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Upgrading my current pc to play modern games under $300?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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September 10, 2011 4:45:21 PM

I currently have an older computer I built ( e3400 Intel wolfdale cpu, Asus p5641-mlx2/gb ) with 2gb's of 667 ddr2 ram). Now obviously this isn't a gaming machine, but I would like play some of the newer games. MY budget is $300, I was looking on newegg and I was able to get an a8-3850, 8 gb's of 1600 ddr3 ram, and a fairly cheap motherboard under $300. I'm not a fanatic gamer, I have a ps3 and am pretty happy with the graphics on it. The questions I have are: how well will this system perform? Would my $300 be better used somewhere else? I've seen people playing with the a-3850 online and it seems to do okay, the only thing I'm not sure on is on the future, I know a motherboard like the AM3+ will be supported for awhile but I'm not sure on the FM1(I understand neither of these are compatible with my current CPU). Please read what I put thanks so much.
a c 106 U Graphics card
September 10, 2011 6:44:51 PM

I don't think that board has too many overclocking options, which is a shame since wolfdale based CPUs overclock very well in general. Normally I would say just get a video card, 4GB of 1066 RAM, and a good cooler to overclock that CPU and be good to go. Ah well, the price of saving a few bucks.

I think you would be better off getting an AM3+ board, an Athlon X3 and after market cooler to overclock it, the RAM, and a Radeon 5670.

AMD Athlon II X3 445 $74.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASRock 880G PRO3 AM3+ $89.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR XMS3 8GB (2 x 4GB) $49.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAPPHIRE 100287VGAL Radeon HD 5670 (Redwood) 512MB 128-bit DDR5 $69.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Sunbeam CR-CCTF 120 mm Core-Contact Freezer $24.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

For a nice total of $309.95. With the AM3+ board you can upgrade to bulldozer latter on. You could of course save money by going with a cheaper AM3 board now (that overclocks well of course) but then you won't be able to upgrade to bulldozer latter. Also, if you're only going to do a mild overclock you can stick with the stock cooler assuming your case has decent air flow.
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a c 214 U Graphics card
September 10, 2011 6:50:59 PM

What GPU are you using now?
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September 10, 2011 7:12:20 PM

I only have integrated gpu at the moment.
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a c 214 U Graphics card
September 10, 2011 7:53:59 PM

Well if you don't game that much then maybe it would be cheaper to just O.C. your CPU and get a GPU.A GTX550ti or a 6770 would be a huge improvement,any graphical expansion card would be an improvement over the integrated GPU.The budget seems more flexible if you just upgrade from your current platform.Some more RAM and maybe a Core2Duo and that should be plenty for you.
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September 10, 2011 8:03:02 PM

The PCIe slot on my motherboard is only x16 1.0 would that be a problem?
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September 10, 2011 8:21:09 PM

What do you guys think of this idea: Keep the same

CPU upgrade the motherboard to this

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... which supports ddr3 ram and x16 2.0 $80

8gb of1600mhz ddr3 ram $50 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And blow the rest on the video card Radeon 6850
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total with shipping $296.56

I figure down the road, I can just build a nicer PC and pull the video card out, and use this pc as media center for my living room
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Best solution

a c 214 U Graphics card
September 10, 2011 8:49:16 PM

You'll probably need a PSU as well.And you will need to O.C. your CPU to not bottleneck the 6850 and is the same for the GTX550ti or the 6770.

I suggest you get more DDR2 RAM.Max it out to 4GB total.Get a new PSU,GPU and an aftermarket cooler so you can O.C.

PSU=$45+ Free Shipping

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM=$26+ Free Shipping

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Heatsink=$30 + Free Shipping

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU=$140=$125 after MIR + $4 Shipping

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Comes out to $241.You can spend the extra towards the GPU if you want.What i'm trying to build here is just a temp PC until you have the money.But if you are just an average gamer this should last you a long time.


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September 10, 2011 8:58:25 PM

Best answer selected by mrcheap.
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September 10, 2011 9:01:22 PM

purple stank said:
You'll probably need a PSU as well.And you will need to O.C. your CPU to not bottleneck the 6850 and is the same for the GTX550ti or the 6770.

I suggest you get more DDR2 RAM.Max it out to 4GB total.Get a new PSU,GPU and an aftermarket cooler so you can O.C.

PSU=$45+ Free Shipping

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM=$26+ Free Shipping

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Heatsink=$30 + Free Shipping

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU=$140=$125 after MIR + $4 Shipping

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Comes out to $241.You can spend the extra towards the GPU if you want.What i'm trying to build here is just a temp PC until you have the money.But if you are just an average gamer this should last you a long time.


Thanks so much for the help really I appreciate it.
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a c 214 U Graphics card
September 10, 2011 9:01:49 PM

Don't forget to O.C. your CPU.You will be bottlenecking the either GPU anyway.

Your Welcome.
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September 11, 2011 3:21:59 PM

I went to Microcenter and they had some great deals heres what I ended up with:


XFX 6770 1gb ddr5 $119.(with $30 Mail rebate)

Phenom X2 560 Black edition $88

Power connector for video card $5

Gigabyte GA-78LMT-S2P AM3+ $10 (It was a special with the Phenom)

4gb 1333mhz ram $20

Total=261.83 with taxes

I installed Deus Ex human revolution and it is running at 1080p pretty much everything maxed and it looks incredible!!!!

I currently have a 450w PSU you think that's something I should upgrade in the future I believe the brand it Raidmax. I have overclocked anything yet. Thanks again.
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a c 214 U Graphics card
September 11, 2011 9:27:03 PM

Raidmax isn't the best quality of PSU so you should upgrade ASAP.

Everything else looks good.
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