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jonathancarty
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Bespoke Arcades Synergy Upgrade
#341612 - 06/18/15 03:01 PM


Hi All,

After alot of browsing was hoping for a bit of simple advice.

Managed to get hold of a Bespoke Arcades Synergy table off EBay. It's an older model with the following specs:

AsRock G31M-S Motherboard http://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/G31M-S/
Intel Celeron E1500@2.2GHz
1 Gb RAM
Intel G33/31 Express Chipset Family GMA 3100 Integrated Graphics 384Mb memory

It's running Windows XP SP3 and GameEx.

It works like a dream for all the preloaded games but I was hoping to upgrade the whole thing. I'd like to connect to my wireless network at home but given it's running XP and the lack of security updates now I'm thinking I should upgrade to Windows 7.

My questions are:

1. According to Microsoft, Windows 7 should run OK but I thought I'd double check on here.
2. I'd like to be able to run the latest emulators through GameEx but suspect the current hardware setup won't handle it and I wondered if anyone had any advice re suitable GPU / Processor upgrades.

Thanks

Jon



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Re: Bespoke Arcades Synergy Upgrade new [Re: jonathancarty]
#341642 - 06/19/15 04:47 AM


> AsRock G31M-S Motherboard http://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/G31M-S/
> Intel Celeron E1500@2.2GHz
> 1 Gb RAM
> Intel G33/31 Express Chipset Family GMA 3100 Integrated Graphics 384Mb memory

> 1. According to Microsoft, Windows 7 should run OK but I thought I'd double check on
> here.
> 2. I'd like to be able to run the latest emulators through GameEx but suspect the
> current hardware setup won't handle it and I wondered if anyone had any advice re
> suitable GPU / Processor upgrades.

It will run 64-bit Windows 7 no problem but 1GB RAM is not going to be pleasant. 2GB will do but 4GB makes Windows 7 happy.
I can't safely recommend a video card without knowing the specs of the PSU. If you want to use a real video card you'll probably need a stronger one.

I'd just scrap the whole PC and buy modern parts instead of upgrading. The fastest CPU that you can use with that motherboard is something like 7 years old.

S



jonathancarty
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Re: Bespoke Arcades Synergy Upgrade new [Re: Sune]
#341648 - 06/19/15 10:02 AM


Thanks Sune,

All good points - dunno whether I have the expertise or cash to build or buy a whole new PC.

The RAM is fairly easily upgradeable to 4 or 8Gb, I just thought that for relatively little cash I'd be able to upgrade the CPU ad GPU to at least allow the machine to play games on PCSX2 through GameEx.

I need to check on the PSU specs.

Thanks again

Jon



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Re: Bespoke Arcades Synergy Upgrade new [Re: jonathancarty]
#341664 - 06/19/15 10:18 PM


> dunno whether I have the expertise or cash to build or buy a whole
> new PC.

If you're feeling confident about upgrading CPU, memory and video card in an existing PC then I don't know why you'd worry about expertise - the rest is mostly screws, cables and installing Windows...cash is of course a different problem..

> The RAM is fairly easily upgradeable to 4 or 8Gb,

If it's only going to run emulators, 4GB is perfectly fine. 8GB and up and you're stepping into workstation territory. I'd ditch the existing 1GB and get a matching 2GB pair so that you can run them in dual channel configuration. Look up in the motherboard manual which two slots to use easy, mobo only has 2 slots..

> I just thought that for relatively
> little cash I'd be able to upgrade the CPU ad GPU to at least allow the machine to
> play games on PCSX2 through GameEx.

You want the Wolfdale Core 2 Duo E8600, the fastest Core 2 Duo CPU ever made. 40 dollars on Amazon. With good cooling (and if the motherboard is up for it) you can usually overclock those past 4GHz. PCSX2 runs reasonably well on my old PC which has an E8500.

You can look for a quad core equivalent, but I think those are still too expensive.

> I need to check on the PSU specs.

Take a photo of the label and attach it here. You need to look at wattage and, when adding a discrete video card, amperage on the 12V rail(s).
A quick way to figure out what the amperage should be is to take the TDP of the video card and divide it by 12 (volts). The amp rating on the 12V rail of the PSU listed on the label is the normally the peak amperage and you need to take that into account so that you don't put too much of a strain on the PSU - protect your investment and always go with a good quality PSU that can deliver a bit more than your hardware actually needs. If the CPU is the brain, the PSU is the heart
For example, something in the vicinity of 500 Watts (again, ample headroom will allow it to run more efficiently) that gets a good review here: http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/category/power/

A good, period-correct video card for a PC like this would be for example a Geforce 9800 GTX+ or the Geforce 200 series equivalent (I don't remember which one, I think it was the 250). That should do fine for HLSL in MAME and PCSX2 graphics, unless you're thinking of upgrading the monitor as well - you'd need something faster for, say a 1920x1080 display.

