Help upgrading my home build.

Hello everyone, I could really use some help here.

My current build is based off of a Dell Dimension C521 with the AMD 64 (single core) processor.
I have a GTS 450 1GB GDDR5 (low profile) graphics card.
RAM consists of 4 1GB Kingston.
My power supply is a Thermaltake TR2 430W
Everything else came factory. 250GB Hard-drive, Disk drive, etc.

Basically what I'm looking to do is upgrade my CPU. To do that I'm pretty sure I'll need an entirely new motherboard.

Is there a good motherboard/CPU combo (preferably a core i5 or something) under 300$? I'm willing to pay more but I would rather not. Also everything needs to be compatible with the things I have now, which seems to be a problem for me.

I'll (most likely) install Windows 7 once I buy them, I'm not too worried about losing data. Then again if something happens I might just use the XP disc that came with the system.

Any and all help is appreciated.
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  1. Hi there! Welcome to the forums.

    Hmm, sound easy enough. Your CPU is definitely a bottleneck.
    First off, what do you want out of the upgrade? Do you want the best, CPU you can buy? Do you want something to match the rest of the system?

    Without knowing, I'll suggest something middle of the pack.
    CPU: i3-2100 Dual Core (With Hyper Threading) $125
    Motherboard: Asrock Z68M Micro ATX Mobo $85+7 shipping
    RAM: Patriot 1600MHz 2x4GB $41

    That should take care of ya ;) I assume your system is MicroATX, no?
  2. I definitely don't want the best CPU you can buy because I don't have that kind of price range.

    What you've suggest would seem to work well. The only problem I see is having to buy 2 new RAM sticks when I've already got 4GB's of it.

    I really like the the Intel CPU's but don't you think a dual core will be outdated soon? I'm looking for a quad core but my price range might not let that happen.

    Also, I'm about 90% sure my mobo is microATX.
  3. If you want a quad, you can step up to the i5-2400 for $190: That said, the i3-2100 is FAR from outdated: As you can see, Tom's concluded it was second only to the i5's in performance.,3120-10.html

    The RAM you have now is DDR2, which is severely outdated and not compatible with any of the current processors. DDR3 RAM is cheap! If you want, I can find some 4GB stuff instead of 8GB.
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