View Full Version : Updating my Computer
Sun, 8th May '05, 7:29pm
Okay, I want to update my computer soon, maybe at the end of the summer or next autumn, to get the proper fund. I have some questions to people who might know better than me about those evil machine.
Here's my specs, I bought it in the summer of 2002, if I recall correctly.
Microsoft Windows XP
Service Pack 2
AMD Athlon XP 2200+
NVIDIA GeForce 4 ti 4200
HL-DT-ST CD-RW GCE-8520B
SONY DVD-ROM DDU 1621
My first use of this machine is gaming, and my second is text and using the internet. I don't need a great machine to be able to use word or explorer, however to play recent game I need a performing one. Some people says I only need to update RAM and the motherboard to be able to play most games. Yeah sure, but what the hell is a motherboard? I know next to nothing in computer. I may be wrong but I think RAM is the speed and the ''1.80 GHz'' thing is the raw power of calculation. Am I right? So my questions are
1) Do I really need to update it
2) If yes, what is a motherboard and should I change it?
3) What about my graphic card
4) Can a person with no knowledge on the subject, (like me) may be able to change it without the use of specialist? in other word would I be able to install the new cards myself?
Also I don't want to spend a fortune, I thought of maximum, 400-500 $ (CDN)
That's about it.
Sun, 8th May '05, 8:33pm
First off, loose WinXP Service Pack 2. It does more harm then it cures.
Now, on to the actual questions.
#1: Technicly, no. Your current system should hold up with most games, but then again, how fast do you want it to be?
#2: Your motherboard is the most important piece of hardware in your computer. Every single bit of data passes through it at some point. The mother board you choose should be of a well known, reliable brand, (i.e. Abit, ASUS, Gigabyte, or MSI) would be a good choice. When choosing a motherboard, keep in mind that only certain CPUs will fit and work with it.
#3: Yeah, I'd get a newer card if I were you. Do yourself a favor and make the switch over to ATI. The ATI 9800 Pro card is an awesome card, and the price keeps falling thanks to the X800 and the X850 cards.
#4: No. Sorry dude, but when it comes to upgrading things like a CPU, a motherboard, or a video card; you really need some experience, or at least some basic knowledge. I suggest you either buy, or borrow these books from a library:
Absolute Beginner's Guide to Upgrading and Fixing Your PC (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0789730456/qid=1115576362/sr=8-1/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i1_xgl14/104-9399461-1023904?v=glance&s=books&n=507846)
The Complete PC Upgrade and Maintenance Guide, 15th Edition (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0782143105/qid=1115576321/sr=8-7/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i7_xgl14/104-9399461-1023904?v=glance&s=books&n=507846)
And while your at it,
A+ Certification All-in-One Exam Guide (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0072229918/qid=1115576505/sr=8-1/ref=pd_csp_1/104-9399461-1023904?v=glance&s=books&n=507846)
Those books will get you on the right track, and if you're a good reader, you can read all three before summer's end. :eek:
So, lets review.
A new CPU is usually between $250 for an older one, and up to $1,100 for the newest ones.
Don't spend more than $150 to $200 for a new motherboard. All those extra bells and whistles on the $200+ mobos are unnecessary.
A good video card will run anywhere from $200 to $500, so choose one that suits you, and your wallet.
If you aren't sure that you can do it, spend the money and the time to read up on the subject, or pay the fine to have a "pro" do it.
And last of all, when the time comes, and you are 100% ready to buy the parts for your upgrades, I'll be glad to help you choose the parts that you need/want, while keeping the price under your set limit.
(all $$$ are USD) :rolling:
Sun, 8th May '05, 10:58pm
Service Pack 2 cause problem? Won't it cause problem to my system if I uninstall it? And why does the ATI Radeon cards are better? I think my Mother Board is a MSI, so should I choose a newer MSI?
You mentioned CPU is this the prossesor? Sorry I am not good in this matter! I only use this comp for gamming and school work.
