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Help with building/upgrading pc

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Hey, my current pc, can barely run most up-to-date games (half-life 2), even on there lowest specs, i know next to nothing on pc's, but what i do know is, my current pc is / has ::

256mb RAM
16gb Hard disk
1.47ghz processor (i think)
cd rom drive 16x (NO cd rw, cd w, dvd rw)
and AMD Athlon™ XP 1700+ (what ever this means)

And im wanting to upgrade my pc to have (pref.) ::

3.2 ghz prosessor,
40gb HD
dual 512mb memory sticks
cd RW, W, & dvd RW
a good graphics card (dunno anything on these)

i would just upgrade here and now by ording from scan.co.uk, but, i happen to know something like this, u cant upgrade prosessor without upgrading motherboard, and u cant upgrade motherboard without upgrading sound card, graphics card, network card, and u have to buy things all to match with each other, or they wont work with each other, a little help and guidence on how to upgrade a pc/how to build a new pc.

thnx :tazz:
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A rule of thumb would be, just go for better rams and a good graphic card since these will probably be enough for your game and can be used in your next computer too but before that ask yourself what type of game since brains comes with rams whereas graphics comes with the card so you may only need one of them. Only if this fails should you be thinking of a new machine. Also a lot of games don't like sharing the router with other apps so one might spend a lot of money only to find out that something like guildwar clashes with ones P2P so take it in stages.
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Get a program called cpu-z that will tell you what you have in your pc exactly at the moment. The best way to upgrade is to save your money and do it all at once. Or just buy a new pc, loads of places to choose from in britiain, scan carrera, mesh, evesham. If you upgrade the mother board you will have onboard sound or if you have a pci sound card it can just be transfered across, network card is just the same has onboard but pci just gets taken across. I would check out http://www.overclockers.co.uk and ebuyer i prefer them to scan better websites and cheaper parts. Before you do any work you should really do some more research on computers and how they work and are put together before you attampt any upgrades. Any questions just ask us but google is just as good at answerng as we are.
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