S



jonathancarty
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Re: Bespoke Arcades Synergy Upgrade new [Re: Sune]
#341738 - 06/22/15 02:32 PM


Thanks again Sune,

really great, helpful advice - it's much appreciated. Will check out the PSU and post next chance I get

Jon



jonathancarty
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Re: Bespoke Arcades Synergy Upgrade new [Re: jonathancarty]
#341873 - 06/25/15 09:55 PM Attachment: DSC_0602.jpg 967 KB (0 downloads)



I'm presuming this is a 250W PSU which I guess means I need to upgrade (Geforce 9800 GTX has minimum 450w requirement).....

[ATTACHED IMAGE - CLICK FOR FULL SIZE]

Attachment

Edited by jonathancarty (06/25/15 09:58 PM)



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Re: Bespoke Arcades Synergy Upgrade new [Re: jonathancarty]
#341887 - 06/26/15 04:03 AM


> I'm presuming this is a 250W PSU which I guess means I need to upgrade (Geforce 9800
> GTX has minimum 450w requirement).....

It draws nowhere near that much! You're quoting a plausible "minimum requirement" to power the video card + everything else. Like I said before, in the vicinity of 500 Watts will do.

Never mind that it's 250 watts, the old PSU only has a single 12V line rated at 8 amps. That's barely enough for anything, it's probably suffering as it is. Definitely put it out of its misery. Also no modern PSU worth its salt asks you to "select the right voltage", they all do that automatically. I wouldn't trust that thing even in an office PC.

The 9800 GTX+ had lower power requirements than non-plus 9800 GTX , and the 2xx series card that was based on the 9800 GTX+ presumably even lower.

/EDIT

I looked that up for you. It's the GTS 250, maybe those are easier to find, or cheaper. And it does draw about 30 watts less power at full load.

S



jonathancarty
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Re: Bespoke Arcades Synergy Upgrade new [Re: Sune]
#341908 - 06/26/15 10:33 AM


Thanks Sune,

The GTS 250 looks good, I've found a 1Gb unit online for not much money.

There are loads of PSUs out there!! Any advice on what to go for, are there compatibility issues with different mobos??

Thanks again

Jon



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Re: Bespoke Arcades Synergy Upgrade new [Re: jonathancarty]
#341928 - 06/26/15 08:56 PM


> Thanks Sune,

No problem. I only wish more people would join the discussion, like old times. They're probably shaking their heads at you for throwing money at a 7 years old PC. That said, your "2008 dream PC" is shaping up nicely lol

> The GTS 250 looks good, I've found a 1Gb unit online for not much money.

Great. It should do fine for PCSX2 and MAME with HLSL/OpenGL shaders and its a great match for the Wolfdale Core 2 Duo.

> There are loads of PSUs out there!! Any advice on what to go for, are there
> compatibility issues with different mobos??

Not normally, no. You're buying an ATX Power Supply for an ATX motherboard. The ATX standard was last updated in 2008 but the plugs have been the same for more than a decade.

Don't forget to plug in the 4-pin power connector close to the CPU. The GTS 250 also has its own dedicated power connector.

I'd get something like this. In my opinion, it ticks all the right boxes and Seasonic have been around for 40 years for a reason. Google some reviews of it for a second opinion.

S



jonathancarty
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Re: Bespoke Arcades Synergy Upgrade new [Re: Sune]
#342742 - 07/20/15 10:56 AM


Just about ready to go, just need the kids to go off on holiday so I can get at the machine!!

New components / software are:

Intel Core2Duo E8600 CPU
Nvidia GTS 250 1024 Mb GPU
Windows 7 64 bit SP1 software
Antec HCG620M 620 W 80+ Bronze PSU
4GB (2x2GB) DDR2 667MHz PC2-5300 PC2-5400 DDR2 667 (240 PIN) DIMM RAM

Just a couple of quick questions.

Should I be upgrading things in a specific order, I was thinking about this:

1. PSU
2. RAM
3. CPU
4. Windows 7
5. GPU

Is that sensible?? Also would you advised upgrading the BIOS before starting the whole process??

Thanks as always

Jon



Traso
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Re: Bespoke Arcades Synergy Upgrade new [Re: jonathancarty]
#342762 - 07/20/15 10:58 PM


Yeah, try upgrading the bios first. Then put all the hardware in there. Then do the OS.


