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Old 08-10-2006, 06:40 AM   #1
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Default Advice on upgrading an old machine with a student budget

So firstly, hi all *waves*

I'm looking to upgrade my computer. I'm using it mostly for gaming (but I accept that the latest games are most likely beyond my reach). I apologise for the patchy info, I'm not connected to the internet at home so I found it difficult to get information on what parts it has already.

It's an emachines 570, bought in the UK about 4-5 years ago by parents in more computer-naive times. I found this info about it on a forum:

eMachines, Inc. Imperial Revision 0.90
Board: TriGem Computer, Inc. Imperial 1.01
BIOS: Phoenix 6.00 09/12/2002
2.00 gigahertz Intel Celeron
8 kilobyte primary memory cache
128 kilobyte secondary memory cache
Intel(r) 82801DB/DBM/DA AC '97 Audio Controller
NVIDIA GeForce4 MX 440 [Display adapter]

In addition, it has 512MB of DDR RAM, upgraded from 256MB. I'm using Windows XP Professional. The power supply was changed after it burnt out, but that was done by a friend so I'm not sure whether it was upgraded or just replaced.

What would be a cost-effective way of getting more performance? I definately can't afford a new computer. Is ebay a good idea for parts, or is it too risky?

Thanks
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Old 08-10-2006, 06:51 AM   #2
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Default Re: Advice on upgrading an old machine with a student budget

That's a super old video card you got there, I think it and the mobo might be the worst parts...
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Old 08-10-2006, 09:46 AM   #3
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Default Re: Advice on upgrading an old machine with a student budget

Oh my.... it really isn't worth upgrading that computer... but try to get a better graphics card, that is the first thing I would suggest. Then see if you can maybe get a better processor.... what is your budget?
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Old 08-10-2006, 10:06 AM   #4
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Default Re: Advice on upgrading an old machine with a student budget

how much can u spend?
Is the current vid card agp or pci?
If pci then there probably isn't an agp slot which means that u can't really get a better vid card without upgrading the mobo. And then upgrading the mobo would mean upgrading the cpu too.

If it's agp then get a decent agp card, no point in getting a high end agp card since the cpu will be bottlenecking it. But I'd just save more money and get a new computer when u can afford it.
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Old 08-10-2006, 10:33 AM   #5
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Default Re: Advice on upgrading an old machine with a student budget

I have no idea whether it's AGP or PCI but given that the comp was bought from a certain well-known UK PC superstore, I'm not terribly hopeful.

I'll have a look tonight and get back to you.

I have about £60 to spend. All is not lost if I can't upgrade, as I can buy a playstation 2 for that price, persuade my boyfriend that he really, really wants to play with it and then 'borrow' his PC...
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Old 08-10-2006, 11:06 AM   #6
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Default Re: Advice on upgrading an old machine with a student budget

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katmarauder
I have about £60 to spend. All is not lost if I can't upgrade, as I can buy a playstation 2 for that price, persuade my boyfriend that he really, really wants to play with it and then 'borrow' his PC...
well thats a nice back up plan. I just hope u are good at persuading him since it probably won't be easy to make him want to play with a ps2 instead of a pc.

But with £60 u could get a decent agp vid card. It would help a lot when gaming. How many watts does ur power supply have?
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Old 08-10-2006, 11:36 AM   #7
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Default Re: Advice on upgrading an old machine with a student budget

[QUOTE=mammikoura]well thats a nice back up plan. I just hope u are good at persuading him since it probably won't be easy to make him want to play with a ps2 instead of a pc.[QUOTE]

You're right, and he thinks consoles are silly I could hide his coffee, he would look for it until he found it and when it's on the roof...

I'll take a look at the power supply too when I open it up today.
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Old 08-10-2006, 11:39 AM   #8
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Default Re: Advice on upgrading an old machine with a student budget

Go for like an FX5500 or something... I don't think your computer can handle much more than that, but it will give you OK performance on some games, with settings on low.
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Old 08-11-2006, 04:24 AM   #9
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Default Re: Advice on upgrading an old machine with a student budget

I'm in luck, it's an AGP slot. I have a 400W power supply, would I need to change that?
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Old 08-11-2006, 08:04 AM   #10
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Default Re: Advice on upgrading an old machine with a student budget

The power supply should be fine...

what games are you actually hoping to play?
it might be that you want to play a game that is already withint the current capabilities of your machine...
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