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Old 04-13-2012, 07:36 PM   #1
dragonbat13
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Default upgrading an old cyberpower rig suggestions

Hi, First post,

My computer is old but I am sure I could rebuild it and upgrade with some stuff that is available at a good price. I want to start on the hard drives until I can get a list of the other things I have in it already.

I have an older cyberpower computer that has served me VERY well. It has gone through some major abuse. I never cleaned it, the fan broke a fin off and has paper stuck in the heatsink to stop the fan.

This is the motherboard that is in it, hopefully it will give a hint of the age of it, I long forgot.

http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/Intel_Socket_775/P5K/

Apparently it has this sata support=4 xSATA 3 Gb/s ports

I want to tear it down, clean it completely, and reconfigure the HD setup. What I was thinking was using a stand alone raid 0 setup with some high rpm drives with a reasonable cache and enough storage for my operating system and program files. All the rest of my files and documents will be stored on my current harddrive.

Also I have seen this SSD stuff. I am sure its not very new, would it be something to consider? I need to look into it more.

Now my question is this? Is it a total waste of time and money? It has been quite a while since I got into the hardware side of computers (at least five years) and I kinda wanted to get the most out of what I have without dumping so much money that it would be cheaper to get another computer. I dont need the latest and greatest, but I figure there are some good deals on stuff that is somewhat dated that would be a major upgrade to what I have (non sata, 80G, 5400rpm drive. Dont know the FSB or cache).

Now the kicker. It is still on XP pro. I have been a hardheaded XP fan, but its getting time where I should start to consider 7. I am sure there are alot of features that I am missing out on.

So what can I do to install 7, and speed up start up times, program loading times, and scanning times without putting a thousand dollar saddle on a hundred dollar horse.

I dont plan on getting rid of this rig. Also when I have a little more time I will make a complete list of the hardware in the computer.

Ram slots are filled up but I dont know what it is,
The power supply is a 500 watt
I dont know how to find out what processor is in it without pulling it apart,
When I tear it down to clean it out this weekend I will have a greater list of parts

It also has a radeon x1950pro.

I was also thinking of upgrading to two older video cards and running them in crossfire, but I dont even know if ATI exist anymore or if this is feasable. I am not super concerned with graphics, but would like to know some upgrades for it.

Thank you for any help
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Old 04-13-2012, 10:42 PM   #2
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Outside of a motherboard/CPU overhaul, here's what I'd suggest.


SSD ~ People used to buy 10,000 RPM mechanical HDD and raid 0 for fast performance, but now you can do this with a $100 SSD. Drop a 64gb SSD in your first SATA socket and use it as a boot drive. If you have 2gb of RAM and programs are still loading slowly, a SSD upgrade can help.

GPU ~ If you play games, most bottlenecks occur with the GPU. A newer GPU (DX11 especially if you're planning on Win7) can breathe a bit more life into your PC. Game that chugged chronically, will suddenly be a lot more fun to play.

New CPU cooler ~ Sounds like you need a new heatsink. A new CPU cooler could not only keep your CPU cooler, but allow for OCing. A modest cooler can cost under $50.

IMO, upgrades tend to be subjective and the greater the difference, the 'better' the experience. For example, when I went from a single core Athlon 64 3200+ to a tri-core Athlon II X3, there was a pretty significant difference.

If you want to wait, I'd suggest upgrading once Haswell is released (probably late 2013).
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Old 04-14-2012, 12:34 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dragonbat13 View Post
This is the motherboard that is in it, hopefully it will give a hint of the age of it, I long forgot.

http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/Intel_Socket_775/P5K/
That's not old at all. Pentium 3 is what I consider old. That PC will be fine with a good Core 2 Duo CPU.[/quote]

Quote:
Originally Posted by dragonbat13 View Post
Now the kicker. It is still on XP pro. I have been a hardheaded XP fan, but its getting time where I should start to consider 7. I am sure there are alot of features that I am missing out on.
I still use XP and stubbornly refuse to move on. I hate both windows Vistrash and 7, and don't even get me started on windows 8!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dragonbat13 View Post
The power supply is a 500 watt
What Brand and Model? A lot of cheaper 500W PSUs are just 250 watters with 500W stickers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dragonbat13 View Post
It also has a radeon x1950pro.
That was a great GPU in its day. It will probably still play some modern games OK. However, most modern mid-high end GPUs would still be a healthy upgrade (like a Radeon HD6750 or nVidia GTX560 or better).

EDIT: As for a CPU cooler, You can't beat a CoolerMaster TX3 for value for money.
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Old 04-14-2012, 07:34 PM   #4
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The PSU is a performance power pp500.

I think I am going to upgrade my HD to SSD.

There is a windows 8 coming out?!? Man I thought that 7 was going to be the next xp and be around for a few years.

I look at an OS like this. If its going to be around for awhile then its worth getting. It took tooth and nail for me to go from 98 to xp. Now I am thinking about sticking with XP.

One thing is my computer is 32 bit. Should I upgrade to 64 bit? or is it not possible?
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Old 04-15-2012, 04:44 AM   #5
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Never heard of that PSU, it appears to be discontinued and unreviewed so I would NOT try to draw more power than the currently working system uses on that PSU.
If the video card is the limiting factor in a game, just replace it with a current generation one, If you're switching OS anyway, I might suggest a 7750, if you're not, maybe a GT440. If you want to game at 1080p or higher, you may want to replace PSU with a more thoroughly reviewed model and get a beefier GPU.

The biggest question is what you want the computer to do that it can't do now. You can use CPU-Z to check what processor you currently have, though I don't recommend a CPU upgrade on that socket, at least with a GPU or SSD you can take it with you when you decide to switch to a new platform.
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Old 04-15-2012, 07:37 AM   #6
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The PSU doesn't look particularly good (low efficiency + only about 390ish watts on your 12v rails).

When it comes to switching OS (especially MS os), switching early usually has very little benefit. I can't think of any Windows based OS that was rock solid right off the bat. IMO, Windows 7 will probably be the successor to Windows XP.

Win8 is new and hip, but many games are still being made to run under XP (DX9) and just starting to run with Win7 (DX11).

You can't really upgrade to 64 bit without switching OS to either a 64 bit XP or Win7. I partition my main HDD so I can boot either Win7(64bit) or XP (32bit).
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