How to upgrade and avoid bottleneck?

Hi all,

I'm looking to upgrading my PC and have spent time reading the various articles and charts on here while setting a budget. This has largely come from a forced upgrade of my graphics card and PSU but now I think it is time for a better performing gaming PC.

While I'm happy enough balancing performance vs cost when choosing the CPU and deciding what processor socket, PCI express ports etc I need for the mobo, I've recently become concerned about hitting a bottleneck with any new purchase.

How can I look to avoid performance bottlenecks? I'd be looking to buy a new mobo, CPU and memory and would be happy to hear any recommendations.

Current system (* indicates components to keep the same)

Mobo: Asus M2N4-SLI
CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+
RAM: 3GB DDR2 800
* GFX: Gainward GeForce 9800 GT 512MB
* PSU: Corsair 550W VX
* Other: DVD-R, DVD-RW, 200GB HDD

Previously the GFX was Nvidia GeForce 7600 GT and the PSU was an unbranded 550W.

I was thinking of buying;

AMD Athlon X3 440, 4GB of DDR3 RAM and a mobo which could support SLI (not a necessity). I would like to keep costs under £200 (~$300). Generally I use my PC for Football Manager 2010 and Pro Evolution Soccer 2010 but like to have the option to play and FPS. Would buying this CPU cause a bottleneck?


7 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about upgrade avoid bottleneck
  1. Off Ebuyer UK
  2. Thansk batuchka,

    I'd picked that same mobo / CPU / memory at one point or another. What I was wondering is would this be balanced?,2469.html?xtmc=balanced_pc&xtcr=2

    So is that CPU good enough to support the GFX, is there enough memory etc?


  3. That's a nice setup Batuchka made. Athlon X3's are good all around chips, and 4GB is plenty of RAM for gaming and everyday use.
  4. Best answer
    Err a 9800GT? Hell ya! Dun buy into silly benches that mislead peeps into thinking people buy a $200-300++ GPU paired with a $500 cpu/mobo and play games on 1280 x 1024 low lol

    Here we have A2X3 4xx vs 720BE just to stress how meaningless L3 is once u game at *real settings* with something with a lot more teeth than a 9800GT

    As u can see the performance 'impact' is at 1280 x 1024 but if one buys a GTX 260 to play at that resolution he/she ought to be hogtied and horse whipped IMO Note that in my deep vault of fact, statistics and data i even have an AthlonII X3 test set up with a HD 5850 if u really want more convincing hehe Note: purely gaming no lame ass render/encode zzz....
  5. Cheers guys,

    given that I do play games on a 1280 x 1024 display you've reassured me! Now I can finally stop reading articles and start buying the components.


  6. Really can't do much better for 200 quid and u are welcomed ^^
  7. Best answer selected by johnmmcparland.
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