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Old 06-20-2008, 04:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default In need of help with an overall upgrade!

So Im nearly a complete beginner at upgrades, knowing whats compatible with what, but I definitely know that I'm in need of a serious upgrade. The first thing I need to deal with is my Video Card. From what I can tell, its an Intel(R) 945GM Express Chipset, and I don't know what the **** it technically means, but apparently I have integrated graphics, and seeing as I'm planning on building a Gaming Laptop, Integrated graphics isn't going to cut it from what I hear.

The Video Card is really my #1 priority, as its holding me back from running a ton of games, but I'd love to upgrade my laptop as a whole to run smoother games as well.


I have a Dell Latitude D520, and here are its specs from some analyzer I found online

CPU
You Have: 2 processors running - Genuine Intel(R) CPU T2300 @ 1.66GHz

CPU Speed
You Have: 1.66 GHz Performance Rated at 2.99 GHz

System RAM
You Have: 1014 MB

Operating System
You Have: Microsoft Windows XP Professional (Build Service Pack 22600)
PASS

Video Card
You Have: Mobile Intel(R) 945GM Express Chipset Family (Intel(R) GMA 950)

Video RAM: You have - 224 MB
Video Card 3D Acceleration - You have - Yes
Video HW Transform & Lighting: - You have - No
Vertex Shader Ver.: - You have - 0.0
Pixel Shader Ver.: - You have - 2.0

Video Card Driver Version (DirectX)
Your driver version number is: 6.14.10.4814

Sound Card
Minimum: Yes
You Have: SigmaTel Audio
Your driver version number is: 5.10


Free Disk Space
You Have: 7.4 GB

DVD
You Have: PHILIPS DVD+-RW SDVD8820

So thats all I know. I was also considering scrapping this laptop, and buying an entirely new one, but I have two questions about that, are there any gaming laptops under 700ish, or would I have to go desktop for that price? And I've heard lots of problems about vista, do these problems apply to the average user? Or are they security flaws that would affect some important corporation?

Again, Im a complete beginner at this kind of stuff, so any help/pointers is appreciated, and thanks for any help!
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Old 06-20-2008, 04:35 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: In need of help with an overall upgrade!

gaming laptops start around $1000. Usually more. I'd just move to a desktop. You'll get more power for the money. Vista is fine. You might encounter some driver problems but nothing big. I've been using it since day one. Another thing is laptop gpu's are not cheap and seem hard to find. The only thing I got was the 8800m gts sli which is $1000. Your better off building a desktop especially w/ the current gpu offerings and insanely low prices to boot.
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Old 06-20-2008, 06:05 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: In need of help with an overall upgrade!

Aright, thanks for the advice, thats what I've been hearing from a few other people too. Now I'm considering piecing together my own computer rather than buying a premade "gaming" PC from a store/site, is this generally more or less expensive? I think I could sacrifice a massive hardrive to redistribute that money elsewhere, seeing as most of the Gaming PC's Ive seen come with way more memory than I really need.

Sorry if this is a stupid question, but I was also trying to understand how the motherboard, and pretty much most of the internals of my computer work. I have an old desktop I dont use anymore, is it possible to completely remove all of its internal pieces besides the fan, and replace it with completely up to date internals? Or does it not work like that, any info would be much appreciated.
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Old 06-20-2008, 06:42 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: In need of help with an overall upgrade!

memory usually refers to RAM not hard drive

yes you can gut out old pc and re use the case.

just post your budget and kids here will happily put a list up for you.
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Old 06-20-2008, 08:44 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: In need of help with an overall upgrade!

Ah, aright thanks. Id say my budget is around $650 - 750, and again, my hardrive is least important to me, so the cheaper the better.
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Old 06-20-2008, 09:07 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: In need of help with an overall upgrade!

This system comes to $770 before mail in rebates.

Newegg.com - LITE-ON Black 20X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 20X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 20X DVDĪR DVD Burner - CD / DVD Burners

Newegg.com - COOLER MASTER Elite 330 RC-330-KKN1-GP Black SECC ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Computer Cases

Newegg.com - Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST380815AS 80GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - Internal Hard Drives

Newegg.com - CORSAIR CMPSU-550VX 550W ATX12V V2.2 Power Supply 90 - 264 V UL, CUL, CE, CB, FCC Class B, TUV, CCC, C-tick - Power Supplies

Newegg.com - OCZ Platinum Revision 2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Desktop Memory

Newegg.com - GIGABYTE GA-EP43-DS3L LGA 775 Intel P43 ATX Intel Motherboard - Intel Motherboards

Newegg.com - Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz 2 x 4MB L2 Cache LGA 775 Quad-Core Processor - CPUs / Processors

Newegg.com - Rosewill RCX-Z775-LX 92mm Ball CPU Cooler - CPU Fans & Heatsinks

Newegg.com - MSI R4850-T2D512 Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Desktop Graphics / Video Cards
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Old 06-20-2008, 10:11 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: In need of help with an overall upgrade!

Aright, thanks a ton for the list, looks great for my budget.
I've got one more question though, I've done almost no tinkering around putting a computer together before, besides the basics like adding a RAM Chip, but with no experience, do you think I'd be able to put this computer together if I bought all these pieces? Or would I need to hire some Geeksquad help to put it together.

Oh, also, is this a basic core list of devices? Or is there anything important I should have that's not included on the list?
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Old 06-21-2008, 11:14 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: In need of help with an overall upgrade!

That list includes everything you should need. The motherboard and components will will come with manuals that tell you how to install everything so you should have no problem putting it together.I had no experience before I built my system and I didn't have any problems assembling it.
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Old 06-21-2008, 01:05 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Aright, thanks again for all the help! Doubt I would've been able to do this without it.
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