Upgrading an Old computer - Techist - Tech Forum

Go Back   Techist - Tech Forum > Computer Hardware > System Upgrades
Click Here to Login
Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 07-01-2008, 09:37 AM   #1 (permalink)
Newb Techie
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 36
Default Upgrading an Old computer

Im not sure exactly how old, but I was considering an alternative to building an entirely new computer, and I thought I might just upgrade this one.

Im hoping to use this as a gaming PC, but not an over the top one, just one that can handle and run most games smoothly, even if I have to turn down the video quality a bit in game.

Im not the biggest computer expert, but from what I know, Im running on a

K8M-800M Motherboard, AMD Sempron 3300+ Processor, 768 MB Memory, VIA/S3 Unichrome Pro VGA Adaptor, and 80 GB HDD.

First off, I obviously have to upgrade my Ram to ~2GB or so, and second, I know I'm in a desperate need for an upgraded video card. I thought at first that the computer was only compatible with an AGP Video card, but on the program Im using, its showing that I have a PCI Bus available. If possible, I would really like to upgrade to a PCI Video card since Im having trouble finding a good AGP Card for the price. Finally, I was wondering if my processor was good enough to leave it as it is, or if I will have to upgrade it. This is the area where Im having the most trouble understanding what processors are compatible with my motherboard, or if all processors are compatible with all motherboards.

Im looking to spend $150-200 if possible - Thanks in advance for the help!
__________________

Kingfrail is offline  
Old 07-01-2008, 11:37 AM   #2 (permalink)
True Techie
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Illinois, USA
Posts: 106
Default Re: Upgrading an Old computer

I found out a little bit more about your mother board here:
~Welcome to First International Computer, Inc.~

Looks like the most your motherboard can support is 2GB memory; I don't know if you're in the states, but Newegg has several 2GB DDR400 sticks:
Newegg.com - DDR 400, 2GB (2 x 1GB), Desktop Memory

It seems as though the motherboard can only support up to the 3600+ processor, which I found at tigerdirect:
AMD Athlon 64 X2 3600+ Processor ADO3600IAA4CU - 2.0GHz, 2 x 256KB Cache, 1000MHz (2000 MTs) FSB, Windsor, Dual Core, OEM, Socket AM2, Processor at TigerDirect.com

And yes, you can support a PCI video card, so go find something like an 8800 series one (I don't know much about graphics cards in general since I am no gamer - and besides, I don't know what would fit in your case anyhow).
__________________

rkagin is offline  
Old 07-01-2008, 11:53 AM   #3 (permalink)
Newb Techie
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 36
Default Re: Upgrading an Old computer

Hey, thanks for the response, I just had a few questions - For the Memory, one thing I found was 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

Is there a reason its so cheap in comparison to the others? I didn't think there could be a difference in quality amongst Ram chips, but this price makes me second guess myself.

Also, I was just researching a bit, I looked around at other peoples comments about the motherboard, and in one forum I found someone having trouble with PCI Compatibility with my motherboard, and as a reply, someone said


Generally:
If your board has an AGP slot with intergrated video it NEEDS you to plug an accessory video card in that AGP slot to disable the on-board, otherwise simply adding a PCI video card does not turm off the on-board, and you can't have the two co-existing and working within the same box.

Now, there are exceptions, BUT by not knowing what you have for a motherboard all we are left with is guesses.


...


No, what I am saying is, you must use an AGP card to upgrade your video. By the simple act of installing an AGP card it auto-disables the on-board, leaving the installed card the sole source of video. There was a time that you could throw in a PCI card (after disabling the on-board by jumper, or bios) but ir seems that time has passed.


Will this apply to my situation as well? I don't want to get stuck buying a PCI card that I cant even use with my computer.

*Now Ive been doing a bit more research, and Im even more confused by PCI-E, PCI-X, Standard PCI, and compatabilities between them. The video card I'm looking at

Newegg.com - ASUS EN8600GT MAGIC/HTP/512M GeForce 8600 GT 512MB 128-bit GDDR2 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Desktop Graphics / Video Cards

Is a PCI-E (I think) and now Im confused as to if my motherboard is capable of this. Any clarification would be awesome.*
Kingfrail is offline  
Old 07-01-2008, 06:22 PM   #4 (permalink)
True Techie
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Illinois, USA
Posts: 106
Default Re: Upgrading an Old computer

In regards to the memory - your board supports 184 pin memory, whereas that stick is 240 pin. Typical motherboards (non microATX) support this size, which is why it's predominantly cheaper. It's also newer (240 pin is DDR2 or better, whereas 184 pin is DDR, the old standard). With your board, you're stuck with 184 unless you upgrade it.

