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Help needed!

ResterzResterz Member Posts: 71

I am in the middle of trying to find a med-high  range computer. My current specs are

Pentium(R) Dual-Core CPU E5300 2.60 GHz

6 gbs of ram

Nvidia GeForce 9500 GT graphics card.


Let's just say I can't spend to much, and I am willing to build it myself. Any help or tips, or if you think my current system will be fine with a few upgrades please help out. I plan on using it for gaming primarily, and also filming and editing videos as I am having trouble doing that now. Thanks for any help you guys can give.



After looking around a bit I found this.

Do you guys feel that is worth it? And what issues would I have with that setup?


  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 23,301

    The video card would probably be easy to upgrade.  The processor, not so much, as the Wolfdale Pentium that you have now is LGA 775, which is about three desktop sockets ago for Intel.

    What's your budget?  And what other hardware does your computer have now?  If you're on a very tight budget and don't need the old computer to remain functional, you may be able to salvage some parts from the old one rather than buying them new again.

  • ResterzResterz Member Posts: 71

    I would be willing to salvage parts from this one, and completely build a new one, I would like to keep it below 600 though any cheaper would be great. Any advice is welcome, as I don't really know to much about this.

  • ResterzResterz Member Posts: 71


  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 23,301

    Well then, what parts do you have now?  I can't say whether you can re-use existing parts if I don't know what those existing parts are.  More to the point, what power supply, case, optical drive, and hard drive do you have?

    Also, what memory and/or motherboard?  The memory is probably DDR2, and if so, will need to be replaced, but there's a chance that it could be DDR3.

  • ResterzResterz Member Posts: 71

    Where can I go to find out all that information. Sorry :(

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 23,301

    If you copy and paste your DxDiag file here, it will show quite a bit of what you have.  That won't show your case or power supply, though.  The DxDiag file usually doesn't show the motherboard, but it does show the chipset, and that's what I'm looking for.

    The names of the parts are probably written on them somehow.  For the power supply, this is usually in the form of a sticker on the side of it.  Find the exact brand name and model, not just the nominal wattage.  If you have to open up your case and read the label, then do.

    The case might not say, but what I'm more interested in is how much airflow you have.  How many case fans do you have, how big are they (80 mm and 120 mm are the most common sizes), where are they positioned (front, top, back, side), and are they blowing air in or out?

  • ResterzResterz Member Posts: 71

    I sent you it via pm. Thanks in advance.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 23,301

    I didn't just get a private message.  Maybe it didn't send, or maybe it's just taking its time.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 23,301

    All right, I got it now.   You've got a SATA optical drive, so there's no sense in replacing that.  A 640 GB Western Digital Caviar Blue hard drive is still functional, so you could probably format that and re-use it.  As nice as it would be to get something faster, it doesn't fit a $600 budget.  Give me a bit and I'll look up parts on New Egg.

  • ResterzResterz Member Posts: 71

    Strange, it's a lot of information perhaps thats why. Anyways, I believe the power supply is a LITEON model number PS-5251-08

    It says the input is 100-127v

    and the output is +5v/25A.

    Again, I have no idea if this information is helpfull, if not let me know and I will continue my search.

  • ResterzResterz Member Posts: 71

    Remember 600 is the maximum amount I would be able to spend, and less would be prefered. Thanks again.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 23,301

    Let's see how cheap we can make a passable gaming system.  All prices include shipping:

    Processor/video card combo deal:  $233, before a $15 rebate

    Motherboard:  $88

    There's also an open box version of the motherboard for $31 cheaper, if you want one that someone else bought and sent back:

    Power supply:  $60

    Not great, but good enough.

    Case:  $60, before a $15 rebate

    Memory:  $40

    Operating system:  $100

    That comes to $581, before $30 in rebates, assuming you don't get the open box motherboard.  The plan is to re-use your old optical drive and hard drive.

