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Help upgrade my system

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June 14, 2009 8:21:42 AM

Since I don't feel like spending upwards of $900 on a completely new system, I was hoping I could salvage some parts from my friend's old pc that he used for gaming. I would like my new system to be capable of running games, like WoW, at medium settings minimum, as well as the ability to run multiple apps at once without lag.

Here are the current parts (I don't have a complete system):



I'm willing to upgrade some of the parts if necessary, like the mobo/cpu, but I want to try to minimize costs. If I had to cap the price I'm willing to spend to upgrade, I'd say $400-500. What's the best I can do within this price range? Should I get another stick of DDR2 ram, buy all new DDR3, upgrade the processor to the new i7 series, motherboard? I think my video card is suitable. Obviously I need a HD and case. I was hoping for a smaller case, that runs quiet and easily fits my videocard.

Also, it would be nice if I wouldn't have to upgrade for a few more years after this.

What do you guys think?

More about : upgrade system

June 14, 2009 3:57:20 PM

dude if you get an i7, the cpu and the board alone will cast like 500
get an antec 300
get a 500 gb
get 2 more gigs
get a 4870 1gb
and you should still have left over
June 14, 2009 5:40:37 PM

So you think I'd be better off upgrading my video card vs the CPU/motherboard? I was under the impression that the 9600GT was a decent card, and that the cpu would bottleneck me more?
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June 15, 2009 12:25:42 AM

That processor will be fine if you overclock it a bit. Here's what you could do:


GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3R LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL5D-4GBPQ - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

XFX HD-485X-YDFC Radeon HD 4850 512MB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec 300 + Antec earthwatts 500w PSU combo
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

XIGMATEK Dark Knight-S1283V 120mm Long Life Bearing CPU Cooler - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hard drive of your choice. Western Digital Caviar Blacks have the best price:p erformance around, atm. The 640GB is very fast and quite cheap.

You probably would have to upgrade your processor fairly soon if you went with that build.


If you wanted to spend a bit more but get better upgrade paths, you could get this processor, RAM and motherboard:

AMD Phenom II X2 550 Black Edition Callisto 3.1GHz 2 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 80W Dual-Core Processor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OCZ Platinum 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model OCZ3P16004GK - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GIGABYTE GA-MA770T-UD3P AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


That will let you upgrade to newer AM3 CPUs in the future. LGA775 is a dead-end as far as upgrades go, there are no more new CPUs being released for it.

Personally, I would go for the second option, even though it's a bit more expensive. It offers much better upgrade options and will give superior performance now, meaning you won't have to upgrade again as soon as the first build, and you will end up saving money in the long run, as the next time you upgrade you will probably have to get a new motherboard and DDR3 RAM anyways. If you were willing to spend an extra ~$30-$40, you could grab a Phenom II x3 720 processor instead. Better multi-tasking, and will perform better in games due to being able to offload background tasks onto the third core, leaving two just for the game.

You could keep your 9600GT, but with how cheap 4850s are at the moment, it would definitely be worth the money to get one.
June 15, 2009 12:25:54 AM

Edit: Oops, double post.
a b B Homebuilt system
June 15, 2009 2:10:03 AM

I can agree with the idea of keeping your current board and chip overclock that chip for some more power, up the memory to 4 gb, maybe 8 as it's cheap. The 9600gt is a good card, I've got one myself, but grab a 4870 or so, put the 9600gt on ebay, and be happy. Maybe double check the PSU as well and be sure it can handle what you want to do, but the 775 socket while dead, still has some powerful chips, no reason in my opinion to spend more than necessary. Then pocket the rest of your money, or spend it on some games and be happy.
June 16, 2009 3:59:21 AM

I'm getting closer!

So now I'm trying to decide on a good case. I'm looking for a mid tower that is relatively small, quiet, and runs cool. I've narrowed it down to these cases, I think:

$80 Cooler Master - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$85 Antec Solo Steel Case - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$86 Lian Li - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$55 Antec 300 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I like the looks of all of them, but I'm not sure what each's disadvantages would be. I haven't heard of Lian Li before. What do you guys think?

Also, the two Antec cases currently have a special deal when bought with an Antec PSU (500W, 400W respectively) which would be $25-30 off. Is it worth it to sacrifice the 650W for the cost?
June 16, 2009 1:11:49 PM

margincall said:
So you think I'd be better off upgrading my video card vs the CPU/motherboard? I was under the impression that the 9600GT was a decent card, and that the cpu would bottleneck me more?

the 9600 gt isnt that good anymore, would have been 2 years ago, but there outclassed by the new ATI cards that you can pickup for around 300 Aud
June 16, 2009 1:13:18 PM

ps. the antec 300 looks a good buy, lots of mesh and fans for cooling
!