[Upgrade]Small (~$200) Gaming PC Upgrade

Approximate Purchase Date: In under two months preferably.

Budget Range: Around, preferably less, $150 (yes, I'm aware this is not much), after rebates is fine.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming (newer titles), Adobe (After Effects, Dreamweaver, Flash, Photoshop), 3d Rendering, Teamspeak 3 (server/client), regular internet web-browsing

Parts Not Required:   My Current Build
PSU: Thermaltake - 750W TR2 RX (I believe)
MOBO: Biostar N68SA-M2S (N68S+)
CPU: AMD Athlon II X2 240
GPU: ATI Radeon HD 5770 - 1GB XFX
RAM: 2x - 1GB Crucial Ballistix 1066Mhz DDR2 Memory (2GB total)
Accessories: Two fans besides the PSU's and CPU's, about 1.6TB in HD Space (Western Digital), so none of these items need to be upgraded. I feel

I feel like I'm forgetting something so if so, please tell me and I'll update it.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: ~ for online stores I'd only like the ones I listed except decently-known ones (e.g. I don't want to buy from some unknown retailer), but for in-store purchases, I live in Michigan, f.y.i., and I'll go anywhere nearby.

Country: United States of America

Parts Preferences: I'd prefer AMD and ATI products to the max. I'm not going to end up buying any Intel or nVidia products. I also prefer against Gigabytye as my previous experiences with them were quite terrible (parts short-circuited entire systems, etc.).

Overclocking: Only if I gain the appropriate cooling supplies, so most likely not.

SLI or Crossfire: If it fits my budget, of course! It'll fit to my case and power supply easily, anyway.

Monitor Resolution: 1280x720

Additional Comments: I do realize this is not much, but I've seen some great deals, so hey, why not? So anyway, I'm looking to upgrade my PC as I'm not able to play very many games, newer, that is, without getting more than, well, it is pretty much unplayable. In fact, they tend to be unplayable.. I know it isn't my hard drive as I've just gotten a new one, so I believe it may be my RAM or CPU, not quite sure.


HyperX blu 8GB DDR3-1333 (PC3-10600) CL9 Dual Channel Desktop Memory Kit (Two 4GB Memory Modules)

Not quite sure about the motherboard as I'd like two PCI Express 2.0 x16 ports, but I didn't look for one as I believe upgrading the RAM may be the best. However, if I upgrade my RAM I will probably need to upgrade the motherboard. Anyway, CPU's.

Phenom II X4 960T Black Edition 3GHz Quad Core Socket AM3 Boxed Processor

Phenom II X6 1045T 2.7GHz Six Core Socket AM3 Boxed Processor

Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition 3.4GHz Boxed Processor

EDIT: New budget around $200.
18 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. i suppose id go with the X6 and ram. ideally you would add a second video card and Xfire it but with only 1 PCI-e... there really isnt much you can do beyond that with out spending more cash.
  2. On the other hand, I wouldn't mind getting an Intel if it fits to my budget. All I would like is to upgrade my PC to get the best performance I can get at the price.

    I am thinking about Intel as Microcenter has great deals and more and more I read that Intel is better for gaming for AMD, though I am not sure about the price/performance ratio.
  3. you dont have a budget.... you have spare change.
    if selling your current system is an option and then pooling money and maybe getting some more cash to match what you sell then sure you can buy an intel with ram but wont be able to afford a video card in that mix...

    i much prefer intel over AMD however thats with me buying 500.00 MB's and 1200.00 CPUs, 600.00 video cards and such. if your on a budget AMD is cheaper, slower but more bang for the buck so to speak.

    decide if you want to put more money into the system later on, perhaps spend all your money on a good platform, such as cpu/mb/ram and then buy SSD's and video cards down teh road?

    in the end its your money, spend more over a longer period with intel or less over a short period with AMD. longjevity is also an issue here as the more you spend now the longer you can go before upgrades.
  4. I'm aware its low, but anything could be an improvement over my current build. I could get an i5 2400 with a decent motherboard and the RAM I listed above, but I'd have to save a bit more money plus I'm not quite sure how Intel motherboards work . . . according to the specs, if I wanted to upgrade the CPU, would that also mean a motherboard update?

