SEARCH

The How-To Geek Forums Have Migrated to Discourse

How-To Geek Forums / Build Your Own PC

not building but upgrading...

(6 posts)
  • Started 6 years ago by maxxjq
  • Latest reply from Budohorseman
  • Topic Viewed 3484 times

maxxjq
Posts: 9

i bought an hp a6300f back in march. it's not exactly the fastest and greatest pc out there, but it was what i could afford at the time. now i am thinking of upgrading a few things in it to try and get a little power out of it. as it stands right now, i mostly play music and the grand theft auto series on it, with the exception of san andreas. i'm not very updated on my games, i know... but what i am looking at doing is getting some games like half life 2 and grand theft auto 4 (when it comes out for pc).

so my question is, what are some things i can upgrade for better gameplay? my budget is probably going to be in the <$500 range...

current specs:
OS - vista home premium 32bit
processor - Pentium E2180 (C) 2.0 GHz
chipset - NVIDIA GeForce 7100 / NVIDIA nForce 630i
mobo - Foxconn MCP73M01H1 Napa-GL8E
memory - 2GB PC2-5300 DDR2 SDRAM
hdd - 500 GB SATA 3G 7200 rpm
drive - 16X DVD(+/-)R/RW 12X RAM (+/-)R DL LightScribe SATA drive
video - integrated graphics (sad, sad)
audio - High Definition 8-channel audio ALC 888S chipset

there are 2 available PCIE x1 slots and 1 available PCIE x16 slot...

any help would be awesome!

Posted 6 years ago
Top
 
ScottW
ScottW
Posts: 6609

Maxx, it looks to me as if you know what you need to do. The integrated graphics are the weakest link in the chain and you will get the biggest possible boost to gameplay by adding a graphics adapter in that PCI x16 slot. If you see the other thread where we are talking about the latest and greatest graphics chips, you will see that now would be a good time to pick up a "older" graphics chip where older is 6 - 9 months. An ATI Radeon 3850 or 3870 series GPU or a GeForce 8800 or 9800 series GPU. This will also save you money as the top end cards would take the whole $500 budget and probably create too much heat.

The other places to upgrade are RAM and CPU. You have enough RAM, and you can't squeeze much more out of Vista 32-bit. A CPU upgrade could help, but not nearly as much as the graphics adapter. Also, a pre-built system is always difficult to upgrade. It may not have enough power in the PSU, it may not be able to draw off the heat of a combined CPU and GPU upgrade, it may not have enough space for a big graphics card or a better CPU cooler.

Posted 6 years ago
Top
 
maxxjq
Posts: 9

cool thanks a lot! yeah i was actually looking at the 3850 yesterday. it's pretty much between that and the nvidia 9600gt. according to what i found online, my PSU is only 250w... i guess i should look into a new one. what would be a good one to go with and how do i know if a certain PSU will fit in my case?
i was also looking at CPUs last night and found this. seems like it would be a big step up. i have researched my mobo to see what it can support and found some RAM, too.

Posted 6 years ago
Top
 
Budohorseman
Budohorseman
Posts: 847

Power supplies all conform to the ATX specification, so it's just a matter of how much power you want. Anandtech has good reviews on power supplies, so there you can find info on good efficient supplies. As for the CUP, it's doubtful that you would notice much of gain with an increase of only 500MHz, so you may want to wait a bit on that upgrade. Since you are running a 32-bit operating system, the maximum amount of RAM you can have is 4GB (only about 3.2GB will be usable by the system). Seeing as how you already have two Gigs in there already you may want to just get 2 * 512MB (a 1GB kit), assuming you have two open slots for RAM.

Posted 6 years ago
Top
 
maxxjq
Posts: 9

i only have the 2 slots that each already have 1gb in them, was thinking of replacing them with the 4gb set. would an upgrade to vista 64-bit be a good idea to take full advantage of 4gb?

Posted 6 years ago
Top
 
Budohorseman
Budohorseman
Posts: 847

Kind of a coin flip on that one, but if you can't get any more RAM into your system it's probably not worth the effort.

Posted 6 years ago
Top
 



Topic Closed

This topic has been closed to new replies.