Upgrade: On a budget!

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by wind3D, Nov 28, 2004.

  1. wind3D

    wind3D OSNN Addict

    Messages:
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    Hi,
    I have been wanting to upgrade for a while but I was always reluctant to do so. I keep seeing the hardware prices drop, so I always feel like procrastinating the whole ordeal.

    I've got pretty good computer knowledge, but not when it comes to performance for the buck. My problem here is I am not a rich person, never have been but probably will be...in the mean time, I've got about $200 to spend on upgrading my computer.

    I am sure a few of you on here would love to lend a helping hand, and I thank you in advanced. Here are my current computer specs:
    Compaq Model 5000US
    Duron 750Mhz (upgradable to...I am not sure, 1.4?)
    Generic Mobo
    Radeon 7000 64MB DDR
    192MB SD100 Ram
    Alright, so that's about the only specs you need to know for what I want to do: Low to mid-end gaming.

    If possible, I want to buy a 1.4ghz CPU to put in my mobo, but I can't find any info on it regarding my mobo's max CPU. Maybe some of your google skills are better than mine?

    I need a new video card for sure. I like ATI, and as far as I know that's the way to go. Can someone let me in on the best model to go for, for the buck?

    RAM, I know I need some more of that. I'd like to dish the 192 entirely, and buy atleast 512MB of PC133.

    As far as I know, all of what I want to do is possible for under $200 according to PriceWatch. So I'd really appreciate it if some of you could brainstorm a little for me! Maybe you guys have some better ideas up your sleeve. Don't be afraid to fill me in!
    Thanks everyone
     
    Tittles likes this.
  2. well that's a pretty old motherboard you got there and according to the google results i found it's for windows 95 and 98, now hoping that's not true you can get amd athlon 1.4ghz which is good, and well to get a better graphics card you'll need more money i think coz 200 dollars is not enough to get a new cpu and a new gfx card, and might wanna get a memory upgrade too if you want to play games
     
  3. Elektro Slime

    Elektro Slime Harware Guru

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    man i dun think updating the proc will help much....
    tel you what, but might require uping ur budget a wee bit........

    get a amd athlon xp 2200+(1.8ghz) for $57
    and a decent mobo for like $45
    512 mb ram for anywhere bw $40-75 (pc2700)
    and a geforce 4 mx 440 for about $39

    that totals to about $186 and also if u got a bit more cash get a 80gig ata hd for bout $40.

    i recomended the mx440 cause in terms of raw fps its fast, in some some cases faster then the $80 ATI cards. If you want even better performance go for the geforce ti4600, you can find it for around $70, although old its pretty fast but unfortunately duznt come with DirectX9........ anyways.........good hunting ;)
    gud luck mate..........;)
     
  4. Sazar

    Sazar F@H - Is it in you? Staff Member Political User Folding Team

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    if you want a decent setup that will last a while, I would consider up'ing the budget a little...

    your cpu/gpu bottlenecks are going to substantially reduce your gaming pleasure...

    your budget is $200 for the WHOLE kit?
     
  5. LeeJend

    LeeJend Moderator

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    Location:
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    How do I say this... You're hosed. You waited too long to upgrade. To do anything meaningful now your looking at a whole new setup. I'm assuming you have an ATX case. Here goes:

    $69 MB/CPU Combo with an XP2000 or better (Fryes, Tiger Direct)
    $49 256MB, 333 DDR Ram (Office Max, Office Depot, Best Buy)
    $15 Volcano 11 HeatSInk Fan
    $49 FX5200 (Fryes, Best Buy, Office xxx)
    --------------------
    $192 plus shipping/tax/title/liscence

    These prices may entail some rebates so you may have to wait between the CPU/Ram and Video upgrades for the rebates to come in. When you get some more cash add another stick of 256 MB RAM. Or bust the bank now and get a 512 MB stick.

    There may be a better buy in an ATI video card but within your present budget I think the FX5200 is as good as it gets. Stay away from the MX4xxx seriees, too old.

    PS There is no sanity in spending more money on SDRAM and 1.4 gig Athlons. Their time has passed. Also with a Compaq rig that old do a thorough check that the Power Supply pin out is compatible with standard ATX cases and that the Windows version has not been "tailored" to only work with a Compaq MB Bios.
     
