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Old 06-06-2011, 01:48 AM   #1
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Default Upgrading a Gateway SX2800-07

I am definitely new at upgrading PCs. I've done a bit of repair work on the family's laptops and desktops over the years, but the only upgrades I've done was upgrading my old laptop from 3GB RAM to 4GB RAM (because my 1GB chip burned up... lol).

I'm sure this forum will probably flame me for having a Gateway. Go ahead, get it over with. It was a great buy for the included hardware, so I jumped on it.

I've had this pc for over a year, and I feel like it's time to either upgrade or get something new.

The PC's specs are as follows...

Intel Core 2 Quad 8300 (2.5GHz, 1333MHz FSB, 4MB L2 cache)
Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit
4GB DDR3 Dual-Channel 1333MHz Memory (2 x 2048MB Modules) "Expandable to 8GB"
640GB SATA Hard Drive (also using an external 2TB drive via USB)
Integrated Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator X4500HD
Available Expansion Slots: 1 - PCI-E x16, 1 - PCI-E x1
220W Power Supply

I use an Apple Wireless Keyboard and a Microsoft Bluetooth Notebook Mouse 5000 both via a USB bluetooth adapter. The PC stays hooked up to my Sony HDTV via HDMI.

This PC has been great for the duration of my ownership. The only problems I've had is that one of the nine USB ports stopped working, and I don't think the card reader has ever worked. I only tried it once, but it didn't work then. Oh, and every now and then, the sound quits working until I restart it.

I use it primarily as a HTPC, with occasional word processing, gaming, or other use.

I would like to upgrade the graphics card, RAM, and possibly the hard drive.

For the graphics, I was thinking of the Sapphire Radeon HD4650 1GB DDR2 PCI-Express Video Card. I know my power supply is a big issue in this department, but from what I've read, others have used this card in the SX2800 series PCs without issue.

For the RAM, I was looking at a Kingston HyperX 8GB kit (2 x 4GB modules) 1600MHz 240-pin DDR3.

This is where I get confused. On Gateway's website, it says my PC is expandable to 8GB of RAM. But I just cracked the case open, and I have 4 slots. Two are currently occupied, #1 and #3.

Does that mean I can only use two of the slots? Or can I actually upgrade to 16GB of RAM (4 x 4GB)? Or can I only use four 2GB chips?

I'd love to get two of these kits and upgrade to 16

My third possible upgrade is the hard drive. I'd love to have a solid state drive. I have an external 2TB drive, so storage space isn't much of an issue. I also have a 2.5" 250GB drive left over from an old laptop that I'm not using. I've seen the kits to turn your 3.5" drive slot into a dual 2.5" slot, but I'm worried about how that might work in this PC.

The internal hard drive is in a strange slot (strange to me anyways) that is attatched to the DVD drive. There is very little room on any side of it. I'd love to have a 64GB SSD/250GB HD combo stuck in there... does anyone think I can make that work?

Also... does anyone think that Windows 7 Ultimate is worth the money?

Thanks in advance for any help with this project.
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Old 06-06-2011, 11:23 AM   #2
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Default Re: Upgrading a Gateway SX2800-07

Anyone? Really need some help here.
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Old 06-06-2011, 01:42 PM   #3
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Default Re: Upgrading a Gateway SX2800-07

ok if your on a budget I would just update that pc, 4 gigs of ram is plenty but you need to put the sticks beside each other so there in dual channelwe need to update those hdd's as well pls let me know what kind of budget your on so I can know for sure what to reccomend right now ill reccomend the best of the best and we will go from there

start off with your OS drive this vertex 3 is super fast and wait times will be a thing of the past
Newegg.com - OCZ Vertex 3 VTX3-25SAT3-120G 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

upgrade that onboard video as well this monster will play any games you want and stream all your vids way better taking that huge load off your cpu
Newegg.com - EVGA 02G-P3-1386-KR GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

this power supply here will run anything you throw at it and not even hickup I run this model as well I have 2 hd4870's on it and the fan rarely even turns on also this is 1 of the oldest most trusted companies I know of in power supplies
Newegg.com - SeaSonic X750 Gold 750W ATX12V V2.3/EPS 12V V2.91 SLI Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply

here is some nice fast gaming ram to speed things up a bit
Newegg.com - G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL7D-4GBRH

also im asumming you have gateways case wich provides no airflow and with these upgrades is gonna come lots of heat so your gonna need a real good case heres what i recomend and the 1 im using right now to has lots of big fans to cool those hot parts off
Newegg.com - COOLER MASTER HAF 932 Advanced RC-932-KKN5-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower Compucase Case with USB 3.0 and Black Interior

well if this is too much then by all means let me know what kind of budgett you are on and ill select upgrades based on that but you definatly have the starts of a really nice pc with a little money put into it that core 2 quad is way under rated those things are nice look forward to hearing back from you
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Old 06-06-2011, 02:15 PM   #4
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Default Re: Upgrading a Gateway SX2800-07

I should have mentioned that I do not want to move the components to a new case. I like the small form factor, and I'm not a serious gamer that needs the biggest, baddest graphics card.

