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Help with friend's pc upgrade please

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
So my friend's hard drive died couple weeks ago. He's been due for an upgrade so I guess this is a good opportunity to do so.
I'm not sure what parts he used except for his PSU and CPU. His 3+ year old rig goes something like this:
Case: Gigabyte ATX Mid (Bad airflow and possibly bad cable management too. PSU mounts on top so it sucks up hot air from CPU/mobo)
Mobo: ??
CPU: AMD Athlon II x2
RAM: 2x2GB (unknown brand, speed, and latency)
Video Card: integrated with Mobo (or CPU. definitely integrated though)
HDD: ??
PSU: Rosewill 600W RD600N-2SB-SL-BK
Monitor: small OEM LCD HP monitor (11-12" maybe) and most likely with a small resolution

I was thinking maybe reuse his case, RAM, and PSU. He has a VERY tight budget of 200 USD without monitor upgrade (300 USD with new monitor).
He says he's sick of dual core and wants quad core.
He uses his pc for streaming videos, web browsing, and minor-moderate gaming. He usually focuses on 1 game at a time.

His current game system requirements:
Minimum Requirements
CPU: Pentium 4- 2.4GHz or better
RAM: 2GB or higher
VGA: ATI Radeon 9600 XT or GeForceFX 5700 with 256 RAM or better

Recommended Requirements
CPU: Intel Pentium E2140/E2200 or better
RAM: 2GB or higher
VGA: ATI Radeon HD 3650 or better or GeForce 8800GT or better

However this game has a memory leak so it requires much more RAM and/or CPU power than stated. At times, he will want to have 2 clients of this game open simultaneously.

He might switch over to Diablo 3. So I'd say allow him to run D3 at medium-high settings
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post #2 of 11
If you can get to the microcenter in Westbury or Yonkers, you might be able to do something worthwhile. Also, I'm assuming the RAM is DDR3, otherwise you're going to need another $15-35 to replace that.

You can re-use your power supply without concern, though apparently the reviews say it's not the quietest model.

At Microcenter: pick up an fx-4100 bundled with a Gigabyte GA-78LMT-S2P ($90)
http://www.microcenter.com/site/products/amd_bundles.aspx

Now neither the CPU nor the board is all that great, but they are cheap & you're not otherwise going to get a modern quad-core with your budget. You might consider adding a Xigmatek Gaia (currently $20 at newegg) later on (no budget for it now) if you want to overclock. I would not overclock without an aftermarket cooler on this board.

More on the board (included for reference purposes if you later choose to overclock):
http://www.overclock.net/t/1132529/gigabyte-ga-78lmt-s2p-overclocking

Then add in a real video card for $100, though you'll have to go used if you want something with a little oomph:
http://www.overclock.net/t/1331066/fs-ega-gtx-470-price-drop
(as a used piece, there is some risk - I cannot guarantee the seller myself. Also, deal may disappear.)

Re-using your HDD will likely suck in terms of loading times, but you have no choice.

Tower upgrades (CPU, mobo, GPU): $190.
The GPU will be the biggest deal. That'll make a bigger difference in games than anything else.

Recommended monitor upgrade (this goes overbudget, but if you can save up, it would be well worth it over a generic $100 monitor):
BenQ GW2450 (24" 1080p AMVA with relatively fast response) - $160
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824014299

P.S. If getting to the microcenter is a pain, you'll have to stick with a good, modern dual-core. This won't be a problem for D3 or most modern video games, so you shouldn't get too hung up on quad-core.
http://us.ncix.com/products/?sku=63934&vpn=BX80623G540&manufacture=Intel
http://us.ncix.com/products/?sku=73210&vpn=GA%2DH61M%2DDS2H&manufacture=Gigabyte&promoid=1187

Edit: Oh, lol you said in your OP the hard drive died. Well that changes things. You're pretty much going to have to give up on something: processor upgrade, GPU, or monitor upgrade in order to afford a HDD ($55):
http://us.ncix.com/products/?sku=63468&vpn=ST500DM002&manufacture=Seagate&promoid=1306
Edited by MisterFred - 12/11/12 at 10:18am
    
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post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MisterFred View Post

