Upgrade Advice Needed!


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Hello,

Hope someone can help me with this....
Ive had my PC for about 2/3 years now and im getting sick of not being able to play any good games on it because its crap to be honest! I also do alot of 3D work on my uni course and it handles this ok, but i would like it to be better.

So the solution I thought, would be to upgrade! But my knowledge on the subject is not very good and I need some advice on what to buy to maximise performance on a budget of about £200.

My cpu is a 1.3GHz AMD athlon 1500
motherboard - K7S5A (hope that means something to someone!)
my graphics card is - NVIDIA GeForce MX440
and i have 512 Mb DDR RAM

eh if you need any more information il find it out...

Any advice would be much appreciated as im totally lost here!

Cheers,

Chris
 
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crazylegs

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Hello Morrizio

Right first things first you want to play games on this machine so a new motherboard and processor will be needed, also your memory won't be up to scratch so you'l need memory and a new graphics card, the mx440 just won't cut it with todays 3D games..

I would suggest an athlon64 system, so you would need as follows.

Athlon 64 processor £120 approx
Motherboard £75 approx
Memory 512meg £50 approx
Graphics Card £150 approx

You could probably get away with using some of your existing components from your old machine.

Hard drive
Dvd/cd
Case
Etc....

But you might want to upgrade your psu while your at it, yours is probably a 300 watt unit not really suitable for todays power hungry systems.

But as you can see your original £200 quote, just will not cut it :( and you will have to up your budget somewhat if you want to be playing the likes of doom3, call of duty etc, etc.

I have just given a rough estimate as a guide to todays prices but you should be looking at around the £350-400 budget.
There are lots of avenues you could go, not just the athlon64 route but i'm just trying to give you some futureproofing......

Up to you where you take it from here, if you can up your budget, me and others on the forums can help you price some components and give you directions on how to build.

good luck...:thumb:
 

floppybootstomp

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You need a new motherboard, CPU and graphics card.

For £200.00, that's a bit hard.

ATI 9600XT, about a hundred quid, Socket A board and a Sempron CPU, I think, might be the answer here.

Do you have any more details on your memory? PC2100? PC2700? It would help if you could find that out.

When people give budgets, it's hard, but often there's a solution.

And somebody will always, always, recommend something outside that budget.

It's like: 'I want a second hand car for £1000.00, what should I buy?' And the reply? Buy yourself a Lexus mate, they're great.

We have £200.00 to work with here, sensible suggestions welcome ;)
 

Reefsmoka

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Well you'll be hard done by to get a GFX card, Processor and motherboard for £200.

Plus the memory he has is more than likely PC2100 (266Mhz). So you would need some meory to go with the new processor.

Just save some more dough mate, not being funny or owt but for £200 you wont get anything worth while.

I'll try, but most probably fail ;).

Motherboard: http://www.komplett.co.uk/k/ki.asp?sku=306170&cks=PRL £33
Processor: http://www.komplett.co.uk/k/ki.asp?sku=301831&cks=PRL £58
Memory: http://www.komplett.co.uk/k/ki.asp?sku=112684&cks=PLS £48
GFX Card: http://www.komplett.co.uk/k/ki.asp?sku=302975&cks=SER £68

Optional Graphics card: http://www.komplett.co.uk/k/ki.asp?sku=122900&cks=SER £90

Well thats the jist of it, you wont get any better for £200.
 

muckshifter

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It's not impossible ... I do upgrades starting at £200.

What we need from you is what memory are you using right now ... download http://www.lavalys.com/products/download.php?pid=1&lang=en&pageid=3Everest Home edition and run it ... look at the memory for us and post back here.

If the memory is DDR then your in luck and will be able to keep the price at your budget.

We simple replace the motherboard and use all your existing components. As and when you pennies allow you can replace some of the other components such as CPU & graphics card at a later date.

The MB I have in mind is the Asus A7N8X-E ... providing you memory is DDR everything else will fit no problem. This will cost up-to £100 and you should find one around £70 inc VAT.

Now, that would also allow you to pick out a better CPU and despite what people may say an AMD Sempron is very good value for money, but an AMD 'Barton' would make for a better system.

If your memory is not DDR then you will need to get some new DDR and 2 sticks 256/400 would be the best to look for. I say this because your exiting board can use the older memory and a lot of builders tended to 'cheat' and use it to save money.

So the worst case scenario is motherboard and memory.

:thumb:
 
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Thanks for all the replies, trying to take in everything thats being said! My money situation is a bit tight being a student and all, but I could stretch my budget to £300 or slightly above, if £200 isnt going to get me much.

I downloaded Everest and got this report, is this the info you need?
SPD Memory Modules: DIMM1 256 MB PC2100 DDR SDRAM (2.5-3-3-6 @ 133 MHz) (2.0-2-2-5 @ 100 MHz) DIMM2 256 MB PC2100 DDR SDRAM (2.5-3-3-6 @ 133 MHz) (2.0-2-2-5 @ 100 MHz)

And in terms of the motherboard, how big a job is replacing this? Opening the pc up yesterday to get the motherboard make etc was the first time ive ever done it, and i would be up the creek if I screwed things up in there!
 
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muckshifter

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Your last paragraph worries me ...


Replacing the motherboard is more involved than building a new system from scratch ... you have to take everything out, and put it all back again.

Do you think you can do that and not 'kill' anything?

If not, seek out someone or a small local computer shop that you can trust, to do it for you.

Your existing memory will work with your CPU AND the MB I suggested. However, if you go for a new CPU then you WILL need new memory to match the CPUs FSB speed ... better still, use 400 memory to save any confusion.

If you can stretch to £300 I would strongly suggest you go for new MB, CPU & memory. The graphics card could be left until later, but would need changing.
 

crazylegs

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You can run to £300 or a little bit more, now your talking.:)

I have had a quick look around to source some components for you, these should go down well with that extra cash you've come up with, again these are negotiable you don't have to go the athlon64 route.

http://www.komplett.co.uk/k/ki.asp?sku=304045&cks=PRL Memory

http://www.komplett.co.uk/k/ki.asp?sku=307117&cks=PRL Motherboard

http://www.komplett.co.uk/k/ki.asp?sku=122090&cks=PRL Processor

http://www.komplett.co.uk/k/ki.asp?sku=305188&s=sc Graphics card

All in £315.90 now thats more like it.

But like muck's has said if opening up that case filled you with fear maybe it's time you let someone else do the work for you, and find a reputable shop near you that can do the upgrade, you might even get a better deal if your lucky...and whatever you decide hope it all goes well for you....;)
 
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ok guys Im gonna go for it and spend the £300 :p Thanks for all your help, and you'll probably hear from me again when i break the computer trying to fit stuff!


cheers,

chris
 

floppybootstomp

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Excellent choice of parts there crazylegs :thumb:

If this video card was purchased, it actually all comes to a tad less than £300.00.

And it's performance is probably almost on a par with the 9800SE.

Just kicking ideas about...
 
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floppybootstomp

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morrizio said:
ok guys Im gonna go for it and spend the £300 :p Thanks for all your help, and you'll probably hear from me again when i break the computer trying to fit stuff!


cheers,

chris
Good luck. If and when you order the parts and they arrive, you can always post here for help.

Just take your time and don't rush anything. And don't get nervous ;)
 
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