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Upgrading for $400 - What should I get?

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Last response: in Systems
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.

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

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