Question Old pc still going strong, any upgrades possible?

EatTheApes

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Hi. I have an old pc build that is still in use here at home. Thing is, we don’t really need an upgrade.
It handles everything we need it to and we don’t play any new games. (Downloaded Rollercoaster tycoon, the original, just the other day - that shows how far from new games we are.)

But it would still be nice to have it run a bit faster and that is where I would need some help.
The pc is used for a mix of things but some examples, we sometimes play games on it, not all as old as Rollercoaster tycoon, use photoshop, organize photos etc. I’ve also just installed a dual-boot Linux Mint, never used Linux, just having some fun learning.

Specs:
MOBO: Asus M5A97 R2.0
CPU: Amd Phenom II x4 965 black edition
GPU: Sapphire Radeon HD 7850 1GB GDDR5
RAM: 2x2GB DDR3 1333MHz, 1x4Gb DDR3 1333MHz
HDD: 1TB Seagate Barracuda 7200rpm SATA 6Gb/s, 64MB Cache (plus several more hard disks as backup storage)
PSU: Cooler Master B-series 600W
Running Windows 7.

I am considering to OC the cpu and getting a SSD for the OS and using HDD as storage.

Is there anything else that can be done or worth upgrading? Are the current cpu and gpu a good match for each other or can it get better?
I know that it’s an old system but it still has life, let it live longer!
 
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Hi. I have an old pc build that is still in use here at home. Thing is, we don’t really need an upgrade.
It handles everything we need it to and we don’t play any new games. (Downloaded Rollercoaster tycoon, the original, just the other day - that shows how far from new games we are.)

But it would still be nice to have it run a bit faster and that is where I would need some help.
The pc is used for a mix of things but some examples, we sometimes play games on it, not all as old as Rollercoaster tycoon, use photoshop, organize photos etc. I’ve also just installed a dual-boot Linux Mint, never used Linux, just having some fun learning.

Specs:
MOBO: Asus M5A97 R2.0
CPU: Amd Phenom II x4 965
GPU: Sapphire Radeon HD 7850 1GB GDDR5
RAM: 2x2GB DDR3 1333MHz, 1x4Gb DDR3 1333MHz
HDD: 1TB Seagate Barracuda 7200rpm SATA 6Gb/s, 64MB Cache (plus several more hard disks as backup storage)
PSU: Cooler Master B-series 600W
Running Windows 7.

I am considering to OC the cpu and getting a SSD for the OS and using HDD as storage.

Is there anything else that can be done or worth upgrading? Are the current cpu and gpu a good match for each other or can it get better?
I know that it’s an old system but it still has life, let it live longer!
I'm not sure how practical it is but that MB can use FX processors all the way to FX 8370 although even FX 6350 would be world above that Phenom which if not BE can't even be properly overclocked.
 

logainofhades

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First thing, get a better quality PSU. Those particular CM units are junk. A 2x8gb kit of ddr3 1600 ram, for proper dual channel would be beneficial. Personally, I wouldn't stick any money into it, and do a new system. You can reuse case, gpu, and storage, to save money. I just don't generally recommend sticking money, into such an old system. You also benefit from newer features, when moving to a more modern platform.
 
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EatTheApes

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Two x 8GB Gaskill sticks 1600 and a Gtx 1050Ti or maybe Rx570. I Think the old girl would be pretty happy along with other stuff you have planned.
What are Gaskill sticks? Will look into those gpus’s, thanks!

I'm not sure how practical it is but that MB can use FX processors all the way to FX 8370 although even FX 6350 would be world above that Phenom which if not BE can't even be properly overclocked.
Hmm did not know that, thanks for the tip! I do have BE, added that to op.

First thing, get a better quality PSU. Those particular CM units are junk. A 2x8gb kit of ddr3 1600 ram, for proper dual channel would be beneficial. Personally, I wouldn't stick any money into it, and do a new system. You can reuse case, gpu, and storage, to save money. I just don't generally recommend sticking money, into such an old system. You also benefit from newer features, when moving to a more modern platform.
Thanks for pointing this out, I will consider it. But I’m thinking that getting a SSD and new ram can be an investment since it can be used later for a new build. I do have an extra PSU, an OCZ ZS series 550W, will this work for my system? Also, is my gpu good? I honestly don’t know much about computers.

