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Upgrade suggestions for a friend's old budget rig

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
The young cousin of my wife has an oldish rig and would like to play some recentish games on medium setting.

He has;
Athlon 64 4200+
Only 1 gig of ram in 2 slots (512MB DDR2)
A Nvidia GeForce 7100 GS (never heard of it, but obv a $30 card)
and is running Windows 7 32bit

At the moment he can't even play Portal 1, I would like to get him up to Portal 2 (he will only be running a res of 1280x1024).

I know that 1gig of ram is way too little for Windows 7, esp running games, but I would like to know the following.

1) Will an extra 2 sticks of 512mb be ok, or should we look at throwing out the current ram and replacing with 4gig?

2) What graphics card would you suggest to replace the 7100GS. Obviously a card that will make sense in this rig, no point sticking a HD6850 in there, right?

Ok, thanks for any suggestions.
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post #2 of 20
From my experience with my "old" rig with 2GB of RAM it gets by with games at 1920x1200 and a GTS 450. Not sure what your budget is, but if you want to get another GB of RAM and get an inexpensive video card, looking at $150 tops?

I play Portal 2, SCII, HoN, TF2, L4D2 and it all plays well enough; 95% of the time over 30fps.
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post #3 of 20
1. Get at least 2GB, 1GB each slot.
2. 9800GT perhaps?
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post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by amang View Post
1. Get at least 2GB, 1GB each slot.
2. 9800GT perhaps?
So 4 sticks of 512 (given that he already has 2) is not going to be as good? More chance it will be less stable, or what?

9800GT sounds good though, I hear good things about it, especially for an older/budget rig.
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post #5 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aziraphael View Post
1) Will an extra 2 sticks of 512mb be ok, or should we look at throwing out the current ram and replacing with 4gig?
I would recommend 4GB. Depends on his motherboard. Does it have 4 slots ? If so - 2x2GB.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aziraphael View Post
2) What graphics card would you suggest to replace the 7100GS. Obviously a card that will make sense in this rig, no point sticking a HD6850 in there, right?
Indeed. Perhaps the Radeon HD 5770 (which I recommend) or the HD 5670.
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post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 
The BIOS has four slots but maybe that doesn't mean anything. I will obviously check everything out physically next time I visit. I was also considering the HD5770 too.
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1090T 880G Extreme3 Gigabyte HD6850 8GB Eco G.Skill 
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Corsair TX650 Antec300 
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1090T + HD6850
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Corsair TX650 Antec300 
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post #7 of 20
Just to clarify- the CPU (Athlon 64 4200+) thats the dual core X2 right? I don't think they made a single core 4200+ but figured I would check.

I would definitely shoot for at least 2gb of ram. If the motherboard supports 4gb and you can afford it, go for it.

The videocard upgrade will probably depend on how good a power supply is in the system. Check the Model/Wattage.
Edited by BinaryDemon - 5/4/11 at 5:42am
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post #8 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aziraphael View Post
The BIOS has four slots but maybe that doesn't mean anything. I will obviously check everything out physically next time I visit. I was also considering the HD5770 too.
The HD 5770 would be better for the price but the HD 5670 doesn't need any extra power cables, so it would be fairly more simple.
If he has a somewhat weak PSU or any without a 6-pin connector, the HD 5770 may be too much.
Also, unless it's not powerful enough, the Radeon HD 5570 is great, and can be found with a passive cooler.

Have you considered upgrading the PSU while you're at it ? If need be, of course.
Edited by p4p3r - 5/4/11 at 6:06am
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post #9 of 20
2Gbs is plenty of RAM for most any game out there. When I ran 3 GBs on my current rig, even with win 7 x64, I never even came close to running out of available memory.

Id suggest you get another two 512 sticks, provided you have 4 slots, and get a decent video card. Something along the lines of a 4870 or a gtx 260 (216 core). That'll give you enough power to play all but the most demanding games at a very high quality.
The 4870 and 260 can be had for cheap enough and are both fairly powerful.
Edited by BlackOmega - 5/4/11 at 5:58am
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post #10 of 20
if it where me i just built a new rig. Alot of nice pcs can be built on a budget. but if that really isnt a option i might suggest.
ATI Radeon HD 5450 1GB card you get those for around 50 bucks
or you go for the more expensive nivda i dont like and i prefer ati but you try
NVIDIA GeForce GT 430 if you want you can get a 1gb card starting at 64 bucks. Now for the ram i think you should get 4gb but you could for 2gb but 4 is generally rock solid if your not really doing anything over the top. You can get a nice set of patriot gaming ddr2 4gb ram for around 60 bucks so that puts around 110 roughly. Pretty good for working on a budget but there is one you have to keep in mind that if you want to stay with 32bit your mostly gonna have to go for 2 or 3gb as 4gb of ram wont show up on a 32bit system so if you dont want to change to 64 bit you should most likely got for 3gb so your in the middle of 2 and 4 and dont have to change from 32bit to 64bit.
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