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Build fresh, or upgrade a little at a time?

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December 12, 2011 2:27:36 AM

Hello, I'm starting to transition more into PC gaming from console gaming and my current PC just isn't going to cut it. My current specs are:

Biostar A880G+ Micro ATX AM3 mobo
AMD Athlon II x2 3.2GHz cpu
nVidia GeForce GT430 Fermi
2GB Rendition by Crucial RAM
ePower 550W PSU
an old 320GB HD I pulled from an old Dell Inspiron 531s
APEX TX-381-C Micro ATX case

So as you can see I'm not going to have a very enjoyable time playing some of the new games that are available so I decided it's time to upgrade. However I'm a college student with a part time job making about 200 dollars a week so I don't have a massive budget. If I buy everything at once my budget is going to be 900-1000 dollars but if I upgrade a part at a time I could justify spending closer to 1200. I don't know where to start with upgrading though and what I can upgrade based off of my current system.

I've picked out a few parts that I would buy to just build a new system they are:

AMD Phenom II x4 975
Radeon HD 6870 2GB
GSkill Ripjaw X series 8GB (2x4) RAM
Antec Neo Eco 620W PSU
GIGABYTE GA-970A-D3 AM3+ ATX mobo
WD 250GB 7200RPM SATA 6.0GB/s HD
NXT M59 mid ATX tower
Rosewill PCI wireless adapter
Samsung Blu-Ray reader CD/DVD reader/writer

and since I need an actual monitor instead of my LCD TV: ASUS VE294H 24" LED LCD

All of that totals about 910 after shipping and rebates. Which isn't that bad of a price but I had originally set my budget at 700 until I realized that just wasn't going to work ;) . For some reason I feel like spending all that up front is worse than spending a little more over time so I would prefer to do it a little at a time but I don't know what I can upgrade first and what order I should upgrade the parts in. I would probably bump up to a 500GB-1TB HD and maybe a bit better GPU, mobo, and case if I went the upgrade route and spend a little more.

So based off my current hardware would I be better off just buying everything at once or buying a little at a time even if it's only in 2 or 3 different orders. If I can easily upgrade a few parts at a time what should I upgrade first, second, third, etc. And most importantly will the parts I have picked out even work well together? I'm a computer science student but I know very little about hardware since I put my focus on programming.

If anyone can help me out here I'll greatly appreciate it.

I think that would make for a pretty good gaming PC that will play current games very well for about a year or so. I do wish I could get a bigger HD and maybe a better GPU and nicer case

edit: If you think I'm better off buying it all at once do you see any areas where I could save a few bucks with minimal performance loss?

More about : build fresh upgrade time

a b B Homebuilt system
December 12, 2011 11:55:42 AM

Buy it all at once so you can test everything together; you may want to sell off your old system first to raise funds. You only have 30 days to return most items to a vender, and even less for the cpu.
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December 12, 2011 12:44:27 PM

Shavako said:
I've picked out a few parts that I would buy to just build a new system they are:

AMD Phenom II x4 975




Well this one based on pricing I would highly suggest taking a look at a Intel i5-2400. That will be pretty close in price to your 975 but will crush it in performance.



Shavako said:
Radeon HD 6870 2GB




Good choice for that price point. Just remember for gaming you want to buy as powerful of a video card as you can. If you are stuck on Radeon than look at the
HD 6950 as another possibility.



Shavako said:
So based off my current hardware would I be better off just buying everything at once or buying a little at a time even if it's only in 2 or 3 different orders. If I can easily upgrade a few parts at a time what should I upgrade first, second, third, etc. And most importantly will the parts I have picked out even work well together? I'm a computer science student but I know very little about hardware since I put my focus on programming.




As the other poster stated you can have limited return times on components so don't buy anything that is just going to sit in a box until you can get around to buying the rest.



Shavako said:
I think that would make for a pretty good gaming PC that will play current games very well for about a year or so. I do wish I could get a bigger HD and maybe a better GPU and nicer case




I would be sweating the GPU alot sooner than I would hard drive size or the case. As long as the case does a good job of moving hot air outside then it is good enough.
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a b B Homebuilt system
December 12, 2011 12:46:43 PM

Get the X4 955; you don't need a new mobo. Use that money for the 6950.
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December 12, 2011 5:56:56 PM

FinneousPJ said:
Get the X4 955; you don't need a new mobo. Use that money for the 6950.


Agreed. And keep the HDD - with current prices there's no hurry to upgrade that.
Also, upgrade the RAM to 8gb now, that will last years and at current prices it makes sense.
Save mobo upgrade until you buy new case. No point taking it out, putting new one in then doing it again for new case.
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Best solution

a b B Homebuilt system
December 12, 2011 6:45:45 PM

Many retailers will let you charge the whole thing and pay it back within a certain time at no interest if the amount is above a certain minimum. I recently did that with the desktop I built my wife---more than $500 for 1 year, I think it was. I'm paying 200 a month to knock it out, but I could be paying 100 and still pay no interest. I'm not naming the company so I don't seem like an advertiser, but it has to do with ova novae, college boy.
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December 12, 2011 10:21:32 PM

Thank you guys for the replies, I'm still debating this mainly because I know I'll be willing to spend a lot more on my system if I buy it in small groups. However a friend of mine said he'd probably buy my PC for a $100 sometime this month but that's not a reliable sell lol. Plus if I sell it soon I'm going to be without a PC (other than my laptop) for a month or so.

I figured I could start with some of the smaller things such as RAM, HD, optical drive, wireless adapter. Then maybe buy the rest at once. I have pretty much decided to go with the Intel CPU though because I've heard it is well worth the extra $50 or so. I'm definitely going with either the 6950 or the 6970 though.

I would really like to know the retailer you went through Petrofsky, I think I might know what your clue means but I'm not sure. Is ova novae by chance latin? If so how can I get set up with the payment system through this retailer?
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a b B Homebuilt system
December 12, 2011 10:26:16 PM

They answer the phone with human beings over there, especially when you want to spend money.
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December 12, 2011 11:15:11 PM

Easy enough, I will probably go that route. I don't know why but I find it easier on the wallet to spend $1200 in $200 monthly payments than to spend $900 all at once. Thanks for that info though; I wouldn't have known they will allow you to do that.
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December 13, 2011 9:15:00 AM

Best answer selected by Shavako.
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