Upgrading computer - is this good?

vbimport

#1

First of all, apologies if this is in the wrong section.

My brother wants to upgrade his desktop computer because it’s so slow, it’s unbelievable, but we’re wondering the upgrade bundle he’s been offered is a good one.

Presently, he has a Gigabyte Technology motherboard - GA-8S661GXMP (site says it

  1. Supports Intel® Pentium® 4 processor with HT technology
  2. Supports high efficiency DDR400 memory
  3. Supports AGP 8X interface for higher graphics performance
  4. Integrated MirageTM Graphics engine
  5. Integrated 10/100Mb Ethernet controller
  6. Integrated high quality 6-channel AC’97 audio )

512mb DDrPC2700 Memory

Intel Celeron ® 2.93GHz Model 4 Stepping 1 processor

The local computer shop is doing an upgrade bundle which consists of:

INTEL CORE 2 DUO E5300 PROCESSOR
2 GIG DDR2 667 RAM MEMORY
ASUS SKT-775 P5SD2-VM S/V/L
256MB ONBOARD GRAPHICS
7.1 SOUNDCARD

For the princely sum of £115. Is this a good deal? Does he need to replace all that they’re offering in the bundle?

Any advice would be much appreciated.

Thanks,

Alison


#2

Hi,

indeed, upgrading means replacing motherboard, CPU and RAM. Additionally, even drives and add-on cards may have to be replaced:

[ul]
[li]Modern motherboards have only support for two Pata (IDE) devices, so some drives need to be repplaced by Sata drives.
[/li][li]Some modern motherboards don’t have floppy connectors :eek:
[/li][li]AGP is dead, so there is a new VGA card required unless integrated VGA is used.
[/li][/ul]
I personally would have a look at AMD based upgrades - they are often the better deal in that price segment.

Michael


#3

I can add that while that is a respectable upgrade, it doesn’t take into the account that the old hard drive is not replaced. The older ones tend to be rather slow. Also the upgrades won’t allow any modern games to be played at any respectable speed.

Alison556, if the upgrades were to help play newer games then don’t go ahead with it. If it were to help web browsing and office tasks then its fine.

Is he or you capable of assembling a PC? We can help you select parts that would bring the PC up to speed, but it would require a decent budget.


#4

Thanks all.

He doesn’t play games on his PC - he’s got every other games console going! But, he said that maybe he’d like to play games if his system was capable of it! Can’t see it myself, but you never know.

He’s got an 80gig internal hard drive and a 320gig external hard drive (which isn’t being recognised by the computer at all just now after he tried putting a hub in but that’s a whole new story!).

I reckon I could probably put all the bits in - I’ve only done my memory and added a DVD writer to mine but many years ago (in the days of the 486!!) I did built a PC from scratch so I possibly could do it. The guy at the shop I priced that upgrade bundle at said they’d do the build for 20 quid but obviously if I don’t get all the bits from them, they might not do that.

Any advice greatfully received. I don’t understand why his computer has got slower and slower - I’ve cleared out as much junk software as possible and I know his memory is pretty poor at the moment but even mine wasn’t as slow as his when I only had 512 memory.

I did look at AMD but the guy in the shop said that Intel was better - and I do know that there are pro’s and cons for both - am I right in thinking that one is better for games while the other for web and general applications?

I was also going to reformat his internal hard drive and reinstall windows (xp home edition) to try and start it all from scratch - he’s had more viruses that I’ve had to get rid of than anybody I know! I believe he’s virus free just now but I thought a new start would be a good way to go.


#5

[QUOTE=Alison556;2468562]Thanks all.

I was also going to reformat his internal hard drive and reinstall windows (xp home edition) to try and start it all from scratch - he’s had more viruses that I’ve had to get rid of than anybody I know! [B]I believe he’s virus free just now but I thought a new start would be a good way to go[/B].[/QUOTE]

A very good way to go if you want to speed up the computer,especially if he has had as many as you are indicating.


#6

If you were to reformat and start fresh with the current system I would suggest replacing the HDD with something new. The HDD is probably whats slowing the current system down. This would be a good deal: Western Digital Caviar 320GB PATA 7200RPM 8MB

To make the PC capable of gaming would require a decent budget since video cards aren’t cheap, also a new power supply would be necessary.


#7

I didn’t even realise that the hard drive could slow a computer down! How do you find out what kind of hard drive you have in your system?


