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Last response: in Systems
April 4, 2012 12:27:18 AM

Looking to upgrade my outdated PC. I use it mostly to play Arma II. It's an HP from 2010.
Budget: $350 with shipping and w/o Rebates

Video Card, Case, Motherboard, Power Supply



Specs:
CPU: Athlon II x4 @3.0GHz
Motherboard: Generic HP
GPU: Intregrated HD Radeon 4200
PSU: 250w
HDD: Seagate 1TB Spinpoint F3

Upgrades that I've been looking at:

Case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... <Zalman Z9 50$

I don't want any case that costs over $50 with shipping, and this looks decent for the price.

PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... < ModXtreme 600w 75$

Seems like a great PSU that can Xfire in the future

GPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... <HIS 7770 140$

Xfire in the future, to get amazing performance at a good price point, plus it's a decent single gpu solution until i get the extra money for the second card.

Motherboard: I have no clue. I'm considering this one:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... <MSI 970A-G46 90$

I want this because the second slot is x8, but there are cheaper motherboards with x4... Will a second 7770 lose performance with a x4, if so how much performance.

Thanks for the feedback! ;) 


P.S. Next upgrade is new CPU w/ second 7770 ;) 

More about : upgrade

a c 541 V Motherboard
a b B Homebuilt system
April 4, 2012 12:43:47 AM

Two thoughts:

1) If there is a CPU upgrade in the near future, then scrap the motherboard upgrade now. The motherboard, CPU and RAM should always be purchased together.

2) If you want to go Crossfire/SLI, purchase both cards at the same time. Often, people think they'll purchase the second card pretty soon only to find out a) a better single card solution has been released or b) their specific model graphics card is no longer available.

My recommendation is to scrap the motherboard upgrade for now and put that money towards a better graphics card.

-Wolf sends
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April 4, 2012 1:01:22 AM

Understood, I won't be buying a new cpu for a good 12-18 months. I plan on buying the 7770 as soon as the prices drop/I save up the money(probably about 2 months). Since I won't be upgrading the cpu very soon, what do you suggest for the mobo, because i really don't trust my current one. However if you think it will do fine I'll put the extra $$ to a 560 Ti or something.
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April 4, 2012 1:08:12 AM

I agree with wolfshadw about the motherboard upgrade: don't get one until you get a new processor. That processor is plenty for a ~120-180$ graphics card anyway.

You are not going to be able to sli/xfire in the future well with a psu that is only 600w. My very best reccomendation for sli/xfire with ~120-180 dollar cards would be the corsair tx750, but I know it is pricy. Look up some psu guides on google for suggestions on brand and wattage.

The case you chose looks very good for the price.

I would NOT reccomend the HD 7770. Instead take a look at the Nvidia GTX 460 (~120 dollars on Newegg with rebait), or the HD 6850 (~130 dollars on Newegg with rebait). Both cards will beat the 7770 handily. Also consider the HD 6870 (~160 dollars on Newegg with rebait). Don't get the 7770 unless you can find it for 95$ or less, because that is about how much it is worth.

If you post a question here, I (or others) will try to answer quickly. Good luck :) 
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April 4, 2012 1:14:50 AM

pjl21 said:
Understood, I won't be buying a new cpu for a good 12-18 months. I plan on buying the 7770 as soon as the prices drop/I save up the money(probably about 2 months). Since I won't be upgrading the cpu very soon, what do you suggest for the mobo, because i really don't trust my current one. However if you think it will do fine I'll put the extra $$ to a 560 Ti or something.


That depends on what your current motherboard is, if it has problems, etc. If you do decide to get a new one, the one you already chose looks good.
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a c 541 V Motherboard
a b B Homebuilt system
April 4, 2012 1:17:20 AM

Your current motherboard should be fine. I wouldn't worry about that. Your budget for a new motherboard and GPU was $230. Put that towards a single GPU*.

-Wolf sends

*Note: I did notice you didn't mention how much RAM was installed in the system. If it's anything less than 3GB, move part of your graphics card budget to getting at least 4GB of RAM.
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April 4, 2012 1:20:47 AM

Thanks. Well what's your opinion on HP mobo's? It hasn't failed me yet, but HP is a little shaky when it comes to aftermarket PC upgrades. Idk. Shed some light please, thanks for the fast replies too.
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Best solution

a c 541 V Motherboard
a b B Homebuilt system
April 4, 2012 2:02:51 AM

Having never owned an HP motherboard, I can't very well comment from personal experience. Given that it's a mass-produced board/computer system, I would expect that some functionality has been stripped out to save on costs, but nothing that only the most experienced tinkerer would utilize.

I would certainly check the specifications of your system to make sure you can upgrade it the way you want. About the only FUBAR move I've see, recently, were motherboards that only supported 25watts over the PCI-Ex16 slot (as opposed to the standard 75watts).

-Wolf sends
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April 4, 2012 8:19:44 PM

Best answer selected by pjl21.
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