  6. wind3D

    wind3D OSNN Addict

    Messages:
    110
    Thanks guys, you're really helping me out a lot.
    I've soaked up a lot of pretty cool ideas so far.
    Someone mentioned buying an 80 gig hard drive. I don't really think I need to splurge on that, I've already got 50, and 10 on the way. Also, I am more into buying my software than I am downloading it these days.

    LeeJend, I guess I do agree. Maybe I should spend $200 on CPU / MOBO / RAM only, and set myself up for a future upgrade? I guess with the budget I am on, I gotta be a wee bit patient. If I can get a good mobo that'll be good for another few years (any recommendations from experience?) I can get the other stuff later.

    Let me know what you think.
     
  7. ming

    ming OSNN Advanced

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    your HD will make a bit of a difference too. :) think about a 5400 and a 7200rpm HD (also ATA66/100/133)
     
  8. wind3D

    wind3D OSNN Addict

    Messages:
    110
    Yeah good point. I am pretty sure I can squeeze an extra $70 out. So I was thinking about an AMD 64 3000? Plus a good heat sink and fan, and atleast 256MB ddr ram(for now)
     
  9. LeeJend

    LeeJend Moderator

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    Wind32, me and a buddy used to buy good MB's but after a few died from freak accidents we decided to go the cheap route and have had no problems.

    I'm, running 2 ECS and a Chaintek right now with no stability issues even with them all overclocked to some extent. The Chaintek is a KT600 and the better ECS is their Nforce based board. I'd recommend the Chaintek it's got a better feature mix. My buddy has 4 PCChips MB at his home and sells about 10 a year to friends and family. No problems.

    Going to a 64 Bit cpu/mb/ram is going to bust your $200 budget big time. An entry level XP (Sempron or Athlon) will have adequate speed and then you still have an upgrade path to a high end processor in a couple years if you need it.

    PS When deciding if you can swing 512 of RAM it makes a noticeable difference with games loading and windows boot.

    My buddy uses these guys. They are local for him. I use frye's locally, their mail order at outpost.com isn't as good on pricing.

    http://www.pcusa.com/shopKitConfig.asp?id=KIT-13
     
  10. ShepsCrook

    ShepsCrook Red Sox Fan!

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    I will have to say, that the prices on that configuration page are a wee bit high for the parts. An Athlon XP 2500 Barton for $121? Newegg, a major retailer sells the 2500 Barton for $82. The 2600 is $89. In which case, he'd be better off purchasing a Athlon XP Mobile 2600 ($85) and Overclocking it with a nice Zalman fan to Athlon XP 3200 speeds. He could pick up an Asus A7N8X Deluxe board for $59 from newegg. A nice Zalman CNPS7000B-Cu Heatsink for overclocking that Mobile for $34.99 from newegg. That total for those 3 pieces which are some of the top rated for quality and features lands at about $178.99 If you wanted, Now, if you wanted 256x2 = 512MB, you could spend another $70 for a pair of AData PC3200 ram that run great with that Asus board. If not, you could go with the top listed Ram for that board which is the Samsung 3200 TCC4 ram that newegg has for $45 per stick.

    Now, lastly, sell off your old parts. Sure you won't get much, but that will help take care of some of the cost of new components. It's also good to check some of the Forums at sites and see if anyone is getting rid of some parts cheap. You missed my big sale on stuff because I upgraded my 2 main computers and dumped all of my Athlon XP stuff. Which included the above mentioned motherboards, processors, heatsinks as well as an Ati Radeon 9000 Pro 128mb and some other stuff.

    I'd also like to mention that even though you may hear a lot of PCChips bashing from a lot of different people. They usually don't know PCChips too well. I've had a PCChips 585LMR Socket 7 motherboard for 5 almost 6 years that was running an AMD K6-2 500mhz and then a 550mhz 100% stable up until 6 months ago when I took it offline as a server because I replaced it. The motherboard although lacking in my Overclocking interest, had proven to be a solid stable motherboard with some nice little features as perks. Onboard EVERYTHING. :)
     
  11. Tittles

    Tittles Dabba Dooba Political User

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  12. Elektro Slime

    Elektro Slime Harware Guru

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    u guys are recomending too highly priced procs! hes on a budget remeber?
    LeeJend i dont agree about the fx5200, IMO its crap! ok so it has DX9 but thats it. Its wat slower then a mx 440 and more expensive too.

    wind3d goin 64 bit aint right for such a budget.....
    just get an athlon 2200+ they are proven performers.......
     
