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Upgrading my current piece-of-junk

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September 8, 2012 6:37:30 AM

Alright, so I've been saving up and am going to buy a $2000+ beast in a month+, however in the meantime I'd like to spend a little and upgrade my current one a tiny bit because it's kind of a huge piece of sh** that really makes me angry. Normally I could play minecraft and games like that fine but recently it's been pooping out on me and many things don't work, ie automatic updates (I'm guessing because of a critial error because I've tried literally everything to fix it and nothing works) and who knows what other problems this thing has. Here are the specifications;

OS: Windows XP Professional (also I apparently have Windows Home Professional and another Windows XP Profession when I'm booting up?)
Processor: AMD Athlon 64 3200+ 2.0GHz
Memory: 1024MB
DirectX Version: 9.0c
Graphics card: NVIDEA GeForce 6200

This is from DxDiag, I don't know the PSU or Motherboard etc.

Since I've never built or even modified a PC before I think this would be good experience for me to upgrade this one, and I may be able to apply what I've learned to my $2000 build. I'm thinking of buying this:
http://ncix.com/products/?sku=45275&vpn=FQC-04649&manuf... Windows 7 and putting it in and upgrading to 4GB RAM, and then using the same Widnows 7 disc for my new $2000 build (could I do that?).

I wouldn't even know how to physically install the RAM (or configure BIOS) or even what RAM would work with my MOBO. I know the BIOS is Pheonix - AwardBIOS v600PG.

Tell me what you think.
(I live by a canadian NCIX and will be purchasing stuff from there)

More about : upgrading current piece junk

September 8, 2012 7:05:44 AM

I dont think Microsoft updates WinXP anymore, too old. You could probably download the latest patches off the web and install them manually though, but again, probably quite old patches.

I would not use that OS on the PC, otherwise you will have to pay for another when you get your proper build.
Thats an OEM copy, when you install it, its key is tied to that motherboard. If you try to install it on any other system, you will get an invalid install until you put a valid key in.
If you get the proper retail version of Windows 7, you can use the key on multiple machines though.

I wouldnt try upgrading it. Most I would do is buy the graphics card you are getting for your $2000 rig and put it in there until the rest of it arrives. It will probably be bottle-necked quite badly, but it would be better than the card you have in there. Check if the PSU can handle it first, wouldn't want to burn it (and your new GFX card) out.

Here's some build guides, though actually constructing a PC is probably the best way to get experience. I would pull that one apart and reconstruct it so you have some idea of what to do.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HIJx6Y3tofg
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_56kyib-Ls

On a rig that old, chances are its using DDR2 RAM. Thats about the only compatability issue you are going to run into with RAM.
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September 8, 2012 7:08:46 AM

Well, if you only want to spend money to "make it work" without buying a new computer, you could throw another 3 gigs of ram at it and buy windows 7 home edition and it should be cool. =D Otherwise, reinstall windows xp.
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September 10, 2012 5:27:42 AM

manofchalk said:
I dont think Microsoft updates WinXP anymore, too old. You could probably download the latest patches off the web and install them manually though, but again, probably quite old patches.

I would not use that OS on the PC, otherwise you will have to pay for another when you get your proper build.
Thats an OEM copy, when you install it, its key is tied to that motherboard. If you try to install it on any other system, you will get an invalid install until you put a valid key in.
If you get the proper retail version of Windows 7, you can use the key on multiple machines though.

I wouldnt try upgrading it. Most I would do is buy the graphics card you are getting for your $2000 rig and put it in there until the rest of it arrives. It will probably be bottle-necked quite badly, but it would be better than the card you have in there. Check if the PSU can handle it first, wouldn't want to burn it (and your new GFX card) out.

Here's some build guides, though actually constructing a PC is probably the best way to get experience. I would pull that one apart and reconstruct it so you have some idea of what to do.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HIJx6Y3tofg
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_56kyib-Ls

On a rig that old, chances are its using DDR2 RAM. Thats about the only compatability issue you are going to run into with RAM.


