Questions about upgrading a PC

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killbot
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Questions about upgrading a PC

Post by killbot » Thu Jul 04, 2013 7:18 am

I'm thinking about putting a new graphics card in my PC as some of the newer games I'm buying seem to struggle. Also, I'd like to put a Blu-Ray drive in there, which will require a beefier card I believe.

My current set-up has an AMD Phenom 1800 Mhz quad-core processor and 4gb of RAM but the ATI Radeon HD3200 graphics card is, I suspect, what's holding it back. From what I can gather it's some kind of integrated graphics card which is built into the PC as a cheap alternative for manufacturers and therefore isn't up to much.

I'm looking in CeX and they have a number of 1GB cards for around the £40 mark. Which is fine by me - I'm not looking to run Crysis 3 in full detail at 60FPS here. But I'm not that au fait with upgrading PCs and I have a few questions...

1. Is there any possible issue of compatibility between any board I buy and my CPU?

2. Any board I buy is going to be on the PCI Express standard, but the current graphics chip is integrated and can't be removed meaning both are going to be in there simultaneously. Is that going to cause any issues?

3. How easy is it for a layman to replace these things? I've added RAM to my PC before, is it as simple as that?

4. Will a 1GB card be enough to run Blu-Ray discs at 1080p?

Possibly slightly simplistic questions there but to be honest I'm not really a PC-head, the last major hardware upgrade I did was sticking an extra 512k of RAM in my Amiga 500!
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koopa42
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Re: Questions about upgrading a PC

Post by koopa42 » Thu Jul 04, 2013 7:21 am

Pre-order an Xboxone?

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markopoloman
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Re: Questions about upgrading a PC

Post by markopoloman » Thu Jul 04, 2013 7:31 am

Can you give any more details about the CPU?

Sticking another graphics card in will be fine - but the CPU could then be the problem! How old is the system you are using?

Looky here at the CPU chart and the Graphics card chart - yours are waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay down the list! May be an option to throw a better CPU in and Graphics card though. Any idea what motherboard is in there?

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gam ... 106-5.html
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gam ... 107-7.html
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koopa42
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Re: Questions about upgrading a PC

Post by koopa42 » Thu Jul 04, 2013 7:33 am

I can vouch for MPM on his skillorZ with PC specs, my current PC is still working after 4 or 5 years and very well. MPM gave me the specs to buy from eBuyer 8)

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HalcyonDaze00
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Re: Questions about upgrading a PC

Post by HalcyonDaze00 » Thu Jul 04, 2013 7:34 am

if you are not sure what you are doing then it's best to take it into one of the little independent PC shops that most towns and cities have. Upgrading a PC has become much easier but it can still be a pain in the arse at times and for the sake of a few quid it's probably best to have it done properly by somebody else.

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Re: Questions about upgrading a PC

Post by markopoloman » Thu Jul 04, 2013 7:36 am

But that's no fun. And it's a piece of cake to upgrade a PC without having to stump up the extra dosh for a spotty geek to do what can be done at home :lol:
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HalcyonDaze00
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Re: Questions about upgrading a PC

Post by HalcyonDaze00 » Thu Jul 04, 2013 7:39 am

markopoloman wrote:But that's no fun. And it's a piece of cake to upgrade a PC without having to stump up the extra dosh for a spotty geek to do what can be done at home :lol:
that depends on your stress levels, technology not working is still one of the most common causes of people seeing the red mist and he may be stumping up a lot more cash if he puts his foot through the monitor when it all goes t1ts up! :wink:

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markopoloman
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Re: Questions about upgrading a PC

Post by markopoloman » Thu Jul 04, 2013 7:43 am

Yeah, ok that could pose a problem :lol:

If the CPU is up to it (and I don't think it is) then throwing a graphics card in is easier than putting RAM into an Amiga! CPU upgrade is a little more tricky though...
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killbot
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Re: Questions about upgrading a PC

Post by killbot » Thu Jul 04, 2013 7:45 am

markopoloman wrote:Can you give any more details about the CPU?

Sticking another graphics card in will be fine - but the CPU could then be the problem! How old is the system you are using?

Looky here at the CPU chart and the Graphics card chart - yours are waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay down the list! May be an option to throw a better CPU in and Graphics card though. Any idea what motherboard is in there?

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gam ... 106-5.html
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gam ... 107-7.html
The PC itself is about 4 years old and all that's been done to it in that time is the addition of an extra 2gb of RAM.

As for the motherboard... where would I find out about that? I'm looking at the system summary but it isn't listed.

So, if I get a graphics card that's too beefy for my CPU what would be the likely outcome?
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killbot
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Re: Questions about upgrading a PC

Post by killbot » Thu Jul 04, 2013 7:49 am

The other alternative is just to buy a dedicated Blu-Ray player and buy any upcoming games I want to play (ACIV, Watch Dogs) for the Wii U instead. Then keep the PC as it is and just use it for playing older games and going online.

I have a feeling that might end up the cheaper option.
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markopoloman
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Re: Questions about upgrading a PC

Post by markopoloman » Thu Jul 04, 2013 10:59 am

What is the make and model of the PC?
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killbot
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Re: Questions about upgrading a PC

Post by killbot » Thu Jul 04, 2013 1:16 pm

markopoloman wrote:What is the make and model of the PC?
It's an Acer Aspire. Not sure of the exact model, I'll look it up when I get home.
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commanderkaiser
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Re: Questions about upgrading a PC

Post by commanderkaiser » Thu Jul 04, 2013 3:32 pm

Honestly that CPU is pretty slow and old for modern games you'd be better off going for a big upgrade than trying to cobble something together out of cheaper components. I'd also avoid those £40 card that say 1 or 2gb on they aren't made for gaming so even though they say they are 1gb they are pretty crap honestly. They are cheap for a reason they are meant for basic computer stuff like watching DVDs, Photos, Internet browsing, Word Documents etc.

I'm not trying to talk you into spending more but lately there have been some cracking deals online with CPU, Motherboard and RAM bundles on places like dabs etc. If you go for something like that you then at least don't have to worry about compatibility and whatnot and you will see a huge benefit
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Re: Questions about upgrading a PC

Post by markopoloman » Thu Jul 04, 2013 4:56 pm

Yep - agree with that. But lets see what he has in that thing and see if there is a decent CPU that can be popped in?
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killbot
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Re: Questions about upgrading a PC

Post by killbot » Sun Jul 07, 2013 2:05 am

OKay - it's an Aspire M3201. Hope that helps.
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