System Upgrade with a small budget

Hey all, alright
i have a rather small budget but i'd still like to upgrade, My budget is roughly around $250 to get me by
My current specs are:
AMD 3000+ Sempron socket 754
Chaintech mobo (idk just something i had to get me by)
1950GT 512 MB PCI 16x (my latest upgrade)
450W ( )
and a 120 gig HD that is still IDE

So i would like
Prcoessor- Dual core (possibly intel b/c of ratings, if you don't recommend intel plz list reasons
Mobo- anything that won't crash me
Ram- 4 gigs of dual channeling (2x2gigs)
HD-anything over 120 gigs that is cheap under

I am looking at
CPU $82.99
Mobo $52.99
Ram $54.99
HD $54.99

I will be using this computer to play World of Warcraft, BF2, and steam games
It's not a demanding computer but i want it decently faster than my single core :P
I do the following all at the same time on my single core just fine and i've been suprised
Msn, limewire, Wow, Itunes, and Firefox. so i can only get improvment from this upgrade

Please help me out, tell me where i can cut a few dollars down to gain something on the other hand.
My only concern with that build i have laid out is the motherboard...i have never had anything gigabyte and would maybe like something a bit more sparing if you feel that way too.

If you think something needs to go or get a cheaper somethign to make up for another product, plz, what ever you think will be best

Really appreciate it all!
22 answers Last reply
More about system upgrade small budget
  1. Well, if you aren't going to overclock you could cut back on RAM to some cheaper Kingston RAM

    Kingston 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR2 800 $36.99

    To perhaps go with a faster hard driver or better motherboard. Personally I like Gigabyte, and while I think it would be nice if you could go for at least a P43 based board, that G31 should be enough for your budget.
  2. what are the benefits of the p43 and p45 boards?
  3. ^+1.
    If you hold off on the new HDD for a while, you can get an ASUS P5QL PRO LGA 775 Intel P43 ATX Intel Motherboard for $87:
  4. That particular G31 actually overclocks pretty well, it's biggest weakness is only 2 RAM sockets, i'd only change it if you have the budget to do so. Check here for reviews of 320GB and 500GB hard drives

    Good sensible budget upgrades, next step would be GPU.
  5. Your upgrades and parts are just fine, and a good value.

    The G31 chipset includes onboard video. That is good, but it can be a problem if you are trying to overclock.
    Otherwise, the performance is the same as P45 or P35 boards.

    The Corsair ram is a very good deal at $25 after rebate.
  6. Onus said:
    If you hold off on the new HDD for a while, you can get an ASUS P5QL PRO LGA 775 Intel P43 ATX Intel Motherboard for $87:

    Okay let's go ahead and not upgrade my HD b/c it is 120 gigs and that will get me quite far for what i'm doing, i'll just reformat it and use IDE for now

    Okay will that mobo above work b/c it's memory standard is ddr2 1066? with my ddr2 800?

    Also what are the other possible nice mobo's for $100 around b/c now i am waiting on my HD which gives me an extra $40

    Keep in mind i will NOT be OC anything...anytime soon b/c i don't know how to do that yet or feel comfortable with that. but give me something stable and your thoughts. if you think that 52.99 gigabyte mobo will work fine, awesome, then i'll get that HD but if not tell me a mobo.

    Given that i will not be OC will that change any other product i have? like my corsair with the head spreaders do i still need?
  7. You could probably do better on the motherboard, but I like your CPU and memory picks. I have that memory on an AMD Athlon X2 5000+ BE and it overclocks incredibly well (and the current price is unbeatable).
    Consider a motherboards with a PCie 2.0 video slot and make sure you've got one that has decent overclocking options (Gigabyte's not bad, but I'm not impressed with their long-term reliability).
  8. so i mean i will not be OC this system any time soon, with that said do i still need to upgrade my mobo from the gigabyte?
  9. noah360 said:
    so i mean i will not be OC this system any time soon, with that said do i still need to upgrade my mobo from the gigabyte?