If you can get to the microcenter in Westbury or Yonkers, you might be able to do something worthwhile. Also, I'm assuming the RAM is DDR3, otherwise you're going to need another $15-35 to replace that.
You can re-use your power supply without concern, though apparently the reviews say it's not the quietest model.
At Microcenter: pick up an fx-4100 bundled with a Gigabyte GA-78LMT-S2P ($90)
http://www.microcenter.com/site/products/amd_bundles.aspx
Now neither the CPU nor the board is all that great, but they are cheap & you're not otherwise going to get a modern quad-core with your budget. You might consider adding a Xigmatek Gaia (currently $20 at newegg) later on (no budget for it now) if you want to overclock. I would not overclock without an aftermarket cooler on this board.
More on the board (included for reference purposes if you later choose to overclock):
http://www.overclock.net/t/1132529/gigabyte-ga-78lmt-s2p-overclocking
Then add in a real video card for $100, though you'll have to go used if you want something with a little oomph:
http://www.overclock.net/t/1331066/fs-ega-gtx-470-price-drop
(as a used piece, there is some risk - I cannot guarantee the seller myself. Also, deal may disappear.)
Re-using your HDD will likely suck in terms of loading times, but you have no choice.
Tower upgrades (CPU, mobo, GPU): $190.
The GPU will be the biggest deal. That'll make a bigger difference in games than anything else.
Recommended monitor upgrade (this goes overbudget, but if you can save up, it would be well worth it over a generic $100 monitor):
BenQ GW2450 (24" 1080p AMVA with relatively fast response) - $160
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824014299
P.S. If getting to the microcenter is a pain, you'll have to stick with a good, modern dual-core. This won't be a problem for D3 or most modern video games, so you shouldn't get too hung up on quad-core.
http://us.ncix.com/products/?sku=63934&vpn=BX80623G540&manufacture=Intel
http://us.ncix.com/products/?sku=73210&vpn=GA%2DH61M%2DDS2H&manufacture=Gigabyte&promoid=1187
Edit: Oh, lol you said in your OP the hard drive died. Well that changes things. You're pretty much going to have to give up on something: processor upgrade, GPU, or monitor upgrade in order to afford a HDD ($55):
http://us.ncix.com/products/?sku=63468&vpn=ST500DM002&manufacture=Seagate&promoid=1306
hm why not AMD A series?
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post #4 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by itzzjason View Post

hm why not AMD A series?

You will get better performance, typically, going with a CPU + Discrete GPU over any APU. It is also the budget, you aren't going to get the same level of performance out of an APU in your budget.

The card he linked to in the market place for $100, if it is still available, is a pretty solid card and capable of 1080P gaming very well. It would be a good match to what he suggested.
    
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post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by itzzjason View Post

hm why not AMD A series?

A-series are expensive. (An a10 is at least $170 with mobo). For the same price you can get a Pentium + discrete GPU that will provide more performance. Or in this case, the fx-4100 + GTX 470.

Don't get me wrong, sometimes the economics work out for it. But the pentiums are just so cheap, and with no bundle deals at microcenter, they're just not worth the money for most gamers.
    
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post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
He said he doesn't want used parts; only brand new. I normally could drive to Microcenter but not sure about now
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post #7 of 11
You can get something like a Radeon 7750 for under $100 new. It just won't be as powerful as a 470. Then again, you will have a warranty, etc. As for driving to microcenter, well, only you can decide how much of a hassle that is to you. In my original recommendation thread I posted a dual-core pentium & mobo you could go with from newegg for a similar price as the microcenter deal.
    
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post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MisterFred View Post

You can get something like a Radeon 7750 for under $100 new. It just won't be as powerful as a 470. Then again, you will have a warranty, etc. As for driving to microcenter, well, only you can decide how much of a hassle that is to you. In my original recommendation thread I posted a dual-core pentium & mobo you could go with from newegg for a similar price as the microcenter deal.
i'll consider the 7750 but his monitor's max resolution most likely isn't that high. how do i find out his max res?
he insists on having more than 2 cores
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post #9 of 11
You mean other than googling his monitor? Or right-clicking on his desktop and clicking "Resolution Settings" to see what the max possible is?
    
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post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MisterFred View Post

You mean other than googling his monitor? Or right-clicking on his desktop and clicking "Resolution Settings" to see what the max possible is?
i don't have access to his monitor. only he can do that for me and he's computer illiterate. he wouldn't know what to google since it's an old (i wanna say OEM) monitor. and he can't right click his desktop cause his hard drive died
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