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system upgrade help...


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#1
wilson419

wilson419

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Hello, I am new to these forums, I just found you guys via the TomCoyote forums (awsome group of people!) so I figure your also a well respected and trusted bunch that could hopefully give me some good advice. Baiscally, I want to upgrade the system that I built a few years back, but I am so out of the loop now in terms of technology, compatability, value shopping, etc that I have almost no clue where to start. I would really like to get my machine up to par so that I can play (with good performanc and fairly high settings) the newer generation of games like Unreal 2004, Half Life2, etc. In addition, I would like to avoid spending a rediculous amount of money, as most of us probably want to avoid, on a new machine or from having to take it somewhere to have it upgraded profesionally (I am a relatively poor college student). I am not exactly sure what you all need to know, but here are my current system specs, I can provide more info if necessary:

SiSoftware Sandra

System
Host Name : USER-CWO1ESC329
User : User
Domain : MSHOME

Processor
Model : AMD Athlon™ XP 1800+
Speed : 1.50GHz
Model Number : 1800 (estimated)
Performance Rating : PR2175 (estimated)
Cores per Processor : 1 Unit(s)
Threads per Core : 1 Unit(s)
Internal Data Cache : 64kB Synchronous, Write-Back, 2-way set, 64 byte line size
L2 On-board Cache : 256kB ECC Synchronous, Write-Back, 16-way set, 64 byte line size

Mainboard
Bus(es) : ISA AGP PCI IMB USB FireWire/1394 i2c/SMBus
MP Support : 1 Processor(s)
MP APIC : Yes
System BIOS : American Megatrends Inc. 07.00T
System : MSI MS-6380E
Mainboard : MSI MS-6380E
Total Memory : 512MB DDR-SDRAM

Chipset 1
Model : VIA Technologies Inc VT8366/A,VT8367 Apollo KT266/A,KT333 CPU to PCI Bridge
Front Side Bus Speed : 2x 100MHz (200MHz data rate)
Total Memory : 512MB DDR-SDRAM
Memory Bus Speed : 2x 133MHz (266MHz data rate)

Video System
Monitor/Panel : Samsung SyncMaster 21GLs
Adapter : RADEON 9600 PRO Family (Microsoft Corporation)
Adapter : RADEON 9600 PRO SEC Family (Microsoft Corporation)
Imaging Device : HP Photosmart 2570

Physical Storage Devices
Removable Drive : Floppy disk drive
Hard Disk : Maxtor 6Y080L0 (76GB)
Hard Disk : HP Photosmart 2575v USB Device
CD-ROM/DVD : CENDYNE 522452AU (CD 52X Rd, 52X Wr)

Logical Storage Devices
1.44MB 3.5" (A:) : N/A
Hard Disk (C:) : 76GB (63GB, 83% Free Space) (NTFS)
CD-ROM/DVD (D:) : N/A
Removable Drive (E:) : N/A

Peripherals
Serial/Parallel Port(s) : 2 COM / 1 LPT
USB Controller/Hub : NEC PCI to USB Open Host Controller
USB Controller/Hub : NEC PCI to USB Open Host Controller
USB Controller/Hub : NEC PCI to USB Enhanced Host Controller (B1)
USB Controller/Hub : VIA Rev 5 or later USB Universal Host Controller
USB Controller/Hub : VIA Rev 5 or later USB Universal Host Controller
USB Controller/Hub : USB Root Hub
USB Controller/Hub : USB Root Hub
USB Controller/Hub : USB Root Hub
USB Controller/Hub : USB Root Hub
USB Controller/Hub : USB Root Hub
USB Controller/Hub : USB Composite Device
USB Controller/Hub : USB Printing Support
USB Controller/Hub : Photosmart 2570 series (DOT4USB)
USB Controller/Hub : USB Mass Storage Device
USB Controller/Hub : Generic USB Hub
FireWire/1394 Controller/Hub : OHCI Compliant IEEE 1394 Host Controller
Keyboard : Standard 101/102-Key or Microsoft Natural PS/2 Keyboard
Mouse : HID-compliant mouse
Human Interface : USB Human Interface Device

Operating System(s)
Windows System : Microsoft Windows XP/2002 Professional (Win32 x86) 5.01.2600 (Service Pack 2)

Network Services
Adapter : NETGEAR FA311 Fast Ethernet Adapter

-I am satisfied with most of the stuff like my Hard drive, and CD drive, etc...I would just like to focus on upgrading my processor, RAM, Graphics card, and maybe the Mobo (although if I can get a lot more performance out of it still, I would rather not have to replace it). So, I guess if anyone could give me some advice for specific compatible upgades that would boost my performance I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks in advance, -Calen M. Curley
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#2
The_Shadow_630

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The fastest, easiest, and generally cheapest way to increase the perfomance of your computer is to increase RAM. The other thing I would check into first would be what the best CPU you can get that is the same socket as the one that you have. I may be mistaken, but is that one Socket A? I have not done the research to find out for sure. That would be easy to find if you just take it apart and look. Anyway, replacing the RAM should be fairly cheap and easy, then replace the processor. If you do want to go with a new MB, see if you can find one that most of your old parts might be compatible with, that will save you some money. I know, I had to do just that. I spent about $150-$200 upgrading mine at first, and that was to replace the MB, RAM, and processor. Granted I went with the cheaper Intel processor rather than AMD, but that was my choice. Tiger Direct usually has pretty good deals on good equipment if you care to look. Some packages and barebones that you could use to upgrade with. They have some really good sales at times that you might be able to take advantage of. Another good site is Pricewatch. I get most, if not all of my components from tiger direct, but that is just me. Overall, bmy suggestion is to upgrade in stages and spread the expense out so you do not go into the poor house instantly. If you are going to get a new MB then get it first, and check on some MB packages that come with the CPU. If you are not going to get a new MB, get RAM first, CPU second, then a video card or sound card or other periphreals. Hope this helps, if not, sorry for wasting your time. Have fun and try not to break the bank doing it.

Edited by The_Shadow_630, 20 March 2006 - 03:56 PM.

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#3
SRX660

SRX660

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I am not trying to be mean but your computer is way too outdated for the newest games. If i really wanted to go gaming i would start looking for a AMD 3000 processor with a PCI-E video card slot and some good DDR400 ram just to get started. Its now to the point that DDR2 memory ( starting at 533) and the PCI-E video cards that are twice as fast as 8X AGP are the starting point for a game computer.

SRX660
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#4
Hammm

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hm....my system is around that line and i can barely run HL2 lol. well, one thing you could try is buy a Sempron 2800+ and then buy maybe a 6800GS AGP. but you really need to upgrade all over, as i need to as well soon. note that you shouldn't spend to much one gfx until Vista and DX10 come out
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#5
The_Shadow_630

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Ok, I am partially with and partially not with SRX660 here. I do agree that you are going to have to get a new MB. I didn't notice that it said SDRAM instead of DDR. As far as some of the other components, you do not have to go to the newest stuff really. I do not have the newest in mine and it runs Doom 3 quite well at the higher settings. It is ultimately up to you, and the rest of my suggestions above still stand, but do get a new MB, CPU, and RAM.

Edited by The_Shadow_630, 21 March 2006 - 10:58 PM.

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