CPU bundle - budget or rubbish?

Hi all,

I'm planning on upgrading my system shortly (1 week-1 month). I'm mostly a console gamer, but I want to play Portal 2, Deus Ex 3 and eventually Guild Wars 2 on my PC.

My current build is 4-5 years old now, consisting of an AMD X2 4200+ CPU on an Asus M2N-SLI Deluxe mobo, single Geforce 7300GS graphics card (used to be two in SLI, but one died), and sundries (including 3 SATA hard drives). This will be the first time that I've seriously upgraded a system - so far I've only added HDDs and PCI cards, and once replaced a motherboard I blew.

(The fact that that setup has lasted me until now should suggest that I'm not looking to be cutting-edge :))

For my GPU, I'm planning to get something off the first page of the monthly best-for-your-money guide, maybe stretching to the start of the second page. (This probably means I'll also have to upgrade my PSU.)

For my CPU, I'm again planning to use something off the first page of the b4ym guide. I was really annoyed that I'd have to get a new mobo and memory at the same time (I thought the point of PC gaming was that you could upgrade bit-by-bit as you needed to :)) but then I saw this bundle, which has a CPU from that range, doesn't have too much memory (I'm still on 32-bit XP so >3GB is wasted), and isn't too expensive.

Is this a decent budget option, or is there something terribly flawed with it?

Also, I'm annoyed that I couldn't just drop on a new CPU, because the socket is out of date; how long is the AM3 socket likely to last?
7 answers Last reply
More about bundle budget rubbish
  1. That is old my friend LOL...

    You'd need to look at AM3 (I'm not an AMD enthusiast so I don't really know how strong their stuff is). It's quite new and will last for a while to come. I'd not recommend going Intel, as AMD usually packs more bang for your buck. In terms of GPU, you'd be looking at a GTX460 or GTX550 for future-proofness, or an HD6850 or HD5850 for value-for-money worth. You'd be able to play most new games with this setup without going insane with graphics settings, so buy with pleasure.

    Then, any newish PC, be it budget or not, is going to cost a pretty penny. You won't get new games to run on a machine you picked up for a few quid, so stop looking at a $200 combo for motherboard, CPU and RAM, it's not going to work. Get something worthwhile, and save yourself the trouble later. That, or get a nice big TV and enjoy your console all that more :D
  2. rawling said:
    Hi all,

    I'm planning on upgrading my system shortly (1 week-1 month). I'm mostly a console gamer, but I want to play Portal 2, Deus Ex 3 and eventually Guild Wars 2 on my PC.

    My current build is 4-5 years old now, consisting of an AMD X2 4200+ CPU on an Asus M2N-SLI Deluxe mobo, single Geforce 7300GS graphics card (used to be two in SLI, but one died), and sundries (including 3 SATA hard drives). This will be the first time that I've seriously upgraded a system - so far I've only added HDDs and PCI cards, and once replaced a motherboard I blew.

    (The fact that that setup has lasted me until now should suggest that I'm not looking to be cutting-edge :))

    For my GPU, I'm planning to get something off the first page of the monthly best-for-your-money guide, maybe stretching to the start of the second page. (This probably means I'll also have to upgrade my PSU.)

    For my CPU, I'm again planning to use something off the first page of the b4ym guide. I was really annoyed that I'd have to get a new mobo and memory at the same time (I thought the point of PC gaming was that you could upgrade bit-by-bit as you needed to :)) but then I saw this bundle, which has a CPU from that range, doesn't have too much memory (I'm still on 32-bit XP so >3GB is wasted), and isn't too expensive.

    Is this a decent budget option, or is there something terribly flawed with it?

    Also, I'm annoyed that I couldn't just drop on a new CPU, because the socket is out of date; how long is the AM3 socket likely to last?


    :lol:

    Want some cheese with that whine?


    Your motherboard supports any quad-core from the AMD Athlon II X4 640 (£72.99inc. vat) to the AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition (£103.47 inc. vat). Not sure how you can expect more from a 4-5 year-old motherboard.

    Certain AM3 motherboards, and AM3+ motherboards, will support the next-gen Bulldozer Zambezi from AMD, and most likely the following BD generation which does not integrate a SIMD engine array on the CPU die.

    Mo' bettah? :D


    edit:

    Here is the Asus CPU support list for your motherboard
  3. Wisecracker said:
    Your motherboard supports any quad-core from the AMD Athlon II X4 640 (£72.99inc. vat) to the AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition (£103.47 inc. vat). Not sure how you can expect more from a 4-5 year-old motherboard.