#8

You can run HD Tune to check your Hard Drive out

http://www.hdtune.com/


#9

If/When you do the fresh install make sure you put a good antivirus and firewall on the PC. Both can be had for free:

Avast Antivirus Free, all you have to do is register it and they give a registration code (done yearly).
Comodo free firewall, I use just the firewall option (definitely not their antivirus, and I disable all other ‘options’ other than the basic firewall).


#10

Sorry to have taken so long to thank everyone for their help - and continue with the questions!! I can’t get an answer out of my brother for love nor money - I tell him what’s advised and he just nods and tells me whatever I think best!!

Anyway, I think we’ll get him the new hard drive as recommended by eric93se but in addition to that, is the upgrade package that our local computer store offering good enough to improve things? Also, if he got that upgrade (INTEL CORE 2 DUO E5300 PROCESSOR, 2 GIG DDR2 667 RAM MEMORY, ASUS SKT-775 P5SD2-VM S/V/L, 256MB ONBOARD GRAPHICS, 7.1 SOUNDCARD) and then, in the future decided he wanted to upgrade his graphics/sound - would that still be feasible with the above?


#11

That MB that they want to sell you is very old and uses a SiS chipset. Ask them for an inexpensive G35, G45, G43 chipset based board, maybe they can give you a deal.

But yes that Asus board they want to sell you will work and accept a newer video card. Your old power supply would have to be updated if you wanted a beefy video card. An audio upgrade later on would be no problem. But if you use that older MB it will most likely not support a newer cpu, but the chipsets I suggested will.


#12

Just as a comparison a more modern upgrade for total (inc VAT) £146.84 (free shipping mainland UK). This would have high quality onboard audio, high quality onboard video much more powerful than the one offered but not capable of playing all modern games well. This would be upgradable in the future for all modern AMD cpu’s and video cards.

Asus AM3 AMD 785G ATX DDR3 Audio & Gigabit Ethernet M4A785TD-V EVO
AMD ATHLON II X2 240 2.8GHZ AM3
Kingston ValueRAM Memory/2GB 1066MHz DDR3 Non-ECC CL7 DIMM

Installing isn’t difficult and we can help, but you would also have to do a fresh install of your OS.


#13

Thanks for that info - I’d much rather get him the better upgrade.

Is AMD better than Intel then? I know one was better for gaming than the other? Am I right? The guy recommended the Intel - but then he would if he was trying to sell that!!!


#14

[QUOTE=Alison556;2472829]Is AMD better than Intel then?[/QUOTE]
AMD is usually better value for money - for the same amount of money you get a faster computer (or you get a system at the same performance for less money). A lot of people say that AMD completely and utterly sucks because Intels fastest CPU is more powerful than AMDs fastest - what they tend to neglect to mention is that Intels fastest (last time I checked) costs about five TIMES what AMDs fastest costs - and for that you get between zero and hundred percent performance boost, depending on what you’re running - but only if you also get a vastly more expensive motherboard, memory, graphics card(s) etc as well.

Another factor is upgradability - if you buy a Core2 system now you are likely to find it difficult to find faster CPUs that fits the motherboard within months. To get an Intel motherboard that supports future Intel CPUs, you’d have to get an expensive core i5 or core i7. As far as I understand from AMDs roadmaps, CPUs for AMDs current socket (AM3) will be available for at least two years, probably longer (those will also work in most AMD based boards made for the past several years).

[QUOTE=Alison556;2472829] I know one was better for gaming than the other[/QUOTE]
Only according to marketing people :slight_smile:

[QUOTE=Alison556;2472829] The guy recommended the Intel - but then he would if he was trying to sell that!!![/QUOTE]
If I was a dishonest salesperson (also known as a “typical” salesperson), I’d also recommend a more expensive solution that needs replacing sooner! (Of course, that would assume it is a knowledgable computer salesperson, also known as a “remarkably unusual” salesperson.
As someone said, the main difference between a used car salesperson and a computer salesperson is that the former knows that he is lying)


#15

[QUOTE=Alison556;2472829]Thanks for that info - I’d much rather get him the better upgrade.

Is AMD better than Intel then? I know one was better for gaming than the other? Am I right? The guy recommended the Intel - but then he would if he was trying to sell that!!![/QUOTE]

I can agree with what Aramchek had to say. Also realize to be considered a gaming computer you would need a video card, the onboard video can do basic games but is no substitute for modern gaming. Also with this Asus ‘M4A785TD-V EVO’ MB it would already have high quality audio so no sound card would be needed later on and money would be better spent on better speakers.