I need tips on how to upgrade my computer.

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by ElevenO, Mar 20, 2005.

  1. ElevenO

    ElevenO

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    I've got several computers around the house here that, as time and finances allow, I would like to began upgrading over the next few months. Can anyone here give me some pointers, tips or links on how best to go about doing this? For example, does anybody know which kind of motherboard and processor would be good to use for my purposes (which will be used mostly for internet use, home business use and 3D-graphics intensive video game use)?

    Any kind of help would be appreciative because it's either do this or I'll have to go out and buy either a new gateway or dell as a replacement.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. bobby_w

    bobby_w Alienigena Platinum Member

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    Can you list what you have now?

    Some might not be upgradable.

    And don't buy a Gateway.
     

  3. ElevenO

    ElevenO

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    Well, 2 of the computers have basically sat turned off and unused for several years now. My initial plans was to basically keep just the tower itself and the 3.5" diskette drive and replace everything else including the motherboard, the cpu, the video/audio cards, the hard drive and pretty much everything else. However, at that point, it might just make more sense to buy a brand new computer and be done with it. However, there's a part of me that would just like to build one just for the heck of it.

    My last 2 computers (including the one that I'm using now) have both been gateways and my complaints have been few and far between. However, I know that dells are pretty good, too, so making a manufacture change won't be a big deal to me.
     
  4. RBR

    RBR

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    The types of games you want or anticipate playing will probably determine what you need hardware wise. An older computer may not be worth upgrading. An old MB probably won't fully support a newer CPU, RAM & graphics card.

    You could build your own system from scratch or start with a bare bones system. You can use better quality components than a factory built one but once you add the cost of the operating system and any software you need it will probably cost a little more.

    Dell has some inexspensive PC's but their that way for a reason. Upgrading the RAM, CPU and Vid card will get the price up fast.
     
  5. fastvfr

    fastvfr Ancient Tech

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    With any pre-built PC, you are not allowed to open the case for any reason...that is forbidden.

    So if the CD drive dies, because it was the cheapest model in the world at the time they built yours, you get to pay shipping to send the whole POS tower back to them for repair or you'll void the warranty by opening that case.

    That is just DUMB.

    So why not buy a good-quality mid-tower case and a decent Asus motherboard and CPU, then get a pair of high-quality Corsair or OCZ Matched PC3200 memory?

    This approach allows you to pick and choose exactly which video card, DVD burner, hard drive ect. you want -- and best of all, you get the MANUFACTURER'S WARRANTY on each of those parts!!

    You don't need to worry about Tech Support, or buying some ridiculous Extended Warranty, since you have your friends here at GT's Tech Talk who can diagnose just about everything for you, no charge.

    And if you have sufficient manual dexterity to change the sparkplug in your old lawn mower, you can build a PC.

    The MOBO manual tells you how, and there are dozens of tutorials around the Web.

    Plus, not only will you save money, but you'll wind up with a far better machine...one that does not necessitate a call to Haakim in Bangalore if it decides to act up. ;Q ;g ;f :cool:

    And when you are done, you will understand why none of us TT'ers will ever buy an OEM PC again!!

    Good luck, and post back if you'd like a shopping list...
     
  6. ElevenO

    ElevenO

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    Well, for starters, I use my computers mostly for internet and home office use. However, as far as games go, I like to play first person shooter games like Rainbow 6, Ghost Recon and (eventually) Brothers in Arms as well as other similar games. I have been known to also play with flight sims and racing sims as well. With this in mind, I already know that my needs (wants?) will require my computer to have alot of memory, an uber fast processor and motherboard and an up-to-date 3d video card.
     
  7. ElevenO

    ElevenO

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    Your post pretty much sums up why I want to do this because, if I do my homework and properly take the time to educate myself along the way, I believe that I'll end up with a better overall system than what I could buy in a store or over a phone (and might even save a little money to boot). My only problem currently is that there are so many options available that it seems a little overwhelming at this point. Basically, I want to build a fast and reliable computer that will be able to suit 99.9% of my needs and wants for at least 3 years. After that, I'll build (or rebuild) again. I'm willing to budget up to around $2500 to $3000 in order to get what I want. I figure I could get a pretty good system with that kind of money.
     
  8. fastvfr

    fastvfr Ancient Tech

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    You ARE joking, right?!? I can build you TWO of my sig rigs for $3000, cat!!