    That gets you a functional gaming system, with room for future upgrades if you need them.  The motherboard will eventually have a BIOS update to take Zambezi processors, so if you decide you need a faster processor in a couple of years, you'll  be able to replace just the processor, and no other hardware.  Don't try to overclock the processor with that motherboard, though.

    The Radeon HD 6770 is basically a rebranded 5770, which is still a decent gaming card.  If you decide you need a faster video card in a few years, you'll be able to replace just the video card.

    The case comes with a 140 mm fan and a 120 mm fan, both pulling air out, so that should offer plenty of airflow.  If you need more airflow in the future, it has room for three more 120 mm fans that you could add.  Your current case has very little airflow, so I think it needs to be replaced if you want much of a gaming system.

    The Phenom II X4 processor was AMD's top of the line two years ago, and is still a serviceable gaming processor today.  Compared to what you have now, it offers four cores rather than two, and each core is about 30% faster than a core of your existing processor.

    4 GB of memory is plenty today, and it's easy to add more later if you decide that you need it.

    The power supply offers 480 W on the +12 V rail, so it can handle a substantially more power-hungry video card.  A really high end video card would be a bad idea on that power supply, but it could handle nearly any processor and single-GPU video card, apart from a handful of high end video cards.  Your current power supply is apparently rated at only 250 W total, and if you try to run a real gaming system off of that, you'll probably fry it, so it needs to be replaced.  Antec's High Current Gamer line isn't great, but it's good enough.

    I included a new OS license.  Yeah, it's annoying to have to buy a new one when your old computer already has Windows 7, but Microsoft doesn't like to let it transfer.

    The plan is to reuse your old hard drive and optical drive, rather than buying a new one.

    So basically, this gets you a budget gaming desktop today, and a pretty good upgrade path for the future when you decide you need something better, rather than having to replace the whole machine outright.

  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,254

    I'm sure Quiz will have some exact pieces of hardware, but I'm going to go ahead and say, that you can upgrade a lot of stuff for $600, but with the system you have now, realistically, your looking at nearly an entire new computer.

    Sure, recycling bits and pieces is going to save money, but your still going to walk away with something that is going to struggle running new titles on "Ultra", but should be able to play everything on Medium-High (and most older titles on High or Very high). Just trying to make sure your expectations aren't unreasonable.

    I'd be willing to bet, your going to need
    A new 500W power supply (~$70)
    An AM3 Motherboard (~80)
    AMD Phenom II X4 (~$120)
    4G DDR3 RAM (~$45)
    ATI 6950 1G Video (~$225)

    ~$540 - with S&H/Tax (and if there is money left over, a WD Caviar Black HD wouldn't be a bad investment either), and the fact that I just approximated costs, that's pretty much your entire budget spent, and that's 9/10th's of a new computer as it is. That's recycling your case, DVD Drive, Hard Drive, and most importantly, the operating system - you can see you aren't that far from a brand new computer as it is.

    If I were you, I would go ahead and spring for the new case (~$40), a new DVD drive (~$25), and the new hard drive (~$70). Keep the computer you have intact now, just wipe the hard drive and save your operating system for your new computer. Then you can eBay/Craigslist your old computer as an entire unit, and make back some of that cost. You will probably get more out of it as a complete working unit than trying to piece and part it out. Recouping that cost back from your old computer would defray the extra you would have to spend over $600, and possibly even net more than the cost of the few extra parts.

    If nothing else, donate the computer as a working unit. You get to deduct the price of the computer (~it still works fine as a desktop right, so it's probably worth $2000 as far as the IRS can tell...) on your income taxes next year, and that's worth something right there.

  • ResterzResterz Member Posts: 71

    Could you find me a decent hard drive and optical drive, I figure I might aswell sell this one and just fully build the new one.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 23,301

    Yeah, I think that's a better idea than what I had in mind.  Your old computer is dated, but hardly ancient, and should still be worth something.  The proceeds from that let you make it a $700 gaming computer.  So here you go:

    Hard drive:  $70

    A Western Digital Caviar Black is faster than most consumer hard drives, and faster than what you have.  I was going to link the 500 GB version, but you've already got 400 GB in use on your current hard drive.  An extra $10 bumps that to the 750 GB version, which after hard drive manufacturer shenanigans, will leave you with about 300 GB free once you copy your old stuff over, rather than being nearly full the day you buy it.  Well, maybe a little more than that once you get rid of HP bloatware.

