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New to upgrades

By Shawn S · 17 replies
Jan 30, 2017
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  1. Hi all, I am new to upgrading components of my PC. I had a friend build it about 6 years ago and since have fallen on to bad terms, so he is not an option. What can I do to upgrade my current rig. I am a gamer, by no means a hardcore one, but I love to play all kinds of different online games. Here are some of my current specs.

    Manufacturer Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd.
    Model GA-970A-D3
    Total amount of system memory 8.00 GB RAM
    System type 64-bit operating system
    Number of processor cores 2

    AMD FX (tm)-4100 Quad-Core Processor 3.60GHz

    Display adapter type NVIDIA GeForce GTX 550 Ti
    Total available graphics memory 4095 MB
    Dedicated graphics memory 1024 MB
    Dedicated system memory 0 MB
    Shared system memory 3071 MB
    Display adapter driver version
    Primary monitor resolution 1600x900
    DirectX version DirectX 10

    Network Adapter Realtek PCIe GBE Family Controller
  2. SourceShard

    SourceShard TS Rookie

    Hello Shawn, depending on the amount of money you want to spend on your build there are many options.

    Your Gigabyte Model GA-970A-D3 Motherboards current specifications will limit the graphics cards you will be able to buy as it's PCI Express ports "2x PCI-E 2.0 x16" are of an older generation. First I would recommend getting yourself a new more up to date motherboard.
    Now these very in price and features,
    - Option one: you can buy a motherboard that would fit the current CPU that you have, this will allow you to save money instead of buying a new CPU and possibly a new CPU cooler as most games today rely more on the GPU "Graphics Card" then the CPU.
    -Option two: You can look for a bundle deal on a CPU and motherboard, this might cost you more money but if you get a more up to date CPU you would have much more flexibility of choice on the motherboard you would be able to choose.

    I would also suggest that you get a motherboard that supports DDR 4 memory (RAM). While this may be a more pricey motherboard and RAM for you, if you decide later on to upgrade your memory (RAM), it will be a much easier and cost efficient process. I would start with 16GB of DDR4 RAM.

    Your graphics card would depend on the amount of money you had for your build also considering if you needed to buy any other parts.

    As a ballpark figure depending on what parts you get you would be looking at between $400-800 to update your computer.

    I can go over parts with you and create a list if you wish. If your are interested in learning I can also walk you through the building process of your PC upgrade.
    Shawn S likes this.
  3. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,206   +4,867

  4. SourceShard

    SourceShard TS Rookie

    Wow I am surprised at how far they got with the FX before discontinuing it. That CPU is pretty good. If you are looking to upgrade the CPU without changing the board that CPU is a great fit. If you get an older Nvidia GTX 750TI GPU that will work with the PCIE 2.0 port you should be able to squeeze a little more life out of that setup.
  5. Shawn S

    Shawn S TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Let's say I have about $400 to work with. What do I do to get the biggest bang for my buck?
  6. Shawn S

    Shawn S TS Rookie Topic Starter

    How do I shop for components? I don't want to buy a motherboard and not be able to use it. I potentially have $300 to work with for upgrading. I want to be able to play newer generation of PC games along with WoW.
  7. MaikuTech

    MaikuTech TS Guru Posts: 951   +168

    If you can raise your budget to 400 dollars that would be better, especially if you want to play newer end games.
    Most of them require higher end specs and your gtx550 would need to go so there is no avoiding that.
    Read both links provided then decide on what you want to do with your machine besides gaming.
    Once we know that, me and some other people can recommend something.
    If you like how the fx4100 treated you (and it was a good quadcore compared to the fx6100 crap).
    You will most likely like ryzen, amd has intels ex-top engineers thats why amd is doing much more better.


    Shawn S likes this.
  8. Shawn S

    Shawn S TS Rookie Topic Starter

    So let's say my budget is $400, I want to be able to play Blizzard Ent. games and League of legends. I think I need to replace my graphics card soon because there is a burning smell coming from it.
  9. MaikuTech

    MaikuTech TS Guru Posts: 951   +168

    If you smell that burning from inside the pc, I would go ahead and chuck it but double check to make sure its not completely gone.
    A quick 1 - 3 hour test on another computer will tell you what is going on.
    Use that and check the tempature and voltages for the video card.



    Both of the parts would run you 185.00 even, without s/h and taxes figured in yet.

    This is optional but at 170.00 even this would be really good to match up with that cpu.
    Like techspot already mentioned and a few other tech sites wait till the gpu prices drops down where it is affordable to get one.
    Otherwise the onboard gpu or a nvidia GT 1000 series card will fit the bill for medium high end gaming.

    Doesn't get much more better than that plus msi boards in general likes kingston and crucial ram memory alot.
    So with those main 3 items your gonna spend rougly 270 or 275.00 with s/h and taxes.
    Long as your case is in good order, your psu works, your hdd/ssd works fine.
    It would be enough for a starter build to work without fail, then you can build onto it as you get money during the year.

    Alot of people I have run into over the years at different forums and people I know in real life don't understand that fact.
    You could have very little money to start with but if you want a computer badly enough you'll find a way to make it happen.
  10. Shawn S

    Shawn S TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I don't know what any of this stuff in the screenshot means. Tech.
  11. MaikuTech

    MaikuTech TS Guru Posts: 951   +168

    Your gpu tempature looks fine, is your video card fan making too much noise or making some weird sounds by chance ?
    I'm curious but take out your video card, clean out any dust and see if you smell that burning again.
    If you do break down your computer parts one by one until you find the issue.
    If the smell isn't there from removing the card, the best thing you can do for the moment is replace it soon.
  12. delrey

    delrey TS Booster Posts: 169   +48

    Those temps are good but it's not under any load. Play a game for about a half hour or so and check to see what it is. While your in your computer cleaning, make sure you inspect and clean the power supply. That's another thing that could be giving the 'burning' smell.
  13. Shawn S

    Shawn S TS Rookie Topic Starter

    So I took all the components apart and cleaned the entire thing. I here a noise that I believe is a fan at start up but that goes away within 30 seconds or so. I ran that gpu monitor while playing Wow and got temp readings of about 145 degrees.
  14. MaikuTech

    MaikuTech TS Guru Posts: 951   +168

    O_o you sure it hit that high, if thats true that gpu should have been dead way before now.
    If you can grab a screenshot by pressing print screen button, have the gpu guage on the side.
  15. delrey

    delrey TS Booster Posts: 169   +48

    Or it could be Fahrenheit and not Celsius. After converting, it's about 62°C, which is rather good.
    Shawn S likes this.
  16. Shawn S

    Shawn S TS Rookie Topic Starter

    That was in Fahrenheit. I found the source of the smell after sniffing each component. It is the psu, just to confirm it the computer shut down on its own.
  17. delrey

    delrey TS Booster Posts: 169   +48

    I wouldn't use your computer too much if the PSU is going bad. Sounds like a PSU needs to be added to your budget and don't get a cheap one.
  18. Shawn S

    Shawn S TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Picked up a Corsair CX-750M today. The smell is finally gone.
    delrey likes this.

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