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Going to do a little computer overhaul... suggestions?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by GauteHauk, 24 May 2007.

  1. GauteHauk

    GauteHauk What's a Dremel?

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    Hey all,

    I'm looking to upgrade my old P4 system and I know it's extremely dated. Why not simply buy all new? Because this system actually still runs -really- well. I've had great luck with it and I wanted a cost-effective way of keeping as much of this computer as possible, while stretching its life a bit more. I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions about what would be the most cost-effective route to take.

    I'm doing my own research, but I thought I would try to tap into some experienced builders, here, since experience is far better than simply "knowing of a product".

    My options so far have been:

    Option 1: Getting new ram and vid card. The advantage is that I don't have to buy a new mobo, cpu, etc. The downer is that I will still have a really dated system.

    Option 2: Get new mobo, ram, vid card, and cpu. The advantage is that I can buy newer, relatively cheap parts, but still won't have to overhaul the whole system.

    Option 3: New computer. Expensive, but it may be more cost effective, even in the short term, what with the way parts are dropping lately.

    Now, I don't expect a gaming rig that can compete with top-of-the-line. I'm just sick of buying games that either barely run or outright refuse to start up.

    I've no prior knowledge of AMD processors or ATI vid cards, so if those are far better for cost/performance, the suggestion wouldn't be wasted. I've just never used either brand, no prejudice here.

    My specs:

    Gateway 700XL or 700X, can't remember. (Yes, I know, store-bought, proprietary B.S. included, it's still a stable system.)

    Pentum 4 2.4ghz
    Intel 850 mobo
    512mb (2x256mb) pc800 40ns ram (not sure if it's non ecc, not marked)
    Geforce 4 Ti4600 128mb
    400W power supply
    80gb hdd
    (hdd speed and fsb unknown, but I think the fsb is 400mhz or 533mhz)

    That's pretty much the important parts list. Everything else is secondary, as far as I know(dvd, cd rw, floppy, speakers, monitor, network card, etc.)

    Thanks for any and all suggestions!
     
  2. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead It's big, and it's clever.

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    I'd seriously think about a new 775 mobo, core2duo and a new graphics card. You don't have to spend a fortune, and at least you'll be on a decent platform with a PCI-E slot and DDR2 etc.

    That's what I'd do. You'll have to change the PSU as well tho, and while you're at it... the hard drives to larger, faster SATA2 drives would be a worthwhile investment.
     
  3. DougEdey

    DougEdey I pwn all your storage

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    What Pook said. It's the best way to do it, get a good couple of years extra life out of it and if you wait for the bearlake stuff to come out it'll give you an even longer lifespan./
     
  4. GauteHauk

    GauteHauk What's a Dremel?

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    Danke

    Badass. Appreciate the suggestion. Looks like that's what I'll be doing. Basically, building a new computer and slapping some old parts on it.

    Actually, that brings up a new point. What vid card should I put into a machine like that? Should it be something along the lines of the Nvidia Geforce 7? 8?

    Thanks again!

    :>
     
    Last edited: 24 May 2007
  5. x06jsp

    x06jsp da ginger monkey!!!!

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    evga 8800gts 320mb superclocked=awesome card!!!
     
  6. DougEdey

    DougEdey I pwn all your storage

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    The 640MB version is much better value for money, but if you're going to running large resolutions you'll need a GTX or SLi
     
  7. x06jsp

    x06jsp da ginger monkey!!!!

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    he will only need the 640mb version iif his screen is over 20"-24".
     
  8. DougEdey

    DougEdey I pwn all your storage

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    Not really, 1280x1024 and 640MB will allow a significant improvement in FPS and when games become DX10 reliant they will run smoother.
     
  9. Mother-Goose

    Mother-Goose 5 o'clock somewhere

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    Yep, my GTX isn't being pushed at all at 1280x1024, luckily my 2407 is turning up tuesday next week so then I can start enjoying its oomph even more.
     
  10. x06jsp

    x06jsp da ginger monkey!!!!

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    well i have 1440x900 and the 320mb evga and there is absolutely no lagg in need for speed carbon.
     
  11. DougEdey

    DougEdey I pwn all your storage

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    NFS games don't exactly tax graphics cards too much, resolution is slightly higher at 1280x1024 and there's no DX10 cards yet or games designed to take control of > 512MB ram
     
  12. trig

    trig god's little mistake

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    what would you like to spend (meaning if i could get a good upgrade for this amount, then im all in), and what is the max you would spend for a full upgrade?
     
  13. GauteHauk

    GauteHauk What's a Dremel?

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    I was looking to spend as little as possible. As in, I want to keep as much of this original as possible, since it will save money for the time being. I have around $400-500 to use right now. I will be buying parts for an all new computer later, but I want to give this one a boost for now.

    I just wanted to make sure I wouldn't be spending $400-500 on an upgrade to old, dated equipment when I could be buying brand new, longer lifespan equipment for the same price, y'know what I mean?

    Anyway, I appreciate all the suggestions and ideas. I'm digging around on Newegg and comparing things, now. Still not too sure, but I think I may be going the route of buying new mobo, ram, vid card, and cpu. It looks like I might spend just a little more, but I'll be getting stuff that can offer a much longer life of upgrading. (More modern stuff like DX10 support, DDR2, Duo or Quad, way stronger vid, etc.)

    I'm looking at getting some more ram on ebay(going to try to buy it at around $50-75, anything more and I might as well be buying DDR2, for that price). In the case that I can get the RDRAM, I'll be getting an AGP 4x/8x vid card, something cheap but that can be put into a slightly stronger mobo later, should I have the fortune of simply having one fall into my hands at a later date. And if those go well, I'd like to upgrade the cpu I have in this thing, but being that I'd be buying so many parts, it seems like a shame not to just get a new mobo. This is where the amount of cash I have to spend comes into play.

    I can't spend more than around $400-500, but if I upgrade the cpu, vid, ram... why not mobo? And in that case, why not just get a new mobo with quad support for later upgrading, a core 2 duo, a DX10 vid card, and DDR2 RAM.

    I hope I'm making my problem clear enough. Hah. It almost feels like a waste of time and money to upgrade the old computer.

    Would anyone recommend just upgrading RAM and vid card? Or cpu? Something that's a cheaper alternative but offers great reward for low price? I mean, at some point I realize I need to leave this equipment behind, but I don't know if it would be wise to make that time now.
     
    Last edited: 24 May 2007
  14. trig

    trig god's little mistake

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    tough call...4-5 hundred really isnt enough to get a complete c2d system. but at the same time, your power supply (assuming its like most people who come on here) most likely isnt the best unit out there, and id hate to see you upgrade cpu, mobo, ram and vga and try to power it with a crappy psu...my advice would be to save another $150, then do a full upgrade. if you can get 650 together, then ur set.
     
  15. Rocket733

    Rocket733 Austerity - It's the only way

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    I'd agree with trig and save up some more for a new system. It's not worth it to upgrade your cpu or video card by themselves because just upgrading one of those is going to bottle neck your system with the other one. With the e4300 and Gigabyte GA-965P-DS3 you can get a nice overclock with stock voltages. That puts you at about $220 right there. Factor in another $100 for some ddr2 ram. That leaves about $180 for a vid card, right in the range of an 8600 gt.
     

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