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Just buy new mobo, or upgrade to current gen?

Budget $250
I live in the US (close enough to a Fry's or a Microcenter that if they have a great deal that's not a problem to drive to them)
Use - light gaming, general home use (email, streaming, etc.)
Don't need any peripherals or OS, will migrate from current build

So my current setup was:
Intel G3258
Cooler Master Hyper T2 cooler
MSI Z87 gaming mobo (which just died)
G. Skill Ares 16GB Asus DDR3 RAM 1600
PowerColor HD 7850 2GB
EVGA 650 BQ PSU

I was happy with the performance, as I don't need much, can play FortNite and such, along with basic PC tasks like streaming and web browsing, etc.
But the motherboard just died, and I don't have much to spend at the moment due to some house repairs. So here's my question:

Do I try to track down a replacement motherboard and survive with what I've got? I was happy with it until it died. I'm thinking that I'd like to overclock, which I think I'd like to do given my CPUs age and ability to typically do that, even tho I never OC'd previously, but it looks like those boards are getting harder to find at a reasonable price. I can't even hardly find a Z87 or Z97 board period, and I've seen conflicting reports about whether I can OC a H81 board.

Any recommendations on these? PC Parts picker has only a few under $100:
Biostar TB85 $63.98
ECS B85H3-M(1.0) $64.90
Asus Q87T/CSM $84.74
ASRock H81M-DGS R2.0 $88.01
Gigabyte GA-H81M-S1 $88.90
Asus H81M-K LGA1150 Micro ATX $92.90
Gigabyte GA-B85M-D2V $93.90

Once I hit $100, seems like I should just upgrade, right?
Ryzen? G5600? i3-8100? What would pair best with my HD 7850? I haven't even really kept up with current builds, I see that the Ryzen supposedly have a nice built in GPU, but would it make my 7850 obsolete? I'm hoping I can keep the 7850, as I definitely don't have it in the budget to change that at this point.

Keep in mind that I would love to stay closer to the $200 than the $300 end of things, altho I'm hoping to sell my CPU and RAM (and should I consider selling my GPU?) to hopefully pay for the upgrade.

I would appreciate any suggestions!
2 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. Best answer
    First off, your 7850 is preferable to Ryzen graphics, among other things it has its own memory. So if you were to build a new core for your system, don't pick Ryzen just because of the build-in graphics.

    Next, I have good experience with Asus motherboards. One thing to remember, just because a motherboard allows for overclocking doesn't mean that motherboard is a good choice for overclocking. The Z87 and 97 boards might be costly, but what good is it to buy a lower cost motherboard only to find it has limited stability when overclocked? You'll need an improved heatsink/fan for your CPU too. Overclocking isn't always a 'free' performance boost.

    Upgrading the core of your system means a new CPU/motherboard/DDR4 ram expense, that's going to put you over $200 not just $100.

    If you are happy with your dual core, then to me a $100 motherboard replacement makes a lot of sense. You will be back in action at the lowest cost, with a system that does what you need.
  2. dontlistentome said:
    First off, your 7850 is preferable to Ryzen graphics, among other things it has its own memory. So if you were to build a new core for your system, don't pick Ryzen just because of the build-in graphics.

    Next, I have good experience with Asus motherboards. One thing to remember, just because a motherboard allows for overclocking doesn't mean that motherboard is a good choice for overclocking. The Z87 and 97 boards might be costly, but what good is it to buy a lower cost motherboard only to find it has limited stability when overclocked? You'll need an improved heatsink/fan for your CPU too. Overclocking isn't always a 'free' performance boost.

    Upgrading the core of your system means a new CPU/motherboard/DDR4 ram expense, that's going to put you over $200 not just $100.

    If you are happy with your dual core, then to me a $100 motherboard replacement makes a lot of sense. You will be back in action at the lowest cost, with a system that does what you need.


    Thanks for the quick reply!

    That's what I could figure for the 7850, thanks for the confirmation.

    The problem is that according to PC Parts Picker, no one even sells Z87 or 97 boards new. So then I'm taking my chances on getting one off Ebay? Makes me nervous in regards to a motherboard.

    I do hear you about saving a few bucks to regret it in the long run though, I actually had hoped that's what I was doing with this build, but this is the 2nd Z87 board that's died on me in the past 2 years! And unfortunately I'm no longer covered by the warranty, as I was hoping to just RMA it again...

    And I do have an upgraded cooler - my Cooler Master T2 should be able to handle at least a mild overclock.
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