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Upgrading Desktop


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#1 Karl88

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 06:49 PM

I'll start by posting the information that will be needed.

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
Emachine T5230
Bios Phoenex v6PG (-----)
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+ ~2.3Ghz (Stock)
3Gig PC2-6400 DDR2 RAM (added)
ATI Radeon HD 4600 Series (added)
Motherboard (Stock, unkown)
Case Size mATX
(Note: Would post my DxDiag copy, but can't figure out how to attach a file to my post. New to the Forums)

Now for the issues at hand.

I am looking to get my build up to date. I usually use my computer for basic multimedia. I also use it for video games, but mainly for school, business, movies/music.
I am looking to get +1Gig and at least a decent Quad Core Processor. So far I have come to the realization I am very outdated on my MoBo, RAM, GPU and CPU. My case is small so I may have to upgrade to an ATX from what I believe is my stock mATX.

Any assistance will be greatly welcome and many thanks in advance. Also any good threads on Linux usage would be appreciative, but I will leave that to another post another time.

Edited by Karl88, 10 September 2010 - 06:50 PM.


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#2 DJBPace07

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 02:56 AM

Welcome to the forums Karl!!!

I have an old PC that is similar in specs to your current PC in many ways, it uses an Athlon 64 X2 4600+ with a 8800 GTS 640MB and 4GB of RAM. It can still handle many things thrown at it, but it is starting to slow down with more intensive programs. Sadly, the CPU cannot be upgraded as nothing is being made for the old Socket 939 CPU's. I'm not sure if Emachines use proprietary cases, but if they don't, you can keep it and replace the motherboard, CPU, and RAM using a Micro-ATX motherboard. If you are going to be doing more intensive things with this PC, a full ATX motherboard, and thus case, is suggested. You can probably keep some of the old components if you are on a tight budget, such as the graphics card, optical drives, and hard disk (If it is less than five years old). Since you didn't post a budget, it is a little difficult to determine just how high-end I can go. Below is an idea:

Case: COOLER MASTER ELITE 335 RC-335-KKN1-GP Black SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - This is a mid-ATX case. Be careful with selecting cases as shipping can get expensive. $49

Motherboard: MSI 870A-G54 AM3 AMD 870 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard - This is a basic motherboard using AMD's new 8 series chipset. This chipset allows for USB 3.0 and SATA 6 along with AM3 CPU's and DDR3. Both AMD and Intel are going to be releasing new CPU's next year on different platforms. AMD's upcoming AM3+ CPU's will not work in this motherboard due to their radical new design. If you want to try and use your current case, you can get the MSI 880GM-E43 AM3 AMD 880G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard. That other motherboard has the same design, but it comes with basic on-board graphics. $99 (Before $20 mail-in rebate)

(Optional) Graphics Card: HIS H577FK1GD Radeon HD 5770 - You can reuse your old graphics card, or get this. This is a mid-range graphics card that will handle most of the programs thrown at it well. But, it is still mid range. If you want to continue up the price, and performance, scale, there are more options, such as the MSI R5830 Twin Frozr II Radeon HD 5830 1GB, GIGABYTE GV-R585OC-1GD Radeon HD 5850 (Cypress Pro) 1GB, and the HIS H587FN1GD Radeon HD 5870 1GB. $129 (Before $10 mail-in rebate)

Power Supply: OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ600MXSP 600W - This is probably overkill for this setup, but if you want to get a very powerful graphics card or use Crossfire you will have the needed power. $69 (Before $20 mail-in rebate)

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz - This is a decent quad core CPU. The Phenom II X4 965 is more expensive and is only slightly faster than this. Since this CPU is Black Edition, the multiplier is unlocked allowing for easy overclocking. AMD will be releasing the new AM3+ platform next year. Those CPU's are incompatible with AM3 motherboards, however, AM3 CPU's will work in AM3+ motherboards. $154

RAM: CORSAIR 4GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 - This motherboard takes DDR3 memory and this is a single 4GB stick of it. $89

Operating System: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit OEM - If you are using an OEM version of Windows, you need to repurchase a copy of Windows 7 to remain within the license. There is nothing stopping you from simply reusing your current copy of Windows, technologically, only legally. If you are using a full, boxed, retail version of Windows, you can move it between PC's freely. $99

Not included: Optical drives and hard drive.

Grand Total: $704 (Doesn't include shipping, rebates, and taxes. Includes graphics 5770 graphics card)

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#3 Karl88

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 04:28 PM

All the details in the world never account the minor one lost.

My budget is tight. I'll have between $100 and $150 a month (pushing it $200) to buy parts for the computer. All together I would like the PC within 3 to 6 months. To keep up with the degradation of my computers over all value.

The most intense thing I might do is a modern game. Most of my gaming is on my Playstation, so I would only be playing games a few months behind the industry. Thinking of playing an MMO soon, so that might put me a bit in the mid to high range.

My CPU/GPU are my main issue, I imagined having to get a new MoBo due to the severe outdated quality. Just hoped it wouldn't come down to it. I like the parts you put on here. All within my price range and all attainable within six Months.

#4 DJBPace07

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 09:44 PM

Within six months things might change in a major way. I suggest not committing to a parts list now, but remain aware of the changes in technologies. I'm considering upgrading to a new graphics card for Final Fantasy XIV but I'm waiting for the Radeon 6000 series for that. FFXIV is stunning in it's open beta format, but it really pushes the PC hard.

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#5 Karl88

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Posted 02 October 2010 - 10:11 PM

Thank you for the help mate. So far upgrading my PC is becoming more of a need, now that it seems I ma having failing components. I have scoped out some parts based on your information.

Now a question I do have is should I upgrade to the AM3 or use an AM2/AM3 board with DDR2 RAM as it is much cheaper and I already have DDR2 RAM and would have to buy DDR3 RAM?

I am going with a full upgrade on my GPU as it might be failing.

Would I be able to still use my HDD ( SATA2 ) with my new PC, would it have hardware conflicts.

#6 DJBPace07

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Posted 02 October 2010 - 10:30 PM

Go for the AM3 board and get DDR3 memory. All upcoming CPU's will be using DDR3 anyway. As for the GPU, I gave you some examples. I broke down and got a new Radeon 5850 from HIS, it's doing good so far. You can use your SATA drive but realize that you will have to still format it and reinstall Windows on it if the drive is running the operating system. If it is just a generic data drive where you keep music, movies, etc., then you can simply swap it into the new machine.

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#7 Karl88

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Posted 03 October 2010 - 06:53 PM

I found a card for $100 that has all the recommended above. I am also in line now for a case as I am noticing my current is not large enough for many of the parts.
I will no doubt be buying a 500GIg HDD so I might do a double drive set up. Keeping my old drive for back up and games. While using the primary for day to day tasks.

Thanks for all the help. It is putting me in the right direction towards my new computer.




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