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$600 Upgrade - Is this the best for the money?

Last response: in Systems
November 11, 2009 12:52:53 PM

Greetings, I am upgrading a friend's computer. Here are the details:


BUDGET RANGE: ~$600 before rebates

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming is definitely the most important. After that, some video editing.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS, case, hard drives, dvd drive, power supply (Silverstone Zeus 650 Watts).

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: No preference. Whatever is cheapest. I should mention that I have to pay tax when ordering from newegg, so that adds 9.25% or something like that.


PARTS PREFERENCES: Best for the money.




ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: As you can see, all I require is MOBO, CPU, GPU, RAM

And here is something I've come up with (I'm using newegg because they've the best site):


EVGA 896-P3-1255-AR GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 - $190

Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 - $190

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR2 800 - $95

TOTAL: $610

Is this the best to be had for $600? I'd like to have an i5 and a 5850. However, if I went for i5, I'd have to get a cheaper GPU; if I went for a 5850, I'd have to get a cheaper CPU, correct?

Like I mentioned above, it doesn't have to be from newegg. Their website is the easiest to navigate, so I always use theirs for organizing wish lists and such.


More about : 600 upgrade money

November 11, 2009 2:10:21 PM

you could go the amd route with a 5770 or 4890

ASUS M4A79XTD EVO AM3 AMD 790X ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail

AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor - Retail


G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBRM - Retail $104.99

5770 $169.99

4890 $179.99($159.99 after $20.00 Mail-In Rebate)

$550 before shipping and rebate with 5770

$560 before shipping and rebate with 4890

or an i5 and 5770 or 4890

Intel Core i5-750 Lynnfield 2.66GHz LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor

GIGABYTE GA-P55-UD4P LGA 1156 Intel P55 ATX Intel Motherboard
Combo Price: $344.98

that with 4890 is $630 before shipping and rebate

with 5770 its $620 before shipping and rebate

November 11, 2009 6:03:34 PM

Thanks for the suggestions. I've been thinking. What about getting the i5-750 and a cheaper GPU (say 9600GT) and then upgrading to a beastly GPU about 6 months from now?
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November 11, 2009 8:47:29 PM

A cheap GPU like 9600 will barely play games at low settings at that resolution. Might be a painful time until you can replace the GPU.

For better balance a machine with a faster/upgradeable dual core like an AM3 motherboard and Athlon IIx2 240 and get a strong GPU, then upgrade the CPU to a good Phenom IIx4 in 6 months might be a mroe pleasant option. There are very few games that really make use of more than one core anyway (like Crysis and GTA4)
November 11, 2009 9:07:54 PM

If gaming is your priority, then put max $$$ into the video card.
An AMD X3 720 or a propus 620 will work just fine for very little money.
Go cheap on the cpu and moderate on the motherboard.
An AMD 5xxx card will give you the best results. Buy the best on you can afford.
November 11, 2009 9:20:32 PM

At a resolution of 1680 x 1050, you don't want to ignore the CPU. An AMD X3 720 will bottleneck the performance of a 5850. A Phenom II X4 955 would be the balance point (or maybe just a smaller bottleneck. How does the Phenom II X4 955 compare to the Intel Core 2 Quad 9550?) for a card that powerful. But both of those won't fit in your budget at the same time.
November 11, 2009 9:28:33 PM

At 1680x1050 the video card will sail through at frame rates better than you can detect flaws in.
The cpu (620/720) will do just fine.
Later more cpu power can be added cheaply.
November 11, 2009 9:30:10 PM

I see what you mean. The bottleneck won't even be noticeable.
November 12, 2009 12:00:05 AM

Good points. Considering the 620 Propus is half the price of the i5, I may be able to go with a 5850. What are some good motherboards for AM3? I haven't been keeping up with chipsets for AMD motherboards.
November 12, 2009 12:04:51 AM

Look at obsidians post for a good AM3 motherboard linked.
November 12, 2009 12:24:37 AM

Sorry I missed that. So, would you recommend the 620 or the 720? The 720 has one less core, but is clocked higher. Then again, you can get a dual core in the 3+ GHz range for even cheaper (which is indeed what I did in my first post).
November 12, 2009 12:32:25 AM

I would go with the faster dual for gaming performance or the x3 720. The Athlon x4 is more for cheap quad core workload machines than gaming performance.
November 12, 2009 12:45:38 AM

Yeah, the Phenom II X2 550 is clocked at 3.1 GHz and it's $102 on the egg.