is this a worthy gaming system?, if not what do I need to upgrade?

By chrisco ยท 10 replies
Jan 22, 2006
  1. hi there, I'm new to this forum. I've already posted one thread about how my computer won't boot, but so far I've had no response, oh well i'll wait.

    Basically I want to know If my current setup, is good enough for gaming. this is my current setup:

    Motherboard = Compaq Evo D500 (not sure the exact motherboard model)
    CPU = Intel Pentium 4 1.8GHZ
    Ram = 1024MB of PC-133MHZ SDRAM (512 MB in Dimm 1, 256 MB in Dimm 2, and 256 MB in Dimm 3)
    Video Card = Nvidia Riva Tnt2 Model 64 32MB
    soundcard = Creative sound blaster live
    Hard drives = 2 western digital 40GB drives (not sure of RPM speeds), (I am also thinking of raiding them together with a ATA/100 PCI card, is this worth doing?)
    Drives = Lite-on DVD-RW 16X duel layer Burner
    PCI Cards = Nexxtec USB 2.0 PCI card
    PSU = Stock 250W
    other modifcations = I'm currently modifying stock "mini convertable" case, to hold a 120mm mains fan in the front of case. (wind tunnel pc)

    If you guys could recommend any future upgrades, or see anything that could cause me problems, or think that I'm wasting my money on somthing that's not going to benifit me a hole lot, please let me know.

    tanks alot
  2. LipsOfVenom

    LipsOfVenom TS Rookie Posts: 160

    unfortunately not. P4 1.8 GHz is kind of slow nowadays and i'm guessing it is the 478 running at 533 FSB. Try a new Athlon 64 socket 939 or the Socket 775 P4's. having 1 gig of RAM is good, but yours are 133 Mhz. Try running 1 gig of DDR at least 400 Mhz. for games, the video is the highest factor. Any 6800 or ATI X series is good for mid level cards, and the XT1800 or the 7800 are good high level cards. the 64 MB card you have is...sadly not up to par with games now. Lastly the PSU needs to be at least 400 watts. the rest seem alrite (DVD-RW and IDE hard drives)
  3. chrisco

    chrisco TS Rookie Topic Starter

    thanks alot for your honesty "lipsofveneom" I really appreatiate it. ya your right it is kind of out of date, but it's more of a money issue than anything, actually to tell you the truth this computer is brand new for me, it's like 1 week old (I fried my old motherboard, trying to install a Fan controler). I rearching info on this computer, and found out that I could put a maximum of 2.2GHZ CPU in this motherboard. I think I will do that, but i'll overclock it to run faster. the video card like you said definitly needs to be upgraded as it is only a 32MB card. however it's more of the PSU I'm concerned with, I don't want to put any more upgrades into my computer until I know that I will have enough power to run it all. I was looking at a Enermax 480w PSU, with 2 seperate 12V rails, 2 cooling fans, and 1 blower fan, that was compatible with both 20Pin and 24 Pin motherboards. it was $150 canadian at my local computer store. would this be compatible with my motherboard, or potentially risky of frying my motherboard? it looked pretty sweet, however the computer store is a final purchase kid of store, so if I buy it they won't take it back. as well I asked them if it would be ok for my motherboard, but they didn't know; and they wouldn't take the time to look it for me, they told me that was my responsibilty to find, however I can't find it anywhere on the internet (list of aftermarket compatible PSU's). so if you could help me find out if this is compatible with my motherboard that would be so great. my mother board is a compaq 007ch and came stock as a Compaq EVO D500 (model = D5M case type = Convertible minitower). I also want to get into the whole cooling thing, however I need enough power to run all the fans. Just recently I modified my case, with a 120mm mains fan on the front of case, it's 120V and connects directly to PSU. it's looks really neat, especially with the stock grill concept intregrated into it.

    thanks for getting back me about future upgrades, will consider. but in the meantime if you could look up compatiblity issues for the Enermax PSU and my Motherboard, that would be extremely helpful.

    apreatiate it
  4. LipsOfVenom

    LipsOfVenom TS Rookie Posts: 160

    the case you have is a minitower....which means the enermax that you want might not be able to fit in the slot. If it does then all is okay...and if it doesnt...well then you can still just rest the PS on your desk or sumthing. as for compatibility, there is no issue. The motherboard will work perfectly with the Enermax (all it needs is a 4 pin safety and a 20 pin connection, which the enermax provides). With 480 watts you can also add neon tubes, fans, and all that good stuff for mods too.
  5. acoroian

    acoroian TS Rookie

    Well if its a money issue you can buy an AMD sempron 2600+ ($60 but you need to buy a board with that). Its almost like the AMD64 but without the 64 bit features and it will run well.

