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Upgrade or Start From Scratch?

By andrewdoyle88
Oct 11, 2011
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  1. Hi Everyone,

    I bought a gaming PC back in 2005 and I am still using it as a family desktop. It is a Dell XPS Gen 4 partitioned running Windows 7. Anytime I play any games it is very choppy but it is an old computer. My question... I want an up to date gaming computer capable of smoothly handling heavy gaming so is it worth upgrading or better off starting fresh? I know my way around a computer but I am by no means an expert so any input would be appreciated!

    A few specs:

    Motherboard:
    CPU Type Intel Pentium 4EE, 3500 MHz (13 x 269)
    Motherboard Name Dell Dimension XPS
    Motherboard Chipset Intel Alderwood i925XE
    System Memory 3072 MB (DDR2 SDRAM)
    BIOS Type Phoenix (07/15/05)
    Communication Port Communications Port (COM1)
    Communication Port ECP Printer Port (LPT1)

    Display:
    Video Adapter NVIDIA GeForce 8400 GS
    Video Adapter NVIDIA GeForce 8400 GS
    Monitor Dell 1905FP (Digital) [19" LCD] (T61164AEAATQ)

    Multimedia:
    Audio Adapter Creative EMU10K2 Audigy / Audigy 2 Audio Processor

    Storage:
    IDE Controller Intel(R) 82801FB/FBM Ultra ATA Storage Controllers - 266F
    IDE Controller Intel(R) 82801FR SATA AHCI Controller
    Floppy Drive Floppy disk drive
    Disk Drive WDC WD2500JD-75HBB0 (232 GB, IDE)
    Disk Drive WDC WD2500JD-75HBB0 (232 GB, IDE)
    Optical Drive PHILIPS DVD+-RW DVD8631 ATA Device (DVD+R9:2.4x, DVD+RW:16x/4x, DVD-RW:8x/4x, DVD-ROM:16x, CD:40x/24x/40x DVD+RW/DVD-RW)
    Optical Drive SAMSUNG CD-R/RW SW-252S ATA Device (52x/32x/52x CD-RW)
    SMART Hard Disks Status Unknown

    Partitions:
    C: (NTFS) 238409 MB (161484 MB free)
    E: (NTFS) 238409 MB (128049 MB free)
    Total Size 465.6 GB (282.7 GB free)
     
  2. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,714   +397

    Upgrading a 6 year old PC is simply a bad investment. Plus, its often difficult to do any substantial upgrades to an OEM PC.

    You can build a low end 'gaming' machine for ~$350 if you recycle some things like a keyboard, mouse, monitor from that machine (further savings if you reuse the hd). That $350 machine would be much much faster than what you have now. Another advantage of building a new one is you'll have a backup machine incase anything catastrophic happens to your new one (unless you used the hd from the old one).

    If you post a new thread with your budget and what you hope to play with it several people here could help you choose the best components for what you need.

    Edit: If you want to do some light reading on builds for various budgets see the Techspot PC Buying Guide.
     
  3. dmill89

    dmill89 TS Guru Posts: 475

    Unfortunately your motherboard chipset is to old to support any of the core 2 series CPUs so your upgrade options are limited as you already have one of the most powerful CPUs that board will take(and a Prescott Core P4 is very underpowered by today's standards, a current model Celeron would likely run circles around it). The only major upgrade you could do would be a new video card but your CPU would bottleneck any current midrange or higher card so there is not much to be gained. As SNGX1275 said your system is basically beyond the point that upgrades are feasible and building new and possibly recycling some parts is probably your best option.
     
  4. andrewdoyle88

    andrewdoyle88 TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 56   +39

    Thanks a lot for the replies! After doing some reading on the links you provided and looking at other people builds I realized that I might as well just build another and leave this dinosaur for the family to surf the internet.


    I am likely going to build something that will handle Battlefield 3 (on ultra) and other similar games that come out in the next year. I'll see if I can find someone else's thread that is looking to do the same thing, I feel bad enough wasting everyone's time with this question!

    Thanks again for the info, much appreciated!
     

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