The MagicBox Forums  

Go Back   The MagicBox Forums > General Topics > PC / Games / Internets Discussion

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-19-2007, 10:49 PM   #1
snickrep
i like hot dogs & juice
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Florida, United States
Posts: 65
Upgrading Gateway Desktop

I just claimed a gateway desktop my parents were going to throw out. I figured I might upgrade it so it can play some of more recent games at decent frame rates and settings. I need help on what I should upgrade. Here are the specs:

Intel Pentium 4 530 HT Processor (3.0 GHz, 800 MHz Bus, L2 Cache: 1 MB)
512 MB PC3200 of RAM (400 MHz)
200 GB 7200 RPM SATA hard drive with 8 MB cache
PCI Express x16 Expansion slot for desired video card
Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition operating system

Additional Information:

300 Watt Power Supply

I don't consider myself an gaming enthusiast. I've never had a high-end PC. The best PC I have had (spec-wise) is my HP notebook, which consists of an AMD Turion 64 X2 (1.6GHz, 256KB + 256KB L2 cache, up to 1600Mhz system bus), 1024 system memory, 100GB hard drive, and a geforce 6150 (256MB).

I do however enjoy programs such as photoshop and I like to experiment with 3d apps such as Maya PLE, gMax, and blender. I mainly play older games and my most recent PC game was Dreamfall: The Longest Journey. I plain on purchasing Half-Life 2 soon and possibily Oblivion. I want to try the Bioshock demo before I buy as I hear it demands alot out of your PC.
snickrep is offline   Reply With Quote
Connect With Facebook to "Like" This Thread

Old 09-20-2007, 12:17 AM   #2
Vegetto
Alive
 
Vegetto's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Utah
Posts: 9,393
that isnt too bad at all really, upgrade the ram def though, at least 1 gig, also get a higher wattage power supply then a decent video card like the 7800, its like 120 bucks and it rocks
Vegetto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-20-2007, 12:39 AM   #3
snickrep
i like hot dogs & juice
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Florida, United States
Posts: 65
Thank you for your post. Are you refering to the EVGA GeForce 7800GT 256MB? If so I am considering it.

Also, I have a couple more questions. To start off, I was wondering if it was possible to replace the current fan in my gateway with a more quiet fan.

Second, I have a HDTV that can connect to a PC and I'm pretty sure the 7800 supports High-Def. I was wondering if there is a special chord I must buy to connect my HDTV to my gateway. Also, considering my HDTV will work with my PC, will the speakers on my HDTV work with the gateway, or again, will I have to get a special audio cable (or just buy some speakers)?

And finally, I'm not sure what type of RAM to get. I was opting for 2 gigs, but I can only find a set of 2x 1GB DDR PC3200, which are pretty expensive for a set of older ram. I'll go ahead and post what my gateway supports. This is an area I really need help with. Any suggestions would be great;

Quote:
Installed: 512 MB PC3200 (400 MHz)
Memory technology: Four DIMM sockets that support the following:
2.5 V (only) DDR SDRAM DIMMs with gold-plated contacts
Unbuffered, single-sided or double-sided DIMMs with the following restriction:
Double-sided DIMMS with 16 organization are not supported.

Quote:
2 GB maximum total addressable system memory.
Minimum total system memory: 128 MB
Non-ECC DIMMs
Serial Presence Detect
DDR 400 MHz and DDR 333 MHz SDRAM DIMMs
Support for dual channel memory mode
Thanks again for posting. I posted a similar thread on the gameFAQS website and didn't get much help. Everyone there mostly said that the specs are extremely outdated. I tried explaining to them that I'm not a hardcore gamer, but wanted to upgrade my gateway for decent performence.

Last edited by snickrep; 09-20-2007 at 12:44 AM.
snickrep is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-20-2007, 04:51 AM   #4
Vegetto
Alive
 
Vegetto's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Utah
Posts: 9,393
yeah I meant the GeForce 7800GT, and, yes you will need cables to hook to your TV, S video I do believe, though im no expert on the HD crap,

im not sure if the audio would work though, will have to wait for others to post such as Alucard.

same with the other questions, Alucard, post your expert advice!
Vegetto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-20-2007, 01:05 PM   #5
Alucard
Registered User
 
Alucard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Australia
Posts: 32,625
Ok I'm here! Actually I'd really lbe interested in knowing what model that motherboard is so I can give you an idea of whether you need to replace it at some stage if you plan to go dual core.

But yeah like vegetto said, get some ram and change the powersupply so you can get a more powerful video card. Heres some I'd recommend...


I dont want to recommend any ram for the moment cause I dont know what your board can handle. But you can safely bet that 2gig of ram will cost you about $80-100. Its not much considering, but if you're planning to upgrade to vista at some stage then you'll probably want 4gigs. The problem here is your cpu. You'll definately want to up that to something slightly higher, possibly dual core. But yeah, currently $80-100 for 2gigs of good ram, not cheap crap.

