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System Upgrade Help (CPU, Motherboard, PSU and GPU)

Old Post before I read the forum rules, typical me really!
A year ago I brought a PC of the internet for help with school work and browsing. Its consists of:

CPU: AMD E-350 (1.6ghz Dual Core with stock cooler)
Motherboard: Gigabyte E250N (bundled with CPU)
RAM: 2x 4GB G Skill (Up to 1600mhz)
PSU: 500 watt CIT own-brand (peak rating, came with the case)
Others: 500GB Hard Drive, Optical Drive and a couple of extra fans

As you can see, it wasn't the best build I could have brought, but what's done is done!
I plan to upgrade this significantly over the summer to make it a far more capable of light gaming and multitasking. I was looking at no more than £300 pounds to spend but, £250 would be excellent!

I would like to get upgrades for the CPU and therefore the motherboard the power supply and buy a cheap but quality GPU. An upgrade to my storage would be nice to, not the capacity i have plenty, but the speed, I was thinking an SSD would do the trick.

Now, having read my post so far you may perhaps be wondering why I have posted this here, well this is where I need your help and have to come to Tom's Hardware because of the quality help you guys seem to give everyone, It would be very kind if the community could detail some suggestions for a whole system upgrade as detailed above for under £300 and explain why they have chosen them, (i'm nearly a newb).

Other Info
-I am open to an APU although I would prefer to have a dedicated card.
-The system will need to be able to play a game called Kerbal Space Program well, the Total War series and some shooters, (i plan to get BF4 or BT3 soon as well).
-My current PSU is very loud probably something to do with the quality, so I would also like the system to be quiet, although, this inst one of my main requests and I would be fine with a system the makes some noise.
-I run windows 7 home edition 64 bit.
-Feel free to ask about anything I have forgotten to say or you want to know.
-I'm not fussed as to USB 3 or USB 2
-My case supports ATX and Micro ATX as far as the motherboard is concerned and standard ATX for the PSU



Many, many thanks in advance,
Sam Johnson

*edit*
Approximate Purchase Date: From now to end of August

Budget Range: £250-£350

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming and multitasking, gaming is more important though. As well as a bit of word processing.

Are you buying a monitor: No, I already have one.


Parts to Upgrade:CPU, GPU, Motherboard, PSU and possibly SSD

Do you need to buy OS: No, i run Windows 7 Home Ed 64 bit

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Websites that have low shipping fees do probably those based in the UK

Location: Middle of nowhere, Rural Wiltshire (South West England)

Parts Preferences: Not fussed as far a brands go apart from PSU, other wise price and performance rule

Overclocking: Maybe, but not in the near future

SLI or Crossfire: No

Your Monitor Resolution: 1080p. Though i sometimes use dual with two 720p monitors, hardy ever though.

Additional Comments: -I am open to an APU although I would prefer to have a dedicated card.
-The system will need to be able to play a game called Kerbal Space Program well, the Total War series and some shooters, (i plan to get BF4 or BT3 soon as well).
-My current PSU is very loud probably something to do with the quality, so I would also like the system to be quiet, although, this inst one of my main requests and I would be fine with a system the makes some noise.
-I run windows 7 home edition 64 bit.
-Feel free to ask about anything I have forgotten to say or you want to know.
-I'm not fussed as to USB 3 or USB 2
-My case supports ATX and Micro ATX as far as the motherboard is concerned and standard ATX for the PSU

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: The current PC has limited functionality and cant really play any games that I like.
16 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about system upgrade cpu motherboard psu gpu
  1. KSP! lol

    Right at the top of your budget, but you can get pretty good performance out of this :) And Mantle will help out in BF4 as well:

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: AMD FX-4300 3.8GHz Quad-Core Processor (£65.99 @ Aria PC)
    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-78LMT-USB3 Micro ATX AM3+ Motherboard (£35.39 @ CCL Computers)
    Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 4GB (1 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£27.59 @ Aria PC)
    Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon R9 270 2GB WINDFORCE Video Card (£131.94 @ Amazon UK)
    Power Supply: XFX ProSeries 450W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply (£35.34 @ Scan.co.uk)
    Total: £296.25
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-05-08 17:37 BST+0100)
  2. HiTechObsessed said:
    KSP! lol

