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My old rig from 2006. Anything I can do to make it Cata rdy?Follow

#1 May 02 2011 at 11:10 PM Rating: Good
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I built a computer back in 2006. At the time, it ran Vanilla WoW like a dream. Flash forward to 2010, after that computer had sat idle for a good 2+ years, and it ran WotLK like complete and utter garbage. My laptop did a much better job of handling it. One more jump into the present day, and I am wanting to give Cata a go, and bring my old desktop back from the grave. Thing is, I have never been super tech savvy and I dunno if there is anything I can do to this thing so it can run WoW (really) well, or if it's time to rebuild. I want it to run really smooth at decent settings (not ultra, though it would be nice).

tl; dr: will this old '06 rig be capable of running the current WoW build, and do it very well with basic upgrades? Including a new possible build as well.


motherboard: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131569&cm_re=a8n5x-_-13-131-569-_-Product

vid card: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130017&cm_re=EVGA_256-P2-N554-AX-_-14-130-017-_-Product

ram: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145273&Tpk=CORSAIR%20XMS%202GB%20%282%20x%201GB%29

hdd: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148142&cm_re=7200.10_ST3250820AS-_-22-148-142-_-Product

cpu: I can't boot up the PC at the moment because I don't have the monitor for it, but I obviously must have purchased the CPU from some place other than newegg because it isn't in my purchase history. It is an AMD Athlon 64 from June of 2006.

Anything I can do or do I need to rebuild? I am not looking for some cutting edge PC, just one that plays WoW well. I was hoping to use the case, monitor, psu, keyboard and mouse from before and it would be awesome if I could keep my budget small.


These are the parts I was looking at for a rebuild, though dropping 350 bucks right now might be more than I wanna do:

mobo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813138179

vid card: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814162067

ram: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820161279

hdd: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148433

cpu: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103886

Thanks for any help ; ; it's been a long time since I've built and I kinda rushed through the new parts, hope I didn't make any glaringly stupid choices.
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#2 May 02 2011 at 11:37 PM Rating: Excellent
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Your existing hard drive is fine. Unless its sarting to fail or you need a bigger one, i'd wait a year or so before buying a new one. That 430 gt video card is about the lowest of the low in terms of potential video quality, and is going to be your system bottleneck. Get this one instead if you can (should be able to if you ditch the hard drive) $124 after rebate http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121390

The board and processor are good for the price.

Might also want to check your power supply wattage and make sure you have at least a 525 watt for a better video card and if not factor that in too.
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#3 May 03 2011 at 6:00 PM Rating: Good
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Thanks Kao. I had been hoping there were some upgrades I could throw at my old rig to make it WoW worthy again but I guess I'll have to invest some dough. My psu is only 450w so looks like I'll need to upgrade that too
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#4 May 04 2011 at 3:37 PM Rating: Good
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My PC is older than yours, and it plays Cata fine.
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#5 May 05 2011 at 1:25 AM Rating: Good
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Well even though its from '06, it wasn't top of the line when I built it.
I think the video card was the main problem with it when I tried to play WotLK. If anyone could recommend a vid card that would be compatible with that mobo that would make WoW run well, I would be stoked
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#6 May 06 2011 at 4:06 PM Rating: Good
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Diiz wrote:
Well even though its from '06, it wasn't top of the line when I built it.
I think the video card was the main problem with it when I tried to play WotLK. If anyone could recommend a vid card that would be compatible with that mobo that would make WoW run well, I would be stoked

The card you have linked in your build post should run in that MOBO, seeing as how it's PCIe 2.0 compatible. You will probably need to upgrade your PSU for any newer card. I don't know that I can recommend you a card. I use a 9800 GT and it runs well. This is the exact card I have, with half the Video RAM. It DOES NOT require and additional 6 pin PCIe connector to run. The only "bad" thing about this car, is that you will HAVE to download nVidias nTune software to mess with the fan speed. They're kept low and as a result the card will run hotter. The price of that card is about what I paid for my 512 way back when I bought it.

