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$300 to upgrade computer- what to get?

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November 3, 2010 11:25:05 PM

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!

More about : 300 upgrade computer

November 4, 2010 12:47:29 AM

+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)

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November 4, 2010 1:06:08 AM

6850 and a boot SSD
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November 4, 2010 2:30:19 AM

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.
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November 4, 2010 7:38:18 AM

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.
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November 4, 2010 7:57:36 AM

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=N82E168...

Any HD6850 basic model, Sapphire here, because Gigabyte & Asus can't stay in stock: $179.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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=N82E168...

Total $332

Get these for right now, and hold off on a new case or HSF.
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November 4, 2010 8:03:42 AM

+^^ 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.
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November 4, 2010 9:00:44 PM

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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