In regards to AGP vs. PCI - it seems they know *way* more than I do about it. Looks like you'll have to find a way to disable the onboard, and the only way it seems that can be done is with AGP. I don't know what else to say about that.

In regards to the various PCI stuff - PCI was the original format, then there came PCI Express x16, and now PCI Express 2.0. Since I don't know all the stuff off hand, Google can usually provide succinct answers. I did find this FAQ which may be worthwhile reading:

PCI Express FAQ for Graphics

In regards to the specific card you picked out - I'm not qualified to answer that, since I don't know much about the line in general (I usually am the one asking questions, not answering them in this realm).
rkagin is offline  
Old 07-01-2008, 07:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
I don't overclock
 
Fat.Clown's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: offline
Posts: 3,326
Default Re: Upgrading an Old computer

Hello,

Memory - rkagin answered

video - the one you are looking at, (ASUS EN8600GT) is indeed a PCI-E.
PCI-E and PCI is PHYSICALLY DIFFERENT , meaning the card would NOT fit into the slot and vice versa.

you should be looking at the AGP 4X/8X segment of the market

are there PCI vid cards? yes, but
PCI was developed first, and AGP interface would provide as much as 8X faster performance vs PCI interface
Fat.Clown is offline  
Old 07-01-2008, 09:42 PM   #6 (permalink)
Newb Techie
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 36
Default Re: Upgrading an Old computer

Ah, aright, thanks to both of you for the help, it looks like it isn't such a great idea to build off of this computer after all. Looks like it would be smarter just to scrap this plan and build a custom PC then.

Thanks again for all the help!
Kingfrail is offline  
Old 07-01-2008, 10:31 PM   #7 (permalink)
Super Techie
 
illnastyimpreza's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 411
Default Re: Upgrading an Old computer

dude just use your case and PSU (if its any good),along with your old peripherals and harddrive and pickup a new MOBO/CPU , some ram and a decent graphics card....and you're all set

as long as you have a copy of windows you can install....
illnastyimpreza is offline  
Old 07-02-2008, 07:07 PM   #8 (permalink)
Newb Techie
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 36
Default Re: Upgrading an Old computer

Yeah, I just had second thoughts about the plan too, and now I think I might just update those four pieces, but I dont really know what my Psu is capable of, I dont know the specifics about Psu's, but is it possible that I upgrade my Mobo, Cpu, Video card, and Ram to the point that my Psu cant handle it all?
Kingfrail is offline  
Old 07-02-2008, 07:28 PM   #9 (permalink)
True Techie
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Illinois, USA
Posts: 106
Default Re: Upgrading an Old computer

Yes, it is possible to do that. What you ought to do is check out the power supply sticky if you want to update that too.
rkagin is offline  
Old 07-02-2008, 08:03 PM   #10 (permalink)
Newb Techie
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 36
Default Re: Upgrading an Old computer

I'm not planning any overclocking anytime soon with the new PC, and I'm not looking to run any really high end games either, I just need a PC to run medium/low end games at top quality. While "Possible" is it safe to let an outdated PSU run my new system?

Edit: Im looking to run Motherboard
Video Card
Processor
Ram
__________________

Kingfrail is offline  
Closed Thread

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Internet connection sharing behind a router KSoD Computer Networking and Internet Hardware 8 03-01-2016 11:32 AM
Computer works when horizontal only?! beefpuff Hardware Repairs and Troubleshooting 2 12-13-2007 04:37 AM
I need help picking a gaming computer rcnjsn9 New Systems | Building and Buying 14 11-21-2007 01:01 AM
computer freezes/beeps forever cullensmi Hardware Repairs and Troubleshooting 1 05-12-2007 12:40 PM
A Computer Building Guide.....by Elbatrop1 Elbatrop1 System Upgrades 31 04-07-2007 08:26 PM



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:15 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.