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Upgrading PC to gaming PC

Hi, I'm trying to help my cousin upgrade his PC without buying a whole new system.

Approximate Purchase Date of new part(s): two weeks
System Usage: GAMING
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: amazon, newegg, tigerdirect

Current system:
CPU: Pentium(R) Dual-Core CPU E5200 @ 2.50GHz | Wolfdale | Socket 775 LGA
Mainboard: ECS G31T-M v1.0 | Northbridge Intel P35/G33/G31 rev. 10 | Southbridge Intel 82801GB (ICH7/R) rev. A1
RAM: Supertalent DDR2 2048 Mbytes | 5.0-5-5-15-20 @ 333 MHz | 2T
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 8400 GS | 512 MB @ 64 bits
HDD: 7200 RPM | 320 Gb
Microsoft Windows XP Professional Service Pack 3 (Build 2600)

What would you recommend to change that would have the greater effect on gaming? Maybe changing 2 parts...
(buying a quad-core, adding more ram, changing the video card, change the hdd for an sdd.... )

Appreciate your help, thanks...

Alessandro
7 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about upgrading gaming
  1. New system, a must.
  2. An upgrade could include:

    Intel CPU Q8300 Core 2 Quad Processor £105
    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/intel-core-2-quad-q8300-yorkfield-core-s775-250ghz-1333mhz-4mb-cache-75x-core-ratio-retail

    XFX 1GB 6870 £135
    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/1gb-xfx-hd-6870-dual-fan-black-edition-4600mhz-gddr5-gpu-940mhz-1120-stream-processors-dvi-hdmi-mdp-

    Do you have a budget?
    What country are you buying from?
    What power supply do you have? (this could be a big issue when trying to upgrade)
  3. Best answer
    You "Can" upgrade a bit only, but mostly its true you need a new system.
    In case you dont want to, here is my advice:

    -Check PSU first, to know how much power it can handle.
    -Get a nvidia gtx 460 768mb ram (cheapest version you can so that its somewhere close to your cpu effectivness. Also you could get this gpu cheap enought nowdays i think, and going a GTX260 seems a bit... strange now :D. Remmber that Win Xp is a DX9 system if i remmber right, so unless you get vista, you wont get DX10 and 11).
    -Get 2 extra gigs ram
    -Get a good cpu cooler (futureproof would be best option) and oc cpu.

    Now, i dont know if ati gpus can take off the physx off from the cpu in the current generations, but i know nvidia can.
    Since your CPU is what will be the bottleneck, getting that extra work off from the cpu will get you some more headroom.

    Thats my advice.
  4. A new system is not essential, but to be honest it would be a far wiser choice than spending $$ on a system still running XP and a few generations old.
  5. Sadly, if you need a new mobo, cpu and GPU. It's more of a buying new system than an upgrade.
  6. Thanks to all and sorry for the delay... I was having some University work...

    @AdrianPerry: I'm buying from Panama city, Panama. Budget could be around $500. Power supply: generic 500W output...

    The idea is not to change the mobo, because then he should be buying ram, cpu, gpu and would be too expensive.

    I think the main thing would be to get a better gpu, some more ram, update xp to win7...
  7. Best answer selected by -Alessandro-.
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