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Upgrading my computer?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by TreyDawgMT, Feb 12, 2015.

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  1. TreyDawgMT

    TreyDawgMT Thread Starter

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    All,

    I have a small Gateway form factor computer from a few years ago. It's a Gateway SX2801. I'm trying to play SimCity & SimCity: Cites of Tomorrow. I know I really should just build/buy a new computer, but I'd like to limp along if possible.

    It has a Acer WG43M Motherboard. From what I can gather, it has the L775 chipset, and can take some upgrades, namely those listed here - http://www.findlaptopdriver.com/cpu-acer-wg43m-support-list/ I think. So, I could buy, for example, the Core 2 Quad Q9550 on eBay, and that should work.

    There is one PCIe x1 and one PCIe x16 slot. From what I can tell, I can buy any PCIe 2.0 or 2.1 graphics card and it should work. However, since this is a small form factor case, I will need the low profile card?

    Also, adding a new CPU and a new Graphics card, I will also need a new PSU. That is where I think I'm having the biggest issues. I can't figure out which PSU's will fit. Currently I have a 220W that looks kind of like this http://www.atxpowersupplies.com/250-watt-power-supply-DPS220UB-A.php. Is it possible to get a 400-500W PSU that will fit?

    Thanks guys!

    Matt
     
  2. flavallee

    flavallee Trusted Advisor

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    Matt:

    I'm not a gamer nor a hardware upgrade expert, but I'll give you "my 2 cents worth" anyway.

    Because a small form factor or slimline case is small and cramped, it lacks ventilation and is prone to heat buildup, especially when exposed to the demands of gaming.

    crjdriver and Triple6 and some of the other hardware experts here can give you better input and advice.

    ---------------------------------------------------------
     
  3. TreyDawgMT

    TreyDawgMT Thread Starter

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    flavalle - I totally agree. I used to build computers a lot, but it has been probably 7 or 8 years since I did last. I hated small form factor cases back then. It's what I have now, however, and I'm trying to figure out if I can do it without buying a new case which then would require a new motherboard from what I can tell, etc. I'll probably end up going that way, but that's a lot more money than I'd like to spend!
     
  4. flavallee

    flavallee Trusted Advisor

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    Which processor and graphics device does it currently have?

    How much RAM does it currently have?
    (It looks like it supports up to 8 GB of DDR3-1333)

    ----------------------------------------------------------
     
  5. TreyDawgMT

    TreyDawgMT Thread Starter

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    Stock it has a 3.00 gHz Intel E5700 Pentium Dual-Core processor, not too shabby, but not the best.

    It has 6 GB of RAM, which should work just fine for what I want.

    The real problem is the onboard video card. It is an Intel(R) G45/G43 Express Chipset Integraged video card with only 64 MB of dedicated video RAM. THAT is what is just killing me on any game I try to play.

    I did just remember, I have an old computer I just found. I built it myself a few years back, and I remember something was very squirrely about it, but I don't remember what. I just ended up buying what I have now after trying to fix it with no success. The case is in decent shape, has a pretty decent power supply (Ultra X-Connect 500W ATX PSU). However, the Motherboard/CPU are **** anymore (A Gigbyte GA-M61P-S3 mobo and some AMD A64 dual core 3800+ processor w/only 2 GB of RAM). I supposed I could consider upgrading that, but I'd probably need a new HD for it, can't remember what's in there.

    Matt
     
  6. TreyDawgMT

    TreyDawgMT Thread Starter

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    I'm beginning to think in my head here (which can be a very scary thing!) Do you think it'd be possible for now to pull this MOBO/CPU out of my current form factor case and put it in my full size case. I can't figure out which case it is at all, it's fairly old. I'd move over the HD from the current case also, and hook it all up to my existing Ultra PSU. I could then get just a video card upgrade and be able to play my games until I get around to being able to afford a true upgrade w/the MOBO/CPU. Problem is, I can't tell if I could get the Acer WG43M to fit in a full sized case.
     
  7. flavallee

    flavallee Trusted Advisor

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    Matt:

    You're talking over my head when you mention upgrading or switching motherboards, processors, power supplies, etc..

    It's something I've never done, so I have no input there.