Is this the Windows 7 that will work on multiple machines http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1683... (Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate English )? Also on an OEM win7 does that mean I can't use it to reinstall windows 7 on the same machine? Another thing, so that means if I bought a new motherboard I would also have to buy another windows 7?

The graphics card I am getting for my new build is the GeForce GTX 670, unless a 680 is on sale. I'm pretty sure it would be extremely bottlenecked lol. Could I perhaps buy a good PSU (one with really high wattage like 750 watts for my new build) put that in it along with a 670/680 and slowly buy new parts for it? But then I'm not going to be using a lot of the wattage... hmm. Also keep in mind the monitor I'm using is a piece of crap I think it's an Acer-AL1916WAB-A179 and although it says its 19" "viewable" it's actually barely 17" when I measure it myself. Could I buy a new monitor as well or would the GFX work with this thing. This was the monitor I was thinking of getting: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...
it's 120hz for gaming, NVIDIA 3D Vision 2 for when I buy nvideas 3D glasses for playing games in 3D (sounds pretty awesome). If I did all this, wouldn't my cpu and RAM super bottleneck everything though? What if I also spend like $20 and got some cheap DDR2 2x2GB RAM?

memadmax said:
Well, if you only want to spend money to "make it work" without buying a new computer, you could throw another 3 gigs of ram at it and buy windows 7 home edition and it should be cool. =D Otherwise, reinstall windows xp.


No... I am getting a new computer guaranteed. I already have $1200 to spend right now, and I will have the other $800 hopefully by the end of the month.

I watched this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dfaUqk9wQOU&feature=relm...
Is BIOS setup really THAT easy? Basically all you do is setup the harddrive(s)?
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September 10, 2012 6:21:25 AM

That would work on multiple machines, yes. But you dont need to pay an extra $230 for Windows Ultimate. You want a retail copy of Home Premium (though I cant find any on Newegg).
An OEM key (once installed) cannot be used again unless its on the same motherboard. You can change the whole rig, but as long as its the same mobo, the key will work.

The graphics will display to any monitor if there is the proper connection. Whether you want to get a new monitor is up to you, though I will say that Benq unit is a good one.
Yes, likely putting any hardware that's designated for your $2000 rig inside the old one will bottleneck like crazy. You could update your old rig to lessen this, but I personally dont see the point. Why sink money into a rig that's going to be replaced anyway?
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September 10, 2012 9:40:14 AM

manofchalk said:
That would work on multiple machines, yes. But you dont need to pay an extra $230 for Windows Ultimate. You want a retail copy of Home Premium (though I cant find any on Newegg).
An OEM key (once installed) cannot be used again unless its on the same motherboard. You can change the whole rig, but as long as its the same mobo, the key will work.

The graphics will display to any monitor if there is the proper connection. Whether you want to get a new monitor is up to you, though I will say that Benq unit is a good one.
Yes, likely putting any hardware that's designated for your $2000 rig inside the old one will bottleneck like crazy. You could update your old rig to lessen this, but I personally dont see the point. Why sink money into a rig that's going to be replaced anyway?


Is this what I would need then?
http://www.ncix.ca/products/?sku=45349&vpn=GFC-00025&ma...

I'm having a tough descision between these two monitors:
BenQ XL2420T and the BenQ XL2420TX, the one I showed you. The difference is basically the X comes with Nvidea 2 Glasses, and has a built in sensor thingy for 3D. I think it has a few more feratures too. I think I'll make a thread in monitors (wait, is there even a monitors section? Where would I go about posting this then?) debating between these two and the new FORIS FS2333. Both those BenQ are on sale though so I might just pick one up.

Theres also a GTX 680 FTW on sale for $90 which makes it the cost of an average GTX 670 ($500), I'm thinking of just getting that, hooking it up to make sure it works then just wait to get everything else.

