kenudigit

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Jun 5, 2007
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Hi all,

I recently received a hand-me down PC from my cousin. Here are the following parts of interest:

Antec True Power Trio TP3-550 550W
A-DATA 2GB DDR2 800
C2D e4300
Gigabyte GA-965P-DS3 rev2.0
BenQ G2400WD
gs7900

I have about $300 to spend. I'm using it basically for gaming and was wondering how I can improve performance.

I just started getting into computer stuff and wasn't sure what parts to focus on. I know the video card can be upgraded but how far can I go before I need to start worrying about the power. Also, is it worth even trying to upgrade CPU/RAM?

thanks for the inputs
 

Helloworld_98

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new motherboard with a P45 chipset $125
ATi 4770 $100
2x2GB of ram $60

that's $285 but you'll need to check that the motherboard supports that CPU. And later you'll want to buy a new CPU like an e5200.
 

mtyermom

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First upgrade: video card 4770 or equivalent

Second upgrade: a 4GB kit of 2x2GB DDR2-800

Is the cooler on the CPU a stock Intel cooler? You might want to change that out for an aftermarket cooler so you can overclock. Down the road you will want to upgrade the motherboard and CPU, but they aren't immediately necessary. If you've got the money to upgrade them now, then by all means, but if your budget is tight then start with the video card and then the ram.
 
That's a very nice system for a hand me down. The most important upgrade is the graphic card. If you're using XP pro then 2GB of RAM is adequate. After the graphic card upgrade i'd probably look at a CPU upgrade. Check which BIOS version you're running, then check to see which CPU is compatible without changing it.
http://www.gigabyte.com.tw/Support/Motherboard/CPUSupport_Model.aspx?ProductID=2314#anchor_os

Those are the 2 biggest bang for buck i'd go with.

 

kenudigit

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Jun 5, 2007
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Thanks for all the inputs.

There is definitely an after-market cooler... a coolermaster brand.

I'll upgrade the video card first. I'll probably hold off on any CPU/Mobo changes. It seems like the GA-965P-DS3 rev 2.0 doesn't support many of the recent C2D/Quad-core chips. I'll probably have to save up some more for a decent P45/C2D or AMD/AM2+ combo.


 
Let me say that at 1.8ghz, that 4300 is the weakest core 2 made, and although your current video card is way outdated, and you need an upgrade there for sure, you are not going to get your full bang for buck out of it with that processor running at stock speed. You need to get into the 2.8ghz range to be able to drive a modern middle-high end GPU to it's potential.
XP 32? 2 gig of memory is fine.
Vista 32 or 64? you will want 4 gig.
 

kenudigit

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I'm running XPpro right now.

@jitpublisher
I was researching into OCing a bit and this current setup has the e4300 at 3.2ghz. I'm not too sure how helpful that is for the weakest core 2 made, haha. Does upgrading to a mobo with P45 chipset make a big difference?
 

Shnur

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Mobo's usually don't give you "on-the-fly" speed increase, if it's not like 1 or 2%
The chipset would be to get a better performance in CrossFire (2 video cards), so in your case, you're still far from it.
If you have your chip at 3.2, that's awesome, somebody did the work for you :p
I'd say, go for a new video card like a 4770 and let some times go. When you'll have a bigger budget I'd recommend you change to a AM3 platform (involves RAM, CPU, Board ~250$ for tri-core, ~350$ for quad-core [now]) or whatever will be better price/performance ratio at this time, since with your chip you'll still last until the end of the year 100% sure and a couple months into 2010.
 

kenudigit

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Jun 5, 2007
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@shnur
Thanks for the input. I guess what I meant was if a new mobo that supports the PCI-Express 2.0 Standard will utilize the video card more. From some research, it seems that it doesn't matter as much for single video card setups.

Again, thanks to everybody for your inputs.

I'm going with the 4770, just need newegg to re-stock those suckers.
 

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