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Newbie Upgrading his PUTER.. need help :(


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#1
lreyes66

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Not really a pc newbie...more around a hard warde noob. Well Recently Ive started getting into gaming/computer stuff. When i was younger i always dreamed of making a (bad language removed) computer. But i had no money...same story now =(. Well Ive been getting real frustrated with fps dropping in certain areas when i play games such as team fortress 2 and garrys mod. I just ordered a new graphics card, which triggered my inner fat kid from the past, and well now i want to upgrade my computer into a (bad language removed) (not HARDCORE) system. I dont have alot of money considering that im a 17 y/o student with a (bad language removed) paying job, and like 50% of my pay goes to my girlfriend( yes i know im whipped) and food. It surely doesnt help that christmas is around the corner. Well i have a serious amount of newbie questions to ask about upgrading my puter. I would really appricate it if anyone is kind enough to help me by answering these questions. Remember i have a low budget :cry2:

My computer is a HP Pavilion a350n, which is all stock parts execpt the video card and i also had added 1.5g of ram in the past.
PC SPECS:
  • Windows Xp Home Edition
  • 160 GB HDD
  • 2gb Ram Memory(two 256mb, 512mb, 1gb)
  • 2.8 GHz Intel Pentium 4 Processor
  • ATI Radeon x800 Pro 256 MB AGP *ORDERED a PNY Geforce 8500 gt 512MB pci express card*
  • 250W Power Supply (i think)
  • and i dont know the motherboard...its stock
QUESTIONS

Q1) Should I take the two 256 mb ram out and buy 2, 1g sticks which will make it a total of 3.5 ram or is 2 g fine.

Q2) Shouild i buy a bigger HDD say around 200 and 320 gb and make it my primary while using my current as secondary. (I dont have alot of files, and i have about 70% free space on my current HDD) or should i just save money and just maintain my hdd and just clean it of junk every onces ina while.

Q3) Is it possible to upgrade some components such as my processor (or is my processor good enough for a while), and mother board( because i might want to try the SLI with my video cards in the future) while keeping the other components i have.

Q4) Im not a hardcore gamer, more like casual when im bored, or if i want to play a new game. What other things would you recommend for me.

I know that the 8500 GT is getting dissed for having low performance compared to the 8600 but it was only for $90, $70 after the rebate from newegg. But if im not happy with it when i get it, i will return it and prob get the PNY GEforce 8600 GT 512 mb and i think its overclocked.

Q5) Whats your opinion on my graphics card situation? If i get the 8600 then i would also have to get a new power supply so it can support it which means more $$$ :sad:


pretty much i want to make whatever i have right now BETTER. I know how fast tech can get out dated but i want my machine to handle good for games/work for now and for a couple of years. I NEED HELP T_T

Edited by frantique, 29 November 2007 - 04:37 AM.

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#2
gambLe1109

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Slow down

First of all, you're just skipping right to upping your FPS and not concerning yourself with the parts you have. You are going to have to upgrade your Power Supply first since you've already bought a video card. 250W is nowhere near enough power these days, and especially with an 8500/8600, they're going to need at least 400-450W. Actually, if you don't upgrade your Power Supply you run the risk of frying the entire computer because the Power Supply will be working itself too hard, not to mention if it was in an HP computer it's probably some no-name garbage. I recommend this Power Supply: http://www.ncix.com/...x.php?sku=20944

Q1-A) It is never a good idea to mix different types of RAM or different manufacturers of RAM. If you've already done this, I would reverse it. As far as the question goes, I would probably just buy 2GB of PC-6400 or something, but I doubt your motherboard is capable of running that fast.
Q2-A) Leave the HD alone, 160GB is more than enough for you, and if you have 70% free space as it is, buying another HD is a waste of money.
Q3-A) The only way you could upgrade your processor would be to upgrade your motherboard as well. I don't know the model of your motherboard, but it was in an HP computer which appears to be at least 2 years old, and that would not support the better processors of today.

If you wish to upgrade your motherboard/processor let me know, I can point you in the right direction.

Edited by gambLe1109, 27 November 2007 - 02:11 PM.

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#3
stettybet0

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Your computer only has an AGP slot. The PCI-E graphics card you ordered is not compatible with your computer. Don't open it when you get it, so you have a better chance of them accepting it as a return (depending on who you bought it from).

I had the exact same computer, and when I wanted to upgrade it into a decent gaming machine, this is what I did: Bought a new computer. In order to turn this computer into a decent gaming machine, you essentially need to replace every part, unfortunately.

