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$200 - $300 to spend on CPU+Mobo+RAM combo. What do I do?

Last response: in CPUs
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June 5, 2009 8:33:40 PM

My current system specs are in my 'Member Configuration' box (or whatever) and lately the machine's video output just stops after a good solid few hours of gaming. Normally I'd attribute some failure like that to the video card, but when this happens the system's sound locks up and makes weird noises, the CPU fan stops and overall the system becomes totally unresponsive. On top of that, the system never actually shuts down because the system fans and video card fans still run and the LEDs on the fans are still on. Also hitting the reset button doesn't work, I have to do a hard restart (hold the power button a few seconds to shut off then turn back on). Because of this I have reason to believe the mobo and/or CPU are dying. Doesn't help that for a while I used to have memory reference errors on a regular basis while playing WoW (but that stopped after a while. Weird). Maybe overclocking all the components a while back finally caught up to me.

So anyways I'm looking for an upgrade to my current Mobo+CPU+RAM combo. I don't trust any of these parts right now and they could all use a good upgrade anyway. Problem is I'm not 100% sure what to go for. Most of all I want reliability and a decent amount of power without breaking the bank and both sides (Intel/AMD) seem to have pretty good options. I don't really have company loyalties, but Intel does seem to have a good rep so far, yet AMD's Phenom II series is looking like a comeback. It's a tough choice for me and I could use some advice, preview builds, and whatever else you're all willing to give.

Thanks.
June 5, 2009 10:35:55 PM

$300 AMD option

Phenom x3 720 2.8ghz $139

Gigabyte GA-MA770-UD3P mb $85

4gb DDR3 1333 Mushkin
note: you need 1.5v for this mobo


Intel option

Q8400 2.66ghz $175
Ram 4gb $35
You've a whole slew of MB options at $80


June 5, 2009 10:39:16 PM

I'm also interested in this question. I'm looking to upgrade from my Dell to a homebuilt system. So far, the Core2Duo E8500 or E8400 look like a good deal for me, I have no clue what I want for a motherboard though...
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June 5, 2009 10:46:11 PM

DP:

That's real nice kit you rigged out for $300. All beef - no fat !! I'd add another $75, and then ask --do you think it worth-while to wait another 2-3 mo for the Phenom_940 mobos to decide if they will run 8-G of 1066 ??
June 5, 2009 11:16:21 PM

It'll probably be a year after win7 release before we see games requiring more than 4gb of ram. Though I do wonder about ID softwares RAGE

I'm not sure I follow your question. With $75 more one could put another 4gb of ddr3 1333 and a x4 810 into the above build or substitute ddr3 1066. Are you stuck with some DDR3 1066 with a high voltage?
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