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Need Help Upgrading Computer

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by dannajo, Jan 4, 2005.

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  1. dannajo

    dannajo Thread Starter

    Joined:
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    I really need to upgrade this computer. I'm having a lot of problems with it, freezing up and just not working right. Is there a website that will help in this process, as far as what is compataible with what?

    I use the computer for basic stuff, surfing the web, selling on Ebay, word processing, etc. Eventually I'd also like the ability to transfer my home movies to DVD, but this can wait for now.

    My husband likes to play games, currently he's into Counter Strike.

    This is what I have now, that I want to upgrade:
    P4 1.3 ghz
    Motherboard is ECS P4 VXMS
    Chipset is VIA VT 8753 Apollo P4X266
    NVIDIA GeForce2 Ti
    512 mb pc133 sdram
    40gb western digital HD, I have a 60gb I could use, but I'm thinking I'll need at least an 80 or a 120?

    These are the components that I'd like to keep if it's recommended:

    HP Cd writer (4x2x24x)
    Samsung DVD rom sd 612 (12x 40x)

    I also have a Creative SB Live Sound card, would you recommend upgrading this?

    I have a Realtek 8139 series PCI NIC, I'm ashamed to say I'm not sure what this is?

    I think I've included everything. I have a 300W ATX mid tower case, full size for P4 and AMD. I'd like to use this if possible, but not sure how to tell if it's compatible with other components, or if it will be big enough.

    The only thing I know for sure that I want is an AMD processor, and probably an ASUS motherboard. Any other recommendations on the motherboard would be appreciated.

    TIA, Danna
     
  2. fishhookz

    fishhookz

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2004
    Messages:
    158
    NIC is network interface card or ethernet or just network. For cable or xDSL or local network.

    The majority of PC gamers would favor AMD CPUs. Me too. You could just take a look at some people's signature and get an idea of what parts to get.

    Your sound card is quite good.

    NIC doesn't matter much since cable/DSL is up to 3Mbps in North America, that is. or 5-10Mbps in Korea. NIC typically does 10-100Mbps.

    CD Writer and DVD drive look ok to me.

    40gig hard disk is ok. Most games take 1-2 gig max. each.

    What I'd recommend to you are:

    CPU: AMD 2500+ or Mobile 2500/2600 if compatible with motherboard
    MOBO: Asus A7N8X or Deluxe, DFI NFII Infinity, Abit NF7-S V2 (not anything else), Epox 8RDA3, look for nForce2 chipset
    RAM: One stick of 512MB or more PC3200 DDR400 RAM (Kingston Value RAM a good start)
    VIDEO: Radeon 9600 Pro (preferred), or geForce 5600/5700 FX

    Find them at your local dealers or newegg.com, zipzoomfly.com, whatever.

    Read the manuals. Put them together on the motherboard anti-static bag on its box on a sturdy desk. Touch the power supply before power on. Find someone to watch you if you haven't done it before. Your 300W power supply may or may not be enough.

    Finally, tell your husband to try Enemy Territory which is a 3D shooter, and free. It only plays online. Quite a lot of people are still playing.

    Good luck.
     
  3. Conrad747

    Conrad747

    Joined:
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    your cpu is now out of production, i think the fastest it got to is 2.0 Ghz. i am including a link for you to read if you want to upgrade your machine or you could just build your own. happy reading.
    http://www.tomshardware.com/cpu/20040830/index.html
     
  4. dannajo

    dannajo Thread Starter

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    Thanks for the recommendations. So I don't need the NIC? We have a wireless network with our 3 pc's up and running.

    What about my case? Is it okay, or do you need more info about it?

    I'm going to tell hubby about the Enemy Territory 3D shooter, thanks.

    Thanks for the link Conrad, I'm going to check this out. I may have more questions later.

    TIA, Danna
     
  5. dannajo

    dannajo Thread Starter

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    I checked out the link conrad. I think it will be best to just replace the mobo and processor. Thanks for the link though, it's interesting.

    Danna
     
  6. DoubleHelix

    DoubleHelix Banned

    Joined:
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    Are you sure you need to replace hardware on the computer in order to fix the problem? Some freezing problems are caused by spyware or viruses. Have you checked for those? Reinstalling Windows would be cheaper than replacing hardware.
     
  7. dannajo

    dannajo Thread Starter

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    Another question about the processor. How do I determine the socket, speed, cache, FSB I need?

