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How to: Revitalise an old gaming rig


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#1 Daragh

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 05:09 PM

Edited to make more sense and to be less corny (written at 3 in the morning and was very bored, felt like trolling. Decided to actually undertake the project now though)
So I got this new PC for free, specifications are low end and most parts are generic. Its also really old so I decided to upgrade it. Its only meant as something to mess around with, and play some games. Still the specs are as follows:
Case: I have no idea, no fans, PSU bolted on and it was made by a blind walrus seriously the front USB headers are put on upside down!
CPU: Athlon 64 the power be immense, yo
GPU: nVidia GeForce gt240. Apparently the old GPU blew up and he needed to get a new one. But he wasn't willing to pay more than $80
RAM: 2gb of, DDR yep its true the Motherboard doesn't support anything else
Motherboard: Infinity Lanparty, probably not too bad back in the day but now its awful
HDD: 160gb sata mechanical. I actually don't mind this bit, sure its small but this won't be my main PC. I'll probably install games to an external HDD and play them from there. It will be upgraded but I can live with it
DVD Drive: Liteon 32x. It still works his old one blew up so he picked up a cheap CD/DVD burner. I don't usually use disc drives anyway. Usually just to install OS and disc based games. This won't be upgraded
Anyway it will be a fun budget project, I don't really have that much money after I bought my laptop so I'm going to try and see what I get with a slow upgrade process build. Going to work it in the following stages:

Stage 1: Case, important to me, the current one is one of the old generic bundled with Psu jobs that were so popular years ago. Sigh, at least they sell good cases that at least offer good ventilation for $150.

Stage 2: Power Supply, this one is for old rigs only! If your power supply is under 500 watts and doesn't have at least 2 PCI-E 6 pin power connectors then its time to upgrade! Luckily 550 watts is ample for a budget system, make sure to go modular though. It makes life a lot easier. And yes, mine was bolted to the case, way too low wattage and quality for me. Plus the only connectors were what was required to run the motherboard and a couple Molex.

Stage 3: Motherboard and CPU, If you are running an older single core design then this will be a big impactor on system responsiveness. Also all of the new standards since the days of yore will mean that you can get the most out of the rest of your components. Of course, this is the most expensive stage. There is no point buying a new motherboard without getting a new CPU and vice versa. But seriously if you don't have a somewhat decent Mobo and CPU then go this before the graphics card

Stage 5: RAM, I'll admit it I'm still running DDR ram. But there is really no point splurging on new RAM until you have enough to upgrade the motherboard. Sadly thePC is very old doesn't support DDR3 ram, so guess I'm waiting to upgrade motherboard.

Stage 4: Graphics Card, yea self definately needed but I can't actually get one until the PSU is upgraded and it makes sense to get the Motherboard and CPU first. Still this will probably be the most expensive item, if I do end up gaming on it then I don't want to have to upgrade the card again.

Stage 6: Closed loop water cooling kit, seems pointless doesn't it? And if you don't have the money it is! But I'm looking to overclock my cheap processor or at least keep it cool. They are also incredibly cheap right now so its actually not too bad picking one up looking at the temp, noise difference. $60 models are already available that run rings around any stock cooler.

SSD's and all that are good if you can afford them and if your mechanical HDD is large enough. These decrease loading times but the money is better spent getting a better graphics card or CPU. Thats my take.
So like I said, this was originally a troll post but I've decided to actually give this a bash. I might use this thing as a test for overclocking.

Edited by Daragh, 11 April 2012 - 06:44 PM.

Laptop: Dell XPS 15 | GT540m | i7 2620QM | 6GB Ram | 750GB 7200rpm HDD|
Desktop: i3 | AsRock Z77 Pro3 | CM Storm Enforcer | Silverstone Strider Plus 750watt | Random HDD's from scavanged PC's set as dump storage |
To get: 8gb Mushkin Blackline/Redline Ram | GT560Ti | i5 2500k or equivalent ivory bridge | XSPC Rasa 750 WC Kit
<insert deep thought provoking comment here>
Story of my life: <presses enter> Syntax Error

#2 Waco

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 05:26 PM

Your priorities for upgrading are very strange. :lol: Case and PSU would be near the bottom of my list for upgrading on a budget.

