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Old 04-02-2010, 06:46 PM
blood63 blood63 is offline
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Help me upgrade my computer

I have been meaning to buy a new computer. It dawned on the me that perhaps and could keep all my componenets and just buy a new motherboard.
Will this work for me?
I don't have any experience building computers but I hear that it is quite easy.
Here are my specs right now


System Type X86-based PC
Processor x86 Family 15 Model 4 Stepping 4 GenuineIntel ~2810 Mhz
BIOS Version/Date American Megatrends Inc. 0301, 5/11/2005
SMBIOS Version 2.3

Total Physical Memory 1,024.00 MB
Available Physical Memory 369.69 MB
Total Virtual Memory 2.00 GB
Available Virtual Memory 1.96 GB
Page File Space 2.40 GB

A big problem with my system is the sound of the fan. My Pentium D is a power pig and the cooling fan is quite loud.
I mainly watch streamed video off the net which right now is a bit clunky. I am not much of a gamer.

Could I expect a big increase in performance if I upgrade to a faster processor?

Here is a page of motherboards.

Are there any that would be compatible with my system?

What else would I need to buy (operating system, RAM?)

Thanks in advance.

Last edited by blood63; 04-02-2010 at 06:46 PM.
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  #2  
Old 04-02-2010, 06:48 PM
blood63 blood63 is offline
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Sorry, here is the link to the motherboard + CPU page.
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Old 04-02-2010, 06:51 PM
Quartz Quartz is offline
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If you've got a Pentium D 2.8 GHz, you really don't need to upgrade it unless you want to play the latest games, which you don't. What will benefit you is purchasing additional memory.

You might benefit from a better graphics card, but the usual issue with clunkiness is network bandwidth, not the local PC.

Which motherboard do you have?
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Old 04-02-2010, 08:11 PM
Kinthalis Kinthalis is offline
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Uh, a pentium D is pretty old chip. You would definitely see an improvement in system response and performance with a motherboard and CPU upgrade. you'd also probably see some energy savings. If you want to stick to intel I'd go for one of the Core i5 quad cores. AMD I'd go with one of the Phenom II quad cores. The motherboard should fit your needs in terms of available slots and features. Windows 7 will probably be an improvement over anything else you're running.
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Old 04-02-2010, 08:23 PM
BorgHunter BorgHunter is offline
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What video card are you using? That's your most likely bottleneck; the Pentium D Smithfield (which I'll infer that CPU is) was a fairly poorly-designed chip—NetBurst was flawed from the get-go, mainly because Intel's marketing team was basically telling the tech people how to design their architecture for a while—but if you're "not much of a gamer" I don't think it'd be too terrible for your purposes.
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Old 04-02-2010, 08:32 PM
blood63 blood63 is offline
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My video card is a 3D radeon X300.

As for power useage, it is a concern of mine.
  #7  
Old 04-02-2010, 08:40 PM
blood63 blood63 is offline
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I have an ASUS motherboard.
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Old 04-02-2010, 08:40 PM
BorgHunter BorgHunter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blood63 View Post
My video card is a 3D radeon X300.
Yep, that's probably the culprit. Is it PCI Express? If so, you could try replacing that video card first to see if that makes HD video playback tolerable. Something like this might fit the bill. That should get you decent video playback, and you can always bring it along to a new computer if you decide to upgrade the whole kit.
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Old 04-03-2010, 09:03 PM
blood63 blood63 is offline
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It sounds like upgrading my computer (video card, OS, hard drive) might be more expensive than buying a new one.
My computer that I bought 5 years ago has a good power supply and a solid case. I have recently bought a 24" widescreen monitor.
I want the cheapest, most energy efficient computer with larger hard drive (right now I have a 250 GB drive). Keep in mind that 90% of my computer useage is steamed video.
So far, the suggestion has been to buy a new video card and see if that helps my jumpy streaming. Sounds good. That video card in Canada will cost me $125.
When I see new computers on sale for $400, I wonder if there is a better option.
Any other comments?
  #10  
Old 04-03-2010, 10:23 PM
Lakai Lakai is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blood63 View Post
So far, the suggestion has been to buy a new video card and see if that helps my jumpy streaming. Sounds good. That video card in Canada will cost me $125.
Are you sure that the jumpy streaming isn't the result of a slow internet connection? Try to do a speed test to see if you need to improve your connection.

You don't need a good video card to watch internet video. There isn't much video on the internet that requires extra graphics processing power. My home computer has a decent video card and the laptop I'm using now has a basement price video card; I have never noticed any difference in internet video quality between the two.

What does improve internet video quality is a good monitor and I see you already have that covered.

As for the rest of your computer you could definitely use an upgrade. My rule of thumb for quality performance at low prices is to get the following three things at minimum: 1) A dual core processor, 2) at least a 7500 rpm (rotations per minute) hard drive, 3) and at least 2 GB of RAM. In my opinion, skimping on those three things is not worth the money saved. This applies only if you don't plan on playing any video games in the future. If you do, the rules change, and things get more costly and complicated. If you don't plan on playing video games, then you can save a lot by just making sure you don't go below the minimum hardware I listed above.

If you want better performance then just upgrade each area depending on how much you are willing to spend.

Everything else is based on your personal computer needs. Hard drive capacity will depend on how much data you want to save. That's pretty easy to figure out. As I mentioned before, you could buy a really cheap video card and not see any problems in your video performance, as long as you don't plan on installing any new games. For the motherboard I would just make sure it's compatible with the hardware you decide to buy and that it has all the ports you need. The same thing goes with the power supply - make sure it can power the hardware you're planning to buy.

If the computer is too noisy, then you can think about buying a better CPU fan.
  #11  
Old 04-03-2010, 11:04 PM
ZipperJJ ZipperJJ is online now
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Someone posted a link to the TechReport.com System Guide recently. Looks like a good guide for building your own box with pre-tested components.

If you like your storage and like your case and PSU, you can build their Econobox for around $400. If you want to spend more, there are more options (see the dropdown list at the bottom of the linked article).
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