I recommend this powersupply. Its not too pricey, can run two cards in SLI if you REALLY want, but also has everything needed for whatever you need and is a good brand. $109 for 600watt is pretty good. 3 year warranty too. Which means you can keep it for a while for future 8800+ cards.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817341001


Video cards, lets see.. I dont think the 7800GT is worth it to be honest. For around $135 at newegg, the price is good but the performance isnt as good. The 860GT is around the same strength as it and thats only $110. Otherwise I'd recommend the 8600GTS for $150 if you're not worried about paying the little extra, considering you were looking at the 7800GT.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814127286

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814127284

I really would recommend the second link for the 8600GTS. That'll keep you gaming quite well for a while. The HDTV thing you mention would have to go through a DVI connector which the video card has. I honestly dont know if the card itself comes with a cable, but I'd probably say no. If your tv didnt come with one then just wait till you get the card to make sure. As for sound, you'll need seperate cables going from your soundcard to your tv. Otherwise speakers would be easier.

Do you have a soundcard or are you using onboard sound? And do you plan to buy a good sound setup for your pc? If you cant because of family living in the house and worried about loud noise, I'd recommend a really good pair of high quality headphones. I have both. Expensive gorgeous lovely sounding headphones for me, but if I got someone over then I have the pc sound system which I also have my tv and consoles running through.
Alucard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-20-2007, 02:48 PM   #6
snickrep
i like hot dogs & juice
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Florida, United States
Posts: 65
Thank you for you input. I'm not quite sure what motherboard is in my machine. I've tried searching the model of my gateway, which is the 507GR model, and I can't seem to to find anything in reference.

Also, research has given me some concerns that apply to video cards and power supplies. From what I gathered up, it is best not to change the power supply/fan. If I were to change it I wouldn't have a clue what power supply to get though I've had this one in mind.

As for video cards, I've been given advice elsewhere that I should stick with geforce 7600-7900 graphic chips as they would be best suited for my current setup. The 8600 and beyond demand more CPU power or so I've learned from others.

So I guess as of now I am debating whether or not I should keep my current "noisy" 300-watt power supply. My other option is getting involved in what is considered risky and buy a new power supply.

Again, thank you for your help.
snickrep is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-20-2007, 03:20 PM   #7
Chronos
fuggit
 
Chronos's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Pasadena, California
Posts: 3,188
i know someone online who ran his p4 until the price dropped on the q6600. he was using a high end ATI card, and it worked fine with the p4. I believe you only really need to concern yourself with the mobo (for future upgrades), and the power supply if you're videocard is the concer. I would recommend the 8600 as well. With that you will run games like BF2 excellent, just don't expect to run bioshock at 1920x1200 (if your HDTV supports that), but in general everything would run fine using the 8600, and like Alucard said it's only 30$ more than the 7800. Most brand new high end pc's/laptops come with the 8600 so think about that.

If anything just a RAM upgrade for now and you would notice games run alot lessy jittery. It's definetly not risky upgrading the PSU, videocard. Mobo can be a pain in the ass tho, and processors are ever so fragile (according to Alucard, seska broke his trying to install it).
Chronos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-20-2007, 04:55 PM   #8
Alucard
Registered User
 
Alucard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Australia
Posts: 32,625
I'm unsure what you mean about being worried about the power supply. All it is is unscrewing the box from the case and putting the newer one in its place. Its probably the easiest part of upgrading your system.

About the cpu thing, yes thats true, but it also applies for the 7600/7900 too. A video card works better the higher the cpu is, but some cards need a higher cpu to work better. I doubt if you got the 8600gts that it would perform worse then the 7600/7900. Infact I'm more then possitive it wont. the only thing different is the 8600gts will get substantially more powerful when you upgrade your cpu later, unlike the 76/7900 series. And ofcourse the 8600gts is moe powerful and dx10 compatible. The other two are pretty much what I'd like to call relics.

The cpu advice is only to be used if you're tight on money. But you'll be tighter down the track when you have to upgrade your card again. I'd strongly recommend the 8600gts, or wait till january if you're planning to buy a whole new setup. You could probably sell this current system to help fund a monster system. Just to give you an idea, a really awesome computer setup would cost you around $1300. And thats stacked up to perform ANY game at max detail for the next 3 years easily. MAX detail. You'd be able to lower a couple things passed that if you really wanted. New monitor lol
Alucard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-20-2007, 11:58 PM   #9
Chronos
fuggit
 
