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Thinking Of Upgrading


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#1 woodharpy

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Posted 15 December 2006 - 11:19 PM

I'm currently using an HP pavilion a706n with 512mb RAM 160 GB hard drive (i also have a 500GB external hooked up) it has an AMD Athlon Xp 3000+ processor (Max speed 2100 Mhz) i was wonderiing if i should/could upgrade this pc with a new processor and added RAM or should i get a new pc? or do you think i would be happy just upgrading the RAM?

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#2 Archer-of-Death

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Posted 15 December 2006 - 11:39 PM

My old computer was basically the same thing. Just had a smaller hard disk. (and later upgraded to 3x as much ram) If you want to upgrade, get a new motherboard. No point in upgrading a (most likely) socket 754 AGP 4x/8x motherboard.

Edited by Archer-of-Death, 16 December 2006 - 12:08 AM.


#3 woodharpy

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Posted 15 December 2006 - 11:42 PM

do you have any suggestions for a new motherboard and is that hard to do i have never done anything with the internals of a computer

#4 nforce

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Posted 15 December 2006 - 11:46 PM

I think in this case, it might be worth it to go ahead and get a nice new system with dual core and perferably dx10... But it is a good system and if you don't want to spend hundreds to thousands of dollars, you would find it a very good upgrade to get another gig or so of ram and a nice video card.

I just read a review on you current hp system. It said it was a good budget machine... but had horrible graphics... not suited for games and other basic graphical tasks. It only has an agp slot so I would recommend a good nvidia 7800 or 7600gt(or the ati equivilant which i think would probably be the cheaper x1650 or better\more uncommon x1950), and definately more ram. That is... if you decide to upgrade your current rig. If you did this, you might also need a new power supply to handle it all.

Buying a new system would also be a good choice, but In my personal opinion, Its good enough for a few more years and more ram and new vid card would be good enough for now.

#5 Archer-of-Death

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Posted 16 December 2006 - 12:07 AM

The 6800 is one of my favorite GPU's for some reason.
The AGP 6800XT is so awesome for a budget game-worthy system.
RIGHT HERE
and for RAM. 2 more 512 sticks.
And this is the power supply that I used to have with my old computer (almost exact same specs.. 3x512mb sticks with a 6800 and a 3000+)

#6 woodharpy

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Posted 16 December 2006 - 12:15 AM

ok i don't do ANY gaming on my pc i have an xbox 360 so i just use my pc for videos, music, messageing (trillian all the way), surfin the net (firefox baby), and some playing around in photoshop cs (which my computer is a little slow in but still handles like a champ) so would i really need to get a new video card? i do know that all i have is 64 shared right now so its bad but for what i use is it necessary for anything different and what about a new motherboard are u still thinking i should get a new one Archer-of-Death? and thank you all for your suggestions so far :thumbsup:

#7 dc3

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Posted 16 December 2006 - 12:27 AM

Whether you use this computer for games or just general useages you will be happy with the addition of another 512MB of RAM. If you are a gamer or are into photo editing you could use more RAM, and you definitly should take the adivce regarding the graphics card, every review that I saw said the same thing about its graphics...they suck.

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#8 nforce

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Posted 16 December 2006 - 12:32 AM

Even if you don't play games, i would recommend a medium-end one for all you other graphical uses. It can really speed up your system. For this range of no gaming, I would probably recommend an ati radeon x300 or x700. Definately get more ram too.

(also don't discount getting a whole new system, but since you said you don't play games, your current rig with some upgrades would probably be sufficient) Some of the cheaper computers you can get for $500 aren't really too much better than what you have anyway

#9 woodharpy

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Posted 16 December 2006 - 12:33 AM

beleive me i KNOW the graphics suck haha and i think i will take that advice and upgrade my power source ram and graphics card, however i don't need to get a new power source if i just want to add the 2 additional sticks of 512 mb ram do i? and i'm still wonderin about a new motherboard/processor should i get a new one? thanks again for the advice

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#10 woodharpy

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Posted 16 December 2006 - 12:35 AM

ya if i was goin to get a new system i would pay at least $1200 because i only paid $500 for this one and that was two years ago and it came w/ a printer and 19 inch crt monitor which i just recently upgraded to a 23 inch widescreen lcd its a t.v. monitor combo :thumbsup:

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#11 nforce

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Posted 16 December 2006 - 12:57 AM

way true. Technology updates so fast it hurts. I made my 'ultimate gaming rig' about a year ago and now its old school. Oh well.

Anyway, a lot of times, some manufacturers like that put in a cheap-o power supply made just to work with the default hardware (seen many computers die because of that). If you just installed ram, i dont think you would need to upgrade the psu, but for that and vid card, maybe. The video cards usually have a recommended psu requirement (mostly around 300w). The best way to know if you need to upgrade is to tell us your Power supply wattage and\or take a psu calculator test like this -
http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculator.jsp

I put in what I think your computer would be like with some upgrades and full load and it recommended ~300W
So if you current one is around this, it *should* be fine.

Also, I think your current mobo and processor is fine for what you probably do and your biggest upgrade would be with the ram. Make sure you get compatible ram and that your mobo has 3 ram slots if your going to get 2 more sticks. If it only has 1 more slot, you should probably get a gig stick.

1 gig of ram is good and probably would be fine (and is a bigger performance boost ratio from 512 to 1gig than 1gig to 1.5gigs or whatever), but the more, the better.

A really good ram tester is at 'crucial.com' . It also shows how much of a performance boost you would get with a certain amout of ram. I would buy the actual parts at newegg.com or something.

#12 woodharpy

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Posted 16 December 2006 - 01:10 AM

ok there are some things that i don't know but i need to for that test if u could help me out on finding out these things it would be greatly appreciated: Overclocked CPU speed (MHz), Overclocked Vcore (V), i know my computer has 512 MB ram but i don't know what kind i don't know anything about my hard drive other than its a 160 gigs, what is a PCI-e card?, i don't know what kind of fan i have, what is a cathode?, what is surge compensation and capacitor aging?

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#13 nforce

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Posted 16 December 2006 - 01:27 AM

A cathode is an advanced cooling unit that even i don't know much about so i wouldn't worry about it (you dont have it)

Pcie is the next, advanced thing after the agp slot (for video cards), your mobo only has agp so don't worry about that either.

I would think your hard drive is a 7200rpm ide hard drive

for ram, i would put 1, 2, or 3 sticks of ddr sd ram (for the age of your system, im sure thats what you have) (1, 2, or 3 sticks of ram depending on your upgrade if any)

And if your not sure if you overclocked, then you didn't. Its a pretty advanced thing to do and I wouldn't recommend messing with volt settings anyway so I wouldn't worry about that either.

For fans, you probably have 1 or 2 generic case fans.

If you get something wrong, it doesn't really matter, it will only affect the test by a couple of watts. You will probably get right around a recommended 260-275.

#14 woodharpy

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Posted 16 December 2006 - 01:31 AM

I got 250 but i probably had some mistakes so i'm sure its right in that range that you said it would be

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#15 woodharpy

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Posted 16 December 2006 - 01:49 AM

i did it again with the upgrades i'm planning on getting (GeForce 6800 and 2 512mb sticks ram) and it came out at 399 you ran it w/ the upgrades and came out w/ 300 right? maybe i'm just doing something wrong

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