Upgrade Advice Needed, What Can I do with ~200$

I need to upgrade my older PC so that it can hopefully run Diablo3 and BF3 as smoothly as possible. I only have a 200$ or so budget, ideally whatever i buy would be re-usable in a future build in about 1 year or so.

I'm not sure what could be done... a new cpu ? replace the video card ? more ram ? a ssd ? ...

These are the current specs :

Core 2 Duo E6400 ( 2.13ghz overclocked frequency to 300 to get 800mhz ddr2 and 2.4ghz cpu )
Dark Knight S1283v Heatsink/Fan
Asus P5W DH Deluxe Motherboard
XFX GeForce 9600GT
G.Skill 2x2GB F2-6400CL4D ( ddr2 800 CL4-4-4-12)
Antec EA-500 500W Power Supply
WesternDigital 2500KS 250GB 7200rpm 16M buffer

Note that i cannot get the system stable above 2.4ghz overclock, i've tried many times, i can get it to work up to 2.8ghz but i experience random crashes no matter what i do to tweak the oc, so eventially i found that the sweet spot for stability is 2.4ghz. So basically lets forget about OC, i want to buy something instead to increase performance.

Any advices ?
7 answers Last reply
More about upgrade advice needed
  1. Pretty much the only thing to do at that budget is to get a new graphics card. Anything else would be wasted in an upgrade.

    Unless you can find a really cheap used core 2 quad or a faster core 2 duo, which is generally difficult.

    With the CPU you will also run into issues with bottlenecking on the GPU, so you can't really get anything super fast.
    With that budget GTX560 or 6870 would be the top of the line, and they probably won't be bottlenecked too badly yet.
    Anything more might be, at least to some extent.
  2. What's your resolution?
  3. 1080
    I tried running the BF3 beta and it just didnt work, very ugly and low framerate, not playable. i got a message saying my video card isnt good enough. So i dont know if i put it in sli, or if i need to buy a new card...

    I dont know tho if since this is the beta, if the game will run smoother on the final release... i know for a fact that some of the video settings dont make any difference ( for example on my other newer computer, chaning the settings from everything at High to everything at Ultra doesnt change anything )
  4. The reason ultra doesn't do anything is that it's only available in the final release, or so I have read somewhere.

    However considering the age of your graphics card you are best off getting a new current generation card, which most likely is faster than a SLI of the generation you have at the moment.
  5. no but, i could get a used 9600gt for like 40$, and put it in sli... as opposed to getting a mid-range 200$ card which wont be that great in 1 year once i'm ready for my new build...
    so the question is, how would 9600gt in sli compare to a 200$ card
  6. It is somewhat difficult to say since it's pretty hard to find tests that show it all, but in raw calculating power reasonably well.
    Obviously depending on the games you are playing this may vary.

    However the power consumption is greater than on the $200 cards.
    And you will be hurt by not having DX11 support as many effects are better optimized in DX11 HW.

    But I am sure you will get a hefty performance boost from the 2nd 9600gt.

    So for simply money out of the pocket, if you can find one for $40, get one.
  7. Get a Gigabyte Twin Fan GTX 560 Ti. $205
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