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Looking to slightly upgrade


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#1
rain183xx

rain183xx

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Hey guys... first the specs on my most recent computer. (Built roughly ~2/3 years ago)

AOpen AK86-L VIA K8T800 Chipset Motherboard
AMD 64+ 3000
GForce 6800 GT
2x 512mb ddr Corsair ram
Seagate 80gb HDD
antec 380w PSU
antec sonata case

This computer just stopped working on me... after a bunch of troubleshooting I've determined that the mobo/CPU is messed up... so I guess it's time for a little upgrade.

First of all I was pretty content with my recent build until it went down... I'm a pretty casual computer user now... not the hardcore gamer that I used to be. My Xbox keeps me more than happy these days! I just use the computer to play poker, browse the net, and maybe play some DOTA which does not require a powerful system whatsoever. Point of the story is I am looking to spend the minimum possible...

The things that I'm definitely upgrading are the mobo and CPU obviously, probably the RAM, and MAYBE the HDD and PSU. I think the video card and case that I have will suffice. Also I'd like to stick to AMD since it's normally cheaper, right?

Will the PSU I currently have be enough? And I really don't want to change my HDD since everything I need is already on that one and I don't want to go through the hassle of transferring everything over...

THANKS IN ADVANCE GUYS!

Edited by rain183xx, 24 March 2010 - 06:33 PM.

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#2
Ferrari

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Hi rain, I'd be more than happy to help you. :)

First thing though...

I really don't want to change my HDD since everything I need is already on that one and I don't want to go through the hassle of transferring everything over...

Just so I understand correctly... it sounds like you expect to be able to just hook up all the new hardware and connect your old hard drive and it will boot. Is that right? If so, you are wrong. You will need to perform a fresh install of the OS as the old hard drive MBR (Master Boot Record) and all of the drivers installed on the old OS are tied to the old motherboard.

Secondly, do you have an OEM XP license or did you purchase the more expensive RETAIL XP license? OEM license do now allow "upgrading" the motherboard, they consider it a new computer so you need to purchase another license. However, RETAIL licenses do allow it and you will simply need to install XP and enter your product key when prompted. All of this will require that you still have the product key and of course the XP installation disc.

So you many want to consider moving to Windows 7, the OEM license for that costs about $100. Let's get that sorted before we move much further.

Also I'd like to stick to AMD since it's normally cheaper, right?

Yes

Will the PSU I currently have be enough?

It's pretty borderline. I would consider a new one if I were you. Today's hardware, generally speaking, requires more power than ever before. A good 80 Plus certified PSU in the 500 watt range should suffice.

I'm a pretty casual computer user now... not the hardcore gamer that I used to be. My Xbox keeps me more than happy these days! I just use the computer to play poker, browse the net, and maybe play some DOTA which does not require a powerful system whatsoever. Point of the story is I am looking to spend the minimum possible...

I agree. You don't need top of the line high-end hardware to do any of that. So, I'll keep that in mind.

probably [upgrade] the RAM

Yes you will have to. Any of the new boards out will use DDR2, and you state you have DDR.
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#3
rain183xx

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Ferrari! Again to the rescue haha... glad to hear you'll be the one helping me out.



Just so I understand correctly... it sounds like you expect to be able to just hook up all the new hardware and connect your old hard drive and it will boot. Is that right? If so, you are wrong. You will need to perform a fresh install of the OS as the old hard drive MBR (Master Boot Record) and all of the drivers installed on the old OS are tied to the old motherboard.


Ah I see... I guess I might as well get another HD then :)

Secondly, do you have an OEM XP license or did you purchase the more expensive RETAIL XP license? OEM license do now allow "upgrading" the motherboard, they consider it a new computer so you need to purchase another license. However, RETAIL licenses do allow it and you will simply need to install XP and enter your product key when prompted. All of this will require that you still have the product key and of course the XP installation disc.

So you many want to consider moving to Windows 7, the OEM license for that costs about $100. Let's get that sorted before we move much further.


I have the OEM... I suppose I'll have to upgrade that too =\
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#4
Ferrari

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Just to throw something out there, what do you think of this?

Gigabyte Motherboard - $80
Athlon II x2 240 Regor CPU @2.8ghz - $59
Corsair XMS2 4GB (2gb x 2) - $100
OCZ 500watt ModXtremePro 80 Plus Certified PSU - $65
Western Digital Caviar Blue 320gb, 7200RPM, 16mb cache. - $50
Samsung CD/DVD Burner Combo Drive - $20
Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit - OEM - $105
Use your existing Case and the mobo's onboard video RADEON HD 4200. (because I think your video card may use an AGP interface, and the newer boards use PCI-Express x16 slots.

TOTAL = $479

What do you think? This is an exact replica of a system I built for my parents and I must say it is very speedy and comparable (but not faster) to my $1200 high end rig. Kind of puts a perspective on things for users who just surf the net and check email... etc.

Also, please not that this motherboard is a micro ATX form factor. Does your case support mico and standard ATX? It does if this is your exact case HERE. But if you have the Sonata III 500 it does not.
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#5
rain183xx

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That's actually a pretty good starting price... however times are hard so I'd still like to cut it down a bit more if possible. Perhaps lessen the amount of RAM? In regards to the Gigabyte mobo I like that idea because from what I've heard they're reliable and have longevity which is exactly what I'm looking for.

About the case, I'm truthfully not sure... I think I've thrown the box out and everything... maybe if I snap a pic you'll be able to determine?

THanks again Ferrari
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#6
Ferrari

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G.Skill 2GB kit $57 vs. $100.
400watt Corsair PSU $51 vs. $65.
Samsung Spinpoint F3 250gb Hard Drive $45 vs. $50.

The Corsair PSU has 30amps on the +12v rail which is absolutely outstanding for a $50 PSU that is 80 Plus Certified. Corsair PSU's are simply the best. This is more than enough to power your system, I often don't choose it because the cables are very long and no modular design and there are a ton of them, so you need a place to hide them or don't expect things to look nice and tidy in there. :) That can often prevent good airflow, but that's being a little picky too. G.Skill is a nice brand and Samsung drives are pretty good, I just generally recommend Western Digital because I'm more familiar with them.

That seems to knock off $62 to bring a total to $407.

But wait, there's more! :) (Attempting to sound like an info-mercial)

Buy this Combo for the same motherboard and same cpu HERE and save another $10! And then switch back to the western digital 320gb Caviar Blue I first linked to combined with the Corsair 400 watt PSU HERE and save an additional $5! (compared to the Samsung drive and Corsair 400 watt PSU)

That brings the total to about $392. Thats a total savings from my first mock build of about $90 or so.

About the case, I'm truthfully not sure... I think I've thrown the box out and everything... maybe if I snap a pic you'll be able to determine?


I looked up your old motherboard and it is an ATX form factor. I conferred with another tech and we confirmed that if your case held a ATX board, it will also fit a Micro ATX board because they the holes line up the same, just less of them on the right side of the motherboard.

For example... ATX is something like this:
. . .
. . .
. . .

Where as Micro ATX would be the same but without the last holes like this:
. .
. .
. .


Hope that helps! I wish I could have gotten that kind of deal on my parents build, darn it! :)

Edited by Ferrari, 25 March 2010 - 01:26 PM.

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