I just recently bought a new HDD for my system that's been out of commission for about 5 months. A new game I and many friends are eagerly anticipating is coming out next Wednesday, and I really need to get my stuff replaced as soon as possible.
MS Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit SP1
AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ 34 °C
Brisbane 65nm Technology
4.0GB Dual-Channel DDR2 @ 400MHz (5-5-5-16)
BIOSTAR Group TA790XE (CPU 1)
LT716s @ 800x600
14MB Standard VGA Graphics Adapter (EVGA)
488GB Western Digital WDC WD5000AAKS-00UU3A0 ATA Device (IDE) 33 °C
SONY CD-RW CRX320EE ATA Device
High Definition Audio Device
Some of that info is a bit inaccurate, like the Video card because of the fact that I haven't installed any drivers yet for anything due to the fact that when I install the driver for my GFX card (GeForce 9800 GT), my internet pretty much comes to a standstill. It's very weird, I think the problem has to do with the card itself and it needs to be replaced regardless.
The obvious upgrades seem to be Video Card and probably processor.
Do you think I need a new PSU? Or is the 520 good enough? What about RAM?
I don't need top of the line stuff, but I want to be able to play this brand new game (Final Fantasy FIV) online very smoothly.
My budget is about $350-500; I don't really wanna spend more than that, but I'll take a bit of a plunge if it's necessary.
Well, Im sorry to say you will be much better off to start fresh, your current system is just old enough to soon be going money pit on you.
And it doesnt spec high enough per your game link to run FF smooth and in high detail!
If youre not picky about the type/brand of case you build a new system in you can get pretty close to clean running specs for the high end of your budget.
And for $600-$700 you could build a nice mid class gamer that will smoke that game like a cheap cigar!
FYI, I build custom systems in an attempt to make a living, advice is free, helping you build it? thats another story!
Well, it looks like you've got the specs covered, really. The CPU is fine. I would warn against upgrading just for one title, but you have some stuff you can work with here.
The main thing is the video card, and that PSU can handle a wide variety of cards. For Ati, I would look at the HD4850, the HD5770 (preferably) or at the high end a GTX 460 would be nice for around $200.
If you really want to upgrade the CPU, that motherboard should take AM2+ cpu's and AM3 except for the 6 cores. Here's a couple of recommendations:
Phenom I 9850 X4 BE- $75
Phenom II X3- $75
Phenom II X2 BE $88
Phenom II X4 $100
Phenom II X4 BE 940 $120
I'd like more opinions about upgrading/not upgrading my PSU. Should I bother upgrading it if it won't last me for a while? If not, should I invest in a new mobo as well as a new CPU? It seems the majority think that my PSU is fine, so I'll upgrade that later down the road. The money I've set aside will just sit in the bank if I don't buy new stuff, I set it aside just to upgrade my PC.
The PSU is fine. The motherboard, like I said, can handle AM2+ and AM3. I know this because I have the same motherboard. There's nothing wrong with your motherboard.
DDR2 ram will be just fine for gaming, DDR3 wouldn't improve performance THAT much. Certainly not enough to justify buying a new motherboard.
The Fermi GPU looks great, you can expect that to be a great card for the next 2-3 years.
IDE is going to have zero effect on gaming performance. Look, the only thing you are really lacking is the video card. The required specs for FF 14 call for a dual core CPU @ 2.0 Ghz. You are at 500Mhz faster.
You'll note that under "recommended" spec it does not call for X3 or X4 CPU's. That is likely because more cores will not help for this game. I am not saying I know this for certain, but logically if more cores would be helpful then why aren't they listed under recommended?
@buzznut, sorry but cannot and will not agree with your oppinion on IDE vs SATA there is a huge difference in how data is handled, and performance is a whole lot better on SATA plus hes got 6 SATA ports on that MB he could use. So yes he could keep the MB even though i feel the CPU is a little off the point, bump up to a small SATA HDD and get better performance. And DDR2, @400 is really slow for gaming
@ zetsurin, you came here for advice, thats mine, nobody says you have to accept it but you did ASK so there it is......good luck with the games!