Upgrade advice on a budget/ craigslist question.

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: http://eugene.craigslist.org/sys/2686212608.html

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.
4 answers Last reply
More about upgrade advice budget craigslist question
  1. 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
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
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