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Upgrade or just replace everything?

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February 16, 2013 11:18:43 AM

Hi,
I'm a but of a noob when it come to building a pc, but my dad gave me his old dell dimension c521 and said I could upgrade it for gaming. I have about a $500 budget, but I have a part time job and I'm only 15 so dont have bills and stuff to pay, so I can stretch that a budget a bit. Here's a link to the specs of the computer http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dimc521/e...
I'm not sure what needs to be upgraded apart from these which I know need to be upgraded for gaming - AMD radeon 7850 ( graphics card )
Asus M5A78L ( motherboard )
8 gb ram
Corsair CX500- 500w ( power supply )
AMD phenom II ( processor )
Windows 8 OS
I'll be getting a new monitor too, just don't know what one yet :) 

Thanks in advance guys!

More about : upgrade replace

February 16, 2013 11:54:20 AM

upgrading is waste . buy a good monitor. then build a new system with 3~5 year waranty
February 16, 2013 12:47:55 PM

Yeah, it looks like he has already upgraded this aging rig a couple of times before. Its just not going to cut it for todays games, unless you want to play at low res and low graphic settings. Problem is, when you have hardware this old, no matter what you do you will still have a an old, slow PC.

You need to start with a new modern platform, (motherboard/CPU/memory) and build on it as you can afford to. You can keep the Corsair PSU, and the video card, and the OS (if the OS is a retail version) to save you some money to start with, replace the video card when you can afford it, the PSU is actually pretty decent. The video card is pretty weak by todays standards, but you can get up and running and squeeze by right now with it, if your budget is tight.
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February 16, 2013 1:11:06 PM

Benjsean08 said:
Hi,
I'm a but of a noob when it come to building a pc, but my dad gave me his old dell dimension c521 and said I could upgrade it for gaming. I have about a $500 budget, but I have a part time job and I'm only 15 so dont have bills and stuff to pay, so I can stretch that a budget a bit. Here's a link to the specs of the computer http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dimc521/e...
I'm not sure what needs to be upgraded apart from these which I know need to be upgraded for gaming - AMD radeon 7850 ( graphics card )
Asus M5A78L ( motherboard )
8 gb ram
Corsair CX500- 500w ( power supply )
AMD phenom II ( processor )
Windows 8 OS
I'll be getting a new monitor too, just don't know what one yet :) 

Thanks in advance guys!


That board has only PCi-E 1.0a, which means ALL current generation AMD 7000 series cards WON'T work on it, due to the new cards having no backwards power signalling methods.

See:
http://www.overclock.net/a/the-final-answer-to-the-controversial-pcie-x16-version-compatibility

And no, I wouldn't recommend you to upgrade that computer. DDR2, proprietary Dell motherboard, forget about it.
February 16, 2013 6:06:24 PM

If I am going to build a new system 1: Can I re-use any parts from the current pc?
2: should I build my own or buy a pre made one?
February 16, 2013 6:26:28 PM

1. You can re use the hard drive, the power supply, and possibly the ram if its DDR3

2. Its better to build your own since you can reuse parts.
February 16, 2013 6:57:37 PM

Benjsean08 said:
If I am going to build a new system 1: Can I re-use any parts from the current pc?
2: should I build my own or buy a pre made one?


What parts do you plan to re-use ? I would imagine the HDD, and optical drive(s). Did you already buy some parts ?
February 16, 2013 7:32:17 PM

I haven't bought any parts yet, and I don't know which parts can re-use
February 16, 2013 9:17:00 PM

Benjsean08 said:
I haven't bought any parts yet, and I don't know which parts can re-use


Well, if your HDDs are SATA, you can reuse those, but I don't imagine they will be very fast, by today's standards. Your optical drive is likely IDE, although if it is SATA, you can reuse that as well. Beyond that, not much else of value, unless you/previous owner have upgraded the machine before (PSU, soundcard, etc).

February 17, 2013 10:36:11 AM

Can I re-use the case?
February 17, 2013 12:06:45 PM

Ben,

I think you'll be better off upgrading everything.

This build has a fairly weak video card, but it'll get the job done for now. The best part is you can upgrade the video card later, and this PC would handle a much better video card. It's slightly over your budget, but you said you could stretch a little. I'd take the HDD from your current PC and upgrade it later. If you have an OS you can use already, you can take that $90 and either upgrade your video card or get a new HDD (or both, in reality). This computer would be strong for years to come.

