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What should I upgrade?

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April 15, 2010 8:41:02 PM

Hi,

I feel as if my PC is beginning to age a little and I am wondering would be the best value for money upgrade to keep it performing strongly for a while longer? My specs are:

Gigabyte GA-M61P-S3 Motherboard (BIOS upgrade allows for AM2+ and AM3 CPU's to be used)
AMD 64 Athlon X2 5200+ CPU
2 x 1 GIG DDR2 RAM
2 x 1 512MB RAM

Gigabyte 8800GTS 320MB

Seagate 250 GIG SATA3 HDD
MAXTOR 250 GIG ATA133 HDD

23" Samsung Monitor

Windows 7 Pro 64
(Latest updates and drivers)

I dont have a lot of cash and I figured that a CPU or Graphics Card upgrade would be best but I would like more opinions and/or suggestions.

More about : upgrade

a c 84 B Homebuilt system
April 15, 2010 8:45:25 PM

Is this for gaming? Exactly how much cash do you have? What's the resolution of the monitor?

I'd say that really the only worth while upgrade would be to get an HD 5770 ($150) or HD 5850 ($300). I'd personally spring for the 5850 because it would be more likely to last through a rebuild in the next couple of years.
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April 15, 2010 8:53:02 PM

It is most definitely for gaming! I dont really want to spend more than $280-300 or so (I live in South Africa so our prices are almost double than US'). Monitor max res is 1920 x 1080. I worried that if I spend all my cash on a good card that my CPU will bottleneck it soon...
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a c 84 B Homebuilt system
April 15, 2010 8:57:18 PM

You're CPU should be fine for a while. It's very hard to get a CPU to bottleneck the GPU. And if that does happen, you can simply buy an aftermarket cooler and overclock the CPU to alleviate the problem.

Of course, the 5850 (which would allow you to play most games at max details at 1920x1080) is expensive, but the extra cost could be justified as you'd be able to move it in to a newer build once you decide it's time to get a new CPU, board and RAM.
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