    Right at the top of your budget, but you can get pretty good performance out of this :) And Mantle will help out in BF4 as well:

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: AMD FX-4300 3.8GHz Quad-Core Processor (£65.99 @ Aria PC)
    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-78LMT-USB3 Micro ATX AM3+ Motherboard (£35.39 @ CCL Computers)
    Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 4GB (1 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£27.59 @ Aria PC)
    Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon R9 270 2GB WINDFORCE Video Card (£131.94 @ Amazon UK)
    Power Supply: XFX ProSeries 450W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply (£35.34 @ Scan.co.uk)
    Total: £296.25
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-05-08 17:37 BST+0100)


    Nice one thanks very much, i think you can get slightly better prices than that if i shopped around, am i right? Also, I obiously didnt make it lcar but i allready have 8gb or RAM:D Also, whats wrong with KSP? :D
  3. I went a little different but don't include additional ram or an SSD
    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: AMD FX-8120 3.1GHz 8-Core Processor (£91.99 @ Maplin Electronics)
    Motherboard: ASRock 960GM/U3S3 FX Micro ATX AM3+ Motherboard (£39.90 @ CCL Computers)
    Video Card: XFX Radeon R9 270X 2GB Double Dissipation Video Card (£139.99 @ Aria PC)
    Power Supply: XFX 550W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply (£44.11 @ CCL Computers)
    Total: £315.99
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-05-08 17:46 BST+0100)
  4. C12Friedman said:
    I went a little different but don't include additional ram or an SSD
    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: AMD FX-8120 3.1GHz 8-Core Processor (£91.99 @ Maplin Electronics)
    Motherboard: ASRock 960GM/U3S3 FX Micro ATX AM3+ Motherboard (£39.90 @ CCL Computers)
    Video Card: XFX Radeon R9 270X 2GB Double Dissipation Video Card (£139.99 @ Aria PC)
    Power Supply: XFX 550W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply (£44.11 @ CCL Computers)
    Total: £315.99
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-05-08 17:46 BST+0100)



    An octocore is pretty dam cool, i'm told that more cores will start to be used in games from now on!
    although it comes in at just over budget, i think id could stomach that, the R9 would come with an AMD never settle for ever bundled game, or prehaps two? :D Thanks so much for you suggestions.
  5. The 8120 is a crappy gaming CPU, and that motherboard has god-awful power delivery. You would be choking an already poor-performing CPU.

    And are you sure it's DDR3 RAM? If it is, I would revise my build to this:

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: AMD FX-4300 3.8GHz Quad-Core Processor (£65.99 @ Aria PC)
    CPU Cooler: Gelid Solutions CC-Siberian-01 51.9 CFM CPU Cooler (£11.93 @ Amazon UK)
    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-78LMT-USB3 Micro ATX AM3+ Motherboard (£35.39 @ CCL Computers)
    Video Card: Sapphire Radeon R9 270X 2GB Dual-X Video Card (£145.13 @ CCL Computers)
    Power Supply: XFX 550W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply (£44.11 @ CCL Computers)
    Total: £302.55
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-05-08 17:58 BST+0100)

    Will give you quieter CPU cooling as well.
  6. HiTechObsessed said:
    The 8120 is a crappy gaming CPU, and that motherboard has god-awful power delivery. You would be choking an already poor-performing CPU.

