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Thread: Trying to Upgrade/Tweak Old PC

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    Qualified Eye-Tician Iron Sights's Avatar
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    Trying to Upgrade/Tweak Old PC

    I was clearing out some of my old stuff when i came across an old pc:

    amd athlon 3000+ 1.8GHz
    ASRock K8 Combo-Z (939 socket)
    512mb ddr ram (184 pin i think)
    geforce fx 5200 128mb (agp)
    win XP
    no idea about the rest of the components but it looks like generic crap to me.

    Not a bad pc in its day, but im trying to see if i can tweek it, my guess would be to get extra ram and to overclock but I'm unsure which ram to get or how to overclock it.

    It will be only used for basic stuff internet browsing and LIGHT gaming, nothing modern.
    Hell, i still can play team fortress 2 (on low settings).

    I dont really want to spend much on it but i wanted your thoughts on what i should do or where to buy.

    Thanks
    Last edited by Iron Sights; 25-07-2009 at 12:01 AM. Reason: lazy

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    Senior Member watercooled's Avatar
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    Re: Trying to Upgrade/Tweak Old PC

    Your motherboard is listed on crucial.com - http://www.crucial.com/uk/store/list...%20Combo-Z it looks like there are 3 slots which accept up to 1GB of DDR 2700/3200 RAM up to a max of 2GB:
    Although it is physically possible to install more memory, the system will only recognize the maximum listed. Installing more memory may cause major problems. Consult the system's manufacturer for more information.Although the memory can be installed one module at a time, the best performance comes from using matched pairs of modules.2 DIMM slots supported with socket 754 CPU, 3 DIMM slots supported with socket 939 CPU. Dual channel technology is only supported with socket 939 CPUs.
    DDR looks expensive on that site so ebay or the forums would be the best place for it IMO (I have a few sticks of DDR RAM somewhere which you can have for postage if I can find it). You can use any DDR RAM - if it fits it will work but make sure it's at least as fast as the one that's in there because all sticks run at the speed of the slowest one.
    I'd stick with XP on that system since it's less RAM hungry than more recent Windows OSes. You could also try Linux.

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    Qualified Eye-Tician Iron Sights's Avatar
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    Re: Trying to Upgrade/Tweak Old PC

    nice one, i go check ebay out, btw, just wondering how well do you think the cpu would overclock

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    Senior Member Pob255's Avatar
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    Re: Trying to Upgrade/Tweak Old PC

    Hey don't laugh at the Fx5200 128mb, my Gf has my old one in her pc, it happly runs a desktop at 1600x1200 at 32bit, does good driver level colour tuneing, which is handy when you do digital painting and art work for printing.

    Gameing . . . best bet look around for a 2nd hand card, you can get new ones but they tend to be very pricey, high end 7series geforce or ati x1xxx series
    nvidia stoped makeing agp after the 7 series although ati did keep going, hd3850 did come out in agp but it's not going to be cheap.
    EDIT: found one by chance http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/s...tml?NOV-38505A £71.29

    if it is 939 motherboard you may be able to pick up an athlon x2 cpu 2nd hand as well

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    Re: Trying to Upgrade/Tweak Old PC

    While the gains are not going to be huge look to get the rig to 2gb of ram and a cheap upg on the agp card, that should see you right for a while longer.



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    Re: Trying to Upgrade/Tweak Old PC

    It would make a good basis for a home server setup.
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    Re: Trying to Upgrade/Tweak Old PC

    Quote Originally Posted by peterb View Post
    It would make a good basis for a home server setup.
    Wouldn't win many medals at the power-efficiency olympics though...

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    Qualified Eye-Tician Iron Sights's Avatar
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    Re: Trying to Upgrade/Tweak Old PC

    Sorry to bring back this old thread but Ive been holding off this upgrade as I have been busy but now

    Im a bit stuck.... you see I have 2 options:

    I have a budget of around £125-130
    I need a cpu, mobo, ram, psu (probabily) and graphics card

    I was thinking something like:

    A cheap amd dual core, mobo (perhaps with onboard graphics), 1-2gb ram, decent value psu
    Is this possible, with this limited budget

    or I should I just

    Upgrade the ram, get a better agp gpu and a decent psu

    Thanks I appreciate the help

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    Re: Trying to Upgrade/Tweak Old PC

    My previous rig was as 939 opteron, 2gig of ram and a 8800GT. Seemed quiet happy with COD4 under XP.

