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Best upgrade option for $150

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January 26, 2011 1:49:37 AM

I'm looking to upgrade my system. I have $150 to do the upgrade with. The $150 is the absolute max that I can use without my wife inflicting great physical harm on me for blowing too much on the computer.
The systems main uses are gaming, network testing, Linux testing, and data transfer. Current games being played are Napoleon: Total War, Dragon Age, and Disciples 2. I plan on purchasing Shogun 2, Dragon Age 2, and any expansions for Europa Universalis 3. The data transferring is usually cloning and testing hard drives from customers computers for work. Those are the most intensive uses for it.
Current Configuration:
AMD Phenom II x4 955 BE
ASUS M4A78 mainboard
8 GB 800 MHz DDR2 RAM
NVidia 250 GTS 1Gb
Logisys 575W PSU
Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit

I have a couple of options from the distributors that I have accounts with. I can do one of them since they all run about the same price.

Option 1
Upgrade processor to AMD Phenom II x6 1075T

Option 2
upgrade mainboard and memory to
ASUS M4A88TD or M4N98TD mainboard
8 GB 1333MHz DDR3 RAM

Option 3
upgrade video card to ATI 5750 1GB

Option 4
upgrade video card to NVidia 460 GTX 1GB

Option 5
upgrade processor, mainboard, and memory to
Intel i3 520
Foxconn H55MX-S
4GB 1333MHz DDR3 RAM
Coworkers have told me that this option would probably be the best since it would run rings around any of the other options particularly Option 2. Don't know if this is true since they're hardcore Intel fanboys.

I know there are other options but I those are the best ones I can get from the companies I order from.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

More about : upgrade option 150

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January 26, 2011 3:57:29 PM

SSD for boot. Use your old hard drive for games and storage.
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January 26, 2011 4:09:28 PM

My advice would be to go with the GTX 460. I wouldn't personally for from a 955 to an intel i3 520
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January 26, 2011 9:00:47 PM

It'd be nice to get a SSD but my main distributors don't have them yet. I think I will go with the GTX 460. It seems to give the biggest boost for right now. Plus I can take the GTS 250 and put it in my wife's computer which will give her a boost as well. When I got to checking the ASUS boards they both require a 8 pin connector and my PSU only has a 4 pin so I'd have to upgrade the PSU as well which would put it out of my price range.
I personally wouldn't go for the switch to an i3. That was suggested by some of my coworkers who are intel fanboys and they insist that a P3 system would clobber a high end amd system.
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January 26, 2011 9:01:15 PM

Best answer selected by franktaplin.
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