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A 300$ upgrade

Last response: in Systems
January 16, 2011 8:43:25 AM

Last summer I upgraded my Compaq computer with a 600 Watt OCZ ModXStream and a Radeon HD5770.
I now want more.
I'm looking to get a new case, CPU, and motherboard (possibly new RAM as well) all for around 300$.
This will be my first build. I'm planning on using the current CD/DVD drive in my computer, as well as my HDD and possibly my RAM

What would you suggest?

After looking at TH, I'm thinking about the AMD 445 for the CPU.
For my mobo, I would like Crossfire compatibility at 2x16, for when I decide to upgrade, and USB 3.0. So far, I've found the ASRock 890fx Deluxe 3 or 4, and the MSI 890FXA-GD70. Are there cheaper and better alternatives?
For my case, I have absolutely no ideas. All I want is that it be a mid-tower and quiet.

Thanks for any and all advice.

More about : 300 upgrade

a b B Homebuilt system
January 16, 2011 10:45:57 AM

What RAM do you have and how much of it?
January 16, 2011 11:40:07 AM

2x1gb (DDR3 1333MHz by Hynix Semiconductor) and 1x1gb (DDR3 1333Mhz by Elpida) for a total of 3gb.
It came with the computer.

My CPU is an AMD II X2 215.
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January 16, 2011 1:41:17 PM

I don't really think so:- the X3 445 is 77$,
-the MOBOs I've suggested are around 150$
-and the cases I've just been looking at (Thermaltake V3 Black Edition and the Rosewill CHALLENGER Black) are around 50$.

That equals 275$. I'm not sure that a combo deal is going to be a lot cheaper.
a b B Homebuilt system
January 16, 2011 3:13:43 PM

x8 x8 is good enough for crossfire.

AMD Phenom II X4 955


Other CF mobos

And an Athlon II X4 to be in the budget.
January 16, 2011 3:47:26 PM

Wouldn't I probably be able to unlock the last core in the X3?

and would you happen to have any links to good reviews of the mobos you suggested? The only reason I suggested the ones I did, was because I found them when looking at this article on Tom's.

If x8 is good enough, why do some mobos have 2x16? Is it because the really powerful graphics cards need that much bandwidth?

Also, which do you think is better, the Rosewill or the Thermaltek?

Thanks a ton for the recommendations and btw, are those prices from newegg?
January 16, 2011 3:54:52 PM

Why is the ASRock so much cheaper than the other two? Is it because it only has a one year warranty/ lacks on-board graphics/ supports lower RAM speeds/ only has 6 audio channels instead of 8/ only has 3 USB 2.0 headers/ and has an earlier northbridge version?
What does all that change?
a b B Homebuilt system
January 17, 2011 3:16:50 AM

thats why it's cheaper.

Its the least expensive 8x/8x crossfire board out there. Its also solid in quality