  13. Sazar

    Sazar F@H - Is it in you? Staff Member Political User Folding Team

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    there is no point in upgrading for $200 from a system like he has...

    he will see no tangible benefits and his system will likely be obsolete pretty much immediately..

    thats why I recommended saving up more money and doing a full system upgrade... for around $500 you can get a decent setup together that is likely to last for a while w/o having to break the bank..

    for $200, I would bite the bullet and stick it out for a while till my funds had accumulated somewhat more...
     
  14. Black-Syth

    Black-Syth Comalies

    Messages:
    259
    I believe that you can stuff a 1.8 Duron into your machine. Upping the RAM to about 512, and a Radeon 9500Pro or 9600XT would suit it relatively well, for a somewhat decent price. I'd recommend doing the RAM as fast as you can because PC133 will most likely raise in price due to considerable demand, and low production.
     
  15. Steevo

    Steevo Spammer representing. Political User Folding Team

    Messages:
    2,566
    What if he sold his current setup?

    I would be interested if teh price were right. Go look at e-bay for a price idea. Too many people want new or close to prices for their used stuff.

    PC like that might bring 80-120 dollars.

    So if he had $300 ? Just so long as he had a OS to put on it..... Then again Linux is free. :D


    Lite-On Black ATX Mid-Tower Case with 300W P4 Ready Power Supply and Front USB, Model "MT 950" -RETAIL
    Item# N82E16811128105
    Status: In Stock

    $34.00


    Lite-On Black 52X32X52X16 Combo Drive, Model SOHC-5232K BLACK, Retail
    Item# N82E16827106937
    Status: In Stock

    $43.00

    Corsair Value Select 184 Pin 256MB DDR PC-3200 - Retail
    Item# N82E16820145478
    Status: In Stock

    $37.27

    CHAINTECH "SKT600" KT600 Chipset Motherboard for AMD Socket A CPU -RETAIL
    Item# N82E16813152040
    Status: In Stock

    $41.75

    AMD Athlon XP 2000+, 266 FSB, 256K Cache Processor - Retail
    Item# N82E16819103383
    Status: In Stock

    $79.00

    Sapphire ATI RADEON 9550 Video Card, 128MB DDR, DVI/TV-Out, 8X AGP, Model 1024-KC20-HD-SA -OEM

    $70.00



    Total $305.02


    I have used three of teh cases. The only downside is teh front USB looks cheezy. The CD-R is excellent, I have one.

    Some might complain about teh RAM. I have four sticks in my personal gaming PC. That also runs FAH, and HL2 and Halo, and MOHAA, and NFSU, and etc.... It's good. and supports different clock speeds so if he ever upgrades.....

    The only unknown is teh motherboard. But it has to be better than PCChips and Biostar.
     
  16. soldier1st

    soldier1st OSNN Junior Addict

    Messages:
    19
    for a video card stay away from ati and go for nvidia the mx440's will do or the fx 5200's
     
  17. wind3D

    wind3D OSNN Addict

    Messages:
    110
    steevo, that's an excellent idea. I hadn't thought about selling my current setup. surely someone would buy it. After all, I am not looking for a profit, just a few extra bucks...thanks for the idea and research you provided to me. real helpful.

    I'd be willing to sell the following items for a total of $115-125 plus shipping (i'd have to do a little research) would anyone be interested if so?
    Duron 750Mhz CPU w/ Mobo
    WD 5200RPM 20GB HDD
    ATI Radeon 7000 64MB DDR w/ tv out
    192MB SD 100 Ram
    Plextor 8x4x32 CDRW (IMO, plextor is the best manufactor of cd-rw's...supports every burn option (dao,tao, cd+g, etc - cept burn proof)
    SoundBlaster PCI 512 sound card

    not a bad setup, it really isnt. i wouldnt sell it if I wasnt into 3d art and games.
     
  18. Elektro Slime

    Elektro Slime Harware Guru

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    Location:
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    er i think $100+ is askin too much......
    i think bout $70-80 is bout right....

    Also since you dont have much cash now i think itll be better for you to wait a while and get some more dough.
    Have you thought about getting a part time job?Maybe at a grocery or something, you could easily make about $80+ a week.
     
  19. Shamus MacNoob

    Shamus MacNoob Moderator Political User

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    LMAO !!!


    yeah ok whatever!!
     
  20. Elektro Slime

    Elektro Slime Harware Guru

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    YEAH kermit, whats so funny?

    not everyone is a geek and plays games 24/7, not sure if you know but there is a world out there, pull up the blinds and have a look for yourself.