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Old 04-09-2006, 12:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Upgrading my pc on a budget

I need some help. I have a sony vaio desktop and it's getting a little old and i can't play games properly any more. I'm looking to upgrade it on a budget to be able to play new games, not necessarily on high settings but run them smoothly. I dont know much about computer hardware, but i figured i need to upgrade the Memory and graphics card. Any help would be really great. Here are my complete system specs:

Number of CPUs 1

Name Intel Pentium 4
Code Name Northwood
Specification Intel® Pentium® 4 CPU 2.66GHz
Family / Model / Stepping F 2 7
Extended Family / Model 0 0
Brand ID 9
Package mPGA-478
Core Stepping C1
Technology 0.13 um
Supported Instructions Sets MMX, SSE, SSE2
CPU Clock Speed 2679.9 MHz
Clock multiplier x 20.0
Front Side Bus Frequency 134.0 MHz
Bus Speed 536.0 MHz
L1 Data Cache 8 KBytes, 4-way set associative, 64 Bytes line size
L1 Trace Cache 12 Kuops, 8-way set associative
L2 Cache 512 KBytes, 8-way set associative, 64 Bytes line size
L2 Speed 2679.9 MHz (Full)
L2 Location On Chip
L2 Data Prefetch Logic yes
L2 Bus Width 256 bits

Mainboard and chipset
Motherboard manufacturer ASUSTeK Computer INC.
Motherboard model KIRIN-P, REV 1.xx
BIOS vendor Award Software, Inc.
BIOS revision ACPI BIOS Revision 1001
BIOS release date 02/26/2003
Chipset Intel i845PE rev. B1
Southbridge Intel 82801DB (ICH4) rev. 02
Sensor chip 1028 E115

Graphic Interface AGP
AGP Status enabled, rev. 2.0
AGP Data Transfer Rate 4x
AGP Max Rate 4x
AGP Side Band Addressing supported, enabled

DRAM Size 256 MBytes
DRAM Frequency 134.0 MHz
CAS# Latency 2.5 clocks
RAS# to CAS# 3 clocks
RAS# Precharge 3 clocks
Cycle Time (TRAS) 6 clocks
# of memory modules 2
Module 0 Infineon DDR PC2300 - 256 MBytes
Module 1 DDR2

Windows version Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition Service Pack 2 (Build 2600)
DirectX version 9.0c


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Old 04-09-2006, 12:38 PM   #2 (permalink)
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First, what is your budget, and what games are you looking to play?


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Old 04-09-2006, 12:46 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Budget is only really £120, could possibly push it up a little bit if needed, but that wouldnt be ideal. I'm looking to play games like BF2, COD2 etc, would love to be able to play FEAR but dont think that's gonna happen on that budget.
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Old 04-09-2006, 01:38 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I say around $320 U.S. dollars.
GFX Card:$130 Min.
Maybe Some case fans:$20
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Old 04-09-2006, 01:54 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Cool, dont suppose you could give me any specifics? It's mainly the type of RAM and model of graphics card i need.
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Old 04-09-2006, 02:01 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Alright here's the deal...

As it seems you'r M-Board is either totaly out of date or you gave the wrong model name because I can't seem to find the product specs anywhere, from what I understand you have an on-board Video card, right? Well, if thats the case, THROW IT OUT OF WINDOW! lol

No, seriously.. all those On-Boards Video card m-boards just totaly suck... so if thats you'r case, add a new M-Board to you'r cart. [if it isnt an onboard Video card board though, then i guess its fine.. kind of, lol.]

Second.. thats not a must though just an optional thought, buy a new up-to-date CPU, something with the hyper-threading technology and stuff.... but thats not a must..

Also, you'r RAM seems to be low.. just 256mb? Today its kind of recommended to have 512mb + [if you'r motherboard allows it, on dual mode... it helps running heavy programs, seriously]

oh yeah and a nice ThermalTake fan or maybe a Gigabyte rockeet

Well thats about what I have in mind..


I'm a computer engineer in my profession, if that helps.
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Old 04-09-2006, 02:08 PM   #7 (permalink)
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My graphics card is a Geforce 4200 Ti I think, not sure if thats an onboard card or not. Would you recommend 512 RAM or 1GB? Also do you have any suggestions about an appropriate video card to replace my crappy one? Without the new fan would the comp overheat?
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Old 04-09-2006, 03:10 PM   #8 (permalink)
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It really depends on you'r origin because in the USA there are diffrent kinds of video cards rather than the ones that go on the european market [I live in europe]

but hmm i'd go for Radeon x800 models or higher [Video card that is]

hmm ram is always good, as they say , the more - the merrier heh :P so, whichever fits you'r budget, also.. if possible as I mentioned make it a dual RAM, so like if you'r going for 1024MB RAM Buy two sticks of 512MB and put them on dual mode, it always helps the bandwith flow!

About the new fan, I don't know, I guess you probably have the Stock one right now right? if you do and you'r not happy with it check out the temps with SpeedFan [google for it, you'll find it, its free] if the temps are higher then 60C degrees on a 100% CPU Load then yep a new CPU Fan would work, if its 55 or lower I guess its pretty fine, still the cooler the better lol.. but an extra fan [a good one] is another 40$~60$
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Old 04-09-2006, 03:29 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks for the help, that's great. I'm in Europe too. Could you tell me do i need an AGP card? And if so, im kinda confused by the whole 4X, 8X etc. Also, not too sure, is it DDR2 RAM that i need and how many pins is that?
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Old 04-09-2006, 03:37 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Don't go for DDR2 its not much of a diffrence than DDR [I think the only diffrence is if you'r overclocking.. but then again my experience with DDR2 is not very large, I just heard its not really worth it yet..]

Anyway, An AGP Card is a video card :P so its the same thing
and x8 is the minimum today [Though if you'r board only supports x4, it will still work, but slower and will be less compitable with the extra options..] , but you can go for PCI Express which is the best, but you'll have to get a new M-Board to use that.. and one that supports PCI Express :S [they usualy are more expensive than the AGP X8 Supporting M-Boards]

And no problems, I always like to see another happy PC User. hehe

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