PC Upgrade Help!

Gigabyte Ga-8ik1100 motherboard
September 7, 2009 at 04:55:16
Specs: Windows XP

I have an old PC (specs below) which was not in use collecting dust till recent but now I wish to service and upgrade a few parts since the old laptop I have been using is giving a lot of problems. I got this gaming PC assembled in early 2004 and have played games such as Counter Strike, C&C Generals, and America's Army with no problems but later on kept giving me alot of problems mainly overheating and shutting down.

I don't want to go overboard with the upgrade since I'm not a big gamer no longer but would like to play games such as World of Warcraft and some older games on it.

I'm not willing to spend anything over $200 for the upgrade as I will probably be buying a gaming pc in the near future (probably in 1 to 1+ years). Any help with compatible hardware parts would be appreciated.

* GIGABYTE P4 TITAN SERIES 875P GA-8IK1100 (Rev 2.x)
- Not looking at upgrading the motherboard.

* INTEL P4 2.80CGHZ 1.525V max, 800-MHz System Bus, 512kb L2 Advanced Transfer Cache
- Not looking at upgrading the processor

* ATI RADEON 9800 Pro 128m
- Not looking at upgrading the graphic card

* KING MAX 256MB DDR400 X2 (512mb) RAM
- Will be upgrading the RAM to 2GB(1gb+1gb). I found the motherboard supports 'Dual Channel DDR 400 / 333 / 266 ECC'. Is there a specific brand I should go for which is not too expensive??

* ATX SM400 (12V=15A, 5V=25A, 3.3V=20A)
- Power supply definitely needs to be upgraded. I am sure this must not have been powerful enough to support my hardware, hence the constant hang ups especially during summer months. What would be a good (not too expensive) power supply to support my hardware? I will also need to fix a third fan to the side of the pc casing where there is a slot. I'm assuming it will also need to be a 24 pin power supply?

* H:17inches W:18inches Case, 8 USB drives (2 infront, 6 rear), 5 slots for hardrives, 4 slots for other drives
- I am assuming I have a Mid-Tower casing. Not looking at changing the case.

Other (not looking at changing these):

* Hard Drive 160GB + 120 GB (280GB) SEAGATE BARACUDA
* DVDR - Pioneer DVD16x, CD 32x
* CDR - 52x24x52

So basically im looking at upgrading just the power supply to support all of the above, as well as the RAM. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks

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September 7, 2009 at 06:32:25
Do NOT put a fan in the side panel. All you need is an exhaust fan in the rear. And make sure the interior of the PC is clean & dust free. You *may* need to remove the heatsink from the CPU so that you can thoroughly clean it, then apply a fresh dab of thermal paste according to the following instructions:


You can get "heat sink grease" at Radio Shack for about $3:


It certainly wouldn't hurt to upgrade the power supply but it's probably not absolutely necessary. You'll gain nothing because of the 24-pin plug because your board only requires a 20-pin plug, but more amperage on the +12v rail might be helpful. This Corsair has 30A:


RAM brand doesn't much matter, just don't get generic no-name stuff. Get DDR400, not DDR266 or DDR333:



You should also consider a new video card. The Radeon 9800 was good in it's day, but that was a LONG time ago.


I also recommend updating the BIOS:


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September 7, 2009 at 20:17:48
Thanks for the speedy reply 'jam'.

"* H:17inches W:18inches Case, 8 USB drives (2 infront, 6 rear), 5 slots for hardrives, 4 slots for other drives
- I am assuming I have a Mid-Tower casing. Not looking at changing the case."

After having had a look at my PSU, I realized its got a 80mm fan and not a 120mm. Same for the fan at the rear. So i doubt my casing is a mid tower now?

I understand there are fan adapters which allows you to mount a 120mm on a 80mm, is this a good idea?

And what about the PSU now? The casing does not allow me to install a bigger PSU. Im assuming I need a bigger PSU if its gonna have a 120mm fan?

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