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Forum » Questions about renewing my computer.

Questions about renewing my computer.

The Gemini 6 years ago
My trusty PC, a powerful gaming rig back in the days, is beginning to show its age as it rounds 3 years. The hard-drive was the first thing to go, and I swapped it with a 1tb drive. I also used the opportunity to get 4gb RAM and 64x Windows 7. All within a reasonable sum of course. Now, my GFX card failed, forcing me to run the PC without it. So no games for me(except Osmos on my iPhone ). I just bought a cheap GFX replacement, despite being one of the cheapest at the Norwegian internet site I bought it from it did outperform my old card in terms of specs.

However my processor, an Intel dual core 2.6, and my motherboard remains the same, and I fear they will break down soon too. So my question is, should I continue to buy replacements until the entire computer is renewed, or should I just buy a new one with low specs allowing me to install my newer hardware on it? My funds are a bit limited for the moment given I survive only on the student loan(My nicotine addiction doesn't make things better either).
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Anonymous1157 6 years ago
I've actually had a remarkably similar experience over the past year or so (Except the smoking part). Personally, I'm pretty good at fixing my own computer parts, but my computer has been an uphill struggle from the start, which happens to have been about three years ago as well. It has always had freezing problems related to the motherboard/CPU combination, and when I just gave the hell up on it a while back, my dad exchanged the motherboard for another, didn't care that he got a completely different model altogether, and found out that for some reason, half of its processing power was being spent doing nothing. Long story short, my motherboard is half-dead and only continues to work at (relative) full capacity because I disabled over half of its optional components. I also had a HDD failure, but I literally heard it coming, and out of sheer I-don't-know-if-you-can-even-call-it-luck, I had a spare HDD lying around that I decided to back up files on for shiggles. I also got a terabyte drive as a replacement, and I had already been running XP64. Then my dad just randomly handed me a RAM upgrade, no questions asked, 'cause something he had a question about started too slowly on my computer. Then my GFX blew capacitors 'cause it's a crappy commodity card that I'm overclocking as far as the software will allow, but I happened to have more than one dead 360 lying around (!!!) with just the caps I was looking for.

... So, in order to actually answer your question: Under similar circumstances, I don't have the option of spending any money at all on the problem. You do, even if it's limited. I'm assuming that by Intel dual core, you mean that you have a Pentium D, in which case, I've seen some fantastic motherboards for Intel+nVidia systems featuring a Pentium D for under a hundred US dollars. I'd say that your processor should last longer than you think, so just replace the motherboard.
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Venom31 6 years ago
Oh noes, my dinosaur is about 5 years old!
And honestly, with having used no overclocking whatsoever, behaves rather well. The newest games reqs don't meet, alas. But for work, it's all fine.
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NeoGangster 6 years ago
I would upgrade as long as there are parts sold for your motherboard, but you should expect that all of em will be useless when you buy a new motherboard
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Vacuus 6 years ago
I wouldn't spend any more money on the CPU/Motherboard, particularly if it's an older socket design - new RAM (though I doubt you'll need it, 4GB is plenty) is fine providing it's compatible with an AMD 890-based motherboard (these are meant to support bulldozer). Can't remember if Bulldozer core will still support DDR2 or whatever, but hey.

As for GFX, upgrade it as often as you'd like providing it's PCI-E. Quite often you'll get the best performance by picking up a high end last generation card that are very cheap on ebay or similar and significantly faster that anything that'd be within your budget in the current generation. A good example would be the Radeon 4850/4870.

If you're needing more power for modern games, another cheap upgrade would be picking up an old quad core that'd fit in your motherboard (Q6600?) which'd give you reasonable performance to tie you over until something better came up if you still cared.

Legacy IDE has been around for yonks and i can't see it going anywhere, so don't worry about your HDD too much but try to get a SATA 2 one if you do need a replacement. Remember that RPM isn't everything (it's practically nothing, actually - you'll hit other bottlenecks first) - a larger 5400RPM disk will outperform a smaller 7000RPM disk due to its higher density. SATA 3 is still very much a gimmick these days unless you're using an overpriced SSD, so don't bother - sata3 motherboards are at this stage still backwards compatible with sata2.

Anon, you are having some serious bad luck with that computer. I've been screwing with PC's for over a decade now (started toying with 486's and Amigas long before I was 10) and I've *never* had that many issues from one machine... Heck, I've never had to disable optional features on a motherboard to get it to function properly. I'd be thinking it's the powerpack, generic (and even older, poorly aged decent units) can short or have such huge variations in power delivery ('ripples' or pusling, SNR figures in there somewhere I guess) that given enough time you can end up with significant damage to the motherboard or another component.
You can pick up a powerpack tester pretty cheap, wouldn't be a bad idea to get one and pay particular attention to the 12V (or 3.3 if it's older than a P4) rails, +5V/+5VSB aren't so important but check it anwyay. I doubt you'd be using an oscilloscope so you'll most likely just need to make sure all the LED's light up in the correct places.

Oh, and XP64 was complete crap even when new - atleast get windows 7!

Minde you, I wouldn't be too worried about performance Gemini - I was forced to build a budget PC earlier this year and ended up with the following:

AMD Athlon II X2 240 (dual core 2.4GHz)
Cheapest AM3 Gigabyte Motherboard I could find.
2x2GB DDR3 G.Skill Ripjaws (low latency, most expensive component bar the headphones).
ATI Radeon 4870 1GB (payed $90AU for it).
Audio Technica ATH AD-700's (bloody brilliant I tell you, not as bassy as the Grado's and could probably use with an amp or atleast a decent source, but -very- clear sounding and great for games).
Enermax 485W 'NoiseTaker' (should be noisemaker, the fucking bearing is shot in one of the fans which means it's nearly louder than my GFX fan at 100% - still works fine though)

Using said system I've been able to play the following at max details incl. AA/AF:
Dragon Age: Origins
Mass Effect 1/2
The Witcher Enhanced Edition
Morrowind (*Very* heavily modded - see here for screens)
Oblivion (Again, very heavily modded)
Asassins Creed 1/2 (hated them both before you ask, the second was bearable but barely).
And a couple of oldies.

Point being that even a well-planned budget system can handle anything the average gamer will throw at it - and I'd hardly classify myself as a gamer anymore.
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Anonymous1157 6 years ago
"Vacuus" said:
Anon, you are having some serious bad luck with that computer. I've been screwing with PC's for over a decade now (started toying with 486's and Amigas long before I was 10) and I've *never* had that many issues from one machine... Heck, I've never had to disable optional features on a motherboard to get it to function properly. I'd be thinking it's the powerpack, generic (and even older, poorly aged decent units) can short or have such huge variations in power delivery ('ripples' or pusling, SNR figures in there somewhere I guess) that given enough time you can end up with significant damage to the motherboard or another component.
You can pick up a powerpack tester pretty cheap, wouldn't be a bad idea to get one and pay particular attention to the 12V (or 3.3 if it's older than a P4) rails, +5V/+5VSB aren't so important but check it anwyay. I doubt you'd be using an oscilloscope so you'll most likely just need to make sure all the LED's light up in the correct places.

Oh, and XP64 was complete crap even when new - atleast get windows 7!
Oh, believe me when I say that my next computer won't be recycling anything from this one, short of the new HDD.
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