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Upgrading Questions


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#1
Subaru

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Hello i am not very well informed in the world of processors or computer build specs so i am asking for some help.

Right now i am running:

AMD Athlon 4400+
2 gigs of ram
Radeon x1950 pro

none of which is overclocked
(the motherboard does have pci slots) *someone asked me before.

Anyways my question is what can i get to upgrade this computer for the most bang for my buck for the holdiay seasons. With christmas and the like coming up i am coming into some cash. max limit is 500 dollars.

I am looking for something that can play about any game out their with very little latency and the like.

This is an acer computer with the EM61SM/EM61PM mobo which ive heard a lot of bad things about.

I am currently looking at these possible situations and was wondering which would be the larger upgrade for my system and if these things would even fit into my tower, or some advice on how i would even check myself.

Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz 2 x 4MB L2 Cache LGA 775 Processor - Retail $280

ABIT IP35 Pro LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Intel Motherboard 180

+ fan

or
8800 gt oc grahpics card with my current opperating system posted above.

I am open to any and all suggestions about differnt types of mobo and processors out there that might do the trick for less cost.
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#2
gambLe1109

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Hi, and welcome.

Could you tell us a little more about that RAM that you have? Is it PC-3200? Who manufactured it?
If I had $500 to spend, I would probably go with an E6850 instead of the Quad Core, and get a 680i motherboard to go with it. The E6850 can be found for about $270 or so if you shop around, and the motherboard will be around $230. This is without tax and shipping, if this exceeds your budget you can drop down to the E6750 instead, which is still 2.66GHz, and $50 cheaper. The thing to keep in mind is that these processors, especially with a 680i motherboard, are very overclockable with good cooling. You can probably reach 3.0 with stock cooling, but if you got a nice case and some fans, you could overclock to 3.2+. I have seen these go as high as 3.5GHz.

Hope this helps.

EDIT: To be honest with you, as long as you're using this PC, you're going to have problems. It was manufactured by Acer, that means that the PSU, RAM and Motherboard are very low quality, and the motherboard is probably not even overclockable, as companies like Acer usually use motherboards that can lock the overlocking settings to avoid liability. I know money is tight, especially this time of the year, but your best bet is to extend your budget in the long run and buy some extra parts. You don't have to do this right away, you can buy those parts I suggested and use them until you have more money. My advice would be to buy a good case (ie Antec 900, these are selling for 79.99 on NewEgg right now) so that you can afford great cooling. That way, you can overclock your parts to their full potential. My guess is that you also have no more than a 300W power supply because thats what pre-built desktops usually come with. You can swap this out for a 600W or more power supply which should cost around $100 or so. Your video card can probably manage with all of these extras, it should be able to run most new games at decent frame rates, and depending on your PSU, it is probably already being bottlenecked.

Edited by gambLe1109, 24 November 2007 - 03:13 PM.

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#3
Subaru

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Ok before getting into all the nitty gritty of getting a new tower and transfering pieces over i first must say i have zero experience with intalling and transfering parts into a new case.

First off you said i need a 600W power supply? I have a 500w but this wont be good enough when i transfer out the processor and motherboard?

Second Is their a reason why i shouldnt go with the quad core for about the same price?

Third say i did get a new tower and cooler for the case. Realisticaly how hard is it to transfer over everyting from one tower to the next with virtualy no expeirence in the field. I mean i can look at something and rebuild it but is their any how too guides on the subject?

and the RAM is PC2-5300 (333mhz) bandwidth DDR2
manucacturer Nanya Technology

Edited by Subaru, 24 November 2007 - 03:45 PM.

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#4
Troy

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Well depending on where you're from, $500 could go a little or a long way. If I were you, and if you are in America (most people are, even though I'm not :)), then I would look at some upgrades like this:

Thermaltake case $49.99 (I personally have this case and love it, but it really comes down to personal preference :))
Gigabyte motherboard $89.99
OCZ 700W PSU $129.99 (Good rebate, though)
Core 2 Duo E6750 $189.99
Patriot 2GB Extreme Performance RAM $78.99 (Awesome rebate!)

Yes, the money goes slightly over, but you get rebates ;) This should even things out to about the $500 limit you had. I would use the X1950 Pro graphics card, as it's still a very good card. I feel these parts would probably bring the best out of your graphics card.

You say you have zero experience with system building, that's fine - everyone has to start somewhere :) If you feel that you could do it, if you are in any way technically-inclined, then I say go for it! If not, think about someone you know who may be able to help you. A simple Google search should find plenty of how-to guides. Not only that, when you get all the parts ready to go, you should have an instruction manual for each one. Just follow those manuals, and you'll be fine. Just remember to use stand-offs in the case! :)
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#5
SOORENA

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Tigerdirect has combo deals with the Q6600 every now and then and its really worth every penny. I would however stick to what you have now and just upgrade:

a) Motherboard
b) CPU

And if you have more money:

c) Video Card
d) Ram

Keep in mind you will need a better PSU if you upgrade the Video Card, I would also recommend the OCZ 700 Watt.

Soorena
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#6
Subaru

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Thanks for the tip. If i went cheap with it and used the stock tower that comes with the Aspire E380, could i fit the newer motherboards and processors into it? Also would a stock fan be enough to cool if i slightly overclocked the processor?
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#7
SOORENA

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Slightly overclocking is different on all processors, for example the Pentium Ds are know for their heat, and not in a good way, or the Athlon FX is known not to get as hot as lets say the Athlon X2. So if you want to overclock the E6750 from 2.66 to 2.8 GHz then no you don't need that much cooling. As for the case I am not sure as I have never had a computer from brand like Aspire or HP so I would say that if you look inside and there are other screw holes then yes it might be compatible. Also keep in mind that if you upgrade from a 775 to another 775 then your case will support the mobo as the old one was similar.

Soorena

Edited by SOORENA, 26 November 2007 - 05:19 PM.

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#8
Subaru

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Ok time to pop her open and check whats under the hood. If i did get a new tower however, is the transfering of one computers internal parts to another relatively easy to figure out? I read somewhere that you have to keep your ram from anything that can produce static as it could get zapped or something like that.
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#9
SOORENA

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Yes that is true, also ground yourself by touching the metal part of the computer before you touch anything else. I hope I'm not too late.

Soorena
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