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advice for an upgrade or slight rebuild?


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#1 branduin

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 12:17 PM

Hi guys, I was wondering if anyone can offer a little advice. I have had my current computer since 2007 and am looking to upgrade the operating system and add some RAM. My current system only supports up to 2 GB ram and that is what I currently have. What I am wondering is can I JUST replace the motherboard to get one that will support at least 4 GB of RAM? Or with my current system is it better to get get a new barebones instead of messing with trying to replace things? I know there are issues with mobo/processor compatibility so maybe getting a combo? I also have never replaced a motherboard but I have done other things like replacing my power supply after testing it and installing other cards, hard drives and such so as long as it's not too tricky I believe it's something I would be able to do. I just don't know too many computer people in RL so I would love a little advice before I run out and start buying things and tearing apart my system! I know enough to know which questions I need to ask but there's so much information out there I would love a little that's more specific to my situation and system.

I don't do gaming so I don't need anything hardcore. But I do use my computer for graphic design and web design, photography/photo editing so somewhat graphic intense depending on file size and such. I also do occasional video editing but only once in a blue moon since my system is not great for it.

Please don't laugh at my old OS but here is my current set up:

Win 2000 Pro
mobo: ASUS P5PE-VM
Intel Pentium 4 2.8GHz
2GB RAM
video card: e-GeForce 7300 GT
(if you need more specs just let me know which?)


With a new barebones system or even minimal upgrades I would like to move up to:

Win XP Pro (which I already have purchased)
4 GB of RAM (yes, I know I won't get quite the full 4GB...)
possibly a better video card (my current is compatibly with XP but I know it's not great for video)

I would prefer to keep a budget of around $300 -$400 if possible, I know that will depend a lot on if I end up with a new video card and which one though. I know I could go out and get an 8 GB system with Win7 and all that if I wanted to spend the money and maybe I'm crazy not to so feel free to do your best to convince me I'm insane to stay with an older Windows version.

But what is my best bet here? Can I replace only the motherboard and find one that will give me the capability of 4 GB RAM and still use my old chip with it? Is replacing the mobo something that *anyone* can do or is there too much room for error of a noob doing it and I'm better to buy a mobo/chip combo or even a barebones to put all of my stuff into? Do I need a better video card? Any recommendations for my situation would be helpful for me in deciding which direction to go in.

Thanks!

Edited by branduin, 11 April 2011 - 12:32 PM.


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#2 killerx525

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 07:13 PM

GPU: SAPPHIRE 100297L Radeon HD 5830 1GB $130
Ram: Kingston HyperX 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 $48
CPU: Intel Core i3-2100 Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz $125
Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-P61-USB3-B3 $90

Total: $400.56 including shipping.

There is a one more issue, how many watts is your power supply? What size is your case ie.Mid-ATX,Full ATX? Windows XP support will terminated on the 8 of April 2014.

>Michael 
System1: CPU- Intel Core i7-5820K @ 4.4GHz, CPU Cooler- Noctua NH-D14, RAM- G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB Kit(4Gx4) DDR3 2133MHz, SSD/HDD- Samsung 850 EVO 250GB/Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB/Seagate Barracuada 3TB, GPU- 2x EVGA GTX980 Superclocked @1360/MHz1900MHz, Motherboard- Asus X99 Deluxe, Case- Custom Mac G5, PSU- EVGA P2-1000W, Soundcard- Realtek High Definition Audio, OS- Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
Games: APB: Reloaded, Hours played: 3100+  System2: Late 2011 Macbook Pro 15inch   OFw63FY.png


#3 branduin

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 08:02 PM

Thanks for the reply killerx! Those all look very do-able and the price I can handle as well, thank you for the recommendations!

My power supply is 500 watts (Antec Earthwatts) which I purchased in November of 2008. Should be the same as this:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371035&cm_re=antec_earthwatts-_-17-371-035-_-Product

I am not sure about the case? (noob on these terms I guess!) I am guessing Mid since it's about 16 inches high?

Thanks too for the service date on Win XP, I will probably be upgrading again by then but I seem to have a thing about staying with the older OS for a while. I guess I like they to work the bugs out of the new ones before I go to them! LOL

Edited by branduin, 11 April 2011 - 08:03 PM.


#4 killerx525

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 08:25 PM

The reason i asked you the size of the case is because the graphics card has to fit. Do you know the model of the case ie. Thermaltake, Coolermaster?

