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Time to upgrade, need some guru advice

Last response: in Systems
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June 8, 2012 4:08:55 AM

So im ready to upgrade my year old trash build, I did it on about 500 bucks. AMD Phenom iii triple core, crappy asrock motherboard, asus GTX 460 SC, 2 gigs of ripjaw ram, 600w thermal take powersupply.
So i was wondering if i could get some build ideas from you wonderful people here at tom's.
I want to upgrade my pc without spending a boat load of cash.
I want a new CPU, Motherboard, Video Card, a HD and an SSD (small, just for wow, diablo3, and windows 7 ultimate really.)
and maybe ill keep the ram, power supply, and disk drive for now and upgrade those later
So what would you all suggest, looking for something beast that wont be immediately outdated, and will run my games at high fps.
thank you all in advance, o and i love links :) 
June 8, 2012 5:36:16 AM

My initial thoughts would be to...

Get an MSI Z77A-G45 mobo with a core i3-2120 = $170
Get the plextor M3 128gb SSD (comes w 5 yr warranty) = $100 bucks on newegg
Get another 2gb stick of ram (a must)
And, for the most controversial pick, I'm gonna say get another GTX 460 and SLI them. It's cheap, good performance now and can upgrade to ivy bridge/Kepler later.

How does that strike you?
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June 8, 2012 5:58:28 AM

what is your budget, ill attempt to work something out

@above, i wouldnt sugesst sli ing 2x 460s without knowing the quality of his psu. thermaltake doesnt make very great psus in general.
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June 8, 2012 6:42:19 AM

thats doesnt sound too bad. i was hoping for possible a bigger upgrade than that. and if you think its necessary i could always update my psu too.
i can probably throw another 500-600 dollars at this thing when its all said and done
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June 8, 2012 7:17:09 AM

if there a local micro center near you they have the i5-3450 149.00. anything more that that is over kill unless your going to run some top end video cards in sli.
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June 8, 2012 7:55:20 AM

if you are not using microcenter then i would have to relatively guess:
500gb WD caviar blue
I5-2300 + Asrock u3s3 h61 board alternatively you can change the mobo
OCZ Agility 3 60gb ssd
evga gtx 560 superclocked

total:562.97

Buy more ram on top of this. im also making the assumption that the psu can handle a single card despite its quality. i would attempt to put in a sli based build, but that requires me to change the mobo, and psu which will overprice the 600$ budget. unless you want to make a cut on the i5, and go with an i3
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June 8, 2012 3:56:32 PM

People always underestimate PSUs. In a perfect world I'd replace the PSU as well, but I was just trying to get the most out of the budget.

I really like the mobo and SSD I already picked, and if you want more power I'd go with the i5-2310, save money by going with a 60GB SSD, and put the rest toward more RAM and the GPU. How bout this one?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

the GTX 570 would seem like a good GPU to pair with the i5-2310. At this point, however, I might think of getting a new PSU. Just in case lol. Theres a Seasonic 620W PSU on Newegg for 80 bucks right now, heck of a PSU for the price.
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June 8, 2012 4:08:39 PM

I personally wouldn't go with the i3, if you are looking to do anything big with this rig. However, the i5-2310 has awesome value.

Or...
AMD Black Edition - AMD Phenom II X4 3.5 GHz Processor

AMD is lagging behind intel right now, but they continually make low-mid level chips cheaper, forcing intel to compete on price points.
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June 8, 2012 4:14:16 PM

I'm just going to throw this out there as a possible GPU:

Sale going on at newegg for 2 more days on the 480. One hell of a card... From what I see in benchmarks it can compete with the 580 if overclocked a bit.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Note: Don't buy this if you play on running eyefinity as it doesn't support it.
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June 8, 2012 4:26:41 PM

No offence intended here, but you are essentially just trying to do the same thing you did a year ago by upgrading your pc with a minimalist budget, which could leave you in this same position next year...

A few alternatives you could consider:
Set the money aside and upgrade in 6monthes or a year, this gen tech will be down in price by that time, so your money will go farther and you'll have a bit more of it. Put in a quality mobo/ram/cpu , a nice GPU like a 7850 or a GTX660-670, get a solid PSU like a seasonic or corsair, and an SSD.

or

Go for the plan above, but buy some more ram and an SSD now.

or

Upgrade your Mobo/ram/Cpu now to something good such as an i5-3450 or 2500k and get 8gigs, it won't add a ton of extra PSU load, and just hang on to your GPU + PSU until next year and upgrade those then. (Or upgrade your GPU/PSU now and CPU/mobo/ram later). Fit in an SSD whenever you've got an extra bit of cash, you don't need a huge one, I use a 60gb SSD and with some proactive space management I don't see any need for a larger one for myself (stores OS+2-3 games)


That way you don't end up with another build that you will just want replace next year.

edit: In all cases, just reuse your current HDD if you can, good HDDs are overpriced right now.
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Best solution

June 8, 2012 4:36:39 PM

The graphics card is the real engine of gaming, more so than the cpu.

If you are going to make a change, do it right, and make it a biggish one, or you may be disappointed by s small increase.

Over a GTX460sc, which is a fine card, I would be looking at a minimum to a GTX560ti, or 6950.
If you can stand a $400 card, look at a GTX670. In between look at a 7850 or 7950. One nice thing about the newer 28nm cards is that they need less power, so your 600w psu should still suffice.

Today, there are NO AMD winners on tom's list of best gaming cpu's for the money:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-cpu-review-o...

Even the i3-2120 does well at $125:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-gaming-cpu-cor...

Once you get to the $200 area, the i5-3570K is the cpu to buy. There is nothing better.

Any Z77 motherboard will give you easy overclocks in the 4.3 range.

Ram is cheap. 4gb is ok but 8gb in a 2 x 4gb kit will do much better.
No need for anything faster than 1600, and look for no heat spreaders, or at least low profile. 1.5v ram does not need them for normal overclocks.

I suggest you start with a 120gb SSD, and NO hard drive. 120gb will hold the os and 6-10 games. Later if you need large amounts of storage for video files or whatever, you can add a hard drive. Prices should come down in 2014.
My preference for no hassles is Samsung 830 or any Intel ssd. Yes, you will pay more, but they seem to have no issues.

Is there a reason for windows ultimate? There are not many features that are useful to the home user to justify the extra cost.
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June 9, 2012 11:32:29 PM

thanks for all the advise guys. I Do have a micro center right by my house so im thinking ill go with that i5, i might as well.
And i probably[y hold of and get a gtx500+ and upgrade my ram to 8gb.
Ill buy a 60 gb SDD and keep my hdd for movies and music, should be plenty of room for what i want to do. I keep my PSU for now and see how it fairs with the new system.
again thanks for all the help. i love this community
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June 10, 2012 1:40:06 AM

What is an ideal mobo for that intel i5 and and eventual sli setp
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June 10, 2012 2:06:51 PM

Best answer selected by ripriprip.
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