What are my options? 350$ upg.

With the release of Skyrim and the coming of Star Wars: The old republic i'm looking to upgrade my system but i have an outdated motherboard.
I've always thought of my system as pretty solid. Except for the GPU, the system dates back to December 2007/January 2008.

Cabinet: Antec Performance One P183
Motherboard: P35 Neo2 (Socket: 775 for, Core 2 Duo/Quad. DDR2 support)
CPU: Core2duo E8400 (45 nm, 1333 MHz, currently 3.4ghz).
GPU: MSI R5770 Hawk (stock, minor OC)
RAM: 2x1GB Crucial DDR2 BallistiX PC8500 CL5 (hopeless!).
Power Supply: Corsair HX520
OS: Windows 7 64-bit

High-end cabinet with very decent cooling components for CPU (huge heatsink, probably take it to 4ghz) and GPU should support some heavy overclocking on both units.
What are my options?
My motherboard restricts me to DDR2 memory which is twice as expensive as DDR3. Going from 2x1 to 2x2 gb is going to cost me 60$ alone but 4gb is essential if i want to run skyrim/swtor at all.
Changing my motherboard will future-proof my build + 8gb ddr3 will cost the same as 4gb ddr2 - but i don't think i have the money for such a revamp of my PC.
A simple solution would be ram (from 2gb to 4gb ddr2) + a new GPU but in that case, will i see a bottleneck in my E8400?

I've got 250$ to deal with or 350$ if i sell my GPU.

Last scenario would be to just spend 60$ on 4gb of ram. I guess it will handle Skyrim fairly well as it is.


Best regards.
4 answers Last reply
More about what options
  1. Hey! Thank you for the reply.

    The E8400 is indeed a solid gaming chip even with todays CPU's (it's 3.8 years old technology).
    It's a good option but my budget is 250$ if i'm not changing my GPU so that's 50$ above my budget limit. It's quite a dilemma really.

    I was considering just switching my HD 5770 with a Nvidia 560 which goes for around 240$ + 60$ 4gb ram. That's 300$. Will it yield better performance than you proposal? There's also the option of a Nvidia 570 at 340$ but then i'm still stuck with 2gb ram :/

    But that will leave me with a system that, if i upgrade it later on, is going to cost me a lot of money (mobo, cpu, possibly power supply? and new ram).

    Thank you once again.
  2. Seriously just go out there and get yourself a 560ti and another 2 Gb of ram, it will allow you to play all the new titles and you wont have to upgrade your whole system on the budget you are on. Its the cheapest and best upgrade for you right now.
    Later on when you have the cash you can do a complete upgrade and use the 560ti again.
    I'm running a E8500 with 560ti SLI , no problems here I can say, as long as your E8400 is overclocked you will be fine.
  3. Yes i thought that would be the easiest solution too.

    Anything exciting on the GPU scene q1 2012? I could overclock the crap out of my 5770 and probably get a good gaming experience in Skyrim..

    Maybe i can find a cheap used 5770 card, think they sell for around 100$. Would a crossfire setup be viable? Though, my GPU is a slightly modified version of the 5770. I know little of crossfire setups. And will i need some extra hardware?
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