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GTX 770 replaced with watercooled GTX780...but too lazy to change the sig.


#3 Stonerboy779

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 05:28 PM

Your priorities for upgrading are very strange. :lol: Case and PSU would be near the bottom of my list for upgrading on a budget.

Agreed :-/


....not sure if OP is trolling....

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#4 Waco

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 05:38 PM

Posted Image


This better work, I just typed that out on my phone. :lol:

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GTX 770 replaced with watercooled GTX780...but too lazy to change the sig.


#5 SpikeSoprano

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 05:41 PM

I agree a psu is at the top of the list if you don't have at least a 500 watt, but the case would be the last on my list, why not just add some fans to the old one.:mellow:

CPU>I7 2600K  -MB>GIGABYTE  Z68X-UD3H-B3-MEM>16 GB KINGSTON 1600 MHZ-COOLER> HYPER 212 EVO

VIDEO>ZOTAC GTX 660 2 GB-SSD>VERTEX 3 120 GB-HD>WD 500+WD 250 GB- G500 MOUSE
CASE>ROSEWILL CHALLENGER W/4 120MM FANS-PSU> 650 WATT-MONITOR>24 INCH BENQ


#6 Waco

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 05:45 PM

Even a small PSU is fine for most rigs. You just have to keep it in mind when picking parts.

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GTX 770 replaced with watercooled GTX780...but too lazy to change the sig.


#7 Tjj226_Angel

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 06:01 PM

Your priorities for upgrading are very strange. :lol: Case and PSU would be near the bottom of my list for upgrading on a budget.



The only way I could see a case being number one is if you are upgrading from a REALLY old dell case or something like that, but other then that I agree with you waco. I do not think this guy is trolling, I think that the case that he was upgrading from would have baked any new hardware. :lol: (a telling sign that he has a case with no ventilation would be the fact that he is running DDR memory.)

However, I would say that if you have a old a low end system, the PSU is the corner stone of all upgrades. For instance, you are not going to be slapping a 6970 on a 300w PSU. A good 650-750w PSU should be a high priority if you upgrade a lot.....like a certain kid in south Africa does :P . The flip side is though, if you don't have the mobo and CPU to support upgrades, then you should probably be upgrading that first ;)

The other problem I see is the closed loop water cooling. I would go with a highend air cooler like the noctua NH-D14 since you can find them for 50 bucks used.

He is also forgetting the SSD!!!!!!!!!!!!!


________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


@ the op. Dude, at the moment you are practically throwing money away if you have to upgrade your case. Leave the case alone. If air flow is just a death sentence to your PC, then just cut some of your own ventilation.

Save up some more cash. Then go try to buy this http://www.ebay.com/...=item4602bf2fe2

It will be low power so you don't need a new PSU, and it will have good graphics support so you can game on it a bit better then your current setup.

Maybe ask for same for free to the community, and you will be a LOT better off.

#8 Daragh

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 06:02 PM

Ah you see this is really for people like me, my current case and psu are... a little dead. The PSU is a 450watt thing with no PCI-E connectors, It's also bolted to the case itself. The case is also one of the generic ones that were so popular a while ago. Poor ventilation no tooless access and its falling apart. I wrote this in case there was anyone else like me. As far as the rest go- I might change the order a little bit. Anyway the case is a high priority for me, the current one is the worst built piece of crap I have ever used or seen. Go figure (I wasn't the one who originally built the thing).
Edit: An SSD really? That seems like a little mixed up- if somebody is trying to build on a budget why go with the fur coat and no clothes approach.

Edited by Daragh, 11 April 2012 - 06:05 PM.

Laptop: Dell XPS 15 | GT540m | i7 2620QM | 6GB Ram | 750GB 7200rpm HDD|
Desktop: i3 | AsRock Z77 Pro3 | CM Storm Enforcer | Silverstone Strider Plus 750watt | Random HDD's from scavanged PC's set as dump storage |
To get: 8gb Mushkin Blackline/Redline Ram | GT560Ti | i5 2500k or equivalent ivory bridge | XSPC Rasa 750 WC Kit
<insert deep thought provoking comment here>
Story of my life: <presses enter> Syntax Error

#9 Rofltroll

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 06:13 PM

I actually do think the case is very important and I would upgrade that first as well ... if my current case were a FURNACE

mobo: Gigabyte X58 UD3R.
CPU: i7 920 @ 3.4 GHz 1.2v. == Chilled by Titan Fenrir Evo ==
video: Inno3D nVidia GTX 470 @ 775/1550/1775.
RAM: OCZ Gold 2x2GB @ 1440 CL7 1.65v.
HDD: Cheap-O HDD.
PSU: Corsair 650TX.
case: NZXT Hades.