If this is not an option, the best thing to do would be to buy the best AGP graphics card that you can afford. However, this may require you to replace your PSU, as gamble said.

Also, please try to refrain from foul language, as anyone can view this site, including children.

Edited by stettybet0, 27 November 2007 - 03:11 PM.

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#4
lreyes66

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ive decided that ill work my way up.... i was wondering if i could use this case http://www.newegg.co...N82E16811156062 . It comes with a 500 watt psu, and it has alot of room. But would i be able to move everything from my current pc into that? Ive never dealt with assembling a pc but i am a very fast learner.
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#5
stettybet0

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Considering how a Raidmax case would probably contain a Raidmax PSU, that is not a good idea. Raidmax is one of the worst PSU manufacturers out there. Also, 500W would be cutting it close for a modern PC. 600W is a safe starting point. Some of the better PSU manufacturers: PC Power & Cooling, Antec, XION, Thermaltake, Corsair, OCZ, and Tagan.
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#6
lreyes66

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PSU
<a href="http://shop4.outpost...H:MAIN_RSLT_PG" target="_blank">http://shop4.outpost...AIN_RSLT_PG</a>

CPU
<a href="http://shop4.outpost...H:MAIN_RSLT_PG" target="_blank">http://shop4.outpost...AIN_RSLT_PG</a>

Motherboard (SLI)
<a href="http://shop4.outpost...H:MAIN_RSLT_PG" target="_blank">http://shop4.outpost...AIN_RSLT_PG</a>

RAM (your current sticks are SDRAM, you'd need DDR2 800 for this board)
<a href="http://shop4.outpost...H:MAIN_RSLT_PG" target="_blank">http://shop4.outpost...AIN_RSLT_PG</a>


if i keep my current hp case will i be able to use my case with those components?
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#7
stettybet0

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We use BBCode, not HTML here. :)

Anyways, whoever told you that you currently use SDRAM is wrong. You currently use DDR RAM of the PC2700 variety. It should say this on the front of your computer, no?

To answer your question: Would these parts fit in the case? Yes. And even if by some odd chance they don't (though I'm almost positive this computer had a standard ATX case), you can get a decent case for $20-$50.

But here's a more important question: Would those parts be decent to start your new build? No. Try looking around at some of the other topics around here for some suggestions. We typically recommend Intel's Core 2 processors for gaming, as they are the top performing processors currently available. Also, as I said, you are probably going to want a PSU with a higher wattage. And don't forget the most important part of a gaming build: the graphics card. Your current graphics card will not be compatible with most new motherboards, so you should plan on getting a new one if you are getting a new motherboard.

Also, look at newegg for your parts if you are in the US. They usually have the best prices.
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#8
lreyes66

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We use BBCode, not HTML here. :)

Anyways, whoever told you that you currently use SDRAM is wrong. You currently use DDR RAM of the PC2700 variety. It should say this on the front of your computer, no?


he was recommending parts to make a new pc for $400 bucks

i was just thinking of starting small like a new case and psu...and once i get enough money start buying a new board,cpu, etc

Edited by lreyes66, 27 November 2007 - 09:51 PM.

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#9
gambLe1109

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Just make sure that you only buy quality parts. Buying mediocre parts for a quick fix will screw you in the long run, and you will end up buying the same "good" parts that you wanted in the beginning, but settled on bargain parts.
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#10
Titan8990

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I just wanted to add that even if you buy a case + PSU combo from a reputable company such as Thermaltake or Antec, then you are still going to get a piece of crap PSU, no matter how good their retail PSUs are.
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#11
comanighttrain

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The first step to a higher fps is to dump your gf:P.

The best thing to do....save about 500 bucks (however long it takes) and build a quality mid range system. Budget parts arent worth the heartbreak. My "wall of death" is testiment to all the budget parts i have used.
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#12
lreyes66

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I plan to buy a new MOBO and cpu. But i dont have windows on a cd, it came with my hp computer. Will have have to buy another windows?
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#13
Troy

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Will have have to buy another windows?

Yes :)
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#14
lreyes66

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Will have have to buy another windows?

Yes :)

i noticed that the product key for xp was on the side of my case. If i get a copy of my friends xp disc can i use that?
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#15
IVIrW4TZ

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I believe for the keys that are on the side of the case are good for only a year. Thats how long mine was.


Edit: Email address removed

Edited by frantique, 29 November 2007 - 04:32 AM.

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