Chronos's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Pasadena, California
Posts: 3,188
join the club


ooooo so you want to connect your PC to to the ole TV, eh? What you need is a cable that has DVI on one end and HDMI on the other end. The only thing is without help i believe the resolution will not transfer. It will be de interlaced to 480i. You need a more complicated, more expensive setup in addition to the cables to get the closest resolution to display on your TV (it would be nice if HDTV signals matched that of PCs, but they don't. 1080i/p is closest to 1920x1200, and 720p is closest to 1280x1024). I've seen them before. it's essentially a box that goes between the cables (you dont need the aforementioned cable if u go this route) . Very important for gaming, but if you're cool with a slightly blurry picture then the cheaper cable's your answer.

edit: you don't have to go DVI > HDMI. Alot of HDTVs have VGA connectors right there, so you could just do that. Don't spend extra money on name brand cables either, find the name brand one you need and buy the exact knockoff as they are the same. There's no such thing if you talk to the right person about "power refresh rate in events of storms" that monster cable labels their shit and tells their sales reps to train the store people to say and sell more monster shit.

Last edited by Chronos; 09-21-2007 at 12:21 AM.
Chronos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-21-2007, 12:37 AM   #10
Alucard
Registered User
 
Alucard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Australia
Posts: 32,625
Or just buy a proper flatscreen monitor which will beat any hi-def tv at equal resolution. Ofcourse thats expensive slightly. Well. Not too expensive. And you can leave the tv for consoles and use the pc at the same time.
Alucard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-21-2007, 01:12 AM   #11
Chronos
fuggit
 
Chronos's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Pasadena, California
Posts: 3,188
yup pc monitor will give you all the resolutions. mine for example supports 720p, but not 1080i or p. 1280x1024 is all you need really, 360 and ps3 games are native 720p and then upscaled to the higher resolutions, including games like Gears. Consoles are meant for the TV tho, which is why i returned my VGA cable i got to play xbox. it works great, you're just not on the couch so it feels off.

now, if i had a sick computer chair. . . . .but i'm dreaming too many other payments to make.
Chronos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-21-2007, 01:15 AM   #12
snickrep
i like hot dogs & juice
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Florida, United States
Posts: 65
so you are saying that a 7600 GT will look bad on my 26' Sharp Aquos HDTV?
snickrep is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-21-2007, 01:28 AM   #13
Chronos
fuggit
 
Chronos's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Pasadena, California
Posts: 3,188
not bad. just worse than it would look on a proper pc monitor UNLESS you buy the convertor thing and they're expensive as a PC monitor. it just depends on what you want out of it. if you don't really use pc's for gaming then just upgrade the ram imo.

So you could just get a relatively cheap vga or dvi to hdmi cable but it will be at a low base non HD resolution and will look blurry compared to what you would see on a decent monitor. Also you couldn't adjust the resolution for games. It is what it is. The little $200 box allows the signal to be transfered properly by doing....i don't know lol. But you can adjust the resolution by directly adjusting the box. what it does is automatically adjust the signal TO THE BEST/CLOSEST RESOLUTION YOUR TV SUPPORTS. So for example 720p would be close to 1280x1024, a common pc resolution, but not exact as 720p does not equal 1280x1024 lines, and don't expect me to look that up lol but off the top of my head i'd say 720p=1250x800, so really you're STILL needing to get a monitor if you're like me and want shit to work properly.

UTFSE for more. My advice is buy a GOOD QUALITY 1280x1024 proper pc display, upgrade the PSU (very easy), graphics card (almost as easy), and RAM (trained chimp could do it). But don't do anything until you check out your mobo and see if you're better off doing what alucard said and selling shit off to build an awesome pc.

btw the reason i know this is the audio visual forums...once u learn how to ask correct questions and not HOW DOES I GET MY PS3 TO WORK IF I HAVE NO HDMI WTF DAWG11!

Last edited by Chronos; 09-21-2007 at 01:40 AM.
Chronos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-21-2007, 02:21 AM   #14
snickrep
i like hot dogs & juice
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Florida, United States
Posts: 65
I think I'm just going to use my 26' Sharp Aquos, it supports PC use so why not use it? My HDTV has 2 x HDMI ports, the display format is 720p and the resolution is 1366 x 768.

The video card I am getting, a XFX Geforce 7600GT 256MB has two DVI ports, and a HDTV/S-VIDEO TV-out port. The card comes with an HDTV Adapter, S-Video Cable, and a DVI to VGA/D-sub Adapter. Does the card come with all the necessary supplies I need to hook up to my HDTV or do I need to buy anything else (like cables, etc).
snickrep is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-21-2007, 02:38 AM   #15
AmishNazi
Skag Killer Extraordanaire
 
AmishNazi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 3,136
S-video won't look bad on that TV since it's max resolution is 1024 x 768. If your TV has that just use that it's cheaper and you already have the cable. Plus at that resolution you can have more enabled graphics wise on a older card.

However if you are a graphics whore ignore what I said.
__________________
Reader, suppose you were an idiot.
And suppose you were a member of Congress, but I repeat myself.

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.
- Mark Twain
AmishNazi is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:23 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.