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

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December 3, 2006 7:27:46 AM

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.
December 3, 2006 1:40:41 PM

I agree with the other poster. Put your money in a high yield savings account and sit on it until next Fall.
December 3, 2006 1:48:51 PM

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.
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December 3, 2006 2:31:48 PM

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.
December 3, 2006 4:21:57 PM

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?
December 3, 2006 5:28:36 PM

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.
December 3, 2006 5:52:19 PM

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.
December 3, 2006 6:39:35 PM

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 
December 3, 2006 8:19:13 PM

So is this mobo any good or should I spend all 190 on a mobo and worry about memory and the processor later?
December 3, 2006 8:27:48 PM

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? ;) 
December 3, 2006 9:15:14 PM

Well, I need to spend the $190, so how about this and a nice HSF to go along with it.
December 3, 2006 9:19:39 PM

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!
December 3, 2006 10:23:44 PM

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?
December 4, 2006 1:00:44 AM

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 ;) 
December 4, 2006 2:01:31 AM

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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