Okay guys, I am going to be doing an overhaul on my aging system. I need to know what setup you guys think will be the best for under $500. Keep in mind that I will be using my existing 1gb of pc-3200 so this can not be a DDR2 motherboard or CPU I am assuming.
As a side question: Would it be better to get a better video card and stay at 1 gig of ram, or get a lesser video card and increase the ram by say... 512mb?
I pimp a Sandy and I'd say that as far as single core cpus are concerned thats a great one.
Overclocks well too.
But you may find yourself in trouble when trying to locate a retailer that still has those in stock. AMD stopped producing them and people quickly became aware that the retailers FX-57 just wasn't worth the $800 CAD price tag anymore when you could snag their $170CAD 3700+ and achieve the same performance.
the mobo depends on if u want to OC or not, but as far as the CPU goes u can get an FX-55 amd for only $139 now and they used to be over $1,000. the graphics card just depends on what u play but i would look at a 7600 gt
Don't forget that you can sell your old RAM on eBay, which would lower the effective price of new RAM. Dropping $500 on a DDR system right now is pretty iffy, what with DX10 and Vista around the corner.
I would suggest going with a motherboard that you can upgrade on further in the coming year or two. If you give up a little of your Graphics power, you can go with an AMD 64 X2 chip. This will give you a motherboard that can take a faster processor later, and you can always buy a faster Graphics card later as well. Take a look at this list:
OCZ 1GB (2 x 512MB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model OCZ2P8001GK - Retail
Model #: OCZ2P8001GK
Item #: N82E16820227082
That particular graphics card should do well for you. Looking at tests, in Prey at 1280x1024 with 4x AntiAliasing and max details you still get over 30 frames per second. This card would hold you until you can spend more later. More importantly, you can upgrade your processor later when prices fall even more. Think of the Multiprocessing capabilities you'd gain with the better processor.
There's still a little left over to go with a better motherboard or whatever.