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~$350 for Mobo/CPU, GPU, RAM, PSU

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October 9, 2010 2:05:57 AM

I'm dissecting a computer for parts and putting in a new Motherboard, CPU, GPU, RAM, and PSU. I'd like to keep it at about $350 if possible. It can move up to $400 or $450 but ONLY if it will result in very significant performance increases. The computer will be used for gaming, mostly not so new games, but still some pretty recent stuff (World of Warcraft + Expansions, Valve games, maybe things like Bad Company 2 or SC2 eventually). I know it may be laughable to hope for it to run something like SC2, but my computer is almost the same performance-wise and runs it just fine!

Here's what I've got so far, picked mostly because a Tom's Hardware article said it was good for the price range or because it was cheap on Newegg and/or highly rated:

CPU: Athlon II X3 445 - $78
Motherboard: ASRock M3A770DE AM3 AMD 770 ATX - $60
GPU: HIS H485FM512H Radeon HD 4850 512MB - $110
RAM: WINTEC AMPX 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1333 - $68
PSU: APEX AL-D500EXP 500W ATX12V - $46

I'm not very good at picking out specific hardware, which is why I'm hoping people can help me pick the right stuff! So, given 350ish to get CPU, Motherboard, GPU, RAM, and PSU, what would you get to maximize your PC gaming performance?

Also: Are there any specific parts where maybe spending a couple extra dollars will really REALLY pay off on the performance end?

Edit: Also, it won't be overclocked or anything like that, so don't worry about factoring that into whether to get a part or not
a b à CPUs
October 9, 2010 3:34:22 AM

Considering how important a dependable PSU is for peace of mind 24/7 ops this would be $370AR very very well spent hehe

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