Need Advice/Opinions on Upgrading or Starting a New Build

Hey guys and gals!

I'm new to the site here, but a friend of mine at work directed me to it when I was asking questions about potentially upgrading my current computer or maybe all-together building a new system. I just wanted to say up front that I really dig the website and there seems to be a wealth of information in these threads (mot notably the budget build requests!) and I'm looking forward to learning/reading more!

So for starters, I'm just barely PC literate enough to maybe put a computer together myself but when it comes to specifics or finer details I'm pretty rough around the edges. So when I went to actually buy my first computer (since I had just moved out on my own) I decided to go with a Cyberpower PC custom built system. I ended up spending roughly $1000 at the time. Here's a breakdown of the more major components I got with my money back then (I'll admit I'm copying these from the invoice).

My Current System

CAS: X-Discovery Mid-Tower Case 420W W/ WINDOW & LCD Temperature Display
CPU: (Sckt775)Intel(R) Core(TM) 2 Duo E6320 CPU @ 1.86GHz 1066FSB 2x2MB L2 Cache 64-bit
HDD: Single Hard Drive (250GB SATA-II 3.0Gb/s 8MB Cache 7200RPM HDD)
MOTHERBOARD: (Quad-Core Supports) Asus P5N-E nForce 650i SLI Chipset LGA775 FSB1333 DDR2 Mainboard
MEMORY: (Req.DDR2 MainBoard)1GB (2x512MB) PC6400 DDR2/800 Dual Channel Memory
OS: Microsoft(R) Windows(R) XP Professional w/ Service Pack 2
VIDEO: NVIDIA GeForce 8600 GT 256MB 16X PCI Express (EVGA Powered by NVIDIA)

To Upgrade or Not To Upgrade....and just totally build new.

Now, I've had the PC for awhile and everything is still working pretty well, except I think I've blown the USB on the Motherboard via static electricity (I have some nasty shag carpeting in my place that's a hotbed for static). There are some other complaints as well, like only having 1GB of Ram (something I could easily upgrade myself, I know), only 250GB HDD, and a Video Card that might be a LITTLE lower in performance than what I'd like.

So overall, I'm thinking about maybe upgrading since the computer is still sort of new for me and I'd hate to just toss/part it out and rebuild a brand new one. Plus upgrading sounds like a lot cheaper than having to get something new. Initially I'm thinking of just replacing the MOBO, upgrading the Power Supply, Upgrading to a larger HDD, getting a new Video Card, upgrading RAM and maybe even going to Windows 7.

However, at the same time I'm thinking that if I do spend 300-500 bucks now, I'm still not going to be totally happy with the upgrade and I'll be thinking of rebuilding again a year or two down the road.

So what do you think?

So I'm curious what you guys think. Given the overhaul I'm thinking of (MOBO, Vid Card, Power Supply, HDD, RAM, OS) do you think it's cost effective for me to just do an upgrade now? Or do you think it's probably in my best interests to hold off and try to go for a brand new system a year or so down the road?

I'm not sure where I stand right now so I'm hoping some more intelligent insight might help sway my decision.

Thanks for any help, answers, tips or suggestions any of you can provide!!


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  1. What is your intended use for the computer?

    Cost Effective, I believe upgrading might be a good option. You would want to add 2x1GB of ram, and inexpensive intel socket 775 quad core or a more powerful dual core. No point spending more than $150 on your CPU. If you plan to game, upgrade the graphics card too. The ATI radeon 4670 is a decent card at a good price and is much better than the 8600 GT. The less expensive version is the 4650. Both under $80. Also, it would be a good idea to get a better power supply, especially if yours is a generic brand. 500W. I like OCZ and Antec. If you want a better hard drive, you could get a 500GB Western Digital Blue for about $50-60

    For a good new computer (in my opinion), these days you'll spend about $500-600. I'd personally go AM3 mobo, Athlon IIx4, radeon 4850 or 4870 (or if you dont need that much power, 4670), OCZ 500W PSU, keep your current case, that $50-60 Western Digital and 2x2GB of OCZ or Mushkin ram. That will probably total around $500 if you go 4850 and because you don't need a case.
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