    You could have the most powerful gaming rig around for that.

    Here goes:

    Thermaltake Tsunami case

    Antec 480w Truepower Power Supply

    Asus P4C800-E Deluxe motherboard

    Intel Pentium 4 3.4EE CPU (Socket 478)

    Matched set of Corsair 512MB Low Latency RAM, for 1024MB total.

    AGP 8X BFG 6800GT OC video card

    Creative Audigy 2 sound card

    Floppy Drive

    Lite-On 52x/32x/52x CD-RW drive

    Western Digital 160GB hard drive

    Microsoft XP Professional

    This setup should cost about half the maximum figure you quoted, give or take, and will fill the bill very nicely.

    If you want to spend more, just look to the AMD Athlon 64's, particularly the FX-55, and a SKT 939 Asus board with an nVidia NForce4 chipset to run it on...everything else will work perfectly, but you'll have to get the PCIe version of the video card.

    Good luck! Trust me, you will be far happier with a machine you made yourself.
     
  9. jack19512

    jack19512

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    I have built three computers so far for family members. I haven't had one problem with any of them so far. I just finished my third build about two weeks ago. I am one of those guys that know just enough to be dangerous. I will never buy a Dell, Gateway, or Compaq computer ever again.
     
  10. greenlead

    greenlead

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    We do only custom-built computers here, at my house. The only computers we don't build are the laptops, we have two of those.

    Here's some advice:
    - Buy a barebones system (Case, PS, Mobo (with onboard everything, you can put better stuff in it later, if you want), Processor) from a REAL computer store (ie: somewhere that will sell you the parts and giev you advice, not the places that try to sell you warranties, etc.). Move the HD and other parts you want to keep over form the old system. You may even want to buy a new HD and install it in the system as secondary.
    - Buy additional RAM and put it into the system. RAM is cheap and makes a huge difference.
    - Keep the old systems around. If they don't have network cards, put some in. NICs are cheap. Use the old computers as servers, for printing, firewall (IPCop), clustering, etc.

    Given the budget you quoted, you can do pretty well.

    Oh, and tell us more about what you want to accomplish. If you just want to do Internet browsing, about anything will work. You wouldn't need a better video card than what is onboard, or even a soundcard. Improve the RAM, your NIC card, and your ISP, and you are set to go.
     
  11. RaiderRodney

    RaiderRodney Just Win Baby

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    ;G Holy Shmoley...you can build a MONSTER with that ;G
     
  12. ElevenO

    ElevenO

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    Well, the way that I arrived at that figure is that my last 2 gateways each cost me around 2500-3000 dollars each. I paid it and I didn't mind paying it because I was able to get what I wanted and needed. If I have to pay 3000 dollars again then so be it. However, if I do ultimately build my own, then I should be able to do it a good bit cheaper this time since I won't have to contend with gateway or dells profit margin. What cost me 3000 bucks with gateway may only now cost me 2000 for myself.

    For the last couple of days, I've been shopping around the net for prices on some of the various parts (like motherboards, cpu's and whatnot) and I can tell already that I am gonna have to educate myself on all of the individual parts. So far, the search has been a bit confusing because alot of the motherboards and cpu's look very similar to each other (even though I know most of them are not). I want everything to work together properly as they are designed and intended to. I also want a computer that is EXTREMELY FAST and up-to-date in each and every aspect. I want to enjoy the end product and to be glad at what I did. I don't want to drop alot of money on this project and have it leave a bitter taste in my mouth when all is said and done.
     
  13. Washington D.C.

    Washington D.C.

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    I have a Pentium III 733Mhz with Rambus RDRAM that cost me $2600 at the beginning of 2000.The fastest processor at the time was an 800Mhz P3 for another $200 or $300.
     
  14. David_G17

    David_G17 /\/\/\/\/\/\/\/

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    i'd be building a beowulf cluster. :)

    don't ignore that strong drive you have to build your own computer. I built mine, and a few of my friends' computers. I would only buy a laptop pre-built now (and only if someone had a gun to my head would i buy a laptop).
     
  15. greenlead

    greenlead

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    We'll have to get him to grab the live CD's so that he can play with clustering. Dyne:bolic supports it automatically, just start more than one computer on the LAN off of the CD, and bam!, you have an OpenMosix cluster. :)