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Doing an Upgrade, Want Best Bang for Buck

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March 29, 2011 12:48:57 AM

Afternoon all, longtime reader, first time poster here at Tom's

I'm looking to do a bit of upgrading on my homebuilt PC, but I have a rather limited budget (all the coins I've saved in my Stay Puft piggy bank + some health benefit payouts. Whoo!). With a wedding to pay for in the summer, the budget falls in the $400-$500 range

Currently running the below -

Windows XP
Core2 Duo E6600 2.4ghz
Gigabyte 965P-DS3 MOBO
2 GB DDR2 Ram
GeForce 8800 GTS

Now, I know I want to go to Windows7 and 4GB of RAM. With an OEM version of Windows7 and the G.Skill RAM recommended in the $1000 build here at Tom's, that puts me at about $150 spent

The question then becomes, what do I spend the rest on? A new Mobo+CPU combo (the i5-2500k + ASUS P67 Pro MOBO) or a new video card (Gigabyte Radeon 6950)? Ideally I would do both, but I just don't think a $700 outlay is feasible.

So, which combo will provide the most bang for my buck. Any other suggestions?

Thanks in advance

More about : upgrade bang buck

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a b B Homebuilt system
March 29, 2011 12:50:41 PM

what do you want you computer to do? game, web surf? what resolution is your monitor?

there is a "how to ask for new build advice" form at the top of the forum. this would help us help you.


$400-$500 isn't much to work with when you already spent $150...

Even using them most inexpensive MB (the ASUS P67Pro is $190 if you can fine one):

MSI P67A-C43 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
$125
Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor
$225
---------
$350 already and no video card

I would put anything less than:

MSI N460GTX Twin Frozr II SOC GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) 768MB $150
or
SAPPHIRE Vapor-X 100283VX-2L Radeon HD 5770 (Juniper XT) 1GB $130


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March 29, 2011 2:26:02 PM

It will be mostly used for gaming and the monitor can go to 1920x1200 at least. To be honest I've never tried to push it further.

The $150 is already spent, but I think going to W7 to unlock DX11 capabilities and more RAM are musts.

Going with the new processor + an older GPU is a good idea. I will have to dig in to the bench marks a bit more


If you had to choose between the Mobo/Proc combo and a new GPU, which would you go with? The other part will be upgraded as well, but that may by 6-9 months down the road
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 29, 2011 8:11:37 PM

indy31 said:
It will be mostly used for gaming and the monitor can go to 1920x1200 at least. To be honest I've never tried to push it further.

The $150 is already spent, but I think going to W7 to unlock DX11 capabilities and more RAM are musts.

Going with the new processor + an older GPU is a good idea. I will have to dig in to the bench marks a bit more


If you had to choose between the Mobo/Proc combo and a new GPU, which would you go with? The other part will be upgraded as well, but that may by 6-9 months down the road


I would do the GPU first. Sandy Bridge (cougar point) MB's will drop price over the next few months once supply catches up with demand. that being said I would go for a decent GPU like a GTX560 Ti or at the minimum and GTX 460. I'm more of an Nvidia fan, they have better drivers and fix issues quicker.

these are my recommendations for GPU's they are 1. OverClocked & 2. quieter, since they have better heat sinks and fans on them:

MSI N560GTX-TI Twin Frozr II/OC GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support
Item #: N82E16814127565
$249.99

or

MSI N460GTX Hawk Talon Attack GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support
Item #: N82E16814127534
$219.99
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 29, 2011 8:14:03 PM

BTW can your current PSU handle and big GPU? what make and model, how many Watts. whats the 12v current on each rail?
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April 5, 2011 2:17:38 AM

Best answer selected by indy31.
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