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Upgrading a Gaming/school computer that I bought for $50

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March 14, 2014 2:20:08 PM

My pops and I went around looking computer parts to build a computer when we found this at a yard sale. This is going to be my school computer (graphic design and videogame design/programming), and also gaming in general while possibly streaming. This PC only cost me $50 and I still have $500 to spend. Also next semester I will probably spend an extra $200-$300.


PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD Athlon II X2 255 3.0GHz Dual-Core Processor ($54.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-78LMT-S2P Micro ATX AM3 Motherboard ($49.99 @ Microcenter)
Memory: Patriot Signature 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($83.47 @ Amazon)
Storage: Hitachi Ultrastar 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($78.49 @ Amazon)
Video Card: GeForce GTS 250 512MB Video Card
Case: Cooler Master N200 MicroATX Mid Tower Case ($44.99 @ Microcenter)
Power Supply: Thermaltake TR2 700W ATX Power Supply ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($19.98 @ OutletPC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($94.98 @ OutletPC)
Monitor: Asus VW22AT-CSM 22.0" Monitor ($139.99 @ Amazon)
Keyboard: HP DT528A#ABA Wired Standard Keyboard ($19.32 @ Amazon)
Mouse: HP QY778AT Wired Laser Mouse ($14.98 @ OutletPC)
Headphones: Panasonic RPHV108W Earbud Headphones ($9.99 @ Adorama)
Total: $742.48
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-03-14 16:48 EDT-0400)



Approximate Purchase Date: Next week

Budget Range: $500

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Graphic design/gaming at hopefully 1080p/streaming games/Videogame design and programming

Are you buying a monitor: No

Parts to Upgrade: What ever you think I need to upgrade

Do you need to buy OS: Yes

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Amazon/Best Buy/Microcenter/NCIX US/Newegg/Superbiiz/TigerDirect

Location: Casa Grande, Arizona US

Parts Preferences: On my price range I know AMD is probably the best route

Overclocking: Not yet, but when school starts I probably will

SLI or Crossfire: Not yet, but when school starts I probably will

Your Monitor Resolution: 1680x1050

Additional Comments: Needs to stay cool in a room that is frequently hot since I have no AC, I dont care about noise

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: Need a computer for school (graphic design and game design/programing) and gaming/streaming
a b 4 Gaming
March 14, 2014 2:22:40 PM

Are you saying that list is what you want to buy, or what the PC consists of now?
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March 14, 2014 2:24:55 PM

Yeah sorry, that List is what I currently have.
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a b 4 Gaming
March 14, 2014 2:32:57 PM

Afro Nubs said:
Yeah sorry, that List is what I currently have.


upgrade the cpu to a fx6300 or fx8320, upgrade the gpu to a r9270 or 760-770, grab a ssd, and a 2tb green or blue cavier harddrive to store all your projects, and grab a hyper 212 cooler to make sure you keep your new cpu cool, the rest of what you have is pretty good already.
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a b 4 Gaming
March 14, 2014 2:37:22 PM

+1^
That sounds good for the price. If you don't plan on overclocking, you could even skip the 212 EVO cooler. At 1680x1050 rez, any of those cards should perform nicely. Most games should be able to be maxed out. That's one heck of a good deal for $50.
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March 14, 2014 2:48:52 PM

Cool, just one thing about the cpu, the link I have to the MOBO, goes to a AM3+ board, but I actually have a AM3 board. the AM3+ board was as close as I could get to it. so could I still use the FX CPU even though its an AM3+ CPU?
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a b 4 Gaming
March 14, 2014 2:51:58 PM

Afro Nubs said:
Cool, just one thing about the cpu, the link I have to the MOBO, goes to a AM3+ board, but I actually have a AM3 board. the AM3+ board was as close as I could get to it. so could I still use the FX CPU even though its an AM3+ CPU?


just grab a am3+ motherboard then too, since you have the budget to do it anyway, the one you linked i think is on sale right now anyway lol
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a b 4 Gaming
March 14, 2014 2:52:58 PM

Afro Nubs said:
Cool, just one thing about the cpu, the link I have to the MOBO, goes to a AM3+ board, but I actually have a AM3 board. the AM3+ board was as close as I could get to it. so could I still use the FX CPU even though its an AM3+ CPU?


Unfortunately, no. You are going to be stuck with whatever Phenom II you can still find on Ebay or someplace similar. Btw, you stated Athlon II X2 255, but you linked to a 250. Which is it?
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March 14, 2014 2:57:39 PM

Oh yeah, its the Athlon II X2 255, but they didn't have it on pcpartpicker, so I just changed it so at least you know what i have
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a b 4 Gaming
March 14, 2014 3:03:15 PM

Look on the motherboard about middle, near the PCIe slot and see if it has model number. Every MB I search out with GA-78LMT-S2P on it comes up AM3+. I can't seem to find the AM3 socket version.
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March 14, 2014 3:07:58 PM

its GA-M68MT-D3
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a b 4 Gaming
March 14, 2014 3:14:37 PM

Afro Nubs said:
its GA-M68MT-D3


That's better. Here's the processors it supports and the BIOS version needed for it to be recognized.
http://www.gigabyte.us/support-downloads/cpu-support-po...

And here is the web page for that motherboard if you need any other info, drivers, etc.
http://www.gigabyte.us/products/product-page.aspx?pid=3...

Finally, here are some Phenom II X4 3GHZ and faster processors on ebay. I doubt you'll find a new one anywhere else... maybe Amazon. They also have outside sellers.
http://www.ebay.com/sch/CPUs-Processors-/164/i.html?_fr...
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March 14, 2014 3:19:41 PM

do you think I could just upgrade to an AM3+ board
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a b 4 Gaming
March 14, 2014 3:29:20 PM

Afro Nubs said:
do you think I could just upgrade to an AM3+ board

That would be one solution. Do you already have a copy of Win7? If so, OEM or retail?
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March 14, 2014 3:31:37 PM

I just have what was pre-installed on the PC (which is win7), But Im going to buy a retail copy of Win8.1
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a b 4 Gaming
March 14, 2014 3:36:35 PM

Then a new MB wouldn't be a hassle. Just an added expense. If it fits in your budget, the above suggestion would be good.
Also, since you are changing MBs, you may consider going Intel.
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March 14, 2014 3:39:35 PM

I wanted intel, but with only $500 is that enough to go intel? Well technically about $400 with the new OS.
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Best solution

a b 4 Gaming
March 14, 2014 3:47:55 PM

Afro Nubs said:
I wanted intel, but with only $500 is that enough to go intel? Well technically about $400 with the new OS.


I think so. Intel Haswell i3, 1150 socket MB, and R9-270X. You can always upgrade to a faster CPU with an Intel board. Go to partpicker.com and build what you think you'll need: http://pcpartpicker.com/

I have to go away for awhile.
Share
March 14, 2014 3:49:22 PM

But I thought for what I was going into I needed with intel at least an i5?
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a b 4 Gaming
March 14, 2014 5:41:33 PM

Afro Nubs said:
But I thought for what I was going into I needed with intel at least an i5?


If the funds are there, yeah. If not, you can always upgrade later.
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