Upgrading my PC this week !

Discussion in 'Computer Games and General Discussion' started by Arm73, Nov 10, 2008.

Nov 10, 2008

Upgrading my PC this week ! by Arm73 at 4:40 PM (986 Views / 0 Likes) 8 replies

  1. Arm73
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    Member Arm73 GBAtemp Addict

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    This is the story..
    I got a PC from Dell about 3 - 4 years ago, and it was pretty good and worth it's money.
    It had a P4 2.80gz as a processor and 512kb of DDR memory, plus I opted for an nVidia fx5200 instead of the integrated one.
    After a little while, DOOM 3 came out !
    Now I had to play that game, but another good game I had at the time was Far Cry, and it was running a little crappy on my system too.
    Anyway I already was inclined to get a new , more powerful video card, and what do you know, when I was shopping I found a nice boundle of DOOM 3 and nVidia Geforce 6800 GT for about $ 400, and the box stated that the game was designed to take advantage of that particular card and it was recommended by the developers, so I went for it !
    I mean it was a good deal, and I expected to have a graphical boost in other games as well.
    And I was right, I was able to turn the details in Far Cry to high and see its famous word fully animated, which made the experience even more immersing, not too mention that DOOM 3 run really good as advertised.
    So all in all it was money well spent.
    But after that I realized that my PC needed more memory, because I like emulation in general and some emulators openly stated that more memory would benefit the emulation, not to mention that I had some problem at the time because while switching between application XP was taking longer and longer, so I knew I needed more memory.
    But it was expensive ! I mean I paid about $ 170 for a 1GB module directly from the Dell website ( I knew there were slightly cheaper dealers on line, but I wanted to make sure the memory was really compatible with my MOBO ).
    It was a good purchase never the less, in fact I noticed a real improvement on the overall speed of my computer while running some emulators or multiple applications.
    It had already been like 2 years, and I felt I didn't want to buy a new computer because anyway for my everyday need my system was certainly up to the task, plus I wasn't interested in playing newer PC games because anyway I was actively playing on several consoles at the time ( DC and GC being the primary ) but I thought about upgrading the CPU, and even though I saw that newer, faster processor were available from Dell, the price was really non nonsensical, because for $ 700- $800 I might have as well bought another brand new PC !
    I didn't upgrade any more after that, thinking that I would have gotten a new PC in a year or so anyway.
    But recently I came across a few web sites selling memory, and with the help of a the gurus at the dell forums I was able to find the right one for my system.
    And guess what ? I found out that a 1 GB module now is merely $25 + $5 for shipment. It makes it $ 30 !! Just $ 30 for almost doubling my memory and meet that XP "sweet spot" of 2.50 GB of ram.
    I'm sure more memory will benefit the whole system, expecially when some newer emulators.
    I've red several times that some emulators don't really rely on the video card, but need more memory and more processing power to perform better.
    So I searched a little more and I found out that I could buy a P4 3.2Ghz on a web site for about $ 60 !!!
    That is incredible, how much the price came down in just a couple of years!
    So I ordered that too, the new processor, and while a know that new PCs today came really cheap and are much more powerful than mines will ever be, I decided that for under $100 , it was well worth it, and since I play console games mostly anyway, I'm only worried about emulating older system or play older games on my PC, and my set up wouldn't be bad at that.
    Now I am only on doubt whether to buy a new power supply as well, it seems that bigger processor and more memory usually tend to be more power hungry.
    And there is the chance that I will bust my computer as well, as I never changed a processor before, and I will have to make sure that my MOBO bios will recognize that !
    As for the memory I'm sure it will be easy, it's just a matter of sliding in the socket the little module.
    Wat really worries me is the power supply, I still use the one that came with my original configuration ( and I'm sure it was barely supporting enough power for what was there even before the graphic card upgrade ).
    So wish me good luck, and I will let you know if everything goes smooth.
    In case I decide to get a new power supply as well, does anybody know were to get a really cheap one ?
     
