TechSpot

Upgrading Need advice...

By Cyber
Dec 17, 2006
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  1. Hi guys, My friend wants to upgrade his pc so he can play Command & Conquer™ Generals, Halo, and games of that type with no lag. He has a budget of abt $250 (Canadian).

    His Computer Specs:
    ______________________________________________________________
    AMD Athlon XP, 2166 MHz (13 x 167) 3000+ (L2 512 KB) (3.3 V) (Socket A)
    Asus A7V8X-LA (Kelut) (3 PCI, 1 AGP 8x, 2 DDR DIMM, Audio, Video, LAN, IEEE-1394)
    512 MB DDR SDRAM PC2700 (166 MHz)
    VIA/S3G UniChrome IGP (64 MB)
    Realtek ALC658 @ VIA AC'97 Enhanced Audio Controller
    KTC K-9005L [19" LCD] (15515)
    _______________________________________________________________
    What can he upgrade while staying in that budget..
    Can you guys look for parts in Tiger direct (www.tigerdirect.ca) only... since it’s near his place… so that if he gets a faulty part he can exchange it….

    any subjection will be appreciated

    Thanks In advance,
    Cyber
  2. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 3,566

    Can you check his PSU as well please. How many watts is it, and how many amps on the +12v rail? I assume this is an HP/compaq system?

    For that budget, his best bet is probably to leave the CPU alone and go for a graphics card. The problem is, a newer graphics card is likely going to require a new PSU as well. You could always just pop in a new graphics card and hope for the best. Worse case scenario is it won't work and you'll need a new PSU.

    I'm tempted to say also upgrade the ram. His board only has two dimm slots. Is his current ram 2 sticks of 256mb or 1 stick of 512mb? If it is one stick of 512, then it'll be nice and cheap to get him up to 1Gb of ram.

    This card is looking like it's in his range:
    http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=2529919&CatId=933

    See what some others say on this as well.
  3. chuck4456

    chuck4456 Newcomer, in training Posts: 64

    Agreed

    But it looks like he needs a video card, PSU, and more RAM, actually. 250. won't cut it.
  4. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 3,566

    The question then becomes, for $250 what should he do?

    I personally can't answer that until we know more about his current PSU and ram (the answers to the questions I put above).
  5. TimeParadoX

    TimeParadoX Newcomer, in training Posts: 2,438

    You can go to this website: http://www.systemrequirementslab.com/referrer/srtest and look at each of the games he would want to play and under the Recommended tab see how much RAM & what kind of videocard he'll need to play it perfectly.

    After you do this you could see what are the recommended specs for each game and just pick what he would most likely need, I would say a videocard would be most important when it comes to gameplay and not being laggy, You should get the card that DonNagual said

    But also give us the specs of your PSU so we can see if you can even run the card if you get it ;)
  6. Cyber

    Cyber Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 89

    Hi,
    Thanks for all the replies... yes he has one stick of 512 mb ram and he can get another 512 stick... No idea abt his PSU.... since he lives a little far away from me will be meeting up in the Christmas holidays... Is there a way to tell the voltage of a PSU.... using some kind of program... if so can some one give me the name so i can tell him to use that...(since he will not open his case without some one who knows abt computers around) and i cant go to his house cuz he lives far....

    Thanks

    Cyber

    *EDIT: yea i asked him abt the psu.... he said he will upgrade... but he just looked at one of his old psu that fried like 2 months ago... It a little too small comparing to most out there... Hi is using a Compaq Presario 061.... so i guess he need a custom one...
  7. Cyber

    Cyber Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 89

    Hi sup guys... thanks for ur advices... and me and my friend went got a Nivida 6800 extreme and another stick of 512 mb ram... tho we didn't install it yet... since we still need to get a better PSU... so ya... anyways thanks for your help again... cya around

    Cyber
  8. Cyber

    Cyber Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 89

    hi guys i need ur help again... We got all the stuff the graphic card and the power supply... and every thing was fine... except the fact that when we started the computer the cpu fan would spin fast and would make a loud noise... so my friend decided to take it to computer tech... (i told him not to...lol) … the guy at the shop told him that his computer is cheep and that it won't last long with that graphic card inside (meaning this his computer can"t handle the new stuff) ... and that he should either take out the card and the Psu or he should get a new pc... i am totaly against this fact... but my friends seems to believe him.... now how do I peruse my friend that the tech guy might be wrong… or is this tech guy saying the Truth...

    Hi computer Specs:

    AMD Athlon XP, 2166 MHz (13 x 167) 3000+ (L2 512 KB) (3.3 V) (Socket A)
    Asus A7V8X-LA (Kelut) (3 PCI, 1 AGP 8x, 2 DDR DIMM, Audio, Video, LAN, IEEE-1394)
    1 gb (512 X 2) MB DDR SDRAM PC2700 (166 MHz)
    XFX GeForce 6800 Xtreme / 256MB GDDR3 / AGP 8x / (New parts)
    Xion / 600-Watt Ver. 2.0/ ATX / 140mm / 20/24-Pin (New parts)

    Realtek ALC658 @ VIA AC'97 Enhanced Audio Controller
    KTC K-9005L [19" LCD] (15515)

    *Edit: There was an increase in his computer Cpu temp.... after we installed the new stuff... does the power of the PSU effect ur Cpu?
  9. F1N3ST

    F1N3ST Newcomer, in training Posts: 1,088

    No, power of PSU dosnt affect CPU, but heat of video card does, a video card has a processor on it too, so thats where the heat is coming from.
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