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Looking for Input Regarding Hardware Upgrades

Last response: in Systems
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January 17, 2012 10:11:21 PM

Hi everyone, I'm a first time poster here. I'm looking for some constructive criticism regarding some hardware upgrade choices on a dated system (about 6 years old).

The following are the current system specs:

Motherboard: M2N-SLI Deluxe
CPU: AMD Athlon 64 x2 6400+
RAM: 4 GB Crucial 400 Mhz (2 x 2 GB)
Video Card: GeForce 8800 GTX
Power Supply: 500 Watts (can't recall the specifics, but I doubt it will handle my upgrades)

I'm on a budget of about $350. I think that if I replace the video card I will see almost no improvement because it's already being bottlenecked by the rest of the system, so I would like to replace the other components first and then determine whether or not I want to pay for a new video card. I want to upgrade the Motherboard, CPU, Power Supply, and possibly the RAM if my budget permits (if not now, then I will eventually).


Here are my AMD choices based on my budget:

Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-990XA-UD3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU: AMD FX-4100 3.6 Ghz (Quad Core)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: 4 GB PNY 1600 Mhz (2 x 2 GB)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power Supply: Raidmax Hybrid 630 Watts
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


and here are my Intel choices based on my budget (same Power Supply and RAM):

Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-P67X-UD3-B3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU: Intel Core i3-2120 3.3GHz (Dual Core)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: 4 GB PNY 1600 Mhz (2 x 2 GB)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power Supply: Raidmax Hybrid 630 Watts
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


EDIT: Links should be fixed now.
a b B Homebuilt system
a c 78 ) Power supply
January 17, 2012 10:27:45 PM

None of your links work! Not that I like AMD over Intel but the Intel cpu that you have listed is a duoal core and that is what you have now only older and the AMD you listed is a Quad core. The quad core is better for gameing boy AMD in not as good as Intel's Sandy Bridge for gameing. So at this point I would have to go with the AMD selecton. The Raidmax for a psu is nsturally a low priced selection because of your budget but for $50I think that you are takeing a chance that it will not be very good.
a b B Homebuilt system
a b ) Power supply
January 17, 2012 10:37:16 PM

Go with the Intel build, but change the CPU to i3-2100. Saves a few bucks as there is no real gaming advantage to the 2120. These are only dual core, but act like a quad due to mutlithreading.

Nix the Raidmax power supply and go with a quality 80 plus or Bronze certified from Antec, Corsair, Seasonic, Silverstone, or XFX. For a single card, 650 watts will be plenty. It is overkill for now, but will save you from upgrading in the future should you get a more powerful card.

I would also save a few bucks and go with DDR3 1333 ram. There are some good deals on Gskill right now. Good stuff and works well with Gigabyte. PNY 1333 will also work.
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January 18, 2012 4:13:32 PM

I think I'm going to go with the Intel build. I have made a few changes to the original:

Motherboard: GA-P67X-UD3-B3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU: Intel i3-2100 3.1 Ghz
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: 4 GB G.Skill DDR3 1333 Mhz (2 x 2 GB)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power Supply: Corsair Builder Series CX600
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
a b B Homebuilt system
a c 78 ) Power supply
January 18, 2012 4:27:22 PM

Looking better and it's good to see that you switched to a Corsair psu , what are you using for a video card.
January 18, 2012 4:50:30 PM

I'm not gonna be able to upgrade my video card right now. I'm just gonna be using my existing one which is a GeForce 8800 GTX. Do you think that card will bottleneck the upgraded system or is that card a decent match for the upgraded system performance-wise?
January 18, 2012 4:55:06 PM

The card will then be the weakest part, but it should be ok to be able to play most games, just not with high settings. I was using a 9500gt until just a week or so ago, and could play almost any game around, with nearly the same setup you were using(my processor is a 5600+,the only difference, and ram brand)
Doing the upgrades you proposed will get rid of the major bottlenecks, and you can grab a 6850 or something comparable when you have the money(they run about 140-150 bucks).
a b B Homebuilt system
a c 78 ) Power supply
January 18, 2012 5:58:19 PM

freegem said:
I'm not gonna be able to upgrade my video card right now. I'm just gonna be using my existing one which is a GeForce 8800 GTX. Do you think that card will bottleneck the upgraded system or is that card a decent match for the upgraded system performance-wise?



Well it's definitly not a match performance wise since the video card is several years old now and the updraded parts will be brand new tech. As long as you realize that you will be playing games at lower settings untill you get a new card you will be ok.
a b B Homebuilt system
a c 78 ) Power supply
January 18, 2012 6:04:07 PM

By the time you are ready for a new card AMD may have released more budget models for the 7900 series and the other cards may have dropped in price and you should be able to pick up a good card , like a 6870 or 6950. Depending on your budget and the current prices.
January 19, 2012 12:55:42 AM

Quote:
I think I'm going to go with the Intel build. I have made a few changes to the original:

Motherboard: GA-P67X-UD3-B3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU: Intel i3-2100 3.1 Ghz
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: 4 GB G.Skill DDR3 1333 Mhz (2 x 2 GB)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power Supply: Corsair Builder Series CX600
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



I ended up going with the above build which I posted recently. My only concern lies with the Power Supply, but after the promotional code and mail-in rebate I'm only paying $38 for it so I think it's a great deal for my situation. I'll post back with the results after I put this build together around January 31
January 19, 2012 1:35:02 AM

Corsair makes pretty good parts all around, and for a cheap power supply, that one looks pretty good.
January 19, 2012 3:39:20 PM

Do you think it would be worth it to buy a second 8800 GTX and run them in SLI with these new components or would I not see much of a performance boost from that? I only ask because I know I could get one pretty cheap
a b B Homebuilt system
a c 78 ) Power supply
January 19, 2012 6:06:10 PM

If you can get one pretty cheap then it might be worth getting the extra performance , if you were getting a 2500k and top motherboard and 8gb of ram I would say no but since you are going with low budget then yes the second 880 would be good.
January 26, 2012 4:23:04 PM

Would it be best to reformat the hard drive before or after installing the new hardware?
!