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Upgrade or build new?

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Last response: in Systems
November 10, 2009 3:02:46 PM

Hi everyone, I have an alright (for me anyway) pc which has allowed me to play pretty much all the games I've been wanting to play up until now. There are a few games I have been wanting to play such as Dragon Age Origins but my pc hasn't been able to handle it and with my Xbox 360 suddenly breaking, I have decided to stick with pc gaming. I did not build this pc (I have no experience in it but am willing to learn) someone built it for me. It has been mainly my graphics card and CPU that are lacking in the recommended requirements. I'm getting most of the information from Lavalys Everest.

CPU: DualCore AMD Athlon 64 X2, 2700 MHz (13.5 x 200) 5200+
Motherboard: Foxconn 6100K8MA/6100M2MA/6150K8MA/6150K8MD Series / Acer FC51GM
RAM: Corsair Value Select VS2GB667D2 2 GB DDR2-667 DDR2 SDRAM 1GBULURTXNBC 1 GB DDR2-667 DDR2 SDRAM
Graphics Card: ATI Radeon HD 4650 (512 MB)
Power Supply: Im not sure about this but I imagine it would be 350?
Monitor: 19" LG something something

Budget - £250. Am I able to get a good CPU and graphics card that is good for gaming that is compatible with my motherboard?

Or should I just sell this and put it towards building a new system?

Thanks for all your help

More about : upgrade build

November 10, 2009 3:05:22 PM

I cant edit my message for some reason but I was wanting to edit it and say the £250 was for the upgrade and I would spend £500 on a new system build.

And that I would also like to be able to play my PS2 and Gamecube emulators at full speed if possible. :) 
a b B Homebuilt system
November 10, 2009 4:54:49 PM

I have an Athlon 64x2 5400+ that I overclocked to 3.2GHz. I have been running a 9800 GTX+ graphics card, but recently replaced it with a new 5770. My performance still jumped so I dont think that CPU is going to be a big limitation to you. The 4650 is a pretty weak graphics card and you should see a huge performance jump moving up to a good gaming card.

You didnt list resolution, but my guess is at 19inches you are 1240x1024 or 1024x768. My monitor is a 22 inch 1380x1050 so you need less graphics power than I do. I would think a 5750 would give you good gaming performance, and a 5770 would be a good choice if you might upgrade to a 20+ inch widescreen someday soon. The problem you may have is that both of those graphics cards require a 6 pin PCIE power cable and I doubt your current power supply has one so you are probably looking at a PSU upgrade also.

Some power supplies to look for. Go for quality brands like Corsair, Antec, Seasonic, PC Power and Cooling.
Corsair 450W
Antec Earthwatts 430W

Another option you may have (depends on motherboard) to boost performance would be to get a decent CPU cooler and overclock your CPU up to 3GHz or so for a bit of a speed increase.
a b B Homebuilt system
November 10, 2009 6:04:48 PM

Get your xbox fixed instead; it'll be a much better return on investment.

Your PC is right at that weird point where it's still OK for gaming but not great ... but upgrading it now would be expensive and probably not worth the money for the half-generation step forward in technology you'd get for £500.

Personally, I'd spend the £50 to get the xbox fixed now, and then in a year or so whatever PC upgrade you do will be really worth your money. If you have to buy anything for the PC now, just get a 5770/5850/5870 video card that supports DirectX 11; that way you'll be able to use it in your future system as well.