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Need advice: £100 to spend on upgrading the worst pc ever.

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April 28, 2011 3:08:28 AM

Hello all,

Thanks for taking the time to read my thread, I build this terrible thing about 3/4 years ago when I started university she's had a few new parts over the years (I emphasize few) and its time to throw 100 English sterling at it just for a small upgrade to tide me over until I can just build a whole new rig.

Current specs (not even really specs, it reads like an obituary of pc parts)

PSU: 350w Jeantek
Mobo: Asus M2N-MX SE
RAM: 2x crucial ddr2 1gb sticks ( 6400 or 8500 I believe) 1x random gb stick (currently I'm pretty sure one of my DIMM slots has bit the dust as cpu-z only reports 1gb ram, system too.)
AMD Athlon 64 x2 4600+
HD: 250gb random hd.
GFX: Radeon 1950x GT


The question: If you were having a nightmare and your rig deteriorated into this one, if you had 100 GBP which of the equally terrible components would you chose to upgrade?

Stores I can/will use: Dabs / ebuyer / microdirect.co.uk / overclockers Prefer uk based, but can handle ones stationed in europe

When: Next few days I will make my order.

What's it for? Playing games on steam (particularly mount and blade warband / DoW 2 / CoD) and general surfing, emphasis on playing the games.


I sincerely appreciate any advice, especially considering your taking some time out your day to search around for me.

I've been out of the tech loop for 4 years while away at university, so I don't know what gets the best performance for the pound.


All the best,

Ben
a c 103 B Homebuilt system
April 28, 2011 8:44:13 AM

I personally would save my money and leave the system as is. The system is well balanced as is, the PSU is not big enough to warrant a better GPU but maybe the money would be best spent on a quality PSU that could be the basis of a new build in not so distant future. http://www.ebuyer.com/product/257232
April 28, 2011 10:41:27 AM

Thanks for the rapid response.

What about the fact that only one DIMM slot is working on my motherboard? I have the capability to be running at 3gb (given how many sticks I have) but I am currently limited to using 1. Maybe picking up a new mobo and psu. And as you say use these as a basis for a new build in the not so distant future?
Related resources
a c 103 B Homebuilt system
April 28, 2011 11:53:12 AM

I would start by cleaning out my memory slots before replacing the board.
April 28, 2011 12:07:38 PM

Will take a torch and magnifying glass to it soon, could a bios upgrade help if the slot looks fine? No mung, no burns, etc.

Like could I have just screwed a bios update one time in the past?
April 28, 2011 12:12:57 PM

Actually not a terrible build really, except for dodgy ram and old graphics card.
First of all, get your RAM up to 3GB as this will make the system a lot faster overall. Your mobo supports 1GB in each slot. Swap your current DIMMs around to find out if it's the slots or the DIMMs that are broken, then buy cheap DDR2 800MHz RAM at dabs for £13 per stick:

http://www.dabs.com/products/kingston-valueram-1gb-800m...

Then consider a low power graphics card. This 5770 is very good value for money if you can stretch to it and is about a 50% improvement over your current graphics card.

http://www.dabs.com/products/xfx-ati-radeon-5770-hd-1gb...

Here's links to 3dmark06 scores for your current card and the 5770:

http://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/1060/sapphire_radeon_x...
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-5770-overclo...

Finally, make sure your hard drive is not over 80% full as this will slow you down a lot as well. Use spacemonger to delete stuff you don't need.
April 28, 2011 12:14:55 PM

Also, any suggestions on a motherboard for reasonably cheap that would support DDR2 or DDR3 (Not simultaneously but the capability to handle both individually) as I could see this being handy when I go for a full upgrade.

I would probably pick up a better PSU with it, because my current one is essentially a wooden wheel with two hamsters whom have been smoking fags for 4 years
April 28, 2011 12:18:15 PM

ethel: I believe it is the slot sorry, both Crucial sticks are in working order
April 28, 2011 1:54:59 PM

A 100$ budget is hard to upgrade, you would need to raise it to 300-400 because it can be costy but worth it. I say (if you game) a ati 5770 would do and 4gb ram msi ka790gx-m amd althon x4 2.9 (overclock to 3.2) and you will have a better pc.
April 28, 2011 6:38:02 PM

100 english pound so like 140/160 dollers depending on exchange rate.

I don't want to fully upgrade yet, I just would like to be able to utilize my 3gb of ram, instead of the 1gb I am restricted to now since one of my dimm slots is broken (i could buy a 2gb stick for now and just wait to buy a new rig completely?)
April 29, 2011 6:57:18 PM

You are correct sir, I checked the QVL. Looks like I do need a new mobo, any recommendations?

Should I get a ddr2/ddr3 combo board to give it 'some' upgradability in the future? Or just stick with a ddr2 board?

And If I get a low-tier radion HD 4xxx or 5xxx I guess I will need a PSU over 350?

With 100, any suggestions for the combination of Mobo/psu/gfx or are there other components I should upgrade first?
May 12, 2011 1:56:24 PM

This is the best I can do for you:

Processor
------------
Athlon X2:
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=CP...
£44.99

If I was you I'd spend a little more and get this processor though:
Athlon X3:
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=CP...
£59.99


Mobo
-------
Cheap AM3/AM2+ motherboard that supports DDR2 and DDR3:
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=MB...
33.98

You can put 2 of your DDR2 sticks in it, and when you've got more money you can buy 2 2GB DDR3 sticks.


Graphics card
-----------------
6570:
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=GX...
59.99

A big step up form your current card. The minimum you should spend on graphics imo





May 12, 2011 8:21:50 PM

Wouldn’t it be smart to just buy something really good that you can put in your next pc? I don’t know when you are going to upgrade but buying all new parts that you’re just going to throw away in like 2 months seems like a waist, cant you get something 2nd hand?
!