The PSU, MOBO, and CPU all have enough "umph" to get you through. Perhaps someone else can adjust it some for you, but it looks pretty solid to me.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3350P 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor ($179.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z75 Pro3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($76.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($39.98 @ Outlet PC)
Video Card: HIS Radeon HD 6670 2GB Video Card ($69.98 @ Outlet PC)
Case: Cooler Master Elite 430 ATX Mid Tower Case ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Antec Basiq Plus 550W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($54.99 @ Amazon)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $569.89
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-02-17 09:05 EST-0500)
February 17, 2013 1:03:46 PM

Benjsean08 said:
Can I re-use the case?


You MIGHT, but I wouldn't recommend it. Those brand name box cases are poorly ventilated (lower end ones). You can get a nice case for fairly cheap.

February 17, 2013 4:06:29 PM

Man this is exacty what i wanted! Is there any part i can re-use to save money?And will this be able to run modern games like crysis, battlefield, dead space 3 etc. Thanks again quote][/quote]
eyeage said:
Ben,

I think you'll be better off upgrading everything.

This build has a fairly weak video card, but it'll get the job done for now. The best part is you can upgrade the video card later, and this PC would handle a much better video card. It's slightly over your budget, but you said you could stretch a little. I'd take the HDD from your current PC and upgrade it later. If you have an OS you can use already, you can take that $90 and either upgrade your video card or get a new HDD (or both, in reality). This computer would be strong for years to come.

The PSU, MOBO, and CPU all have enough "umph" to get you through. Perhaps someone else can adjust it some for you, but it looks pretty solid to me.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3350P 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor ($179.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z75 Pro3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($76.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($39.98 @ Outlet PC)
Video Card: HIS Radeon HD 6670 2GB Video Card ($69.98 @ Outlet PC)
Case: Cooler Master Elite 430 ATX Mid Tower Case ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Antec Basiq Plus 550W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($54.99 @ Amazon)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $569.89
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-02-17 09:05 EST-0500)

February 17, 2013 4:58:10 PM

Benjsean08 said:
Man this is exacty what i wanted! Is there any part i can re-use to save money?And will this be able to run modern games like crysis, battlefield, dead space 3 etc. Thanks again quote]
[/quote]

I would spring for a better video card. Check to see if you can get a Corsair CX430 power supply from Newegg, it has a rebate right now that knocks down the price to 26.99 USD:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139026&Tpk=corsair%20cx%20430

It is a very good power supply (PSU specialist JohnnyGuru recommended), and more power than you'll need with most single GPU setups.

To source some cheap parts, you can check to see if there are any local stores that are running sales/clearance on anything from the Z68 generation to the newer Z77 generation of chipsets. You can get great deals on a decent board that way.
February 17, 2013 7:12:12 PM

@maxx

Yeah, I gave him a cheapy card that he could upgrade in a year. I think it would get him by for now (albiet, you wouldn't be running max settings). That said, if he could spend another $125 on the Video card that would be best.

@Ben

In the end, this machine would work, and let you upgrade the GPU later. Would you be happier with a better card? Absolutely. Would it be worth saving another $100? Absolutely. Would I sacrifice anything in the build to get a better card? Nope. Would this be the build I chose without planning to upgrade the video card later? Probably not.

If you could splurge now, this would run better. Of course, I'm sure there is someone out there that could build you a budget system with older gen parts that would function just as well, I am not that person.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3350P 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor ($179.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z75 Pro3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($76.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($39.98 @ Outlet PC)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card ($184.98 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master Elite 430 ATX Mid Tower Case ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Antec Basiq Plus 550W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($64.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $694.89
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-02-17 16:11 EST-0500)
February 17, 2013 8:35:22 PM

If I could încrease my budget to around $650-720 is that the system you would recommend building?
February 17, 2013 8:46:10 PM

It really depends. Where do you live? Do you live near any of these?
February 17, 2013 9:35:49 PM

I actually live in Ireland, but there's a German website with all the parts I need that ship here :) 
February 17, 2013 9:36:15 PM

Oh yeah, microcenter has got some really good prices on some items...
February 17, 2013 9:46:54 PM

The question is does that german website have the same pricing? And as i was reading the posts i was going to suggest the same thing as maxx and to get the corsair builder 430W which will save you about $30 and it is a great psu.
February 18, 2013 2:51:02 PM

From the parts you've suggested so far more or less yeah. Also I don't need a monitor as my dad said he will buy me one so all my budget can go towards the PC :D 
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