So, I'm currently wielding a 6- or 7-year old Gateway PC. I love it, a lot. It's been very reliable, and none of the hardware has ever given me any problems, except the PSU, which died and was replaced about a year and a half ago.
That being said, it's time for a change. It's just too outdated to do what I really want it to do anymore. However, I don't want to go off all willy-nilly and dump cash that would be better saved until I can just afford a new rig. If it wouldn't really be worth it to invest anymore in this one (even if I plan to keep it around, and I do), I might as well just buy a new computer (which I intend to do, I just hope to put that off as long as possible, as my current budget is ~$60). As far as what I need the PC for, the most intensive thing is probably WoW, and some streaming videos. Here's where I'm standing:
Currently I have a Gateway 310S with a few light modifications. I was running WinXP until recently, when I made the switch to Ubuntu (Meerkat, 10.10).
The motherboard is an Intel D845GVSR
The system currently has an Intel Celeron @ 2.4GHz (400 FSB).
1GB of DDR(1)333/PC2700 memory.
Two old IDE harddrives with a combined total of 71GBs (one factory, one from an HP)
...and onboard video & sound.
Video: I think this is the place to start, mainly because I currently have on-board video. It's....well, it's onboard, what more needs to be said? The biggest problem is that the mobo only has regular PCI slots, which means I'll have to either buy an older vid card, or a more specialized one, both of which become more expensive. I can get one with 256MB of video memory for ~$40. I picked the video card I picked because that way, when I do buy a new PC, this card will be able to do a decent job in that rig until I have the funds to upgrade the video again.
CPU: I can upgrade this to a P4 3.06GHz for ~$30. This is actually what got me started, since I'm finally reaching the point where the CPU is tapping out for long periods of time and I'm getting a lot of freezing.
Keep in mind, I do want to keep this thing around as long as I can. It's served me well, and I believe it will continue to do so. When I eventually buy a new PC, I want to be able to keep this one around for family use as a web-browser/word-processor.
So, advice? Thoughts? Anybody have any ideas I may not have thought of?
Thanks, in advance.
Update!: It's been advised to me to pick up a LGA775 mobo w/ DDR2 on the cheap. That's not a bad idea, but I'm not sure how affordable it will be as of right now. In the early stages of my research I found that a lot of people like to keep their 478 processors and upgrade their motherboards, using the old CPU in the new board (so much so, that this is a thing that exists.
). That makes me wary about pricing a used 775 mobo, but I'm looking into.
Also, regarding the video card: The new system I'm looking at happens to have onboard 256MB video. Plan "A" is to get a PCI video card that will be good in my current system, and will also at least be better than onboard in my new system, so that I can use that while I'm saving up to invest in a more serious video card.
The mobo for the new rig I'm eyeing has onboard nVidia GeForce 7025 with a max of 256MB shared. The question is what's the minimum type of card I would need to still be better? Can I get away with a card with only 128MB, and still be better than onboard with 256MB shared? Or what? I'd like an answer to this question either way, I've pretty much always used onboard video, so I don't reallly
know how they compare, even though I'm quite aware that card is way better than onboard, if only for the fact of having a separate GPU.