Looking to get the most out of an older home built system

I'm looking to hopefully upgrade what I can of my current system as cheaply as possible while reusing as much as I can. I'm not entirely sure what can all be salvaged at this point, as the system is getting a bit long in the tooth. This rig has been, and will be used for gaming. I'm not looking for the best of the best highest eyecandy gameplay. I'd like to be able to at least play some of the newer titles (namely DayZ) at respectable framerates.

Approximate Purchase Date: e.g.: Potentially in the next few months.

Budget Range: No set budget, though cheaper and less upgrades the better.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming

Are you buying a monitor: No

Parts to Upgrade: (Not looking to upgrade hard drives, they are just here for power/sata requirements of motherboard)

Intel Core 2 Duo E6550 @ 2.33GHz 54 °C
Conroe 65nm Technology

4.00 GB Dual-Channel DDR2 @ 399MHz (4-4-4-13)

MSI MS-7350 (CPU 1) 43 °C

1024MB GeForce 9500 GT (nVidia) 40 °C

-Hard Drives
156GB Western Digital WDC WD1600JB-00GVA0 ATA Device (PATA)
313GB Western Digital WDC WD32 00AAJS-22RYA SCSI Disk Device (ATA)
977GB Western Digital WDC WD10 EACS-00D6B0 SCSI Disk Device (ATA)
977GB Seagate ST310005 28AS SCSI Disk Device (ATA)

-Power Supply
Thermaltake TR2 430w

Do you need to buy OS: No

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com

Location: Watertown, WI

Parts Preferences: Intel/Nvidia

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Your Monitor Resolution: 3360x1050 (Dual 1680x1050 at the moment)

Additional Comments: Dual DVI-Out Graphics is a must for dual monitors.

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: Recently tried playing DayZ on any sort detail level or resolution, and was a complete failure. Tired of playing most games at mid to low detail at lower resolution with horrid framerates. Basically trying to get the best bang for my buck with what I already have.
11 answers Last reply
More about looking older home built system
  1. Your resolutions are optimistic for a low end build. If you don't mind only gaming on one, you could go a lot cheaper. That said, here goes.
    I3-3450 $179

    500 gb hard drive $69

    8 GB ram. $34 (low speed yes, but low latency)

    Reuse your case.

    H61 mobo $39

    AMD 7770 $107

    reuse power supply.
  2. adgjlsfhk said:
    Your resolutions are optimistic for a low end build. If you don't mind only gaming on one, you could go a lot cheaper. That said, here goes.

    Apologies, I only plan on playing on one monitor, not dual screen. Usually play fullscreen window on one (when I am able), and use other for browsing or chatting, though lately I play games window mode at 1280x720.

    I don't suppose just a GPU upgrade to something like a GTX 550 will do the trick with possibly another 4gb ram in my current mobo/cpu?

    Again, not looking for anything overly special, I'd like to keep it as simple and as cheap as possible for now, as I'd like to completely redo everything within the next year or two. Just need a quick and cheap fix until then.
  3. Well here's some info~

    Here's your motherboard: http://us.msi.com/product/mb/P6N-SLI.html#/?div=Basic or http://us.msi.com/product/mb/P6N-SLI-Platinum.html#/?div=Basic There is two versions.

    Core 2 Quad is your max CPU:
    Only product newegg has and it's expensive. Unless you find one used and cheap.

    The max speed ram is 1066 mhz (expensive): http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100006650%20600006066&IsNodeId=1&Description=DDR2%20PC2-8500&name=4GB%20%282%20x%202GB%29&Order=BESTMATCH

    You an only SLI, can't crossfire. I'm not sure if it's 2.0 pcie either. If it's not you will have to be careful. Pcie 2.1 video cards are not known to be very compatible with 1.0 pcIe slots.

    I think you support 1.0 only, and they are out of stock on newegg. :/ lol (have to find somewhere else to get them) I'm not sure if the gtx 550ti will work with 1.0x16 pcie. :/
    If it does, it won't be as fast as with a 2.0 I believe, but it would do the trick.

