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Budget Gaming Upgrade

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Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
May 28, 2010 8:18:15 PM

Hi all,

This is my first post, was hoping I could find some useful opinions here. I'm looking to upgrade my current machine. I just need a mobo, CPU, and RAM. Was hoping to go AM3 and DDR3 so I can upgrade even more in the future. I'm trying to keep this upgrade under $160 if possible.

The following parts are what I'm going with now unless I get some better advice:

Crucial Ballistix 2GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Desktop Memory Model BL25664BN1337
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$56.99


BIOSTAR A785G3 AM3 AMD 785G Micro ATX AMD Motherboard

AMD Athlon II X2 245 Regor 2.9GHz Socket AM3 65W Dual-Core Processor Model ADX245OCGQBOX

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
$103.98 (Combo deal)

The mobo has onboard video which isn't necessary because I already have an ATI HD 4650 but it is a micro-ATX board which I'm semi-concerned about. I prefer full-ATX boards, but for the price I can't really complain. This is exactly what I'm looking for the right price.

If anyone has any advice for me please fire away!

-Kyle Kobetitsch

More about : budget gaming upgrade

a b B Homebuilt system
May 29, 2010 1:42:44 AM

What're you using now?
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
May 29, 2010 3:12:28 AM

It's like a 5-6 year old build. An ABIT KN8 NF-CK804 mobo, socket 939, AMD Athlon 3000+, 2GB Corsair DDR400. Have a an ATI 4xxx graphics card but I think it will perform MUCH better in a new system, hahaha.

Related resources
a b B Homebuilt system
May 29, 2010 4:49:23 AM

Agreed. A triple core will be way better.

Especially because you should be able to sell that mobo/CPU together for like $30-50 on ebay, then the RAM for about $30.
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
May 30, 2010 3:56:47 AM

I like the ebay idea False_Dmitry_II, thanks.

Anyone have experience with "Bill Me Later" offered on Newegg and Tiger? I was thinking of going for like a 350 dollar build and using Bill Me Later.

If I was to go with this more expensive build I'm thinking:

Mobo:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3 AM3 AMD 890GX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard

CPU:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
AMD Phenom II X2 555 Black Edition Callisto 3.2GHz Socket AM3 80W Dual-Core Desktop Processor - C3 Revision Model HDZ555WFGMBOX

RAM:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL


Seems like a solid build... Mobo should be good for a while, allowing me to upgrade later if I want. The GSKILL Ripjaw series seems like the place to be when it comes to ram, and I figured DDR3 was the way to go. I also liked the idea of being able to unlock cores so I stuck to the Phenom II, $99 for a quad core? cant complain... what do you guys think of this idea?
a b B Homebuilt system
May 30, 2010 4:03:50 AM

Unlocking, especially getting it X4 + stable is a bonus and not to be seen as a given - if not looing to run multi GPU set ups/CF have a look at the MSI 870A-G54?
a b B Homebuilt system
May 30, 2010 7:03:56 AM

CPU wise, never spend that much for a dual core. The triple core or quad Athlon II will do wonderfully.
May 30, 2010 7:16:47 PM

Quote:
$99 for a quad core? cant complain... what do you guys think of this idea?


I agree with what batuchka said.

Never buy CPUs for the sole purpose of unlocking cores - it's not a guarantee. I see too many people dock eggs on newegg because they can't unlock their 3rd or 4th core; which is ridiculous. Keep in mind unlocking extra cores/cache is all luck of the draw, there is NO GUARANTEE.
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
June 1, 2010 3:21:08 AM

OP:

Fair enough about the cores. So then what's the difference in a Phenom II X2 and an Athlon II X2? How much more power would I get out of the Phenom vs Athlon?
a b B Homebuilt system
June 1, 2010 3:33:06 AM

What're the clock speeds on both? done.


Get an x3 already.
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
June 1, 2010 5:12:24 PM

False_Dmitry_II said:
What're the clock speeds on both? done.


Get an x3 already.


Why X3? Isn't having even cores better so you can have an even amount of memory modules?
June 1, 2010 9:00:09 PM

Quote:
This RAM is more expensive and has a lower speed (1333 vs 1600 ). What's the benefit? or is there?



but it is twice as much 4gb kit (for 94 after mail in rebate)vs 2gb kit(56)

less speed over more quantity i would take any day




False_Dmitry_II wrote :

What're the clock speeds on both? done.


Get an x3 already.

most games do not even use two cores so what would be the benefit of a tri core
a b B Homebuilt system
June 1, 2010 10:30:04 PM

Benchmarks have shown over and over that a triple core is best for games. The majority of games now do in fact do dual cores. So then there's a third for the system.

