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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
ok.. i want to get my pc working better for gaming most people ive talked to said the most significant thing i can do is get a better graphics card but here is where im undecided

#1 i dont know if its worthwhile to get a better card then something else might hold me back like my memory or processor

#2 i dont know if its worthwhile to spend money trying to upgrade my current pc or if i would be better off trying to buy a new rig somewhere that would already have the specs i want

i want to be able to have the best i can afford but i want to spend as little as possible if that makes any sense . if i could spend maybe 300$ and be able to upgrade my pc to run the emulators i wanna run like the gamecube and ps2 emulators (which will run on my current setup but at bad speeds-like 30-40 fps)

and i wanna at least meet minimum specs to run most of the market games out there doesnt have to be maxed out but i at least want the games to run i never tried to upgrade hardware before (except swapping and adding hard drives) but theres a first time for everything

what do you guys sugest for an economy upgrade ? like what should i buy what video card would be apropriate for cost and quality i wouldnt think it would make sense to buy the best video card to slap in my aging system just for the other parts to be sub-par if i upgrade this pc i dont wanna pile a ton of money into it coz if i'm gonna spend 600$+ i might as well be looking for a new pc

so should i get more memory?
should i get a better video card?
will i need to buy a new processor?
will i need new cooling system?
will my motherboard even support better upgrades?
how can i learn more?
 

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CPU: Newegg.com - Intel Pentium Dual-Core E6500 Wolfdale 2.93GHz 2MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor - Processors - Desktops $100
Motherboard: Newegg.com - GIGABYTE GA-G31M-ES2L LGA 775 Intel G31 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard - Intel Motherboards $50
RAM: Newegg.com - G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL5D-2GBNQ - Desktop Memory $50
GPU: Newegg.com - ZOTAC ZT-96TES4P-FDL GeForce 9600 GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card - Desktop Graphics / Video Cards $80

Goes to $280. That's about $300 for you. Overclock if you want to. I'd recommend that as well. The CPU should not have any problem hitting 4GHz or even above.

That system should also meet requirements for most modern games. The GPU will surely pass PCSX2's GPU requirements and lets you crank in AA and high-resolution stuffs. Now... as for the PSU, make sure yours is at least 300W real output or you're gonna have to shell out an extra $50.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
does that mean pretty much totally replacing all the guts of my pc? will i be able to keep my vista? i'm sorta noob at hardware pretty sure its not gonna plug and play lol. any good sites to read up on it at or another forum site more specific to this sort of thing? this is like first attempt at hardware changing i need at least some kind of reference source. i was pretty sure i could install a new graphics card or memory or even the processor but the motherboard scares me. i want to do this. sounds like exactly what i want but i dont wanna trash my pc because i did something wrong i also dont wanna have to buy a new os or switch to linux at the moment i guess i really just need a little hand holding know a good site?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
by the way, i was looking at the specs of the aspire 5100 that i have which has the dual core processor it only has a 250watt PSU so most likely gonna have to shell out for that too but thats fine i just wanna make sure i dont spend the cash and botch the job.

i gotta wait till tax refund season to buy the stuff anyways so i have a month or 2 to decide exactly what im gonna do and research
last year i got 4200$ back this year i'm hoping for at least 3000$ i have to buy an oven, matress, couch and do some repairs on my vehicles but i expect to have 800$-1500$ left over but my wife is begging for a laptop and that means i gotta buy a wireless router also and the laptop so no idea how much ima have left... far to many variables to make a rock solid choice at the moment but soon... very soon... i'll be gaming hardcore :p

other good places to reference would be helpfull if you guys have any resources to share :D
 

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umm....Zotac? oO Sure?
They have been making solid products lately. In fact, I might question the credibility of the likes of EVGA and ASUS (some models, not all of 'em) over a Zotac board any day.

Did you know they made the best ITX board known to any man and monkey? :) It's capable of a quad-core and a HD5970... in ITX form-factor! That is... if those components fit into an ITX case.

i gotta wait till tax refund season to buy the stuff anyways so i have a month or 2 to decide exactly what im gonna do and research
last year i got 4200$ back this year i'm hoping for at least 3000$ i have to buy an oven, matress, couch and do some repairs on my vehicles but i expect to have 800$-1500$ left over but my wife is begging for a laptop and that means i gotta buy a wireless router also and the laptop so no idea how much ima have left... far to many variables to make a rock solid choice at the moment but soon... very soon... i'll be gaming hardcore :p

other good places to reference would be helpfull if you guys have any resources to share :D
You know what... wait until then and I'll recommend both a good laptop (psh... get a netbook. IMHO, not a lot of difference there... or at least not lately, plus they're dirt cheap) and some good PC components. If you have an extra $100 or even $200 to burn after all of the purchases, you can do some very hardcore gaming...
 

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Pilgrim
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Guys seems you have a little confusion with this poster.

He's talking about his laptop.

Acer Aspire 5100.