> Just about ready to go, just need the kids to go off on holiday so I can get at the
> machine!!
>
> New components / software are:
>
> Intel Core2Duo E8600 CPU
> Nvidia GTS 250 1024 Mb GPU
> Windows 7 64 bit SP1 software
> Antec HCG620M 620 W 80+ Bronze PSU
> 4GB (2x2GB) DDR2 667MHz PC2-5300 PC2-5400 DDR2 667 (240 PIN) DIMM RAM
>
> Just a couple of quick questions.
>
> Should I be upgrading things in a specific order, I was thinking about this:
>
> 1. PSU
> 2. RAM
> 3. CPU
> 4. Windows 7
> 5. GPU
>
> Is that sensible?? Also would you advised upgrading the BIOS before starting the
> whole process??
>
> Thanks as always
>
> Jon



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Re: Bespoke Arcades Synergy Upgrade new [Re: jonathancarty]
#342768 - 07/21/15 12:39 AM


> Intel Core2Duo E8600 CPU

Congratulations, that is the fastest Core 2 Duo ever made, always wanted one of those but they were way out of my price range at the time.

> Nvidia GTS 250 1024 Mb GPU
> Windows 7 64 bit SP1 software
> Antec HCG620M 620 W 80+ Bronze PSU
> 4GB (2x2GB) DDR2 667MHz PC2-5300 PC2-5400 DDR2 667 (240 PIN) DIMM RAM

Great, well done on the PSU. Did you remember the thermal paste?

> Just a couple of quick questions.
>
> Should I be upgrading things in a specific order, I was thinking about this:
>
> 1. PSU
> 2. RAM
> 3. CPU
> 4. Windows 7
> 5. GPU
>
> Is that sensible?? Also would you advised upgrading the BIOS before starting the
> whole process??

Sure, it makes a lot of sense to flash the latest BIOS before doing anything else.

I don't understand why you're worried about the order, just swap out everything at once and then do a clean install of Windows 7. I mean, that's how it's usually done. The order doesn't really matter, except of course finish the hardware first like Traso said.

Microsoft provides a free tool that can make a bootable flash drive from a Windows 7 DVD image or disc. This makes the installation go much faster. I can't remember what it's called right now but it should be easy to find.

Good luck, keep us posted!

S



Traso
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Re: Bespoke Arcades Synergy Upgrade new [Re: Sune]
#342929 - 07/26/15 08:46 AM


Yeah, I have this...although I think I used a smaller tool called WiNToBootic. No more CDs, blech.


> Microsoft provides a free tool that can make a bootable flash drive from a Windows 7 DVD image or disc. This makes the installation go much faster. I can't remember what
> it's called right now but it should be easy to find.
>
> Good luck, keep us posted!
>
> S



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jonathancarty
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Re: Bespoke Arcades Synergy Upgrade new [Re: Traso]
#343856 - 08/11/15 09:15 AM


Hi

So I installed the new PSU, processor and RAM and have successfully installed Windows 7 no problems.

Unfortunately the GPU doesn't seem to fit the motherboard. The metal casing of the card comes up hard against the adjacent PCI slot preventing the card from plugging all the way into the PCIE slot which is a real shame.

I need to get an alternative GPU but now worried about physical compatibility with the motherboard....any suggestions??

Thanks as always

Jon



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Re: Bespoke Arcades Synergy Upgrade new [Re: jonathancarty]
#343885 - 08/12/15 03:12 AM


> Unfortunately the GPU doesn't seem to fit the motherboard. The metal casing of the
> card comes up hard against the adjacent PCI slot preventing the card from plugging
> all the way into the PCIE slot which is a real shame.

That sucks. I've never had any accidents of this kind myself, I guess it must be more common with Mini ATX boards like yours. Looking at the photo of your motherboard it doesn't look to me like there's any less space there than on any other motherboard that I've seen. If the video card doesn't fit there, where else would it fit..

....it being an old video card that you bought 2nd hand.. isn't there a way that you can hack off a piece? What's the metal part? Is it a heatsink? With a little luck maybe it can be modified or swapped.

> I need to get an alternative GPU but now worried about physical compatibility with
> the motherboard....any suggestions??

You'd have to post measurements of the video card. err, the space where the video card is going.

S



jonathancarty
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Re: Bespoke Arcades Synergy Upgrade new [Re: Sune]
#344001 - 08/14/15 01:39 AM


Thanks Sune,

I managed to get the GPU fully into the PCIE slot with some "modificaltions" of the case but the system wouldn't boot so I suspect the card is knackered.

I have a new card due to be delivered tomorrow, heres hoping....



jonathancarty
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Re: Bespoke Arcades Synergy Upgrade new [Re: jonathancarty]
#344029 - 08/14/15 08:48 PM


New GPU arrived,

All installed and working perfectly.

Thanks so much for the patience, help and advice

Jon



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Re: Bespoke Arcades Synergy Upgrade new [Re: jonathancarty]
#344033 - 08/15/15 01:30 AM


> New GPU arrived,
>
> All installed and working perfectly.
>
> Thanks so much for the patience, help and advice
>
> Jon

Great, good to hear. Hopefully it was worth your while!

S


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