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Thread: help with buying/upgrading




  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
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    Default help with buying/upgrading

    I currently have some sort of AMD 750 mainboard,
    with 750hrz processor,
    64Mb RAM,
    a stuffed soundcard,
    20Gb hard drive (or somesort),
    dvd with cd writer,
    floppy disk thing,
    and a working mouse, keyboard and a big working monitor
    It says my videocard is a S3Metal, i dont know what that means, but it has trouble with no on lives forever.

    This is my boyfriends pc that we both use, but we need to upgrade it so it actually works decently. Also we dont have much money, so I would like to use as many old parts as possible. I just want to be able to run smoothly, play most any game, and use basic software like maya lite and PS 7. And eventually run broadband on it, as council is installing cables in the street in a few months. I would like to do it all myself as its cheaper, but as you can probably tell I dont know a great deal about pcs, but I can run them, and iv installed my very own voodoo card and tnt2 card (But i guess thats not hard :)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
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    Minnesota, United States
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    Default Re: help with buying/upgrading

    I doubt you will be able to keep anything excpet the hard drive, CD drive, and floppy drive, especially if you want to play most games. Exactly how much are you willing to spend on this?
    Last edited by Yawgm0th; 08-22-2004 at 03:19 AM.

  3. #3
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    Mar 2004
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    NY
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    Default Re: help with buying/upgrading

    hard drive, CD drive, and hard drive
    I think you meant hard drive, CD drive, and floppy drive, but it depdns on the speed of the hard drive. I would defitely keep your CD Drive, floppy drive, monitor, keyboard, mouse. That will save a bit of money.

    We would have to know how much you are willing to spend on a new PC (that one isn't even worth upgrading) before we start suggesting parts.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: help with buying/upgrading

    Quote Originally Posted by KoolDrew
    I think you meant hard drive, CD drive, and floppy drive, but it depdns on the speed of the hard drive. I would defitely keep your CD Drive, floppy drive, monitor, keyboard, mouse. That will save a bit of money.
    You got me. Of course, keep your monitor, mouse, keyboard etc. I would suggest keeping the hard drive, depending on how much money. If it's 20GB and in that system it's going to be pretty slow, but it's not a necessary upgrade until everything else has reached a certain point.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
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    Talking Re: help with buying/upgrading

    I'd say about 400 to 500, a little more or less if required or not needed, but something tells me I'll be scraping it as it is :). Im not entirely sure what all stuff costs, its been a while since I got this machine. Also a friend of mine has a spare copy of XP that I can use, I dont think I want to use ME again. Ever.

    I dont know about all parts, iv been trying to learn, and Iv got the bare basics of it, and there are plenty of online guides to it which iv looked at. I just dont know what I should/need to buy. So about 500 is the budget. Also, how could I tell if my case is usable? It seems pretty big, but it looks a little old.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: help with buying/upgrading

    I would recommend you get an EPoX 8KDA3J motherboard and an Athlon 64 3000 processor. That will be about 170. You can upgrade or downgrade the CPU if you want. Any Athlon 64 between 2800 and 3400 will work.

    For RAM, you'll want to get a single 512MB stick. There are many companies that produce good RAM, a few include Corsair, OCZ, Mushkin, Geil, Crucial and Kingston. You want PC3200 RAM (it may also be listed as DDR400). You should be able to keep this at 60 or less.

    For a video card, you have a few choices. For a card that will play any game, but not play some newer ones very well (much better than your current, though), get the Powercolor Radeon 9600 listed here.
    For a card that will play most games very well, get the Sapphire 9800 Pro listed here.
    For a card that will play any newer game very well, get the Leadtek GeForce 6800 listed here.
    The first option is probably best for you, unless you play a lot of first-person shooters or other graphically-intensive games. Whatever you do, don't try to keep the POS you are using right now. It's only 42 for a new video card that will play games (any game) so much better than what you have now.

    You'll also need a new power supply. I would suggest a 400W or more Antec or Thermaltake. Don't spend more than 30.

    Although I said to keep it, I would highly recommend replacing your hard drive with an 80GB Serial ATA drive from either Seagate, Maxtor, or Western Digital. The speed difference will be enormous. You should be able to get one for under 50.

    That should be every thing you need for under your budget (unless you get a more powerful video card). I've been converting U.S. prices along the way and adding quite a bit since hardware is more expensive over there.

    For online vendors (which is probably what you should use) I have a U.K. friend that uses http://www.ebuyer.com and http://www.overclockers.co.uk for hardware and has had no problems.

    As you find stuff, feel free to post the links to it so we can look through and make sure it's okay.

  7. #7
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    Aug 2004
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    Talking Re: help with buying/upgrading

    Ok, just had a quick gander through overclockers.co.uk, and this is what Iv come up with, although I'v no doubt substituted some componants that wont be compatible :) Just as a quick rough guide for myself, I chose the lesser of parts that you said, so I could see where or if it could be improved. Except the hard drive, which seems better value per pound.

    98.64 Athlon 64 2800 processor

    67 EPoX 8KDA3J motherboard (the only price not from overclockers, couldnt find it)

    56.41 Corsair PC3200 512Mb RAM

    42.50 Powercolor Radeon 9600

    12.50 PSU Q-tec 400W

    56 160GB Maxtor Serial ATA Hard drive

    331 TOTAL

    Im sorry if i seem all timid about this, but im a little new to insides of pcs, but keen and confident to start doing it myself

  8. #8
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    Default Re: help with buying/upgrading

    That looks pretty good. The only possible thing is the Q-tec power supply. Maybe someone else can comment as to the qulity of that brand, but I'm not sure I've ever heard of it. The fact that it's 400W is good, but that doesn't matter if it's a crappy PSU. Unless someone else knows this to be a good brand, I'd suggest you go with one of the Antec or Zalman PSUs at OCer U.K. The price tag of 12.50 is pretty suspicious, too. I can't even get a quality 400W PSU for that price, and computer hardware is cheaper over here. It might mean spending twice as much as you would on that, but it will be worth it. If you're just sticking with that Radeon 9600 and nothing more powerful, the Antec 330W would be good for you.

    Also, make sure the processor is retail, meaning it comes with a heat sink/fan unit. If you tried to use the computer and the CPU had no HSF, you'd burn it out fairly quickly...

    Basically, that's it. You did a good job of picking out stuff. This will be a powerful, easily-upgradable computer that should last for years before you would have to replace the motherboard.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: help with buying/upgrading

    Yes I'd also suggest that you go for a better quality PSU more into the 420W+ range.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: help with buying/upgrading

    Qtec is a cheap power supply brand. some people have problems with them, i havent had any problems with the 550 watt in my main system
    <img src="http://gfx.statgfx.com/old/folding.cgi?&username=metallicat666&teamid=33272&t rans=yes&.jpg" alt="www.Statgfx.com" />

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