Re-Build Computer

  Richard1980 21:12 09 Nov 2011

Evening, right I don't even know where to start ehehe but here it goes... In 2006 I built a computer which would last me at least 5 years, it's now almost 6 years, and poor little guy is struggling...

The thing is, I use to know quite a bit of computers hardware and software, but this was 6 years ago... recently I found out that manufacturers don't do any more parts to desktop... which lead me to a trip to the unknown...

I'm completely lost, Motherboards, drives, cables, everything is looking more and more from the twilight zone for me (yes I'm getting old too).

I know there's a budget for everything including build a PC from scratch like mine but since mine is quite old I just want to upgrade it so I think I wont need to spend a big amount of money (like £1000) since it might be easy to find some parts... I don't want it for gaming or so but mainly I need it touse AutoCAD (don't know if you recognise this software but involves 2D and 3D drafting, with lots of rendering)...

I would like to ask you guys that are definitely more experienced then I am, what Motherboard, Drives, etc would I need to get to achieve this. I'm not asking a top of the charts piece of hardware but more like near the bottom parts but better then what I've got.

Can you help me with this?

Here follows what I have:



Name: AMD Sempron 3400+

Code name: Manila

Brand ID: 6

Package: Socket AM2 (940)

Technology: 90nm

Core voltage: 1.360 V

Specification: AMD Sempron(tm) Processor 3400+

Family: F

Model: F

Stepping: 2

Ext.Family: F

Ext. Model: 5F

Revision: DH-F2

Instructions: MMX(+), 3DNow!(+), SSE (1,2,3), x86-64

Clocks (Core#0)

Core Speed:2022.5 Mhz

Multiplier: x 9.0

Bus Speed: 224.7 MHz

HT Link: 898.9 MHz


L1 Data: 64 KBytes - 2-way L1 Inst.: 64 KBytes - 2-way Level 2: 256 KBytes- 16-way

Cores: 1

Threads: 1


L1 D-Cache: 64 KBytes (2 way set associative, 64-byte line size)

L1 I-Cache: 64 KBytes (2 way set associative, 64-byte line size)

L2 Cache: 256 KBytes (16 way set associative, 64-byte line size)



Model: ALiveXFire-eSATA2

Chipset: ATI Xpress 200 (RS480) Rev.01

Southbridge: ATI SB600 Rev.00

LPCIO: Winbond W83627EHF


Brand: American Megatrends Inc.

Version: P1.00

Date: 09/14/2006

Graphic Interface

Version: PCI-Express

Link Width: x8

Max. Supported: x16



Type: DDR2

Channels #:Dual

Size: 2048 MBytes


DRAM Frequency: 404.5 Mhz


CAS# Latency (CL): 5.0 Clocks

RAS# to CAS# Delay (tRCD): 5 Clocks

RAS# Precharge (tRP): 5 Clocks

Cycle Time (tRAS): 18 Clocks

Ban Cycle Time (tRC): 24 Clocks

Command Rate (CR): 2T


Slot 1 & Slot 2 contain:


Module size: 1024 MBytes

Correction: None

Max Bandwidth: PC2-6400(400 MHz)

Timings Table


Frequency: 200 MHz

CAS# Latency: 3.0

RAS# to CAS#: 3

RAS# Precharge: 3

tRAS: 9

tRC: 12

Voltage: 1.80 V


Frequency: 266 MHz

CAS# Latency: 4.0

RAS# to CAS#: 4

RAS# Precharge: 4

tRAS: 12

tRC: 16

Voltage: 1.80 V


Frequency: 400 MHz

CAS# Latency: 5.0

RAS# to CAS#: 5

RAS# Precharge: 5

tRAS: 18

tRC: 23

Voltage: 1.80 V




Code Name: G71 Rev.A2

Technology: 90nm


Core: 450 MHz

Memory: 660 MHz


Size: 256 MBytes

Bus Width: 256 bits

This is all the information I found...I'm really lost guys and would really need a guidance from someone that definitely knows more then me. (which is easy eheheh) thanks for reading...and awaiting replies...

Best Regards


  gengiscant 04:22 10 Nov 2011

A definitive budget would be usefull?Although you have typed a mass of information make/model/type and size is really all that's required.

