upgrading gaming system and need help.


Nov 4, 2004
i am building a gaming system for my little bro and his current system is just not cutting it anymore. i promissed him ill build a system for him if he saves at least 400 bucks and that time has come. Now i need to fulfill my promiss and i need your help. basicly we squeezed what we could out of his current system and its not able to support any new games.

his current system is
Sony VAIO System
Intel Pentium 3 500 mghz
256 ram
GF4 4800 128 DDR
Maxtor 40 gig 133 ATA HD
dont know what mobo it is but its old

the only thing i can think of salvaging is the Hard Drive and Video Card, the rest is history.

best i know is that AMD is best CPU for gaming, problem i have is choosing the right CPU and MOBO combo which is universal and most stable combined with room to OC along with suitible RAM for a reasonable price.

the best possible combo i can think of is:

AMD Athlon 64 3000+, 512KB L2 Cache, Socket 939 64-bit Processor - Retail | $165.00

FOXCONN "NF4UK8AA-8EKRS" NVIDIA nForce4 Ultra Chipset Motherboard For AMD Socket 939 CPU -RETAIL | $122.00

Corsair Value Select (Dual Pack) 184 Pin 512MBx2 DDR PC-3200 - OEM | $138.00

NEC 16X Double Layer DVD±RW Drive, Black, Model ND-3520A BK, OEM | $65.00

420 power supply and box | $50.00

+Existing GF4 4800 128 DDR
+Existing Maxtor 40 GIG 133 ATA
am i missing something else?

TOTAL: $540.00

thats over by $140.00 dollars :(.

can anyone think of better combo?

i cant think of other possibilities



Dec 31, 2007
Dropping from socket 939 to socket 754 might save a few bucks.

<pre>I just want to say <font color=red>I wuv you</font color=red>.
And I mean it fwom the <font color=red>bottom of my hawt</font color=red>.</pre><p>
All nforce4 boards use pci-e video cards. Since yours is agp, I recommend either the gigabyte k8ns or epox 9NDA3J. Both are less than $100. Newegg has the gigabyte model for about $88 shipped.


go socket 754, no need for dual channel memory, so 1 stick should do too. I have the Benq DVD burner and it perform very well too. may save a couple buck by going that route.

-Always put the blame on you first, then on the hardware !!!


Oct 27, 2004
Wow, I'm surprised he made it this far with a Pentium 3 500Mhtz :smile:
Here's my suggestion:

<A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=13-152-043&depa=0" target="_new">nForce3 250 Motherboard for socket 754</A> = $76.00
<A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProductDesc.asp?description=19-103-452&depa=0" target="_new">AMD 2800+ socket 754</A> = $120.00 (runs at same clock speed as AMD 3000+ socket 939
<A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProductDesc.asp?description=20-146-299&depa=0" target="_new">Mushkin 512x2 pack</A> = $137.25 (Corsair is also fine, I've always been a Mushkin memory fan myself)
-or for memory-
<A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=20-223-009&depa=1" target="_new">single 512 RAM x1</A> = ~$60.00 (I've never used Rosewill memory though so not sure what their stuff is like - looks to be ok)
<A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProductDesc.asp?description=27-190-007&depa=0" target="_new">Rosewill DVD/CD Burner</A> = $55.99 (you'll save $10 by going Rosewill, and I've owned one before w/o any problems)
<A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=17-153-006&depa=0" target="_new">Tt 420W Power Supply</A> = $38.00

Total w/512MB RAM x2 = $428
Total w/512MB RAM x1 = $350

I'm assuming you're using the same case, no? If so then that should be everything you need as other miscellaneous things (i.e. cables, fans, etc) will either be re-used or come with the hardware listed above. The above setup should be able to handle today's games at least at low, if not medium, settings. I played HL2 for awhile with an AMD 1800+ Socket A, 512MB Ram, and GeForce 4200ti for awhile at low to medium settings w/rarely ever any issues. What you could do is buy a video card for your bro when he saves up another $200 later on down the road (i.e. 6600GT AGP), but for the time being the above system should be adequate w/either 512 or 1024MB of RAM.

