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Need some tips on upgrading my compaq SR1630NX model!





Omega_Squid
okay, i am wanting to make my computer sutible for gaming, and i have a really good core system to build off of!

Current Specs are:
- 512mb RAM
- 180 Gig HD
- AMD Athlon 64 3500+ 2.2 gh CPU

Other Things:
- 9 in 1 media reader
- CD/DVD Burner Combo Drive w/Lightscribe
- ATI XPRESS 200 Integrated Graphics
- 300 watt PSU (might need to be replaced with stronger one)
- Default Case (want to get a nicer gaming case)

I dont have too much money currently, but I am looking at replacing the case, RAM, and adding a Graphics card to play games. I am not a heavy gamer, but i sometimes buy up to date 3D games, so I need a decent card!

What i really am looking for is a list of things to get on the computer, so i can write them down and save up for them! I REALLY want a gaming case, but i need one that will be compatable with the motherboard!

I know that there is 1 PCI express slot that i can put the graphics card in, and was wondering if i should get a soundcard, because sometimes my speakers make popping noises when music is played!

If possible, please also give me links that could help me out some, I really appreciate any help you can give! Very Happy
TheGeek
Well the budget is always the limiting factor in these things.

If i were you first thing should be the RAM, go for another 512MB stick of RAM for the system. You will be glad for the upgrade and its probably gunna be the cheapest thing that you can get for your upgrades. Newegg carries decent value RAM for about 30 bucks, and if its the stock Compaq mobo i dont think you can utilize much more than that.

The graphics would obviously be next, you have a PCI-Ex slot so this is good. Go with something from Nvidia, either in the 6 series or the 7 series depeding on your budget. Personally, im upgrading to the 7600GT in about 2 weeks once i get my next paycheck, and it has plenty of gaming power and the BFG GeForce 7600GT is only about 180 bucks so its good bang for the buck. If you cant afford that, the 6 series cards are down around 100-150 now a days. Also dont spend extra for the overclocked cards. You can get a normal card and get a program that does the exact same thing that they do at the factory and charge you extra for.

The case is probably the least of your worries. Eventually if you get a large card like a 6 or 7 series card, you will probably want to get a case with a side intake, or you could cut your own out, but its a little more messy. But just make sure that you get a case that suites your needs. Personally, im not picky on looks just as long as it can hold what i have and im a happy camper. google for xoxide and look through there though if you want asteticly appealing cases, there is a nice case for everyone there, but be prepaired to pay, theyre not cheap.

Another thing to consider is that if you fit your system with more power hungry hardware you will need to be able to feed their large apetites. Your 300 Watt PSU i know for a fact will not work with a 7 series card, they require atleast 400 watts and recommend 500. You might get away with a low end 6 series like a 6200 or MAYBE a 6600 but no more than that. You can get a very nice Antec 500 watt psu for about 70 dollars.

Good luck and if you can get back to us with a rough idea of how much you plan to spend, i can garuntee that everyone here will have better answers for you.
Omega_Squid
thanks, ill be sure and look into this! Laughing

also, the mobo is REALLY nice for a stock, i believe that the AMD processor is a 939 (i think) socket, and the mobo also has, as previously mentioned, a PCIe slot, and supports up to 4 gigs of RAM
Omega_Squid
Okay, ive found two graphics cards that i have found and really like their specs/price. My question is - When picking a graphics card, should you aim for higher pixel pipeline counts? I am confused on exactly what task they perform in graphics; any advice?
psycosquirrel
Well, generally more is better... It all depends on the shaders and the frequencies also though.

If I were you I would get some RAM that matches your current RAM (I even reccommend same brand -- it is the only way to get identical RAM if your mobo is not dual channelling) then get a graphics card such as the 7600GT, as TheGeek said: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814130283
Mine is in the mail now Very Happy

Also, you will need a new PSU. I have heard XClio is a good brand, and cheap too: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817189003

As for the case, you can find good ones cheap on www.pricewatch.com or just search around for a while until you find one you like. What are you looking for in a case anyways? Describe your ultimate case and I will see if I can find one like it.
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