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Old 09-30-2006, 08:52 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Should I upgrade? You decide.

Hello. I purchased an eMachines T3120 this past May, making the computer approximately four months old. I paid $400.00 for it, and had a $50.00 rebate. Please click the link below to see the specifications of my computer:

eMachine T3120 Desktop PC - Official Site

I plan on using this computer for gaming. The type of PC games I play on a regular basis range from Tribes2, to Battlefield2; Dark Age of Camelot, to the latest beta's of developing next-generation MMORPG's. I don't have a monitor, a mouse, and my budget is $600.00. With these factors in consideration, do you think I should upgrade my current computer or build/buy a new one? (Yes, I do have experience with computers, it may take time but it is possible for me to build my own rig).

I have been assuming since the beginning that upgrading my current computer would be the best option. Please don't let this effect your personal opinion on the matter at hand, for my lack of knowledge in many departments may be leading me to the wrong decision. I've only been browsing newegg.com for my computer hardware needs and desires, but, if you have anyother websites please reccomend them. Anywho, below you will find the complete list of components I am considering to purchase, that is, unless you fine folks give me fantastic information that would advise me otherwise

eMachine T3120 - The Upgrade

Thanks for listening, I know it's been a long one. I'll be anticipating your responses,

-Andrew
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Old 09-30-2006, 10:19 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The eMachine web site won't show anything for the model right now (All 404's on specifications or manual), but if your motherboard has a PCI-E slot and supports DDR memory (Not medium to high end Intel, and it would've been too early for an AMD socket AM2 to be built and shipped, so this is likely.) then the green light is on.
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Old 09-30-2006, 10:30 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Sorry, that's weird how the website is doing that..

My computer supports DDR400 PC3200 184pin RAM, I have two available slots, and the maximum capacity is 2gb. Indeed, it also has one PCIe x16 slot.
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Old 09-30-2006, 11:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Can you overclock on an eMachines.. because if you can't, don't get the overclockable RAM...

Anyway, you might want to upgrade your processor if you can, not really sure how pre-made computers work, but if you can get something like a 3700+ that would be a bit better..

Also, I would recommend getting an x850xt pe here...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814102052 best bang for your buck card..

Also, your HDD is sort of small.. you don't have a problem with that though, do you..? 100 GBs is all you have, and HDDs are somewhat cheap, 50 dollars for 160 gb.
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Old 09-30-2006, 11:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
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your motherboard:
http://www.fic.com.tw/product/mother...D/K8MC51G.aspx

Your CPU is a 754, and your PSU is 300 watts.

Quote:
Can you overclock on an eMachines
No. It's just like any other pre-built.

Your wish list doesn't work.

As for upgrading, look into RAM (2 gig is your max), graphics card (whichever you want), and PSU (whatever is required for the graphics card plus about 100 watts).

Your 100 gig hard drive should be fine. The combo drive is good, unless you just want a DVD burner.

Anyway, here's some suggestions:
RAM http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820231039

Graphic card http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814130033

PSU http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817103931

Total of $597 incl. shipping
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Old 10-01-2006, 12:48 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I really don't think it's that good of an idea to still use a socket 754 sempron...
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Old 10-01-2006, 01:50 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
I really don't think it's that good of an idea to still use a socket 754 sempron...
You go with what you have.
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Old 10-02-2006, 10:27 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Here's the synopsis of this lengthy post (for all you lazy people out there, yes, I still appreciate the lazy people's help too!)


1) Assuming AMD Socket 754 is my processor, and also assuming that it cannot power most average priced hardware on the market today, what is the best option available to me for upgrading the processor?

2) Is the only difference between Corsair "XMS" RAM, and Corsair RAM that "XMS" is overclockable ram and the other is not? Is it easy to overclock RAM? Are there a lot of benefits to overclocking your RAM? What are they?

3) Is it necessary to have a PSU that will meet the written wattage requirement of video cards, plus an additional 100 watts?

4) What's the main issue with my eMachine T3120? The motherboard? The processor? Or just the simple fact that it's a pre-build buy-it-in-the-store computer? If I were to tell you that I suddenly have a 1,000 dollar budget instead of my original 600, could you honestly tell me that I can build a brand new computer from the ground up, purchase a monitor, mouse, and keyboard.. And manage to end up with a significantly better computer than that of an upgraded eMachine T3120?