    And are you sure it's DDR3 RAM? If it is, I would revise my build to this:

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: AMD FX-4300 3.8GHz Quad-Core Processor (£65.99 @ Aria PC)
    CPU Cooler: Gelid Solutions CC-Siberian-01 51.9 CFM CPU Cooler (£11.93 @ Amazon UK)
    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-78LMT-USB3 Micro ATX AM3+ Motherboard (£35.39 @ CCL Computers)
    Video Card: Sapphire Radeon R9 270X 2GB Dual-X Video Card (£145.13 @ CCL Computers)
    Power Supply: XFX 550W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply (£44.11 @ CCL Computers)
    Total: £302.55
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-05-08 17:58 BST+0100)

    Will give you quieter CPU cooling as well.


    yes, its DDR3 ram, 1600mhz dual kit (4gb each), isnt an R9 270 a bit much for what i want to play, im no expert though, so correct me if im wrong. Couldnt you spend what wasn't spent on a ssd, or would that non give it the same performance boost? Would a amd fx 6300 be any good, and what would be the realsale value of the games from the Never settle forever bundle?(silver grade, i think)
  7. Best answer
    I was going by performance from the most resource hungry game, which is BF4. You could do that, the 750 Ti should get you good enough, especially from what you're upgrading from lol

    The 6300 wouldn't really do much good from the 4300, as 99% of games are single, dual, or quad threaded, and the 4300 is a quad-core, so no real advantage on the 6300. The 4300 is clocked higher, which is what will help in games, too.

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: AMD FX-4300 3.8GHz Quad-Core Processor (£65.99 @ Aria PC)
    CPU Cooler: Gelid Solutions CC-Siberian-01 51.9 CFM CPU Cooler (£11.93 @ Amazon UK)
    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-78LMT-USB3 Micro ATX AM3+ Motherboard (£35.39 @ CCL Computers)
    Storage: Kingston SSDNow V300 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk (£48.78 @ Aria PC)
    Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 750 Ti 2GB Video Card (£107.38 @ Ebuyer)
    Power Supply: XFX ProSeries 450W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply (£35.34 @ Scan.co.uk)
    Total: £304.81
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-05-08 19:42 BST+0100)
  8. HiTechObsessed said:
    I was going by performance from the most resource hungry game, which is BF4. You could do that, the 750 Ti should get you good enough, especially from what you're upgrading from lol

    The 6300 wouldn't really do much good from the 4300, as 99% of games are single, dual, or quad threaded, and the 4300 is a quad-core, so no real advantage on the 6300. The 4300 is clocked higher, which is what will help in games, too.

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: AMD FX-4300 3.8GHz Quad-Core Processor (£65.99 @ Aria PC)
    CPU Cooler: Gelid Solutions CC-Siberian-01 51.9 CFM CPU Cooler (£11.93 @ Amazon UK)
    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-78LMT-USB3 Micro ATX AM3+ Motherboard (£35.39 @ CCL Computers)
    Storage: Kingston SSDNow V300 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk (£48.78 @ Aria PC)
    Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 750 Ti 2GB Video Card (£107.38 @ Ebuyer)
    Power Supply: XFX ProSeries 450W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply (£35.34 @ Scan.co.uk)
    Total: £304.81
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-05-08 19:42 BST+0100)


    that is a good point and i think i agree with you on he GPU and CPU, but what about an SSD? i know its gonna cost more but, heck ill rob a bank or something :D This one fore example: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B007R67FNA/ref=noref?ie=UTF8&psc=1&s=computers
  9. My build list above includes a 120GB SSD :P lol

    But either that or the one you listed will be great. I have Windows 8.1, all my programs, and I think 3 games on my 128GB SSD with around 30GB free space left.
  10. is moving the windows to an ssd easy, or do you have to reinstall it there?
  11. I would just start with a fresh copy of Windows, then just reformat your old hard drive. You don't have to do it that way, but that's what I did when I got an SSD.
  12. yeh i have bad internet speed so downloading games over agin isnt an option but i can re install windows, on another note though, are you sure 450watts will be enough for a R9 270X?
  13. In that case just install Windows on the SSD and keep the HDD as is lol

    For the 270x I would get the 550w XFX I listed above. I changed to the 450w when I changed to the 750 Ti to squeeze an SSD in. 450w would be sufficient, but I would get the 550w if you can for a 270x
  14. ah, ok. Thanks a bunch for your help. Ill list your latest full list as the solution :) merci
  15. Je vous en prie ;)

    Let me know if you need help with anything else, will be a nice little upgrade :) The SSD itself will make Windows and everyday computing seem lightning fast on its own.
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