$300 to spend, upgrade or new set up?

I have 300 to spend. I want just a Motherboard/processsor, Ram, and Video card. Can this be done? I play counter strike a lot. I thought maybe I should just upgrade my current system. What do you guys think. I'm at a crossroad because I don't know if it's worth to build a new system when I am just trying to play games like Counter strike source and doom 3 at like 60 fps.

Here is my set up from 04

Amd Xp 2500+
AN35N ultra Motherboard
512 Crosair ram. Don't konw speed
Ati Radeon 9600

The machine plays Source but just drags in high action sequences. Should I just keep it cheap and upgrade my ram to 2 or 3 gigs? That would cost me under 100. Or maybe get the fastest processor my rig will take? A burton 3200? Maybe a better GPU? Any advice would be a great help because I'm going to frys today and once im there I just want to but something.

thanks.
42 answers Last reply
More about spend upgrade
  1. feeling ambitious?

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.254095

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227199

    for $200

    then you can save up for a psu and case/graphics card but the igp on the 785 should play c.s.s. easily
  2. Interesting choices. Thanks for your help. I know nothing of this motherboard. Dual core...do games like css use both cpu's. What kind of ram does it use and would it be better than trying to upgrade my unit?


    obsidian86 said:
    feeling ambitious?

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.254095

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227199

    for $200

    then you can save up for a psu and case/graphics card but the igp on the 785 should play c.s.s. easily
  3. it uses the ram i linked ddr2 ram.and if a game is dual core optimised it will use both cores but if its an older game it usually balances out the load on a both cores,your current setup is quite old and some newer games like nothing less then a nice dual core,and as older hardware is discontinued in production they become scarce and expensive
  4. obsidian86 said:
    feeling ambitious?

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.254095

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227199

    for $200

    then you can save up for a psu and case/graphics card but the igp on the 785 should play c.s.s. easily


    Get a $70 HD 4670 graphics card with that setup, you won't need a new power supply.
  5. Gulli said:
    Get a $70 HD 4670 graphics card with that setup, you won't need a new power supply.

    If he already has a 9600, is it really worth buying a 4670? I'm thinkiing there wont be enough difference to eb worth the money.

    Many games dont use multiple cores. The advantage of a dual core is one core is totally dedicated to your game and the other can handle all the OS functions. Its an improvement over a single core of the same speed no matter what.
  6. dndhatcher said:
    If he already has a 9600, is it really worth buying a 4670? I'm thinkiing there wont be enough difference to eb worth the money.


    You're thinking of the Geforce 9600. The OP has the ATI Radeon 9600 which is MUCH older, not to mention it's AGP and not PCI-E.

    +1 for the HD4670

    -Wolf sends
  7. dndhatcher said:
    If he already has a 9600, is it really worth buying a 4670? I'm thinkiing there wont be enough difference to eb worth the money.

    Many games dont use multiple cores. The advantage of a dual core is one core is totally dedicated to your game and the other can handle all the OS functions. Its an improvement over a single core of the same speed no matter what.


    It's a Radeon 9600 (from 2003!), not a Geforce 9600GT, so of course a HD 4670 is worth it.

    BTW, get more RAM as well.
  8. Gulli said:
    It's a Radeon 9600 (from 2003!), not a Geforce 9600GT, so of course a HD 4670 is worth it.

    BTW, get more RAM as well.
    My bad. :pt1cable:
  9. Or you could get a Quad core an even save money.

    Athlon II X4 620 + cheap mobo - $119
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.262205

    4 GB PNY RAM - $43
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820178219

    That will cost you $162 for a faster setup. You loose some ability to upgrade because it uses socket AM2+ and DDR2 memory, but judjing by your current setup, you don't seem to upgrade much anyway.

    If you want to spend more for a better ECS mobo, these combos are $15-20 more:

    $139
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.262198

    $135
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.262206
  10. paranoidmage said:
    Or you could get a Quad core an even save money.

    Athlon II X4 620 + cheap mobo - $119
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.262205

    4 GB PNY RAM - $43
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820178219

    That will cost you $162 for a faster setup. You loose some ability to upgrade because it uses socket AM2+ and DDR2 memory, but judjing by your current setup, you don't seem to upgrade much anyway.

    If you want to spend more for a better ECS mobo, these combos are $15-20 more:

    $139
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.262198

    $135
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.262206



    And then he'd still be stuck with a 2003 Radeon 9600, yeah, great thinking there... I'm sure a quadcore plus a Radeon 9600 will make an awesome gaming machine (I'm being sarcastic here, if you didn't figure that out already.)
  11. Well he would have $138 left over for the GPU. It beats the $100 he would have left over if he got a Athlon II X2 240 + mobo + RAM for $200.

