$190-300 upgrade + christmas, what to get?

For reasons that will take too long to explain (plus they're irrelevant) I have to spend $190-200 for an upgrade now. I could spend an extra 100-ish right now, or just the 190. I'd be using it for mainly gaming.

My current system is as follows: 2x250 GB hard drives in RAID 0, ASRock 939 mobo Antec True Power 550 Watt Corsair XMS 2x512MB Thermaltake Venus 12 HSF ATI x1900gt 256MB A64 3500+ monitor

I would probably be able to get something or another for christmas + money so I want to have options for upgrading. I am also going to get a job over the summer so I'd probably upgrade again next fall (maybe).

Any comment/suggestion is greatly appreciated.
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More about upgrade christmas
  1. I agree with the other poster. Put your money in a high yield savings account and sit on it until next Fall.
  2. Well I guess if you really wanted to. A FX-55 wouldnt hurt. Another Gig of ram. But I kinda agree with the others.

    I would look into a new monitor if that money is burning a hole in your pocket. Youll be happy with either another 17" or a new 19" Widescreen.
  3. Agreed.

    If you have money burning a hole in your pocket, get a 2nd monitor...19" if possible. It won't go out of style quickly like the other components, can be used in any system you have/will have, and is a better investment at this point.......your current system won't benefit huge from an upgrade for those dollars.
  4. Yea, the $190 is going to be gone if I don't spend it. At first I was thinking of getting a monitor, but I really don't have a need for one. The one I have now works great for me. I was thinking of actually upgrading to a socket 775 mobo (looking at this) and a new processor (looking at this (dual core) or this (single core)) and then sell my old mobo/proc/ram to buy some new ram (possibly this) I should see a performance boost because it's a better mobo, a faster (reference) CPU that's dual core and I will have faster ram + more ram. I always have christmas and everything else to upgrade to a core 2 duo or SLI graphics. Plus I should be able to overclock much more than I can on my current system. Plus I plan to upgrade to quad core anyways why not be $190 closer?
  5. Unless you are doing things that take advantage of a quad core CPU (3d rendering, complex math calculations, science applications), going to a quad core will not help you and is not worth the huge price you will pay for one. Now if they are in the $400-500 range sure. But at $1200, its a total waste.
  6. So I've spent the last couple hours researching intel cpu's and what I've come up with is that the 820 is beat by practically everything, the core 2 duo beats practically everything. So what I'm thinking is getting this mobo and a 1GB stick of ram (this or this or this) Then get a core 2 duo for christmas. Comments on RAM especially appreciated. I have no idea what to get and I would like to get a 1 GB stick so I can eventually have up to 4-6 GB of ram if I need it. My price limitation would be ~$100. And I would want it to be a good overclocker.

    Edit: This looks pretty good too, but of course I have no clue.
  7. Sounds like a much better plan. If you can pick up a 775 mobo and a 1 gig stick of DDR2 RAM, then add the C2D later. Note, however, that with a cheap mobo and RAM, you won't be doing much overclocking.......some, but not much. HOWEVER, not to worry: the 6300 is a cheetah of a chip, it's no slouch. It'll outperform any 8xx or 9xx chip pretty much and is much more futureproof. And it'll certainly handle games no sweat.

    Get a decent mobo and 1 stick of RAM. Then add the 6300. Then another stick of RAM for your birthday ;)

    And then you're laughing :D
  8. So is this mobo any good or should I spend all 190 on a mobo and worry about memory and the processor later?
  9. Oh no no no.......don't get that one. You don't really need SLI, do you? Unless you go HIGH end, it's really not worth it. One good card is always better than 2 medium ones.

    If you want a great OC'ing mobo for a good price, get THIS

    You can't get 1 gig stick for the balance of $190, so if you don't have more $, then maybe wait a bit.....RAM prices are insane right now.


    Depends if you really wanna OC or not. If you do, spend a bit of extra and get the S3. If not, then get the cheapest 775 mobo.......but doubt you'll have enough money left for a stick of 1 gig RAM though. You might get lucky and find some cheap 667 DDR2 though. Depends where you wanna go with the upgraded rig.....to OC or not to OC? ;)
  10. Well, I need to spend the $190, so how about this and a nice HSF to go along with it.
  11. That'll work! Dunno if it's better at OC'ing than the DS3/S3, but I've heard it's good, and much better than the regular P5B. Kick in a decent HSF for the $190 and sounds like you're on your way!
  12. Okay so my decision as of now is this: motherboard and cpu HSF I used this C2D Guide to decide. Am I spending too much on cooling and not enough on the mobo? Then I'd probably get this RAM. Would I need to get a $30 256 stick of Corsair value ram in order to boot my system and change the voltage?
  13. It all looks good. The cost of the cooler is up to you and your budget. It's a good product, but not as cheap as some other ones. You could get another one, but the $20-$30 you'll save isn't really enough to jump up to a much better mobo. So looks like you're set there.

    As for the RAM, I don't think you'll need a cheap stick. It appears that the volt problems were when C2D first came out, from what I read. I didn't have any probs with my OCZ.......I think all the boards' recent BIOS's and RAM revs seems to have fixed that earlier problem. Might wanna search the Memory/Mobo forums for that, or a quick post in that section might solve that question.

    Looks like you're good to go, but I'm not 100% sure on the RAM, best you make sure.

    As for $$, depends if you think it's a good buy and fits within your budget. Either way, your system looks like a great start ;)
  14. Edit: I've decided to go with a dif HSF, the Thermaltake Big Typhoon. I'm pretty sure this will fit better and probably won't warp my motherboard as much. Also getting some Arctic Silver 5 thermal compound. Thanks for your help everyone.
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