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Upgrading My Computer


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#1 Jason S

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 12:45 AM

Backstory (Skip if you could care less): My brother use to build computers as both a hobby and a profession, and when he moved out, he left behind a computer (Linux) which he was using as a server, and various extra parts he was keeping in storage. After getting his permission, I changed the server from Linux to Windows XP Pro. and added a sound and video card, speakers, and wrestled around with the a rear speaker port that went bad for a few million years to make it work for everyday use. As of late, I have began working extensively with video editing and am quickly realizing that this computer is no longer as adequate as i would like for it to be. That is why i am planning on upgrading it over the next few weeks/months to catch it up with my needs (desires). Here are some of my computer specs so you can get an idea of what i am working with:

(Begin caring now if you didn't already)

Mainboard: ASUS A8N-SLI Premium 1.02 (Bus Clock: 200MegaHertz)

Memory: 2*512MB Modules, with 2 open slots.

Drives: Maxtor 6B250S0 [Hard drive] (250.99 GB) AND Western Digital External USB (250GB)

Processor:2.20 gigahertz AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core. 128 kilobyte primary memory cache. 512 kilobyte secondary memory cache. 64-bit ready. Multi-core (2 total)

OS: Windows XP Professional

Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce 7900 GT

Multimedia: Blackmagic Intensity Pro, Realtek AC'97Audio

*this info was obtained by a once over glance at a Belarc Advisor System scan, it is possible that i accidently left out important info. Ask if you notice anything out of the ordinary.


Nothing has been overclocked, and to be quite frank, I am not too confident in poking around in my computer's bios anyways.

So, to me the most necessary upgrade, especially for editing and rendering video seems to be my low RAM. I have been looking at Mushkin.com for some good deals, but can't decide whether or not to add 2*1gb sticks, giving me 3gb of RAM, or to break the bank to also replace the 2*512MB with 2*1gb sticks giving me 4gb RAM. What would you say is the best move for me both financially and functionally? Keep in mind i am planning on capturing, editing and rendering HD video.

Other than upgrading memory, I was wondering if there are any major standouts in my setup that you would recommend i upgrade, and what seems ok. I was considering upgrading my MOBO, but i am afraid that my 500-600 USD budget might not agree :thumbsup:

Also, my system is currently running at 32bit, but everything seems to be 64bit ready. Is it just a matter of changing my OS or do i need anything else? I bring this up because i believe as a college student i can get a Windows 7 upgrade disc for pretty cheap.

Thanks in advance for all input, I sincerely appreciate it!

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#2 dpunisher

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 05:40 AM

If it was mine, I would grab this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16820231047 and possibly a newer/faster/bigger hard drive like a WD black or something similar. No need to put anymore into that system for your needs. The memory can't be carried over to a new build.

It does have PCI-E slots, so you could upgrade videocards if needed. If rendering HD video, the newer videocards do a lot of the HD encoding/decoding onboard, so that could be a boost. I just get uncomfortable recommending upgrades on older systems like this because any money you put into the memory/CPU etc is money that is gone. At least you can carry over the SATA hard drives and PCI-E videocard over to your next build.

I would have no problem upgrading to WIN7. Just make sure all of your components are compatable. http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-7...de-advisor.aspx

EDIT: Google "gpu hd encoding" for some good reading on GPU assisted encoding for HD video.

Edited by dpunisher, 19 August 2010 - 05:49 AM.

I am a retired Ford tech. Next to Fords, any computer is a piece of cake. (The cake, its not a lie)

3770K @4.5, Corsair H100, GTX780, 16gig Samsung, Obsidian 700 (yes there is a 700)





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