More Sense to Buy New, or Upgrade Old?

For the holidays, I'm looking to spend some cash for upgrading my PC setup. I'm a huge fan of Diablo, and with D3 coming out early 2012, I want to have something that will allow me to play it on something higher than minimum. Now, my PC is relatively old, although I have updated a few parts since my original purchase. Considering the cost of upgrading the individual components, I'm wondering if it would actually be more cost effective to buy a whole new rig (either build myself or preferably pre-built).

OS Version: Windows XP 32
Processor: AMD Athlon 64 X2 @ 2.02GHz
Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce 8600 GT
Motherboard: Gigabyte MA780G-UD3H
Power supply: NZXT 500w

Looking at this setup, does it make more sense to start from scratch? If you had to prioritize what I upgrade, which would it be? If starting from scratch, I'd rather purchase something prebuilt - what companies are the best value?

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More about more sense upgrade
  1. Also, my monitor is a Samsung Syncmaster 930B
  2. Upgrading by yourself will be the smart choice first of all. First priority you should give to your processor which looks very slow so going for a much better processor will be good and after that you can upgrade your GPU to something new according to your budget. Your motherboard is good and i dont think you need to upgrade it unless you are going for the intel I Series.
  3. You may upgrade this unit.
    Firstly, you should list your budget. So that we can recommend you some good hardware.
    You should likely change the OS to a Win7 64 bit OS.
    Upgrade the RAM to at least 4 GB.
    You'll need to upgrade both your CPU and GPU. If Diablo is the only game that you're playing, then there isn't much need in going for a high end GPU or so.
    You will have to list your budget first though.
    The PSU and motherboard are both fine.
  4. My budget will likely change depending on a few things leading up to the holidays, but my guess is that it will probably somewhere around 250-300 $USD, or maybe a bit more. Again, all depends. But any suggestions on particular hardware would be appreciated.

    If you guys had to prioritize, how would it go? If I started with the OS, then GPU>RAM>CPU?
  5. OS first, then comes CPU>RAM>GPU. You should get more RAM first, since Win7 is a little RAM hungry, but it's not as bad as Windows Vista though. :)

    Also, what are the RAM speeds on your current 2 GB stick?

    The CPU upgrading looks limited, as you won't be able to go for Phenom II CPUs since they need a AM3 socket.
  6. My RAM is 2x1 GB sticks - DDR2 800mhz. Link here.

    Also, when I was looking at Gigabyte's website for my Mobo, it says that it is AM3 ready and talks about the Phenom IIs. Link here. Does that mean that an AM3 will work with some sort of driver or BIOS upgrade or something?
  7. I have a similar board and it is up-gradable to play D3.
    You should be able to get an AM3 Processor, get the black edition. I was able to up my processor from a 2.6 to a 2.8 on a stock cooler.

    Memory is cheap, 2gig (1 stick) for $30, depending on your budget get 2 of these for $60. Unless you can match the memory in your current rig.

    Get a $100+ video card. People around here can help you with that one.

    Get Windows 7 64bit.

    For your order.
    Get Win7 first (get upgrade)
    Get Mem 2nd
    Get CPU during black friday
    Get Video card during black friday
    *for me I would get the GPU last because prices are always changing for video cards not so much for the other items.
  8. Like we said,
    RAM-CORSAIR 2GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Desktop Memory Model VS2GB800D2 G

    GPU- HIS H685FN1GD Radeon HD 6850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5

    XFX HD-679X-ZRFC Radeon HD 6790 1GB 256-bit GDDR5

    CPU- Since your board supports AM3, then go for a 955

    Total- (with rebate and with the 6850) $300
    (with rebate and with the 6790) $275
  9. I appreciate all the help thus far guys.

    I have one other question. Gigabyte's site for my mobo has a RAM support list. Is that something I should adhere to? For the 800mhz stuff listed, it has most of the major brands, but only lists a few specific RAM models. Do I assume that if if the brand that I want to purchase is listed and all the other specs are correct, that it should work just fine?
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