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Upgrade CPU/MB/Ram/maybe video card $300- $400 budget

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September 24, 2009 7:49:03 PM


Purchase Date: 2 Weeks
Budget $300 +/- $50 Best Buy gift card would throw another $50 in towards the gift card.

System usage: A little of everything but does not need to excel at one thing.

Parts not needed: Antec True power 550 PS, Case, HD.

Websites: Newegg, Bestbuy(only with gift card)
Origin: USA
Overclocking: Maybe

Comments: I'm wondering what people think would be a good upgrade path and give me the most bang/buck while keeping future upgrade options open to me.

Right now I have a old 939 AMD 64 3700+ with a misc PCIe Video card.
I've been looking at the following as a good choice for just the CPU/MB/Ram

# AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Black Processor Model HDZ720WFGIBOX - Retail
# 259850GIGABYTE GA-MA770T-UD3P AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

As for ram: OCZ Gold 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1066
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


That puts me at $278.54

After that I have a $50 for Best buy gift card and maybe another $50 as well for a video card?

What do you guys thing?
a b U Graphics card
September 24, 2009 7:53:45 PM

The X3 720 and the UD3P are good choices. As for video cards, you'll need ~$110-120 for a 4850.
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September 24, 2009 7:58:23 PM

I think it looks pretty good there. I would suggest finding an AMD dual core, but it looks like that's a pretty good package there. As for the video card, if you're not looking to be doing any very intense gaming the nVidia 9800GT could work well for you ($129.99 while on sale for $30 off).
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a b U Graphics card
September 24, 2009 8:02:57 PM

SAPPHIRE 100245HDMI Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($99.99 + Free Shipping)

If you can sell that gift card to a friend, take the $100 and buy this GPU. Will be perfect for your system, good CPU choice too.
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a b U Graphics card
September 24, 2009 8:19:07 PM

^Agreed.
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September 24, 2009 8:20:58 PM

Thanks for the input.

I really was not sure because of the new AMD budget X4's that came out if I wanted to do that and save money for a video card but I've never been one to run at high res/everything turned on anyways. I needed the confirmation on best budget CPU/MB/Ram with upgrade options for me.

Not sure if I could sell the Gift card maybe but I found this card at Bestbuy it seems to be the same only a little more $$

VisionTek - ATI Radeon HD 4850 1GB GDDR3 PCI Express Graphics Card
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=9402719&s...
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a c 192 U Graphics card
September 24, 2009 8:30:39 PM

With the parts you've chosen, $100 for a video card at Best Buy probably won't be enough even for a 4650. Considering what you have now, the following would offer much better performance, and offer an obvious upgrade path:

Dual core CPU, overclocks well. There's a chance to unlock additional cores, but consider that icing on the cake, not a reason to buy it:
AMD Phenom II X2 550 Black Edition Callisto 3.1GHz 2 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 80W Dual-Core Processor - $102
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Crossfire-capable mobo. Has a good IGP on it (HD3300) that may be adequate for general use, and if not will provide a baseline that will help you decide how much of an improvement you need. It is currently the fastest IGP out there, and can actually play some games with settings lowered:
GIGABYTE GA-MA790GPT-UD3H AM3 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard - $115
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

DDR3-1333 may be enough of an improvement to be worth the additional cost; a jump to 1600 may not be worth any more.
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL7D-4GBRH - $89
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total is $306. There's a rebate on the mobo; I never count those.

I'd rather have a 720BE too, but a faster CPU can always be a future upgrade. Compared to what you have, even a Regor would be a big improvement.
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a c 192 U Graphics card
September 24, 2009 8:34:32 PM

Transmaniacon has a point; if you can sell the Best Buy card for [close to] its face value, you could get the 720BE.
Especially if you're willing to save more for the video card, I'll stand by my suggestion of the 790GX mobo.
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September 24, 2009 8:48:30 PM

what operating system are you using? a 64 bit version of windows? What power supply were you going to use with the build? I'm not really informed enough to help you but I think that info will help others make quality suggestions.
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September 24, 2009 8:51:32 PM

oh, nm I see the Antec True power 550 PS :) 
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September 24, 2009 10:54:15 PM

I'm not really worried about the Video card as the games I play now are not that new.

Enemy Territory and a little L4D. Also for the MB is it 790GX better then the 770?
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a c 192 U Graphics card
September 24, 2009 11:36:02 PM

The 790GX is Crossfire-capable and has the HD3300 IGP on it. The 770 has no IGP, and only supports one video card, which you would have to buy right away. If you were satisfied with how your games played, you would never need a separate video card on the 790GX; if you weren't though, you could upgrade even up to a Crossfired pair of video cards.
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