Upgrade or new computer???

Discussion in 'The Steam Vent' started by STRONGBADF1, Sep 13, 2013.

  1. STRONGBADF1 Audioholic Spartan

    STRONGBADF1
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    Hi all,

    My soon to be 13 year old sons computer isn't as fast as he'd like. It's an older Dell Dimension 9100 tower . My question is should i just buy some ram and a new graphics card or bite the bullet and buy a whole new system???

    Details:
    Windows XP home Edition SP3
    Pentium D 2.80Ghz
    1GB Ram PC4200 (512 x 2 with two more open slots)
    ATI Radeon X1300 PCIE 256MB dedicated graphics card

    All he uses this system for is school work (word processing and internet searches) and light gaming. (Minecraft, Baseball mogul and dopey little internet games.) He likes to play sports related games on his consoles. Minecraft struggles on this system but they require 2MB of RAM and recommend 4MB...That is easily remeded with $70 worth of RAM... I'm just not sure about the graphics card. That can be replaced also but when do I cross the line of being foolish???

    Minimum Requirements:

    • CPU : Intel P4/NetBurst Architecture or its AMD Equivalent (AMD K7)
    • RAM : 2GB
    • GPU : Intel GMA 950 or AMD Equivalent with OpenGL 1.2 Support
    • HDD : At least 90MB for Game Core and Sound Files
    • Java Runtime Environment (JRE) 6 or up is required to be able to run the game.

    Recommended Requirements:


    • CPU : Intel Pentium D or AMD Athlon 64 (K8) 2.6 GHz
    • RAM : 4GB
    • GPU : GeForce 6xxx or ATI Radeon 9xxx and up with OpenGL 2 Support (Excluding Integrated Chipsets)
    • HDD : 150MB

    Software Requirements:

    • Minecraft Release 1.2.5 or newer. Older versions will need to be updated to current versions
    • Java (Java SE 6 Update 32 or Java SE 7 Update 4 or newer is preferred)
    • Please note that some users experience issues playing Minecraft while using a mismatched version of Java for their operating system (32 or 64 bit), while using certain versions of Java 7, or while multiple versions of Java are installed


    Buying a new system will be much more expensive of course and I don't mind doing it but I just don't think he needs the extra speed. He doesn't like blood so I don't know if I see him getting into the power hungry shooter games. My guess is that he'll stick mostly to console gaming, but who knows what the future brings? I know I'll end up buying a new system eventually but if I can hold it off a year it might be worth it...might.:):confused:

    So is spending the money on an older Pentium D windows XP system foolish?


    Thanks in advance,
    Doug


    ps I would restore the old system to original to get rid of any junk that might be bogging it down.
  2. Rickster71 Audioholic Spartan

    Rickster71
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    Hey Doug, I'm not an expert, though I upkeep all our 5 PC's used for work and play.
    IMHO RAM is cheap.
    Start by adding the max that machine will recognize. Get 4-Gig, even though a 32 bit system won't see it all.
    Then upgrade the video card for his games. That one he has doesn't have much memory.
    Then see what happens. It's a relatively cheap fix.
    Good luck and be careful out there.
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  3. Irvrobinson Audioholic Ninja

    Irvrobinson
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    For $400-$500 you can get a new desktop system that will blow the doors off of anything you can do to that old Pentium box. I wouldn't even consider upgrading that old system.
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  4. STRONGBADF1 Audioholic Spartan

    STRONGBADF1
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    For example?:)
  5. STRONGBADF1 Audioholic Spartan

    STRONGBADF1
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    Yeah that's kind of where I'm at except we are looking at what to get him for his B-Day... Computer, iphone, Baseball Academy pitching/hitting lessons... Money only gos so far and I don't mind spending it i just don't want to waste it.
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  6. BoredSysAdmin Audioholic Warlord

