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Old 05-21-2008, 12:44 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Help with computer upgrades

So my friend wants me to assist him in upgrading his computer, because I reccomend he spend the budget he has by upgrading his computer rather then buying a new one so he can target the areas most needed to upgrade in (video card, ram, processor, etc).

Hes looking for a nice gaming rig able to run the newer games (doesnt have to run crysis on very high.)

He is currently running a stock eMachine W4885
Technical Specs

I was browsing Newegg, and I found a couple things he could purchase, his budget is "a few hundred dollars", which I take to mean 2-300 dollars.

Heres what i've found:
XFX PVT64KUAFG GeForce FX 5200 256MB 64-bit DDR PCI Video Card - Retail = $52.99
FSP Group SAGA+ 450R 450W ATX12V Power Supply 100 - 240 V NEMKO, TUV, CSA, IEC, UL, CE - Retail = $56.99
Patriot Signature 1GB 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 333 (PC 2700) Desktop Memory - Retail x2 = $70
Intel Pentium 4 3.0E Prescott 3.0GHz 1MB L2 Cache Socket 478 89W Single-Core Processor - OEM = $79.99
Total = $224.96

Now those are what I thought was the best video card, processor, and ram he could get on budget, and a 450W PSU to go with it (i run higher hardware and i have the same PSU).

Looking at his rig, his motherboard only supports PCI and it says "AGP x2", but i couldnt find that interface under video cards, so im assuming thats for something else.

So the best PCI card is the one i selected, but this got me thinking "should he replace his motherboard?"

So my question is, do the items i picked out work with the computer? (Logistically and reasonably, i.e. will they fit in the slots and the case, and will they function), and If you think i should get another motherboard, can you point me in the right direction? (I dont want anyone doing item hunting for me, just tell me how i would go about finding a suitable motherboard).

Thanks a lot guys!

Phate
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Old 05-21-2008, 02:09 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I don't think a 5200 can run crysis, at all. Is it seriously a PCI slot you need for video, or is it at least AGP or PCI-E? I don't think with a plain jane old school PCI slot, you can achieve playing that game, ever.

Those Prescotts can be overclocked like mad, I know that from experience, but they're hot hot hot!

Does you motherboard accept at least DDR400?

I think maybe someone needs an extra hundred bucks, for 400 bucks you can lay that old machine to waste and have a machine that will be a nice mid gamer and so much more.

Sorry for the double post, there's too much to edit in, lol.

Check out what you can do with that budget:

Video card, decent for the price, blows any 5 series out of the water.
Gigabyte overclocked 8600GT PCI-E
Newegg.com - GIGABYTE GV-NX86T256H GeForce 8600GT 256MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Desktop Graphics / Video Cards

DDR2, for the budget, you might as well future proof if you can.
G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)
Newegg.com - G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Desktop Memory

Skimped a little on the mobo, I know, but the other parts are worth it.
PC CHIPS P53G LGA 775 Motherboard
Newegg.com - PC CHIPS P53G LGA 775 VIA P4M900CD Micro ATX Intel Motherboard - Intel Motherboards

Ditch the P4 and go Dual Core!
Intel Pentium E2200 Allendale 2.2GHz 1MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core
Newegg.com - Intel Pentium E2200 Allendale 2.2GHz 1MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor - CPUs / Processors

Less than 250 USD total, even spared some room if you need a new PSU.
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Old 05-21-2008, 02:35 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help with computer upgrades

Newegg.com - GIGABYTE GA-945GCM-S2C LGA 775 Intel 945GC Micro ATX Intel Motherboard - Intel Motherboards

Has a WAY better rating, and I imagine it's a much more solid board... Only a couple dollars more too.

edit:

Newegg.com - G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 667 (PC2 5400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Desktop Memory

The ram that compensates for the changed mobo.

edit 2:

Sorry, we did the item hunting for you anyways. But it's really the way to go (the parts we listed).
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Old 05-21-2008, 02:54 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help with computer upgrades

blackhawk13 hit the nail on the head with the Gigabyte board, I don't know how I missed it, much better board than the PCCHips.
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Old 05-21-2008, 07:16 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help with computer upgrades

Thanks a lot guys, tech-forums has always been so helpful to me

-Phate

Edit: One last question, i couldnt find on there what size fan port he has, and im guessing that when i completely replace his gear that he will need a much better fan then the eMachine stock. Should i just pick up a new case too? or just get a new fan (id prefer to get a new fan if its reasonable because ive never installed some things like a CD drive or a HDD, so it would be new to me, though the motherboard is new too, but ive got books and can read up on it )
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Old 05-21-2008, 07:48 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help with computer upgrades

I actually like the eMachine chassis, my wife has one (my old one). It take s an 80mm for the rear exhaust.

If you go with a new case, you can get an ATX case and an ATX mobo.
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Old 05-21-2008, 11:09 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help with computer upgrades

80mm is pretty much the norm for a case fan, you'll see some cases have 120mm, sometimes referred to as 12cm. Pick up a fan that's ball bearing (they'll last longer than sleeve type), Masscool brand fans are cheap and reliable.
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Old 05-21-2008, 12:16 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help with computer upgrades

Even the cheap celeron dual core are much better than those single core P4
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