  2. adgloride

    Member adgloride Its A Wii Wario

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    Sounds similar to the Dell P4 PC I bought, but mine was 2.5ghz and a P4. I got the geforce 9600 for it, and it had an AGP slot only and could only be expanded to 1gb max. I tried to change the mobo on it at one time, finding out it had all the slots to do it, but how dell had done the front switch I couldn't change it. The Dell power supplys are very good. Think mines meant to be 250 watt, but I've had the geforce 9600, soundblaster, a SATA card, more USB ports and had about 8 USB devices plugged in. The power supply was still running cool [​IMG]

    Personally, I would live with the computer how it is and not bother wasting your money upgrading it any more. Mine does everything I want it to, apart from play the latest games as I don't have a PCI-E port. You would probably be better waiting for a good dell deal and upgrading to a core 2 duo or a quad processor. I intend, depending on money to buy a dell with a quad processor next year.
     
  3. Licardo7

    Member Licardo7 GBAtemp Fan

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    newegg? how many watts do you have in yours already?
     
  4. Licardo7

    Member Licardo7 GBAtemp Fan

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    You serious? [​IMG] if a 300W power supply is barely enough to power up a 8600 gt, how can a 250W power supply power up a 9600 gt?

    edit: sorry for Double posting, pressed the wrong button.
     
  5. Arm73
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    Member Arm73 GBAtemp Addict

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    I think mines is 250W as well.
    Of course it wasn't my intention to upgrade anymore, but with such prices ( and if everything goes smooth ) if I can squeeze a little more power out of mine, I wouldn't mind.
    What I really need it's a little more CPU power to run certain demanding MAME games a little bit better, and also if nullDC would run a bit smoother it would be a big plus ( my DC is slowing dying, and even thougg it's connected to a VGA monitor, nullDC runs at a higher resolution and looks "cleaner" ).
    So I figure it out I'd go for it, besides even every day's task could benefit from it ( like unzipping a large image and burning a Wii game at the same time....).
    The question is, how do I know if I need a bigger Power supply ?
    Will my computer be less efficient ( like problem detecting and maintaining USB devices and video cards ), or will the power supply just get hotter, compromising the circuitry...
    How do I calculate what kind of power supply do I need for my specs ?
    That's the thing that buggers me.
    Also thanks for suggesting newegg, but I found other sites with cheaper prices (like MemoryTek).


    If we establish that I really need a new PS, I found this one which looks cool and really inexpensive !
     
  6. Licardo7

    Member Licardo7 GBAtemp Fan

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    I guess if stuff like fans start stopping or pausing. You should also see the minimal requirements for products like video cards or sound cards.
     
  7. Arm73
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    Member Arm73 GBAtemp Addict

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    Thanks, so upgrading memory and CPU shouldn't affect it , right?
    Any other symptoms I should be worried about ?
     
  8. Licardo7

    Member Licardo7 GBAtemp Fan

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    I know memory doesn't eat a lot of power away, and the CPU................... well I don't know about that but it runs you whole system so I guess it needs power. I say upgrading to at least 400W. With that you can run more on it. Also, try to get some reviews before you buy something so you can get other people's opinions.

    Other than that your good, the PCU you got in the link is pretty good. It looks like it's runned by yahoo so I think it's safe.
     
  9. Joe88

    Member Joe88 [λ]

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    I mostly skimmed through the giant wall of text
    tldr ver plz?


    anyway upgrading the cpu wont yield much of anything
    at that price its kinda pointless
    there is only so far you can push the hardware

    do you have a dimension 8800 or something?
    I myself have a 4550
    did min upgrades to it
    upgraded gfx card from nvidia MX4400 to ati 9250
    ram from 512MB to 1GB
    added dvd-rw burner
    added 160GB hard drive

    now the smart thing would be to just get a new comp instead of keeping sinking more and more money into an older machine just to somewhat keep up with current machines
    I also found that out, it would be pointless
    a new agp gfx card like a 3850 for me would be like $250 + a new PSU since the existing PSU is only 250w and has no gfx card power connectors [also the PSU is priority hardware, special made for dell cases, normal PSU's wont fit]
     

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