TechSpot

Anything Else I should Know

By Floatcode1
Aug 16, 2006
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  1. Alright, this one's a bit long, but help would be highly, highly appreciated. So, here's the deal.

    I'm planning on upgrading my old, crappy Dell Dimension 2300 (which only has a 1.8GHz Intel Pentium 4 CPU, integrated Intel Extreme Graphics, 512MB of RAM, and a motherboard that only has --gasp-- PCI slots) into something that meets more than the neccessary requirements of The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion. I've picked out the hardware that'll I'll be needing to complete such a feat, and I'd like your opinion on whether this is good enough or not:


    New Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-8IG1000MK Socket 478 Intel 865G Micro ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

    New CPU: Intel Pentium 4 3.0E Prescott 800MHz FSB 1MB L2 Cache Socket 478 Processor - OEM

    New RAM: AMPO 1GB 184-Pin DDR SDRAM Unbuffered DDR 400 (PC 3200) System Memory - Retail

    New Video Card: XFX PVT42KVDE3 Geforce 6800XT 256MB 256-bit GDDR3 AGP 4X/8X Video Card - Retail

    (All Items Found From NewEgg)

    Well, those are the products I chose to upgrade my system's performance. I'm almost positive I have the right CPU, RAM, and video card for the new motherboard (and I'm also almost positive that this motherboard-- a Micro ATX-- will work in my system just fine). What I need to know is:

    1) Do I have my facts straight? Will this all work together and, at the same time, will it all be capable of running a game the calibur of Oblivion well?

    2) Is there anything (and I mean ANYTHING) else that I need to purchase? We're talking cooling systems, fans, etc.-- I don't know much about upgrading computers or replacing/adding parts, so I need to know if there is anything else I must buy to make this upgrade happen.



    Sorry for the trouble; I'm just new to the whole PC-upgrading scene... ....thing, so help, as I said before, would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
  2. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,573   +9

    I'd say: scrap the whole PC upgrading thing.

    You are already getting a whole new PC here. What you end up reusing is: the HDD, the optical drives, floppy(?), PSU and case.

    Instead, you can have 2 computers if you get those parts new. It will cost alittle more, but it will be worth it.

    If you want a micro-ATX case:
    APEVIA (ASPIRE) X-QPACK-AL/420 Black/Silver Aluminum MicroATX Desktop Computer Case 420W Power Supply - Retail 84.99
    (you can choose colour, comes with PSU)

    AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800+ Toledo 2000MHz HT Socket 939 Dual Core Processor Model ADA4800CDBOX - Retail 307.00
    (save money, downgrade to 3800+ $147)

    MSI 761GM2-V Socket 939 SiS 761 GX Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail 46.99

    eVGA 256-P2-N554-AX Geforce 7600GT KO 256MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Video Card - Retail 159.99
    (I'd recommend getting something with alot more power than the 6800XT, in fact, I'd recommend the 7900GT, but it'll cost about double this)

    Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD3200KS 320GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM 104.99
    (alternatively, newegg has a "back to school sale" on Western Digital Caviar SE WD2500JB 250GB 7200 RPM IDE Ultra ATA100 Hard Drive - OEM 69.99, but the SE16 will be good in an SFF case for its lower power consumption, quieter operation, lower heat, etc).

    RAM - use any PC3200 ram. I'd recommend something with a lower latency if its not much more expensive. Newegg doesn't seem to stock any DDR1 RAM with low latencies.

    SONY 16X DVD±R DVD Burner Black IDE Model DWQ120AB2 - OEM 29.59


    And thats about all you need for a whole new box. I chose an AMD 939 system instead of an AM2 because its alot easier looking for micro atx boards for 939. I might update with a change in m/b and cpu with an AM2.

    Oblivion will eat up just about any hardware you can throw at it at the moment, and that includes the tomshardware $10,000 PC. So with a somewhat budget system like this (compared to the $10k pc), Oblivion will run quite smooth, but you'll have to disable alot of the eye-candy. With a 7900GT, you should be able to enable a fair number of eye-candy.
  3. KingCody

    KingCody TS Guru Posts: 1,568   +7

    i agree with CMH. since you're planning to upgrade three most expensive components anyways, then the better option (IMHO) would be to just build new rather then upgrading the dell.

    with that being said, if you still want to go the upgrade route then the components that you chose should work fine together, but I wouldn't recommend them. here's why...

    you want to play newer system intensive games like Oblivion, but you're planning on upgrading your old parts with more old parts. socket-478 is old, and AGP is old (and actually more expensive than PCI-E in many cases).

    if you're dead set on intel, then a socket-775 mobo & CPU and a PCI-E video card would perform better and be much more upgradeable. but I would recommend an AMD Athlon64 setup (either socket-939 or AM2) because it will perform better than socket-478 and prices are very cheap right now.

    cheers :wave:
  4. Floatcode1

    Floatcode1 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the help. I'll probably stick with upgrading (it's a money thing), but I'll almost definitely change my plan of attack in light of your tips, guys.

    Speaking of tips, any additional pointers would definitely be appreciated.
  5. MetalX

    MetalX TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,909

    I highly doubt that the Dell PSU in the old case will be nearly powerful enough to run all that equipment. I would suggest getting a new PSU but you can't really find powerful mATX PSUs so I suggest getting a ATX Mid-Tower case and a PSU from a decent brand name like Enermax, Fortron, Pc Power and Cooling, Antec etc.
  6. Floatcode1

    Floatcode1 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yeah, I've done some thinking, and this has really turned into more of a "I'm salvaging old parts from my Dimension 2300 and putting them into a new build to make the whole process more cost-efficient" than a simple "upgrade". All of this is really, really helping, by the way. I needed guidelines like these. I'll keep tweaking the plan here and there before I put it into action: I have to make sure I've got what I need first.
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