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$300-400 CPU, motherboard, RAM upgrade

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February 4, 2010 5:34:38 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: When money comes along. Probably next 3 months.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Mostly gaming.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, etc. I do plan to use my current PSU.

Unfortunately, being at work, I don’t have the exact make and model. It is a 550w PSU, SLI certified or some such.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg.com, as I have an account with them.

PARTS PREFERENCES: No preference, as long as its good quality, and good name.

OVERCLOCKING: Moderate O/C SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Only one card at the moment. Maybe in the future.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1280 x 1024. Possible upgrade in the next few months to a 20”+ monitor.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:
Unfortunately, I don’t have the specifics of the parts I am have on my current rig. I can attempt to get more specifics when I get home from work. General specs below:

Proc: e6600 C2D 2.4ghz @ 2.9ghz.
RAM: 4gig DDR2 800 (Brand is corsair I believe).
MoBo: nVidia 680i
VidCard: GTS 250 1gig
Hdd: 2 x 250gig drives.
Sound: SB Audigy
OS: Vista 64 bit OEM

Nothing crazy. But I am looking to replace the processor, motherboard, and ram. Every few months I upgrade parts of my machines and those parts are the oldest. I suppose I can still with my current RAM if it makes things cheaper, but I think I will be gimping myself. To upgrade, I am looking for 300-400 dollars.

I am getting pretty inundated with all the i5/i7 vs. Phenom II x4 talk. I would like longevity, but i7 and its socket size is a bit pricey for me at this point. But I'm pretty torn between i5 and Phenom.

Thanks for fielding a new comer's question.
a b B Homebuilt system
February 4, 2010 6:44:08 PM

If you want longevity AMD's AM3 socket is what you want with that budget.
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February 4, 2010 6:48:55 PM

That was where I was leaning. Any advice on a good AM3 motherboard?
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a b B Homebuilt system
February 4, 2010 9:13:54 PM

I like ASRock boards. They've got a couple in the $91-$95 range that have three PCIE slots, which can do x8,x8 Crossfire and still leave the third slot at x4 for PhysX, USB3.0, or whatever.
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February 5, 2010 12:02:43 AM

Your going to need to get new RAM as everything worth upgrading too is DDR3 (AM3, i7, i5).
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February 5, 2010 12:54:26 AM

Onus said:
I like ASRock boards. They've got a couple in the $91-$95 range that have three PCIE slots, which can do x8,x8 Crossfire and still leave the third slot at x4 for PhysX, USB3.0, or whatever.


Stay away from ASRock. They have known issues as they are ASUSs cheap brand. For like $10 more you can get a legit ASUS or Gigabyte board, or even ECS.


Nice board for the price, even has heatsinks over the solid state capacitors:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

My board:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Gigabyte Version:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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a b B Homebuilt system
February 5, 2010 2:07:51 AM

I vote for gigabyte. One of the 770 chipset ones would be good, if you don't want to crossfire. You could go with the normal one or the USB3 SATA III one.
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a b B Homebuilt system
February 5, 2010 8:22:31 AM

lauxenburg said:
Stay away from ASRock. They have known issues as they are ASUSs cheap brand. For like $10 more you can get a legit ASUS or Gigabyte board, or even ECS.


I call BS. I've NEVER had a problem with an ASRock board. The only mobo I've had to RMA was a Gigabyte. It is ECS that has a poor rep, although I think they have improved, as has Foxconn.
Just for grins (because I'm considering getting another one myself) I read a bunch of Newegg reviews on ASRock yesterday. They are normally a bad source of information, but if you read between the lines, most of the people who had problems were making obvious newb mistakes, and those who obviously knew what they were doing had no problems.
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a b B Homebuilt system
February 5, 2010 7:19:33 PM

That one looks decent too.
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February 5, 2010 7:24:17 PM

thanks for the reply folks. Looks like it would be wiser for me to stick to an AM3 slot and get a Phenom II x4.
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February 5, 2010 9:32:54 PM

I agree with the Phenom II X4, but I'd say spring for the extra few $ and get ASUS Mobo. I'm using the M4A785TD-M EVO with 4Gb g-skill ripjaws @ 1600Mhz running Win7 64bit. it's rock solid and surprizingly snappy.
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February 8, 2010 11:17:33 AM

Compared to the board I linked up top, you would actually save me $25 or so. =D Thanks!
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!