Thought about swapping to an SSD?
Yes, will probably do this!
 
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logainofhades

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Any new build is going to require DDR4, and DDR5 is probably going to be out in the next year or 2. You are sticking money into an all around dead end solution. The SSD is about the only thing that can be reused, along with a new gpu. Everything else is just E-waste, at this point. IIRC, that PSU isn't horrible, but it is quite old, along with everything else. It would be best to get a new one, like a Corsair CX550m. Prices are a bit jacked up, at the moment, but it appears that stock should be starting to show up again, soon, helping with that issue.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0whCHfejM18
 
Any PSU that can survive HD 7850 is good enough for modern low to mid-range GPUs, only it's age may present a problem.
Somebody said GT 1050Ti or Rx 570, those are not comparable.
I also have an Fx 6350 OCed to 4.8GHz + Rx 560 and 16GB of 1866MHz RAM, most new games are playable on it. It's not as bad as it sounds.
Fx 6350/8350 can be had for peanuts nowadays, same goes for DDR3 and Rx 470/560 are among cheapest GPUs specially as second hand, those were rarely used for mining and safe to buy.
System like that is still above minimum requirements for most games and quite enough for non gaming usage.
Coupled with an SSD it would seem like a rocket comparing to what you have now.
It all comes down to price you can get those parts for.
 

beers

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I wouldn’t waste money buying another PSU for such an old system, only in extreme cases would you approach recouping the cost from an efficiency perspective .
FX are comparatively cheap, if you can snag a deal it might be worth the upgrade. SSD would give it the largest seat of the pants upgrade.

otherwise I’d just save up for a whole new build instead
 
Rx 570 (or any new GPU), and SSD can always be used for a new system. Good and new PSU can also be used in new system for at least next 6.7 years so that is not throwing money away even for old computers.
Look at those as partial upgrade ind investing in new machine a bit by bit. Heck I probably still have at least some screws from my first 386 from 1990s.
 

logainofhades

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I wouldn’t waste money buying another PSU for such an old system, only in extreme cases would you approach recouping the cost from an efficiency perspective .
FX are comparatively cheap, if you can snag a deal it might be worth the upgrade. SSD would give it the largest seat of the pants upgrade.

otherwise I’d just save up for a whole new build instead

Efficiency is not the problem. Age of the PSU, and the quality is. That PSU could die and take the rest of the system with it. That change is greatly reduced, when a quality unit is used. For those saying to pick up an FX, Phenom II was faster clock for clock, just as an FYI.
 

beers

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That PSU could die and take the rest of the system with it.
That's always a possibility, but consider the fact that the PSU will be more expensive than the replacement parts, he's looking for more performance, and already has a low budget. PSU upgrade is a zero sum game performance wise and he already has backup data.

I'd tout putting a decent one in for a new build, but it's rather pointless in this case.
 

logainofhades

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I do not recall them stating a budget, or anything about backup data. :unsure: A quality PSU doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg either. Prices are jacked up, right now, but that situation should start improving soon, as I stated earlier. Would hate to see any new hardware get destroyed when that junk CM psu goes out.
 

EatTheApes

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Thanks for the tips. I have so far decided to buy a SSD and probably a new psu. I will look into gpu’s and FX processors. Is it alright to buy used?

Also, is my gpu much better than my cpu in my system, the 7850 hd vs 965 BE?

And thanks again for the tip on the psu, I will change it to the OCZ ZS 550w for now until I buy a new one. It is also old but it seems to be of decent quality from what I could gather.

No, I haven’t set a budget really. We just didn’t feel like we need a new system. And backing up is something I’ve just started with, will be backing up important files and folders, photos etc.
 

logainofhades

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I would probably look into a 6 core Phenom II, over an FX CPU. clock for clock, they are simply better chips. Now if you can get the FX 8 core, for a lot cheaper, sure, go for it. I just wouldn't stick a lot of money into that old rig, when you can get a better foundation, for not a lot of money, once inventory levels stabilize. Covid has disrupted the shipping side of things, quite a bit. If you are not gaming, there is really nothing wrong with the GPU, that you have.

Honestly, once you get your SSD, based on your OP, you might not feel the need to upgrade anything else. It will make a world of difference, in the responsiveness, of your machine. Some of that depends, on how serious your photoshop work is.
 

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