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Thread: New to upgrading

  1. #1
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    New to upgrading

    Hi everyone, my first post here!

    After getting a part-time job recently, I now actually have some money to throw around for a change, and am thinking of upgrading my computer. However, I am totally new to upgrading and although I am reasonably computer literate with software, I don't know very much about hardware.

    On my PC which I bought a bought about 2 or 3 years ago now, I am running Windows XP on a Pentium 4 2.5Ghz processor, with 512Mb Ram and an Nvidia GeForce Mx 420 graphics card. This runs games (pretty much what I only use it for) reasonably well, but it is now starting to chug a little. I was thinking of upgrading my graphics card to a GeForce 6800 GT, but found my motherboard can only take up to 4X AGP, which I don't think will take it. As I have the money I think I might as well upgrade my motherboard aswell so I can still have the new graphics card, which is where my main worry comes in.

    As I have no experience in ungrading, i'd like to know are there any possible dangers? While my system is starting to age a little, it is nonetheless very stable and all my games run fine without any crashes, unless it is a problem with the game itself that is able to be fixed with a patch. If I go and upgrade my motherboard, my graphics card and maybe some RAM aswell all at once, could this jeopardise my so far excellent stability? I'd love to go and buy Far Cry then marvel at the grahics, but if my PC starts crashing because some parts of my hardware arent suited to the new arrivals, I'd rather not upgrade at all.

    So, is there no need to worry? And if not, then what motherboard should I choose, and perhaps what else could/should I upgrade while I'm at it? Thanks for reading all this, and I'll appreciate any replies.

  2. #2
    Platinum+ Member bhxtyrant's Avatar
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    Upgrading a PC is usually very easy and quick.The main things you will want to check is to make sure all your old hardware is compatible with the new motherboard you plan on getting and also your RAM.Now if im not mistaken an 8x GeForce 6800 GT should work fine even though your motherboard only supports 4x of course you will probally have a little less performance with the new card but it will be plenty to handle your games.

  3. #3
    Titanium Member efc's Avatar
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    Go for it. It is very satisfying to take a bunch of parts, put them together and then boot the machine for the first time. It is not hard and there are tons of info about installing any component on the net. A simple google search like "install motherboard" or "install memory" will get you dozens of good articles on the subject.

    Also, when you are doing your own upgrades, you can do them in convenient steps. Start with the motherboard or the graphics card as bhxtyrant suggested and then do something else later, when you have the money.
    Linux Mint Debian Edition

  4. #4
    Precision Processor Super Moderator egghead's Avatar
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    two important things to note is the size of your current motherboard and the size of the new motherboard.Check the case to figure if you have the room for the new motherboard. Some cases only support motherboards with 2 or 3 pci slots.

    You also need an original windowsxp disc. When you upgrade your motherboard your os will freak and not boot or will prompt for drivers. If Your computer is a dell or compaq that has a restore cd you will not be able to restore it on your new motherboard.
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  5. #5
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    Thanks for the replies! Well, after going to my local pc shop (which is very much focused on repair and upgrades as opposed to selling PCs) I was told my case wouldnt have the large enough power supply for the 6800 GT. he also confirmed that while the motherboard would take the card, it wouldnt be able to do so at as good an efficiency. He suggested that seeing as I was looking to upgrade the power supply, motherboard, graphics card and maybe add some more RAM, i might as well buy a new PC and sell the old one. Is this reasonable, or is he just hoping to make more money?

  6. #6
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    if u buy a new one get an athlon 64 socket 939...if u upgrade will he buy any of ur old stuff...because the cpu should be fine as well as the ram...so were talkinb about motherboard gfx and psu....if he will buiy them then just upgrade if he wont do a full upgrade....when u decide what u want to do let us know and we can help u out...we will need a price range though on how much u want to spend if u do a full system upgrade

  7. #7
    Security Intelligence TZ Veteran cash_site's Avatar
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    Wait till FastGame sees this thread, he gives good advice...

    But really, depending on your goals and what you actually want to do with the computer that would be different with your current setup... I would only suggest upgrading your Video Card... a 6800GT would be nice, but expensive and overengineered for your P4 2.5Ghz... the best value/performance card at the moment would be the AGP 6600GT 128or256mb, priced at a couple hundred of dollars you cant go wrong

    Reading your first post, you seem quite happy with the stability and general performance of your current computer... Changing the lot will be good experience, but may just frustrate you, as it does me... hence I still run old Duron 800 But it plays all the games I like BFV, COD, FARCRY etc... ok, its 640x480 with low details, but I like the gameplay more...

    Anyway, obviously the final decision is up to you, but a few opinions are good... honestly, 6600GT plus maybe extra 512mb ram would go a long way... then save some cash and do upgrade for Xmas... when Intel will have dual core 64 bit MONSTERS!!

    --- 0wN3D by 3gG ---

  8. #8
    Hardware guy Super Moderator FastGame's Avatar
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    Everyone has already given good advice

    There's very little difference (if any) in performace between 4x AGP and 8x AGP, proven many times by many across the net

    Think hard about the video card, no sense in spending a bunch of money unless your a serious gamer. As cash_site suggest, that 6600GT is a hot item. It has good balance between $$$ and game performance

    I'm a Power Supply type of guy, it should always be considered first & foremost. If you don't have a good strong PS then get one.

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