    Certain AM3 motherboards, and AM3+ motherboards, will support the next-gen Bulldozer Zambezi from AMD, and most likely the following BD generation which does not integrate a SIMD engine array on the CPU die.

    Mo' bettah? :D


    edit:

    Here is the Asus CPU support list for your motherboard

    :sweat:

    I thought my board was Socket 939, but now I realise it may be AM2 or AM2+

    However, those processors you linked say AM3. Are they compatible too? *goes to do some googling*.

    It'd be great if I can get away with only updating my CPU without having to replace my mobo too.

    Cheers :D


    Edit: Yeah, I can upgrade in place, brilliant. Should've done some more research before coming on here and posting silly questions.

    Thanks for not mocking me too hard :)
  4. the m2n sli is am2 but does have its issues, like not supporting the 88gt pci-e 2.0 properly.
    what your thinking is basically a waste of time. spending less than $100 on a gfx card wil get you a video card that cant play games properly. especially new 1s.
    if you cant spend a minimum of $500 on an entry level build then dont bother as you will be seriously underwhelmed.

    you will want as an absolute bare minimum for todays games. a tri core of 2.4 or better. on an am2+ motherboard. a gts250 or gts450 /ati 4850/5750. 2-3gigs ram. 500gig hdd. 12xdvd. and a 550watts psu to power it.
    i assume you have an hdtv? so you wont need a monitor if you buy a dvi to hdmi cable.
  5. rawling said:
    :sweat:

    I thought my board was Socket 939, but now I realise it may be AM2 or AM2+

    However, those processors you linked say AM3. Are they compatible too? *goes to do some googling*.

    It'd be great if I can get away with only updating my CPU without having to replace my mobo too.

    Cheers :D


    Edit: Yeah, I can upgrade in place, brilliant. Should've done some more research before coming on here and posting silly questions.

    Thanks for not mocking me too hard :)



    No worries, mate. [:jaydeejohn:5]

    AMD AM3 CPUs have both a DDR2 & DDR3 integrated memory controller, and will work quite well in either AM2+ or AM3 motherboards. The difference in performance between the two different types of RAMs will be negligible in gaming.

    When you are ready to upgrade to AM3/AM3+ you may simply move your AM3 CPU into your new motherboard with DDR3 memory.

    You have an interesting dilemma concerning a new video card, and how you wish to position yourself for the future. The selection of nVidia 'AM3' chipsets is rather limited, and there has been no word concerning nVidia chipsets for AM3+.
    If adding a second graphics card to a future AM3/AM3+ motherboard is an option you wish to maintain, you may want to consider an AMD/ATI video card for your graphics upgrade. This would guarantee a future dual video card 'CrossFire' on AM3/AM3+ with the proper motherboard upgrade.

    That said, there were rumors that AMD (and motherboard partners) might allow SLI on certain high-end 990FX AM3+ motherboards. There has been no official word from anyone concerning this, and some folks have noted that the so-called 'announcement' was made on April 1st (or 'April Fools Day' in the States - LOL).

    I'm not sure what Mr. HEXiT is going on about. Perhaps he will follow up with a link concerning his issue. A PCIe Gen2 x16 slot such as the option on your motherboard should provide the full band-width necessary for any single video card on the market today.
  6. yes it should and would but not for the 88gt i had the m2n sli delux and the 88gt didnt work in it due to it having a 1.0a pci-e x16 slot. the 88gt was supposed to be backwards compatible with all pci-e x6 slots but wasn't. so i had to splash out for a gigabyte board with a nforce 550 chipset and pci-e 1.1 slot... for my old amd setup.
    and your rite the ddr3 and ddr2 mem will be a less significant hit but the cpu will suffer as it will be on ht 1k which does impact the chips considerably when you take both hits into consideration.

    its HEXiT not MR HEXiT...
  7. The M2N-SLI deluxe does only have a pci-e v1 slot, but hopefully I won't have backwards compatibility issues like you did, HEXiT. And if I do... well, mobo/memory will be next on my list of things to upgrade. Right after the CPU and the PSU... :)

    Looking at last month's GPU roundup, I can probably stretch to a 5770. I'm not too interested in CrossFire/SLI, although it's something I'll look into if I do have to get a new mobo.

    Thanks for your help, guys :)
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