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Want to upgrade my T43 if possible. Never done this before


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#1 tmgreene364

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 05:10 PM

***Okay - talked with several friends and a few of the folks that have helped me in the past and the consensus seems to be punt.  Therefore, check post #2 in this thread, please.*****

 

Okay - the BC community has helped me get this little fella running again.  I use it to play games and with the game upgrades, I realize I'm really close to the performance limits.  Is it possible to add more memory and a better video card to this system?  Are there other things I can do to improve the performance hardware wise? Or should I focus upgrading a 6 year old PC, whose specs I'll have to add a little later.

 

The laptop in question is a T43 I bought 2 years ago that had been refurbished.  It had been purchased from original owner (business) with many other laptops, system cleaned, battery changed, not sure about the power source.  It wasn't very expensive and I was just playing around with it.  Then I discovered MMOGs.  :grinner:

 

My current specs are:

 

Operating System
Windows XP Professional 32-bit SP3
 
CPU
Intel Pentium M 750
Dothan 90nm Technology
 
RAM
2.00GB Dual-Channel DDR2 @ 266MHz (4-4-4-12)
 
Motherboard
IBM 2687DEU (None): 
66 °C
 
Graphics
ThinkPad LCD (1024x768@60Hz)
Default Monitor (1024x768@60Hz)
ThinkPad TV (1024x768@60Hz)
Default Monitor (1024x768@60Hz)
128MB ATI MOBILITY RADEON X300 (IBM)
 
Storage
55GB FUJITSU MHV2060AH (ATA): 
35 °C
 
Optical Drives
HL-DT-ST RW/DVD GCC-4242N
 
Audio
SoundMAX Integrated Digital Audio
 
So - do I have anything to work with, or should I punt?

Edited by Landenmom, 23 December 2013 - 09:21 PM.


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#2 tmgreene364

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 09:17 PM

Since it appears the laptop isn't gonna be upgrade friendly - shall we look at my PC.  We had to replace the motherboard and power supply about 6 years ago.  The CD and DVD drives are suppose to write as well as read, but they only read sometimes.  I have an external I've been using for a while (was i the middle of a project and a deadline was looming). The case is not what originally came with the machine.  The fella rebuilding it ordered the wrong size motherboard.  Lost an SD card reader, but gained ports for USB, but we didn't buy the USB "drives" at the time.  Would love to include those in the re-build.  And I realize many of you may say, "punt and start over with everything new."  As far as how much money.  That's tough.  Like most of you - we have normal lives and expenses.  If I could do something for $350 - 400, it would be great.

 

Here's what we're working with as a start.  Don't gasp - I still have an old boxy e-machines monitor.  (Hanging head with shame. . )

 

http://speccy.piriform.com/results/bfusWB14ANlZSQrQaanchOI

 

And I'm still reading about components, specs, trying to compare things. Learning, learning, learning.


Edited by Landenmom, 23 December 2013 - 09:19 PM.


#3 Felipe2237

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 10:30 PM

So do you want to upgrade both the PC and laptop? Just a note, upgrading PC's are cheaper than upgrading laptops.

Do you game on the PC or laptop?

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#4 tmgreene364

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 10:41 PM

I have been gaming on the laptop - so I can be in the same room as the rest of the family.  But the more I read, and as you stated, it appears upgrading the PC is the better option.



#5 DJBPace07

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 01:30 PM

Given the age of the desktop PC, it wouldn't be so much as an upgrade but more of a rebuild.which I doubt you would be able to accomplish under $400 if you want an add-in graphics card for MMO's, which, thankfully, tend to have lower-end graphical requirements.

 

With your current setup, you may be be able to reuse your case (If it is a standard mid-ATX style case), optical drive, and hard drive.  Both the optical drive and hard drive can be reused if they use a SATA connection, your hard drive, though salvagable, is very small and if it is original to the PC, a bit old.  Consider replacing the hard drive with a new one if it is over five years old.

 

Here's an idea:

 

You're reusing a case, so I won't list one here, but I'm assuming it is a standard micro-ATX case without any kind of proprietary layout.

 

APU:  AMD A10-6800K Richland 4.1GHz - This A10 is a higher performing part with a good graphics card built into the chip.  AMD calls these CPU/GPU hybrids APU's.  Depending on the MMO's you play, this may be enough for gaming at medium levels.  $139

 

Motherboard:  MSI FM2-A85XMA-E35 - AMD uses the FM2 socket with their newer APU's, this allows you to use those chips.  This is a micro-ATX sized board.  $74

 

RAM:  G.SKILL Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 - AMD's APU's generally perform better with faster memory.  $79

 

Power Supply:  CORSAIR CX series CX600 600W - This has more than enough power, especially if you later decide to upgrade to a dedicated add-in graphics card.  $69

 

Operating System:  Windows 8.1 64-bit OEM - To remain current with the license, you need a new copy of Windows if you are replacing the motherboard.  $99

 

It is assumed you will be reusing the optical drive and hard drive.

