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Upgrading an old computer!

By Akifuddin · 44 replies
Jan 14, 2006
  1. Hi,

    I currently have

    Operating system : Microsoft windows XP professional (5.1, build 2600)
    BIOS : Award Medallion v6.0
    Processor : Intel Pentium III, ~800MHz
    Memory : 256MB RAM
    Video card : All-in-wonder 128 pro AGP (from ATI and its approx.total memory is 32 MB)
    DirectX 9.0
    Disk drive : QUANTUM FIREBALL AS20.5
    Motherboard : I think its an ASUS mother board

    Can I upgrade it to run games like Battlefield 2? I do not want to buy a new computer even though it is from 2001.., I've heard I can buy a new AMD 64 Sempron CPU to make it better and a new motherboard and a new video card and more RAM and maybe another hard drive :confused: I live in Montreal, Quebec, Canada and my budget is around 400$ :unch:

    Try to explain something to me because I don't know THAT much about computers, believe it or not this is a 10 years old typing this message. :hotouch:
  2. mastronaut

    mastronaut TS Enthusiast Posts: 147

    I bet if you look around hard enough, want ads, your local (independent) computer store, ebay, you could find a P4 used with a decent video card
    and still be able to grab a couple stix of ram with the budget you have.
    Sometimes the P3 case will not support a P4 motherboard, so you would need a new case as well. Shop around, lots of people upgrade and sell nice comps all the time. Happy hunting!
  3. Akifuddin

    Akifuddin TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 144

    Would it be good if I buy this combination of motherboard and CPU?


    For RAM I'll buy it later... first I'll put that mother board and CPU in the case and see how much RAM slots it has and how much memory it can handle in total, I'll try out 512 or 1GB for a start (probably 512) and then upgrade later. For graphics cards, is this one good enough to run Battlefield 2 really smoothly?


    And will it fit in the CPU/motherboard that I gave the link to before? I'm pretty sure games will run better in AMD Sempron processors rather than a P4. Thanks for all your help!
  4. MetalX

    MetalX TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,364

    That vid card is NOT going to play BF2 smoothly. You should look at something more like a 6800GT or 6800 Ultra and whatever you do, DO NOT BUY IT FROM FUTURE SHOP!!!! They charge wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy too much for parts. That card you said is worth like 65 bucks on newegg.com.
  5. Akifuddin

    Akifuddin TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 144

    MetalX, unfortunately for me I live in Montreal, Quebec, Canada which I stated on my first post and I've heard that newegg.com is U.S only, can you tell me any video card less than 120$ in tigerdirect.ca that will run BF2 smoothly and support directx 9.0 well?
  6. iNoob

    iNoob TS Rookie Posts: 67

    I know exactly how you feel Akifuddin. I love in Toronto and not having access to newegg's stocks is very annoying when you see something that's waay cheaper there.

    Anyway, for the graphics card, try the Chaintech GeFroce 6200-A at TigerDirect
    However, $101.99 seems a little cheap for a 256MB GeForce 6 series card, anyone know anything about this card? I've seen other 6200's on other sites (ncix.com, Canadian site) but the cheap ones are all like 64MB.

    Yes you can run BF2 smoothly...just not at the higher qualities w/ high resolutions.

    Which motherboard do you have? Does it support P4s? If it does, then get a P4 and leave the motherboard--spend the money on a better graphics card :D. If it doesn't, then get a new AMD board and get an Athlon64 processor (or Sempron if you're low on budget). (For those of you who are wonder---Yes i favour AMD over the other one ;))

    Get 1 gig of ram if you want to play BF2. They recommend 1 gig and frankly I don't find that 512mb does a good job when running that game. Unless you want to play it at 800x600.
  7. flavin

    flavin TS Rookie Posts: 89

    ok u need a better cpu, video card, ram, and maybe another mobo.

    i suggest a 5700 LE ( i use this along with a amd 2800+, and 1gb of some value ram. i can play cod2 dx7 maxed out with about 40-50fps. and bf2 lows. dont know fps but its smooth.) http://www.overstock.com/cgi-bin/d2.cgi?page=proframe&prod_id=1667022 (assuming they ship to canada)

    corsair value select ram 512mb http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicat...901&SRCCODE=PRICEGRABBER&CMP=OTC-PRICEGRABBER (for a fact they ship to canada)

    amd 3000+ http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicat...9 E&SRCCODE=PRICEGRABBER&CMP=OTC-PRICEGRABBER

    im sorry but im terrible with picking out mobos so i couldnt find u one. ur total w/o mobo from the sites i provided is 290 (w/o shipping) so that leaves u less than 110 to find a mobo. which should be possible.

