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Looking for an upgrade, need some help

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone,

My friend got a Gateway FX7020 a couple years back; but now he is going off to college and is looking for a few upgrades. He asked me to help him out because I am majoring in CS, but I figured before I go and tell him what to get that I would get some suggestions here.

His monitors resolution is 1650x1080, so he doesn't need a lot of graphical horsepower.

For the people too lazy to follow the link, his current specs are:

CPU: AMD Phenom™ 9600 Quad-Core @ 2.3GHz

MOBO: NVIDIA® GeForce® 6150SE (The website says this is the chipset, but they don't have a section for motherboard, so I assume this is the mobo)

RAM: 3072 MB DDR2, 667 MHz

GPU: NVIDIA GeForce 8800GT 512Mb

PSU: 400w generic

OS: Vista 32bit



So here is what I was thinking; he is going to be getting Win7 64bit, so I was originally thinking of recommending 8GB's of RAM. After looking at the chipset though, it says it only supports a max of 4GB's. Does anyone know if this is true?

As for the rest, I told him he doesn't really need to upgrade his processor considering it is a Quad core, but I recommended to him that he get either:

560ti/570 or a 6870/6950

and along with that a new power supply. The reason I don't recommend anything any beefier is that he isn't playing at 1920x1080 or any higher than that.

Does that sound like a good upgrade path to recommend?

Edit: As for price range, he told me he wants to spend less than 200~250 for the graphics card, and I have no clue how much he is looking to spend for RAM and the PSU.
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post #2 of 12
In terms of RAM i would use the website Crucial.com to find his RAM. they have a scanner that will give him compatible RAM and also some specs Ex. max RAM support

i just got a GTX 560 ti and it kicks butt. that would be about 240$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130604

The Gtx 560 Ti needs a minimum of 500 watt power supply. look on newegg and find a PSU around 600-750 watts and you should be good.

i don't know how big your case is but i do know that some of the stock builds i have seen wont fit some standard PSU's so just think about that
    
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post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Munroe7;14527593 
In terms of RAM i would use the website Crucial.com to find his RAM. they have a scanner that will give him compatible RAM and also some specs Ex. max RAM support

i just got a GTX 560 ti and it kicks butt. that would be about 240$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130604

The Gtx 560 Ti needs a minimum of 500 watt power supply. look on newegg and find a PSU around 600-750 watts and you should be good.

i don't know how big your case is but i do know that some of the stock builds i have seen wont fit some standard PSU's so just think about that

I'm pretty sure his case would fit a new PSU. So for that resolution I'm looking at a 560 or a 6850 right?

Thanks for the help, +rep.

and Bump biggrin.gif
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post #4 of 12
max is 4g on that board, no sense in upgrading its ram
http://www.crucial.com/store/listparts.aspx?model=FX7020&Cat=RAM

make sure the case will fit a standard power supply first and has room for a huge gpu

if not moving it into a case could also cause problems if the board isnt a standard atx layout

could also use a better cpu cooler, again if there is room in the case
post #5 of 12
Personally I'd start from scratch and keep the 8800GT. It's a decent card still. Obviously not the greatest but back in the day it was pretty kickass. I actually still have one being used in my house (because the 9800GX2 broke and we needed a quick replacement for until we upgrade that rig.... frown.gif). You can do the following for $500 AR:

PII X4 955: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103808
4GB DDR3-1600: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231444
620W PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371048
Gigabyte 990X mobo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128510
1TB HDD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822152185
Lian Li K58W: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811112238

Remove HDD and Case to save $130 if you will reuse the current case+HDD (or don't need extra HDD space).
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GISX-R
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post #6 of 12
Good GTX 560 ti with factory OC ... and Lifetime warranty

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130604

For power supply all you need is a quality psu. This will run any single gpu out there ....

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371048

As for ram... all you need is 4 gb ... I got 4 gb in my system...i run everything crysis 2, MSN, google chrome .... and i jump back and forth...and it barely even uses 2-3 gb of ram.

Only thing I am concern is your bottleneck with the CPU. I know its a quad core but its a very out dated quad core. I don't think generic motherboards can let you OC that CPU. So your video card might be bottle neck.

Another thing that might comes into mine is the slow ram speed of 667 mhz.... that half of the industry standard of 1333 mhz.

Lastly your harddrive might be old and dated too.

As someone said... maybe look into the whole system upgrade. But if cash is tight...upgrade the PSU and Video card for now...you will surely get a good boost of performance...just it might be stuck at one point due to older cpu, ram, and hard drive
Edited by mcc21 - 8/12/11 at 12:59am
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MCC
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Samsung 840 120 gb SSD Samsung Noctua NH-D14 Windows 7 Ultimate 
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post #7 of 12
I recommend keeping the 8800gt.
Sell the ram, board and cpu.
Get am3 board and phenom II
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Seagate 1TB Seagate 1TB Sony DVDRW stock 
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post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone, +rep when I get to a computer.

So it seems like everyone is suggesting that he replace his whole system; but keep the 8800? He doesn't want to play games on low anymore, so I thought a graphics card update would be most sensible.
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HAF 932 
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My System
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HAF 932 
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post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by CovertCover;14547515 
Thanks everyone, +rep when I get to a computer.

So it seems like everyone is suggesting that he replace his whole system; but keep the 8800? He doesn't want to play games on low anymore, so I thought a graphics card update would be most sensible.

Hmm... yes and no....
yes you need a new cpu...hence new mobo and ram.... but then even with better cpu/ram/mobo... you still won't get much fps in your games due to the fact your gpu is 'old' People say focus on your cpu/ram/mobo first is because those things will bottle neck first....but with the new set up at least everything else like internet etc will be a lot better...your gpu won't 'bottleneck' things its just you will get 'slow' performance in the game.... but later down the road your friend have more $ can simply focus on gpu ....and not worry about anything else
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MCC
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post #10 of 12
For your purposes the i3-2100 will be faster than any Phenom II.
    
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