>Michael 
System1: CPU- Intel Core i7-5820K @ 4.4GHz, CPU Cooler- Noctua NH-D14, RAM- G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB Kit(4Gx4) DDR3 2133MHz, SSD/HDD- Samsung 850 EVO 250GB/Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB/Seagate Barracuada 3TB, GPU- 2x EVGA GTX980 Superclocked @1360/MHz1900MHz, Motherboard- Asus X99 Deluxe, Case- Custom Mac G5, PSU- EVGA P2-1000W, Soundcard- Realtek High Definition Audio, OS- Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
Games: APB: Reloaded, Hours played: 3100+  System2: Late 2011 Macbook Pro 15inch   OFw63FY.png


#5 DJBPace07

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 04:09 AM

The Radeon 5830 is about 10.6 inches long. The HIS H685F1GD Radeon HD 6850 1GB is a bit more powerful for $30 more. It is also a bit shorter at nine inches long, making it good for smaller cases. The SAPPHIRE 100316L Radeon HD 6790 1GB is closer to the 5830 in terms of performance and is also a shorter card for smaller cases. As for XP, realize that you will not be able to use some of the functions of newer graphics cards, mainly DirectX 10 and 11, unless you have 7 or Vista. Also, if you are using an OEM version of XP, the version that came pre-installed on the drive, that cannot be transferred to a new motherboard as per the license. To maintain compliance with the license, you need to either repurchase XP again for buy 7, both option will cost about $100. Keep in mind that XP will be leaving support at Microsoft entirely in three years and you are currently in extended support. You're going to have to completely reinstall the operating system regardless of whichever you choose to go with. There are no technical reasons preventing you from reinstalling XP and using phone activation, only a legal one. Since you already purchased XP you could just stick with it, upgrading to Windows 7, either 32-bit or 64-bit, from XP will require a complete reinstall since there are no in-place upgrade options available. You can also get a single 4GB stick of RAM, the Mushkin Enhanced Silverline 4GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333, and then upgrade to another at a later date for the same price.

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#6 killerx525

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 06:17 AM

It's all about the keeping with the budget :)

>Michael 
System1: CPU- Intel Core i7-5820K @ 4.4GHz, CPU Cooler- Noctua NH-D14, RAM- G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB Kit(4Gx4) DDR3 2133MHz, SSD/HDD- Samsung 850 EVO 250GB/Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB/Seagate Barracuada 3TB, GPU- 2x EVGA GTX980 Superclocked @1360/MHz1900MHz, Motherboard- Asus X99 Deluxe, Case- Custom Mac G5, PSU- EVGA P2-1000W, Soundcard- Realtek High Definition Audio, OS- Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
Games: APB: Reloaded, Hours played: 3100+  System2: Late 2011 Macbook Pro 15inch   OFw63FY.png


#7 branduin

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 09:59 AM

Still trying to figure out the make of my case. Is there a *secret* place to look on it that would have the info that I am just missing?

My current video card is 6.75" and at just under 10" it would run into the back of one of my hard drives. It could still work though if I rearranged my hard drives I am guessing. I currently have 3 hard drives (with an empty slot between each but I have also purchased a TB drive to replace 2 of my drives and my new set up will only have 2 total so the top one would be out of the way for the video card. Space for cords/cables still may be an issue though?

Looking through Google images to see if I can match up the case so I'll edit if/when I find it.

#8 killerx525

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 10:15 AM

Can you take a few photo of it and post it in your next reply?

>Michael 
System1: CPU- Intel Core i7-5820K @ 4.4GHz, CPU Cooler- Noctua NH-D14, RAM- G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB Kit(4Gx4) DDR3 2133MHz, SSD/HDD- Samsung 850 EVO 250GB/Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB/Seagate Barracuada 3TB, GPU- 2x EVGA GTX980 Superclocked @1360/MHz1900MHz, Motherboard- Asus X99 Deluxe, Case- Custom Mac G5, PSU- EVGA P2-1000W, Soundcard- Realtek High Definition Audio, OS- Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
Games: APB: Reloaded, Hours played: 3100+  System2: Late 2011 Macbook Pro 15inch   OFw63FY.png


#9 branduin

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 11:20 AM

Coming back to do just that! Wasn't having any luck matching up, probably 'cause it's 4 years old and not sold any longer. I'm thinking it could be ASUS since that's my motherboard and the fan shroud connected to the higher vent on the side is perfectly matched to the fan on the motherboard? My original receipt just says "dual core barebone", nothing is listed out.

Anyway, here it is. Nothing special. It's 7" wide, 16" tall, 18" long. It's got 4 HD bays, 2 smaller (floppy?) and then 4 above for CD/DVD, etc. Right now I have the 3 hard drives spaced evenly using the 6 bays at the bottom since I have no floppy drive. The measurement from the back where the graphics card would start to the HD bays is 12 inches so with the top hard drive gone a larger card would fit as long as I had room to bring the cables down to the hard drives on the bottom. The back of the case to the HD's is about 9.25" if measured to where the cords would have to bend coming out the backs of them.