    I don't see any reason to "upgrade" from Gigabyte. I've been running a P965 Gigabyte board at a pretty high overclock for over a year and a half without any issues. I've had great luck with Gigabyte's long-term reliability on builds.
  10. I've had good results with Gigabyte boards. If you're not going to OC, even an older one like the G31 should suffice, but if you can afford it, you'll get PCI-X 2.0 and probably better connectors (or more of them) with a P43 or P45. If you get 2x2GB RAM sticks, you may not ever need more, but I'd rather have the additional RAM slots. After all, I remember when it was a big deal that my Apple ][+ had the FULL 64K of RAM.
  11. So is there a mobo you could recommend that has the pci 2.0 slot and has my ram ddr2 800 and is it possible for a mobo that is spec for 1066 ram use 800? reverse compatibility? can you guys maybe pick one out for me that is decently priced? if i don't get my HD i have up to $90 i can spend on a mobo but i really don't htink i need a great one
  12. The RAM speed rating on a motherboard is just the max speed it's certified to run at. For around $90 I would recommend these boards:

    GIGABYTE GA-EP43-DS3L LGA 775 Intel P43 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail $84.99

    GIGABYTE GA-EP45-DS3L LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail $104.99 - $15 MIR

    ASUS P5QL PRO LGA 775 Intel P43 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail $86.99

    ASUS P5Q SE PLUS LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail $96.99 - $15 MIR
  13. so with my current IDE hardrive can i survive i mean yeah 120 gigs is plenty for me but does it IDE really slow me down? or i mean either i get a 90ish dollar mobo or a 50 dollar one with a new HD
  14. One thing to keep in mind is that the new motherboards only have one IDE connector. That means a total of two IDE devices. I'm guessing your optical drive(s) are IDE?

    The new drives are considerably faster than drives from a couple years ago.
  15. yeah i have a IDE cd rom drive...any alternative there? so i have 2 connecters and 1 reciever...any convertors?
  16. Don't worry about pcie 1.0 vs. 2.0 . They are forward and backward compatible. The performance between them is negligble because no video card today uses all of pcie-1.0 capability.

    The mobo ram speed just tells you what speed ram can be run in it. Core 2 cpu's are not sensitive to ram speed. DDR2-667, 800, or faster ram will make very little difference in how fast your programs run. Faster speeds are for overclockers. More ram is better than faster ram.

    If your IDE drives are 7200rpm, then speed will be good. If they are 5400 rpm, then the slower rpm will be a performance hit.

    Is your case a micro case, or can it handle a full size ATX motherboard? The ATX motherboards are usually better because they have more expansion slots and features.
  17. Okay at this point asnwer me this if you would. do i NEED a p43/45 board? do i need anything better than that gigabyte listed above with the activities i perform, also listed above, really it comes down to i WANT the best i can get but with my budget i can get a nice mobo but i have 2 IDE drives (optical cdrom and HD) so just plz i mean if there is a mobo that is a few more dollars like maybe 10 and is a big diff or enough to make a difference by all means share, but at the moment i need something that will perform my activities which include Wow, itunes, limewire, msn, and firefox, i don't OC and dont' plan to so :D maybe that will help
  18. I personally think that in your budget, you may get more value from an AMD rig.

    For example............

    AMD Athlon x2 5000+ for 57 bucks

    Kingston 2x2 gb 4gb total memory kit for 37 bucks.

    Gigabyte AM2 motherboard for 47(Personally I'm using the first Gigabyte board I've ever owned and am more than pleased with it).

    So far the total is 141 bucks.

    Now lets throw in a new video card that I venture to say would serve you better than the 1950 you have.

    ATI Radeon 4670 for 80 bucks with a 15 dollar rebate.

    And something else not on your wish list

    250gb seagate sata hard drive at 49.99 with free shipping.

    This all together should bring you right around 250, maybe just over with the shipping.

    So yeah, you can go intel, but personally, I think this system would balance out more. Why didn't I recommend the intel? Price. And also the fact yeah, intel may have better performance, but the area amd is competitive in is the entry level-mid range, which is where you are. And intels may overclock better, but if you don't overclock, why not look at the amd when stock they may be close in performance.
  19. I was wrong, that puts your budget at 271 without shipping. However there was a board that is a Jetway AM2 board for about 6-7 dollars cheaper, and some of the 160 gb drives are about 41 dollars. So you can still shave 15 or so off what I told you without sacrificing much. Plus the rebate, so you could still come out close. But again, I think with the AMD upgrade you would get a lot more for your money here.
  20. Ohiou_grad i really appeciate you brining that to my attention, i've been an amd man with their single core processors and have been impressed, however my influence in the work place have brung me upon leaning towards intel. although i don't know much about the AMD dual cores or any of their compatible chipsets, i will research and possible go AMD once more! i feel that you've opened my eyes to possible more of what i NEED and i really appeciate that. and the fact i can also get a new video card is quite significant aswell. Again, i thank you Ohiou_grad and everyone who has participated in this thread so that i may have the computer that is right for me!

  21. No problem. Like you said, just research. Again intel is good stuff, no doubt, but entry level and mid range stuff, amd is still competitive.

    Here's a review for you, look at some others. Intel may be faster, but like I said, with the AMD you may be able to afford a more balanced setup.

    But do your research and make your own decision.
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