Look at his specs in his sig.
 

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Uh no apparently it's a branded desktop computer made by acer which means it has no possibility of upgrading without overhauling the system. i.e. it's cheaper to buy a new system.
 

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Guys seems you have a little confusion with this poster.

He's talking about his laptop.

Acer Aspire 5100.

Look at his specs in his sig.
The m5100 is a desktop PC.

Oddly enough they also have a Acer Aspire 5100 which is a laptop. In fact that's the POS laptop I had before.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
to be honest if i end up with 700-800 bucks left after i buy all my st00f i wouldnt mind just getting a new pc
but to be honest i thought the idea of tearing my pc all to hell and rebuilding it sounds like alot of fun but it would probly be a better idea to just build one from scratch if i just wanna make it a project to make my brother in law a gaming pc after the fact

my curiosity is can i get a faster amd processor and slap in here coz it has open pci slots for the graphics card coz then i could upgrade without messing up my os and also i wouldnt have to shell out for the mother board

http://img7.imageshack.us/img7/6748/computerproperties.jpg just a little look into why i'm thinking to upgrade graphics card and processor

could i just buy amd processor, the zotac video card and then i could see what that does. or is that a ridiculous idea? or is there even a better amd processor that will work with my current motherboard(Acer F690GVM motherboard )
this is my pc

http://www.acersupport.com/acerpanam/desktop/0000/Acer/AspireM5100/AspireM5100sp2.shtml

if its reasonable to move in this direction lemme know what you think like i said before just brain storming right now but i will be investing in somthing at tax time i know i want to put the graphics card in there if nothing else coz either way it cant hurt it right
 

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No sir, I don't like it.
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Newegg.com - Once You Know, You Newegg

^
You don't even have to spend $800 to have a halfway decent gaming PC. The above example is a proposed HTPC build that I made about a month ago and it is set to cost $403.93. (doesn't include shipping)

You could remove some things like the 2.5" to 3.5" bay converter and flash card reader and swap out the Bluray reader/DVD burner for a regular DVD burner (or just reuse your current one. You can also cannibalize your old hard drive as well. Doing this would shave off some more money so you can add that 9600GT and pay about the same. (hmm... actually less) The motherboard features onboard video, so if you want, you can use that in the interim. It uses an ATI 4200HD which is a good step up from the X1200.

I think you should hop on over to newegg.com, register with them and begin building wishlists like the one I linked. That way, you can get a better idea of what a custom build will cost you.
 

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From Love and Limerence
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You're honestly better off building new from scratch.

You could probably use the case, but the wiring (power buttons, etc.) may not be standard, and even if you could get it to work, I wouldn't go and build a custom after-market PC inside an OEM Acer. You're better off getting a new case, and that includes a new PSU too.

The one thing you could reuse is the hard disk, but again, you'd lose your old system (unless you have a hard disk to replace with it).

Your RAM is okay, but I'd get DDR3 and step it up to 4GB.

You'd also have to lose your current PC to use anything from it, rather than keeping it intact and passing it along to another person or for another use. Since you're doing this with tax return money and could probably afford a little more up front, it's well worth the trade off of not losing the current PC and having better parts. Obviously, though, prices, and maybe even the parts themselves, may be different about two months from now.

Case: Xigmatek ACXTASGARD ($49.99)
PSU: ENERMAX Tomahawk ETK500AWT ($69.99)
Motherboard: ASUS M4A785TD-V EVO ($99.99 w/ free shipping)
CPU: AMD Athlon II X2 240 ($58.99 w/ free shipping)
RAM: CORSAIR XMS3 DHX 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) ($94.99 w/free shipping)
GPU: XFX GeForce 9800 GT 512MB ($99.99 w/free shipping)
Hard Disk: Depends on how much space you want and how much you want to spend
Cooling: XIGMATEK XSF-F1251 ($6.49), or XIGMATEK XLF-F1253 ($8.99 x2 $17.98)

This doesn't include shipping (which is a killer on fans, believe it or not, so you may just want to go with the one, although I imagine the two LED ones would look nice in that case, I have them, unless you hate LED stuff). Some of the stuff has free shipping too. The total is $480.43 if you go with the one fan and minus the hard drive of your choice. Last I checked, $~550 wasn't that bad.

Alot of stuff like this is preference, so pick and choose. If you want to know my reasoning for any parts specifically, just ask. You may notice it's not the absolute cheapest around (you might to be able to shave off ~$50-$75), but if you're putting some of your tax return into this, there's no reason to cheap out on the whole thing. Splurge just a bit. Namely, I specifically made sure the PSU and motherboard were a bit above the rest for future CPUs and/or video cards, since that (and RAM and HDDs) is all you should realistically want to have to upgrade over a PC's life. You don't want to be in the same predicament again wanting to upgrade a GPU or CPU and find out the motherboard won't take much more, or the PSU isn't sufficient. You want those two parts to be able to take more than what you're buying at the the time, if possible. In any case, it's not even that expensive for what you get, and this is pretty much what I'd get if I was building a nice level AMD system right now (that is, if I was getting a dual core, although I'd go for quad core w/L3 myself, the Athlon II isn't bad at all).