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Edited by branduin, 13 April 2011 - 11:27 AM.


#10 killerx525

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 07:46 PM

Most likely it's gonna fit in. But first can you rearrange all of the 3 hard drives to the last 3 bottom bays which creates space for the new graphics card? Is it possible to move the DVD drive to the first bay? Also you might want starting cleaning out the dust for the new build :)

>Michael 
System1: CPU- Intel Core i7-5820K @ 4.4GHz, CPU Cooler- Noctua NH-D14, RAM- G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB Kit(4Gx4) DDR3 2133MHz, SSD/HDD- Samsung 850 EVO 250GB/Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB/Seagate Barracuada 3TB, GPU- 2x EVGA GTX980 Superclocked @1360/MHz1900MHz, Motherboard- Asus X99 Deluxe, Case- Custom Mac G5, PSU- EVGA P2-1000W, Soundcard- Realtek High Definition Audio, OS- Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
Games: APB: Reloaded, Hours played: 3100+  System2: Late 2011 Macbook Pro 15inch   OFw63FY.png


#11 branduin

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 02:31 PM

:blush: Um, yes please pardon my dust! I need to take it outside with the canned air for a bit of a cleanout.

I can definitely move the drives and I will only keep 2 of the hard drives anyway for this new set up so there will be a little more space than you see currently.

A couple more noob questions. Will the fan that's on my motherboard transfer to my new board? Do I need to know anything else special to swap out the motherboards? I have never taken one out but without getting in there again I'm assuming just the little screws like everything else? I will definitely check out any how-to guides I can find and see if there's any videos on YouTube plus take some pictures before beginning so that I make sure to get everything plugged back into the correct places.

Thanks very much for taking the time to check out my set up and your recommendations. I will be getting ready to make my order this weekend! I feel a bit silly as I don't know any other women (in RL anyway) that would be excited to be getting ready to upgrade their own computer but YAY I am definitely happy to be doing it, and I really appreciate all the advice!

#12 killerx525

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 06:30 PM

Your old cpu fan will not be transferred to the new one because when you buy the new cpu they give it to you. Pretty much i reckon you should first take out the graphics card and GPU card then starting cleaning it out the dust. You can also use a brush to help clean the dust out. You will need a screw driver to swap out the motherboards.

>Michael 
System1: CPU- Intel Core i7-5820K @ 4.4GHz, CPU Cooler- Noctua NH-D14, RAM- G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB Kit(4Gx4) DDR3 2133MHz, SSD/HDD- Samsung 850 EVO 250GB/Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB/Seagate Barracuada 3TB, GPU- 2x EVGA GTX980 Superclocked @1360/MHz1900MHz, Motherboard- Asus X99 Deluxe, Case- Custom Mac G5, PSU- EVGA P2-1000W, Soundcard- Realtek High Definition Audio, OS- Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
Games: APB: Reloaded, Hours played: 3100+  System2: Late 2011 Macbook Pro 15inch   OFw63FY.png


#13 branduin

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 09:19 PM

Hey, I just wanted to bump this up and say thanks again for the advice on my system rebuild! I ordered everything in the past few weeks and just did the rebuild a week ago. I ended up blowing my own budget as I went with a slightly different gigabyte mobo and upgraded to all SATA hard drives instead of keeping my old ones but I am really happy that I was able to do everything on my own and my new system is running really great now!

It was a good thing that I did do the rebuild as I discovered one of the capacitors on my old ASUS board must have overheated at one point 'cause it was bulging a little! So perfect timing!

Thanks again for helping me and giving me a good baseline of what to look for in putting together a new system!

#14 killerx525

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Posted 24 June 2011 - 12:39 AM

No problems!

>Michael 
System1: CPU- Intel Core i7-5820K @ 4.4GHz, CPU Cooler- Noctua NH-D14, RAM- G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB Kit(4Gx4) DDR3 2133MHz, SSD/HDD- Samsung 850 EVO 250GB/Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB/Seagate Barracuada 3TB, GPU- 2x EVGA GTX980 Superclocked @1360/MHz1900MHz, Motherboard- Asus X99 Deluxe, Case- Custom Mac G5, PSU- EVGA P2-1000W, Soundcard- Realtek High Definition Audio, OS- Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
Games: APB: Reloaded, Hours played: 3100+  System2: Late 2011 Macbook Pro 15inch   OFw63FY.png





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