 

Grand Total: $465

 

Optional Equipment (Just in case you cannot reuse)

 

Hard Drive:  Seagate SV35 Series ST1000VX000 1TB - Just in case...  $75

 

Optical Drive:  Lite-On iHAS124-04 - A basic optical drive.  $18

 

Graphics card:  XFX Double D R9-270A-CDFC Radeon R9 270 2GB GDDR5 - If you later decide the APU's graphics are not enough.  $199

 

Case:  Antec Three Hundred - In case you need a new one.  $65


3939.png

 


#6 Felipe2237

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Posted 25 December 2013 - 02:26 AM

I agree that she must rebuild, but those parts are out of her budget, and does not include a GPU. I'll post a list tommorow.

Unofficial iOS Genius


#7 Felipe2237

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Posted 26 December 2013 - 10:51 PM

Here is the breakdown of my list. This took quite some time, sorry about the delay.

 

Item                                                                                                 Price                                                                           Link

 

Motherboard:                MSI B75MA-EE3                                      $59.99                                     http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130654

 

CPU:                                Intel Pentium (Ivy Bridge)                     $69.99                                    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116963

 

RAM :                              Mushkin Blackline 4GB                         $39.99                                    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820226190

 

Power Supply:                Corsair CX430M                                     $69.99 ($20 Rebate)            http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139049                     

OS :                                 Windows 8.1                                           $99.99                                   http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832416776

 

Graphics:                       PowerColor 7750                                   $99.99 ($20 Rebate)            http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814131461

 

 

Total :                $419.94

                          -$40 rebate

 

GRAND TOTAL: $379.94

 

 This assumes you reuse your harddrive and optical drive, and that your case fits mini-ATX motherboards. 

 

Can you check that your current computer's harddrive and optical drive are both SATA, and not PATA/IDE? If not, we are going to need to purchase those as well.

 

This is a SATA vs PATA/IDE comparison:

 

http://www.computer-hardware-explained.com/image-files/sata-vs-ide-labelled.jpg

 

If they are not SATA it's fine, we have some budget room as well as we can downgrade the graphics. This current build is a very capable system, allowing you to not only game in higher graphics, but also branch out to more games.

 


Unofficial iOS Genius


#8 DJBPace07

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 01:01 PM

The parts in my list does include a GPU, it is part of the APU.  An actual dedicated add-in GPU is needed if running games beyond low or medium are desired.  If this is the case, a higher-end GPU should be considered so it will not need to be swapped out very soon. The build I put together has a higher-end quad-core CPU, again, for longevity.  Additionally, I don't list mail-in rebates in prices as they come and go and may not always be available by the time the OP decides to buy, plus, they are often a pain to redeem.  There was an error with posting the link to my APU (CPU/GPU) the link for that should be this:  AMD A10-6800K.  The motherboard I linked to is out of stock, here is an alternative:  ASUS A85XM-A FM2 AMD A85X.

 

The GPU for the A10 is very good for an integrated part, however, it will not set the world on fire with performance.  It will be able to easily handle older games or games at low graphics settings.  If you want to consider a more gaming centric setup, the price point should be increased a little.  Here are some suggested changes if you want a more gaming oriented desktop:

 

CPU:  AMD FX-6300 Vishera 3.5GHz - This is not an APU but a dedicated CPU.  In terms of performance, this is a bit more of an upgrade over the APU I suggested.  A lower-end model would be AMD FX-4130 Zambezi 3.8GHz which is about $20 less.  $119

 

Motherboard:  MSI 970A-G43 AM3+ AMD 970 - This is a basic motherboard.  Note, this is not a micro-ATX sized board, but a standard ATX.  $59

 

Graphics Card:  HIS H777FN1G Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition 1GB - This is a mid-level card and should be more than enough for MMO's.  $99


3939.png

 


#9 tmgreene364

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 12:10 AM

Thank both of you for your suggestions.  I've been out of pocket because of the holidays.  I went to the used book store and got a couple of older textbooks (2 years!) on IT so I can better understand these components and how they work together.  I've notice you both linked to New Egg.  I'll let you know how it goes!  (I'm so excited!)



#10 Felipe2237

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 12:56 AM

Great to know you are so excited! Here's a couple words of wisdom:

I think of it this way, building a computer is like building Legos. You just need a couple blocks to make, say, a Lego house. Those blocks are easy to find out if they fit or not; a Lego will not fit a Lincoln log. It really is not that hard, make sure you don't over complicate it by nitpicking the details.

Also, when picking parts, don't lock yourself in too much. Newegg has the best consistently low prices, though Amazon and TigerDirect have their moments too. Both Newegg and TigerDirect have flash sales, and if you know you need, say 4gb of ram and you already have a set in mind, but a nice 8gb set has just been put on sale for only 3 hours, do some quick research, then impulsively buy. It's ok to buy items seperately, you may save quite a bit in the process.

Your best resource is going to be the web of things, the Internet. A quick google search can summarize and synthesize information much better than a book can. You can understand concepts very quickly with Google, but that's not to say don't read those books. Those books likely describe harder concepts and more detailed aspects of components better than a forum post, so use both at your disgression.

Lastly, have fun and ask
LOTS of questions! If you ever need help, just post a new thread, or even shoot me a PM! I will probably respond faster if you do.

Good luck and regards!

FoShizz

Edited by Felipe2237, 05 January 2014 - 12:56 AM.

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