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Upgrade advice on a budget/ craigslist question.

Last response: in Systems
November 5, 2011 6:09:46 PM

So I am currently on an old Dell inspiron 530, that I have upgraded about as far as there is a point doing:

An old C2D E4600 @ 2.40GHz
8gigs of ram
Radeon HD 5770 1gb
Upgraded power supply
windows 7 64 bit

Anyway, clearly the C2D is my bottleneck. I can play any current game, but generally not on really high settings due to the dual core.

I can't overclock or install a quad core due to Dell's retarded motherboard.

Anyway, with Skyrim coming out, I would love to play it on pretty high settings at 1920 x 1080.

But I have a strict budget. I'm getting married, and so my fiance will probably freak out if I spend more than $400.

I was wondering how cheap I could put something together that would be a quad core, and upgradeable later when I get more funds.

Basically I DONT need:
video card (ill keep my 5770 for now), monitor, mouse & keyboard, speakers

I need:
pretty much everything else including case, except maybe a power supply if my 430w power supply would work for now.

I noticed this deal on my local craigslist:

I was hoping to maybe talk him down on the price and throw out his old graphics card.

Is this a good bet for my money, or should I buy new stuff and build my own?

Really any advice is appreciated.
November 5, 2011 11:50:32 PM

at 1920 x 1080 the 5770 is also the reason you cant play on high image settings . $500 graphics cards cant max out BF3 on ultra settings .

You could spend less than $400 on an
Intel i5 2400 ~ $180
H61 mb ~ $70
2 x4 gig of RAM ~ $50

and have a better system that uses less power

If the dell case is an ATX case then everything should fit .
You will also need a copy of Win 7 64 bit to get the best from it . That cost $100
November 6, 2011 4:54:48 PM

Well, I'm really just hoping for Skyrim, I have no interest in BF3.

I also have a 1680x1050 monitor if I need to drop the resolution a bit.

Anyway, I like your advice except for 2 things:

1) I'm pretty sure there is no chance of reusing the Dell case. It would probably involve modifying the back of it physically, so I'm pretty sure I need a new case

2) I'm not too thrilled with the H61 mobo from what I see. Would there perhaps be an AMD route that would give me a better mobo, with a decent CPU that would also be more possible to upgrade in the future?

Also, I believe I have a copy of Win 7 64 bit someone gave me with a PC I bought on craigslist awhile back. Come to think of it, I'm not sure it's a legit copy but whatever.
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November 6, 2011 5:08:00 PM

Theoretically you will have problems activating an OEM version of windows on two sets of hardware . But its worth a shot if its a 64 bit version . If its not then you probably need one anyway .

I agree with you about H61 motherboards . They are very lightweight. But they do work and they are very cheap . Ideally a mb with a Z68 chipset . Full ATX models that cant crossfire or SLI sell for as little as $120 .

A good gaming case like the Antec 300 is around $60 , and there are many other options under $50 that compromise a bit on quality .

IMO always play at the monitors native resolution even if it means turning down image details in the game settings . If you just reduce the resolution the monitor has to adjust the image to fit the screen and thats a worse option.
November 6, 2011 11:38:54 PM

Yeah, I'm starting to think I'll wait at least until Skyrim actually comes out to see how it actually performs on my system. If it works well enough I could save up more money to make my new build a little more potent.

And as far as always playing at the monitor's native resolution, I totally agree. I have two different monitors, one 1920x1080, and the other 1680x1050. When my computer struggles at 1920x1080, I actually switch monitors so I can still play at native resolution lol. I can't stand playing at non native resolution.

Anyway, thanks for the help, but I think if I wait until after my wedding (and maybe cut down some of our catering plans lol) I will be able to build something a little better.