Looking for help on upgrading computer

  1. Hello, I have a three or four year old computer and i have been looking to upgrade it, since i do not have enough money to buy a new one.
    What i am looking to improve is FPS, basically a smoother MMORPG gaming experience. I also would appreciate if you give me any pointers on any specific parts that are cheap but also do the job well.
    Here is my info:

    Intel Pentium 4 CPU 1.60 GHz
    768MB RAM
    DirectX 9.0c
    Driver : ati2dvag.dll

    Thanks so much in advance.
  2. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,219   +157

    Hi Demon,
    well definitely a GPU upgrade for gaming, however with that P-4, the biggest I would go is a gts 250, or a HD 4850. If you want DX 11 a HD 5670.
  3. Relic

    Relic TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,379   +16

    What MMO are you playing? If it's WoW you're pretty much running on the minimum for that game. While a GPU upgrade should help, the rest of your system is just really dated. If you can hold off I would seriously suggest just saving up for a new system. You can even get yourself a pretty decent budget system and maybe recycle some older stuff from your current PC.
  4. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Posts: 1,835

    you'll have to use an AGP graphics card, which isn't a big deal but the processor is what's going to hold you back. like relic said it would be more practical to just save up for a new system. even the low-end machines that stores are selling would be a huge improvement over what you have.
  5. JMMD

    JMMD TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 854

    IMO that PC is too old to spend too much money on it. The CPU is going to be a bottleneck with a good GPU. You should also have at least 2GB of RAM.
  6. ramonsterns

    ramonsterns TS Enthusiast Posts: 744   +12

    Your computer is pretty bad. Save up and buy a new one. This thing will be obsolete in a year.

    Might as well man up and deal with it until you have more money.
  7. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,431   +28

    Your computer is pretty much outdated, and any decent AGP card you'll find will either be really, really old or ridiculously overpriced; not worth it IMHO.

    A new system can be built for ~$200-300, recycling parts from your current system like the HDD, DVD drive, chassis and possibly the PSU. It will also far outpace your current system.

    How much are you looking to spend?
  8. DemonSoliloquy

    DemonSoliloquy TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thank you all for the helpful posts. I have been trying to keep this computer since I don't have much money to buy a new system.
    @ Rage, right now i'm at a 300$ budget, so building a new system could be possible...what site would you recommend?
  9. JMMD

    JMMD TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 854

  10. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,431   +28

    Hmm, I can whip up a decent build for you; I assume you're in the US?
  11. DemonSoliloquy

    DemonSoliloquy TS Rookie Topic Starter

    @JMMD That $400 build caught my eye, i'll look at it later and try to cut it down since i am working in around $300.
    @Rage Yes, I am.
  12. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,431   +28

    Ok check back tomorrow; I'll have something ready for you by then. :)
  13. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,431   +28

    Try this build:

    Grand Total = ~$300

    You can reuse your HDD(s) and case from your current build.

    If you don't play WoW, then you can swap out the CPU for this CPU instead, and you can spend the extra cash on this card instead.
  14. DemonSoliloquy

    DemonSoliloquy TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thank you, that was extremely helpful and a great guide.
    I have a question though. Will my HDD be good enough for all these new parts or will they cripple my computer?
  15. JMMD

    JMMD TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 854

    It depends on which drive and how slow it really is. Drives are dirt cheap so it's something you could add now or wait to upgrade later.
  16. DemonSoliloquy

    DemonSoliloquy TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Sorry for asking again, but some real life issues have come up and i cannot come up with enough money for this..Only with about 50 bucks.
    I will do this update but i wanna do it piece by i would like to know which piece i should purchase first and that will make the problem of laggy/choppy gameplay go away.
    I have about 2g left of space so i don't think that's the problem.
    Thanks in advance.
  17. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,701   +1,886

    I'm curious, if this machine is only "three or four years old", why is your CPU only running at 1.6 Ghz? That frequency would be more typical of an early Northwood Pentium 4, in the socket 478 package, that would place it in the 6+ to 8 year old range.
  18. DemonSoliloquy

    DemonSoliloquy TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Maybe it's older, i don't really recall when i got it but it's around that range.
    However, that's beside the point..
  19. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,701   +1,886

    Well, no it isn't. The Northwodd P-4s ran in 8XX series chipset boards, which require AGP video cards. The 9XX series began PCI-E graphics interface.

    My point is this, the Prescott Series of Pentium 4 had a minimum clock speed of about 2.6Ghz. These are what were selling in the time period you say you got your computer. I'm actually wondering if you have posted correct information about your CPU speed. It would help to know what chipset your motherboard has. So, if you can provide that information, please do.

    Here's Intel's page on the P-4 Northwood 1.6Ghz CPU; As you can see, it's in the 478 socket package.
  20. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,672   +9

    Don't bother building the system in pieces. It's an advice I've been given here on these forums by a lot of people and there's good reason for that. Save up your cash now and invest on a complete build.

    However, if you must upgrade now, the GPU is the obvious choice.

    And do follow what captaincranky is saying. That's a vital piece of information we're missing...
  21. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,701   +1,886

    If this is in fact a 478 socket board, then our OP has pretty much "bagged the limit" with the 9600GT GPU he's using. This is going on the assumption that an AGP port is all that's available. I don't know what would be worth spending more money on in the way of a card, since AGP cards tend to be priced way over an equivalent PCI-E card. Throwing good money after bad, as it were. But I guess we'll have to wait for the stats on the mobo in question, before we speak to the issue.
  22. DemonSoliloquy

    DemonSoliloquy TS Rookie Topic Starter

    What's the difference between getting all the parts in one swoop and getting them one by one?
    And sorry cranky, but I don't really know how to check what chipset my motherboard has.
  23. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,672   +9

    When you're getting components one by one, you often require parts that need to be compliant with your present setup. That limits the options that you have and may lead to you buying older hardware.
    Also, when you buy all the individual parts over a long period of time, some components will have better and cheaper counterparts by the time you get the last part.

    Use CPU-Z to find all information regarding your CPU and mobo.
  24. DemonSoliloquy

    DemonSoliloquy TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the info Ritwik7.
    However I used dxdiag instead on the run command and what I got is :
    Chip type : ATI Radeon Graphics Processor AGP (0x4150)
    DAC Type : Internal DAC (400 MHz)
    Approx Total memory : 256.0 MB
    I also found this on device manager :
    Intel(R) 82845 Processor to AGP Controller -1A31
    Intel(R) 82845 Processor to I/O Controller - 1A30

    I hope that's what you were looking for.
    Thanks in advance.
  25. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,672   +9

    Well, it seems you're running an Intel 845G Chipset and as Captain correctly pointed out you have an AGP slot on the mobo.

    However, please run CPU-Z and post the information you find in there regarding your CPU and motherboard.

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