In just two days, tomorrow will be yesterday.
You can make it with 512Mb, especially with the s754. s754 has a 200mhz speed advantage over the s939, but is single channel memory while the s939 supports dual channel. Since you are going s754, you don't need two stick to take advantage of the dual channel feature. The system would perform better with 1Gb, but 512 will do. Recommend going with Kingston value select instead of the Corsair.

What is the mfr/model for the PSU? Does that 420W PSU include the case? Do you need the DVD burner or can you go with your current CD/DVD drive? How fast is the HDD (7200RPM)?

I would recommend the following (all prices are from Newegg.com):
1. Abit NF8 - $88
2. AMD A64 2800+ model ADA2800AXBOX Retail box - $120
3. Kingston VS PC3200 512Mb - $69
4. Enermax case with PSU model 10MCS-56881LBFS-D3 - $59
Total so far: $336

In todays computers one of THE most important components for system stability is the PSU! I do not recommend going with a generic because they will more than likely cause you a lot of heartache in the long run - possibly even the short run. On such a tight budget, it's hard to get everything that you WANT, so you have to trim it down to what you NEED. You can take the remaining $74 dollars and spend it in a couple of different ways. You can get more RAM, go ahead and buy the DVD burner, get a faster CPU
buy a separate case and get a GOOD PSU. If you do this then don't get #4 above and I recommend getting:
1. Fortron Source 400W, model FSP400-60THN-R, $77.50
2. A cool looking case like one of these:
$52.50 <A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=11-148-010&depa=1" target="_new">http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=11-148-010&depa=1</A>
$39.99 <A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=11-145-062&depa=1" target="_new">http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=11-145-062&depa=1</A>

When he gets some more money, he can upgrade to more RAM, DVD burner or VIDEO CARD! Teach him how to do the upgrade and he'll get addicted like the rest of us!

"He who will not risk, cannot win"
- John Paul Jones
Both of the PSUs that were listed, the 420W TT and the Fortron 400W, are good PSUs. One big difference is the Fortron os ATX12V <b>v2.0</b> compatible and have separate 12V rails for the CPU and mobo. This config was designed for more stability and to run cooler - 2.0 is the current standard for todays computers.

"He who will not risk, cannot win"
- John Paul Jones


Dec 31, 2007
I'd be wary of Fortron PSUs. I've had nothing but bad luck with them. My company has been shipping systems with them for two years now and we've had to replace every one over a year old by now. They're absolutely great ... for the first six months to a year tops. Then they degrade to below spec and only if your system needs less than spec will you not suffer a creaping instability as it degrades. The systems we shipped were right at spec, so the degrading hit us hard.

<pre>Antec Sonata 2x120mm
P4C 2.6GHz
Asus P4P800 Dlx
2x512MB Corsair XMS C2
Leadtek A6600GT TDH
RAID1 2xHitachi 40GB
Altec Lansing 251
NEC FE990 19"CRT</pre><p>


Nov 4, 2004
HD is 7200 RPM and no dvd burner just a very old 4X cd burner and like OLD DVD-ROM from way way back in day. CD-ROMS are cheap so didnt list it here. since there isnt much difference in price between CD-R Burner and DVD-R Burner so i decided to go with DVD-R Burner instead. I dont really need two CD / DVD drives any long since you can just copy image and mount using DAEMON tools or Alchohol.

i will defenetly go with posted suggestions
and thanks for the posts :)


Nov 4, 2004
yehh i was surprised too to see the GF4 working on a 500 Pentium. GF4 4800 requirments are 800 or above :)). he is able to play Counter Strike :Source using the current setup with some uncomfortable lag but still playable, the load times are like 15 mins between maps so he switched back to playing Call Of Duty united offensive and its working perfectly with midium to high Graphics settings, which still surprises me. He currently has WINXP Pro setup which works excellent.


Feb 5, 2005
hope your brother enjoys it! :)

Antec Sonata
Abit IC7 Max II
P4 3.4E @ 4.0GHz
1GB OCZ Ram PC3200
BFG 6800 OC
160GB Hard Drive
Nec Diamondtron 19''
Thermaltake XP-120, with 120mm fan


Nov 4, 2004
well the budget just increased to $575 bucks but i just found out that many online stores now charge tax if shipped to CA :(. any body know any worthy store online that doesnt have this? thanks

AMD BARTON XP 2500 (1833 MGHZ)
K7N2 Delta-L
PC3200 512 DDR (166 MGHZ)