1333 is plenty fast enough, anything over that is really just overclocked anyway. (and alot of those are higher than the standard 1.5v)
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
June 2, 2010 1:00:10 AM

justchuck69 said:
but it is twice as much 4gb kit (for 94 after mail in rebate)vs 2gb kit(56)

less speed over more quantity i would take any day




I'm confused at what you're trying to say here.... The 4GB GSKILL kit is only $10 more (there was no rebate on the OCZ kit when I first saw it) but yeah, I probably don't need 1600 anyway
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
June 2, 2010 1:32:23 AM

False_Dmitry_II said:
Benchmarks have shown over and over that a triple core is best for games. The majority of games now do in fact do dual cores. So then there's a third for the system.

1333 is plenty fast enough, anything over that is really just overclocked anyway. (and alot of those are higher than the standard 1.5v)


Okay, so planning on gaming X3 seems like a good choice, but if you say all I have to do is look @ speeds then why is this:

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

$15+ more than this:

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

What advantages do I get with a Phenom II core? It would seem like I can overclock the Phenom much more, especially because it is BE. But then I wonder why the NON BE edition of that core (720 Heka 2.8GHz) is even MORE expensive than the Black Edition.

I'm looking to do some heavy duty gaming (Star Trek: Online, BF:BC2, and possibly WoW again among others) looking to get the best performance out of my machine, especially for multi-tasking playing those games.
June 2, 2010 1:51:24 AM

Quote:
I'm confused at what you're trying to say here.... The 4GB GSKILL kit is only $10 more (there was no rebate on the OCZ kit when I first saw it) but yeah, I probably don't need 1600 anyway



op was a 2 gb kit but the ocz and gskil ripjaws are twice as much ram (ocz was 1333 but the other two were 1600

out of those three pick the gskill ( what i put into my last build .... my sisters comp 2 weeks ago)


if the tri core is price close to the dual core get if there is a big difference in price just get the dual core
a b B Homebuilt system
June 2, 2010 4:36:40 AM

Because of bunches of nuanced differences that have practically no impact on gaming and can thereby be safely ignored.

As far as RAM goes gskill >>>>>>>>>>> OCZ
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
June 2, 2010 6:00:23 AM

justchuck69 said:
op was a 2 gb kit but the ocz and gskil ripjaws are twice as much ram (ocz was 1333 but the other two were 1600

out of those three pick the gskill ( what i put into my last build .... my sisters comp 2 weeks ago)


if the tri core is price close to the dual core get if there is a big difference in price just get the dual core

Oh right, I'm sorry, didn't realizing you were referring to the OP
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
June 2, 2010 6:12:36 AM

False_Dmitry_II said:
Because of bunches of nuanced differences that have practically no impact on gaming and can thereby be safely ignored.

As far as RAM goes gskill >>>>>>>>>>> OCZ


I'm probably gonna have to re-register my account tomorrow because I'm not receiving my registration email for some reason but:

So where do the differences actually have an effect? I know I plan on doing some virtualization and definitely some compiling (especially if I dual boot), will any differences between Phenom and Athlon come into effect there? Am I really that much better off going Athlon for price vs. performance? Or will that extra $15 give me that much of an advantage in ANY area?
June 2, 2010 6:40:29 AM

for virtualization and compiling the extra core or cores will help and also level 3 cache may help too

so the more expensive ($89.99 ) may help ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ) even though it is clocked a little slower (2.8 vs 2.) it does have level 3 cache (6 mb)

correct me if i'm wrong on this anyone ! so i would go with the Phenom


sorry about some of the confusion before ( i may have been rushed in my answers earlier ) about the ram it's been a busy day and finally slowing down some ( time to play poker on ftp lol it's12:39 am here)

have a good night
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
June 2, 2010 7:48:51 AM

Np, and thanks for your input! I know what those days are like. Mine hasnt been busy, but it's late :p  3:45AM here
June 2, 2010 9:32:49 AM

get gskill ram for sure...i had some issues with OCZ 1600 not able to do the correct timings iwth 1600 set

then i got gskill and i just set the timings and voltage and no problems
a b B Homebuilt system
June 2, 2010 2:24:19 PM

That Phenom II x3 720 is pretty good. I use it myself, but really that's just because I bought it before any of the Athlon II's came out. The only thing about that particular link is you need to buy your own heatsink.

It might do something for virtualization, but I doubt it will do anything for compiling. In tests the biggest difference was mainly something like huge winrar stuff. I'm sure there's some other stuff, but the differences were mostly small on the rest of the stuff they did. Anything else that gets a benefit will not be inherently obvious. If gaming is #1 to you (as it is to me) I can wait another minute or two for anything else to just run. Besides that it's just web surfing and email, and that;s been well in hand for awhile. If I were to buy today though, I'd probably get the athlon ii x3. Though that link is a heck of alot cheaper than the $120 I paid for it. And since I already have a cooler master hyper 212+ cooler already it'd probably be worth it to go for the phenom. It may not be worth the amount between the two if you have a heatsink, but it was a large amount between the retail stuff. And if I were you I'd look up the warranty on each.
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
June 2, 2010 5:00:16 PM

False_Dmitry_II said:
That Phenom II x3 720 is pretty good. I use it myself, but really that's just because I bought it before any of the Athlon II's came out. The only thing about that particular link is you need to buy your own heatsink.



