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Need Advice in what to change. 150-200USD budget

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November 22, 2011 3:46:21 PM

Hi everybody!

Well, as the tittle says I need an advice with what should I start changing and upgrading in my PC.

Its a Desktop that my father in law helped me to build a couple months ago. Now I got some dollars extra, so I want to change something to get better overall performance. Also I play recent games! By now I´m comfortable playing WoW, Shift2, Hot Pursuit and MoH and other games.

Mostly I play them in Mid-High Quality and Low-Mid Resolution... 1600x1200 at max. In regular with 35-50 FPS

So my father in law built this pc for me:

Mobo ASRock N68C-S UCC

Processor Athlon II x2 260 3.2Ghz (with the bios of ASRock easily I could made a small and stable overclock of 3.5)

Memory Ram Kingston DDR3 1333mhz 4gb x 1 ( I has 4 slots, 2 for DDR2 and 2 for DDR3)

GPU XFX ATI Radeon HD 6570 1GB DDR3 PCI-e 2.1

Storage is 1TB HDD but I forget its manufacturer and details.

My LCD is Acer AL1716 from 2008 lol !

Power supplys its a Generic 500W PSU.



My question are aimed to whats prior to change to get a nice buff of performance :


The Mobo only has a PCI-e x16 slot, supports up to Phenom x6, but also just have a maximun of 8GB DDR3 ram. Changing it would be the best option for one with more slots to upgrade, and an more recent architecture that supports new stuff like a PCI-E 3.0 slot ?

The processor its the Athlon x2 260, a good one, but if I get Phenom x4.. Is that a "huge" improvement?

The generic power supply, its ok with it?

Ram, just adding another 4GB DDR3 Ram will be suficent?

My GPU its pretty new, I think that it can stay with me for some months more...

The Case, I have a regular and a very simply case... If the improvements that I could have at hand are not that big I can buy a sexy and cool case with leds and stuff...

And to finish this wall text that I hope that someone reads

I will really appreciate any help, advice and opinion...
November 22, 2011 4:31:16 PM

upgrading your ram would give little more performance. if your are using a 32 bit OS you wont even be able to see the xtra ram.
i vote for processor as it will make general computing much faster and will provide a small boost to games. you can get a Phenom II x4 955 for $125. save the remaining $80 you have left and get a radeon 6770 for $110, once you get that xtra $30 or so
normally i recommend graphic upgrades but your held back with that processor.
500watts is enough for what i recommended.
newegg.com is a great place to buy from. wait till black friday to buy. as there may be great deals on those items or similar.

Best solution

a b B Homebuilt system
November 22, 2011 4:44:16 PM
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Ok, the bad news is that your mobo is old tech that will limit the full extent of some upgrades (e.g. by only offering 2000 MT/s instead of the more common 5200 MT/s).
The good news is that you can still make some meaningful improvements with your $200 budget.
First, are you sure your mobo supports the use of BOTH memory types at the same time? If you have 2x1GB DDR2 sticks and 2x1GB DDR3 sticks installed, how much RAM does Windows see?
Generic PSUs tend to be "firecrackers with uncertain fuses," as another member has observed. At best, they're overrated and inefficient. At worst, in addition they are missing protection circuits and are built so cheaply that they can fail at any time for no obvious reason, and they will often take other parts with them into the fiery abyss. Your system uses so little power now that the overrating and inefficiency may not matter, but if a simple power glitch comes along, it may light up that cheap PSU like a Christmas tree.
The first thing you should do, for $50 shipped, is replace the PSU with this 380W Antec Earthwatts: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
This leaves $150. Get a HD6850 for $152 shipped but with a $15 MIR; it also includes a free game: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I think these changes will make a notable difference in games, and are probably your best use of funds right now. If you're only seeing 2GB of RAM in Windows, you can get a $30 2x2GB kit. To pay for it, you could drop the GPU back to a HD6790 and still see a big difference over the HD6570 you have now.

