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Upgrading current gaming system

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September 30, 2010 6:39:56 AM

I am planning to upgrade my gaming system in about a month with a budget of 200-300 dollars.

Specs:

OS: Windows XP 32 bit (Going to Windows 7 64 bit when I upgrade)

Optical drive: LITE-ON 20X DVD±R DVD Burner Black IDE Model DH-20A4P-04

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

Case: APEVIA X-JUPITER-JR G-Type X-JPJGT-BK Black SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

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

Hard drive: Samsung Spinpoint F1 HD753LJ 750 GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard drive

Motherboard: ASRock A780GXE/128M AM2+/AM2 AMD 780G ATX AMD Motherboard (Not enough room for Crossfire)

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

Power Supply: COOLMAX NW-650B 650W ATX12V v2.2 SLI Ready / CrossFire Ready and Compatible with Core i3/i5/i7 Power Supply (Not enough plugs for Crossfire)

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

Memory: Kingston HyperX 2 GB (2 x 1 GB) 240-pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) (Actuly DDR2 800)

CPU: AMD Phenom 9600 Agena 2.3GHz Socket AM2+ 95W Quad-Core Processor Model HD960ZWCGDBOX

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

GPU: ATI HIS 4870 512MB

Thanks for helping
a b B Homebuilt system
September 30, 2010 7:18:42 AM

The best choice depends on what kind of improvement you want.

If you want more processing power, upgrade to a new Phenom II processor. Not a lot of good things are said about the Phenom Is. The new Phenoms perform much better and are more reliable.

Now would be a good time to upgrade. DDR2 ram and AM2 motherboards still fetch a decent price. Your motherboard supports AM3 processors, though, so you could install a new AMD processor without upgrading your motherboard or ram.

If you want better performance in gaming, you should look at improving your graphics setup and processor. Your Phenom X4 and Radeon HD 4870 are pretty well balanced.

An SSD will give you the obvious benefits of faster start-ups, shutdowns, loading times, and file transfers, but it won't improve gaming performance noticeably.


General Processing Improvement: Processor
AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM
$210
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
Total: $210


General Processing Improvement: Processor, Motherboard, Memory
AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz
OCZ 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1600 CL7 Desktop Memory
$195 after a $20 rebate
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
GIGABYTE GA-870A-UD3 AM3 AMD 870 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM
$179 with promo code MBTEN923
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
If you sell the DDR2 memory and motherboard on ebay, you could make back ~$60 (after fees and shipping).
Total: $314


SSD
OCZ Agility 2 60GB Sandforce (top of the line) SSD
$127 after a $20 rebate
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Total: $127


Gaming Improvement: Processor, Graphics Card
AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz
XFX HD 5850 w/lifetime warranty
$355 after a $20 rebate
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
If you sell the HD4870 on ebay, you could make back ~$80 (after fees and shipping).
Total: $275
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September 30, 2010 6:17:34 PM

you might want to go used on the cpu and video card to build a good gaming rig for this budget. check bench marks vs price.

I'm running a pretty low budget setup of ebay parts I've had about a year now but everything is playable at about 20-35fps, not all on the highest graphics though but this was pretty cheap about a year ago, I play dirt 2 full tilt but only 2x multisampling, today I'm sure you can get better, I hear AMD has the best budget cpus right now which Id what I'm probably going with on my next build and probably some better ram.

8600gts 60$ oem pull from ebay
Pentium D 3.4ghz 85$ from ebay
intel 775board from new egg 86$
kingston valueram 2.5gb i think was 50$ from newegg
antec basiq 500w 60$

case, fans, cdroms from old junk computers laying around or friends
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a b B Homebuilt system
September 30, 2010 7:06:49 PM

Well, first of all your PSU is a Chokemax. It is overrated, and not to be trusted with much more load than is on it now.
With a budget of $200-$300, if you don't want to save it toward a rebuild, this is what I'd get:

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL5D-4GBNT
Model #:F2-6400CL5D-4GBNT
Item #:N82E16820231207
$74.99 $74.99
With Windows 7/64, you'll want more RAM, simple as that.

SeaSonic S12II 620 Bronze 620W ATX12V V2.3 / EPS 12V V2.91 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply
Model #:S12II 620 Bronze
Item #:N82E16817151096
$89.99 -$20.00 Instant $69.99
This PSU is modern, efficient, and will be strong enough to be re-usable in your next build, with a more powerful GPU.

AMD Phenom II X4 945 Deneb 3.0GHz Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor HDX945WFGMBOX
Model #:HDX945WFGMBOX
Item #:N82E16819103809
$135.99 $135.99
You would probably do pretty well with an Athlon II X3 here too, for less than $90, but there's room in the budget, so this CPU would do well for you.

Subtotal: $280.97

No GPU upgrade. You're already high enough on the gaming GPU chart that to get a decent improvement would require at least a HD5850, or more likely a HD5870. Either of these would likely blow your Chokemax; with a PSU upgrade required, your budget is busted. You say there's no room (even though your mobo supports x8,x8 Crossfire) for a second GPU; in any case, although a second HD4870 would be a decent upgrade, it would also blow your Chokemax.

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September 30, 2010 11:31:38 PM

How do you know if my motherboard will support AM3 or Phenom II?

Supported CPU
CPU Socket Type: AM2+/AM2
CPU Type: Phenom FX / Phenom / Athlon 64 FX / Athlon 64 X2
FSB: 2600MHz Hyper Transport (5200 MT/s)
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a b B Homebuilt system
September 30, 2010 11:59:24 PM

stealth1304 said:
How do you know if my motherboard will support AM3 or Phenom II?

Supported CPU
CPU Socket Type: AM2+/AM2
CPU Type: Phenom FX / Phenom / Athlon 64 FX / Athlon 64 X2
FSB: 2600MHz Hyper Transport (5200 MT/s)

Manufacturer's Product Page from Newegg:

http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?Model=A780GXE/128...

"CPU - Support for Socket AM2+ / AM2 processors: AMD Phenom™ FX / Phenom / Athlon 64 FX / Athlon 64 X2 Dual-Core / Athlon X2 Dual-Core / Athlon 64 / Sempron processor
- Supports CPU up to 140W
- AMD LIVE!™ Ready
- Supports AMD's Cool 'n' Quiet Technology
- FSB 2600 MHz (5.2 GT/s)
- Supports Untied Overclocking Technology
- Supports Hyper-Transport 3.0 (HT 3.0) Technology
- AM3 CPU Ready"

CPU Support List:

http://www.asrock.com/mb/cpu.asp?Model=A780GXE/128M

You may need to do a BIOs update, but your motherboard supports all of the standard AM3 Processors including the Thuban X6s. There were a couple new top of the line processors introduced last week that aren't listed (yet): Phenom II X4 970, X2 560 and Athlon II X4 645, X3 450, X2 265.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/3937/amds-fall-refresh-ne...
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October 1, 2010 4:24:31 PM

Best answer selected by Stealth1304.
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