My budget is whatever I want it to be really. If I only do the graphics and RAM, I don't think I'd be willing to spend more than $250. If I also do the hard drive, I may be willing to spend as much as $500. There's no way I'll spend more than the original price of this pc in upgrading it. I'd rather just buy something new.

Power supplies are nearly impossible to change in this case, I've already done some reading on that and ruled it out. So the graphics card you mentioned is definitely out of the question.
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Old 06-06-2011, 02:51 PM   #5
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Default Re: Upgrading a Gateway SX2800-07

np but the power supply your running will barely power your pc the way it is if you add a graphics card it will die or just not boot so the power supply is a definate thing to upgrade also ill link a cpl low end gpu cards and the ssd and hdd will greatly increase performance the gpu and ssd I definatly recomend i can find a cheaper ssd though

as for buying something new id build it myself if I were you you will get way better products and be much happier but you have a decent cpu so no need to buy new just update what you have and you will be much happier if you get the ssd, gpu, and power supply your system will speed up considerably the ram is optional but would help and I think with your ram being in slot 0 and 2 your not running in dual channel (I could be wrong as all mobo's are different)

cheaper ssd still good quality
Newegg.com - OCZ Agility 2 OCZSSD2-2AGT80G 2.5" 80GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

heres a good gpu for what you need
EVGA 512-P3-N982-B2 GeForce 9800 GT Akimbo Video Card - 512MB GDDR3, PCI Express 2.0, Dual DVI, HDTV OEM at TigerDirect.com

I still recomend the same power supply i gave before because you will need it pls pls pls do not skimp on the psu you will regret it later on
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Old 06-06-2011, 03:02 PM   #6
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Default Re: Upgrading a Gateway SX2800-07

I highly reccommend a new psu as well. Do not upgrade anything before the psu. Can you tell us the model number on the case? We need to know if the psu will fit in it or not.
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Old 06-06-2011, 03:03 PM   #7
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Default Re: Upgrading a Gateway SX2800-07

As I said before, changing the psu is not an option for me. I don't need a high end graphics card. I know that I won't be able to play MW3 on it or anything, but that's ok, I have an Xbox for that.

What I'm most interested in is... can I use the RAM that I mentioned? If so, can I use two of those kits to bring my total up to 16GB?

I'm also interested in the SSD, but not if it's going to be too complex. I just need to know if I can use the dual 2.5" kit in place of my stangely arranged 3.5.

If you have any doubts about why I won't change the psu... just search google for "gateway sx2800 graphics card" and you find umpteen posts explaining why the psu is a serious problem.
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Old 06-06-2011, 04:03 PM   #8
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Default Re: Upgrading a Gateway SX2800-07

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmdale1984 View Post
As I said before, changing the psu is not an option for me. I don't need a high end graphics card. I know that I won't be able to play MW3 on it or anything, but that's ok, I have an Xbox for that.

What I'm most interested in is... can I use the RAM that I mentioned? If so, can I use two of those kits to bring my total up to 16GB?

I'm also interested in the SSD, but not if it's going to be too complex. I just need to know if I can use the dual 2.5" kit in place of my stangely arranged 3.5.

If you have any doubts about why I won't change the psu... just search google for "gateway sx2800 graphics card" and you find umpteen posts explaining why the psu is a serious problem.


there not saying its hard to change the power supply there saying it is a bad psu that came with the system and to run any kind of gpu card you need to upgrade it honestly im wondering if that psu can even handle that much ram let alone a vid card so I really reccomend doing the power supply it is a very crucial componet in the pc and seeing how you have a funky gateway case I would start with a new case and power suply then go from there. I know you don't want to buy a case but you really need 1 to do any kind of upgrades. If you need help moving componets to the new case or anything ill be glad to give you my number and walk you through the prosses. we are here to help.
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Old 06-06-2011, 04:16 PM   #9
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Default Re: Upgrading a Gateway SX2800-07

I WILL NOT MOVE MY COMPONENTS TO A NEW CASE. I CANNOT UPGRADE MY PSU. I fully understand that my power supply is small, however, many other people have managed to upgrade these pcs without changing the power supplies.

Can someone just answer the questions that I've asked please?
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Old 06-06-2011, 04:31 PM   #10
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Default Re: Upgrading a Gateway SX2800-07

your pc can handle 4 2gb ram cards 8 gb at most the ssd is doable the video card if it works will kill your psu eventually im only stating these things from experiance there is no need to get upset im only trying to save you a headache later because I know if you put a vid card on that psu its going to fail and you will be without a pc while you wait for a new 1 to ship and when psu's fail there is the possibilty of it killing your cpu ram hdd's etc. I do this for a living and ive seen really bad things come from what your trying to do. if you still want to do it then its on you but know there is a chance your pc will not even power on with a vid card in it from lack of power so your making a gamble by buying 1 I just want to educate you before you go and spend money as for your ram if you want 8 gigs go with 2 sets of what i showed you the 1333 not 1600 as 1600 has issues in some systems when you have over 4 gigs also when you buy the ssd download ocz toolbox and update the firmware in it and disable defraging in services read up on how to maintain an ssd it is a bit different from a hdd
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