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Budget Gaming upgrade?

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March 9, 2010 6:28:15 AM

Hi Guys, I am planning on doing a budget Gaming upgrade on my very old trusty computer.

  • AMD Athlon(tm) 64 Processor 3200+ 2.01GHz
  • ASUSTeK Computer INC. A8N-SLI DELUXE OC 5%
  • X2 Kingston K 512MB DDR PC3200U DDR-200
  • GeForce 9800 GT 512 (got it a few months back)
  • Seagate 500Gb SATA
  • 450W Power supply

    What I am planning on upgrading to is the following:

  • AMD Phenom II x2 550 - Black Edition CPU - 3.1Ghz Socket AM3
  • Biostar TA790GX A3+ V5.x T-Series Motherboard - AM3 DDR3 - ATX
  • x2 Silicon Power DD3-1333 2Gb
  • Keeping my GeForce 9800 GT 512
  • Keeping 450W PSU?

    Let me know what you think, any advice/tips would be very much appreciated.
  • More about : budget gaming upgrade

    a b 4 Gaming
    March 9, 2010 6:47:34 AM

    ^ From where are you buying the parts ? and what other mobo options do you have ?
    March 9, 2010 6:57:53 AM

    gkay09 said:
    ^ From where are you buying the parts ? and what other mobo options do you have ?


    I will be buying from local importers here in South Africa. And possibly from www.take2.co.za

    Other mobo's I have been looking at are:

    Asus AMD - M4A785TD M EVO
    MSI 790GX-G65 8CH Audio Gb LAN 1394a HDMI ATI HD3300 - CF - Motherboard
    Asus M4A77TD AM3 EPU-4 DDR3 PCI-E 2.0 (a bit cheaper than the others)
    MSI 785GM-E65 Single x16 PCI (Our South Africa PC Format mag gives this one a 85% rating, calling it a solid gaming system for a budget)
    Related resources
    March 9, 2010 7:02:58 AM

    4gig of RAM will be good for gaming...

    Which 450W PSU do you have?

    And what's your monitor's native resolution?
    a b 4 Gaming
    March 9, 2010 7:18:22 AM

    I have had luck with unlocking the 3rd and the 4th cores of the X2 550 with a Biostar 790GX AM2+ board...So the same can be said with AM3 mobos with SB 710/ SB 750
    http://www.overclock.net/amd-motherboards/466967-unlock...

    Does that Biostar cost more than the MSI 790GX ? And could you list the cost of those boards...
    If you are not very much into overclocking, then you can stick with the cheapest of the lot and also as you have a Nvidia card, I dont think crossfire will be necessary...
    March 9, 2010 7:24:33 AM

    shubham1401 said:
    4gig of RAM will be good for gaming...

    Which 450W PSU do you have?

    And what's your monitor's native resolution?



    I am not making the same mistake of having too little RAM :)  I know most games only need 2GB RAM, but with 4GB I should be good for a few years.

    I have a CODEGEN 450W PSU (chepo) I ran a PSU Calculator with the upgrades and it gave me around 370W, so I should be fine for now.

    and a 20" Apple monitor at 1680x1050 (16:10) 60Hz (got it as a gift)
    March 9, 2010 7:48:42 AM

    gkay09 said:
    I have had luck with unlocking the 3rd and the 4th cores of the X2 550 with a Biostar 790GX AM2+ board...So the same can be said with AM3 mobos with SB 710/ SB 750
    http://www.overclock.net/amd-motherboards/466967-unlock...

    Does that Biostar cost more than the MSI 790GX ? And could you list the cost of those boards...
    If you are not very much into overclocking, then you can stick with the cheapest of the lot and also as you have a Nvidia card, I dont think crossfire will be necessary...


    Cool, thanks for the link.

    The Biostar TA790GX is R 1,144 ($154.098)
    The MSI 790GX is about R 1,266 ($170.487)
    Not much difference. You are correct about the crossfire, but would it be stupid of me to buy a mobo that supports Crossfire while only using one Nvidia card?
    a b 4 Gaming
    March 9, 2010 8:00:13 AM

    ^ It wont be stupid but you would be wasting money for a feature that you wont use any time soon...
    IF that 770X mobo from ASUS is much cheaper than that Biostar, then get that(If price difference is very much negligible then stick with the Biostar board)...
    You can also try the ASRock 770 board - ASRock M3A770DE
    It is also a decent board...
    March 9, 2010 8:57:09 AM

    gkay09 said:
    ^ It wont be stupid but you would be wasting money for a feature that you wont use any time soon...
    IF that 770X mobo from ASUS is much cheaper than that Biostar, then get that(If price difference is very much negligible then stick with the Biostar board)...
    You can also try the ASRock 770 board - ASRock M3A770DE
    It is also a decent board...


