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Upgrading My PC


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#1
athlom

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Hello GtG,

I've been looking at new parts for my PC for ages now and keep hesitating on what to get. I'll of had my PC for about two years come February and it's gotten to the point where it's clearly fallen behind performance wise. I keep hesitating on my purchases because I never know if I'm getting the best bang for my buck. I'm usually not picky about prices because when I had my PC custom built (by Systemax) I just went with the name brand stuff I've heard enough about. However this time around I've seen that I could of went about getting it a lot cheaper with even more 'bang'. My current PC specs are as follows:

Manufacturer: Systemax
Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo CPU E4500 @ 2.20GHz (2 CPUs)
Memory: 2046MB RAM
Hard Drive: Two 250 GB Harddrives
Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce 8600 GT
Monitor: 19" Black LCD Monitor
Sound Card: Realtek HD Audio output
Speakers/Headphones: Realtek HD 3-Piece Speakers / Steelseries 3H Headset
Keyboard: Comfort Curve Wireless Keyboard
Mouse: Logitech Wireless Optik Mouse
Mouse Surface: Default Blue Pad
Operating System: Windows XP Professional (5.1, Build 2600) Service Pack 2
Motherboard: nVidia nForce 680i LT SLI Motherboard
Computer Case: Mid-Tower Chassis


What I'm looking to do is buy only the necessary parts it will take to run Next-Gen games at a high (comfortable) quality, or for example: Call of Duty 4 @ a constant 250FPS; install them myself into my PC in replace of the previous part, and STILL have smooth gameplay. I know what's out there as far as brand names go but I still don't know the difference between some of them (ex. AMD/Intel ATI/nVidia) I can afford to spend anywhere between $300-700 at the moment but would rather keep the price range between $300-550 IF possible.

If a few of you could clarify some of my confusion as far as the different brands go (better performance, reputation, durability, etc..) as well as help me choose hardware that fits what I want to do and my suggested price range, I'd greatly appreciate it.

Thanks!
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#2
Troy

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You could simply upgrade your processor and graphics card, possibly the RAM as well to 4GB. As it is it's not too bad, the EVGA is a fairly good motherboard that should be able to take a nice high-end dual or quad.

The real question is what PSU is running that machine at present? It may very well be what needs to be upgraded first.

Troy
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#3
athlom

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How might I go about finding out what PSU I am currently running?
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#4
rshaffer61

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Open the system and on the PSU there should be a sticker that gives all the technical information.
Reply with the make and model, wattage and one of us can locate a better one along with letting you know the current dependability of the one you have.
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#5
Troy

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Also, along with the total wattage (W), please also report how many amps (A) output on the +12V rail(s).
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#6
athlom

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So I took a look at the PSU and here's all I could get off of it myself;

ULTRA XFinity 500W PSU - Black
There was also a red (what looked like a) switch on the backside of the PSU that read 115V.
No idea if that's any help, however I was able to pull up a page of the exact model I have that way if I forgot to get something, or in this case couldn't find it you can just visit here and have a look around
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#7
Troy

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500W should be enough, although the +12V Amps is a little low. The only problem is I'm not a fan of Ultra PSUs, I find them poor quality, that being said if it is working fine it should do the trick. If you can budget for a nicer PSU I would definitely recommend it, something like the Corsair TX-650 would be excellent.

Actually another point to consider is the case, is there a specific make/model of the case or is it some kind of generic one? In particular I want to know what kind of airflow is happening in there, because adding in some higher-end parts (especially graphics card) will create potentially a fair bit more heat, so it's important to keep things nice and cool.

Can you post the exact make/model of your motherboard?
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#8
athlom

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All I could get off the case and doing a little research was it's a Systemax Venture vx2s. You could try putting that into a search and see what you can come up with regarding airflow.

My motherboard was listed above in my original post;

Motherboard: nVidia nForce 680i LT SLI Motherboard
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#9
athlom

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*bump* still looking for assistance. :)
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#10
Troy

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Sorry mate, had some WLAN issues of my own.

http://www.nvidia.co...li_support.html

Nvidia have made the reference design, you'll find the actual manufacturer was another company. EVGA? XFX? Albatron? Colorful?

Once you know the exact model (it should be printed on the motherboard itself), I'll look up exactly what specifications the motherboard supports so we can get some good upgrade suggestions to you.

Cheers
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#11
diazed

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And i recommend this OCZ 500W for only $30 bucks.
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#12
athlom

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I looked everyone on my MB and still couldn't find a manufacturer, I even tried downloading PC Wizard 2009 and seeing if it could fine anything but still nothing, it found everything else about my motherboard except the the Manufacturer. -.-

Could really use help, I have serials and whatnot but am at a loss as to how to find out the specific manufacturer.
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#13
rshaffer61

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Download SIW from HERE and get the Standalone English version
It will install itself and when finished
Then Click on SIW Icon to run program
On the left side click on the Motherboard directory and then on the right, copy and paste the information in your next reply
On the left side click on the PCI directory and then on the rightcopy and paste the line that says Audio Device

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#14
athlom

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Motherboard Data:

Property Value:
Manufacturer:
Model:
Version
Serial Number:

North Bridge: NVIDIA nForce 680i SLI SPP Revision A2
South Bridge: NVIDIA nForce 680i SLI MCP Revision A2

CPU: Intel® Core™2 Duo CPU E4500 @ 2.20GHz
Cpu Socket: Socket 775 LGA

System Slots: 2 PCI

Memory Summary:
Maximum Capacity: 2048 MBytes
Maximum Memory Module Size: 32 MBytes
Memory Slots: 4
Error Correction: None

Warning! Accuracy of DMI data cannot be guaranteed




PCI Data:

Bus/Dev./Func. Type Class Type Manufacturer Device Name Sub System Device Vendor Sub System Device Name
00 / 15 / 01 HT Hi-Definition Audio Nvidia Corp MCP55 High Definition Audio Nvidia Corp

Edited by athlom, 26 October 2009 - 04:20 PM.

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#15
Troy

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And i recommend this OCZ 500W for only $30 bucks.

That deal ended a long time ago, be sure to read the fineprint.

Okay, is there any chance of a picture of this motherboard? I'm really curious now. :)
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