$300 to upgrade computer- what to get?

Hi all-

I somewhat-recently built a computer. I put a gt 240 in there for a while just to have something while I saved up for a newer graphics card. Now that the 6000 series is out, I might be interested in the 6850 or gtx 460 or 5770. My monitor resolution is 1280x1024. I have $300 to spend on whatever will work best.

My specs:

Athlon ii x3 440
Thermaltake m9 case (really dont like my case, I want the HAF 912)
gt 240 512mb
Western digital blue 500gb
Gigabyte 880gm mobo (single pci-e slot)
600w power supply

What I am considering is a new CPU cooler(using stock, maybe the megahalems? Overclocking ability would be nice), a new case(HAF 912), a new video card, some fans (scythe ultra kaze 3000), a fan controller, a monitor, a new keyboard (my current one is terrible), and anything else that might be worth upgrading. Im completely aware that all of this will not fit in $300, but I want the most bang-for-buck I can get. All suggestions will be appreciated!

P.S. I could probably sell my gt 240 for $40-$50 so that might get a little more money for my budget.

Thanks!
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  1. +1 ^ Pizza man. If you live near a Frys or a Micro Center, get the Cooler Master Hyper 212+ there and you only pay tax instead of $8 in shipping.

    OK, now this may sound a little outside the box, but consider the following suggestions as an adventure :D

    You are probably going to have to take that dorky hood off the side to fit the cooler. You could put a fan on the outside, and cover it with one of these filters.

    Is there a vent on the top? If so, I would be tempted to add a second fan to the heat sink (it comes with extra brackets) and aim it to push out the top. If there is not a top vent, I would be sorely tempted to get out the dremel and carve one. Cover the hole with the second filter.

    This is a cheap set of mods that will give you very good air flow for $3.49. What do you have to lose if you screw it up - a case you don't like anyway?

    Not feeling adventurous? Sell your GT 240, downgrade to a $160 GTX 460, then get that HAF 912. You will still need fans, because it only comes with one (at least it has a bunch of places to add more)
  2. 6850 and a boot SSD
  3. Thanks for all your replies! Eloric, I might just try that. Like you said, what have I got to lose? If something goes wrong, I can always do what Mr.Pizza suggested. Would you recommend the same fans as Mr Pizza? The Scythe Kaze 3000 seem to have better airflow but I have heard that there REALLY loud. Ill still buy the Hyper 212+(Will that still allow me to overclock around 3.5GHz?) and the 6850.
  4. It's rather disappointing to see that the people replying don't read the OP's posts thoroughly. If you're getting a 6850, the next most obvious purchase would be a monitor upgrade. Why would you need a 6850 for 1280x1024? If you can sell your GT 240 for $50, you've got a $350 budget. If ~$190 goes to the graphics card (incl. shipping), that leaves you with $160. Get a monitor, because you won't be able to tell the difference between a 240 and a 6850 on such a low res. Buy the case and HSF later as future upgrades. If I'm not wrong, you'll be looking at your monitor more than your case.

    Edit: I'd recommend either of these two.
  5. here's my suggested $350 (assuming you sell the 250 for that $50)

    Acer 21.5" 1920x1080 monitor, $139
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824009264

    Any HD6850 basic model, Sapphire here, because Gigabyte & Asus can't stay in stock: $179.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102908

    this is $320

    I'd add this keyboard for $11.99. I have a version of it and its a VERY nice one.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16823201031

    Total $332

    Get these for right now, and hold off on a new case or HSF.
  6. +^^ You're not really going to notice any difference in performance or your gaming experience by getting a new case or heatsink (unless you have overheating issues). I would get a larger monitor, better graphics card, and a nice keyboard like blackjellognor and ScrewySqrl suggested.
  7. Thanks again for all your suggestions! Since I wont be looking at my case, I will just try and mod it and do what eloric suggested. Then I'll get a new monitor and video card. I think I will get the LED Asus monitor and the 6850. Thanks!
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