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Time for an upgrade, does this look sensible?

Last response: in Systems
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October 3, 2011 10:04:26 AM

So, its about time for an upgrade of my desktop system, the CPU is holding back the GPU, and its not enough for many new games from this year or in the immediate future.

Main use: Gaming mostly, MMO's, classic games, new games. Also a little bit of other media use, I might do some 3D work, but only for my own amusement.
I would like to be able to run Deus ex, Dirt 3 and Diablo 3 with a good framerate.

Resolution: 1920x1080

Current specs:
CPU: athlon 64 X2 5600+
GPU: Radeon 5770
Motherboard: MSI K9N-NEO-F, nForce550, AM2
RAM: 2 kits of Corsair Twin2X2048-5400C4 (despite the name, that makes 4GB in total)
PSU: some 650W from Inter-Tech sold as energon(I know! I wish i hadn't skimped on it, but its one thing in consideration)
HDD: 2x750GB Samsung spinpoint F1 RAID0
1x 250GB Samsung SP P120

Budget: around 2000DKK, That is technically 365$, but due to VAT and price difference, think of it as 300$ or 250EUR.

My idea for upgrade:
i3 2100
ASRock H61M-VS
Kingston 8GB DDR3 1600MHz (2x4) HyperX
Maybe Corsair builder series 600W?

The idea here is, Buy cheap cpu/mobo combo now in order to better afford upgrade in the future, and the i3 is plenty to play the newest games.
The budget is somewhat flexible with good arguments.
I have considered going with a more expensive motherboard just for USB3, or perhaps in order to be able to crossfire the 5770, doing so seems like fairly good value at the moment as it is really cheap.
I am a little worried about buying a 600W PSU at this point, I am concerned that it will be too little in 2 years (when i hopefully stop being a student).
On the other hand i worry somewhat about putting anything new next to my current PSU.

Thoughts and oppinions? (sorry if its a bit much text)

More about : time upgrade

a b B Homebuilt system
October 3, 2011 10:54:17 AM

i3-2100 ~ Good choice
ASRock H61 ~ Personally i wouldn't recommend a H61 board, P67 or Z68 would be much better if you plan to upgrade the CPU at any point, mainly because the H61 wont allow any CPU over-clocking.
RAM ~ Make sure the RAM your looking at is 1.5v @ 1600MHz, Kingston tends to be 1.5v @ 1333MHz and 1.65v @ 1600MHz - G.Skill or Corsair Vengeance are popular choices here.
PSU ~ 500w would be plenty for a single video card build. It will support anything up to GTX 560Ti/ATI 6950. Corsair 500w is possibly your best value for money option here. 600w PSU recommended for Crossfire 5770's - if you chose to go that route.

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Id recommend getting 4GB of RAM and a P67/Z68 motherboard over 8GB RAM and H61 motherboard (budget concious here).

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ASRock Extreme3 Gen3 would be a great motherboard choice if it can fit into budget.

October 5, 2011 2:18:26 PM

Thanks for your reply, and sorry for taking long to answer back, I don't have internet at home atm. :( 
I forgot about the 1,5V thing with sandy bridge, keeping that in mind I think g-skill ripjawX 2x4gb 1600mhz 1,5V is my best bet at a cheap kit that looks neat.
I am still tumbling around with wether to get the H61 just for cheapness now, and then just get another board when i can afford to upgrade the CPU, or to get that gen3 you recommended.
Also, I am somewhat considering sticking with my current PSU untill that point, as long as it is cheap components, avoiding its extra tear is perhaps not worth the price? and also, the GPU has already endured it for most of a year.
If getting a PSU, should I go for the corsair build series 500w or 600w to keep me floating untill better budget is better, or should i get a TX750w that i can use for many years ahead?

Come to think of it, a 2500k should be plenty for gaming for quite a while with the OC'ability. So betting on the Z68 might not be so bad.
And if I can afford it, buying expensive now is cheaper than buying cheap now and expensive later.

It will probably end up:
i3 2100
ASRock Extreme3 Gen3
Corsair TX750M (the M version is not that much more, looks nicer, and is partially modular)
G.Skill 8GB DDR3 1600MHz (2x4)

In total, that is about 50% over my initial budget, But the motherboard and PSU will last at least twice as long before they need replacing i think.
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 5, 2011 2:25:48 PM

koogco said:

And if I can afford it, buying expensive now is cheaper than buying cheap now and expensive later.


My thoughts exactly. I can never see the point in buying cheap now, only to buy more expensive later, when you could have just gone with expensive from the start and saved any money loss at all.


koogco said:


It will probably end up:
i3 2100
ASRock Extreme3 Gen3
Corsair TX750M (the M version is not that much more, looks nicer, and is partially modular)
G.Skill 8GB DDR3 1600MHz (2x4)



Solid build here to be honest. i3-2100 is going to give some nice performance and you have a perfect build set up ready to make the switch to IvyBridge next year if your budget allows it.
October 5, 2011 5:45:57 PM

Ivy will be on the 2011 socket though? I will probably stretch the sandy somewhat with an overclocked 2500k for a while, but time will tell.
Thanks for your help (while I try to find the "best answer" button)
a b B Homebuilt system
October 5, 2011 6:04:47 PM

No no IvyBridge will have a Socket 1155 range as well.
!