PC Upgrade

  joebloggs1 21:59 07 Nov 05

Wanting to upgrade an eMachine 170 (About 3 years old from PC World - Spec is Celeron 1.7 128 mb Ram 40Gb Hard drive - on-board graphics). Mainly Intenet and office, odd bit of light gaming. Thinking of buying bundle from Novatech. This is AMD Sempron 2800 SOC 754, Heatsink and Fan, 512MB RAM, Soca Motherboard. Going to add 80GB hard drive and FX5200 graphics card. All comes to about £215. Does this seem reasonable, and will it be a worthwhile upgrade to current spec. Don't want to spend the extra £50 going to 64 bit, but understand this could be done later if required.. Any thoughts, particularly on whether I will see a decent performance increase

  Totally-braindead 23:13 07 Nov 05

You would see a significant difference but not perhaps in things like word processing and the like but in gaming and any program that makes the sysytem work fairly hard. But I would like to point out a couple of things that in my opinion are poor in your choice, the hard drive you have chosen is quite low capacity in modern terms and for just a few pounds more you could get perhaps a 120 or even a 160 gig drive - worth considering. Also whatever drive you do buy make sure its the faster 7200 rpm drive with a 8mb cache as that will make some difference to the speed. The other thing is the choice of graphics card, I realise you say you just do a bit of gaming but with a FX5200 card if you try to play any of the new games it would just not be fast enough. You'd be better off spending a bit more and getting something like a ATI 9800. Also another thing is you make no mention of operating system. A friend of mine had an Emachines PC, in fact I think he still uses it but the OS, Win ME in his case was locked to the PC and cannot be used on any other PC. I wish to point this out as you may have to budget for a new operating system as well.

The trouble about upgrading is unless you can use a lot of the components you already have it can work out more expensive than buying a new system and in your case that may be the case, especially if you have to buy Windows XP as well. If I was you I'd have a good think about this as your PC may not be the best thing since sliced bread anymore but its by no means a dinosaur. If it does all you want at the moment then perhaps you should wait another 6 months or a year and then see whats on offer. I can't help feeling that after a fairly short period of time getting the new computer you have specified you may be a bit disappointed.

  Forum Editor 23:19 07 Nov 05

all you need to do is add a case and you'll almost have built yourself a new computer.

The answer is yes, you'll notice a performance increase, but I would seriously consider the cost effectiveness of throwing all this money at an upgrade. You might get better value in the longer term if you wait until your budget runs to a brand new machine - just adding some more RAM to your existing setup will boost performance.

  joebloggs1 00:00 08 Nov 05

Thanks, for the detailed answer - I have experience of a FX5200 PC (on a ATI Athlon 2400+ system with 512MB Ram)and it plays games adequately enough for my needs. I see ebuyer has a 9800 for about £65 but thats £37 more than the FX5200 and all adding to cost. The hard drive is 7200 rpm, and I thought I could put the existing 40 gb drive in as a slave to increase storage.
I had assumed I could re-use operating system wihich is Windows XP but wil have to look at that point.
Re comment on buying a new PC - One of the issues I had with this machine is the difficutly upgrading components and I thought by doing it this way I could add the odd component here and there as required rather than going for another new PC.

  DANZIG 00:03 08 Nov 05

I'm in the same position (ish)

I have a 1.7 Ghz machne with a 64Mb Geforce MX400 Graphics card. It came with 40 Gb of Hard drive space (Very Full Now).

I have upgraded the RAM to 314Mb (I think) by puting n another RAM stick.


IF, I bought another external hard drive (say 80 Gb) and somehow upgraded my RAM, would my PC work any better?

  Totally-braindead 00:10 08 Nov 05

See your point there about the upgrading. You could use the existing hard drive as a secondary in fact thats what I did when I built the PC I have now. I'm not fond of many of the manufacturers machines because of the point you made about upgrading parts, though I believe this is not so much the case these days. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

The last PC I built for a friend of mine was using a Novatech barebones unit and hes very happy with it. The only bits from his old PC I ended up using was the optical drives, CDROM and CD writer. The rest was useless in the new setup. Apart from keyboard mouse and monitor of course.

  Totally-braindead 00:16 08 Nov 05

DANZIG please start your own thread, it gets very confusing when other people ask questions then when people answer you don't know who the replies for. Its not as simple a question as you might think. Start your own thread please.

  joebloggs1 00:18 08 Nov 05

Totally-braindead - the last sentence is about my position. thought I could re-use optical drive (CD/RW and DVD combi), floppy, monitor, keboard and hopefully the case (although new mb might not fit, which seems to me to be one of the problems with the machines that PC wrold etc have) and may end up adding this. Also existing case doesn't have any front USB ports and a budget case for £23 has a 300 watt power supply and a couple of front USB ports.

  Totally-braindead 00:28 08 Nov 05

The PC I built cost £240-250 and that included a new hard drive and a copy of Windows XP OEM. But I'm not sure if Novatech still sell this version of Windows as Microsoft have changed the licencing rules and the Novatech website seems to be down again so I can't check.

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