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$250 gaming PC upgrade or build, need help.

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December 28, 2013 9:52:26 AM

Good day to you all, hope you had a great holiday. Anyways, I got a really crap PC. It is the HP Pavillion A6400F, I have it linked below. Its current specs are.
CPU: Intel E2200 2.2 GHZ Dual Core
RAM: 3 GB DDR2 400 mhz
GPU: Intel GMA 3100 integrated onto the motherboard.
For those wanting more info here is a link: http://tinyurl.com/k8rubpr

Now I know $250 is not much to work with. I don't know what to do. Should I:

Build a AMD APU build(a8 5600k), 4 gb ram, etc.
Or
Upgrade my current PC. To a Intel Core 2 Duo E8600 or Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600, 4 GB of memory, and something like a HD 7770.

I really don't know. If I upgrade I will be stuck with a crappy 7 year old cpu. If I build a new PC I can add a dedicated graphics card later and still have a very good cpu to work with. However the upgrade will certainly perform well in games for now. I don't know how long that will last. I am very limited overclocking wise my my motherboard.

I just don't know which to go with :pfff:  . Which ever route you suggest I take please leave a build. Cheers.
a b å Intel
December 28, 2013 10:03:20 AM

There are problems with both suggestions really. Getting a Q6600 is a great idea, but you are stuck with DDR2 which is expensive, and you really don't have the amount of ram for newer titles. Though you could get lucky on ebay. It would certainly perform better then the alternative.

The APU build would require all new ram, and you would be limiting yourself to the short lived FM2 socket. AM3+ socket would be better, but then you need a dedicated card there as well.

Perhaps this?

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/2rCdp
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/2rCdp/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/2rCdp/benchmarks/

CPU: AMD FX-4300 3.8GHz Quad-Core Processor ($90.98 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Asus M5A78L-M LX PLUS Micro ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($48.98 @ Newegg)
Memory: A-Data XPG Gaming Series 4GB (1 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition 1GB Video Card ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $259.94
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-12-28 13:03 EST-0500)
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a b α HP
a b å Intel
December 28, 2013 10:04:20 AM

Personally, I wouldn't pour any more money into a 2008 era PC.

But with a $250 budget, your options are very, very limited. Once you consider ALL the parts needed, $250 does not go very far.
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Related resources
December 28, 2013 10:12:07 AM

I agree with what both Eximo and USAFRet stated, for a decent gaming rig, start saving your money, probably will need a minimum of $650-$800 to build something capable of playing newer titles.
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December 28, 2013 10:17:00 AM

I would prefer a new system.. upgrading not only leaves you with buying those parts second hand but also with old technology like pcie 1.0 and ddr2 (although those 2 interfaces won't be that much of a bottleneck)

something like this would be great

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/kczw

I'm only worrying about your psu.. this setup will roughly consume 200 watts when under load. It's not that much but what is your psu specs exactly?

A nice future upgrade could be a 550 watt psu, AMD 7850, nice case and an SSD.
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December 28, 2013 10:30:59 AM

CPU : AMD Athlon II X4 750K 3.4GHz http://pcpartpicker.com/part/amd-cpu-ad750kwohjbox $80.98
MOBO : MSI FM2-A75MA-E35 http://pcpartpicker.com/part/msi-motherboard-fm2a75mae3...
RAM : Crucial Ballistix 4GB (1 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 http://pcpartpicker.com/part/crucial-memory-blt4g3d1608...
GPU : Sapphire Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition http://pcpartpicker.com/part/sapphire-video-card-100358...
PSU : Corsair Builder 430W 80+ Bronze http://pcpartpicker.com/part/corsair-power-supply-cx430
TOTAL : $324.95 and $294.93 after rebates.
You have here a full PC , keep your HDD,case and DVD-RW.
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December 28, 2013 12:59:53 PM

Praise_Gaben said:
I would prefer a new system.. upgrading not only leaves you with buying those parts second hand but also with old technology like pcie 1.0 and ddr2 (although those 2 interfaces won't be that much of a bottleneck)

something like this would be great

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/kczw

I'm only worrying about your psu.. this setup will roughly consume 200 watts when under load. It's not that much but what is your psu specs exactly?

A nice future upgrade could be a 550 watt psu, AMD 7850, nice case and an SSD.


My PSU came with my PC, and its only 250 watts. Info should be in the link I provided.


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Best solution

December 28, 2013 1:26:00 PM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD A10-5800K 3.8GHz Quad-Core Processor ($89.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock FM2A55M-DGS Micro ATX FM2 Motherboard ($49.98 @ OutletPC)
Memory: A-Data XPG Gaming Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($62.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: SeaSonic 300W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($38.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $241.94
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-12-28 16:25 EST-0500)

GET THIS WHILE ITS HOT. The a10-5800k for $90 is a steal!

the 5800K will give you enough GPU for light gaming for a while
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