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Need Help with an Old PC

By Luis Garcia
Sep 3, 2015
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  1. Hey Guys and Gals,

    I have an old PC that I want to upgrade to make it moderately functional until I can afford to get a new PC next year. It is a compaq CQ5320y and I am unsure what sort of graphics card and sound card would work well with it. I am suffering from lag which I think has a bit to do with the amount of RAM but definitely the fact that the graphics are running off of the motherboard itself and the gpu is stock. I saw that the recommended AMD Atheon II X4 could run on it but the only thing I could find was used for around $50. Do you think it is worth it? And what is the best possible graphics card and sound card I could use to match it? I don't understand the ways that the processor is compatible with the various models of graphics and sound cards out there...

    Thank you guys for your help! :)
     
  2. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,966   +70

    What are you doing. I.e. tasks, that are producing lag? How full is your hard drive? To find this information go to Computer and it should give you information on the size of the drive and how full it is. A drive that is relatively full can slow down performance.

    From my research of this system, IMO, it does not pay you to put any money into it. Save every $ you can towards a new one. We'll be glad to help you in the process.
     
  3. B00kWyrm

    B00kWyrm TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,436   +37

    I was doing some research and came to the same conclusions as Route44.
    I hesitate to buy used electronics, and the only cpus I could locate were used.
    Rather than invest in a video card for this system,
    save that money and put it toward the new system when ready.
    .
    This system could still have life as a basic "office" tasks and web-browsing machine.
    I suspect you have xp on it?
    If so, and you wish to keep using it,
    for security purposes, I would consider migrating it to Linux,
    (Linux Mint is a good version to get your feet wet)
    and using OpenOffice or LibreOffice,
    These avoid the security risks inherent in the fact that XP is no longer being updated.

    Of course, if you just want to take it off-line completely,
    and use it for office tasks only,
    then the lack of updates is irrelevant.
     
    Route44 likes this.
  4. bazz2004

    bazz2004 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,232   +201

    Resist wasting money on upgrading the computer. I would also suggest that if it is running XP sp3 that you keep it as it is because there are certainly useful programs that either won't run at all on the latest Windows OSs or only do so after a lot of work. You can install a virtual version of XP and I have just done so within Windows 10. The problem with that is that even if you have the necessary disks or ISOs for XP this takes forever. I was still having updates to install a couple of days later.
     
  5. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,693   +1,880

    It's an ill thought out concept, to attempt to upgrade a pre-built PC anyway, if only for the sake of the stock cases.

    Most of them, (almost all), are "Micro ATX". This size limits cooling and expansion capability. Even an aftermarket Matx case generally limits you to two (2) fixed mount hard drives, which really isn't enough in today's megapixel and gigabyte rich environment of DVD & Blu-Ray discs, along with the high pixel environment of modern digital cameras. And yes, even files from the common smart phone are becoming quite large. Unless you are building specifically for a "home theater", or very compact system, the "ATX mid-tower" is your friend. Micro ATX is too small, and you don't need a "full tower", unless you're going to build an over the top, maximum performance, gaming or video rendering computer.

    From an economic standpoint, you can build damned near as cheaply as you could upgrade, and a lot of your additional parts costs can be deferred over time, as long as you get the basic system configured correctly.

    The price of performance has dropped precipitously, and upgrading an old computer will leave you with a white elephant / paperweight.

    If you can't afford to go "all in" ATM, you can do what I generally do, which is to plan the system in advance, and follow Newegg's sales and "Shell Shocker" deals, collecting your parts over perhaps a few months.

    "Microcenter" is excellent for basic board / CPU combos, with hefty dollars off, if you buy both pieces at once. (*) After that, Newegg is better for price, generally no sales tax, along with free shipping.

    (*) Some of Microcenter's deals are walk-in only, so you need to live somewhat near one to take advantage of them.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2015
    B00kWyrm likes this.

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