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Old 02-28-2009, 07:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Help updating or replacing older computer

Hi, first time poster here looking for some advice

Basically I've had this computer for a few years and am wondering if I could update it to play the more recent games(notably, empire: total war) or if I need to just buy a brand new computer, reusing what i can

here's what I have now

Memory:
1 GB twinX Corsair RAM

Motherboard:
ASUS A8N-E (socket 939)

Video card:
Radeon X800 XL 256mb DDR3 PCI-E

CPU:
AMD Athlon 64 Processor 4000+ 2.4GHz

Power Supply:
Enermax Noisetaker 485w EG495AX-VE (W) SFMA

What I'm wondering is if I could say upgrade to 4Gb ram and get a good video card and be able to play on like medium settings for the newer games? or are my motherboard and CPU just too old to be of any use? also if i were to just buy a new computer would i be able to use my current power supply or would i need a new one?

Any help is much appreciated
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Old 02-28-2009, 07:47 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help updating or replacing older computer

Your set up is not too different than mine.

More RAM would definitely help you out, as would a new GFX card. your CPU will be a limiting factor, but it will still work.

Unless you are running a 64-bit version of Windows it can't utilize a full 4 gigs, but only 3.5 gigs. Assuming you are running in dual channel, go with two sticks of 1 gig and two sticks of 512MB to give you 3 gigs. Or just splurge for 4 gig and don't worry about the .5 it can't see.

There are all kinds of great cards that will romp that X800. The 4830 and 4850 will blow your mind and can run with your current PSU (requires 450 watts).

If you could locate a better CPU it would be great, but they are hard to find and cost way too much any more.

If you did build new, you could use your current PSU with no problems.
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Old 03-01-2009, 01:12 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help updating or replacing older computer

Thanks for the very helpful reply Trotter

I think i'll give upgrading a go, see what i can do with this mobo and CPU
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Old 03-01-2009, 01:15 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help updating or replacing older computer

i beleve you can throw a opteron in that board. if you can find one for a good price then it would be a good improvement over your current cpu.

how much are you planning on spending?
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Old 03-01-2009, 01:53 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help updating or replacing older computer

As far as spending, I'm willing to spend around 300 or so on upgrading. But my I'm concerned about buying older parts if it doesn't make any sense, ie buying 2GB of DDR Ram, that's more expensive than DDR2 Ram, and it would be useless if i got a new computer.
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Old 03-01-2009, 02:02 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help updating or replacing older computer

with a 300 dollar budget you're pretty close to being able to build a decent system. Save up til you get around 500, and the guys here could build you something nice.
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Old 03-01-2009, 04:12 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help updating or replacing older computer

^^^ That's true. Considering you can reuse a lot of your current setup (case, PSU, Optical drives, hard drive), you can go for the guts and build a decent rig for less.

RAM- Newegg.com - A-DATA 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Desktop Memory

GFX card- Newegg.com - SAPPHIRE 100265HDMI Radeon HD 4830 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Desktop Graphics / Video Cards

AMD
CPU- Newegg.com - AMD Athlon 64 X2 7750 Kuma 2.7GHz 2 x 512KB L2 Cache 2MB L3 Cache Socket AM2+ 95W Dual-Core black edition Processor - Processors - Desktops

Mobo- Newegg.com - GIGABYTE GA-MA780G-UD3H AM2+/AM2 AMD 780G HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard - AMD Motherboards

Total = $289.50 + shipping

AMD option

CPU/GFX card combo- Newegg.com - Computer Parts, PC Components, Laptop Computers, Digital Cameras and more!
Athlon 64 X2 7750 Kuma 2.7GHz 2 x 512KB L2 Cache 2MB L3 Cache Socket AM2+ 95W Dual-Core black edition Processor - Processors - Desktops
+
HIS Hightech H467QT512P Radeon HD 4670 IceQ Turbo 512MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail

Total = $259.50 + shipping

Intel
CPU- Newegg.com - Intel Pentium E5200 Wolfdale 2.5GHz 2MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor - Processors - Desktops

Mobo- Newegg.com - GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3L LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard - Intel Motherboards

Total = $308 + shipping
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Old 03-01-2009, 06:27 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help updating or replacing older computer

This motherboard is another option for the Intel build.

Newegg.com - GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3L LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard - Intel Motherboards

The EP45 UD3l Trotter included is better but this one is still good and it's $19 cheaper.

Any of the AMD or Intel options would be a great upgrade.
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Old 03-01-2009, 08:27 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help updating or replacing older computer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thresh25 View Post
with a 300 dollar budget you're pretty close to being able to build a decent system. Save up til you get around 500, and the guys here could build you something nice.
to be honest I don't really have an exact amount I'm looking to spend. What I am really looking for is what is going to get me the most bang for my buck, which is why I'm wondering if upgrading or replacing is the way to go. If $500 is going to get a more cost effective system, then I could probably go for that

What kind of difference in performance would i see between say a $500 combo you guys might recommend and my current setup with 3GB of ram in total plus a Radeon 4850?
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Old 03-01-2009, 09:22 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help updating or replacing older computer

Your CPU would bottleneck the GFX card. I am running a 3850 and there are times when my CPU (same one as you have) bottlenecks it.

Even with just the $300 parts I laid out you would see a HUGE improvement over your current setup. Adding more to the budget would allow you to push it even higher, like a faster CPU or a quad-core, better GFX card, etc.
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