    and ur mobo should be 939 socket, agp 8x, and 184 pin ddr 400 pc 3200 if u use the things i suggested.

    also if u want 1gb heres the 2x 512mb corairs value. http://www.pricegrabber.com/search_getprod.php/masterid=966542/search=corsair
  8. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,360

  9. MetalX

    MetalX TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,364

    Ya, sure. I live in canada too, i just assume that most people live in america cuz there like 10X our size... anyway theres this one:
    You may have to turn down some settings to use this one but its a hell of a lot better that the first one. I couldnt find a worthy Nvidia card for less that 120 bucks but since ATI is a canadian company, i hope you like it.
  10. Akifuddin

    Akifuddin TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 144

    Ok... for the video card my budget can go up to $150 I guess. If it cant run BF2 properly, no point of buying it. And yes of course I'll need another motherboard... I mean my PC is 5 years old and I've heard AMD Sempron is BETTER than AMD 64 Athlon for gaming. I'll buy the CPU, Motherboard and Video card with my dad's and my money and the 1 GB of RAM with my sister's money.

    Also, I think an NVIDIA brand would be better than ATI becuse I've heard the ATI drivers sometime don't shade that well or something about graphics and because of that NVIDIA would be better. puke:
  11. dmill89

    dmill89 TS Guru Posts: 471

    I recomend you replace the video card and upgrade the memory. That processer will work if you over clock it. Granted it will probably continue to run for a year of two after over clocking but since you would just have to replace it anyway that is relly not a problem.
  12. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,360

    Sempron is worse than athlon 64 in about everything. It's basically a crippled athlon 64(less cache), sold at a bargain price.
    That said, in your budget, you may need to get a sempron, due to budget restraints.

    About the best I can come up with for $400, is this.
    754 mobo + sempron64 2800+
    X700 256mb agp
    512mb corsair ram
    Total: $395

    Here you can see the x700's performance in bf2

    Here you can see what the speed difference between an athlon 64 and a sempron64 is. Comparing a 3000+ a64 to a 2800+ sempron64.

    It'd be nice to have 1gb, but it's just not in the budget at $400.
  13. Akifuddin

    Akifuddin TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 144

    Would these be good?

    First of all, a CPU and motherboard.


    Second, a video card.


    Third, DDR RAM that will fit in the motherboard and CPU I showed you above.


    vnf4ultra, I know this is over 400$ but I've mentioned that I can use some of my sisters money to buy some other stuff...so here I'll use her money to buy the RAM... also, the video card I showed you above...is it better than the X700 that you showed me? Because it certainly is more expensive :dead:

    Is there ANYTHING that I'm missing to make my computer run? And run BF2? I told you I'm 10 years old and I don't know much about computers. Also, would it make THAT much of a difference in BF2 between a Sempron and an Athlon? Eiher way I'm getting the Sempron :hotouch: I hope the x700 is better than the one I told you about because its more cheap :knock:
  14. dmill89

    dmill89 TS Guru Posts: 471

    Those components will work but with an upgrade like that you'll need to replace you power supply too.
  15. Akifuddin

    Akifuddin TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 144

    dmill, how much would a really good power supply for that upgrade cost? and can you give me a link to a good one in tigerdirect.ca?
  16. dmill89

    dmill89 TS Guru Posts: 471

  17. Akifuddin

    Akifuddin TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 144

  18. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,360

    I'd suggest getting a single 1gb memory module instead of 2 512mb ones. It's about the same price, and then it leaves you with one onen ram slot, so if you'd want to upgrade to 2gb in the future, then you could just put one more stick in.
    Like this stick.

    Also, tigerdirect has a 6600gt for the same price as the 6600 after a $20 rebate.
    But you have to pay the normal price and wait for the rebate.

    Almost all the psu's that tigerdirect sells are no-name junk. The only brands they sell that are decent are enermax, vantec, and thermaltake(some models).
    Here's a nice one, it's cheap compared to some enermax's, but still a good bit of money.
    Or, this one is pretty cheap and should be ok.
    I doubt you'll get a decent psu under $50.
    Here's a list of "bad" psus.