I have a heatsink for an older model, probably wont work for the Phenom II. I've looked at some benchmarks where the Phenom II (running at the same clockspeed as an Athlon II) performed up to 20% better in some games ( Left 4 Dead being one) due to the L3 cache. 20% seems like quite the difference, and if it's only gonna cost me a little more, what's the harm in going with it? I don't mind buying an aftermarket cooler since I want to overclock it a little anyway.
June 2, 2010 5:37:56 PM

kylekobe he did make at least one valid point the Phenom II x3 720 oem comes with only a 30 day warranty but the Athlon II X3 435 oem comes with 1 year warranty

neither has the heatsink or fan

it may be better to just spend a few extra bucks for retail boxed cpu as it will come with a 3 year warranty and heatsink and fan and usually only adds a few bucks


your heatsink and will most likely work as long as it works with am2 cpu ( i think am2 and am2+ and am3 uses all the same mounting hardware ... but correct me if i'm wrong anyone )
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
June 2, 2010 6:48:37 PM

Well it's a socket939 so I doubt it will work. Yeah I just realized the warranty on them. Unfortunately neither Newegg nor Tigerdirect stocks the X3 720 retail anymore.

Like I said, I wouldn't mind spending money on an aftermarket cooler, might be better for me anyway. But the warranty is what has me slightly bugged. I might just go with the Athlon II X3 440 Retail instead. 3.0GHz for $74.99.

Now here's another question. If L3 cache isn't making a huge difference in gaming now, will it in the future? What other advantages will an L3 cache provide in the future? If I want this build to last me another 4-5 years like my last one did, would it benefit me in ANY way to get a Phenom for the L3 cache, 3-5 years down the line? Or am I better off staying slightly cheaper with the Athlon II now and then upgrading to another cheap processor again in a few years?
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
June 2, 2010 6:58:10 PM

Definitely going for the Athlon X3 440 Retail... Pricewise the L3 cache just doesn't add enough to my system, and the more I think of it the more I realize that upgrading to a CPU with an L3 cache (if necessary, of course clock speeds will be greater in the future as well) wont be that big of a deal.

But now, keeping the future in mind, I'm now wondering what bridges I should look for on my motherboard. Is it worth going for an 870 or 890GX over a 790GX?

And besides the fact that it may cost a little more, will having an integrated GPU have any performance negatives on the board? Although I have a dedicated graphics card in this machine, if I ever want to resurrect this machine later I'll be without a graphics card. If I get a new mobo with an iGPU then I can always use my dedicated card on my older mobo.
a b B Homebuilt system
June 2, 2010 8:24:41 PM

20% in L4D is still over 60 FPS and therefore pointless. That's also a game that runs quite fast and expands well with more CPU.

If you actually overclock, there goes your warranty anyway, so if you just use it normal the first 30 days then do the careful incremental overclocking with prime95 it should be fine.

The 8XX series should be better supported within the next few years for new CPUs. Gigabyte seems to do a good job, since I have their first 780G mobo and it has support for the six core CPU.

It shouldn't do any performance negatives, if you actually add a gaming card into it you can just turn it off. And at the same time the IGP should be faster than your old graphics card.

Oh, and they've been using the same heatsink design since socket 754, so that one should work fine. It may end up a little hotter but it shouldn't be dangerously hot.
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
June 2, 2010 8:48:06 PM

Oh cool... So then what would you recommend? Stick with the Athlon II or go Phenom BE? I mean the Athlon II 440 should be plenty fast enough for a good price, right?

And I had a Gigabyte video card that was ***, and the support from them was even worse. Idk if I want to go with them, where as I've always had good experiences with ASUS, so I'm thinking the M4A89GTD. Or I can go $40 cheaper, w/o an IGP and try for an MSI board, 870A-G54.
a b B Homebuilt system
June 2, 2010 9:23:17 PM

When I had an actual problem with that mobo, I had instant support. The guy on the phone had native english and actual knowledge not just reading from a script. Then I easily sent it back. Then there's the 3 years since manufacture date warranty, so there's no such thing as needing a receipt or proving that you're the original owner. So I'd say it's pretty good.

I haven't needed to deal with ASUS' but I don't really like the way the BIOS and whatnot is setup. Then there's MSI, while my graphics card is from them the support is pretty bad. It would probably be better if you already have the american support branch's contact info, but getting to that point involved first talking to the Taiwanese main branch who were all "Please kindly do something impossible" for a couple of weeks before they figured out that they couldn't help. (my dad's mobo from them had a problem and his system was down for a while.)

At those prices, it really doesn't matter which CPU you go for. Either will do the trick, and once you're overclocking... well I guess the BE would be easier to do it with but other than that no real difference. So judgment call on price and features really. If you have a microcenter close by you could get the cooler I mentioned for $20 if they still have that sale on.

Here's a couple of mobos

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

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

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

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

Those are the ones I'd personally be looking at. They all have USB 3 and SATA III
!