    Optical drive:  $20

    Optical drives are pretty much a commodity, so basically, you pick the cheapest one, subject to the restrictions that you want it to be able to both read and write both CDs and DVDs, and you want it to be SATA rather than IDE.  Which ends up being the cheapest one, period, when you take shipping into account.

  • psyclumpsyclum Member Posts: 792

    Originally posted by Resterz

    Could you find me a decent hard drive and optical drive, I figure I might aswell sell this one and just fully build the new one.

    if you are willing to cough up some extra $, i'd recommend going blueray?  might as well, if you are building a new box

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 23,301

    Originally posted by psyclum

    Originally posted by Resterz

    Could you find me a decent hard drive and optical drive, I figure I might aswell sell this one and just fully build the new one.

    if you are willing to cough up some extra $, i'd recommend going blueray?  might as well, if you are building a new box

    Buying a Blu-Ray drive today only makes sense if you want to watch Blu-Ray movies on your computer in the near future.  If Blu-Ray ever catches on (which is far from guaranteed), then the drives will be much cheaper then.  I can say this with confidence because they won't catch on for general computer use at current prices.  It's likely that you'll never have any use for a Blu-Ray drive in the useful lifetime of your computer.  Even if you do, it will be cheaper to buy a DVD drive now and then also a Blu-Ray drive after they become common, rather than just a Blu-Ray drive today.

  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,254

    I will go ahead and make the bold prediction that Blu-Ray will never catch on for PC software, and I will go even further and say that it will only have limited appeal as a movie distribution medium. Basically, I don't see it getting much more popular than it is now.

    I can count on one hand the number of times I've needed to use my optical drive on my PC in the last year, and I have never, ever, needed a Blu-Ray for anything. It's not quite gone the way of the floppy, but it's getting there.

    If you have a large Blu-Ray movie collection already, sure, ok, I can maybe see that. But even Netflix and Youtube can stream in HD today (sure, it's not quite 1080p - yet - but it will get there, the ISP infrastructure is the only thing holding them back really). If you haven't started upgrading your movie collection to Blu-Ray, my wholly unqualified advice is "Don't" - wait for the digital distribution.

    Everything is moving out onto the network, and for the better - software distribution especially. I don't see the need for physical installation media really, except for some people who just like to have the box to sit on a shelf to collect. Once you buy it online, you can redownload it (as long as it isn't iTunes music or video....) whenever you want, you don't have to worry about scratching or losing the install CD, and you often don't even need to worry about CD keys (as it's usually stored with your online account).

    Blu-Ray was dead before it even came to market, it's just Hollywood still hasn't quite learned that yet; but they will, just like the music industry is slowly beginning to face. Thank god software distributors didn't jump on that hand grenade.

    Funny story - Apple was on the Blu-Ray board of directors during it's development. Now, Apple won't touch Blu-Ray, even though it touts it's computers as consumer multimedia devices. Steve Jobs even went so far as to call Blu-Ray "A bag of hurt" because of all the licensing restrictions, lack of use outside of anything except for Hollywood really, and the ease and strength of online availability. You can take this with a grain of salt, since Apple does have a direct competitor to Blu-Ray sales (with iTunes movie sales and rentals), but to go from a member of the board to publically denouncing something says a bit about the technology, and even outside of Apple, less than 5% of all PCs sold have Blu-Ray devices.

  • ResterzResterz Member Posts: 71

    Ya im not interested in blu-ray to be totally honest, Thanks for all the help guys.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 23,301

    I found a better deal on the processor and video card.  Drop the combo above and get these two.

    Note the promo code on the processor, which is the key to it, and wasn't available yesterday.  Better processor, equivalent video card, $225 before a $30 mail-in rebate.

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