Upgrading my PC - Need Advice


I have been planning to upgrade my system within this month or the next. I'm trying to keep everything within a budget of $300.
I've decided it was crucial to buy a new case (I currently have a smaller sized case that gets very hot with my current setup). I also want to upgrade my graphics card from a nivdea BFG 9800 GT 512mb.

The graphics card I have chosen to upgrade to is an XFX Radeon HD 4850 which can be found here: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150351&cm_re=4850-_-14-150-351-_-Product

I'm also debating on whether I should not go a notch down so to say, on my processor, I currently have a AMD Phenom Q550 Quad Core Processor - 2.21ghz

and I've been thinking about going to an Athlon Triple Core that runs at 3.0 ghz, which can be found here:

Is this a good idea? Or should I keep my current processor and buy 4 gbs of ddr3 RAM for about 30 dollars more? (Using DDR2 right now)

Also, keep in mind that I need a case with all of this.

If anyone has any advice and options to offer, it would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you in advance,
5 answers Last reply
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  1. This might be a stupid question, but is there some limitations to your current system you would like to get rid of to justify upgrading?

    Moreover, could you confirm all your current specs, because the only "550" Phenom I can find is a dual core, not a quad as you mentioned, and it's supposed to be 3.1GHz, not 2.21GHz. Did you mean the Phenom 9550 @2.2GHz? Have you considered overclocking as a cheap way to upgrade? From what I read quickly, you can probably hit 2.6-2.7GHz with proper cooling.

    How much RAM do you currently have? Just switching from DDR2 to DDR3 will probably not be worth the investment.

    A 9800GT is still a "decent" video card, any games causing you problems? What resolution are you playing at?
  2. With all regards, That's not a great budget to consider all your desired upgrades for now.. May be you can uphold on a few things and go for upgrading them later.. Now the few things that you can surely upgrade are-

    1. You need a case with good airflow urgently and i think the NZXT Tempest EVO fits the bill nicely..

    2. In case your motherboard supports phenom II X4 series then its wise to go for something like the Phenom II X4 955 BE..

    3. There is no need to go for DDR3 right now as the current crop of AMD processors barely show any significant advantage with the extra bandwidth..

    4. I'd suggest you not to consider the 4850 as of now.. If you can add a little more cash then may be you can go for the HD 5770.. They'd perform on par with the old 4870 while bringing the dx 11 and eyefinity advantages to the table..
  3. If it were me, I think I would go with extra ram and a new HD 5770.
    I would leave the processor alone for now.
    If you have a local Fry's, check out their deals.
  4. It's not like you could run DDR3 with the current phenom you're running.
  5. Hmm 1st off what mobo you on - AM2+ retail or one from a HP/Dell/etc? Agenas/1st gen Phenoms had there IMC or Integrated Memory Controller on chip only able to 'talk' to DDR2 only so DDR3 is out ^^
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