Upgrading my old desktop PC

Hello everyone, I'm moving with my girlfriend to my new apartment and I'd like to buy a new pc capable of running newer games. I play mostly rpgs and fps, and was looking for something that can run games like Borderlands, Dragons age: origins, F.E.A.R 2 or Crysis on 1024 x 800 and 1280 x 1024 resolutions in reasonable (medium - high) quality and no fps loss. The new desktop pc I was looking at has these specs:

intel quad core i7 920 / 2.66 Ghz processor
8192 MB DDR3 RAM
Geforce GTX 260
Windows 7 Home Premium

It would cost 1.630 USD (probably 2,580 USD as we're gonna pay it off in rates)

However I was considering buying a weaker machine and just changing its GPU (they all have terrible GPUs apart from the above). Here's the other computer:

2,93 GHz Intel Pentium E6500 processor
4096 MB RAM
ATI Radeon HD 5450 grafikkort
Windows 7 Home Premium

That one would cost only 670 USD (or 1220 USD if we choose to pay this one off in rates too)

I could probably buy the cheaper computer and just invest the money in a stronger GPU (which unfortunately I probably can't pay off in rates)

Any advice?
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  1. Both of those are pretty bad. Have you considered building your own machine? It'll be a lot cheaper and a lot more powerful...

    I'll point out some problems in both builds. The first build has an i7 CPU, which uses triple channel RAM (three sticks), but you've got dual channel in there. Also, 8 GB is a waste of money. 6 GB would be better. The 260 is an older, weak GPU that wouldn't be very good.

    The second build is completely obsolete. The LGA775 socket is dead. You won't find anything to upgrade for it down the line.

    Here's what I suggest. Read up on building computers. It's easy and there's a lot of help out there, including the excellent building guide found in the stickies at the top of the forum. Once you're comfortable with the process, here's what you should be looking for:

    CPU/Mobo: X3 440 and Gigabyte GA-790XTA-UD4 $183 after rebate
    RAM: G.Skill Eco 2x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 $105
    GPU/PSU: HD 5870 and XFX 750W $440 after rebate
    HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB $75
    Case/Optical: Coolermaster 690 and cheap SATA DVD burner $73
    Monitor: Asus 23.6" 1080p $180 after rebate. I included a monitor because those resolutions are pretty terrible. You can get a smaller one to save some money, but I wouldn't get anything less than a 1920x1080 one.
    OS: Windows 7 Home 64-bit OEM $100

    Total: $1,156. This build will play every game on the market with max details at 1920x1080. It's a beast. You could get playable rates with slightly lower details if you swap the GPU/PSU for an HD 5850 and XFX 650W to save $105.

    If you don't want to buy a new monitor anytime in the near future, you can downgrade the GPU significantly to an HD 5750 and Corsair 650W for $195 after rebate.
  2. Hello again,

    Thanks for the hasty response, I gotta say building your own computer definitely has its rewards, and I gotta admit I never thought about it before.

    However we just got a daughter and our income is relatively low, so I was thinking the only way to get a new machine would be to find one I can pay off in 2 - 3 years. And I'm not sure that it's possible to pay off the parts. I know I could save money to buy a new machine, however a new computer is not that high on our priority list so it would take me long time to save that much money.
  3. Okay, I took your advise and found some parts I could build my own machine from. However I changed some of the parts you proposed partly because they were more expensive here, and some of them I couldn't find. So here's what I've got in mind:

    PCU/Mobo: INTEL CORE i5 750 2.66 GHz 8MB / GIGABYTE GA-P55-US3L
    RAM: RAM OCZ Gold 2 x 2 GB (4 GB)
    HD: WD Caviar Blue WD5000AAKS 500 GB
    Case/Drive: Cooler Master Elite 310Kabinet / SATA SAMSUNG WRITEMASTER SH-S22
    OS: Windows 7.
    PCU coller/ Fan: SilenX Ixtrema Pro/ Arctic Cooling Alpine 7 GTSocket 775

    Is this machine good enough?
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