Upgrade board or new video card?

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Hey im thinking of upgrading my pc so i can just hook it up hdmi to my tv. Ive looked around and my mobo only supports pci cards, which when i checked the hdmi out cards were a bit pricey. It also has one agp 4x slot but cant find a decent card in that department.

Should i get a new MOBO instead with an integrated hdmi out because another benefit of that would be a better CPU and ram support (mine currently says max memory is 1 gig on crucial, but i looked up the serial and says it supports 2) I do want a faster and stronger rig but dont know if all my components would matche up with a new board.

What would i need to look for in terms of choosing either of these options. My case apparently supports uATX (micro).



Posts: 527   +8
Depends on your cash situation. Sounds like your PC is a bit old so a refresh would be in order. Particularly if you have a nice TV, you are probably going to want to use the PC for gaming/media.
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  • #3
yeah its from like 03 or 05 (Compaq presario s3310cl). The MOBO is an MSI ms-6577 V2.1 (http: //h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?lc=en&dlc=en&cc=us&docname=c00019945). theres a link if you think i can just use a vid card. Or suggest a decent MOBO for it. But yeah i want to use it on my tv for media and gaming so an hdmi out would be nice since my tv for some reason doesnt have a dvi or vga input, just an s-video but the resolution on s-vid is aweful. But price is not that much of an issue....but i dont want to sign over my house.

Also what do you mean by refresh? Sorry is my first time changing anything other than a HDD, Ram or a Card of any sort


Posts: 527   +8
Well to be honest you are probably going to spend a lot more then it is worth trying to upgrade a computer that is that old. If you buy a new motherboard your RAM and HD are almost certainly not going to work, and any motherboard with HDMI out is going to be pretty expensive. Plus you have to purchase a processor as well. I would recommend pricing out a fairly inexpensive new system with at least a core2 duo and you will probably be blown away at the speed. I recently upgraded (3 months ago) from a computer similar to yours to a mid range core 2 duo machine and can't believe how i lasted so long.

Having done my research recently you could take a look at http://www.cyberpowerpc.com/ if you really want to have control over your computer. Even the base Core i5 model ~$600 would blow you away. Otherwise you could look again at HP or Dell for a prebuild system. I went the laptop route and have been very pleased with my HP hdx16t (of course it isn't the top of the end graphics card, but i can play fallout 3 in fairly high res on high settings just fine), they just released their new line up as well. You could get a HP dv8t laptop with blue ray drive, hdmi output, esata, Geforce 230m for <$1000 if you look around for coupons (there is usually a ~$250 off coupon code somewhere - if not try again in a couple days). If you really want a cheap upgrade there are plenty of powerful core 2 duo machines from dell or hp (or others), however they usually come with a crap video card and over charge you out the ears for a decent one. That is why i decided with the laptop for now, and would probably configure my own pc through Cyberpower if i was buying a desktop.
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  • #5
i found this mobo and cpu deal at tiger direct and its dual core and all with hdmi.... I already have the Ram that is supported and a 500 wat PSU. Only thing i would need i guess is a new HDD but intended on getting one anyway cause movies fill up 117 GB fast. So would you say i get this currently with a new internal sAta HDD and a new 64 bit windows....comes out to around 225$. Or just barebone it and buy a new set of stuff.


edit: the windows i found was xp pro 64 bit for 25$ + s&h thats why the total is cheap


Posts: 527   +8
Yeah I found that windows pricing kills my plans of building my own pc, as you are going to pay at least $100-$150 for windows 7 (even upgrade editions listed on Tiger direct at $119). so that puts the cost right up into the range of a decent new PC with all new parts.

The motherboard looks like it would work fine. The only thing i would question is your ability to play games on an integrated video card. The HD-4200 is certainly better then the intel integrated cards, but would still have a lot of trouble playing any recent game. Check out reviews on this site for integrated/notebook video cards. http://www.notebookcheck.net/ATI-Radeon-HD-4200.20493.0.html
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  • #7
Ill be using windows xp instead of win 7 or vista. Im not a big fan of those and i feel more comfortable on xp. Im mostly using my PC as a media center rather than gaming. I do light gaming like warcraft 3 and C&C so the RTS games dont require much haul. So would what i picked work for what i plan on doing? or should i pick a new mobo and cpu thats better and not have hdmi integrated and just add a pci-e or something? I dont really want to push my PSU too much if i dont have to cause i may be able to OC with less components

PS.... my system s the pc version of the s3310cl not thenotebook


Posts: 527   +8
It should work fine for those games and if you want XP, you are welcome to stick with it (i would certainly recommend XP 64 bit edition as it much less supported for drivers and bug fixes). I would certainly try to talk you out of XP though, not because it is a bad OS by any means, but because MS has committed to killing it. Just search the web or look at MS support page:

They plan on discontinuing all updates/bug fixes/ etc. . within the next 2 years. So i would definitely encourage you to go with Windows 7 for that reason alone.


