So basically, I've decided it's time to get a new pc because my current one is in its death throes. I am not a hardcore pc gamer but I do like to be able to play occasionally. I don't play any newer games but again would like to have the option to do so without it being unbearably slow/laggy. I'm not looking to build a top of the line pc, just something that will run quickly and be able to handle some of the newer games. I spend a lot of time doing research and often have 20+ academic articles open in different windows + apps, music etc. so a computer capable of multitasking is also a requirement for me. I haven't kept up with pc hardware so I'm not sure what I need to suit my needs. I asked this question to the guy at the store last time I got a pc and he sold me up a river and I ended up needing to upgrade the pc he told me would be suitable so I don't want to repeat the experience.
If anyone could give me an idea of what I might need in terms of Ram, motherboards, video card, etc. to get back up and running it would be much appreciated. Ideally Im looking to spend under $1000 (I live in Canada so things are slightly more expensive than in the U.S. but should be close enough) A range of suggestions would be great so I can see what's available.
Wow thanks for all of the quick replies. I will try to answer your questions so I can get as close to what I need as possible. As far as monitor goes, I currently have my setup connected to my 36" tv which has HDMI connectors and all that Jazz and I'm going to keep that. As far as my current setup goes these are the specs:
Acer Aspire M3920
Intel i5 2300 cpu @ 2.8Ghz
6GB of RAM
Windows 7 Home edition premium
Nvidia Geforce 8600 GT (recently stopped working)
I have a 1TB Hitachi HD but not sure where to find its precise specs.
I am not looking to carry much over from this system as it is all at least 3 years old but if there is something in there you guys think is worth reusing I am open to it. I will likely get a new keyboard and mouse because mine are very old as well.
Essentially, I'd like to have something that is an upgrade to my current PC without going full tilt. I don't play the intense MMORPGs anymore, nor the shooting games so essentially I want to be able to play Sims 4 when it comes out in september and the odd tbs or rts game.
Outside of that, I use the pc for watching netflix/tv shows/movies, listening to music, and my academic work. I do like to be able to have many tabs open at once without it getting slowed down and I know the new windows will require more juice to run. I don't think I can carry over the operating system can I? That should be a consideration in cost too I guess. I will need to purchase windows. From what I've heard windows 7 is more my style than 8 but I don't know what's available.
Other than that I'm not a super intensive user. I'm not concerned with how my pc looks since it just sits under the desk and if it ran quiet that would be ideal but I rarely notice computer noises anyways. Let me know if there is any other info I can provide.
Not really worth upgrading that is still a modern CPU, just get a new video card.
GTX760 would be a good match. Maybe get an SSD to make the system more responsive.
Thanks for the advice. I'm guessing the 760 would deliver significantly improved performance over my old card? I've been trying to compare them but I'm not entirely sure what I'm looking at lol. There are some cheaper cards with 2gb of ram vs the 256 my old card had but which still have similar or lower clock speeds etc. I'll probably just grab a geforce 760 but I'm curious to learn how to compare them all. I think I'd also need to upgrade my power source for a new card, my current box is only 300w.
Clock frequency is only a means of comparing two cards of the same architecture. Instructions per cycle (IPC) for CPUs and Floating Point Operations per Second (FLOPS) for GPUs are a good rule of thumb. Only true comparison for video cards is benchmarking in the applications that you want to run.
8600GT doesn't even show up on a lot of sites charts to anything recent, so hard to show you real numbers. But going off some stats for the 9600GT the GTX760 is somewhere between 15 and 20 times faster.