    Thank you for all the help, I am going to do some more research on the ASRock 770, Biostar 790GX and the Asus M4A55TD. It will be definitely be between those 3.
    March 9, 2010 10:04:39 AM

    I have the Biostar TA790GX A3+ and it does a fine job, I have no problems with it. If I were you, I would get the Biostar, as it's a nice board for the price.
    a b 4 Gaming
    March 9, 2010 10:24:40 AM

    The problems here is:

    In places like Egg/USA where we have big markets and prices between mobo makers differ not greatly for the same chipset but once u go to Asia/Africa for the same $$ for example you could only buy a MSI/Gigabyte 770 but a 790GX Biostar and the latter is prolly much more readily available too I would look at these mobos depending on where u at

    MSI 770-G45
    Gigabyte 770T-UD3P
    Asus M4A77TD-Pro
    Biostar TA790GX A3+
    Biostar TA785G3+ (if u dun mind mATX)

    For budget gaming i'd pair any of thos with a AthlonII X3 425 with a view to clock it down the road hehe Move to a HD 5830 or better down the road?
    a b 4 Gaming
    March 9, 2010 11:14:56 AM

    ^ This I would totally agree...forgot about the X3 425/ 435...But still the X2 550 is a good choice given the chances of core unlock...
    But regarding the mobo, I would still say that there is also a significant price difference between the brands anywhere...
    March 9, 2010 3:02:51 PM

    good to see another saffa on here ok here are places to shop
    if you in cape town

    http://www.landmarkpc.co.za/store/index.php

    if you in jhb
    vision technologies
    unit 9
    stanford bussines park
    midrand

    if you anywhere else in south africa try

    http://www.ikonicit.co.za/

    but here is what i'd go with

    MSI 790X-G45 AM3 Only AMD 790X Chipset

    R858.99 including VAT

    http://www.landmarkpc.co.za/store/790xg45-only-790x-chi...

    OCZ Platinum Edition (2 X 1GB) 240-Pin DDR3 1333

    R646.22 including VAT

    http://www.landmarkpc.co.za/store/platinum-edition-240p...

    Amd Socket AM3 Phenom2 x2 555 Black Edition Dual-Core 3.2Ghz Box CPU

    R1142.28 including VAT

    http://www.landmarkpc.co.za/store/socket-phenom2-black-...

    Sub-Total: R2647.49


    Collecting from Landmark Computers cc Pinelands Cape Town R0.00

    Domestic Shipping 2 - 3 Working Days R77.20 to jhb

    i find http://www.ikonicit.co.za/ a lil bit cheaper but they closed for maintainence now

    quad cores are taking over you might also consider the athlon 620 for R1026.00

    http://www.landmarkpc.co.za/store/socket-quadcore-athlo...
    March 11, 2010 7:07:58 AM

    obsidian86 said:
    good to see another saffa on here ok here are places to shop
    if you in cape town

    http://www.landmarkpc.co.za/store/index.php

    if you in jhb
    vision technologies
    unit 9
    stanford bussines park
    midrand

    if you anywhere else in south africa try

    http://www.ikonicit.co.za/

    but here is what i'd go with

    MSI 790X-G45 AM3 Only AMD 790X Chipset

    R858.99 including VAT

    http://www.landmarkpc.co.za/store/790xg45-only-790x-chi...

    OCZ Platinum Edition (2 X 1GB) 240-Pin DDR3 1333

    R646.22 including VAT

    http://www.landmarkpc.co.za/store/platinum-edition-240p...

    Amd Socket AM3 Phenom2 x2 555 Black Edition Dual-Core 3.2Ghz Box CPU

    R1142.28 including VAT

    http://www.landmarkpc.co.za/store/socket-phenom2-black-...

    Sub-Total: R2647.49


    Collecting from Landmark Computers cc Pinelands Cape Town R0.00

    Domestic Shipping 2 - 3 Working Days R77.20 to jhb

    i find http://www.ikonicit.co.za/ a lil bit cheaper but they closed for maintainence now

    quad cores are taking over you might also consider the athlon 620 for R1026.00

    http://www.landmarkpc.co.za/store/socket-quadcore-athlo...




    Thanks fellow Saffa.

    ikonic and Landmark computers are not bad, decent prices. I usually buy from take2.co.za but they are out of stock most of the time. I recently found www.prophecy.co.za also good prices.

    I had a quick look at the difference between dual core vs quad core. The quads are good for multitasking, and the Dual is better for gaming (please correct me if I am wrong).

    a b 4 Gaming
    March 11, 2010 7:13:49 AM

    ^ With regards to the difference between the Duals and the Quads...No it is not like that...You generally see Dual cores with better scores over the Quads is because of the clock speed...The Dual cores are generally clocked higher than the Quads...If both the CPUs are clocked nearly the same, then the Quads would do equally good and in some cases even better if the games are optimized to take advantage of the extra cores...
    a b 4 Gaming
    March 11, 2010 12:55:36 PM

    Well for entry level gaming rigs the $70 USD AthlonII X3 425 with option to clock down the road looks a great buy. Duals will quickly get get bogged down once u play games like GTA4/Dragon's Age Origins and are like not that much cheaper ..or even more $$
    March 11, 2010 1:37:14 PM

    as they said, a dual core will struggle with a game optimized for a quad core
    !