[SOLVED] What should I upgrade on my old PC

ScreperisLT

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I have this old PC, that is not that bad, but definitely need some upgrades. What should I upgrade for light gaming, watching youtube and internet surfing? I would be playing only Minecraft and some other easy to run games.
I tried running Minecraft, but it's maximum FPS is 15 when using 16 render distance and normal graphics. This is probably because of the GPU, cus I had a computer with the same CPU, but it had a 1050 Ti and minecraft worked perfectly fine.
I could try upgrading the CPU, so I could get Intel HD 4000.




My Specs :

CPU : i3-2100 3.1GHZ
GPU : Intel HD 2000
HDD : 250GB 7200RPM ( Will upgrade to an ssd, because it is always on 100% and boots Windows for 5 minutes )
PSU : Cori 350W ( Model : 350X )
RAM : 4GB DDR3 1333Mhz ( 2 x 2gb )
Motherboard : Intel Desktop Board DH61SA

The problem with the motherboard, is that it does not have PCI-E for a gpu. It only has one PCI-E x1 and a normal PCI.

Any suggestions on what I should upgrade?
 

mikewinddale

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Dec 22, 2016
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I would say start with the SSD and more RAM. Those are the two lowest-hanging fruits in any upgrade.

8 GB of RAM plus an SSD should see a nice improvement for you.

It looks like your motherboard supports 2nd and 3rd generation Core processors. So upgrading to a Core i5 or i7 2xxx or 3xxx might be feasible. I'm checking this power supply calculator, and it looks like your system's power consumption will still fall below 350W.

Since you have no PCIe x16 slot, the only way to upgrade your GPU is with a better CPU. So I suppose you'll need the Core i7 3xxx, since that will have the best GPU out of any CPU available to you.

The problem is, the Core i7-3770 costs almost $200 on Newegg (compare on Google Shopping as well). Unfortunately, I'm not sure it's worth spending that much on a system this old.

Before you go spend $200 on a CPU upgrade, ask yourself whether you'd rather put that $200 towards a new computer.

Buying two sticks of 4 GB of DDR3 will cost you about $30 (see here), so I think that's justifiable. But the CPU? I'm not sure it's worth it. Just be careful with your money.

I'm assuming your power supply is good quality. If so, then 350W is enough. But as others have pointed out, if your power supply is low-quality, it might be on its last legs by now, at its old age. And a bad power supply can kill every other component in the system. So that's one more reason to be wary of spending $200 on upgrading the CPU. You might be better off just buying something new.
 

avg9956

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Apr 7, 2019
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First thing that comes to mind when upgrading old pc is PSU
Its one of the most neglected but important PC components.
It doesn't matter if you get all the other shiny new components but your old PSU dies, possibly taking out other components with it. You will then basically start from scratch.
Also your power draw is going to increase if you get higher performance components, like the GPU.
 

hang-the-9

Titan
Moderator
I have this old PC, that is not that bad, but definitely need some upgrades. What should I upgrade for light gaming, watching youtube and internet surfing? I would be playing only Minecraft and some other easy to run games.
I tried running Minecraft, but it's maximum FPS is 15 when using 16 render distance and normal graphics. This is probably because of the GPU, cus I had a computer with the same CPU, but it had a 1050 Ti and minecraft worked perfectly fine.
I could try upgrading the CPU, so I could get Intel HD 4000.




My Specs :

CPU : i3-2100 3.1GHZ
GPU : Intel HD 2000
HDD : 250GB 7200RPM ( Will upgrade to an ssd, because it is always on 100% and boots Windows for 5 minutes )
PSU : Cori 350W ( Model : 350X )
RAM : 4GB DDR3 1333Mhz ( 2 x 2gb )
Motherboard : Intel Desktop Board DH61SA

The problem with the motherboard, is that it does not have PCI-E for a gpu. It only has one PCI-E x1 and a normal PCI.

