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Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology.

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I have an fairly old (6 years) Dell that Id like to upgrade into a better gaming machine. I am a college student so I'm trying to do it on the cheap. I have been upgrading piecemeal over the past 6 years with the last major upgrade occuring two years ago. As it stands right now these are my specifications

2.40 gigahertz Intel Pentium 4
8 kilobyte primary memory cache
512 kilobyte secondary memory cache

Board: Intel Corporation D845EPT2 AAA83422-107
Serial Number: CN04P6154811129B01V3
Bus Clock: 133 megahertz
BIOS: Intel Corp. A03 07/18/2002

480.11 Gigabytes Usable Hard Drive Capacity
5.82 Gigabytes Hard Drive Free Space

DVD-ROM DVD-16X6S [CD-ROM drive]
3.5" format removeable media [Floppy drive]

2048 Megabytes Installed Memory

Slot 'DIMM1' has 1024 MB
Slot 'DIMM2' has 1024 MB

NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GT [Display adapter] AGP

My goal is to get a system that can play Grand Theft Auto IV easily and has future upgrade abilities. I don't do much gaming, only buying a game a year or so.
Based on my very limited knowledge I'm thinking I'll probably end up getting a new motherboard, processor and video card. I'm hoping to keep the total price below 500$ if possible.
So does anybody have some suggestions for what suits my needs?
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We should be able to upgrade this, but I'm missing one critical piece of the puzzle.

What is the model of your computer? That will determine what upgrades we can do based on the system board and chassis form factor.
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GTA IV was horribly ported. So badly so, that top-of-the-line systems have a lot of problems running it smoothly. Its minimum requirements are a 1.8ghz Core 2 Duo CPU, a NVIDIA 7900, and 16GB of free hard drive space, none of which you have. Also, your motherboard supports neither Core 2 Duos nor PCI-Express graphics cards. So, in order to play GTA IV, you will basically need an entire new computer.

I'm a PC gamer at heart; the only console I've ever owned was a N64, which I bought 10 years after it was released solely to play Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Thus, it pains me very much to say that if your goal is to play GTA IV for less than $500, your best bet would be to buy an Xbox 360 or PS3. :)
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