  10. #10
    Qualified Eye-Tician Iron Sights's Avatar
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    Re: Trying to Upgrade/Tweak Old PC

    ok if i upgrade using the current mobo i think i can get

    another 512mb ddr ram
    hd 3650 512mb agp
    coolermaster 400w extreme psu
    All under 100 quid might leave room for 2nd hand s939 amd x2
    So what do you think, worth it?

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    Re: Trying to Upgrade/Tweak Old PC

    Go for a cheap AM2 system or LGA775 P4 system, they cost around the same as S939 but offer better performance and better upgradability (basically you're saying you want to get the high end of 2 generations ago but I'm telling you to get the low end of last generation)

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    Re: Trying to Upgrade/Tweak Old PC

    Quote Originally Posted by Iron Sights View Post
    ok if i upgrade using the current mobo i think i can get

    another 512mb ddr ram
    hd 3650 512mb agp
    coolermaster 400w extreme psu
    All under 100 quid might leave room for 2nd hand s939 amd x2
    So what do you think, worth it?
    Socket 939 X2 processors are very expensive to buy secondhand as these are the best CPU upgrades for socket 939 systems.

    I would look at getting the following:

    AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ 45NM Phenom II version ~ £36

    http://www.scan.co.uk/TodayOnly/Index.aspx

    This maybe unlockable to a quad core.

    MSI 785GTM-E45 ~ £48

    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/171803

    This has ACC which should allow core unlocking AFAIK.

    1GB 667MHZ DDR2 ~ £21

    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/106130

    OR

    2GB 800MHZ DDR2 ~ £41

    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/129954

    350W AKASA P350PG ~ £25

    http://www.scan.co.uk/TodayOnly/Index.aspx

    OR

    400w Silverpower SP-400P2 ~ £29

    http://www.scan.co.uk/TodayOnly/Index.aspx

    HD4650 GDDR2~ £36

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/512MB...b-plus-FarCry2

    The MSI motherboard has HD4200 integrated graphics which should be fine for some light gaming AFAIK.
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 04-01-2010 at 12:57 AM. Reason: Typo!! Put 4GB of DDR2 instead of 2GB!!


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    Qualified Eye-Tician Iron Sights's Avatar
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    Re: Trying to Upgrade/Tweak Old PC

    thanks cat btw i noticed the mobo is mATX and only supports 2 slots for the ram, I am willing to stretch the budget so i get get a stick of 2gb and then maybe another in the future if needs be.
    So what would you guys recommend?

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    Bows out! CAT-THE-FIFTH's Avatar
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    Re: Trying to Upgrade/Tweak Old PC

    Quote Originally Posted by Iron Sights View Post
    thanks cat btw i noticed the mobo is mATX and only supports 2 slots for the ram, I am willing to stretch the budget so i get get a stick of 2gb and then maybe another in the future if needs be.
    So what would you guys recommend?
    What is your maximum budget??


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    Senior Member Pob255's Avatar
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    Re: Trying to Upgrade/Tweak Old PC

    Personally I'd not look at wasteing £36 on a HD4650 GDDR2~ £36 even for light gaming, it's not going to be much better than the 785g onboard graphics.

    I'd look at ether sticking with just the onboard or looking at a 770 based motherboard
    eg http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Gigab...D3-Motherboard

    and then hunt around on fleabay for a high end DX9 pci-e card eg a x1900xt or 7950gt (around £30 inc p&p or less if you're lucky)

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    Qualified Eye-Tician Iron Sights's Avatar
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    Re: Trying to Upgrade/Tweak Old PC

    As it turns out i might not need a psu after all, i managed to get a decent one off a friend saving me £30

    So therefore the budget is still about £130 (the cheaper the better really it kinda depends on any significant perfomance gain)

    but anyway i will stick with that onboard IGP for now and the cpu seems fine just need to find some 2gb ram, unless you guys have any other ideas?

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