Solved Best way to upgrade a Presario SR1630NX

May 30, 2011 at 20:13:01
Specs: Windows XP, 1.5 GB
Hello,
My son would like to upgrade his 6 yr. old Presario SR1630NX desktop computer to be able to play certain online games. It has 1.5 GB RAM and an Athlon 64 3500+ 2.2GHz processor. The RAM consists of 2 sticks of 256 MB and 1 stick of 1 GB. Since it will hold 4 GB maximum, do I have to purchase 4 sticks of 1 GB each to be sure they are all the same manufacturer and same speed or can I just purchase 3 sticks to go along with the existing 1 GB stick?

Will upgrading the CPU offer much benefit? I don't know what much of this means, but I got it from the HP website: ASUS A8AE-LE motherboard, Socket: 939 and AMD Athlon 64 3500+ 2.2 GHz CPU. I don't want to go overboard on the upgrading, but I would like for there to be a meaningful performance difference.

So, should I upgrade the RAM, the CPU or both? If both, what CPU will fit easily and not require a tech-challenged person to constantly tweak?


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✔ Best Answer
June 2, 2011 at 13:24:15
The 12V rating is what matters most. How much amperage is needed on the rail is determined primarily by the CPU and the graphics card wattage requirements.

mick posted some graphics cards that don't pull a lot of power.

Going back to power supplies, all PSUs are not created equal. They may have that same 300W rating and have quite different 12V output.

When those Bestec PSUs do fail they have been know to fry the motherboard at the same time.

The HD 4650 that mick recommended draws 10.5@12V at idle and 14.25A@12V under full load. The link below shows the wattage draw. Divide those numbers by 12 because you are using the 12V rail. Add to that the power requirements of the CPU, drives and fans, which all run on 12V.

The second link below shows the power draw in watts for the 3500+ processors. I don't know if you have the 130 or 90 die. Either way, that processor pulls some power.

If you want to move forward with the presario upgrade I suggest you get the HD4650 and buy a new PSU. Buy a PSU with the thought of eventually migrating it to a new rig. The newer processors in some cases draw less power than your current processor so if you size for the graphics card you should be good to go.

I would suggest a PSU with a SINGLE 12V rail with a 40A or better rating. Below are some links. Compare warranties, user ratings. The Corsair or Antec are better units than the Rosewill but all are good.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...

One other thing to mention, I wouldn't upgrade the RAM just yet. You may be OK as is and the RAM will not be usable in a newer system. Neither will that HD 4650 card but that is needed for the games.



#1
May 30, 2011 at 20:37:43
What online games does your son want to play? Below is a link to the specs for that computer.

Go to crucial.com and use their online scan tool to determine what type, size, quantity of RAM that computer can use. You may be able to install 2-2GB modules. You will need to install a dedicated graphics card. The computer came with onboard graphics, which isn't much good for games. You may also need to replace the power supply. See if you can read the information on the label of the power supply. Post everything you see on there.

http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/...


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#2
May 30, 2011 at 21:42:18
I suggest you put the CPU & RAM upgrades on hold & focus on getting a decent gaming video card. A fast CPU & 4GB RAM can't make up for the crappy integrated graphics. Your motherboard has a PCI-e x16 slot so you're in luck. The only thing that may hold you back is the power supply as OtheHill mentioned. However, there are plenty of energy efficient gaming cards available. If you stick to one of those, you probably won't have to upgrade the power supply. For your consideration:

PowerColor Radeon HD 4650 1GB 128-bit DDR3 - $43 after rebate

XFX Radeon HD 5570 1GB 128-bit DDR2 - $45 after rebate

Galaxy GeForce GT 430 (Fermi) 1GB 128-bit DDR3 - $40 after rebate

Best Graphics Cards For The Money: May 2011

For comparison: Best Graphics Cards For The Money: February 2011


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#3
May 31, 2011 at 07:01:45
If it's new online games like rift better get him new system.

We can not fight new wars with old weapons, let he who desires peace prepare for war - PROPHET.