    -------------------------------------------------------
     
  8. TreyDawgMT

    TreyDawgMT Thread Starter

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    Frank,

    You should try it sometime. Not really that hard. Especially if you aren't trying to be a cheap a-hole like I am right now!

    Matt
     
  9. flavallee

    flavallee Trusted Advisor

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    $250.00 - $300.00 refurbished Dell mini-towers with the hardware and horsepower that handles my needs do fine for me.

    I'm not into gaming or anything else that needs a lot of speed and horsepower, so I've never had the need to upgrade hardware, except for RAM and graphics/ethernet cards and hard/disc drives.

    -----------------------------------------------------------
     
  10. TreyDawgMT

    TreyDawgMT Thread Starter

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    Ok, I've decided to get a new motherboard/CPU combo, and a new video card in that older box. So, I'd like the thoughts of some guys on here.

    I'm still on a decent budget, and like I said earlier I'm really just looking to play SimCity : Cities of Tomorrow, along with SimCity 4, Age of Empires 3, and maybe Diablo 3.

    These are the MOBO/CPU Combos I'm looking at, what are your thoughts? I have always bought AMD in the past, due to their lower costs (they're $114 here vs $159 for the most part). I'm not opposed to the extra for Intel if it is really better though. I also usually have bought Gigabyte in the past, I don't really have any experience with MSI or Asus for motherboards. The RAM in all these specials is rated fairly decent on Amazon and New Egg, at least that brand. (I'm not finding the blue RAM on New Egg, rather the Red & Black).

    Thanks!

    AMD A6-5400K/MSI A58/4GB DDR3 -
    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=9549249&CatId=14

    AMD A4-7300/MSI A58 MB/4GB DDR3 -
    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=9546121&CatId=14

    Intel® Pentium® G3240 Dual-Core 3.1GHz CPU/Gigabyte GA-B85M-HD3 mATX MB/4GB DDR3 -
    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=9162395&CatId=14

    Intel® Celeron® G1850 2.9GHz Dual-Core CPU/MSI B85-G41 PC MATE ATX MB/4GB DDR3 -
    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=9083286&CatId=14

    Intel® Celeron® G1850 2.9 GHz Dual-Core CPU/Asus H81M-PLUS mATX MB/4GB DDR3 1600 -
    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=9593897&CatId=14

    Intel® Celeron® G1850 2.9GHz Dual-Core CPU/Gigabyte GA-B85M-HD3 mATX MB/4GB DDR3 1600 -
    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=9083278&CatId=14
     
  11. replay

    replay

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    1st...... forget about the celeron combos u dont want a celeron
    2nd......the two amd apu combos, the mobo's do NOT have sata 3 ports which trust me you do want to have
    even if u decide not to get a ssd right now, in the future u have that available
    with the prices right now on ssd's i dont know why anyone wouldn't buy one with a new build !!!!
    3rd.....the intel combo has the 6gb sata ports AND the choice to upgrade the processor to LGA1150 socket; supports any 4th generation Intel® Core™ i7/ i5/ i3

    so out of the list .......intel g3240 is the winner
     
  12. TreyDawgMT

    TreyDawgMT Thread Starter

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    Replay, thanks! Didn't realize the lack of SATA3's, I've been looking at some many options... I knew Celeron CPU's used to be crap, wasn't sure if they had been improved in the last 5 years, guess not you're telling me!

    I have many many GB of data right now, so I can't afford a SSD for all my storage needs. I did think, possibly, about getting a 120-250 GB SSD and then supplementing w/a 1TB HDD until I can afford more SSD storage. Put my operating system and all apps/games/etc on the SSD. Any thoughts on that?

    Also, any other thoughts on a quality Mobo/CPU/RAM (4GB at least) setup for around $100-200 other than those I listed? I'm open to suggestions, these are just some I saw.
     
  13. replay

    replay

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    Yes..... U would keep the ssd lean and put all data. Music/pics/files on a cheap HDD 1or2 tb drive etc
     
  14. TreyDawgMT

    TreyDawgMT Thread Starter

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    Thanks guys for the help. Ended up spending a lot more than I originally planned, but have a pretty decent system now. Got the Gigabyte motherboard I was looking at before with an i3 processor, 4GB RAM, the GeForce 650, a 250GB SSD and a 1TB HDD. Overall kick butt compared to the old one!
     
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