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Upgrading 4 year old PC. Where should I begin? CPU, GPU, Motherboard, RAM?

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October 10, 2013 12:27:45 PM

I know you guys get a lot of questions like this, but I really need some advice. I'm looking to upgrade my 4+ year old PC, which was built back in 2008. I need something good for multitasking, video and photo editing, 3D modeling and gaming. I've managed okay with my current build, but it's beginning to chug along slowly when doing anything heavy, which has been slowing me down a lot.

Specs:
ASUS P5QL Pro
Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Quad CPU Q6600@2.4GHz
4GB RAM
Nvidia GeForce 9600GT

Running Windows 7 32-bit on a 128GB Samsung 830 SSD and I have two extra internal HDDs. I already have a decent sized case and I am okay with my current hdd storage and 22" monitor.


I only have about $200-$300 to work with at the moment, but I'd be willing to splurge on the most important components first then upgrade a little more down the line if I have to. What would you guys recommend? If my budget is too low, what should I upgrade first?

Thanks.
October 10, 2013 12:36:06 PM

If your video and photo editing can be accelerated by Cuda or OpenCL, and gaming is a high priority, get a graphics card.

Otherwise, to get a noticeably faster CPU, you're going to have to switch out motherboards and your ram is currently DDR2 while everything modern is DDR3 at the moment, so you'll also have to replace the memory... You can probably barely get a quad core intel, or 8 core AMD, a motherboard and at least 8GB of ram for the upper end of your budget.
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October 10, 2013 12:41:28 PM

I'd wait and get something when you can afford a new rig. DDR2 is insanely expensive to upgrade. Getting a new CPU is going to need a new MB/RAM anyways. Your windows is only 32bit, which only handles 4GB of RAM, so you'll need a new Windows.

Best bet, save up till you can afford something new.
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October 10, 2013 1:05:09 PM

Thank you both. I definitely plan to upgrade to 64-bit Windows 7, maybe 8, but was excluding it from the cost of hardware. Would I get any benefit out of upgrading my graphics card first until I can afford to switch out everything else (pcu, motherboard, etc.) or would there be compatibility issues with my current setup? I'm looking at the GTX 660, which I hear is a decent gpu for around $200. Would it be a good idea to buy it first, then build/upgrade around it?
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October 10, 2013 1:43:14 PM

A good AM3+ 970 board ($90), an FX 6300 ($110), a Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO ($30) and 8 GB of DDR3 1600 Ram ($60) will be a good all-purpose platform and support a respectable OC around 4.4GHz on near stock voltage with that CPU/cooler combo.

Total cost to upgrade your platform would be around $290.

You can add storage and video card from there.
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a b 4 Gaming
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October 10, 2013 1:47:03 PM

^^^ Would be a good $300 upgrade.
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October 17, 2013 1:12:28 AM

You budget is $300 and you would like to buy cpu,gpu,mobo for Gaming,Editing and for 3D Modelling. Rest things like ram and HDD you have..... So buy an MSI 970A-G46 Motherboard(AM3+),Yes this a good motherboard for overclocking and its cheaper will cost up to($90) it support Nvidia sli and amd crossfire. Manufactured only for Amd,it supports the Fx series... Link for Mobo: http://www.flipkart.com/msi-970a-g46-motherboard/p/itmd... This is the cpu.AMD 4 GHz AM3+ FX-4300 its also a great cpu gives you 4 GHZ and this will support to the mobo.. Will cost upto($119) link for cpu: http://www.flipkart.com/amd-4-ghz-am3-fx-4300-fx-series... Gpu Asus AMD/ATI HD 6670 it give 810 mhz clock speed maximum resolution 2560*1600. Price for gpu($95) Link for the gpu http://www.flipkart.com/asus-amd-ati-hd-6670-1-gb-gddr5... Yes you can see that total is by few dollars but incsease it the gpu,cpu and mobo are great... Hope this review was helpfull.....
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