E5200 or AMD build?

Currently, I have an AMD64 X2 3800+(running at 2.2) + a Geforce 7600GT as my main computer/gaming rig. I built this system in early 2007 and I think it's time for an upgrade. My budget < $200

Initially, I wanted to stick a Phenom II into my computer but my current mobo (Gigabyte GA M51 GM S2G, socket AM2) apparently only supports up to an AMD X2 6400. I doubled checked with Gigabyte and they confirmed that Pheonom II's don't work on this mobo ;(

Well now, I'm torn on what to do to upgrade my performance. I wasn't initially thinking about getting a new mobo but I saw this great deal at Fry's for an E5200 + 31g mobo for $99. If I pair that with a new Radeon 4670, I figure I'd have a system good enough to last the next 1-2 years (I don't have the power cable for a 4830).

I can also opt to keep my current mobo and just stick an AMD Athlon X2 6000+ ($99) or a X2 5200 ($59) and save a little.

Finally, I could also just go for a Phenom II 720 + 790gx mobo but then I wouldn't have the funds to add a new graphics card.

This build is for SC2 + D3 + CS:S + TF2 + L4D, among others.
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  1. I'd suggest upgrading your power supply and getting a new graphics card. I think that would get you the most improvement for the least $$. You could upgrade to a new motherboard and cpu later.

    Corsair 550W PSU
    $90 ($70 after MIR)

    Sapphire Radeon 4850
    $120 ($100 after MIR)
  2. Well truth be told, I always got the impression that my CPU was bottlenecking even my puny 7600GT so I don't see how big of an improvement just a better graphics card could make. In my estimation, the 4670 would be enough for my needs (1440x900) and at this point, one of the only items I'm pretty certain about getting.

    My main cause for confusion is the e5200 since the last Intel chip I've used was a P4 @ 1.7 ghz. How would it stack up against a X2 5200, 5400 BE, 5600, 6000+?
  3. Bottlenecking is not a very accurate term, since either your gpu or your cpu will be faster than the other in any setup, so you won't be getting the most out of one of them in any case. I still think that a 4850 would provide an enormous boost in performance, even if it is somewhat limited by the cpu.
    I'm no expert though, so perhaps someone else can give you a more definitive answer.
  4. I'm sure a 4850 would definitely be a ginormous boost to my performance but a 4850 + new PSU would run me around $150-$180. For the same cost, wouldn't I gain a bigger boost from a e5200, g31 mobo + radeon 4670?

    To give you an idea of how slow my cpu is, I sometimes hit 100% cpu usage when AVG virus scan is running :/
  5. I wouldn't recommend irkjabs suggestion...

    Or try to find a good combo on the AMD Kuma 7750 on newegg...that you can easily overclock right to the 6000+'s clock rate and you will have a new mobo as well...hmmm wait no..

    You could find a cheap processor below the 6000+ that is used and as long as it is in the 5000-5800 range it should overclock to 3ghz and at that speed you should do just fine...keep your current mobo and drop a 4670 in...OR i recommend waiting the two weeks for the 4770 as it will only cost 100$ and offer the power of the 4830 and 4850!

    If you can overclock it you will pretty much have a 4850....

    You will need to make sure your mobo supports overclocking if you go for the 5000-5800 amds...

    This would be bitching cpu for you

  6. I have an E5200 and its a great chip. It can overclock very easily to give E8xxx-like performance at a fraction of the cost. I have it in a micro ATX board as well (<£40) and it runs at 3.2Ghz 24/7 no problems. I have ran COD4/5 and DOW2 maxed out (19'' monitor) with a 9800gt. Since a 4670 isnt that much worse than a 9800gt, as long as your willing to make some graphics sacrifices 6+months down the road, then given your budget i'd get the E5200/4670 combo. You dont mention wether your budget includes the sale price of your old hardware, because you may find you get a bit extra to put towards your new build by selling it.
  7. I would bite the bullet and sell your old parts on ebay and go with an intel cpu machine. people will buy your old stuff. It never ceases to amaze me what people will pay.
  8. So much for my budget...I couldn't control myself and ended up buying a PII 720 + biostar 790gx mobo + Radeon 4830 + antec earthwatts 500w psu...TOO MUCH TEMPTATION... :(
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