Alternatively, if you want to spend less than what I'm suggesting, I'd listen to masta.g.86 for budget level AMD build advice (I could have went less if I tried, but didn't due to what I said above). runawayprisoner had a good Intel build, but I wouldn't recommend putting all of that stuff into your Acer case with it's PSU, and I'd say 2GB is cutting it these days for a new build. Otherwise, you could take his Intel base and use the case and PSU I suggested if you want to go with Intel.
 

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I'm not liking the voltage on that Corsair RAM. It is supposed to be 1.5v. Usually when the voltage is that high it is because the ram can't run at the rated speed at normal voltage. Plus if he were to put that in an i7 pc it might fry the cpu. The standard for ddr3 is 1.5v.

Newegg.com - G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL - Desktop Memory
Newegg.com - G.SKILL ECO Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBECO - Desktop Memory

One of those is good

Newegg.com - OCZ Gold 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1066 (PC3 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model OCZ3G10664GK - Desktop Memory

This is good if you want something cheap.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
is there any good place to order a ready made custum build like this or is that gonna toss away tons of cash?
i never tried before and i REALLY dont wanna buy like 500 bucks worth of parts and cant get it to boot or somthing
should i be worried about that or is it mostly just not as bad as i'm making it out to be?
i mean what are my chances of failing? and what do i do about an operating system?

would this be nice?http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboBundleDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.306543
ya know +http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150323 would i be good for a while with somthing like that? then just need an os

sorry if i go on and on but its fun to let my mouth water over what i'm gonna buy .make no mistake i'm going to have a nice pc at tax time one way or another :p and if i beat it around a little i know what to buy when i get my moneys

ok ive been browsing new egg for video cards and i been drooling my eyes are lighting up at the pretty graphics cards ... god i hope i have like 1000+ cash left over omfg I cant wait till january
 

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From Love and Limerence
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It's one of those "simple yet complex" things. If you don't care about the advanced or specific stuff, and the parts are compatible and you take basic measures (namely, making sure you handle stuff and are grounded), it's pretty simple. Retailers often charge $100 or more for costs on top of the parts themselves, and there's really nothing wrong with that, since they put time and effort into assembling it and so forth, but just expect to pay a good little bit more that would be ideally better put towards better parts if anything. As long as you know the basics already, it's worth learning the next step on how to do it, even if you'll only do it once, if you're going with a good PC and would like to save some money. It's not for everyone, however.
I'm not liking the voltage on that Corsair RAM. It is supposed to be 1.5v. Usually when the voltage is that high it is because the ram can't run at the rated speed at normal voltage. Plus if he were to put that in an i7 pc it might fry the cpu. The standard for ddr3 is 1.5v.

Newegg.com - G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL - Desktop Memory
Newegg.com - G.SKILL ECO Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBECO - Desktop Memory

One of those is good

Newegg.com - OCZ Gold 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1066 (PC3 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model OCZ3G10664GK - Desktop Memory

This is good if you want something cheap.
Oh yeah, I forgot about that whole voltage thing (though if he went with an AMD CPU, it should be fine, no?).

I guess the first two may be okay, but I don't like that OCZ option. I have the same memory (OCZ Gold Series), only the 2GB DDR2 version, and the heatsinks don't seem too sturdy. After about a year of use, on both of the modules, the ends of the heatsinks start pulling away and losing contact with the chips on the ends. Granted, it's not very pronounced, and only on one module on one side is it pretty much completely off, and nothing has happened yet, but I wouldn't get that again. They name it Gold to fool you. The Platinum and other series are the higher end stuff. I noticed it was the cheapest 4GB of DDR3, but I'd get something else personally.
 

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Well really, heatsinks aren't even needed and they are a big gimmick to trick people into thinking they are getting "enthusiast" products.

Do Memory Heat Spreaders Make A Difference? - Heat Spreader Test Results - Legit Reviews

Only a 4MHz increase in overclockability vs the best heat spreader and no heat spreader. This was with them pumping 3.6v to the memory over the original 2.6 stock rating. Memory simply doesn't get hot enough to really need heat spreaders, but the difference in price is small anyway so it doesn't save much money to not get ram with a heat spreader.
 

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From Love and Limerence
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Wasn't that with DDR(1) years ago? There's no way to tell if that applies to every model. I'm not talking about performance, but stability. I know they're not always necessary, but still, if memory comes with heatsinks that simply fall off too easily, I'd avoid them if it given the choice, and due to the vast amount of choices for RAM, I am. I am only speaking of my experience with the memory, however.

Also, it looks like Legit Reviews redid their website, and I like it alot better.It's very simple and straightforward without being bland.
 

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