Need help upgrading! (and deciding on what to get)


So I just purchased GTA IV and quickly learned that my Sony VGC-RB30 needs upgrading. So I started looking around for new parts. I guess the main question is whether this CPU Core Duo E8400 3ghz

combined with this motherboard

would be a good buy. Also the motherboard says that it supports two graphics cards one at x16 and one at x8, does that mean if I buy a second Radeon 4850 it would not run it at top speed? Also, I recently bought a PSU at 500w

which I would like to keep but I don't know if it would power up my new system. I would stay with one 4850 card for now and have the above processor and motherboard. I would also add 4gigs of ram. I also am worried about getting a new case. I have a small budget and was looking at this case

but if anyone has better suggestions let me know. Also, I was wondering if I need to buy a fan for the CPU or does it come with it already?

And alternatively I was looking at buying AMD Phenom II processor

and MSI K9A2 motherboard.

They are more expensive so I don't know if I should buy that combo but I don't know whether it is better to invest more money if it will last longer. I use my computer primarily for gaming, but occasionally I do video editing, movie watching, burning, photos etc. Ideally I would like to spend as little money as possible but still have a good system which I can upgrade later without many problems (like changing or adding a 2nd 4850). If someone has different suggestions for cpu and mobo let me know, I will gladly look into other options. Thank You for you help!
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More about need upgrading deciding
  1. Good motherboard choice.
    Unless you have a 28" or bigger monitor, you won't likely need dual video cards. Yes, having both cards run at x16 is better but not critical. By the time you feel the need to upgrade your video system, a second 4850 will pale in comparison to getting a new single card.
    The psu you bought will work just fine.
    A slightly cheaper case alternative:
    Cooler Master Centurion 534
    Phenom II is a good choice for someone who already has an AM2+ motherboard. Since you are buying a new mobo, go with Intel.
  2. Thank You. So, if i for intel do I need to buy a cpu fan or does it come with one? Also, If I buy windows do i need 64 bit version? (I heard that only 64bit version will recognize more than 2 gigs of ram). Vista or Xp? Also, I have 24 inch monitor, so does that mean if I get a 2nd 4850 it wont make any difference? Oh and thank you for the case suggestion!
  3. Also, I noticed that on Gygabite motherboard it says that memory supported is DDR2 1333, does that mean I can only use 1333 or can I go with 1066. Cause its almost impossible to find 1333 DDR2.
  4. Ok. Nevermind my last post, i figured out that I can use 1066 ram as well. So I just want to know if 64bit windows is necessary ad if a second video card would make any difference. Please let me know what you think. Oh and for those of you who switched to vista (is it worth it and is it more or less convenient for gaming).
  5. The standard boxed CPU's come with an HSF. But you are considering fast memory so you are obviously going to be overclocking. A good, inexpensive HSF is the Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro - about $20. Much better would be a Xigmatek HDT S-1283 with the accessory mounting plate - about $50.

    Read this before you buy your memory:,2079.html

    Second video card - what resolution is your monitor?

    Overclocking since 1978 - Z80 (TRS-80) from 1.77 MHz to 2.01 MHz
  6. I already have one HIS ICeQ Turbo4 Radeon 4850 512 mb and I have a Samsung T240 HD monitor currently at 1920by1080. I am not going to buy a second card just yet, but I think eventually I might want to if it makes some difference in the way I play and see games. I also am not sure whether with 4gb to get 64bit vista or keep running 32 win xp which i have now (or maybe both?). I've been doing some research but nothing useful came up yet. I appreciate your help!
  7. Also, this is the memory I decided to go with mainly cause of the price. I probably wont be overclocking (at least not in near future). But this was not listed in the guide above. Is it still good?
  8. OCZ Platinum is good ram. What exactly is your budget? you will want a better video card to go with that monitor, unless you are ok with running gta IV at medium settings. I would say look at getting an HD 4850 and running it xfire with your current card (this would require a better psu), or trying to sell that card and getting a single gtx 260 216 or better.
  9. DDR2 1066 / PC2 8500 5-5-5-18 is an excellent spec
    for someone in your position.

    We are running the Corsair Dominator version of that spec
    and it's amazingly stable and fast too.

    Just be sure that your motherboard sets VDIMM
    to the value recommended by OCZ:

    the AUTO setting in the BIOS may not be
    the recommended VDIMM (DIMM Voltage).

  10. The Cooler Master CM 690 is a better value, imho,
    because it has better cooling options e.g.
    2 intake fan grills in the bottom panel and
    2 exhaust fan grills in the top panel:

  11. +1 for CM 690
  12. The P45 chipset supports 16GB of RAM.

    Check out this G.SKILL 16GB kit at Newegg!

    = almost always out of stock: that should tell you something :)

    Irresistible ... even if this kit is the slower DDR2 800.

    Be sure to double-check the QVL for the motherboard you do buy.

  13. What is QVL? I am sorry I am quite new with this thing. And in reply to the post before that I have about 400 to spend maybe a little more. So I cant afford to get 16 gigs. I am looking to get a new motherboard, cpu, and ram. I can reuse hard drives, dvd, and perhaps psu (at least i would like to but if absolutely necessary i can possibly replace that too, but i would prefer that not to happen because i just purchased the psu a month ago). So, with about 400$ budget I want to get a case, motherboard, cpu and ram to run games perfercttly. I already have ati radeon 4850 512 mb and 500 watt psu mentioned above, 3 hard drives, dvd drive and i think thats what I am going to kepp. As I mentioned I have Samsung T240 HD which I am very happy about. I am not sure still about the ocz memory (4 gig) and whether i should get 64 bit win vista or kepp my 32 bit xp (which would save me money and then i could get the seagate 1 tb hard drive instead). Please help me out!
  14. This will put you in your budget (all links to Newegg).

    Gigabyte EP45-UD3P Crossfire motherboard, $117 after mail-in rebate

    G.Skill Pi Black DDR2-900 (2x2GB), $50

    Coolermaster CM-690 case, $80

    As for CPU, go with either Q6600 if you want a quad core, or the E8500/E8400 if you want dual core.

    Intel is cutting its prices next week, so if you wait until then, this will all work out.
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