Chandos the Red
Sun, 8th May '05, 11:14pm
Two things here, and they are just my opinion:
1. If you are upgrading, don't waste your time on last year's technology. For instance, you can purchase a nVidia 6800 VC for a mere 199.00 after rebate from New Egg. And it's a super card for the money.
2. If you won't be upgrading again for the next few years, consider 64 bit technology, since the new Windows, coming next year, will make use of it. Both AMD and Intel have platforms that are 64 bit.
That's just my take on it.
Sun, 8th May '05, 11:57pm
Get Service Pack 1, there's nothing to lose with that. But SP2 messes up a lot of games and other stuff because of the higher security settings.
Sun, 8th May '05, 11:57pm
1) No, not yet. My own computer has XP1800+ and although the age is beginning to show, updating now wouldn't be too smart. You could, however, consider changing that Ti-4200 (cheap-model) to Ti-4600 (flagship-model).
By what I have read around the net, Sony will be publishing PS3 sometime in the future and alongside with it will come that new Cell-processor with powers like 4 GHz; that alone would double the processing power of your current computer. Also, Intel and AMD (IIRC) have announced these dual-core processors that can handle tasks more efficiently, so that could mark one, very good time to upgrade.
Meaning: when AMD 64-bit processor with dual-cores or Sony Cell 4 GHz processor comes out, THEN consider again. If for no other reason, at least FX chips are a lot cheaper then. ;)
Mon, 9th May '05, 12:54am
I shouldn't think you would need to an upgrade a PC from 2002 already. I'd be broke if I had to upgrade every 3 years!
Tap Dancing Oyster
Mon, 9th May '05, 10:43am
Wirhe is right - I'd consider waiting for this new dual core technology. I think the Intel solution will be available in weeks - AMD might take a little longer.
If you check the specs on your motherboard you may find that it can take a faster processor (should be a socket A) You could possibly get a faster sempron or XP that would fit your board. An Athlon XP 3000 would costs about £80 over here or a Sempron 3000 (smaller cache) £70. This would tie you over until you go for dual core.
I'm pretty sure that you can get boards that are dual core ready at this moment - but I'd wait until the technology matures a little. That way you can see which products are experiencing problems.
Wed, 11th May '05, 4:47am
By The Way. If you update your motherboard, be careful: If you have for example a AGP8X system and you replace the motherboard with a PCI-E one, then all your AGP8X stuff is useless.
Sat, 21st May '05, 9:39pm
Just a few things about SP2. I would recommend everyone to install it. It has some important fixes, and to keep XP updated via windows update too.
Yes, some people have had problems with it, especially installing. But if you clean up your system before installing there shouldn't be any problems. As for tighter security messing things up. The built-in firewall is enabled by default whereas it was disabled in pre-SP2. It takes 2 seconds to turn it off.
Sat, 21st May '05, 10:38pm
SP2 breaks hundreds of games (not just because of the higher security settings), most of which don't have patches to make them work (properly) with SP2 installed. There's a mile long list of software that won't work (at all) with SP2 on MicroSoft's website.
Chandos the Red
Sun, 22nd May '05, 4:24am
I agree with Tal - I would pass on SP2. It causes more problems than it fixes, IMO. Stick with SP1.
Sun, 22nd May '05, 1:13pm
Hundreds of games... a mile long list...
If you don't want to keep your OS updated with all the security fixes etc, then don't. I just can't understand why.
Sun, 22nd May '05, 6:11pm
There are countless other games which experience problems with SP2. ToEE is not even listed there, for example.
If it works for you and the programs and games you use, fine. But I know dozens of people who've had to revert from SP2 because either one of the games, or programs they regularly used, wouldn't work with SP2. So I'm not sure what you're trying to prove here.
Sun, 22nd May '05, 7:04pm
Just the fact that Freedom Force is on the list is reason enough not to upgrade to SP2 ;)
Sun, 22nd May '05, 7:07pm
The point is that at least try it out before dismissing it as useless.
