Looking to upgrade my system, have budget need help.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Whenever I get information

BUDGET RANGE: $300 Before Rebates

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming (Source Engine, Golden Source, Doom 3) Video editing, web surfing

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS Generic power supply, case, hard drive, fans (except cpu fan, need one of those).

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: whoever has the best price/service

PARTS PREFERENCES: by brand or type AMD, ATI, Intel, Asus (Or any others that are known for compatibility or reliability, or both)

OVERCLOCKING: No SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1280x1024

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Price and performance are my main goals, noise, light don't matter to me as long as it works flawlessly.


I've currently got a really low end PC by today's standards, and I'm looking to upgrade to something decent within my budget.

Currently I have an ECS PT880PRO-A motherboard with a Pentium 4 2.66 ghz processor, and 512 mb of ram. I'm also running an Nvidia Geforce FX 5500 which has 256 mbs of ram.

Upgrading to something better is absolutely required since this motherboard (I don't know if it's just mine or all these models) Cannot deal with 1 GB of ram using two 512 mb sticks, it crashes every 2 or so hours if you try it with two sticks.

I've got a 300 dollar budget and need to stay within that range, hopefully it can be done.

I was told by a friend who upgraded last summer, that ATI and AMD would be the cheapest options to go with. I don't know if this is still the case, and I by no means have this even 1% figured out, so please don't hesitate to update me with the latest developments.

This will be a gaming PC so I'm not looking for the cheapest, I'm looking for the most cost effective high performance parts I can get within my budget.

I'm planning on running XP Pro, and I'm looking for something along the lines of an AMD multi-core processor, ATI graphics card, at least 2 gigs of ram. Also a motherboard that is of course compatible with all the components and is from a trusted manufacturer like Asus or Intel, or others.

I'm going to use my existing case, power supply, hard drive and everything else so those are a few less things I'll have to pay for.

Just a little extra information, my hard drive is a SATA Maxtor 300 gb drive, I have 2 generic dvd combo drives, one generic floppy drive, Antec Lanboy case.

I also do not need any fancy onboard audio, if it comes with it without adding to the cost then it doesn't matter but I do not prefer or even want anything but stereo.

-Thanks
13 answers Last reply
More about looking upgrade system budget help
  1. ^ The info about the PSU that you have is very important...
    IMO you would need a good PSU to run a decent setup...

    CPU - A very good value CPU -
    X3 425
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103726

    RAM
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820134788

    Mobo - ASRock boards do have good quality...
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157176

    GPU
    HD 4850 - Can max out most of the games at that resolution...
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102824

    But if you want to go with the above graphics card, yo uwould need atleast any of these PSU...
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371034
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139008

    But if you dont want to change the PSU, then change the card to this one...
    HD 4670 - It can also play games decent at that resolution...
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125277
  2. gkay09 said:
    ^ The info about the PSU that you have is very important...
    IMO you would need a good PSU to run a decent setup...

    CPU - A very good value CPU -
    X3 425
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103726

    RAM
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820134788

    Mobo - ASRock boards do have good quality...
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157176

    GPU
    HD 4850 - Can max out most of the games at that resolution...
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102824

    But if you want to go with the above graphics card, yo uwould need atleast any of these PSU...
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371034
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139008

    But if you dont want to change the PSU, then change the card to this one...
    HD 4670 - It can also play games decent at that resolution...
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125277



    Hmm, well I have to replace the fan in my power supply anyway so I'll get back to you on that, but thanks for that info!
  3. considering the parts you have already and the fact that gaming id your most important goal for the pc, i would wait a little bit and see if you save some money and up the budget for maybe 400 or even 450. It will make a HUGE difference in the quality of components you can afford. You will be able to get an AM3 mobo that supports ddr3, an quad core cpu and 4 gigs of ram. or use the triple core and get a better gpu.

    In this budget range overclocking can offer huge gains for the same price and little risk. It is essentially free performance. With a tight budget free performance sounds great.
  4. That tricore processor can have the 4th core unlocked and people have reported it runs fine, all I should need is a bigger fan and heatsink.

    And for the ram, I'll eventually add another 2 gigs if my performance is still suffering.


    At this point I'm not looking to get the best anything as I simply don't have the money, I just want to play source engine games adequately without lagging horribly because of ram shortages, cpu overloads or what have you.
  5. Alright, my budget has increased to 360, that's not much more but could you recalculate it with better components? Power Supply now needed., as well as CPU fan that can support 4 cores and a case side fan with the funnel thing that attaches to the cpu fan. If there's a case out there that has a 400w power supply that would be cheaper then buying a stand alone cpu fan, I'd rather have that as well.
  6. ^ You can replace the Tri-Core with this Quad -
    X4 620
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103706

    Stick with the rest of the config...As for the PSU, get that Antec EA 430...
  7. gkay09 said:
    ^ You can replace the Tri-Core with this Quad -
    X4 620
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103706

    Stick with the rest of the config...As for the PSU, get that Antec EA 430...


    "as well as CPU fan that can support 4 cores and a case side fan with the funnel thing that attaches to the cpu fan. If there's a case out there that has a 400w power supply that would be cheaper then buying a stand alone power supply, I'd rather have that as well."
  8. Bump, guys I'm ready to order the second I get info, then I'll stop bumping this thread :)
  9. Antec 300 and Antec Earth watts 500 psu $115

    Kinda lost where you are on budget but this is a pretty good deal Good budget case and good PSU
  10. I need a whole rethinking of my budget, 360 dollars

    APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: The second after I get information

    BUDGET RANGE: $360 Before Rebates

    SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming (Source Engine, Golden Source, Doom 3) Video editing, web surfing

    PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, Operating System, case, hard drive, fans (except cpu fan, need one of those).

    PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: whoever has the best price/service

    PARTS PREFERENCES: by brand or type AMD, ATI (Or any others that are known for compatibility or reliability, or both)

    OVERCLOCKING: No SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No

    MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1280x1024

    ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Price and performance are my main goals, noise, light don't matter to me as long as it works flawlessly.
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