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Computer Upgrade Help

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by Hef, Jul 2, 2011.

  1. Hef

    Hef Stop Obammunism

    Sep 12, 2004
    Hilton Head, SC
    In my office I have a few Dell Dimension 4600's running XP Pro 32-bit. We use them to run MS Office and Quickbooks. I currently have a 4600 with a Radeon 9550 AGP graphics card and 2GB RAM that I've used for running Chief Architect X2 with marginal performance. I do my 3D rendering work at home on another computer.

    I have a Dimension 4700 that I got for free (real estate office shut down and gave it to me). I also stepped up to Chief Architect X3, which I can run on my laptop (Dell Inspiron M5030 w/ Windows 7 64-bit) and my home PC. My thought is to upgrade the 4700 to run Chief Architect X3.

    Here is what the program needs:

    PC Minimum*

    * Windows 7 / Vista / XP
    * 2.4 GHz processor
    * 2 GB of Memory
    * 5 GB of available hard disk space
    * 256 MB dedicated video card
    * OpenGL: 2.1 or higher
    * Internet: High speed for Registration, Video access, and Catalog / Library downloads

    Here is what is recommended:

    * Windows 7 64 bit
    * Multi-Core CPU (e.g., Intel i5, i7)
    * 6 GB of Memory
    * 50 GB of available hard disk space
    * 1 GB high performance video card (e.g., NVIDIA or ATI)

    The Dimension 4700 as delivered:


    * Chipset type Intel 915G Express
    * Data bus speed 800.0 MHz

    Cache Memory

    * Type L2 cache
    * Installed Size 1.0 MB
    * Cache Per Processor 1 MB


    * Installed Size 512.0 MB / 4.0 GB (max)
    * Technology DDR2 SDRAM
    * Memory Speed 400.0 MHz
    * Memory Specification Compliance PC2-3200
    * Form Factor DIMM 240-pin
    * Features Dual channel memory architecture

    If I were to up the RAM to 4GB and add a GeForce 9500 GT Video Card (1GB DDR2, PCI Express 2.0), and use it strictly for design work, do you think it would perform well?
  2. GotGlock1917

    GotGlock1917 Lifetime Member

    Apr 7, 2004
    Central Arkansas
    The cpu is seriously outdated.
    The big problem I see is that the 4700 PSU is only 305W and the EVGA 9500GT I just ordered says the minimum is 350W. I wanted a 9800 but my 375W PSU couldn't hack it.
    You would have to buy a new PSU to make it work.

  3. Wow, those things are OLD.

    I've started taking a harder stance with my business customers against nursing along old, outdated equipment.

    It wastes everybody's time and money and makes me look bad as the IT Consultant, since nobody likes a slow computer.

    IMO, get all new computers. At the very least, you'd have to buy or build a whole new box for yourself for that 3D program.

    Does that 4700 you just got run a P4 processor?

    If so, definitely just buy a new system'll be way, way happier in the long run.
  4. Hef

    Hef Stop Obammunism

    Sep 12, 2004
    Hilton Head, SC
    I'm shopping the dual-core gaming computers right now for my design software. While I want to upgrade the entire network to 64-bit Win7 PC's, I don't really need to. They work fine for running Quickbooks and MS Office.

  5. yeah, I typed out of turn.....for what you guys are doing with them, those machines should be OK....but just barely. I know because I deal with those guys allllllll the time.....seems like anytime I see a new client, they all have the exact same rig; Dell, P4, 512MB RAM, etc.

    Anyhow, as soon as a Power Supply or RAM chip craps out, I'd use it as a (good!) excuse to replace the whole tower with something that will be light years faster than those old P4s ever could be. The IDE hard drives alone are a huge bottleneck over SATA. At least if an older PC has SATA, you can pop in an SSD.

    For your purposes, I'd strongly look at a second generation i5 with 8GB RAM (heck the minimum requirements for your software are 6GB) and a nice dedicated graphics card.

    I was just reading a little article where some tech site asked readers to comment on the best gaming PC, and every single response (all 400 of them) was to build your own.

    I'm looking at doing can get a quad core i5 + mobo for about $400....
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2011
  6. Hef

    Hef Stop Obammunism

    Sep 12, 2004
    Hilton Head, SC
    I upgraded the RAM on all the office 4600's to 1GB minimum, and one has 2GB. I forgot to mention that. They do OK for what we ask of them.

    For my design PC, I've been contemplating this:

    # Case: Thermaltake V3 Black Mid-Tower Case [-13]
    # Extra Case Fan Upgrade: Default case fans
    # CPU: AMD Phenom™II X4 925 Quad-Core CPU w/ HyperTransport Technology
    # NIC: Killer Xeno Pro Gigabit High Speed Online Gaming PCI Network Interface Card
    # Motherboard: * GigaByte GA-870A-USB3 AMD 870/SB850 chipset DDR3 Ultra Durable™3 Socket AM3 ATX Mainboard w/ 7.1 Audio, GBLAN, Support 6-core CPU, CPU Auto Unlocker, USB3.0, SATA-III, ON/OFF Charge for IPod, RAID, 2 Gen2 PCIe, 2 PCIe X1, & 3 PCI
    # Memory: 8GB (2GBx4) DDR3/1333MHz Dual Channel Memory [+54] (Corsair or Major Brand)
    # Video Card: AMD Radeon HD 6450 1GB GDDR3 16X PCIe Video Card (Major Brand Powered by ATI)
    # Power Supply Upgrade: 500 Watts - Standard Case Power Supply [+22]
    # Hard Drive: 500GB SATA-III 6.0Gb/s 16MB Cache 7200RPM HDD (Single Hard Drive)

  7. IndyGunFreak


    Jan 26, 2001
    The NIC card really isn't necessary (that I can tell anyway) , as the motherboard has 10/100/1000 onboard.

  8. Hef

    Hef Stop Obammunism

    Sep 12, 2004
    Hilton Head, SC
    They include it for "free".
  9. IndyGunFreak


    Jan 26, 2001
    LOL... that means they can't find a place to throw it away either.
  10. Hef

    Hef Stop Obammunism

    Sep 12, 2004
    Hilton Head, SC
    Yeah, I know. I have yet to use a 10/100 that didn't do everything I need it to.