Edit: Just saw that RAM is cheaper than I thought; here's a G.Skill kit for $21 shipped: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

While I agree with farrengottu that a CPU improvement would also be visible, I don't think it will be as visible in games, and should probably wait until you have upgraded your mobo. If lowering your resolution and settings is required to play games, that points to the GPU as your current bottleneck, and the first thing to improve.
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November 22, 2011 4:58:24 PM

Onus said:
Ok, the bad news is that your mobo is old tech that will limit the full extent of some upgrades (e.g. by only offering 2000 MT/s instead of the more common 5200 MT/s).
The good news is that you can still make some meaningful improvements with your $200 budget.
First, are you sure your mobo supports the use of BOTH memory types at the same time? If you have 2x1GB DDR2 sticks and 2x1GB DDR3 sticks installed, how much RAM does Windows see?
Generic PSUs tend to be "firecrackers with uncertain fuses," as another member has observed. At best, they're overrated and inefficient. At worst, in addition they are missing protection circuits and are built so cheaply that they can fail at any time for no obvious reason, and they will often take other parts with them into the fiery abyss. Your system uses so little power now that the overrating and inefficiency may not matter, but if a simple power glitch comes along, it may light up that cheap PSU like a Christmas tree.
The first thing you should do, for $50 shipped, is replace the PSU with this 380W Antec Earthwatts: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
This leaves $150. Get a HD6850 for $152 shipped but with a $15 MIR; it also includes a free game: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I think these changes will make a notable difference in games, and are probably your best use of funds right now. If you're only seeing 2GB of RAM in Windows, you can get a $30 2x2GB kit. To pay for it, you could drop the GPU back to a HD6790 and still see a big difference over the HD6570 you have now.



Ok you just tell me something that scary me a little... In my country, Venezuela its a really warm place since its caribean. I guess that now my priority is change the PSU. I usually travel to US and I buy almost everything there, Im going to buy your recomended PSU. I really apreciate your call.

And to clarify, my mobo dont support both at the same time. I mean that if put a DDR2 with my actual DDR3 memory the system dont even start. I have to stick into on of them, and now I have DDR3..

Also by now I have Win XP SP3 32bit, that my fahter in law gave me, but I really want to change it for Win7 32bit as soon as I can be able to buy it.

Edit: I see in my windows 3.5GB ram.
Thanks!
a b B Homebuilt system
November 22, 2011 5:12:52 PM

A 32bit OS will see typically 3GB-3.2GB; the rest of the memory space is occupied by devices like the graphics card.
If you don't have time to order from Newegg while you're in the US, see if you are near a MicroCenter. In addition to their cheaper junk (e.g. Dynex and Rocketfish), Best Buy also typically has Antec and Corsair PSUs, although you'll pay a good bit more for them. The Corsair Builder series is also a decent budget choice. Coolermaster is not. A quality modern PSU has full range active PFC (no little voltage switch) and some level of 80+ certification for efficiency. Seasonic, Antec, Corsair, XFX, and Enermax/LEPA are among the better brands.
November 22, 2011 6:46:49 PM

Onus said:
A 32bit OS will see typically 3GB-3.2GB; the rest of the memory space is occupied by devices like the graphics card.
If you don't have time to order from Newegg while you're in the US, see if you are near a MicroCenter. In addition to their cheaper junk (e.g. Dynex and Rocketfish), Best Buy also typically has Antec and Corsair PSUs, although you'll pay a good bit more for them. The Corsair Builder series is also a decent budget choice. Coolermaster is not. A quality modern PSU has full range active PFC (no little voltage switch) and some level of 80+ certification for efficiency. Seasonic, Antec, Corsair, XFX, and Enermax/LEPA are among the better brands.



Aahm, I got a question here... if I upgrade my Win Xp SP3 32bit, for Win7 32bit still will show only 3.5GB ram? so the only way increase it is by getting a 64bit OS?

a b B Homebuilt system
November 22, 2011 9:31:58 PM

That is correct. Any 32bit version of Windows is limited to 4GB total address space, some of which is used by connected devices like the video card.
December 2, 2011 11:10:29 PM

Best answer selected by HoracioPz.
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