Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Computer upgrade help

Last response: in Components
Share
January 17, 2013 7:04:01 PM

This was my first computer build, 6 yrs ago, and she's getting old. To start, I only had about $350 to start the build, but had an old Emachines for some donor parts... What I have now is an Asus M3n78-VM MB, which can support up to 8 gigs of 1066 mhz ram, I have 3 gigs in it, I believe it's 883 mhz, a GT 220 2 gb GPU, AMD Athlon 64x2 4600 CPU, which runs at 2.4 mhz, (AM2+), 1 TB SATA 2 HD, with 64 MB cache. I'm building a new computer with my tax return, and selling this one to my good friends for their son to use for his gaming computer. He's getting $100 for late Christmas, and wants the computer to play games better, and I'm not sure what he would be best off upgrading. I'm replacing the PSU before selling it to them, because I don't want it to die and give a surge and fry everything, it's a cheap PSU in it, and at 6 yrs old, don't know how long it has left, found a Corsair 500W for like $50, and I think I'd be good with that.

Looking at a GTX 550 TI, which I've found one for $70, but read in reviews that more modern games don't like dual core CPU's, you really need a quad core. Found a quad core for about $100, but obviously, he can't get both, wondering which he would be better off with. Would like to upgrade RAM, but it has 4 slots, 3 have 1 gig sticks, so he can either buy 1 1 gig stick, and have a small upgrade, or buy a few 2 gig sticks, which in DDR2 DIMM isn't cheap, or easy to find, the MB says it takes DDR2 DIMM, can you use SDRAM still? I'm thinking no, but don't know a ton about that stuff, had a guy at the local computer store basically pick out my parts last time, this time I did a lot of research on everything and made sure to get what I want to have with plenty of room for upgrades later, plus my budget this time is about twice what I spent on the first computer, looking at about an $800 build this time.

Thanks for your time and replies

More about : computer upgrade

January 17, 2013 7:11:18 PM

If i had that computer, i would completly build a new one. Why ? Motherboard is old, processor is old, graphic card is old, ram is old. The older the things are, the higher are the chances that it can break. But really, if you want to keep it, go for a graphics card. With that dual core, the graphic card is a little too powerful. Take a cheaper one because you won't feel any difference between a GTS 450 and that 550Ti since the processor will be bottlenecking. But remeber that everything is old and the new games coming out will be heavier and heavier on the system. Better start from scratch.

- The Brownie
m
0
l
January 17, 2013 7:11:44 PM

Ouch...

What games is he going to be playing with it? Neither the 220 nor the Athlon II dual core will be running anything close to modern games, and having DDR2 ram doesn't help any either.

He's probably not going to be a graphics hog, but the 220 isn't even going to launch many games; go ahead and get the 550ti, and no worry about a quad core CPU. (It's needed for, say, battlefield 3 mutiplayer, or far cry 3... if he's playing mostly older games and doesn't mind low settings on newer stuff, that's the best way to go.)
m
0
l
Related resources
January 17, 2013 7:45:46 PM

DarkSable said:
Ouch...

What games is he going to be playing with it? Neither the 220 nor the Athlon II dual core will be running anything close to modern games, and having DDR2 ram doesn't help any either.

He's probably not going to be a graphics hog, but the 220 isn't even going to launch many games; go ahead and get the 550ti, and no worry about a quad core CPU. (It's needed for, say, battlefield 3 mutiplayer, or far cry 3... if he's playing mostly older games and doesn't mind low settings on newer stuff, that's the best way to go.)


I've played just about everything that's been released since I built the computer, all the Assassin Creed games, it wasn't happy playing 3, but barely lagged a few times, and very short, all the Fallouts, NFS series, haven't played Battlefield 3, or Far Cry, but this thing hasn't disappointed me, but again, it depends on what your used to using, give this to a kid in Africa, and he'd be amazed, take your computer to Bill gates and he'd laugh lol, the only thing I don't turn up is Res, that runs at 1024x768, then again, I just hooked up a 1080 tv instead of using my old dinosaur monitor, and now I turn it up more, though I haven't played much with the tv on here...

Bromeh said:
If i had that computer, i would completly build a new one. Why ? Motherboard is old, processor is old, graphic card is old, ram is old. The older the things are, the higher are the chances that it can break. But really, if you want to keep it, go for a graphics card. With that dual core, the graphic card is a little too powerful. Take a cheaper one because you won't feel any difference between a GTS 450 and that 550Ti since the processor will be bottlenecking. But remeber that everything is old and the new games coming out will be heavier and heavier on the system. Better start from scratch.

- The Brownie


The 550 TI is actually $5 cheaper on Newegg.com lol, and that's without a $30 rebate on the 550, which unfortunately ends before any of us will have the money...

Bromeh said:
If i had that computer, i would completly build a new one. Why ? Motherboard is old, processor is old, graphic card is old, ram is old. The older the things are, the higher are the chances that it can break. But really, if you want to keep it, go for a graphics card. With that dual core, the graphic card is a little too powerful. Take a cheaper one because you won't feel any difference between a GTS 450 and that 550Ti since the processor will be bottlenecking. But remeber that everything is old and the new games coming out will be heavier and heavier on the system. Better start from scratch.

