Question on upgrade

My wife plays Aion pretty exclusively. She is having horrific video lag in game. I have found that her CPU utilization is at almost 100% at all times when she is doing "fort raids". She has become very dissatisfied and as all married men know, if momma ain't happy... ain't NOBODY happy. So... I'm looking to do an upgrade of her machine to fix this issue for "christmas". Her current specs are as follows:

Gigabyte P35-DS3L
Intel E4500 2.2 Ghz C2D (Has been OC'd to 2.92 from time to time)
4 GB RAM DDR2 (Crucial Ballistix 4x1GB)
650 GB WD Black
Geforce GTX275 1GB
HAF 922 case

I want to spend as little as possible to fix her issues, but make her a happy mamma again. I would also like to keep the DDR2 as it would be a huge waste to just get rid of it.

Here are the options I've come up with, if anyone has any suggestions... FEEL FREE!!!

Replace Motherboard and CPU with:

ASUS M4A77D AM3/AM2+/AM2 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard $79
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131618

and

AMD Athlon II X3 450 Rana 3.2GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Desktop Processor $81
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103886

Or replace the CPU with a faster one:

Intel Pentium E6800 Wolfdale 3.33GHz 2MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor $99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116371

Or this processor

Intel Core2 Duo E7500 Wolfdale 2.93GHz 3MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor $125

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115056

I'm not sure which way to go here and would like as much advice as I can get. Also, I have OC'd her current processor before to 2.92 Ghz but she was still experiencing major reductions in framerate. I also let her borrow my GTX465 and the issues still persisted so I'm doubtful that it is caused by the video card not being fast enough.

Any suggestions on this matter will be greatly appreciated!!! Remember... cheap but reliable is the name of the game for me!! :) Thanks in advance!
3 answers Last reply
More about question upgrade
  1. I think a quad core would benefit you more so than a faster dual core. If you're going to get a new mobo and cpu, just get an AM3 one and DDR3 RAM because later you can upgrade to quad or even hex core, otherwise just get a C2Q cpu and a CPU cooler.

    I would say get a C2Q Q8300 ($149.99) or Q8400 ($169.99) for a replacement and OC it to 3ghz or more. But this option would leave you with a prefectly good CPU just sitting around. You would also need a CPU cooler to keep lower temps at higher higher clocks when OC'ing. The Cooler Master Hyper 212+ for around $30 is a highly recommended one. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820146740

    Total: $179.99 - $199.99

    To make the most out of your parts, you should get a new CPU/Mobo and RAM for now and then you can put the old computer together as a server, work/kids PC, etc. later when you get another case/psu/hdd.

    AMD 445 and MSI 870-G45 $133.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.547176

    AMD 445 and MSI 880GM-E41 $138.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.547202

    AMD 445 and ASRock 870 EXTREME3 $148.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.547179

    Mushkin Enhanced Silverline 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1333 $54.99 after $10 mail-in rebate
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820146740

    Total: $188.98 - $203.98 (add $30 if you plan for heavy OC'ing)

    The AMD 450 you listed has no combo deals and is only 100mhz faster. You can OC the AMD 445 to that speed out of the box on the stock cooler easy.
  2. I agree, and I had somewhat already decided against a single CPU upgrade and was looking for someone to talk me completely out of it. IF I do decide to go with new mobo/CPU/RAM I do want to keep a regular ATX mobo as I think a micro ATX would look kinda funny in a HAF 922 lol. Expansion slots is never a bad thing either right!

    The MSI 870-G45 looks promising as does the AsRock 870 Extreme3. The AsRock board has USB 3.0 and Dual 8x PCI if she ever goes SLI (PSU In place already for it). Is it worth the extra 15 bux to "futureproof" the build and is the AsRock board of good quality (I never personally owned an AsRock as I've been an Asus and Gigabyte fanboy for years).
  3. Of the 4 main names for mobos right now, Asus and Gigabyte are the enthusiast boards and ASRock and MSI are more high end budget boards, ASRock being a bit better than MSI as can be reflected in their prices. Biostar and ECS used to be decent but have dropped out of the loop. Zotac is a new company on the rise. I have always been skeptical of Foxconn and Jetway and don't recommend them.

    Regardless if it looks silly, mATX boards are statistically more reliable than standard ATX boards because they have fewer components on the board which means less things that could fail. I do agree it would look silly in such a large case.

    The ASRock board would be worth the $15 premium if you plan for dual cards later on and would provide a good platform for upgradability and expandability. You can go as far as an AMD 1090T for hexa-core and up to 16gb RAM if you even need it with room for dual GPUs as already mentioned.

    This route would be the better option because if you go with the CPU upgrade, not only would you have a perfectly good CPU just sitting around, you would also be putting money into an already obsolete system with just about no room for upgradability. If you want improvement, you would have to buy a new PC all together which would defeat the whole purpose of the CPU upgrade.
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