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Upgrading for $400 - What should I get?

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January 5, 2011 4:19:45 PM

My computer is this:
Graphics card: Sapphire Radeon HD4850 512mb
Processor: Intel Duo E8400 @ 3,0 gHz
PSU: Corsair 450W
Harddrive: Barracuda 7200 ST3250620A ATA 250 GB
Motherboard: Gigabyte EP45-DS3
RAM: Corsair TWIN2X PC6400 DDR2 4GB

It's on the day two years old now, and even when I bought it it wasn't exactly top of the game. I feel it's due for an update, but the question is, what should I upgrade? I'd say I have around $400 to spend, how do I get the most bang for my buck? I've already decided on a 1TB harddrive, probably the Samsung F3.

I use the computer to play both modern and old games, but that's pretty much it. I don't do any video/photo editing or anything like that, just games. Any tips are welcome!

More about : upgrading 400

January 5, 2011 4:40:10 PM

a better graphics card would be best for games. Now the budget is $400 - the 1TB HD? So you have say $340 left? The new 6850 are good and the vBios can be reflashed to be a 6870. they're about $300 now on newegg...and the GTX 570 is about $350
a b B Homebuilt system
January 5, 2011 4:49:38 PM

You CAN upgrade the CPU to a Core2Quad if you would like, but you are on the cusp of a performance / dollar ratio that may tell you to wait and buy / build new instead of putting money into the 775 platform machine.

If it were me, I would find a CPU cooler that could be use on the current machine and future build (problem here is what MIGHT be choosen for a future build). Install the cooler and overclock the E8400 to 3.6GHz (or higher), then install a new GPU. This would give you a good boost and put new life in the older system. Both of these items, and the 1TB F3 you are considering (good choice!), can be used in a future build to strech your money further.

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January 5, 2011 4:52:04 PM

My idia would be to save up a bit more money and get a new built.

But if you dont mind to play some new games on lower settings (medium settings) then this build should be the best you can get for round $400.

http://img266.imageshack.us/img266/7195/83114680.jpg

Also if you want, you could use your corsair 450W and use the money for a better graphic card. But that depens on how your PSU has been used and which series it is.

Some think like:
GIGABYTE GV-N460OC-768I GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) 768MB 192-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

With that graphic card you will be capable of maxing out all games with decent fraps
January 5, 2011 7:20:05 PM

Actually guys that was a typo, my PSU is a 550W. :) 

sadams04, your advice sounds good. My list would be something like:
Corsair Cooling Hydro H50
Samsun F3 1TB
Gigabyte Geforce GTX 460 1GB

Which lands me at around $320! Sound good?
a b B Homebuilt system
January 5, 2011 7:29:17 PM

what games do you play and at what resolution.
January 5, 2011 7:35:38 PM

I would advise against the H50 it isnt that great of a cooler. Air coolers do a better job.
a c 91 B Homebuilt system
January 5, 2011 7:40:31 PM

I agree with Snipergod, the hyper 212+ from Amazon would land you 25$ w/ Free shipping opposed to Newegg's 30$+8$ shipping. And the that'd be 250$ total. The OCing on the E8500 would make your system last a bit longer.

After that the next upgrade THEN would be the CPU/RAM/Mobo/PSU stuff. CPU/RAM/MOBO all at once of course. Sandy Bridge would seem like the next best option to upgrade after you've gotten more money to upgrade.
January 5, 2011 11:25:19 PM

swifty_morgan said:
what games do you play and at what resolution.


The most demanding game I play at the moment is Bad Company 2 at 1680x1050.


Snipergod87 said:
I would advise against the H50 it isnt that great of a cooler. Air coolers do a better job.


Oh okay, it's the one I've been recommended by most people, but I'll take your word for it.
a c 91 B Homebuilt system
January 6, 2011 12:01:56 AM

then the 460 directcu is good enough :D 
!