------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Awesome information you guys are providing me with.. Few questions/concerns though.


My machine cannot be overclocked? If this is the case, what exactly do you mean by "Don't use overclockable RAM"? Is the XMS series of Corsair "Overclockable RAM"? If that's the case, I was completely unaware of this and was simply going with the more expensive ram, because I thought it would be of higher-quality than that of the regular.

Assuming the above is true, and that XMS series is indeed overclockable RAM, what alternatives should I go with? I saw a few of you post some RAM suggestions but I'd rather stick with Corsair because I have found they are widely trusted, more expensive, but widely known, criticized, and trusted. The extra money is worth it in my opinion.

Onto the AMD Socket 754 (I hope I got those #'s right). What exactly are you referring to when you say that? The actual processor? Socket 754 reminds me of something to do with the motherboard itself...

Are you guys suggesting I should upgrade to a newer CPU? If that's the case, I honestly don't have a problem with this, however, I'm unsure of what additional supplies I would need for installing the CPU (or is it as easy as "snapping it in"?)

PSU wattage should meet the minimum requirements of the video card plus an additional 100 watts? Is this completely neccesary? PSU's are cheap, yes, but if I can make it cheaper then that means more money becomes available for other upgrade components.

Someone else suggested a video card for me to get and it's highly priced (250+ dollars I believe). Is this necessary? I completely understand why I should spend lots of money on a CPU, or RAM.. But a video card? Doesn't this merely control how "pretty" things look? Or does it also drastically effect my performance as well?


I have been searching newegg.com for days now, almost a week actually.. The check I've been anticipating the past week should arrive later this evening, in which case I will deposit it onto my credit card and have funds available by tomorrow (I hope). This means tomorrow I will be purchasing my upgrades.

I had specific items in mind, however, you guys have completely changed that. I'm practically back to stage 1 again, but that's okay, you guys are saving my wasted money on hardware that wouldn't fully perform in my system or are simply a waste of money in general.



-Andrew
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Old 10-02-2006, 05:28 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Onto the AMD Socket 754 (I hope I got those #'s right). What exactly are you referring to when you say that? The actual processor? Socket 754 reminds me of something to do with the motherboard itself...
754 is the number of pins on the processor itself, thus the number of holes on the socket on the motherboard.

Quote:
Are you guys suggesting I should upgrade to a newer CPU? If that's the case, I honestly don't have a problem with this, however, I'm unsure of what additional supplies I would need for installing the CPU (or is it as easy as "snapping it in"?)
You can replace it with a faster 754 CPU. the problem is that they aren't as available as they once were, and they aren't given away.

Actually replacing one is relatively simple. Search the forums or look for the building threads that have been stickied hereabouts.

Quote:
PSU wattage should meet the minimum requirements of the video card plus an additional 100 watts? Is this completely neccesary? PSU's are cheap, yes, but if I can make it cheaper then that means more money becomes available for other upgrade components.
I used 100 as a general number. There are some wattage calculators available online that can add up exactly what you would have to have.

Quote:
Someone else suggested a video card for me to get and it's highly priced (250+ dollars I believe). Is this necessary? I completely understand why I should spend lots of money on a CPU, or RAM.. But a video card? Doesn't this merely control how "pretty" things look? Or does it also drastically effect my performance as well?
$250+ is not bad for a decent graphics card.

A graphics card takes the work of generating graphics away from the CPU and onboard chipset. It has its own RAM and processor that is totally dedicated to just this purpose.

The main reason for getting a decent graphics card is to be able to play games that require 3D rendering (which is almost all of them). Onboard chipsets can do basic rendering, but that's it. They are not designed to handle the demands of most games. So, if you're not a gamer, you can do without a higher-end graphics card (my old comp only has a MX4000 in it).

You're best bang is what I posted earlier. If you want to go with a whole new system, you could salvage your hard drive and optical(s). You would want to go with either a socket 939, socket AM2, or Core 2 Duo... but that's a whole new thread.
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