- The Brownie


I'm going to, but they can't afford to, and it works better than you'd probably think, but then again, you're probably used to a computer more like what I'm building, whereas I'm used to stock computers, I don't know anyone else who has built a computer, so I haven't really experienced a performance computer... If they had the money, they'd probably build him one too, well, tell me a budget, and have me research and build his, but they can't...
m
0
l
January 17, 2013 7:48:33 PM

Bromeh said:
If i had that computer, i would completly build a new one. Why ? Motherboard is old, processor is old, graphic card is old, ram is old. The older the things are, the higher are the chances that it can break. But really, if you want to keep it, go for a graphics card. With that dual core, the graphic card is a little too powerful. Take a cheaper one because you won't feel any difference between a GTS 450 and that 550Ti since the processor will be bottlenecking. But remeber that everything is old and the new games coming out will be heavier and heavier on the system. Better start from scratch.

- The Brownie



It is going to a kid and building a new one is not an option. Geesh!
m
0
l
January 17, 2013 7:50:50 PM

dragonlord12832 said:
It is going to a kid and building a new one is not an option. Geesh!


Yeah but i was saying this for a general computer, didn't take this in consideration :p 

- The Brownie
m
0
l
January 17, 2013 8:48:26 PM

If the kid is happy with what you described, and isn't going to be wanting to play, say, far cry 3, then upgrade to the 550ti and be done with it.
m
0
l
January 17, 2013 9:56:31 PM

GPU would have the greatest impact on gaming performance (some MMORPG and RTS' will be CPU heavy to keep track of all the characters and variables). Wish their budget a just a tad bit higher - there are some Nvidia 650 GPUs that are right around the $100 after rebate and it would be more bang for your buck.

CPU will be more noticeable for every day multitasking but that isn't a bad Proc. Let him save up his money and buy the CPU down the road. Just make sure to help him apply thermal paste and install it so he doesn't waste his money destroying the processor.
m
0
l
January 17, 2013 10:17:29 PM

Do you have an available connector to power the 550 ti if you dont then the best you can do is a HD 7750 for slightly less money as well
m
0
l
January 17, 2013 10:43:53 PM

game junky said:
GPU would have the greatest impact on gaming performance (some MMORPG and RTS' will be CPU heavy to keep track of all the characters and variables). Wish their budget a just a tad bit higher - there are some Nvidia 650 GPUs that are right around the $100 after rebate and it would be more bang for your buck.

CPU will be more noticeable for every day multitasking but that isn't a bad Proc. Let him save up his money and buy the CPU down the road. Just make sure to help him apply thermal paste and install it so he doesn't waste his money destroying the processor.



His budget can be fudged a bit, I don't mind throwing in a little money if it will help much, and nor will his parents, we just can't turn his $100 into $200 or anything, but if there's some great fix for $125-150 we could probably make it happen, though he's going to want a controller, which I found a good one for about $25. Which card would you recommend? If there's a rebate I can loan him the money for that no problem too. He does like to play some MMORPG, mainly just Minecraft, I think that counts as one, but from looking at it, it seems to be a very low requirements game.
m
0
l
January 17, 2013 10:45:35 PM

ikes9711 said:
Do you have an available connector to power the 550 ti if you dont then the best you can do is a HD 7750 for slightly less money as well

It should, it's got a PSI-e 2.0
m
0
l
January 17, 2013 10:53:42 PM

No I am talking about a connector from the psu. Unless you are getting a new psu I doubt that your old one will have the available power connector for the 550ti. The 7750 has no need for an extra connector, drawing all it's power from the motherboard itself
m
0
l
January 18, 2013 12:12:58 PM

If it were me on that budget, I would try this (having confirmed the power supply has the requisite power and cable options):

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

That will get him above minimum requirements for the next couple of years on anything. We will still want to consider saving up his money for a CPU upgrade down the road, but that GPU will be more of a help for now.
m
0
l
January 18, 2013 4:16:08 PM

game junky said:
If it were me on that budget, I would try this (having confirmed the power supply has the requisite power and cable options):

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

That will get him above minimum requirements for the next couple of years on anything. We will still want to consider saving up his money for a CPU upgrade down the road, but that GPU will be more of a help for now.

That 650 is $20 more than the 550 TI, and according to a comparison I saw, the 550 TI is actually better still, found this which lets you compare any 2 GPU's http://www.hwcompare.com/13648/geforce-gtx-550-ti-vs-ge...
m
0
l
January 18, 2013 6:46:00 PM

If i was you i would take the hd 7750 and keep the old psu.
Then later on upgrade the cpu and psu.
m
0
l
January 18, 2013 6:58:37 PM

cdyoung1985 said:
That 650 is $20 more than the 550 TI, and according to a comparison I saw, the 550 TI is actually better still, found this which lets you compare any 2 GPU's http://www.hwcompare.com/13648/geforce-gtx-550-ti-vs-ge...


HW compare is good for a few specific tasks, but NOT for comparing graphics cards of completely different models.

Find some benchmarks - you'll see the 650 is about 10% faster.
m
0
l
!