Are these your components? Mobo CPU GPU am I correct in saying you have 2GB of PC 6400 ram? I am not surprised it is showing its age particularly using Autocad. So if you could post a budget, I'll have a look for suitable components, I think a complete rebuild would be the way to go keeping your current rig as backup/spare or break it up and try and flog the parts on EBay.

  Richard1980 09:17 10 Nov 2011

Cheers for your reply gengiscant.

Yes, true, I showed loads of data which I probably wouldn't need to, my sincere apologies for that, but since I'm feeling quite a bit lost in all this I thought the more information I can give the better and more accurate someone would know how to help me in this matter.

My budget goes between £250-£400... I know I know, I'm mad, but as you probably understand I'm not trying to achieve a TOP Computer (I'm intending to build a TOP computer but at the moment financial speaking is kind of impossible to do it), but more a reasonable working ok computer.

Cheers for your help.


  gengiscant 09:49 10 Nov 2011

Would this include an upgrade to Windows 7? I think you will have to spend nearer the £400 than the £250, but I'll see what I can come up with.

  gengiscant 10:04 10 Nov 2011

What about your current power supply? will you need a new hard-drive bearing in mind these are rocketing in price due to the floods in Thailand?

  Richard1980 10:07 10 Nov 2011

I don't want to upgrade to Windows 7 (yet)... Windows XP Professional is the one I've been using without any problems and what I've heard is Windows 7 it's not yet at it's best, so I might give some more years till I do it...

But now you left me with the question itslef, do you reckon I should go to Windows 7?


  bjh 10:09 10 Nov 2011

One way to start is to look at motherboard bundles. Novatech has a good reputation, and Motherboard bundles here would make a good start in noting what motherboards/processors and memory go together, and rough price guides.

I don't think you'll match a fully pre-built system for price, and I tend to buy a system and then alter it as I wish. Either one like these listed, or a fully built system.

Another point to note - the floods in Taiwan have (aside from killing 500+ people!) sent hard disk prices sky-rocketing to absurd prices. They will fall. I'd either temporarily make do with what you have, or buy whatever is cheap (if anything is), and buy your "real" hard drive in a few months.

Autocad used to be pretty intensive on memory & processor - not so much now, as hardware has pulled ahead of software rather.

  bjh 10:11 10 Nov 2011

Just seen your Windows 7 query. Vista was the poor Windows - Win 7 has been good since launch, is excellent now, and is far better able to make use of the hardware. You'd be pushed to find a motherboard that comes with (a good set of) XP drivers. For me, Win 7 would be an essential, and I'd certainly go with the 64 bit version.

Win 8 will be a while away, and may prove to be a very different kettle of fish!

  Richard1980 10:12 10 Nov 2011

Power Suppy I have a 400W so I think it will be ok...Hard Drive is a small one, but I might get a 500GB or 1TB, RAM (now there's a problem) I have 2GB RAM with now more slots available and old Express system, so I'm trying to understand the new ones where I can have at least 4 or 6 slots for RAM...

OS no problem, Power Supply no problem, Hard Drive no problem,

Problems, Motherboard (which one) RAM slots Graphic Card (should I stick with my nVidia or not) Broadband card Proper Sound Card


These are probably the things I'm thinking to buy. Please do correct me if I'm incorrect in any sort of way.


  Richard1980 10:17 10 Nov 2011

Cheers for your reply bjh, the question is financially speaking I can't afford a Windows 7 64-bit and any piece of hardware to sustain a Windows for now I have to stick with Windows XP professional which is the one I have.

Like I said before please correct me if I'm wrong.


  gengiscant 11:23 10 Nov 2011

Heres one spec.

Mobo: Gigabyte H61N-USB3-B3 £70.33 LN41692

CPU: Intel CPU Core i5 2300 £142.98 LN36729

RAM: Corsair Memory XMS3 Classic 4GB DDR3 £22.08 LN27738

GPU: MSI 2GB GeForce GTS 450 £74.94 LN40390

Total £319 .94. Postage £7.99 All items bought from Scan Computing and the LN numbers will help you find the items. You will need to add a case which can be had here Case You can switch the i5 2300 for a i3 2100 (£89),(but the i3 has 2 processing cores while the i5 has 4 processing cores)This would bring the overall cost down to around £265 including postage.If you decide on a new hard-drive this will also need to be factored.

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