  5. if you went with a new gen then yes, the ram, cpu, and MB are not backwards compatible with your current parts.
  6. Not exactly what I meant but 'eh.

    Anyway, this is what I've come up with so far.

    RAM, and motherboard - Core i5 2400 LGA 1155. Is that a good way to go? I know its over my budget. Plus I'm not able to decide on a motherboard. If you can find a better one, please send me a link!

    Not quite sure I'd like these for the money. However, the last option (the Biostar) has four slots, three more PCI's and USB 3.0.

    :kaola: Thanks.
  7. Adding to my other post, sorry for the double (not sure if that is bad here on these forums) but I could also break my bank by grabbing a Z77 Pro4-M 1155 mATX Intel Motherboard and a Core i5 3570K 3.4GHz LGA 1155 Processor anyway, that'd really break the bank but if it is worth it, I wouldn't mind saving!
  8. ill take a peak at some prices, ill post a AMD and intel build shortly.

    i really dont like any of the MB's you found there, having a very strong MB is the key to future proofing your build. i honestly dont think you can do much in the intel market with out doubling your budget. AMD may be the way for you to go.
  9. Tough call, but I think you'll see the most benefit from upgrading cpu and ram. You're playing a fairly low resolution, which won't stress your gpu as much.

    I wasn't able to find the specs for your motherboard. But upgrading it seems like a good plan.
    However, even an i3 + cheap board = $185 is maxing out your budget.

    here is a cheap 4gig memory set for $30.
  10. with out doing ebay or craigs list i cant get an intel build started for less than 220.00 i get this far and thats it:

    the i3 is a strong cpu but not the best for video editing and such, worlds faster than your current but....

    now amd has some boards that are cheaper and there A-8 cpu is very close to the i3 on some tests, such as rendering and way above it on compression tools but on pretty much every other test it falls behind.

    this is the best i can find for amd:
    and ram:

    reuse your case, psu, and hd's. sell your MB, CPU, and ram. the ram i selected here is not the best by any means but KVR has never let me down so i trust it. if you can afford to spend a bit more then this would be better:

    i hate building AMD systems as i run into to many issues with ram compatibility. i went on MSI's website and pulled that exact ram model # so i know its compatible.
  11. According to Tom's, your gpu you won't lose anything if you choose a fx-4100 over an i3.,3136-3.html
  12. So what you're suggesting by what you sent me is that the i5 is worse than an FX-4100 and i3, as I already sent you prices that I'm able to get for an i5, Microcenter gets me $60 off or more. I would be able to get what I sent previously, but I'm not sure if it is work the money. I know for a fact Bulldozer is quite shitty compared to Intel's counter.
  13. you speak the truth about bull dozer, the hope is that windows 8 takes better advantage of it and when you run programs that use all the cores it does pull a lead over the mid range intel. dollar for dollar tho the AMD is more bang for the buck in some cases.

    the microcenter CPU you listed is 189... you add another 100.00 for a good MB and 60 for ram and your way over your budget. this is the issue im running into and why i suggested the AMD. now if you are ok with spending that then by all means go with the i5 and a good GD55 or higher MB
  14. Alright, then I think I'll save up. What motherboard should I get? (Possible choices listed below, if not them, feel free to suggest!)

    Thank you so very much, good sire.
  15. man... i dont recommend anything below a P67, having said that my reservations with the H series are founded around there limited bus channels, pcie support and somthing else that i dont recall now... its been a month or two since ive built a 1155 system. ill get back to you in a bit with more info
  16. Best answer
  17. Thank you very much. Next time you'll be seeing me, I'll be saving up. :) Best answer for you!
  18. Best answer selected by fpolac0198.
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