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Tech Helproom

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Re-Build Computer


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Evening, right I don't even know where to start ehehe but here it goes... In 2006 I built a computer which would last me at least 5 years, it's now almost 6 years, and poor little guy is struggling...

The thing is, I use to know quite a bit of computers hardware and software, but this was 6 years ago... recently I found out that manufacturers don't do any more parts to desktop... which lead me to a trip to the unknown...

I'm completely lost, Motherboards, drives, cables, everything is looking more and more from the twilight zone for me (yes I'm getting old too).

I know there's a budget for everything including build a PC from scratch like mine but since mine is quite old I just want to upgrade it so I think I wont need to spend a big amount of money (like £1000) since it might be easy to find some parts... I don't want it for gaming or so but mainly I need it touse AutoCAD (don't know if you recognise this software but involves 2D and 3D drafting, with lots of rendering)...

I would like to ask you guys that are definitely more experienced then I am, what Motherboard, Drives, etc would I need to get to achieve this. I'm not asking a top of the charts piece of hardware but more like near the bottom parts but better then what I've got.

Can you help me with this?

Here follows what I have:



Name: AMD Sempron 3400+

Code name: Manila

Brand ID: 6

Package: Socket AM2 (940)

Technology: 90nm

Core voltage: 1.360 V

Specification: AMD Sempron(tm) Processor 3400+

Family: F

Model: F

Stepping: 2

Ext.Family: F

Ext. Model: 5F

Revision: DH-F2

Instructions: MMX(+), 3DNow!(+), SSE (1,2,3), x86-64

Clocks (Core#0)

Core Speed:2022.5 Mhz

Multiplier: x 9.0

Bus Speed: 224.7 MHz

HT Link: 898.9 MHz


L1 Data: 64 KBytes - 2-way L1 Inst.: 64 KBytes - 2-way Level 2: 256 KBytes- 16-way

Cores: 1

Threads: 1


L1 D-Cache: 64 KBytes (2 way set associative, 64-byte line size)

L1 I-Cache: 64 KBytes (2 way set associative, 64-byte line size)

L2 Cache: 256 KBytes (16 way set associative, 64-byte line size)



Model: ALiveXFire-eSATA2

Chipset: ATI Xpress 200 (RS480) Rev.01

Southbridge: ATI SB600 Rev.00

LPCIO: Winbond W83627EHF


Brand: American Megatrends Inc.

Version: P1.00

Date: 09/14/2006

Graphic Interface

Version: PCI-Express

Link Width: x8

Max. Supported: x16



Type: DDR2

Channels #:Dual

Size: 2048 MBytes


DRAM Frequency: 404.5 Mhz


CAS# Latency (CL): 5.0 Clocks

RAS# to CAS# Delay (tRCD): 5 Clocks

RAS# Precharge (tRP): 5 Clocks

Cycle Time (tRAS): 18 Clocks

Ban Cycle Time (tRC): 24 Clocks

Command Rate (CR): 2T


Slot 1 & Slot 2 contain:


Module size: 1024 MBytes

Correction: None

Max Bandwidth: PC2-6400(400 MHz)

Timings Table


Frequency: 200 MHz

CAS# Latency: 3.0

RAS# to CAS#: 3

RAS# Precharge: 3

tRAS: 9

tRC: 12

Voltage: 1.80 V


Frequency: 266 MHz

CAS# Latency: 4.0

RAS# to CAS#: 4

RAS# Precharge: 4

tRAS: 12

tRC: 16

Voltage: 1.80 V


Frequency: 400 MHz

CAS# Latency: 5.0

RAS# to CAS#: 5

RAS# Precharge: 5

tRAS: 18

tRC: 23

Voltage: 1.80 V




Code Name: G71 Rev.A2

Technology: 90nm


Core: 450 MHz

Memory: 660 MHz


Size: 256 MBytes

Bus Width: 256 bits

This is all the information I found...I'm really lost guys and would really need a guidance from someone that definitely knows more then me. (which is easy eheheh) thanks for reading...and awaiting replies...

Best Regards


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You're star gengiscant.

