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Upgrading a crappy HP - advice for a novice


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#1 crofab

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Posted 04 February 2018 - 12:15 PM

Hey everyone,

 

My family has an older desktop, a pretty crappy HP mini tower system, maybe 10 years old now? The graphics card (ATI Radeon HD 4200) is so old that it seems they don't even make updated drivers for it for Windows 10, which has been causing problems for me since the latest Windows update, which was naturally forced upon me by Windows. I know it's possible to uninstall upgrades and revert to older settings, but it's a slower computer and I'd much rather just upgrade it anyway. 

 

So I've been looking into upgrading this desktop. I've only upgraded the RAM so far, (from 4 to 12 GB) which has made a huge difference. But I am especially interested in upgrading the video card and maybe the processor, but I've read that it might be a problem if my power supply can't handle it. I would call myself computer literate but not an expert by any means. So I'd love some advice from people who clearly know more than I do about this kind of thing as to whether it's possible/worthwhile to A, upgrade my system fairly cheaply and effectively, or whether I would be better off to B, build a new budget system from scratch, or C, buy something prebuilt (which I would really rather not do).

 

FYI, I don't really do any gaming anymore, so the most taxing thing I use the computer for is for graphic design and Illustrator. Which means I'm not looking for anything spectacular, just something that won't struggle with basic graphic design stuff. 

 

System Info

Processor: AMD Athlon II X2 250, 3000 Mhz, 2 core

Memory: DDR3, 12GB

Graphics: ATI Radeon HD 4200

Power Supply: total 220W max

OS: Windows 10 x64

 

Much appreciate any help! 


Edited by crofab, 04 February 2018 - 12:16 PM.


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#2 OldPhil

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Posted 04 February 2018 - 12:36 PM

You may be better off buying a newer used computer, several vendors offer refurbished including some factory sites.  I hsver bought a few off Ebay over the years, that was a bit risky years ago but with the money back policy taking the worry out make the site more attractive.  I recently smoked a deal for a buddy, no matter how we cut it he could not have duplicated it even with used parts!


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#3 crofab

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Posted 05 February 2018 - 12:48 PM

You may be better off buying a newer used computer, several vendors offer refurbished including some factory sites.  I hsver bought a few off Ebay over the years, that was a bit risky years ago but with the money back policy taking the worry out make the site more attractive.  I recently smoked a deal for a buddy, no matter how we cut it he could not have duplicated it even with used parts!

Yeah, I suppose you're right. Probably my best bet. Would've been fun to try building something, but I guess at the budget range refurbished deals will be a way better value.



#4 MadmanRB

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Posted 05 February 2018 - 12:49 PM

Just whatever you do hold off for a bit, new tech is just over the horizon that would be worthwhile.

New processors and GPU's and everything are right around the corner.


Edited by MadmanRB, 05 February 2018 - 12:50 PM.

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#5 Kilroy

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Posted 05 February 2018 - 01:23 PM

I'll second OldPhil, a new, or refurbished machine, would be a better investment.  Computers double in power every two years, so any newer machine will be a massive improvement over the current machine.

 

Here are some refurbished HP and Dell machines from New Egg.  These machines are mostly leased business machines.  I'd recommend a machine with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB (or larger) Solid State Drive if you can afford it.



#6 crofab

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Posted 05 February 2018 - 01:25 PM

Just whatever you do hold off for a bit, new tech is just over the horizon that would be worthwhile.

New processors and GPU's and everything are right around the corner.

Hmm, interesting. Can you provide some more context? Will the release of the newest processors and GPUs really affect the price of budget components that much? When is this all happening?



#7 MadmanRB

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Posted 05 February 2018 - 01:31 PM

Well here around the corner AMD is releasing Ryzen 2 with APU's (integrated graphics) and that can offer great options for those wanting a cheap upgrade path.

the AMD Ryzen 3 2200G is going to be one heck of a value processor at $99, pair that with a $60 motherboard and the cheapest RAM you can get and you may have yourself a winner.

The only roadblock is the OS but if you have a windows 10 USB thumb disk its time to party as one can run windows without registering it.

 

Ruight now the market is a bit of a mess and to be honest refurbished may seem tempting but if you give it time you may be able to build a a machine for cheap right around the corner.


Edited by MadmanRB, 05 February 2018 - 01:33 PM.

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#8 hamluis

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Posted 10 February 2018 - 09:43 AM

Refurbished systems reflect an installed/licensed version of Windows...are technically sound...and are cheaply available today.  Most of them will reflect Intel CPUs, from dual-core to i7...Examples.

 

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#9 DavidLMO

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Posted 10 February 2018 - 10:01 AM

I went the refurbished direction in December with an HP 8000 Elite SFF ($105) and a 19 " monitor for $20.  3 year warranty for 9 $ and I was all set with free shipping for less than $150.  I am gonna add a 250 GB SSD for $75.  UPTStore on Amazon.  Vendor tossed in a new mouse & keyboard.



#10 OldPhil

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Posted 10 February 2018 - 10:05 AM

I went the refurbished direction in December with an HP 8000 Elite SFF ($105) and a 19 " monitor for $20.  3 year warranty for 9 $ and I was all set with free shipping for less than $150.  I am gonna add a 250 GB SSD for $75.  UPTStore on Amazon.  Vendor tossed in a new mouse & keyboard.

SMOKING DEAL!!!!~ :bounce:


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