PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: never bought parts online before, but i'm thinking newegg.com is a sound choice
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
PARTS PREFERENCES: i'm feeling like AMD is the way to go
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: probably not
MONITOR RESOLUTION: up to 1600x1200
let me preface this by stating that my knowledge of pcs has been on a steady decline since 2003...
i really dig the cooler master case i've got now (glite 340 i believe), so i'm definitely looking for a mobo that's going to fit in there. i currently have an AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core. my video card is an HD Radeon 3650 (ugh). i'm curious about crossfire, but i don't really understand it. i have an old 250g sata hdd, so i need a new hdd. i've got 2 1g ddr2 ram and i'm thinking i should probably get up to at least 4g if not more?
basically, i'm trying to put together something with more power to play games on. i'm only really a casual gamer, but at this point (and especially without any knowledge of overclocking/crossfire) i've stretched this rig as far as i can.
hopefully i'm correct in assuming i only need mobo, video card, hdd, power supply, ram? (only, hah!)
any help or pointing in the right direction would be greatly appreciated!
Crossfire or SLI is mainly for when you need more than a single card can supply. You'll get between 40% and 90% increase in FPS in games depending on the game. So we're talking about 2x$500 or $1000 just for the video cards.
Your budget is too small.
You can build a simple non-gaming PC, based on your current parts, for about $400. You'll want to spend an additional $300 for anything half-decent.
If you only have a little money to spend, you should consider simply buying a better video card. Here's how to tell how much you can upgrade:
1) Run three modern games and monitor your CPU peak usage. Use the results from the highest.
2) Let's say it was 50%. This means you can use a graphics card with 2x the performance until your CPU is maxed out.
3) find benchmark charts and find a graphics card with about 2x the FPS results. That's the one to buy.
*You should either spend about $120 on a better graphics card or about $700 to replace your Motherboard, CPU, RAM and graphics card. Build tips:
thanks for your input! i actually spent some time browsing parts websites and i'd have to agree with you: if i want something that's going to have the kind of power and kick i'm looking for, i'm going to have to increase my budget!
another thing i'm trying to take into consideration is the longevity of a new system. and unfortunately, it seems like great longevity equates to a deeper hole in my pocket.