    You can get this MSI 4850 512MB for $80
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127414

    That's $242 for your entire upgrade, and you'll get a very powerful system.
  12. i wouldn he need a new power supply to run a 4850?
  13. paranoidmage said:
    Well he would have $138 left over for the GPU. It beats the $100 he would have left over if he got a Athlon II X2 240 + mobo + RAM for $200.

    You can get this MSI 4850 512MB for $80
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127414

    That's $242 for your entire upgrade, and you'll get a very powerful system.


    Then he could get an OCZ Stealthxstream 400W power supply to power the rig and stay under $300...
  14. obsidian86 said:
    i wouldn he need a new power supply to run a 4850?


    More than likely, yes, you would need a new power supply for the HD4850.

    -Wolf sends
  15. As opposed to the 4670, I'm liking this card for 40 bucks after MIR.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121320
  16. ohiou_grad_06 said:
    As opposed to the 4670, I'm liking this card for 40 bucks after MIR.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121320


    Why the extra hassle with a PCI-E connector and still slightly less performance than with the 4670?
  17. Gulli said:
    Why the extra hassle with a PCI-E connector and still slightly less performance than with the 4670?


    Agreed. Get a 4670 and you won't need to spend any money on a better PSU. The extra performance with a better card isn't worth it when you have to add $50 or more for a PSU.

    Edit: Or you could get this:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812201004

    But we still don't know what power supply to have and whether or not it can handle a better card.
  18. I was under the impression 4670=9600gso for performance roughly. The reason I linked that is b/c if you count the rebate, it shaves 20 bucks from final cost. If the PSU can handle it.
  19. If the $300 budget still stands I recommend to either go cheap by buying only a HD 4670 for $70, or go the expensive route (still sub $300 though) to crush your current setup:

    RAM: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820178219 $63

    CPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103687 $66 (can easily be overclocked to 3.2ghz)

    PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817341020 $40

    Mobo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157158 $45

    Graphics Card: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127394 $85

    Total: $299
  20. I can actually agree with Gulli's setup. If gaming, consider spending 10 bucks more and get a 4850.
  21. ^ You can't get much cheaper than that!. haha. way to get a dollar under budget.... well you still need shipping.

    To OP... Are you at all flexible on the $300 mark? My opinion is this.... if you aren't flexible on the $300 mark and NEED something NOW, then Gulli has a great list that will maximize your budget. However, for $500 or $600 you could get a MUCH better system than what your could get with $300.

    What items DO you have in your current system that you can reuse? What kind of case, drives (HD and optical), PSU, etc? Specs are great, links are better. Whatever you do, do not put anymore money into your current board, it is a waste.
  22. Btw, the 4830 should be a great card tho. Props to Gulli on the pricing.
  23. jay2tall said:
    ^ You can't get much cheaper than that!. haha. way to get a dollar under budget.... well you still need shipping.

    To OP... Are you at all flexible on the $300 mark? My opinion is this.... if you aren't flexible on the $300 mark and NEED something NOW, then Gulli has a great list that will maximize your budget. However, for $500 or $600 you could get a MUCH better system than what your could get with $300.

    What items DO you have in your current system that you can reuse? What kind of case, drives (HD and optical), PSU, etc? Specs are great, links are better. Whatever you do, do not put anymore money into your current board, it is a waste.


    Anonymous said:
    I have 300 to spend...I am just trying to play games like Counter strike source and doom 3 at like 60 fps.


    He doesn't need an amazing system, which is why I think a 620 + mobo + ram + 4670 is a good deal that keeps him under budget and gets the job done. an Athlon II X2 420 isn't bad either. It saves about $10, but wouldn't play newer games as well if you want to get into them
  24. The PNY RAM that we've been posting no longer has its MIR, and at has some bad reviews anyway.

    CORSAIR XMS2 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 5-5-5-18 1.8V
    $50, free shipping
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145241
  25. paranoidmage said:
    He doesn't need an amazing system, which is why I think a 620 + mobo + ram + 4670 is a good deal that keeps him under budget and gets the job done. an Athlon II X2 420 isn't bad either. It saves about $10, but wouldn't play newer games as well if you want to get into them


    No way you can get that (and a PSU) for under $300.
  26. You wouldn't need an extra PSU with the 4670

    and the 620 + mobo combo for $120 is no longer available.

    CPU:
    Athlon II X4 620 + mobo - $140
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductCombos.aspx?Item=N82E16819103706&SubCategory=343&SortField=0&PageSize=50
    OR
    Athlon II X2 240 + mobo - $100
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.263449

    GPU:
    MSI 4850 512MB+ 400 W PSU + free Wheelman game - $125
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127414
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817341020
    OR
    Asus 4670 1GB + free Alone in the Dark game - $55

    RAM:
    CORSAIR 2 x 2GB DDR2 800 - $50

    It's a tougher CPU decision now that the $120 X4 620 + mobo combo is gone. The X2 240 is still a fast dual core. I suggest getting the 4670, because moving up to a 4850 and getting a PSU isn't worth $70 more.
  27. paranoidmage said:
    You wouldn't need an extra PSU with the 4670

    and the 620 + mobo combo for $120 is no longer available.