Posts: 527   +8
Just to be clear that is a volume license, so unless you have a volume licensing agreement with MS it is technically pirating.
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  • #11
i Have genuine windows keys from another OS. Wouldnt that work without it being pirating and still passing the WGA? And if that does work would it work with the 64 bit installation? My current disk is an xp pro 32 bit x86 version.


Posts: 1,657   +9
Well to be honest you are probably going to spend a lot more then it is worth trying to upgrade a computer that is that old.
I completely agree with that statement. How much are you actually willing to spend? Makes sense in saving up some cash and then building a new rig for yourself. Would suggest that you DIY instead of getting a pre-built system.


Posts: 527   +8
I completely agree with that statement. How much are you actually willing to spend? Makes sense in saving up some cash and then building a new rig for yourself. Would suggest that you DIY instead of getting a pre-built system.
Just curious what your logic behind this is? I am all for DIY in order to get exactly what you want. However as i have been pricing out my "future" system i can't beat the specs/price i can get from a place like cyberpowerpc (i am not trying to endorse them as i have no actual experience with them). If you know of a way to do so please let me know as i am all ears. Thanks.

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  • #15
I'm not trying to save up for a whole system. I have a better psu than prebuilts and I don't need a monoitor if i'm getting hdmi to the tv through a new mobo and cpu. Already have keyboard and mouse. And hdmi is integrated sound. So all that would be a waste of money. I have the ram I need too and at the desired amount of 4 gigs. Plus I was already planning on buying a 1-1.5 tb hdd anyway.

So with spending around 200 for what I need or wasting 800 on something usually less powerful prebuilt. It's logical what i'm doing


Posts: 1,657   +9
Just post the complete specifications of your current system then. It'll help us provide suggestions. Also, if you change your motherboard, you'll definitely have to get another processor for compatibility. So you can get yourself a PCI card such as this: HIS Radeon HD 2400PRO 512MB

It has HDMI output via adapter. It seems as though it's the only PCI card capable of HDMI (including sound).

However, if you can hook up the audio through different means (Like using the audio jack on the back of the computer) you can get any video card with a DVI out and buy a DVI to HDMI cable.
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  • #17
You see thats all a waste of time to me. I already said i was looking to change my MOBO with integrated hdmi and get a cpu along with it (theres a link of what i was going to purchase in post #5). Really no point for me to get that card as its for 64 bit and i am using a 32 bit system with low specs.

So basically the PCI card you linked is at 75 dollars and i cant even install it on my 32 bit.

The new MOBO and CPU deal is 125 dollars. That would upgrade my machine and give me the desired hdmi at the same time. So as you see below with my awefull specs i want a new MOBO and CPU so it can be a dual processor and im able to install more ram, get the video output i desire, have a reason to get a new OS, and do everything else id want for a realatively low price.

System specs:: 2.53 ghz processor (manufacturer says 3.03 ghz)
1 gig of ram
UMA/up to 64 mb graphics
500 watt PSU
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  • #18
Here is what i was planning on doing.

MOBO and CPU = $125

HDD = $89

And i already have my ram for that MOBO.

But with your suggestion.

PCI card = $73 (reviews say low frame rate in 1080p)

Windows xp 64 bit = $90

So id rather pay $50 extra and have a stronger system.


Posts: 527   +8
Just so you know your windows XP link is for Vista with Windows 7 upgrade (i would encourage you to go this route anyway though ).

I am assuming you don't want to loose your DVD drive as well you know as it probably isn't SATA. So that is going to be +$30.
So total you are looking at ~$400 for a pretty low end system (the processor is over 3 years old already, and the video card is pretty week as well) So really you are just saving your Power supply, case, & ram.

