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  1. Joined : Jun 2015
    Posts : 4
    Windows 10 Preview
       29 Jun 2015 #1

    Help upgrading my PC


    Hi,

    I'm new here but was wondering if anyone could help. I've had my Alienware PC now for what seems like a lifetime & short of buying a new one I just want to upgrade this, however I haven't any idea where to start in terms of making sure everything I buy works with the other components & even if some parts need upgrading. I game on my PC hence why I got an Alienware but having a PS4 & XOne I mainly use my PC for strategy or simulation games so don't particularly need it to be boasting the latest Nvidia or ATI cards but still pack a decent punch. Apart from that it used as general PC browsing the web etc. I have included my specs for you guys to look at & hopefully recommend some parts, many thanks.

    CPU - Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU E8400 @ 3.00GHz
    Motherboard - ASUSTeK Computer INC. P5N-D
    BIOS - Default System BIOS
    Total Memory - 4.00GB
    Graphics - NVIDIA GeForce GTS 250
    OS - Microsoft Windows 10 Pro Insider Preview 64-bit 10074 Multiprocessor Free
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  2. Joined : May 2015
    Posts : 133
    Win 10 preview 10074
       29 Jun 2015 #2

    It really depends on what issues you are having with the computer - why you want to upgrade. I have the same processor and 4GB Ram in two systems. they do a great job as media servers (with a GTX750Ti and a GT640). The video card you have rather weak (a value-card NVidia calls it ) but you say you don't need any more power in that area.

    So I guess I would recommend first adding an SSD (128GB) putting the OS on it, and using the exiting drive for backup/storage.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3.    29 Jun 2015 #3

    What sort of money do you want to spend upgrading your system? I have just changed the wifes M/B, PSU, CPU, RAM, added a SSD and a 1TB drive for about £400 but of course that is over here.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  4. Joined : May 2015
    Posts : 133
    Win 10 preview 10074
       29 Jun 2015 #4

    AlanWade said: View Post
    What sort of money do you want to spend upgrading your system? I have just changed the wifes M/B, PSU, CPU, RAM, added a SSD and a 1TB drive for about £400 but of course that is over here.
    LOL - that's not an upgrade - that's a whole new system
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5.    29 Jun 2015 #5

    CountryBumkin said: View Post
    LOL - that's not an upgrade - that's a whole new system
    Nooo we kept the chassis (box) hahahaha and I gave her my old graphic card - a gtx 780
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  6. Joined : May 2015
    Posts : 1,376
    Win 10 14393.51
       29 Jun 2015 #6

    It's a fairly old system (2008), so you don't want to get too carried away.

    I concur that using an SSD for an OS drive would be a good investment. In the US, 120-128 GB SSDs are available for roughly $50. In the UK, that may be more like 50 GBP. (Sorry about that.) You may be somewhat limited by the 3Gbps SATA on your motherboard, rather than the 6Gbps of newer boards, but I think that it'd still be worthwhile.

    For a graphics card, you could consider one with DirectX 12 support. I don't recall the level of hardware support, but here's a list of nVidia cards with DX12 driver support:

    http://www.geforce.com/drivers/results/86510

    Some of the older cards may be available cheaply on Electronics, Cars, Fashion, Collectibles, Coupons and More | eBay . I'm too lazy to come up with a recommendation that is inexpensive but clearly superior to your GTS 250. A nice 750, perhaps? New, perhaps a 960. (Not that much more expensive.)

    4GB of RAM isn't a huge amount these days. The bad news is that the board uses DDR2, which is more expensive than the (completely incompatible) DDR3 that is the current standard. If you have two DIMMs installed, you could add two more 2GB DDR2 DIMMs to bring the total up to 8GB. (It's possible, but unlikely, that you have four 1GB DIMMs installed. You'd have to discard two or four to expand your RAM, to maintain the dual channel addressing.) Maybe 4GB of RAM is enough. If you were seeing frequent use of virtual memory (on your hard drive), I suppose that you'd be aware of it. (Extremely slow, relatively.)

    None of these are essential, as far as I know. If Win10 has drivers for all of your hardware, you may be perfectly happy chugging along with your current system, and saving to someday replace the whole thing.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  7. Joined : Jun 2015
    Posts : 4
    Windows 10 Preview
       29 Jun 2015 #7

    OK cheers all, I would be looking at maybe £500 abit more if it would make a substantial difference. I admit that memory might be the best option but would it be worthwhile to just upgrade the main board + memory as DDR3 is the current standard? Graphics only really need a small but decent upgrade as I still have a stack of games on steam to get through that are a year or 2 old.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8.    29 Jun 2015 #8

    if you are not a heavy video or Photoshop user you shouldnt need more than 8gig of Ram and that is for the latest games.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  9. Joined : May 2015
    Posts : 1,376
    Win 10 14393.51
       29 Jun 2015 #9

    originalses said: View Post
    OK cheers all, I would be looking at maybe £500 abit more if it would make a substantial difference. I admit that memory might be the best option but would it be worthwhile to just upgrade the main board + memory as DDR3 is the current standard? Graphics only really need a small but decent upgrade as I still have a stack of games on steam to get through that are a year or 2 old.
    Perhaps I'm being too literal-minded, but do you want to retain the old LGA 775 CPU? I think there are a few DDR3 motherboards that could use it, but your choice will be limited.

    You may wish to consider an LGA 1150 (Haswell) CPU instead. There's a tremendous range in CPUs available in that, from Celerons up through Core I7.

    Some AMD fans may be able to suggest a cost-effective system based on one of their CPU/integrated graphics packages. AMD appears to offer much better integrated graphics than Intel, but I'm not really familiar with them. (Haven't used an AMD CPU since the Athlon 64 X2 days.)
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  10. Joined : Jun 2015
    Posts : 4
    Windows 10 Preview
       30 Jun 2015 #10

    I'm looking to upgrade for little as possible depending on what needs doing though it sounds like memory & SSD for the OS is all I can really do. Except for just buying a new system.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


 
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