    On the Mobo what is the nForce2 chipset? Do I look for that on all of these mobo or just the last one? How do I tell if the mobo and the processor are compatible?

    Will the manuals that come with the hardware be enough to put everything together for a first time computer builder? Any suggestions for websites with instructions? Finally what about O/S? Where is the best place to get XP, and should I get the OEM version? Do you recommend home or professional?

    Thanks, Danna
     
  8. Cheerio

    Cheerio

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  9. dannajo

    dannajo Thread Starter

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    doublehelix, I run spybot all the time, and keep the computer pretty clean, at least I think I do. It's been making a funny noise too. I thought it was the hd, but I unplugged the hd and it still makes the noise. I'm not sure what it is. It freezes more often when my husband is playing his games. The computer works fine for me, but hubby gets frustrated, and that drives me crazy. I'll try reinstalling windows too, and see if that helps.

    I'll post a hijack log, but first I'm going to run spybot and adware.

    Thanks for the links cheerio.

    Danna
     
  10. fishhookz

    fishhookz

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2004
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    "How do I determine the socket, speed, cache, FSB I need?" - the dealer website would list this info. Match this and the one of the mobo.

    "On the Mobo what is the nForce2 chipset?" - the most popular among gamers.

    "Do I look for that on all of these mobo or just the last one?" - pick any mobo i listed, your all set.

    "How do I tell if the mobo and the processor are compatible?" - download the manual from the manufacturer site. Otherwise, just get 2500+, which is the most compatible.

    "Will the manuals that come with the hardware be enough to put everything together for a first time computer builder?" - Quite enough. Better look for any video or pdf file on the CD BEFORE installing.

    "Any suggestions for websites with instructions?" - Google it.

    "Finally what about O/S? Where is the best place to get XP, and should I get the OEM version? Do you recommend home or professional?" - Does not matter unless someone in the house is a programmer, who would prefer Pro.
     
  11. Conrad747

    Conrad747

    Joined:
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    before you buy any stuff, try to save your important files to a cd and reformat your HD. a friend had a problem just like yours and it got better after reformatting his HD. see if that fixes it.
    building your own is easy and fun. just make sure you research the motherboard you are trying to buy and don't buy on impulse or if pushed by a salesman. you can stilluse most of your hardware excep;t for the ethernet nic card since most new boards comes with it.
    if you have questions about what you are trying to buy post it here and alot of members will be happy to help you with your selection. good luck.
     
  12. dannajo

    dannajo Thread Starter

    Joined:
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    Thanks for all of the help everyone. Things are getting clearer and I think I'm understanding more about this whold process.

    I won't rush into anything, and I have been researching for awhile now. I'm very interested in doing this myself. I will most likely buy all my parts online.

    The only question no one has answered for me is about my case, unless i overlooked it in a post somewhere. I think it will be fine. How do I determine if it will hold the mobo? I can't seem to find the model anywhere online. It's a few years old.

    Thanks again!
     
  13. dannajo

    dannajo Thread Starter

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    Conrad, I've saved all my important files already, and I may try the HD reformat first and see if that helps. I did have it done about 2 years ago and it ran a lot better.
     
  14. fishhookz

    fishhookz

    Joined:
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    Conrad747, good advice. I've been keeping an eye on a new video card for a year. :)

    Sorry I must've missed the case question. If the power supply has an ATX connector (look at the print-out on the power), then your board should be ATX size. And the case should be ok with new boards. Since you don't seem to overclock, so the case isn't an important issue. Still, I'd ask you to look inside and find 1 or 2 fan bays that hold fans in the lower front and upper back. Then get 1 or 2 80mm case fans. That's, if you're upgrading the PC.

    I'd say reformat and reinstall windows. Your old PC can still run half life in low resolution, and do internet well. Get a free anti-virus and anti-spyware.
     
  15. dryworm

    dryworm

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2003
    Messages:
    53
    if you ask me you should just rebuild the whole thing. you can get a cheap case from circuit city, for 30 you get a powersupply and the allu case, through in a nice cpu/mobo combo, put alll that in, buy a 160GB harddrive from bbuy for 30, and use whatever you already have. the best of luck.

    ps: the prices are for illinois

    pps: how old is yer husband? just wondering =D

    ppps: good placed to buy stuff: newegg.com and tigerdirect.com (the things on sale)
     
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