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Related Solutions

#4
May 31, 2011 at 20:52:45
OtheHill, thanks for the suggestions. He would like to play Dawn of War 2 and his computer moves very slowly and the screen freezes often. I went to crucial.com with my laptop--but the desktop computer no longer has internet connection since we started disassembly so I can't use the scan tool right now. We had the graphics card updated a couple years ago to a GeForce 9500GT 512MB. The power supply is a Bestec ATX-300-12Z rated at 300 watts maximum output.
Any suggestions based on this new info?

Thanks,
Richard


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#5
May 31, 2011 at 21:00:13
Mickliq, I had the video card replaced two years ago to a GeForce 9500GT 512MB. Would the video cards you mentioned be much of an improvement over the 9500GT? How do you know if you need a larger power supply? Eventually we would like to replace his 200 MB hard drive with something larger. Would that require a larger power supply?

Thanks,
Richard


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#6
May 31, 2011 at 21:02:58
Kuwese, I sure it would be easier and less expensive to buy a new system. However, part of this process is for Kyle and I to have some time together and learn more about the inside of the computer. So, as long as it is not to expensive, we would like to piece it together and see how it works out. Thanks for any suggestions.

Richard


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#7
May 31, 2011 at 23:02:31
Bestec power supplies are junk. I will let mick comment on the graphics card. I personally think you are better off getting a new computer.

If you think you can handle it, you could build a new computer instead of buying on pre-assembled. However, the real advantage in buying is getting a working version of Windows 7 for little cost.

There are advantages to building but cost is not one of them. Quality of components can be better though.


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#8
June 2, 2011 at 09:01:20
I don't anything about the power supplies--but the Bestec has been trouble free since we bought the computer in 2005. How do you know if you need to upgrade a power supply? How can I determine what is the best wattage and what power supply has all the right connections for our system?

Thanks again.


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#9
June 2, 2011 at 13:24:15
✔ Best Answer
The 12V rating is what matters most. How much amperage is needed on the rail is determined primarily by the CPU and the graphics card wattage requirements.

mick posted some graphics cards that don't pull a lot of power.

Going back to power supplies, all PSUs are not created equal. They may have that same 300W rating and have quite different 12V output.

When those Bestec PSUs do fail they have been know to fry the motherboard at the same time.

The HD 4650 that mick recommended draws 10.5@12V at idle and 14.25A@12V under full load. The link below shows the wattage draw. Divide those numbers by 12 because you are using the 12V rail. Add to that the power requirements of the CPU, drives and fans, which all run on 12V.

The second link below shows the power draw in watts for the 3500+ processors. I don't know if you have the 130 or 90 die. Either way, that processor pulls some power.

If you want to move forward with the presario upgrade I suggest you get the HD4650 and buy a new PSU. Buy a PSU with the thought of eventually migrating it to a new rig. The newer processors in some cases draw less power than your current processor so if you size for the graphics card you should be good to go.

I would suggest a PSU with a SINGLE 12V rail with a 40A or better rating. Below are some links. Compare warranties, user ratings. The Corsair or Antec are better units than the Rosewill but all are good.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...

One other thing to mention, I wouldn't upgrade the RAM just yet. You may be OK as is and the RAM will not be usable in a newer system. Neither will that HD 4650 card but that is needed for the games.


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#10
June 5, 2011 at 19:57:29
Thanks for the thorough and coherent response. I went to Newegg and ordered the Galaxy GeForce mentioned above. Mainly because it was recommened here, looked impressive and I like the blue color! I'll shop locally for a PSU--there is a repair shop that I've been to before and they seem to have a good assortment--and free advice. Any ideas on upgrading from Windows XP to Windows 7?

Thanks,
Richard


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#11
June 6, 2011 at 04:17:49

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#12
June 24, 2011 at 08:04:45
I have the same computer. It was collecting dust for a while and I decided to try and bring it back. I installed windows 7 with no problems, it just ran really slow with the stock 512mb of ram. I put another 2gb in it and now it runs fine.
Now I'd like to put a video card in it, and like mentioned above, hopefully not have to upgrade the power supply.

@rcan1015 : No problems running Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit on this PC

How did the Galaxy GeForce work for you?


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