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  1. #1
    Seasoned Member allblack's Avatar
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    Question Upgrade question

    Gudday.

    I've got a desktop that's 3-4 years old, built by Quay Computers in Wgton.

    It's a good unit, does everything I ask it to do, and recently I got a 256MB video card installed. I asked them at the time about upgrading it with newer componentry (Mobo and CPU), to which they replied it wasn't worth it, time to get a new PC.

    This, I thought, was crap. Isn't a desktop modular, and you just upgrade bits and pieces as you go?

    Mate of mine was over from Aus the other day, and he took a look at it and agreed it was a good rig, and far from being past it's Use By date.

    He said to chuck out the mobo and CPU, and put in a new one. Easy as that! Everything else was all good.

    So. Is it that easy? Can I (after a bit of groundwork) open the case, remove the mobo, and screw in a new one? Is the CPU part of the mobo, or do you buy them seperately? What compatibility issues are there?

    I assume the mobo/CPU/video card all have to be compatible?

    Apparently PCI Express (?) is the new black...I seem to recall QC said the video card was PCI-compatible if required later. But would need to check.

    Could I go to QC (with maybe a Belarc printout) and say I want a new mobo/CPU that will work with what's in the machine?

    What sort of coin would be reasonable to pay for this combo that will see me right for the next few years without going OTT?

    Not at home presently so can't advise exisiting mobo/CPU details.
    PC used for general purposes, bit of gaming sometimes but not a priority.

    TIA

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Upgrade question

    The mobo, CPU and ram are separate purchases.

    So, are video cards, hdd's cd/s, and dvd's.

    It depends on, what kind of CPU / ram is in the case now, and what kind of CPU you want / you're going to get.

    If you've got a 478 pin / P4 system now, and the new mobo is 775 pin, obviously a 478 pin CPU wont fit on a 775 mobo, you'll have to buy a 775 pin CPU.

    If the mobo you're going buy, is completely different from this old one, you'll have to replace the mobo, cpu and the ram. And maybe the videocard.

    Since they may not be compatible with the system you've got now. They wont fit on the new mobo.

    Everythng else should be compatible tho (the cd/dvd/hdd's you've got already).
    Last edited by Speedy Gonzales; 16-09-2007 at 07:16 AM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member pctek's Avatar
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    Default Re: Upgrade question

    Quote Originally Posted by allblack View Post

    I've got a desktop that's 3-4 years old, built by Quay Computers in Wgton.

    recently I got a 256MB video card installed. I asked them at the time about upgrading it with newer componentry (Mobo and CPU), to which they replied it wasn't worth it, time to get a new PC.

    Apparently PCI Express (?) is the new black...I seem to recall QC said the video card was PCI-compatible if required later. But would need to check.
    Nonsense. You can upgrade it if you want to.
    PCI Express is the new type of graphics and it either is PCI-E or it isn't.
    There is no "compatible".

    You would need:
    Motherboard, CPU, RAM, Graphics.
    Board and CPU have to match, graphics has to be PCI-E and RAM because its all DDR2 now and yours is probably DDR1.

    And you may also need another power supply too, depending on what you already have.

    So its almost a new PC.
    But no reason you can't use the existing drives, case.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Upgrade question

    Quote Originally Posted by allblack View Post
    It's a good unit, does everything I ask it to do, and recently I got a 256MB video card installed. I asked them at the time about upgrading it with newer componentry (Mobo and CPU), to which they replied it wasn't worth it, time to get a new PC.

    This, I thought, was crap. Isn't a desktop modular, and you just upgrade bits and pieces as you go?
    No, it's not crap. Whilst you can upgrade bits and pieces in theory, in practice PC hardware changes so rapidly that the RAM you currently have probably won't be compatible with the new mobo that you choose so you will have to buy new RAM.

    And if you chose an older type of graphics card you will be restricted as to what mobo it can go in which limits your choices somewhat. This isn't necessarily a big problem but you are restricted nevertheless.

    Then, as others have said, you will probably need a new power supply unit (PSU) as your current one might not be powerful enough for the new hardware nor be compatible with the pins on the mobo. By the time you have done all that you have almost got a whole new system.


    Quote Originally Posted by allblack View Post
    Mate of mine was over from Aus the other day, and he took a look at it and agreed it was a good rig, and far from being past it's Use By date.
    If it does everything you ask it to do then I wouldn't bother upgrading it just yet. Just carry on and squeeze the last ounce of life out of it until it can no longer keep up and put your money towards saving up for a new system (or new parts) later on.


    Quote Originally Posted by allblack View Post
    So. Is it that easy? Can I (after a bit of groundwork) open the case, remove the mobo, and screw in a new one?
    Umm..... I hope you don't mean you, literally.