Cheers for your help, despite never heard about Scan.co.uk it tunrs out a definitely good website...

Cheers for that mate.


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Hey Richard1980 I have not finished, the spec can still do with some tweaking.Is your XP Pro 32 or 64 BIT? for a start? 64 is better as you can double the RAM which I believe you need with Autocad.

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If your system was built in 2006 then I'm pretty sure you're using IDE optical drives, because the Gigabyte board has 2 SATA connections only as well as no PCI slot then if you planned to reuse the existing optical drive ,you'll have a serious problem (you can't put in an IDE adapter PCI card )click here

The matter is even worse if your existing HDD is an IDE, a new SATA HDD is inevitable and it's hard to get a reasonably cheapish one at the moment.

So please bear in mind you might need extra budget for a new SATA HDD click here as well as SATA optical drive. click here

And you may need this 20-24 pin adapter for your old PSU click here ,it could be a false economy to reuse a 5 years old PSU but it's your choice.

Lastly your NVIDIA GeFORCE 7900 GS should work in the new system if you're still happy with its performance with the AutoCad so that you can spend the new card's budget on extra accessories and change it later should you wish.

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Spec 2

Mobo: GA-H61N-USB3-B3 £70.33 LN41692

CPU: Intel CPU i3 2100 £89.97 LN36724

RAM: Corsair Memory XMS3 8GB DDR3 £38.16 LN33670

GPU: Quadro 600 Low Profile 1GB £154.78 LN 36556

Total £362 with postage. This has a far better graphics card for use with Autocad. Again I am assuming 64 BIT OS.

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It's a 32 not a 64... you reckon I should get the 64? if in that case I get XP Pro 64 shouldn't be roughly the same price as the Windows 7 64?

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big thanks Peter,

I was completely forgetting about cables and other things...

Hmm..graphic concerning, when I'm rendering stuff for work it's just not good... and it will crash...

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Spec 3

Mobo: Asus M5A88-M AMD 880G AM3+ £79.06 LN39766

CPU: AMD Phenom II X6 1075T £124.50 LN35083

RAM: Corsair Memory XMS3 8GB DDR3 1333 £38 .16 LN33670

GPU: Quadro 600 Low Profile 1GB £154.78 LN36556

That’s £406 with postage. This CPU is a six-core @ 3.0GHz (should be nice for mental ray rendering). So I am told.

Well spotted retep888 I should have thought of that myself, must have had a senior moment.

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Spec 3 did caught my attention, now related to what Peter said, plus, the need to acquire Windows 7, this may cause me to choose Spec 1 which already can give me a lot more advanced hardware then the one I have. And in a year/2 years or so I spend a bit more money on it.

What do you reckon genegiscant, would I be ok with Spec 1 for AutoCAD?



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As retep888 with that particular motherboard and if as he suspects you will have IDE connection on your hard-drive and optical drive then it will be necessary to change the motherboard. Something like this Mobo a little cheaper and you can fit the IDE adapter PCI card.

Personally I would go for a widows 7 upgrade which is about £85 from Scan or £38 from here Student.

I have been told by people who know about these things that the Quadro is the better card for Autocad but spec 1 will certainly be an improvement and one that you can upgrade as funds become available.

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You can use an IDE to SATA converter, which I have used in the past, and it did not impact on speed. If you do, make sure it's firmly seated. IDE to SATA. Hard drives are priced ridiculously high at the moment - panic buying and hoarding before Christmas.

You can cut your price on some of those boards by fitting 1X4GB RAM now, and buying another later... It will impact on performance, but can be updated later. I'd put the extra to getting the better motherboard and processor - which you won't want to update in a hurry.

I would try to opt for Windows 7 64, and not XP 64 (which is old, outdated, and has some serious shortcomings). However, you may (may...) be able to reuse your current XP, which would save you some dosh for now, Win 7 to be bought soonish.

As you are going along the build-your-own route, you may find it better to keep a continual process of updating going over the next few months & years, rather than getting all the expense at once. Things like memory and hard drive space can be updated without chucking the old away - processors, motherboards and the like are one-shot purchases.

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