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Old 06-15-2010, 10:50 PM   #1
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Default Upgrading my gaming PC - Help needed!

I have an alienware area 51 gaming PC that I bought just about 2 years ago. It's starting to show its age. I get poor FPS at times when trying to play some of my games. My specs are as follows:

AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 5200+ (2 CPUs), ~2.7GHz
3Gb RAM
NVIDIA GeForce 9600 GT


those are the parts that I want to upgrade. I am not very familiar with computer hardware and I am really hoping someone could point me in the right direction of some affordable upgrades!

thanks
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Old 06-15-2010, 11:18 PM   #2
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Default Re: Upgrading my gaming PC - Help needed!

To upgrade the processor efficiently, you'd need to also buy a new motherboard. What I recommend you do, if you're on a tight budget, is to sell this alienware tower, and couple that money with the money you already have to build a completely new rig. If you want immediate change, I can tell you that upgrading just the processor will be a waste, and same goes for the RAM. On an immediate upgrade you'd benefit heavily from a new video card.

Before we can give suggestions, I'd like to know how you want to approach this. Also, it would be greatly appreciated if you could tell us your budget.
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Old 06-15-2010, 11:25 PM   #3
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Default Re: Upgrading my gaming PC - Help needed!

That thing has dual X2 5200's? Nice!

I would suggest a new video card. that 9600GT is an entry level card at best. One of these would be a nice upgrade: MSI R5770 Hawk Radeon HD 5770 1GB

Another 1GB of system memory wouldn't hurt either.
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Old 06-15-2010, 11:29 PM   #4
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Default Re: Upgrading my gaming PC - Help needed!

What type of RAM do you have?
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Old 06-15-2010, 11:29 PM   #5
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Default Re: Upgrading my gaming PC - Help needed!

I think 2 CPU's mean it's a dual core xD

If it's from 2 years ago I'm guessing it's DDR2
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Old 06-15-2010, 11:42 PM   #6
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Default Re: Upgrading my gaming PC - Help needed!

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Originally Posted by JogaBonito1502 View Post
To upgrade the processor efficiently, you'd need to also buy a new motherboard. What I recommend you do, if you're on a tight budget, is to sell this alienware tower, and couple that money with the money you already have to build a completely new rig. If you want immediate change, I can tell you that upgrading just the processor will be a waste, and same goes for the RAM. On an immediate upgrade you'd benefit heavily from a new video card.

Before we can give suggestions, I'd like to know how you want to approach this. Also, it would be greatly appreciated if you could tell us your budget.
I just graduated Highschool so Im on a tight budget, I dont want to spend more than 150-160 on a new Graphics Card, if I would have to rebuild the whole PC i wouldnt want to spend anymore than 650-700( i dont really want to pick this option :P)
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Old 06-15-2010, 11:43 PM   #7
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Default Re: Upgrading my gaming PC - Help needed!

If you want to add RAM like AR suggested, I would recommend you buy 2x2GB of DDR2 1066Mhz RAM. Considering the phasing out of DDR2, 1066Mhz may be expensive, in which case 800Mhz RAM would be your next best choice.

I second AR's suggestion of the HD5770.
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Old 06-15-2010, 11:45 PM   #8
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Default Re: Upgrading my gaming PC - Help needed!

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That thing has dual X2 5200's? Nice!

I would suggest a new video card. that 9600GT is an entry level card at best. One of these would be a nice upgrade: MSI R5770 Hawk Radeon HD 5770 1GB

Another 1GB of system memory wouldn't hurt either.
That card looks awesome! its a little over budget but if its really good I might just go for it. $8 shipping, ouch haha
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Old 06-15-2010, 11:59 PM   #9
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Default Re: Upgrading my gaming PC - Help needed!

This one is a bit cheaper: XFX Radeon HD 5770 1GB
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Old 06-16-2010, 12:00 AM   #10
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Default Re: Upgrading my gaming PC - Help needed!

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This one is a bit cheaper: XFX Radeon HD 5770 1GB
how big do they differ performance wise? is the extra ~$20 going to give me a huge difference?
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Old 06-16-2010, 12:15 AM   #11
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Default Re: Upgrading my gaming PC - Help needed!

Depending on the game and resolution, the overclocked Hawk will give you upwards of 10fps faster speeds.

MSI HD R5770 Hawk Review
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Old 06-16-2010, 03:27 AM   #12
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Default Re: Upgrading my gaming PC - Help needed!

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Depending on the game and resolution, the overclocked Hawk will give you upwards of 10fps faster speeds.

MSI HD R5770 Hawk Review
looks like thats my best bet, are these cards relatively easy to install?
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Old 06-16-2010, 03:37 AM   #13
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Default Re: Upgrading my gaming PC - Help needed!

Easier than putting Legos together. Unscrew the old one, unplug it(if it has plugs), pull it out, and reverse the process for the new one. You'll also have to install the drivers, but that's easy enough...

I should ask: What sort of power supply are you using? Can you see the spec sheet on it?
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Old 06-16-2010, 04:08 AM   #14
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Default Re: Upgrading my gaming PC - Help needed!

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Originally Posted by Atomic Rooster View Post
This one is a bit cheaper: XFX Radeon HD 5770 1GB
This is one of XFX's butchered cards.

I second the R5770 Hawk, but if you have good case cooling, you can often achieve similar overclocks with a reference v2 5770.
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Old 06-16-2010, 05:55 PM   #15
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Default Re: Upgrading my gaming PC - Help needed!

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Easier than putting Legos together. Unscrew the old one, unplug it(if it has plugs), pull it out, and reverse the process for the new one. You'll also have to install the drivers, but that's easy enough...

I should ask: What sort of power supply are you using? Can you see the spec sheet on it?
I dont know what sort of power supply I have When I ordered this computer I was a naive 16 year old who thought alienware stock computers were the best
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