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Upgrading An Aging System


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#1 swagger

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Posted 13 November 2007 - 08:01 AM

Hello all,

I registered on these forums almost a year ago but haven't been as active here as I would have liked... Life issues and in all honesty, forgetting about these forums temporarily have caused my lack of presence here. I hope that changes from here on out because I love to help and receive help when it comes to the world of computers and this seems like a tightly knit community :D Today, I am looking to be on the receiving end of some advice/help pertaining to upgrading my computer (specs in signature). I know there are tons of things I can do to improve it like upgrading my processor to a dual core opteron or athlon 64, maybe add some more RAM, a bigger hard drive perhaps, or even a new video card since I play video games (BF2, TF2 predominantly). My question is, if you were on a tight budget like myself (let's say no more than $250-300 dollars), what would you upgrade and why?

I know I have a few options when I looked through some of newegg's products...

$65 AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ Toledo 2.2GHz Socket 939 Processor Model ADA4200DAA5CD - OEM
$170 AMD Opteron 180 Denmark 2.4GHz Socket 939 Dual Core Processor Model OSA180CDBOX - Retail

$65 Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3250310AS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM

$110 CORSAIR ValueSelect 2GB (2 x 1GB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200) Desktop Memory Model VS2GBKIT400C3 - Retail

$110 EVGA 256-P2-N751-TR GeForce 8600GT 256MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
$120 XFX PVT84JUDF3 GeForce 8600GT 256MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
$120 PNY VCG7900SXPB GeForce 7900GS 256MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 SLI Supported Video Card - Retail

Any suggestions I didn't mention above or advice would be greatly appreciated!

Keith

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#2 FireKracker

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Posted 13 November 2007 - 11:50 AM

What is the spec of your current machine, that would allos us to maybe slavage any bits thus saving money. Mind you if all you do is play games then wouldn't an Xbox 360 be cheaper and less bother especially if your on a budget?

Edited by FireKracker, 13 November 2007 - 11:53 AM.

If all else fails, hit the reset button.
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#3 swagger

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Posted 13 November 2007 - 11:53 AM

Today, I am looking to be on the receiving end of some advice/help pertaining to upgrading my computer (specs in signature).


They are in the signature :thumbsup:

And no, I don't just play games. I do web design, online classes, chat, and many other miscellaneous things besides games. Besides my girlfriend's son has a 360 and I enjoy going from platform to platform...

Edited by K Mills, 13 November 2007 - 11:55 AM.


#4 FireKracker

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Posted 13 November 2007 - 11:57 AM

Hehe, whoops!

Personally I would upgrade the CPU (if your mobo can do so), HDD and and graphics card. Everything else seems reasonable!
If all else fails, hit the reset button.
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#5 swagger

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Posted 13 November 2007 - 05:51 PM

Anyone else? With maybe a more detailed explanation? Is my post not specific enough?

#6 Sterling14

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Posted 13 November 2007 - 07:22 PM

Get the 7900GS. Even though it doesn't use direct x 10 like the 8600GT, it is faster. The video card is the most important factor in gaming (as long as your processor isn't bottleneck it/slowing it down). Of course you still want a fast processor and 2gb ram is the recommended now. I'd say go for the video card though.
"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." - Thomas Watson, Chairman of IBM, 1943

#7 FireKracker

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Posted 14 November 2007 - 05:11 AM

Sorry for the poor reply, I was just about to leave work!!

If I was in your position I would upgrade your graphics card. It would appear according to the spec needed to run BF2 an upgrade such as the 7900GS would be more than enough to run the game. If possible a CPU upgrade would also be beneficial if funds can stretch that far. Other than that like I said, the rest of you PC setup is fine.
If all else fails, hit the reset button.
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#8 swagger

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Posted 14 November 2007 - 05:18 AM

Thanks for taking the time to come back and reply again :D I was trying to make the order last night but I just kep changing my mind on what exactly to do. I basically narrowed it down to getting the processor/mid range video card or spend more on the video card and just that. The reason why my decision is so difficult I believe is because the brand names for some of these cheapers cards like the PNY 7900GS foir $120 are unfamiliar to me. I have heard some negative things about the PNY brand and the Foxxconn brand. Basically people told me to steer away from anything but BFG/XFX/EVGA when dealing with NVIDIA cards... Well if I were get that same 7900GS with EVGA brand, it would cost me $60-70 more and I could get a 7950GT at that price. Or do I just say hey, I can spend $120 on a fairly decent mid range DX10 card such as the 8600GT and get a processor. Another option is the X1950Pro for $140 but again, the Sapphire name brand is unfamiliar to me. I have heard to stay away from them as well. Anyone got any words about these name brands? Thanks again to all who have posted so far!

Keith

#9 FireKracker

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Posted 14 November 2007 - 03:06 PM

I know what you mean, I was pondering to buy a 'lesser known make video card' a few months back but luckly I found a deal whereby I managed to get a XFX Geforce 8600GTS XXX for the same price as a more unusual make. My previous video card was a Sappphire Radeon 9600, and I found this card to be excellent, I could even play Doom 3 with it!

My only suggestion would be to narrow down the choice of card, e.g the amount of memory, clock speed, make and model. Buying a graphics cards is one of the 'boggiest' areas in that there is so much choice! Once you have decided on a model to go for e.g Nvida (chipset) 7900GS just research that particular model whether it be XFX / Nvida / BFG / EVGA.

Hope that helps!
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#10 swagger

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Posted 19 November 2007 - 07:16 AM

Don't know if anyone cared but I just wanted to update everyone on what I am doing as far as my upgrades... I ran into a few snags budget wise because an I found out the PSU on an older Compaq desktop that my girlfriend's kids use is dying. The voltages were extremely low on the +5v and +12v rail and you could hear strange noises when turning the computer on and off so I shelled out $50 on a better quality PSU. They also need internet now and the router is our bedroom so I had to get a wireless adapter for that Compaq as well which cost me another $60 bucks. So essentially I lost $110 worth of upgrades so I just decided to go big on a video card and purchased the new ATI 3870. I decided not to upgrade my processor but I will try to overclock it instead. This may save me bucks while giving me a bit more performance out of this CPU. Thanks for everyone's inputs on the matter




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