All of the computer stuff is only about two months old and just built. I have all the original boxes as well."

    A computer like will crush anything you upgrade slowly piece by piece. Sell the parts you have (you might get $75 for them) and buy a computer like this to put your hard drive in.
  2. I appreciate your honesty and quick reply. A few problems, I live in southern MS. Very small community and locale, and when I did a search, I couldn't find any gaming PC's or even peripherals for the past 5 months.

    Like I said, I'm doing a full build next year in the fall probably, will be keeping this PC but not using it for gaming at that point. The only thing I am looking to upgrade is MoBo and CPU. I am trying to upgrade that because my video card I have now, and possibly the one I will be getting, are superior to the 2.3 ghz Dual Core, outdated processor (this is a 2007 PC).

    So please, I'm just trying to find good Mobo/CPU combos on ebay/newegg/amazon, but I'm not that knowledgable in Mobo's or their peripherals.
  3. If you really want a mobo/CPU upgrade the best option for you would be a Phenom II X4 965 ($110 at newegg) and a generic AM3 micro atx mobo.





    I made sure to pick a motherboard with an IDE channel, since your old motherboard has one, and you are probably using at least one ide drive... most motherboards now don't have IDE.

    The motherboard I picked also has both DDR2 and DDR3 slots, meaning you can use your old RAM.

    All that said, if you want to get good performance in games, you're going to need a new GPU... I know you said you were going to get one from a friend, but if not, you should consider buying something like a HD 6850 instead ($140).
  4. The GPU I will be getting from friend will be an ATI 5770 1G. I will also look into that GPU but like I said, I'm just trying to hold me over for the next year, until I get my new build.

    What would you suggest for cheap but good heatsink/cooling? I know it has DDR2, but does that mean it can use all types of DDR2 240 Pin RAM?
  5. Anyone else have any thoughts or input on this? I'm going with that MoBo and Processor, just wasn't sure if there was a better motherboard choice. My main thing is I have like 3 or 4 fans....will that Motherboard have enough connectors for the fans?
  6. Not trying to pester the forum, but I was looking for other suggestions on motherboards that will let me keep my ram, and have enough plugins for fans and such. As well as thoughts on cooling with this case.
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