There is also this 1000 PSU on sale, and I know 1000 watts is overkill but it's gold certified so I'm not sure if that would mean I'm not wasting the watts I'm not using. The reason I'm thinking of getting it is because it's more than half off, not sure if its a trusted brand / retailer though; OCZ Z-SERIES 1000W 80+ Gold Certified 24PIN ATX 83A 12V Afc Modular Power Supply W/ 135mm Fan. On for $100 regular $270.
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September 10, 2012 9:50:58 AM

Thats the one. But again, if you only intend to install on one machine, an OEM copy would be a cheaper option.

From what I have seen, those glass' can be worth up to $175 on their own, and are required for Nvidia 3D Vision.

While there isnt much reason for a 680 over a 670, but if its on sale and roughly the same price you might as well.

The efficiency of a PSU only determines how close the the power supplied to the rig and the power pulled from the wall are.
So if a 80% efficient supply giving 100W to internal components, it will draw 120W from the wall. The 20% inefficiency is where the extra 20W from the wall is coming from.
Also a PSU will only supply the power needed, a 1000W unit wont supply more than the rig needs.

OCZ isnt the greatest brand, but they are decent enough. I would grab that PSU personally, 1000W of 80+ Gold power with a fully modular interface at $100 is great value. Make sure to read some reviews on the unit though.
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September 10, 2012 10:41:29 AM

manofchalk said:
Thats the one. But again, if you only intend to install on one machine, an OEM copy would be a cheaper option.

From what I have seen, those glass' can be worth up to $175 on their own, and are required for Nvidia 3D Vision.

While there isnt much reason for a 680 over a 670, but if its on sale and roughly the same price you might as well.

The efficiency of a PSU only determines how close the the power supplied to the rig and the power pulled from the wall are.
So if a 80% efficient supply giving 100W to internal components, it will draw 120W from the wall. The 20% inefficiency is where the extra 20W from the wall is coming from.
Also a PSU will only supply the power needed, a 1000W unit wont supply more than the rig needs.

OCZ isnt the greatest brand, but they are decent enough. I would grab that PSU personally, 1000W of 80+ Gold power with a fully modular interface at $100 is great value. Make sure to read some reviews on the unit though.


Yeah I think I will get the X one, it's on sale for $500 save $70 so that will save me the taxes and $10 which is nice.

Exactly, the only reason I would buy a 680 is if it was on sale. So if I got the 680, how would I go about putting it in my PC (if I also got a new power supply) would it even fit on my motherboard?

Err so if I get an 1000 watt PSU, and say my system only needs 300 watt, it's going to draw out 360 watts? I thought that it draws out as much power as it can... I don't know much about PSU's. Also apparently 80 plus gold is actually 90 percent efficiency?

Apparently that specific PSU is the very first 80 plus gold certieified PSU released on the market. It's also like 3 years old, cause I'm watching reviews about it from 2009. Still doing research...
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September 10, 2012 10:47:23 AM

Yep, a PSU will only provide how much the machine needs. It being rated 1000W only tells you that it can provide up to 1000W.
I used the 80% efficiency and a 100W draw example because they are easy numbers to use, you PSU efficiency and draw will be different.
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September 10, 2012 11:02:19 AM

I think I'm going to pick it up, along with that GTX 680. The thing is, I don't know if it's going to be compatible with my current setup. Or even how to set it up.
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September 10, 2012 11:29:13 AM

It should all be compatible. PCI-Express slots are forward and backward compatible, the card will work in the slot. There should be no issues with compatibility with the PSU. Only thing I can think of is if the case or something isn't physically large enough, but if its a normal ATX size case I dont see this being a problem.

Watch those video's I posted up above, both will show you how to assemble a rig from scratch.

And if you have to wait on the 680 and PSU to arrive, pull apart the rig you have and put it back together. Thats how I learnt to do it before I built my gaming rig.
Its fairly simple, all the connectors and such are designed to only go in one way and its fairly simple to tell which is the right way. Again, those video's will show you everything you will need to know.
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September 10, 2012 11:36:44 AM

thetechnoobguy said:
I watched this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dfaUqk9wQOU&feature=relm...
Is BIOS setup really THAT easy? Basically all you do is setup the harddrive(s)?


