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£200 upgrade to old machine!

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August 21, 2009 9:54:45 PM

Hi there. I am looking to spend £200-£300 upgrading my machine that I have been using for the past 4 years. Its specs are:
AMD athlon 3000+
Radeon x800 gto
A8n-e deluxe motherboard
2 gb of random ddr ram
120 western digital harddrive.

I use the computer for lots of things but primarily for playing WOW (on lowest settings I get 30 fps) and web design as well as surfing. I am mainly looking to update the CPU, GFX card, Ram and mobo, since I think these will give me the biggest performance upgrade.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: ASAP. £200-£300

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, surfing, photoshop.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: I can reuse anything from my current machine

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Anywhere that ships to the UK at a cheap rate.

PARTS PREFERENCES: No preferences

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1280x1024 atm but would go higher if I could.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Don't mind about noise as long as its stable and fast!


I was thinking about:

Elixir 2GB 6400 800MHz DDR2 Module
http://www.overclock.co.uk/product/Elixir-2GB-6400-800M...
£17.50

Radeon HD 4650 DDR3
Ebay
£50

AMD Athlon 64 X2 5200+
Ebay
£50

And I have no idea about the mobo.

Please scrap any of these if they seem like stupid choices.

I appreciate any help I get!

Thanks

More about : 200 upgrade machine

a c 136 B Homebuilt system
August 22, 2009 4:18:53 AM

The old athlon cpu's have had their day . The newer dual cores that are based on the Phenom ll are cooler and a lot more powerful .

I dont know the UK websites , but I had a look at your overclock link and put this together as a suggestion . I havebnt a clue how to make a "pound" symbol since Im a kiwi and we havent had pounds, shillings or pence since 1967 so Im just going to use $ , and you are going to be smart enough to understand why .

Im also assuming you have windows XP , so Im only including 2 gig of RAM

AMD Athlon II X2 240 2.8Ghz $42.95
http://www.overclock.co.uk/product/AMD-Athlon-II-X2-240...

Gigabyte GA-MA770-UD3 AM2+ Motherboard AMD 770 $52.92
http://www.overclock.co.uk/product/Gigabyte-GA-MA770-UD...

GeIL 2GB (2x1024MB) PC2-8500 1066Mhz Black Dragon Dual Channel Kit $34.16
http://www.overclock.co.uk/product/GeIL-2GB-2x1024MB-PC...

Sapphire ATI Radeon HD4770 512Mb $79.99
http://www.overclock.co.uk/product/Sapphire-ATI-Radeon-...

All that adds up to $210.02

The processor and gfx card are both a fair bit stronger than your suggestions , the mb is a quality item from gigabyte . The gfx card is powerful enough to look at larger monitors and is very low power consumption which might be important since you are using your old power supply

For an extra $5 you get the Regor 245 processor and for $12 more you get the Regor 250
August 22, 2009 7:46:11 PM

Thanks a lot for the suggestions outlander. I will scrap my ideas and go with yours! Couple of quick questions though.

1. Will my current 120gb western digital (4 yr old or so) hard drive slow my system?

2. Will I need to invest in a new case and case fans for that setup or will the single cpu fan and the side off of the case do?

3. I don't know whether the bother using my sound blaster audigy soundcard (again over 3 years old) or the new motherboard's onboard sound (I assume it has it). Which will give better sound quality?

Thanks for replies
Related resources
a c 136 B Homebuilt system
August 22, 2009 9:26:22 PM

You will need a case with some ventilation . Its not a particularly hot system but it still needs hot air to be moved away . Newer cases tend to have 120 mm fans that are quieter than older cases that often had 80 mm fans

A faster hard drive will make a difference to boot times and game loading times , but it has no influence on the fps a computer will achieve in a game

onboard sound is pretty good these days , but since you have the Audigy you might as well use it IMO
August 23, 2009 12:09:32 AM

Thanks again Outlander (think I should be paying you for this comp or something!) Erm so any recommendations for a cheap quality case preferably with fan included?
To me it doesnt seem worth the money to buy an expensive case but maybe I just don't realise their value for cooling...
a b B Homebuilt system
August 23, 2009 12:40:32 AM

what budget on the case ?
August 23, 2009 12:51:23 AM

Well I am now thinking that maybe it would be best to just get a new PSU as well since mine is only 450W - is this ok for this system?

Case-wise + PSU(if needed) i could stretch to £100 but that would have to include all fans needed etc. I would also appreciate anything closer to the £50 mark but maybe that is asking too much.

See what genius combos you can come up with!

Cheers
a b B Homebuilt system
August 23, 2009 12:57:38 AM

could you specify the make of the psu
a c 136 B Homebuilt system
August 23, 2009 1:49:39 AM

A 450 watt psu will certainly be enough , if its a quality unit . Some manufacturers rate psu's on the total they can out put 24/7 and others build junk and can hit a peak wattage for a few minutes before it overheats , but its real 24/7 out put would be a lot lower . And as they age power out put drops
Newer power supplies also have different power connectors for things like SATA hard drives and power connectors for top end gfx cards . Newer psu's can also be more power efficient

A cheap case can work but they can also have bad cooling and be quite noisy because of the cheap fans .

The antec 300 case mentioned b4 is a great gaming case with very decent cooling . Its aimed mainly at gamers . The whole antec range is well made .

Of the choices on the overclock site this
Antec NSK6580 + included 430 w psu $83.29
http://www.overclock.co.uk/product/Antec-NSK6580-Super-...

is a more conservative office style case and quieter than the 300 which is almost completely open to the front. The cooling will be good enough without additional fans , and the power supply is good quality too
Reviews
http://www.brighthub.com/computing/hardware/reviews/224...
August 23, 2009 12:53:05 PM

Thanks for the replies. I am going to go with the sunbeam case:

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/150299/show_product_overv...

Isn't £60 for a PSU a bit steep for my system? Is there anything that will do a good job for less?

I currently have a 450 W ATX power supply but I think I might sell my current computer instead since I am getting a new case.

Therefore can anyone recommend a good, cheap hard drive? I only need about 200-250gb or so.

Thanks

a b B Homebuilt system
August 23, 2009 1:06:07 PM

psu an case prices dont change too often and most graphics cards recommend least 500watts for best results
August 30, 2009 3:29:40 PM

Thanks guys. I have ordered all of my parts and should be building next week. I have decided to keep my current hard drive and use the new one in a RAID setup with it. Do I need to remove current mobo and gfx drivers from it before plugging it in or can I just install the new ones over them? Thanks
a c 136 B Homebuilt system
August 30, 2009 8:45:28 PM

If you are creating a RAID array you will need to reinstall from scratch


!