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Upgrading PC or totally buy a new one?

Hi everybody, this is my first post here.
I am currently debating if I should upgrade my system or simply get a whole new rig.
I am currently running this:
Motherboard : Asus M3A78
CPU : AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+
GPU : NVIDIA GeForce 9600 GT
RAM : 4GB DDR 2
and using a 550 Corsair PSU

I am well aware that this is not even low end in the gaming rigs but all I want to play is D3, World of Warcraft and maybe eventually Guild Wars 2. Diablo 3 is running fine on my computer except that I think I'm currently having temperature issues with my GPU but that's not the issues I'll make a dust cleanup tomorrow and check everything.

Is it worth it to invest in a new graphics card or CPU? If so, what are my options? I'm looking for a cheap solution right now.
17 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about upgrading totally
  1. I think that you would benefit most from an entire rebuild if its in the budget. Only because a more modern graphics card would most likely be limited in its performance by the older CPU and upgrading the CPU is not going to give substantially more performance out of the older graphics card.

    However on the cheap side, you could upgrade both the CPU and the video card, thank AMD for small favors, this CPU *should* work on that mobo:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103727

    And a video card upgrade could depend on your budget.

    Note: the 965 is not officially supported on the AsusM3A78 board, however, at least one person has managed to get it working:
    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/303880-30-will-asus-phenom

    Based on their support list, they clearly support C3 stepping Phenoms, theres no reason it shouldn't.
  2. He is using the EM version of the board, mine is just a M3A78 .
  3. Then yes, the M3A78-EM definitely supports the 965. Its on the official support list.
    http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/AMD_AM2Plus/M3A78EM/#CPUS
  4. Like I said, my board isn't a M3A78-EM but a M3A78.
    http://www.cpu-upgrade.com/mb-ASUS/M3A78.html

    For the graphics card, I've been thinking about this, going for bang for the buck, what do you guys think about this card?
    http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130770
  5. Okay I see what you're saying... The 965 should still work, its a gamble yes, but I see no reason why it won't.

    And the 560 SE isn't a bad upgrade, although I fear with an old Athlon 6000+ its full potential will be limited.
  6. My CPU will probably limit me since most of the games I play are CPU intensive. Well, thanks for the help, I'll highly consider this processor. I was thinking of getting a new machine eventually, only need MOBO, CPU, GPU and RAM. Can you tell me what you think of this? To be honest I'd prefer Intel but AMD prices are tempting and I'm a college student.

    Asus M5A97 Mobo
    http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131767

    GTX 560 SE
    http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Produ [...] 6814130770

    RAM (X2)
    http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231307

    CPU (the one that you linked)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103727

    But if my board can take it, I don't see why I would need a new board.
  7. Buy an HD7850 for around $260CAN if your rez is ^16x10
  8. Can someone explain what is the difference between a M3A78 and a M3A78-EM? This post here tells us that he was able to use the CPU but with the EM

    http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?250180-Asus-M3A78-EM-Upgrade
  9. Okay I was able to find some CPU compatibility lists

    This is for the M3A78

    http://support.asus.com/cpusupport/list.aspx?SLanguage=en&m=m3a78&p=1&s=24

    And this is for the M3A78-EM

    http://support.asus.com/cpusupport/list.aspx?SLanguage=en&m=m3a78-em&p=1&s=24

    The 965 is in the EM but not in the other list....
  10. Best answer
    Yes, as I said, even though its not on the "official" compatibility list, I think it will work anyway. I explained my justifications for that. But yes, there is a chance it will not. With a new motherboard you also will have DDR3, while its not substantially faster than DDR2, it is more modern, and doubling your motherboard to 8GB with DDR2 at current prices is more expensive than just buying brand new 8GB worth of DDR3.

    As to what the difference is between the EM and non-EM, the main difference is the EM model has an onboard video chipset. (Which means you don't have to have a video card to use the computer)

    Yes the build you quoted, would be very worthwhile, although I would follow Wisecrackers suggestion about the 7850, its a much better, more modern video card than a 560 SE.
  11. Thanks everyone! Would I need a new power supply though? Mines 550W.
  12. No problem, Corsair builds pretty good power supplies, you didn't mention the exact model, but considering the fact that its worked for you for some time, it should be sufficient today.

    Also, one other thing I would change.. your RAM selection, instead of buying 2 of those sticks you could just buy one of these:
    http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231314

    This is 1600mhz ram instead of 1066. A Phenom II will want to run the DDR3 at 1333mhz by default anyway.
  13. Sounds good, what about the board selection?
  14. Its a pretty decent board, Asus builds em well, modern chipset (970) and supports SLi/Crossfire if you ever wanted to install a 2nd video card.
  15. Oh one other thing I didn't think about. Make sure that power supply has an 8 pin or a 4+4 power connector for the CPU. Your board only has a 4 pin, modern boards have 8 pin power for the CPU. If your PSU doesnt have it, you will need a new PSU or an adapter.
  16. Best answer selected by Volrat.
  17. Cool looking cat by the way, thanks again all!
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