    I think an upgrade would be best for you.. Price wise. Re-useing your case and psu.

    Might want to try a A-10 APU it can game at your resolution. Or a 7750-7770 with a i3.
  4. NoUserBar said:
    Well here's some info~

    Here's your motherboard: http://us.msi.com/product/mb/P6N-SLI.html#/?div=Basic or http://us.msi.com/product/mb/P6N-SLI-Platinum.html#/?div=Basic There is two versions.

    It is the Platinum, if that helps.

    So yeah, PCIe 1.0..

    Edit: GTX 550 TI on pci express x16 1.1

    I'm not sure if that thread helps any? I'm not sure the difference of PCIe 1.1 and 1.0.
  5. Just upgrade anything. Almost all of that is outdated.

    If you only have $300 to spend, go with an apu. a10-5800k

    CPU: AMD A10-5800K 3.8GHz Quad-Core Processor ($119.99 @ Amazon)
    Motherboard: MSI FM2-A55M-E33 Micro ATX FM2 Motherboard ($49.99 @ Amazon)
    Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($40.99 @ Newegg)
    Case: Rosewill CHALLENGER ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.99 @ Newegg)
    Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($34.99 @ Newegg)
    Total: $295.95
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

    Could change case and psu.

    spend a lil more on memory if you want, i would say max 1866 mhz. apus benefit hugely from higher speed ram.
  6. Well the cheapest route would be the A-10 I think. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819113280 With a $50-75 motherboard. And at least 1600mhz ram. The performance of the GPU scales up with faster ram.

    I've looked around and the 10-5700 k costs the same as the 10-5700 (non k) version. :/

    Have to buy a graphics card if you go i3. About $100 dollars more added in(for something better than the A-10)

    edit: *ninja'd
  7. Thanks much for the help everyone, haven't quite decided what to do yet, but at least I know what I need to be looking for.
  8. You are running into the problem that I was having last spring where I decided to upgrade my pentium 4 computer. I had not built a computer before and was saddened that there was nothing I could do to help besides buying a new computer. I am typing this from an I5, GTX 550ti, and 8 gigs of ram.
  9. Here is my opinion...

    no no no, you don't need to upgrade your entire computer if you don't want to. yes, a 550 ti will suffice to get you playable frame rates with your current setup. you don't need more RAM in this case. it won't help you much at all at your resolution and expected gaming settings. your CPU is weaker, but not dead. yes, the ideal fun solution is to rebuild everything, but if you want to spend the money to buy an FM2 build, then don't go the route of making an FM2 build that will get you roughly the same FPS as just upgrading your GPU. spend an extra $150 bucks if you're going to do that and do it right. Again, just my opinion.
  10. I'm currently running an Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 @ 2.4GHz and it does all that I want it to except play Guildwars2 so have been looking at my the upgrade options recently. Faster second hand E series and Q series processors on ebay are currently going for more than I'd be willing to pay for a used processsor but I could get a similar speed dual core replacement for around £10-£20.

    Whilst looking for a replacement I noticed some sellers were claiming to have overclocked 1.8GHz E series processors upto 3.0GHz. Could you over clock on your current motherboad ? Worst case you blow the processor but I suppose you would need a better CPU cooler. Best case is buy a second hand CPU cooler off ebay, overclock the hell out of it then buy a second hand GPU - this could give you an ok solution until Haswell (next spring) when Ivy and Sandy bridge prices will drop.

    Unfortunaly for me my dell optiplex 745 also has a shitty 280w power supply in a shitty desktop case and only 1Mb of memory - so I'd need a new psu, a new case, a new 775 motherboard (so I can buy new DDR3 memory) and a new GPU just so I can play Guildwars2 on a processors worth about £10 - this doesn't make any sense. So its time to spend about £1000 on a new machine just so I can play Guildwars2 - this doesn't make any sense either as I'll probably get bored of it within weeks and then go back to not playing games again.
  11. Augray37, the main problem with an FM2 upgrade, is that I believe it will be gone by next year. Now that you mention it, You might just want to get a 550ti now and when Haswell comes out to get a 4th gen I3.
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