Some comparison shopping gives me these:
HP Pavilion Elite e9200z - $550 with (SVMY478761 coupon code)
* Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
* AMD Athlon(TM) X4 620 quad-core processor [2.6GHz, 2MB L2, up to 4000MT/s bus]
* 6GB (free upgrade from 4GB) DDR3-1066MHz SDRAM [2 DIMMs] -
* 640GB (Free upgrade from 500GB) 7200 rpm SATA 3Gb/s hard drive
* 512MB NVIDIA GeForce G210 [DVI, HDMI, VGA]
* DVD Burner
* 12-in one media reader
* etc. .

This is a much stronger PC that will last you a lot longer. You probably can salvage your Power supply and put it in here as well. Trying to save $100 bucks here is just being foolish in my opinion.

Still though i think this is short changing yourself at this price range as i can configure on cyberpowerpc's site:

Holiday Special III - $556.00 (No OS) or $640 with your OS deal above.
* Case Apevia X-Cruiser 2 Mid-Tower Case w/ Side-Panel Window & MultiMeter Display
* CPU: (Sckt775)Intel® Core™ 2 Duo E7500 CPU @ 2.93GHz 1066FSB 3MB L2 Cache 64-bit [-60]
* HDD: Single Hard Drive (1TB (1TBx1) SATA-II 3.0Gb/s 16MB Cache 7200RPM HDD [+26])
* MOTHERBOARD: MSI G31M3-L Intel G31 Chipset LGA775 FSB1333 DDR2 Mainboard
* MEMORY: 2GB (1GBx2) PC6400 DDR2/800 Dual Channel Memory [-44] (Corsair or Major Brand)
* VIDEO: NVIDIA GeForce GTS 250 512MB 16X PCI Express [-11] (Major Brand Powered by NVIDIA)

You could use your extra 2 GB of RAM here to bring it up to 4GB and this gives you a much faster processor and video card.

So i see your choices as :
-Spend $70 and get the PCI HDMI card to use in your existing system (probably won't satisfy you and you will get the itch to upgrade again very soon).
-Spend $400 to upgrade your current pc to a current low end entry system (may satisfy you for a year, but you will likely get the itch to upgrade at that point & spend another $300-400).
-Spend $550 to get a mid end system with decent video card (will last you at least 3 years).
-Spend $640 to get a mid-high end gaming system with good video card (will last you probably at least 4 years)
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  • #20
I stated in the earlier posts that this system wont be used for high end gaming at all. Im using it as a media server so the only thing i need it to do is store movies and have a video output of hdmi 1080p at a decent frame rate (shouldnt be hard for videos as they dont strain as much as games). So all im needing is an hdmi output and a larger HDD. i dont need bells and whistles to watch a 2 hour movie from time to time and listen to music.

All i needed to know is if that MOBO and CPU i chose would be a good match for what i wanted and i received the opinion of the first replier. Wasnt looking to go balls out on a system to Play games, photo editing/video editing or any of that other nonsense that would require high end.

So if you think what I'm thinking of purchasing STILL wouldnt be good enough then i would like to hear an opinion of yours other than to upgrade just for the sole purpous of high end gaming possibilities.


Posts: 527   +8
I am not questioning whether it would work for your use or not, and you are more then welcome to buy and use whatever you want as you are free to take or disregard any/all of my advice. I am simply trying to point out that you are going to spend a lot of money upgrading your old system when i think you would be much better off in the long run with a new system that is much more future proof, will be more reliable, and only costs slightly more.
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  • #22
I meant no disrespect towards you or anything. But basically all this machine is gonna do is just sit there and not even experience anything close to peaking its performance. So why add or replace what i dont need. And any future systems i will be getting will be portable anyway so basically id have to optimize what id like on a website and order brand new regardless when the time comes. But you gave your input on it and im going to use that info and stick with my plan. Your knowledge was very helpful


Posts: 1,657   +9
Really no point for me to get that card as its for 64 bit and i am using a 32 bit system with low specs.
What exactly are you talking about??? The memory bus width has nothing to do with whether or not you're using a 32 Bit or 64 Bit system!!!

And as for you getting a CPU+Mobo, I've never really disagreed. Just concurred with compdata that building a new system is often a better proposition than upgrading. No matter what the purpose of the PC, people often end up spending an amount close to something with which they could have had a better rig. That's why I wanted to know how much you were actually looking to spend. Knowing figures helps us to recommend what we feel are the right components. No one's forcing you to go get a gaming rig.
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