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~$300 upgrade on a 2 year old rig, advice needed

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December 1, 2010 6:34:25 PM

I have about $300 to throw into my 2 year old PC and Im looking for advice on what to upgrade. I use it for heavy gaming and internet surfing/movies. In addition to this list from the newegg buy, it has a earthwatts 500w PSU, that I bought about a year before this purchase. It runs windows 7. Also have a 500g external HD that is now about full.

Here is the main build:
GIGABYTE GA-EP35-DS3L LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Intel Motherboard
MSI R4850-512M Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCIe 2.0 x16
Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 Wolfdale 3.16GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)
Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST3500320AS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s
Logitech G11 Gaming Keyboard
Acer AL2216Wbd Black 22" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor
SAMSUNG 22X DVD Burner Black SATA Model SH-S223F - OEM
Logitech G5 7 Buttons Tilt Wheel USB Wired Laser Mouse


My first thought was to get a ~100$ Solid state hard drive to put my OS and whatever game I am playing onto, and then a ~200$ graphics card. I will take any advice though. The price limit isnt strict.

Thanks for any thoughts
a b B Homebuilt system
December 1, 2010 9:26:30 PM

The GTX 460 has dropped down in price to be one of the best sub-200 cards. If you want to stick with AMD, you could get a 5770 for under $200 as well.

You'll see a good improvement in load times for your OS and programs on the SSD. $100 should get you close to a 64GB drive, which is more than enough for W7 + updates, Office, and whatever.
a b B Homebuilt system
December 1, 2010 9:43:31 PM

^ Someone isn't awfully up to date, right now with the 460 sales ending, the 6850s are the slightly better choice, at almost the same prices (before rebates) it offers slightly better performance and lower power usage. The DirectCU 6850 is a decent buy at $200
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SSD-wise, I'd say get at least a 60GB, 40GB gets a little cramped after windows.
The S599 is a nice deal for $120:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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December 1, 2010 9:47:47 PM

I really wouldn't worry about upgrading your graphics card too much because you'd be bottle-necked by your E8500.

In my opinion, an SSD isn't worth a few seconds shaved off your boot time and a second less for loading screens in games.


If anything, I'd upgrade the processor first to a Core 2 Quad. It will be a nice increase for fps in most games.
a b B Homebuilt system
December 2, 2010 1:12:56 AM

Timop said:
^ Someone isn't awfully up to date, right now with the 460 sales ending, the 6850s are the slightly better choice, at almost the same prices (before rebates) it offers slightly better performance and lower power usage. The DirectCU 6850 is a decent buy at $200
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SSD-wise, I'd say get at least a 60GB, 40GB gets a little cramped after windows.
The S599 is a nice deal for $120:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


I didn't say the 460 was the best, and I didn't know if the OP has a brand preference. I would like to rectify the 5770 in favor of your 6850 though.

I agree on the SSD; for W7 64-bit a 64GB is really necessary (the 32-bit only takes up 9 GB after all the updates; almost double that for 64 bit).
The A-Data SSD is getting great reviews. Unfortunately the OCZ Vertex 2 is not in the same price range, as it has much faster write rates than most SSDs.
!