    I was looking a couple of days ago on and i found deals on motherboard + cpu combos. If you dont get drives or anything you can probably buy some parts for about 300 bucks and get a real gaming machine =D

    im running a 2.2 pentium 4 and the gaming is pretty good. I used it for F.E.A.R and others but my ram runs at 400 mhz. A gig of ram will run you about 100 bucks. Mobo + cpu will be less than 200 if you dont care what board you get > the rest of your stuff is ok for now i guess you'll be able to upgrade when you ahve more money.

    Also you should get a 128 mb video card because on most games 32 mb will not even get you in.

    Ive seen some Nvidia 128 mb card on newegg for 50 bucks you can probably add 20 bucks to get a 256 mb card. And since i know you cant afford to get the brand name.. WHO cares =D its better than 32 mb. I dont always buy brand name either.
  6. chrisco

    chrisco TS Rookie Topic Starter

    hey thanks for the advice

    were those prices in American or Canadian dollars? I'll need the Canadian figures. IT sounds a little to cheap to be canadian. you were saying that 1GB of ram would run me at $100. I was just in the local computer store a few days ago and they were asking $130 for a 512 MB stick (SDRAM PC-133MHZ). I already Have 1GB now, but ya another GIG would definitly help. right now it's more of a PSU problem, like I stated in the prevoius post. you see I don't really want to put any more upgrades into my system until I know for sure that PSU can handle it. I would definitly have to agree with you about the Video card, I'm for sure going to pick up a 256MB, but I think that might draw more power. Right now I'm only running a stock 250W power supply, kinda weak. Actually now that I think of it, I do have a second power supply, which is actually completely identical to my other one. would it be possible to hook them up to one another, safely? I was looking at posts before, regarding this, however i can't figure it out, and all the diagrams that are being used are for 20PIn Molex conneters, my motherboard uses a 24 PIn for the PSU. so how would I go about linking them together, for a total of 500w without changing the Voltage or Current? if you could find this out for me that would be great, then I wouldn't have to bother with buying a new Enermax 480w PSU (as much as I really want it), my only concern is were is my second PSU going to go? anyway whatever you can do to help would be greatly appretiated.
  7. acoroian

    acoroian TS Rookie

    The figures i gave you are in american dollars.

    SDRAM is old now 130 Canadian dollars = 112.92567 U.S. dollars > if they were asking for that much they are trying to rip you off.

    Do you ever buy things online. They have great deals online where you can get cheap ram like the one i posted.

    What i would do is just put this system aside and just save up for a new one.

    Think of it this way. Is doing all that power supply work to hook them up together really worth it? I mean both in time and safety. Yes it can be done but if i were you i would go spend the extra money and get a 400 W power supply. Lots of people get the 600W crazy power supplies but why spend so much money when you are not really going to use that much power < - go here and add what you want to put on your machine to see how much wattage you need. (you will probably not even need 400W

    CHeck this website they have combos.

    How much would you spend to upgrade your computer maybe i can give you some tips.

    I would not spend any more money on your current PC though if i were you.
  8. Ural_

    Ural_ TS Enthusiast Posts: 96

    I have the same cpu a 1.8ghz and it has never given me any trouble with new games n all also your ram is more then enough for a gaming system just your video card to me is holding you back and also maybe your hardrives, a gaming system should have i reckon about 120gb or more. (An amaetuers opinion) i have 512mb of ram and like i said earliar 1.8ghz and to top that off a weeny sis 650 32mb video card and i still can play any game perfectly that supports 32mb video cards (These days most games need a 64mb video card or higher) If you plan to get a high end card your psu will need replacing but you wont need to get a 480 watt psu if its over 350 watts then its fine unless you want to get a very high end card like a 7800gtx or x850 xt.
  9. N3051M

