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Old 08-01-2008, 06:20 PM   #1
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Exclamation HELP THIS NEWB - I need a serious upgrade!

My computer is very outdated in terms of everything. I've finally got money to upgrade. I've learned a bit about hardware, but I'm still a newb when it comes to this. I need some advice! My computer is old as hell:

MY CURRENT COMPUTER SPECS
Intel Celeron 320 CPU [2.40GHz]
--- 133 MHz Bus Speed
--- 256 KB L2 Cache
Intel 82845G Graphics Controller (GPU)
512MB RAM
40GB Hard Drive (Ouch)
Windows XP Professional SP3
-----------------------------------------

Below are my (minimum) expectations:

I want a good processor but not anything extreme. I'm thinking that the Core 2 Duo will be powerful enough but would the Pentium Dual Core work too? I want it to last me a while and have the capabilities to handle most tasks. I know theres variations of each processor, but I don't know what to get.

I plan to play PC Games but not anything like Crysis. I don't need or want the most powerful GPU, but I want at the least, a descent GPU to handle avg. games and GFX design.

RAM is important to me. Obviously I'd get 4GB if I could but I don't have the money. Would 2GB be enough for my computer to keep up with most modern S/W and tasks?

At the very least, 200 GB of hardrive space, possibly more. No need for above 500.

I'm debating on getting Vista. I know I'll need at least 1GB RAM but with 2GB, will my computer still be fast with Vista? I've heard to stay with XP. Any advice on this?

My price range is between $400 and $700 dollars.

Anyways, sorry this is so damn long. If any of you have suggestions or advice, reply and fill me in. Or you can email me at dannysainsbury@live.com

Thanks again fellas.

~ Sanzee
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Old 08-01-2008, 07:40 PM   #2
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Default Re: HELP THIS NEWB - I need a serious upgrade!

what is your motherboard? chances are your gonna have to buy a new mobo to support a C2D
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Old 08-01-2008, 07:53 PM   #3
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Default Re: HELP THIS NEWB - I need a serious upgrade!

You are probably gonna have to go all out and build your own PC. That thing is way too old for modern parts. The Celeron 320 is a Socket 478, and I think those have been discontinued. I don't think your current PC is worth upgrading.

It would also be a much better idea to build your own, as you can get the best bang for your buck. You can get a very nice custom-PC in that price range that can fit your desires.

Some things to look for: a motherboard with at least one PCI-E x16 slot, preferably Version 2.0. Something that fits to the current CPU standards, like LGA775 if you want an Intel processor, or AM2/AM2+ if you want an AMD Processor. For a good budget build, AMD processors would be better, but if you want to have more headroom, but a higher cost, then Intel would be ok.

I would go with Vista over XP. In my opinion, it runs a lot better than XP, but you have to have a good PC for it to meet your needs.

If you get Vista, I would recommend a MINIMUM of 2 Gigs of RAM. If you want even more performance, but don't want a 64-Bit OS, then go with 3 gigs. If you plan on going 64-Bit, go with 4. Personally I would get the 64-Bit version and 4 gigs of RAM. The performance will be amazing.
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Old 08-01-2008, 08:04 PM   #4
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Default Re: HELP THIS NEWB - I need a serious upgrade!

700$ is plenty for a decent PC
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Old 08-01-2008, 08:23 PM   #5
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Default Re: HELP THIS NEWB - I need a serious upgrade!

Ok bud, you have two choices: Forget the Core 2 Duo and get a Pentium 4 HT at 3GHz, or get a new PC.

What's best? New PC. Why? Because a Pentium 4 is put to shame with a nice E8400.

Give us your max you're willing to spend.
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Old 08-01-2008, 08:54 PM   #6
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Default Re: HELP THIS NEWB - I need a serious upgrade!

Most of the components I recommend are from TigerDirect.com, which is very cheap for most computer parts. I have not had any problems in the past with them and they are very reliable. Here's my suggestion.

Total (no tax/shipping): USD $590.93

Case/PSU: Cooler Master Centurion 5 ATX Mid-Tower Case, 430W PSU - $49.99 (TigerDirect.com)

Motherboard: Biostar TForce 945P ATX, Supports LGA775 1066MHz FSB - $59.99 (TigerDirect.com)

CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E7200 @ 2.53GHz - $147.99 (TigerDirect)

GPU: EVGA GeForce 9600GT 512MB GDDR3 - $99.99 (TigerDirect)

RAM: Crucial.com is great for RAM, have ordered multiple times and had no problems. 2GB Kit (1GBx2) DDR2-667 $47.99

HDD: Western Digital 500GB 7200 RPM - $74.99 (I know you said no greater than 400, but it's cheap and 500 is kind of standard nowadays, I would recommend 500, again TigerDirect)

OS: Windows Vista Home Premium 32-Bit - $109.99 (TigerDirect)

Grand Total: $590.93 (again, no tax/ship).

I would stay with Vista, because XP is rapidly becoming outdated and honestly, there are really not many issues with Vista that I have encountered. If you want, you can upgrade to the 64-bit edition to maximize RAM (if you get 4GB) for no additional charge. You could even go for Ultimate since this would probably be within the price range if you did. I hope this helps you.
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Old 08-01-2008, 10:43 PM   #7
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Smile Re: HELP THIS NEWB - I need a new computer!

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlightSimBoy View Post
I would go with Vista over XP. In my opinion, it runs a lot better than XP, but you have to have a good PC for it to meet your needs. If you get Vista, I would recommend a MINIMUM of 2 Gigs of RAM.
Awesome. I was hoping Vista would be worth it. 2GB's should be great then. Thanks.
Quote:
Originally Posted by lhuser View Post
Ok bud, you have two choices: Forget the Core 2 Duo and get a Pentium 4 HT at 3GHz, or get a new PC. What's best? New PC. Why? Because a Pentium 4 is put to shame with a nice E8400.Give us your max you're willing to spend.
When I said upgrade, I just meant it as a figure of speech. So a new PC is what I meant by that, and your advice fits this perfectly. So my maximum I plan on spending is $700.00. Can you give me a list of some good computers & possibly their specs? Thanks alot bro.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snake2135 View Post
Case/PSU: Cooler Master Centurion 5 ATX Mid-Tower Case, 430W PSU - $49.99

Motherboard: Biostar TForce 945P ATX, Supports LGA775 1066MHz FSB - $59.99

CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E7200 @ 2.53GHz - $147.99

GPU: EVGA GeForce 9600GT 512MB GDDR3 - $99.99

RAM: 2GB Kit (1GBx2) DDR2-667 $47.99

HDD: Western Digital 500GB 7200 RPM - $74.99 (I know you said no greater than 400, but it's cheap and 500 is kind of standard nowadays)

OS: Windows Vista Home Premium 32-Bit - $109.99

Grand Total: $590.93 (again, no tax/ship).

I hope this helps you.
Snake2135, this is great. You even calculated the total cost for me. Right on. Well I'm definentily considering what you said, and have it on my list. TigerDirect seems to have some great deals. And your right, 500GB is standard. Thanks again man.

If anybody has some more advice to throw at me, or some good specs/parts to offer, please let me know. I'm still looking into building my own PC, but either way, I'm either building one or buying a new one.
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