    "Unscrupulous Power Supply Companies

    Thermaltakes (I’m gonna quote Johnny guru here, but personally I would NEVER put another one in my machine)
    I think for this crowd, if you recommend any of the Thermaltake ATX12V models, but none of the TruePower 480W PSU's, you wouldn't be doing anyone any disservice
    Ultra (yes, the pretty looking ones, they are made by a low-quality Chinese company that starts with "Young". Can't get much more generic than that!!!)
  19. Akifuddin

    Akifuddin TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 144

    I'll get the cheaper power supply you told me about (silverstone)

    I'm gonna get this Athlon 64 3000+ CPU since EVERYONE in the world says Sempron = Crap : http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=698445&Sku=CP2-A64-3000 C

    BUT I still need help between 2 motherboards....give me your opinions and how you feel and how good/bad they are:



    Second motherboard says its sure to thrill gamers :) it better >=( well... which motherboard is better?
    I'll get the video card you told me about : Geforce 6600 GT
    And I'll probably get the 1024 stick of RAM you told me about (kingston)
    After all that, all I have to do is BUY them right? There's absolutely NOTHING ELSE that I need to make my computer run?

    Wait a minute, the 6600GT is 128 MB not 256 like the 6600... :confused: wouldn't thta mean the 6600 is better?
    Also, the people who reviewed the 6600GT said you need 420 watts PSU but the one you told me about is only 360...should I get that coolmax one that dmill told me about?http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=719600&CatId=0
    That one is 550 watts... and everyone on customer reviews said it was good and gave it 5 stars :grinthumb
  20. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,360

    I think the second one
    is better, it's full atx, so it has more expansion slots than the other one.

    You should only need a motherboard, cpu(and cpu cooler, usually included w/ cpu), ram, video card, power supply, hd, cd rom(or dvd drive), case, and operating system(win xp). If you have all those, it should work. Hopefully the new board will work in your old case.

    Here's a review of the silverstone.

    Also, the 3400+ sempron and the 3000+ a64 cpu are basically equivalent speed in games, so whichever is cheaper you should get. Edit: they're the same price, so go for the athon64.

    Edit: I've ran my 6600gt on my 350w psu, so it works, you just need to get a decent quality brand that can put out what it says it can. In the review of the silverstone, the guy used a x800xt, which takes even more power than a 6600gt, so it should be fine. I wouldn't get the coolmax psu, since it's on the list of "bad makes".

    A 6600gt is better than a 6600, even if the 6600 has 256mb. The extra memory can help if you use very high resolutions, but for normal games at normal resolutions, 128mb should be enough.
    In the link above, the 6600gt is significantly faster than the 6600 in bf2.
  21. Akifuddin

    Akifuddin TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 144

    Then what about the X700? Everytime you raise the resolution, X700 keeps getting better and better for a cheaper price...I think I would still get the 6600GT because well..,I guess I trust tigerdirect.ca more than ncix.ca and I think NVIDIA is better than ATI because I think the 6600GT would be FASTER than X700...

    One last thing, what memory do you recommend if I buy the second mother board? I want a total of 1 Gigabyte because I've heard that with Athlon64 processors, 1gig of RAM is better than 2 gigs for some reason... and even if 2 gigs are better, 1 gig is still cheaper :)

    So far, I've organised everything I need in one list except the 1 gig of memory that you're supposed to tell me :unch:

    http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=698445&Sku=CP2-A64-3000 C
    Power Supply
    Video card

    When I finally know the memory and total price, I'll post it in this thread and hope that I buy it! :hotbounce
  22. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,360

  23. Akifuddin

    Akifuddin TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 144

    What does retail and oem mean? Sorry, I'll try the dictionary.
    edit : Ok so retail means directly from the store and oem means its used? Where can I find a retail athlon64 cpu then? :suspiciou

    And how do you know that it isn't retail and that it doesn't include a heatsink? :unch:
    I'd rather use 30 more bucks and buy a fan rather than have a ****ty :dead: CPU puke: So yeah tell me the best bang for buck cheap fan at tigerdirec.ca :knock:
  24. dmill89

    dmill89 TS Guru Posts: 471

    retail=Boxed with all accesseries like it would be in the store.
    OEM=packeged for an original equiptment manufacture usually a pc maker It includes the base product only in this case the CPU chip no software or acesseries you need to buy your own acesseries seperately.(in this case a heatsink and fan)
  25. Akifuddin

    Akifuddin TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 144

    So what software or accessories will I need if I buy the athlon?
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