$500 = CPU Or GPU, which do you... Suggest?

Hey everyone, if I'm posting in the wrong forum area, my apologies. First time to this board. :) To preface my question I'll give a run down of system specs and see what you think should get upgraded first:

M/B: ASRockDUAL939-SATA2 (M1695)
CPU: Athlon 64, 3000 (Venice)
MEM: 1 GIG (2/512 MEG)(333MHz/Dual Channel/DDR)
VIDEO: NVidia GeForce 6800 GT 256 MEG
SOUND: On-Board RealTek '97
H/D: 40 GIG ATA100 (Windows), 250 GIG SATA 3.0 (Games)

I have the ASRock AM2 CPU Upgrade Board for this M/B. My question then is, with $550 what would your suggestion be? The options I'm considering are as follows:

Option #1:
-NVidia GeForce 8800 GTX

Option #2:
-AM2 64X2 4600+ (65w EE)
-2 GIG (2/1 GIG)(667 MHz DDR2)

I appreciate any and all input. The purpose of the upgrade is to play ESIV:Oblivion @ Max w/out stuttering. :)

Thanks for all your input.


I appreciate all the input, this has been really helpful. Also, as for the question about running DDR2, the 939DUAL-SATA2, has a upgrade slot for a AM2/DDR2 daughterboard. By placing the daughter board I can change over from 939/DDR to AM2/DDR2.

Just to make sure I'm getting the right feel for it, everyone is of the opinion I'd be best off going for:

Custom Option:
AMD 64X2 3800+(Or Higher)(939 or AM2)
NVidia 8800 GTS 320

Going through the web it prices out like this:

+$129.00 = AMD AM2 64X2 4600+ (AM2)
+$130.00 = 2 GIG DDR2 Generic
+$279.00 = Nvidia 8800 GTS 320
+$015.00 = Shipping
-$020.00 = GTS Rebate

NewEgg actually prices that setup @ $538.38 + Shipping - Rebate. I also looked at the suggestion of sticking with 939 socket and found the following:

+135.00 = AMD 64X2 3800+ (939)
+069.00 = 1 GIG DDR (2x512 MEG/PC3200)
+$279.00 = Nvidia 8800 GTS 320

NewEgg priced this group out @ $483.98. The price difference between the two packages is $54.40. Take out the $20.00 rebate and that dropps to $463.98, though the price difference between the packages stays the same obviously. My only concern going with the cheaper package is that all memory seems to be going DDR2 nowadays and AM2 is the next CPU socket that will become Value, which is usually where I rest.

Which combination seems reasonable to everyone? Again, thanks for all your input.

12 answers Last reply
More about suggest
  1. The ram in option 2 won,t work unless your thinking about getting a new mobo?
  2. You would benefit mostly from a graphic card upgrade in Oblivion.
    But you can use the extra gig of ram, Oblivion really needs it.
    Why dont you buy a gig of ram, an x2 3800 and a 8800GTS 320.
    That together should be about the price of an 8800GTX.

    You can always overclock the x2 3800 to the x2 4600 level!

    *edit sorry I didn't see... you cant use DDR2 memory with that mobo only DDR memory.
  3. Heres a better idea:

    ASUS P5NSLI LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 570 SLI= $98
    Intel Core 2 Duo E6300= $123
    Kingston ValueRAM 1GB 240-Pin DDR2(x2)=$129.98
    Total= $412

    And the graphics you already have. (Wait until R600 comes out to upgrade graphics). or DIAMOND X1950PRO512PCIE Radeon X1950PRO= $250- $50 Rebate= $200
  4. I agree with Shadow, the 6300 overclocks very well and stable. with the new RAM and MOBO you could get by for a couple of months and the 8800 GTS could possibly drop in price or the Radeon even and you would be good to go
  5. Quote:
    Heres a better idea:

    ASUS P5NSLI LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 570 SLI= $98
    Intel Core 2 Duo E6300= $123

    No!!!! don't buy P5NSLI...this mobo is sucks for OC(i know because i have one)

    Instead get gigabyte -p965 s3 or ds3

    well i suggest u got powerful graphic card one
  6. Hey Shadow where can u get a e6300 for 120 bucks? Ill get 2.
  7. Get a 965-ds3 board around 120, a e4300 around 160, a gig of patriot ddr2 800 around 75, and a 1950 pro around 150 bucks. All from Newegg, little over budget but a nice system. You can overclock the bejesus out of that 4300.
  8. You would benefit from adding a new graphics card, CPU, and RAM. I would suggest trying to get an additional 12-18 months out of your system by making the following purchases.

    AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ (OEM) - $119
    2 GBs of Value RAM (see what is compatible with your motherboard) - $150
    EVGA Nvidia 8800GTS 320 - $260 (after $20 rebate)

    Total is $530 + shipping so its a little over budget. It will give you a healthy performance boost without having to upgrade your entire system. For gaming purposes you could probably continue to get by with your current CPU since the 3800+ is the same clock speed.
  9. ~Edited into original post @ the top~
  10. X2 3600 + Biostar TForce 550 combo ($139.99 after MIR (ends Apr 3))
    After the combo rebate, the CPU is $71.

    8800 GTS
    $260 after MIR

    Kingston DDR2-667 1GB RAM
    (Buy 2 modules)

    Total: $466.98 (Subtracted the mobo price)
    $535.97 with mobo price

    The X2 3600 is a great overclocker. The Tforce 550 is a great OCing mobo. Have fun! :D
  11. i think you would get the most life out of ur system buying 1 gig (2x512mb) of ram which should be about 100 dollars. x2 65w 3800 which is 110 dollars. the rest on a 8800 gts which is like 280 dollars after rebate. that fits u right under ur budget. that should last you until the end of 2008. by then barcelona should be mainstream and am2 can accept am2+ processors (albeit reduced performance). and that 8800 gts should still be viable.
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