#10 vandreadstriker

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 01:06 AM

Dude I think you'll have to reconstruct your plan from scratch. If you have to, run your rig without a case (a.k.a open air). If you're creative, you'll be able to set it up on a single chair with no problems.
Point is, it doesn't make sense to have a good case when you don't have good components to complement it. (not saying your components are bad but, let's face it, it's outdated :nyea:)

Edit: missed the edited part of the OP.


My advice, ditch the case and make the board + CPU you're first priority.

Edited by vandreadstriker, 12 April 2012 - 01:51 AM.

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#11 Daragh

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 01:31 AM

Dude I think you'll have to reconstruct your plan from scratch. If you have to, run your rig without a case (a.k.a open air). If you're creative, you'll be able to set it up on a single chair with no problems.
Point is, it doesn't make sense to have a good case when you don't have good components to complement it. (not saying your components are bad but, let's face it, it's outdated :nyea:)

Edit: missed the edited part of the OP.


My advice, ditch the case and make the board + CPU you're first priority.

Well I did some revising earlier today (forgot to post) I needed a new PSU anyway its way too outdated.The original plan was to have the case so that I can have something to work in but now the motherboard case and cpu will be bought together. I was originally going to buy the case and PSU together but, I'll just put the PSU to one side and use my laptop for now. It is very outdated but you can't complain with free. I'm not going to run it open air; I live in a house with a lot of people so I can quickly see that becoming an issue. I think the best thing I can do is get new motherboard cpu psu and case, install them in one go and then look at graphics card and others. I was looking at getting an AMD FX 6100 and an AS Rock extreme 4 (good reviews on the motherboard and lots of features). I can't go intel because of the cost. I might shop around for a phenom and see if I can drop one of those in to the AS Rock but I'm not too sure.
Laptop: Dell XPS 15 | GT540m | i7 2620QM | 6GB Ram | 750GB 7200rpm HDD|
Desktop: i3 | AsRock Z77 Pro3 | CM Storm Enforcer | Silverstone Strider Plus 750watt | Random HDD's from scavanged PC's set as dump storage |
To get: 8gb Mushkin Blackline/Redline Ram | GT560Ti | i5 2500k or equivalent ivory bridge | XSPC Rasa 750 WC Kit
<insert deep thought provoking comment here>
Story of my life: <presses enter> Syntax Error

#12 vandreadstriker

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 01:55 AM

Well I did some revising earlier today (forgot to post) I needed a new PSU anyway its way too outdated.The original plan was to have the case so that I can have something to work in but now the motherboard case and cpu will be bought together. I was originally going to buy the case and PSU together but, I'll just put the PSU to one side and use my laptop for now. It is very outdated but you can't complain with free. I'm not going to run it open air; I live in a house with a lot of people so I can quickly see that becoming an issue. I think the best thing I can do is get new motherboard cpu psu and case, install them in one go and then look at graphics card and others. I was looking at getting an AMD FX 6100 and an AS Rock extreme 4 (good reviews on the motherboard and lots of features). I can't go intel because of the cost. I might shop around for a phenom and see if I can drop one of those in to the AS Rock but I'm not too sure.


At this point of time, Z77 boards are already on sale and so will IB on the 29th. My suggestion is you wait for them (it's only 17 more days) while trying to save up as much as you can since by that time, retailers would most likely lower SB chips. That would be a better choice over the FX6100 for overall performance.

"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe." - Albert Einstein

 

-Olden Golden-

AMD Phenom II X4 20 BE | ASRock M3A790GXH/128M | 4GB DDR3 1600MHz CL8 | Palit GTX460 Sonic 2GB | FSP 600W | Xigmatek Achilles S1284W