Edited, May 6th 2011 6:12pm by Kastigir
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#7 May 08 2011 at 12:03 AM Rating: Good
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Here's an odd question for you Kao. What do you think the minimum price tag for a new rig is such that the whole thing is a worthwhile investment? (assuming you'd need to buy everything, including speakers, monitor, OS, etc.)

My reasoning for asking:

When building, you are obviously going to get a better rig than buying pre-made. But at lower price thresholds, even assuming decent sales on everything, you're still looking at older pieces of hardware. At some point, you are looking at items that will give you a PC that's good quality for the money, but not actually worth building for gaming (assuming you want it to last a few years at least and play new games decently).

I understand a huge portion of this question is subjective and arbitrary. I'm just trying to figure out if it would be feasible for me to save up for a rig this summer, and what the costs/returns of that would be. If I had $800 to spend, but would be only running games on low settings in a few years (for example), it just wouldn't be worth it.
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#8 May 08 2011 at 11:01 PM Rating: Excellent
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It really depends on what you want to do and how long you are willing to wait for some components. A good mid to high range video card is going to start at $250 and go up, and that will generally be one of your larger expenses for a gaming rig. If you have truly usable, rebuildable components such as a case, power supply, DVD drive, maybe a hard drive, you can shave another $150 off the cost of a new machine. From there, you just have to ask yourself what upgrade schedule you can meet. If you are not going to keep investing in keeping the machine up to date, it doesn't make sense to spring for a higher end, potentially rebuildable motherboard, or at least one that will use newer components that will be more likely to transfer over to a newer motherboard / CPU combination later. Right now, Ram is going to stay at DDR3 for probably at least 2, maybe 3 years. DDR4 and DDR5 do exist, but you only find them in video cards at this time, because larger amounts of ram, not faster ram is key at the moment with the trend towards multiple cores, so likely you can hang on to your existing ram longer than you would have otherwise been able to in recent past.

Assuming you need to start from scratch, $800 isn't an unreasonable number for a solid, upgradeable foundation PC. Figure $120-$150 on your motherboard, $35ish for a basic 160GB hdd, $100 for a case and DVD drive together, $100 for a decent 700ish watt PSU, $70 for 2 sticks of ram for starters, then $250 for a video card and $200ish for a CPU. Operating system adds a bit to that if you need it as well of course.

If you skimp on the internals and get a cheaper motherboard and a lower end processor and video card, its doable for $500, though you'll pay for that later when you try to upgrade.

I tend to prefer Intel components personally, but if you are ona budget, AMD makes some very nice, cost effective processors that are almost as fast as their Intel counterparts.

When purchasing though, remember that your computer case will be the one piece of hardware that will last you longer than any other part of your computer. It pays to get one that is easy to access, and built fairly stout even if it costs a bit more, since chances are you won't be upggeading it in the next 10 years on average. Motherboards come and go, but they are the next most pain in the **** thing to replace.

There are also some physical limitations on electrical grid draw capability that mean 1,000 and 1,250 watt PSU's are likely the largest you will see in existance for the next 10 or so years. Buying 1 really good one with a lifetime warranty, though spendy, may eventually pay for itself in purchases you don't have to make again later on.
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#9 May 09 2011 at 8:27 PM Rating: Good
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All awesome bits of wisdom--thanks a lot. I'd definitely look for a system that I can upgrade; it just doesn't seem worth it to drop the cash on something that will need to be almost totally replaced down the line. Especially when it means I can't invest smaller sums of money as time goes on, to keep my gaming performance about even until I need to splurge again.

Thanks. :)
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Anyways, you all are horrible, @#%^ed up people

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Never underestimate the healing power of a massive dong.
#10 May 10 2011 at 9:32 AM Rating: Good
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WooT, also turns out I can still get 64-bit Win 7 Professional cheap through my school. So that's $80 saved right there (and that's between the school price and the Home version--The professional is a $170 savings).

:D
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Anyways, you all are horrible, @#%^ed up people

lolgaxe wrote:
Never underestimate the healing power of a massive dong.
#11 May 10 2011 at 5:03 PM Rating: Decent
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If your school has MSDNAA (and you qualify for it), you may be able to get Windows 7 for free.
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