    N3051M TS Evangelist Posts: 2,115

    i'd have to agree.. 1.8Ghz can play most games, including the new ones (maybe with a few options turned off..) but main things are the psu and new video card.. video cards are usualy the general reason for a game to work or not to work.. a good quality psu can keep you out off troubles (just search the forums.. you can see what i mean) and adequate cooling (i think you got that covered.. heh.. go the windtunnelers!! :grinthumb :giddy: )

    I used to play counterstrike condition zero on my laptop (intel celeron 555mhz, 192mb ram, onboard vga/sound etc..) and it runs pretty good (with the keyboard a bit hot sometimes.....) and with a few options turned off and stuff.. but on my main rig its even better hehe.. :D

    I'd also would agree with acoroian.. you're probably getting ripped off and by the sounds of that shop doesnt seem to give you much customer service and if i were you i'd take my business elsewhere...
    my rule when buying stuff..
    2.shops/online (or ask them here)
    4.good customer service and support(in case something happens to it)
    Rule 4 can have exeptions.. especialy if the place you find is dirt cheaper than anywhere else but has to have good reviews and good products....
    Otherwise have a little patience and get yourself a good rig when the time is right...
    Happy modding :)
  10. chrisco

    chrisco TS Rookie Topic Starter

    hey guys thanks for the tip, ya I didn't think that my entire computer wasn't anygood for games. Yes and for sure the next thing on my list is the video card, actually now that I do think about it can anyone here on this forum recommend me a really good high end card, maybe one with duel monitor capabilties. I don't really care how much power it sucks. oh and I relize that my motherboard only accepts up to 4X APG capabilties and most high end video cards will support up to 8X AGP, but that's ok I can always put that video card into a new motherboard if I ever purchase one. oh and I went ahead and purchased a brand new PSU, it's a Enermax coolergiant 480W (gold finish, 1 blower fan, 2 heat exust fans) is this PSU worthy enough, lets hope so it costs enough, let me know what you think I'm intrested. As far as doing the whole "Wind tunnel" thing I've changed my mind. I'm going to due a little differnt design. this link shows my original design I was planning on doing (well I've already done it)

    the only problem with that design is that after doing more research I've come across information leading to the fact that front fans are designed to suck in cold air from outside of the case (so that it can go directly toward your PCI/AGP/ect..). so my new design is going to have my front fan reversed that it sucks in cold air (rather than blow hot air out, like the link above suggests). the other thing to consider is that hot air rises, so it would only be fair to say that my power supply would be doing a majority of the heat exustion (and now with 3 fans on my new PSU, plus a Auto/MAN ajustment for fan speed, I think it's fair to say this is a better design). As well I'm currently working on cutting another hole in the top of my case for a 80mm fan (once again for heat exustion). the only thing that leaves me with for actual cooling rather than heat exustion would be my single 80mm chasis fan located on the rear of the case (sucks cold air in from outside the case). now that's the only fan I havn't really decided what to do with. I've considered getting an air duct that will latch to my 80mm rear chasis fan, and then connect directy to my CPU fan. however i'm a little confused with that, becuase by the look of my CPU fan/heatsink it's not blowing air but exusting air. which would only mean that I would have to flip it over, so that the 80mm cooling chasis fan connected to the airduct would blow air into the 40mm (somthing like that) CPU fan, which would be sucking the cold air in the airduct, then blowing onto the processor, rather than trying to exust it. (I know, I know long enough explanation right?, but hey you guys do need all the details right?). Anyway if you guys know anymore about that little idea, please let me know. here is a few link on what i'm planning on doing. (it's the diagram on the left that I want to do) (this is where I actually got the first part of the idea, now I do relize that this case has taken to the extreme. my case won't have 3 120mm front cooing fans, or 2 rear chasis 80mm exusting fans, or a 120mm rear chasis exusting fan; but it's the same concept just with 1 120mm front cooling fan, 1 80mm top chasis exusting fan, and all the addidtional heat exusting fans in the new PSU). so if you guys could maybe suggest a better way, or even let me know that this is good design that would be great, but any further info on the Airduct would be greatly appretiated, as well as my new PSU.

    thanks alot guy, your a big help
  11. Ural_

    Ural_ TS Enthusiast Posts: 96

    The psu is more then enough dont worry about it 480 watts is plenty
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