You don't even need to do that if you aren't RAID'ing drives like on that build. The only tweaks to the BIOS you would have to do (prior installation of Windows) is checking if the boot order is right and making sure that your HDD/SSD's are in AHCI mode, not IDE.
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September 10, 2012 4:25:25 PM

I always thought BIOS was way more complicated than that. Like I bought a cheap used DVD drive bay at the thrift store and installed it and it said it detected a new drive bay, and it promted me to select what kind of drive bay and I'm pretty sure I chose the wrong one because it's not working. It appears as a floppy?

I really don't like "should". If you want I can take pictures of the internals so that I know 100% that it will work or not.

I have a HAF 912 collecting dust, I bought it awhile back when it was on sale, I'm thinking of taking apart this build and building it in their for practice, although I'm not sure if everything would fit. Like the backplate, the metal piece thingy that protects your ports like usb and everything, would that even fit on my HAF 912 or does my HAF 912 come with one?

Do you think the GTX 680 will work in my current build? Would it better or worse with it in? I'm keen on getting that 680 since it's on sale.
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September 10, 2012 9:53:50 PM

BIOS isnt all that complicated, and nowadays is downright simple with EUFI BIOS's becoming standard. You get a mouse and a proper Graphical User Interface in their onw.
HAF cases are all universally large, you will have no issue with space.
Yes, it will work (why dont you trust me *throws hands in the air*!)
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September 11, 2012 2:04:33 AM

Haha ok thanks man, I'm just really cautious because this is a lot of money I'm spending, I want to make sure everything will be compatible. Thank you so much for your help. I'm going to try setting up my HAF and rebuilding my current setup.

I need some help with setting up the cooling. This will also be the cooling for my new build. The case comes with a front 120mm fan and a rear 120mm fan. I was thinking of taking the 120mm front fan (intake) and putting it on the side, then buying an intake 200mm fan for the front and a fan that blows outword (don't know the word) 200mm for the top, and bottom mounting the PSU. Does this sound good? Also, what are some cheap/ good 200mm fans I can buy at NCIX?

Also, do you think when I get the 680 should I put it in to test it but after that take it out or should I leave it in? I'm thinking it would be better without it what do you think?
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September 11, 2012 6:02:30 AM

The word is exhaust. Thats a pretty standard airflow setup, no issue with it.
Coolermaster Megaflows are pretty good 200mm fans. You can get them in red or blue (or no) LED colours.

There wont be an issue with having the 680 in until the rest of the rig shows up. Do whatever you want.
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September 11, 2012 6:58:22 AM

Alright so I can use those fans as both intake and exaust?

I was doing some thinking and I'm wondering if I can get that power supply, and the gtx 680, and get a motherboard and the i7 I was going for, a OEM copy of windows 7 and some ddr3 8gb or 16gb and hook everything up, my only concern would be the hard drives, I don't know if my current hard drives would be compatible, I know my current ram wont and besides I wouldnt want 1gb anyway. Then I'll basically have my new PC, and then when I have the money I'll get that benQ and a big HDD and SSD etc. Does that sound like a good idea?
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September 11, 2012 7:19:11 AM

yep, they can be used as both. To change between intake and exhaust, you have to get a really small stick (almost like a toothpick) and pry the fan blades off, and then... Nah just kidding, you just flip it around. There should be markings on the fan case telling which way it blows, or just go by what you can feel.

Well, it sound like you have a computer. Of course its a good idea.

Any SATA HDD will be compatible with the machine, though any old Windows installs on them wont work.

I would advise against a large SSD. Very expensive and if you are careful with where programs/data goes, you don't need that much space on it. 128GB is plenty, I am only using about half of mine right now (though it is good to never fill an SSD, they work better with a bit of room).
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