Any suggestions on what I should upgrade?
With the limitations of that tiny motherboard, the low quality power supply and I'm guessing a small case, trying to upgrade things instead of replacing them is a but futile. Just find a used system with a better CPU and a normal size motherboard. You can upgrade the thing with more RAM and maybe even a faster i5 or i7 CPU but that won't help gaming too much.
 

mikewinddale

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Dec 22, 2016
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I would say start with the SSD and more RAM. Those are the two lowest-hanging fruits in any upgrade.

8 GB of RAM plus an SSD should see a nice improvement for you.

It looks like your motherboard supports 2nd and 3rd generation Core processors. So upgrading to a Core i5 or i7 2xxx or 3xxx might be feasible. I'm checking this power supply calculator, and it looks like your system's power consumption will still fall below 350W.

Since you have no PCIe x16 slot, the only way to upgrade your GPU is with a better CPU. So I suppose you'll need the Core i7 3xxx, since that will have the best GPU out of any CPU available to you.

The problem is, the Core i7-3770 costs almost $200 on Newegg (compare on Google Shopping as well). Unfortunately, I'm not sure it's worth spending that much on a system this old.

Before you go spend $200 on a CPU upgrade, ask yourself whether you'd rather put that $200 towards a new computer.

Buying two sticks of 4 GB of DDR3 will cost you about $30 (see here), so I think that's justifiable. But the CPU? I'm not sure it's worth it. Just be careful with your money.

I'm assuming your power supply is good quality. If so, then 350W is enough. But as others have pointed out, if your power supply is low-quality, it might be on its last legs by now, at its old age. And a bad power supply can kill every other component in the system. So that's one more reason to be wary of spending $200 on upgrading the CPU. You might be better off just buying something new.
 
What is your budget?

To address your gaming performance, a better graphics solution is definitely in order.
There were some pci graphics cards way back then, but they were poor performers and not really worth consideration.
Your HD 2000 has a passmark performance rating of 213.
Were you able to get HD4000, it would be 332.

That is a far cry from a GTX1050ti which is 6337.
Add to that, a used GTX1050ti goes for $150 to $250 on ebay.
This is a bad time to try to buy a good graphics card.
You do not have a pcie x16 slot, but if your pcie x1 slot is open ended, you can install a x16 card in it.
The performance reduction is not as great as you might think.
If the end is closed, there are adapters like this:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01ABNJY4I#customerReviews
Then, there is the issue of power.
With an off brand 350w psu, I would not use more than a GT1030( passmark 2615)

For a good performance boost, there is nothing better than to upgrade a HDD to a ssd.
The simple way is to buy a samsung 2.5" 860 or 870 evo and use their ssd migration app to move your C drive to the ssd.
The new ssd must be sufficiently large to hold the used contents of your HDD plus what you want for growth.
$45 for 250gb, $65 for 500gb.
Instructions and app here:
Such a ssd can be easily moved to a replacement build.

Then, there is the ram question.
4gb is too restrictive for most users.
Your motherboard supports a max of 8gb so you could buy a 2 x 4gb replacement kit.
About $20 on ebay.

Consider a major upgrade.
A i3-10100 processor is considerably stronger for $120 or so.
In includes integrated HD630 graphics ( passmark 1402)
A lga1200 motherboard is about $70.
A 2 x 4gb ddr4 ram kit is about $45. consider 16gb for the long term at $75
 

ScreperisLT

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Feb 12, 2020
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I would say start with the SSD and more RAM. Those are the two lowest-hanging fruits in any upgrade.

8 GB of RAM plus an SSD should see a nice improvement for you.

It looks like your motherboard supports 2nd and 3rd generation Core processors. So upgrading to a Core i5 or i7 2xxx or 3xxx might be feasible. I'm checking this power supply calculator, and it looks like your system's power consumption will still fall below 350W.

Since you have no PCIe x16 slot, the only way to upgrade your GPU is with a better CPU. So I suppose you'll need the Core i7 3xxx, since that will have the best GPU out of any CPU available to you.

The problem is, the Core i7-3770 costs almost $200 on Newegg (compare on Google Shopping as well). Unfortunately, I'm not sure it's worth spending that much on a system this old.

