Refurbishing an old rig

Good day everyone. To start off I'm a super noob. I got this old rig from about 5yr+ ago. My brother and I were thinking about transforming it into a bitcoin miner, it doesn't have to be optimal we're just experimenting. Here are the specs(don't laugh):

Motherboard: Gigabyte ga-8i915g duo

Cpu:some Celarion crap

Ram: 512mb DDR2


Graphic card: built in???

Now I believe with specs like these the only option is to max it out. Getting the top possible specs should be cheap with most of them being outdated by now. I've been to a few sites for the motherboard and can't figure out if I can go beyound Pentium 4. I also don't know what is the best graphic card compatible. Is DDR3 possible? Besides trashing the whole thing any advice is welcome. 

Thanks :)


You'd be surprised by how expensive upgrading an old machine is, which is precisely why I don't upgrade machines older than a few years. Either re-purpose as a general use or home server, or recycle it.

I suppose, in theory, it could run a Core 2 Duo, but good luck finding one (under $40). It could be bested by the lowest end Ivy Bridge based Celeron, which is around $40. A pentium 4 (even the highest end model) doesn't have an ice-cube's chance in hell to compete with an Ivy Bridge celeron on any level.

A good GPU that won't be utterly bottlenecked by your CPU? maybe a 7770. But you could stick a 7970 in there, if you wanted to, assuming your power supply could handle it.

No DDR3 RAM is NOT possible on that motherboard.

And unless you've got money to burn, don't mine with that machine. You'll definitely be mining at a loss, meaning you'll pay more in power than any bitcoinage you can mine will be worth.

Thank you kind sir for smacking me back to reality. It seems bitcoin minning is becoming less profitable (at least that's what i understood from the last 'The Tek' episode), we just wanted to give it a shot and see what it's all about. I'll see what cheap parts I can salvage here and there. I have a friend who can get me used parts or whole sale prices, I'll check him out. The problem is he's a computer illiterate and manages his store as if selling groceries...

A few quick questions please:

1)What do I look for in the cpu specifications to know if it's compatable with my motherboard? I tried searching for info but found it a bit overwhelming.....

2)There seems to be 3 Celerion Ivy Bridge in the market, does it make a difference which one?

3)With a 7770 and as good a processor as I can get(lets say the Ivy Bridge Celeron), can I play games at medium resolution? Something like Fallout 3/New Vegas or Bioshock: infinite(maybe this one is too new). The young bloods in the family are itching for a gaming rig and I wouldn't mind one personaly for light gaming.

I truely appreciate you taking your time to answer me, I know it can get annoying sometimes :)

It'd be far more prudent to look at the motherboard to see if it's compatible with the CPU, not the otherway around. These days, just the socket. Usually, if the sockets match up, it will work. There are a few exceptions - If you're trying to use an Ivy Bridge CPU on an H61 chipset (both socket 1155), a BIOS update could be required, and some manufacturers might not provide an update (especially on budget oriented boards). Same kinda issue with older AM3 boards - they might need BIOS updates to support the newer AM3+ CPU's, but then again, those sockets aren't the same, though some manufacturers just slap an AM3+ moniker on older AM3 boards anyway. Any AM3+ should support any AM3+ CPU without updates. I'm not sure if there were the same quirkes with socket 775 CPUs. I wasn't big on computers back in those days, but my understanding then was both the CPU and motherboard needed to support the same FSB speed, but it's entirely possible I'm mistaken on that. It could be (speculating here) that they need to match up FSB to get full speed, but if you're using an 800MHz FSB board with a 1066MHz CPU, the CPU could just run at a reduced speed (clockspeed = FSB * CPU multiplier/ratio).

There is a slight difference in performance favoring the G1620 thanks the 100MHz higher clock, but I don't think it justifies the $10 premium over the G1610. Maybe a $5 premium. The G1610[b]T[/b] is a low-power option, which will be slower, but, produce less heat and, in theory, should consume less power overall. Not that G1610 is a power hog.

BTW, the G1610 Celeron is $42 at Amazon, or $35 if you live near a Micro Center.

Yes, most NEW games would be playable at full HD (1920x1080/ 1080p) with medium settings, but something Fallout 3/NV would be playable at MAX settings. I was playing that game maxed with my 5830, and the 7770 is a bit faster than that.

If you could fork out an extra few bucks for a quad-core like an AMD Athlon II x4 645, that would be better, especially since games are starting to utilize 4 threads a lot more efficiently, almost making a requirement these days. Dual-cores aren't out yet, but if you want keep playing some new games on it for a while, best invest in a quad-core. Testing has shown a Core i3 would suffice being a hyperthreaded dual-core (2 cores/4 threads), but the AMD quad-cores are a better bang for your buck, plus that Athlon II x4 can be found for $75.

If that's a bit expensive for you, you could consider an AMD APU. The A10-5800K (~$125) has a potent integrated graphics that can game at 720p medium settings, or 1080p low settings, and features an overclockable quad-core at 3.8GHz. You would not need to buy a dedicated graphics card to game with the APU. Overall, you'd get less gaming performance compared to something like a Celeron + 7770, but a lot better bang for your buck, and save quite a bit of money since the 7770 alone can cost $120. The APU's are a very balanced package for entry level gaming.

Since that's a 775 off the top of my head, you could throw something like an E6500 in there.  It's basically a rebranded Core 2 Duo iirc, for way cheaper.  Here's one for $26:

Gosh, I payed $69.99 back in the day.  

Hell, you can get a Q6600 for $55.  2.4ghz Quad Core...Not top of the line anymore but these babies used to sell for $200+

You can get a GTS 450 for $40 or so.  That'd be about level with that processor.  

As for RAM, no you can't upgrade to DDR3.  What's on the motherboard is on the motherboard.

Just a word to the wise though, you'll likely need a more powerful PSU if it's still using the stock one.  

Knowing the budget would be really useful here. Logan did a $350 or $400 dollar gaming machine that would do better than what your got now. So it might be better to just save some money for a several months and just start a new build. Maybe use the same case and powersupply if possible. Well I hope that would be possible for your situation.

dude keep the old girl for a dosbox or something like that.

that board isnt compatible with 65nm let alone the 45nm 775 chips so upgrading the cpu is a waste of time and money.

no decent sata ports.

it honestly isnt worth the wasting money on it mate. maybe get it going and play around with a simple linux distro or something. & save up for a little while and get a simple new system.