    CPU:
    Athlon II X4 620 + mobo - $140
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductCombos.aspx?Item=N82E16819103706&SubCategory=343&SortField=0&PageSize=50
    OR
    Athlon II X2 240 + mobo - $100
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.263449

    GPU:
    MSI 4850 512MB+ 400 W PSU + free Wheelman game - $125
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127414
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817341020
    OR
    Asus 4670 1GB + free Alone in the Dark game - $55

    RAM:
    CORSAIR 2 x 2GB DDR2 800 - $50

    It's a tougher CPU decision now that the $120 X4 620 + mobo combo is gone. The X2 240 is still a fast dual core. I suggest getting the 4670, because moving up to a 4850 and getting a PSU isn't worth $70 more.


    RAM: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145241 $50

    CPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103688 $63 (can easily be overclocked to 3.0ghz)

    PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817341020 $40

    Mobo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157158 $45

    Graphics Card: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127414 $100

    Total: $298
  28. That GPU has a mail in rebate, so it's $85. That brings the total down to $283 for that build.
  29. paranoidmage said:
    That GPU has a mail in rebate, so it's $85. That brings the total down to $283 for that build.


    Yes, buy it now, before the rebates are gone.
  30. Did you guys see this combo at 143 for the Athlon 2 x4 and Biostar Board for 143?

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.271179

    Although, if you went that route, I like the board, I like better I think the board Gulli linked, use the combo to get Acronis true image.
  31. Gulli

    Do you realize you mixed an AM3 CPU with an AM2/AM2+ mobo?
  32. Its been 5 days since the OP last posted. Probably he'll never see most of the thread.
  33. bob73 said:
    Gulli

    Do you realize you mixed an AM3 CPU with an AM2/AM2+ mobo?


    Yes, your point being? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socket_AM3
  34. I didn't see where that mobo was "AM3 ready". Maybe I missed it.
  35. It doesn't need to be "AM3 ready". All current AM3 CPUs work in socket AM2+.
  36. Lol. They should be assuming bios updates are available as am3 chips have built in ddr2 and ddr3 memory controllers.
  37. Gulli said:



    ASRock Motherboard specs

    Quote:
    If you use AM3 / AM2+ CPU on AM2 chipset motherboard, the system bus speed will downgrade from HT3.0 (5200 MT/s) to HT1.0 (2000 MT/s), but the CPU frequency will not be influenced.


    Just wondering how limiting this would be.

    -Wolf ponders
  38. One of my "AM3 ready" boards says that too. But I got it for cheap on craigslist as simply an AM2 board and won't bother with anything more than that in it.
  39. That's because the AM2+ boards depend on a bios update to make them "AM3 ready".
  40. Hey guys thanks for the advice everyone. Well all of you have great ideas but now I am a little confused. I did buy ram for 70 bucks at fries. You would figure ddr ram would be cheaper now. That helped my os run way better but my games run better but not smooth enough for me to be good at them. CS Source ranges from 15fps to 70.... crazy. I wonder if it's because of my slow ass cpu. I know if I upgraded to burton I would get more fps because Source is cpu hungry. Anyway, so here is my complete set up again for the person that asked what other parts I had.

    Windows Vista Ultimate
    Nvdia An35N Ultra V1.1 socket A
    Athlon xp 2500
    ATI Radeon 9600xt
    2 gigs Kingston DDR
    Creative Xfi Xtreme Gamer
    DvD CD R Drive
    400 wat psu

    So the question remains. Should I upgrade to a whole new set up? Or spend like on a Am3 or 775 board. If I had money I would get an I 7. I like the 4850 because I want to play some new games but I wonder if it's worth buying yet another agp cards even the the slot is dead. I have no looked closely at the set ups you guys suggested but they seem viable options. I will research them now and be back with yall shorly. Thanks!
  41. paranoidmage said:
    Well he would have $138 left over for the GPU. It beats the $100 he would have left over if he got a Athlon II X2 240 + mobo + RAM for $200.

    You can get this MSI 4850 512MB for $80
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127414

    That's $242 for your entire upgrade, and you'll get a very powerful system.


    This seems good, I don't know how well it compares to a 775 motherboard set up. But i like this suggestion
  42. Gulli said:
    If the $300 budget still stands I recommend to either go cheap by buying only a HD 4670 for $70, or go the expensive route (still sub $300 though) to crush your current setup:

    RAM: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820178219 $63

    CPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103687 $66 (can easily be overclocked to 3.2ghz)

    PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817341020 $40

    Mobo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157158 $45

    Graphics Card: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127394 $85

    Total: $299



    Interesting, so far im swaying towards this.
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