    But yes, a tech can whip out the current mobo and replace it with another including all the relevant bits (CPU, RAM, graphics card) and you can carry on using your current case, CD or DVD drive, floppy drive, etc.


    Quote Originally Posted by allblack View Post
    I assume the mobo/CPU/video card all have to be compatible?
    Absolutely.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Default Re: Upgrade question

    Quote Originally Posted by allblack View Post
    Mate of mine was over from Aus the other day, and he took a look at it and agreed it was a good rig, and far from being past it's Use By date.

    He said to chuck out the mobo and CPU, and put in a new one. Easy as that! Everything else was all good.
    Mobo and cpu is the guts of it, so he says its a good rig but replace it anyway?

    Quote Originally Posted by allblack View Post
    Apparently PCI Express (?) is the new black...I seem to recall QC said the video card was PCI-compatible if required later.
    huh?

  6. #6
    Computer Technician wainuitech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Upgrade question

    One other item throw in the pot so to speak.

    If your Hard Drive has a IDE connection, you may not be able to use the hard drive either- most ( but not all) modern motherboards only have 1 IDE connection on the board and thats for the Optical drives.

    The Hard Drive is connection - SATA, completely different connector. While you can get convertors and add in PCI cards to use the old drive, at their cost it is almost cheaper to purchase a new HD.

    By the time you are finished replacing all parts you may have the case/floppy/Optical drive/modem from the old PC.

    [Quote] Apparently PCI Express (?) is the new black...I seem to recall QC said the video card was PCI-compatible if required later.[End]

    You can get PCI graphic cards for your system. You may have a AGP card, which will not fit in the new PCI-E slot. At first /quick/Experienced glance they look the same but they are not. - Don't know why they said black ? Graphic cards come in different colours, blue/red/green
    Last edited by wainuitech; 16-09-2007 at 09:51 AM.
    Update / Upgrades = Replace old bugs with new ones.

  7. #7
    Smiling Down On Youse SurferJoe46's Avatar
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    Default Re: Upgrade question

    [QUOTE=wainuitech;593197]

    Apparently PCI Express (?) is the new black...I seem to recall QC said the video card was PCI-compatible if required later.[End]

    Don't know why they said black ? Graphic cards come in different colours, blue/red/green
    I think it's a fashionista reference.

    My wife says that last year, grey was the new black, and this year, it might be blue or purple. It's just that black clothes (dresses, shoes and bags) seem to go appropriately everywhere..and so the "new black" thing is just saying it's the "newest-most-conveniently-fashionable-thing-going".

    She has a LBD (little black dress) that is good for anything from a free dog fight to a night at the opera. Maybe she'll need a LPD (little purple dress) now.

    Ya gotta live in SoCal I guess.

    PS: I don't think this was a hijack...but I think this is one of those RESOLVED ISSUES now and can be marked so.
    Last edited by SurferJoe46; 16-09-2007 at 12:09 PM.


    Warum werden wir so früh alt und klug so spät?

  8. #8
    Computer Technician wainuitech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Upgrade question

    Good one about the colours - I know what you mean, the way they advertise the graphics cards can also be a selling point.
    Hell as long as the card does what it's meant to I dont care what colour it is. That may be different if you have a clear side on the case and want to colour match ?

    I asked My wife what type of case she wanted for her PC-PURPLE She replied- most annoyed when I couldn't locate a purple case

    Back to this post - upgrading can be expensive, some times you can get a "Package Deal" on new parts and it ends up being cheaper than buying a bit here and there. - Get OEM, its cheaper.
    Update / Upgrades = Replace old bugs with new ones.

  9. #9
    Back from A:\ drive JackStraw's Avatar
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    Default Re: Upgrade question

    I would add one thing here. In my opinion, and this is backed up by years of experience, the best upgrade for any system is to go no further than more ram and a faster cpu. As has been said a cpu upgrade is limited to a higher end cpu of the same type ie. the same number of pins and socket type. In most cases when your comp was built the cpu would be one at the sweet price, normally mid range as the top end range at that time would be high price items, by now this high end cpu would be cheaper than a current mid range unit. The same goes for ram, same type same pins etc. Just add more if you can. In most, but not all, cases adding more "old" ram is cheaper than adding new ram to a new board. Doing anything more than this results in less bang for the buck than if you just get a new "upgrade package" ie. new box and no peripherals.

  10. #10
    Moderator Jen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Upgrade question

    Quote Originally Posted by allblack View Post
    PC used for general purposes, bit of gaming sometimes but not a priority.
    Apart from the gaming aspect, a PC 3-4 years old should still be pretty good.

    Post up your Belarc report on your motherboard and what you have currently installed. People can then give you the best advice on how to pep-up your system without having to replace the motherboard.

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