I currently have an Athlon II 4400(@2.3ghz) on ASUS M2N MX SE (AM2), with 2GB DDR2, and an ATI radeon HD 4350 ( 512 RAM ). Also, I have a tiny 80GB hard-disk. Powered by 500W Delta Power PSU
I'm upgrading in order to play the new Star Wars MMO. I have tested the beta, and it was unplayable in pvp combat with my current system.
My budget is pretty restrained, around 350 $, so I can't upgrade all the outdated components in one shot. Also, I was thinking of buying from Newegg. Are there other cheaper online stores ? Reliable too.
What I thought is first upgrade mboard + CPU + RAM. I'm pretty sure I will also need a more powerful PSU for the new CPU.
If I don't plan on overclocking the CPU, do I need a non-stock CPU fan ? Would a cheaper case fan do the job ?
1. CPU choices are Phenom II or FX series. Other suggestions are welcome, but I don't think Intel fits into my budget Which CPU should I get for best price-performance ?
It looks as though you are looking to build an entirely new system to me. I think that you will find it very difficult upgrading your system part but part because the large chance is that whichever component you buy first it will not be compatible with the rest of your system.
If you upgraded your processor on your current board you would get a bottleneck while playing games even if you add more RAM and a new video card. I often find it helpful to search the components that I am going to buy on YouTube so I can see how they perform in game play.
In regards to your choice of motherboard; I noticed you have chosen two boards with integrated graphics. Integrated graphics are no good to you as a gamer. Your current graphics card is much better than the graphics on your chosen chipset so it would be better for you to transfer that over to your new motherboard.
If I could make a recommendation I would go for the AMD 870 or 970 chipset being as you are building on a budget.
I read up on your motherboard and it is uATX. The large chance is that you are going to need to buy a new case and power supply unless you can find one with this form factor.
http://www.cpubenchmark.net/high_end_cpus.html - This is a good site for comparing CPU’s when you decided to buy one. Use this to compare performance and value. The FX is up the top but the further down you go the more mixed between Phenom and FX it gets.
I don’t believe you would experience any incompatibility between your hard drive and new board as to my knowledge the connectors are the same. I don’t think you would get the performance of SATA 2 though.
Last but least consider eBay if you really are on a budget. You can pick up DDR2 RAM for pennies. Your board should support 4GB DDR2 which is enough. The best AM2 processor is 6000+. Like I say; you can pick it all up for pennies but expect a bit of bottleneck when you are playing games like crisis at high settings. Everything else should run fine including StarWars TOR.
If you don't plan on overclocking, the fan that comes with the CPU will work fine. I'm guessing that you bought this system from a store...even if you don't technically need to get a new case you'll probably want to, it can be difficult to get all of your components to fit the way you want in an oem case. Also, its hard to judge if the PSU is adequate without a model number, Delta makes a lot of power supplies and the total watts isn't too informative.