    BoredSysAdmin
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    Sorry, but Pentium D 2.80Ghz and slow DDR2 ram are really the thing of the ancient history - You gotta understand it is 8 years old system. 5-6 years should be the max life span for a home computer. You already got it's value worth.
    I recommend option 3: Recently I got slightly used (2 years old, top of the line) lenovo laptop off ebay for a bit over $400
    I recommend used desktop - I am sure you could find something decent for $200-300

    edit:
    Intel Core i3 2100 3 1 GHz 1 TB HD 6 GB DDR3 SDRAM Desktop PC | eBay
    this one will run circles around your son current pc
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  7. Rickster71 Audioholic Spartan

    Rickster71
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    I agree the latest & greatest would blow the doors off of that pc....but.:)

    He only needs something that fulfills the needs of the programs he's using.
    You can upgrade that PC for $200 probably less.
    I'd go to a local PC repair place and see if you can get the memory and graphics card used.
    With a new PC you may be stuck with Win-8 ( not ready for prime time) and having to move all the programs and all the hassles that go along with a new PC.
    While you're at it. Run this free software on it: CCleaner - Free download and software reviews - CNET Download.com
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  8. Steve81 Audioholics 5-O

    Steve81
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    True enough, but it wouldn't surprise me if seemingly simple things like surfing the web would be problematic when you toss in things like high def videos and those dopey little internet games which can be surprisingly processor intensive.
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  9. Rickster71 Audioholic Spartan

    Rickster71
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    I guess I'm from the 'If it ain't broke....' school.
    I know some mid sized companies that are still using AS/400 and RPG II.:D
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  10. Rickster71 Audioholic Spartan

    Rickster71
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    That could easily be solved if Doug would stop watching clips from Broke Back Mountain, in HD.
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  11. Irvrobinson Audioholic Ninja

    Irvrobinson
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    Buggy whip makers?
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  12. Irvrobinson Audioholic Ninja

    Irvrobinson
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  13. Rickster71 Audioholic Spartan

    Rickster71
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    They don't build em like that anymore.
    They use them only for certain tasks and it just keeps running and fills the need.
    It beats the cost of re-tooling and retraining.
    Hell, my wife only gave up her Baby/36 12 or 13 years ago.:D
    She kept it as long as she had clients on it. Same story, it wasn't worth the cost and time to switch them over.
  14. Irvrobinson Audioholic Ninja

    Irvrobinson
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    We're all thankful for that.
  15. lsiberian Audioholic Overlord

    lsiberian
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  16. STRONGBADF1 Audioholic Spartan

    STRONGBADF1
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    How bad is Windows 8? Is it really that bad or is it just Techie geeks over complaining?
  17. Irvrobinson Audioholic Ninja

    Irvrobinson
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    Pretty bad, but there are few practical choices, unless you want to break the bank and switch to Apple technology. Win 8.1 is supposed to allow true dual-mode, touch-screen for tablets, pointing-device and keyboard for desktop/laptop use, making it possible to use it in a fully "Win 7" mode. Rumor has it that 8.1 will be a free upgrade to any Win 8 user.
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  18. Rickster71 Audioholic Spartan

    Rickster71
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    When we got our two new PCs for work, had to make sure we got Win-7.
    Quick Books Pro and it's myriad adjunct software had problems with it.
    Win-8 is also very different from 7.
    Granted, our view was more from a business standpoint, it had to work right out of the box, no time to play.
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  19. BoredSysAdmin Audioholic Warlord

    BoredSysAdmin
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    I dunno how good 8.1 will be, but 8.0 is a disaster, especially without touchscreen
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  20. avnetguy Audioholic Chief

    avnetguy
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    If you're looking for a budget machine with good performace, look for a new or refurb core i5 with intel 4000 (or higher) graphics. Also make sure the machine can accept a PCIe graphics card just in case you get some higher gaming demands later on. I got my son one of these (an Acer aspire desktop) for ~$400 a bit over a year ago, still working great. Also, I'd stick with Win 7 for now.
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