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Cheapest possible gaming rig/upgrade! (Cpu,Mobo,Ram)

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October 22, 2009 8:10:06 PM

So I've had a Core 2 system that has been great over the last few years but it looks like my motherboard is shot. I really don't want to upgrade everything in my system at once but I'm afraid with the change in technology I'm going to have to. I have a solid 600w power supply I purchased a few months ago as a replacement and I also have a two month old WD Caviar Black HD. The current graphics card I have is a 7900GTX which handles the games I play and seems to do a pretty good job with HD videos. I want to try to keep using it if I can so I can pick one up in a few months that has the new direct x support and HDMI. I want to know if I can get away with just upgrading the Motherboard, CPU, and ram right now and continue using the other components I have. The problem I have is I just really don't want to spend all the money on a new system at the same time so if I can spread it out over a few months I can get everything done eventually.

I'm not really looking to overclock bigtime, maybe a little bit so that isn't a huge importance to me. I just want another quality (and cheap if possible!) motherboard and cpu combo that will allow me to upgrade later.

So I guess I'm looking for an answer to see if I can continue using my graphics card for now and if so a solid motherboard/cpu to start my system upgrage.

Thanks for your opinions and help!

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Very Soon BUDGET: cheap but quality looking for a great deal.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, Surfing, and Movies

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, mouse, Hard drive, case, hopefully GPU (want to temporarily use my MSI 7900GTX) , PSU (want to use 600W BFG, don't have model in front of me, if I can)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: I live in the us and have been very happy with NewEgg in the past

PARTS PREFERENCES: I am open to suggestions but have had good experiences with Intel,

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe eventually
October 22, 2009 8:19:08 PM

If your GPU is working for you, there is no reason it would not continue to do so, but you need to get a montherboard with the correct slot to put it in. If its PCI or PCIE almost any motherboard will work. If its AGP you will have a very limited selection.
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October 22, 2009 9:20:02 PM

Well to me, it seems you basically have two options:

1) Buy a new motherboard and keep everything else the same. This is the cheaper option and should run you less than $200 including an aftermarket CPU cooler if you wanted to overclock. If you don't overclock, you won't see any performance increase. If you do overclock, your system will bottleneck the video card during games and it will need to be replaced to unleash the true potential of your computer.

2) Upgrade the CPU, Motherboard, RAM, GPU, (optional) and PSU (optional). This will increase performance, and give you upgrade options for the future. Again, if you don't replace the GPU it'll create a bottleneck during games and hold back the whole system. Upgrading the PSU will give you a more reliable and abundant power source if you overclock or SLI. This is more a costly option and will probably cost somewhere between $400 and $1,000 depending on what you decide to replace, and what you're replacing it with.

Posting your system specs will let us know what you've got and let us better make suggestions as to what we would do if we were you. This is what I've gathered so far:

CPU: ??? Core 2 Duo
Motherboard: ??? (doesn't really matter since it failed)
RAM: ??? (how much and what model?)
PSU: BFG 600W (the model# would help)
GPU: XFX 7800GTX
HDD: WD Caviar Black (size?)
Case: ???
OS: ???
Any other devices?


Based on your post, it seems like you had already planned to upgrade soon. (when Nvidia's DX11 video cards come out) What I did when I put together my new computer is I bought the CPU, mobo, and RAM and reused all my other parts (HDD's, GPU, PSU, etc.) When I got another paycheck, I'd buy a couple more components and replace the old ones until I had replaced everything in the case (including the case). It was a bit of a pain; it took a couple of months and I had to keep reinstalling or reactivating Windows and keep opening up the computer and replacing parts and reorganizing everything...

It's easier to do it all in one go, but if you can't afford it all in one go, I'd recommend something like what I did.
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October 22, 2009 9:55:43 PM

I really am thinking I want to go with something like option 2... Upgrade cpu/mobo/ram can I get a mobo now that will support DX11? I haven't started really researching yet but wanted to post here to see what people recommended. I'm totally fine going with an entry level processor, I just want a solid affordable motherboard so I have a good foundation to start with.
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October 22, 2009 10:07:25 PM

Motherboards have nothing to do with DX11. Thats an OS/GPU issue. You must have vista or windows 7 and a DX11 GPU (right now only the radeon 5870, 5850, 5770 and 5750 are DX11).

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October 23, 2009 11:38:45 AM

If its all working for you, why upgrade? Just replace the mobo and keep going.
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