Before you go spend $200 on a CPU upgrade, ask yourself whether you'd rather put that $200 towards a new computer.

Buying two sticks of 4 GB of DDR3 will cost you about $30 (see here), so I think that's justifiable. But the CPU? I'm not sure it's worth it. Just be careful with your money.
I would buy a used CPU, and I was thinking about i5-3570K, which costs about 35Eur.
 

ScreperisLT

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Feb 12, 2020
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What is your budget?

To address your gaming performance, a better graphics solution is definitely in order.
There were some pci graphics cards way back then, but they were poor performers and not really worth consideration.
Your HD 2000 has a passmark performance rating of 213.
Were you able to get HD4000, it would be 332.

That is a far cry from a GTX1050ti which is 6337.
Add to that, a used GTX1050ti goes for $150 to $250 on ebay.
This is a bad time to try to buy a good graphics card.
You do not have a pcie x16 slot, but if your pcie x1 slot is open ended, you can install a x16 card in it.
The performance reduction is not as great as you might think.
If the end is closed, there are adapters like this:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01ABNJY4I#customerReviews
Then, there is the issue of power.
With an off brand 350w psu, I would not use more than a GT1030( passmark 2615)

For a good performance boost, there is nothing better than to upgrade a HDD to a ssd.
The simple way is to buy a samsung 2.5" 860 or 870 evo and use their ssd migration app to move your C drive to the ssd.
The new ssd must be sufficiently large to hold the used contents of your HDD plus what you want for growth.
$45 for 250gb, $65 for 500gb.
Instructions and app here:
Such a ssd can be easily moved to a replacement build.

Then, there is the ram question.
4gb is too restrictive for most users.
Your motherboard supports a max of 8gb so you could buy a 2 x 4gb replacement kit.
About $20 on ebay.

Consider a major upgrade.
A i3-10100 processor is considerably stronger for $120 or so.
In includes integrated HD630 graphics ( passmark 1402)
A lga1200 motherboard is about $70.
A 2 x 4gb ddr4 ram kit is about $45. consider 16gb for the long term at $75
If I would buy that adapter from PCI-E x1 to PCI-E x16, where would I put it and the card? I dont think that it would be possible to mount it to the case, but I dont want it to be outside of the case, as I want this computer to be just a simple computer for the summer at homestead.
 

mikewinddale

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Dec 22, 2016
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I would buy a used CPU, and I was thinking about i5-3570K, which costs about 35Eur.
Ahh, I missed the i5-3570K. Cool, it has HD 4000 graphics, like the i7-3770.

Okay, and if it's that cheap, then yeah, go for it.

Luckily, your current CPU is 95W while the i5-3570K is 77W, so you shouldn't even need a new heatsink. Just get yourself some thermal paste. I like Arctic MX-5 because it's non-conductive and non-capacitive, so if you use too much or spill any, you'll be safe. Oh, and some thermal paste remover, or clean swabs with alcohol.
 

mikewinddale

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Dec 22, 2016
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Adapting x1 to x16 will technically work, but you'll have only 1/16 the graphics bandwidth. You'll be hamstringing the card. Even the cheapest Geforce 1030s are about $150. It's not worth it buying a $150 graphics card and then hamstringing it with 1/16 the bandwidth.
 

ScreperisLT

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Adapting x1 to x16 will technically work, but you'll have only 1/16 the graphics bandwidth. You'll be hamstringing the card. Even the cheapest Geforce 1030s are about $150. It's not worth it buying a $150 graphics card and then hamstringing it with 1/16 the bandwidth.
A used GTX 760 costs 70Eur for me. Would it be worth buying it?
 

mikewinddale

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I don't think so. Nvidia just announced they're discontinuing driver support for the 700 series. Now, the current drivers may work fine for the foreseeable future. But I don't think that's worth spending money on.
 

ScreperisLT

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I think I will just buy a new SSD, ram and cpu and that will be it. I dont want to spend too much money on this computer, because I will use it only in the summer.
 

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