There should even be some patch available for system restore as well. So that you can revert to pre-sp2 restore points.
Sun, 22nd May '05, 7:27pm
Erod, I don't have to drive at 200 km/h into another car to know that a crash with fatalities will most likely occur. People have done it before, so the result is known in advance. Same here.
And unless you're a MS programmer who's worked on SP2, your defiance is more than mildly ridiculous. I provide a warning to gamers that many games will not work properly, or at all (which I know for a fact). This statement alone is enough to turn most serious gamers off. I'm not arguing that SP2 doesn't have benefits - certainly, more security is never a bad thing. Bad when someone installs it and their favourite game doesn't work, they won't really care about the extra security. They'll want to play their game. And if there is no SP2 fix for it, they'll have to revert back to SP1. Which could have been avoided in the first place, without wasting time.
Tap Dancing Oyster
Mon, 23rd May '05, 11:53am
I wouldn't recommend trying either - I installed sp2 only to remove it. Even after uninstall I am sure it has left certain sp2 items installed within XP. I am thinking of a complete re-install at this point.
The problems I had were mainly to do with security - SP2 totally strongarmed the port settings on my broadband connection. OK, you can override these - but I was never confident they were working properly. It also caused problems when I tried a system restore, to get rid of WMP10 that it downloaded without properly prompting. I didn't really give it long enough to try out games.
Basically MS should have got it right much earlier. From what I have heard Longhorn is not going to be much better. I'm not really a MS hater but considering they are probably the richest company in the world they owe us far more than this.
Mon, 23rd May '05, 11:31pm
I have a similar question and since I do not wish to create a new thread, here goes. Machine on sale (used):
AMD Athlon XP 3000+ (64-bit) CPU
ABIT K8T800 S754 motherboard (Does this support USB2?)
512 DDR 400 RAM
160 Samsung hard-disk (didn't list specs; any experiences?)
"gf 5200" AGP-card (I can only guess it is GeForce FX 5200)
My question is this: should I buy this package for 550 € or rather ask for indivitual parts, when my old machine is this:
AMD Athlon XP 1800+ (32-bit) CPU
MSI K3 Ultra ARU Motherboard
512 DDR RAM (333 MHz, IIRC)
30 Gb Seagete hard-disk (7500 RPM)
GeForce 4 Ti-4400 128 Mb
Which to take and how much should I offer? :confused:
Tue, 24th May '05, 12:17am
The first one could use at least another 512MB of RAM, and the graphics card is outdated by now. Still, decent enough.
Your old computer's not worth upgrading. As a rule of thumb, any upgrade that requires you to replace more than 3 components is not worth doing unless you're really pressed for cash. Even if it turns out cheaper initially, it isn't in the long run. And pretty much everything on your list apart from the RAM would need to be replaced.
Tue, 24th May '05, 12:32am
Dunno, I have been thinking of ripping the motherboard and CPU, offering my old ones in exchange. This way I could save up to 300 bucks or more, when I do not need to upgrade my whole machine in the next 4 years. 250 bucks should be a decend offer, I guess, but I do not really know how valuable those parts are. :hmm:
Chandos the Red
Tue, 24th May '05, 1:11am
Actually that looks like quite a nice mainboard:
And it does support USB2. Also, it is an Athlon 64 not an XP (big difference in performance). And I would be tempted to drop in your TI-4400 and remove the FX5200. Although it supports some features in DX9, it is probably slower in version 8 games than the 4400. Either way it would be a nice computer with an updated graphics card. But, IMO, I would hold out for an AMD 939 socket mainboard, since it is upgradeable to an AMD dual-core processor.
Tap Dancing Oyster
Tue, 24th May '05, 11:16am
Yes - I'd go with Chandros FX5200 is worse than a Ti4400. Get a 939 mobo with dual core compatibility. You could go for this processor until the dual cores drop in price.
Sat, 4th Jun '05, 12:33pm
I haven't read all the comments, but in re the original:
what is a motherboard would I be able to install the new cards myself?Decidedly not.