Author Topic: My inexpensive upgrade.  (Read 989 times)

Offline pat

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My inexpensive upgrade.
« on: Oct 15, 2009, 02:11 PM »
I recently upgraded my old computer with some inexpensive parts and while it's certainly no power house computer, it works very well as an HTPC system. What I was looking for was the ability to play Netflix streams as well as DVD and Blu-Ray.  I haven't purchased a Blu-Ray drive yet so that part will have to wait. My goal was to use as many parts that I already had and just fill in the blanks. I had a couple of gigs of DDR2 800 ram as well as a couple of Sata 320 gig hard drives, a couple of DVDRW drives, a case and an older Antec 430 watt power supply, not so old, it did have a 24 pin power connector, a 6 pin video connector and some Sata power connectors. I also had a 32 bit version of Vista I planned to move to this installation.

For a mother board I picked an ASUS M4A785-M it supports AM3/AM2+/AM2 and also supports the DDR2 ram I wished to use. Although I had never used a motherboard with on board video, I still decided on this one. The onboard video is "Just OK" and for general computing and internet it would probably be fine. I decided on a dedicated video card though.

For video I went with an ASUS EN9600GSO/DI/512MD3/V2 This card is a very good value for the price, 59.00. Came with a 20$ rebate, didn't buy it for the rebate as it is a great value without it, but I did send out for it. This has a HDMI port as well as a DVI and VGA, I'm using the HDMI to connect to my 42 in Sony and the picture is great as well as streaming videos. The fan on this thing is very quiet and I can't hear it over my Noctua fans which are also very quiet. This card is one of the best deals going.

For a processor I picked out an AMD Athlon II X2 @ 3.0GHz

I also picked up an Logitech Wireless Wave Keyboard already had a Logitech mouse. I also picked up a 6.6 ft HDMI cable and a new 25ft cat 6 network cable.

I did have to reactivate my copy of Vista, it was fairly painless though. I did it over the phone with the "robot voice lady". I had to read off my old product code and after a couple of minutes she read me off a new one to activate with.

Well, as I mentioned it works great as an HTPC system. DVD playback is great as well as streaming video, Netflix, etc. I haven't tried any games yet but will soon. I'm glad I could find a nice mix to use up some of the parts I already had with some newer parts. I ended up spending 253.33 and with rebates (if and when they come in) it comes to 223.33. Not too bad and I'm certainly satisfied. I may upgrade the case to one of those media types cases in future, but I'm not in a hurry.

At first I was going to go for a newer main computer possibly built around the new Intel P55 chipset (core i-5/i-7) but decided to wait on that. Heck, what with the way the economy is going, I think I'll just be low key for a while and save my pennies until better times.

« Last Edit: Oct 15, 2009, 03:07 PM by pat »
SeaSonic S12 550W, Athlon 64 X2 6000+, Asus M2N SLI-Deluxe, nvidia 9600 GSO, 2x2 gig Crucial Ballistix, LG DVD/RW, 2x Western Digital Black Edition 640gb,  SAMSUNG 226BW Black 22", Canon PIXMA MP600,  Logitech X-230 speakers, Logitech Comfort Duo keyboard & Mouse, Windows 7 64 Home Premium & Vista 64

Offline scuzzy

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Re: My inexpensive upgrade.
« Reply #1 on: Oct 15, 2009, 03:32 PM »
Good deal, Pat. You gave me some ideas for an old system that also needs pepping up before I install Win 7 on it.

The finished product will mostly be used by my 14-year old daughter for Internet streaming, school work, and occasional light photo/video editing. Built in wireless-n would be nice, but I don't know if that's an available option.

At a minimum I will need a new micro-ATX mobo, a CPU, RAM (the old is PC-2700), video card, and possibly a PSU.

Scuzzy; and I'll need some time.

EDIT: Hmmm... this looks promising: GIGABYTE GA-MA785GMT-UD2H for $89.99 plus S/H. The built-in HD4200 graphics may be sufficient for Megan's needs; at least initially.
« Last Edit: Oct 15, 2009, 04:02 PM by scuzzy »
Antec Performance TX640B Case | WinXP Pro SP3 & Win7 64-bit | Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3R | Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 Wolfdale LGA 775 3.16GHz Dual-Core | 8GB (4x2GB) PC6400 G-Skill RAM | eVGA 7600GT 256MB PCI-E | 74GB WD Raptor SATA 16MB Cache | 74GB WD Raptor SATA 8MB Cache | 320GB Seagate Barracuda SATA 16MB Cache | External 640GB WD Caviar SATA 32MB Cache | Sony DRU-V200S DVD/RW | PC Power & Cooling Silencer 500W | Samsung SyncMaster 2494 (24") LCD Monitor | LG Flatron W2361V (23") LCD Monitor

Offline pat

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Re: My inexpensive upgrade.
« Reply #2 on: Oct 15, 2009, 04:18 PM »
Agreed, that was on my short list for a while. In the end I decided to go for a board that would support ram I already had. It seems that DDR3 ram prices are falling to what DDR2 is and most likely DDR2 will start to rise, or at least quit falling. And I don't mean to knock the on-board video it's really quite good for most general computing.

Reading the manuals I noticed that most of the Gigabyte boards call for a 450-500 watt power supply or better, but since you need one that doesn't matter.

One thing I did do while shopping was to check out the combo deals, I received 20$ off my motherboard and cpu by buying a combo deal.
SeaSonic S12 550W, Athlon 64 X2 6000+, Asus M2N SLI-Deluxe, nvidia 9600 GSO, 2x2 gig Crucial Ballistix, LG DVD/RW, 2x Western Digital Black Edition 640gb,  SAMSUNG 226BW Black 22", Canon PIXMA MP600,  Logitech X-230 speakers, Logitech Comfort Duo keyboard & Mouse, Windows 7 64 Home Premium & Vista 64

Offline scuzzy

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Re: My inexpensive upgrade.
« Reply #3 on: Oct 15, 2009, 10:34 PM »
One thing I did do while shopping was to check out the combo deals, I received 20$ off my motherboard and cpu by buying a combo deal.

Thanks for the tip, Pat.
Antec Performance TX640B Case | WinXP Pro SP3 & Win7 64-bit | Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3R | Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 Wolfdale LGA 775 3.16GHz Dual-Core | 8GB (4x2GB) PC6400 G-Skill RAM | eVGA 7600GT 256MB PCI-E | 74GB WD Raptor SATA 16MB Cache | 74GB WD Raptor SATA 8MB Cache | 320GB Seagate Barracuda SATA 16MB Cache | External 640GB WD Caviar SATA 32MB Cache | Sony DRU-V200S DVD/RW | PC Power & Cooling Silencer 500W | Samsung SyncMaster 2494 (24") LCD Monitor | LG Flatron W2361V (23") LCD Monitor