Looking to upgrade my computer not looking to go with anything too crazy but enough to make a noticeable difference in game play. I know a little about upgrading computers my main concern is getting parts that are compatible with the existing/new parts (which I know little about but know this can be a big issue). I know I need a new graphics card and I would like more ram possibly a new processor and/or motherboard. Was also thinking about adding some fans or other cooling parts. The main point of this upgrade is to increase the performance of the games I play because I recently started playing games that are finally to much for my comp to handle without turning the graphics down.
Approximate Purchase Date: Month or so
Budget Range: $300 - $400
System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming
Parts Not Required: mouse, monitor, keyboard, software
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com
Parts Preferences: New to building, no real preference on parts
SLI or Crossfire: Maybe
My current desktop specs:
Case - Coolermaster Elite 430 Gaming Case Processor - AMD Athlon II X2 255 3.1GHz Cache Per Processor - 2 x 1MB L2 Cache Memory - 4GB (2GBx2) DDR3 1333 Hard Drive -1TB SATA II 3.0Gb/s 7200RPM HDD Optical Drive 1 - 24X DVD±R/±RW Dual Layer Drive Graphics - ATI Radeon HD 5450 1GB PCI Express Graphics Power Supply - 500W Operating System - Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit Chipset - NVIDIA GeForce 7025 Chipset CPU Socket Type - AM3 CPU Main Features - 64 bit Dual Core Processor GPU/VPU Type - ATI Radeon HD 5450 Graphics Interface - PCI Express 2.0 x16 Memory Capacity - 4GB DDR3 Memory Speed - DDR3 1333 Form Factor - DIMM 240-pin Memory Spec - 2GB x 2 Memory Slot (Total) - 2 HDD Capacity - 1TB HDD Interface - SATA II HDD RPM - 7200rpm
This is some of the parts I was looking at. Like I said before I have some knowledge but am still fairly new to this so any and all help is welcome. If it doesn't work with something else or there is something better or cheaper please feel free to correct me.
I was just wondering since I have a 3.1 ghz dual core how much difference would it be to have a 3.1 ghz quad core? Is it the amount of cores that matter over the speed? And as far as graphics cards go would it be better say to get a 1gb 256 bit card or a 2gb 128bit one? I guess what I'm trying to ask what should I look for to choose one graphics card over another?
I'd think you'd see a modest performance increase by going with a quad-core over a dual core system. While most games still do not use more that two cores of a processor, Windows can shift some of it's tasks over to cores that are not being used.
For graphic cards, I think, in your situation, through-put is more important than amount of memory. If your system only had 2GB of RAM, then I'd recommend getting a card that had more of it's own memory. Since you have 4GB installed, go with more through-put.
For your motherboard, you need to find the specific model number and look it up on the ASUS web site. Their site's CPU Compatibility list should tell you what CPUs are compatible with your motherboard.
Pretty much any PCI-Ex16 graphics card is going to be compatible with your motherboard, so no need to worry about that. The main concern is whether your power supply can support it (the one I listed can handle any single graphics card on the market today).
As for the processor, any of the three you listed will be an improvement. Get the best that's still in your budget range.
Is that the same with ram? Like would any ddr3 240 pin stick of ram work?
Now with the power supply you suggested would I be able to add more later without having to upgrade that again as well? Or do you think I should go up to the 700s or 800s psu's? Because I do plan on upgrading further as my budget allows.
No, not any DDR3 RAM will work. You'll need to make sure it's compatible with your motherboard. If you wanted to increase the amount of RAM you have, stick with DDR3-1333 RAM.
The power supply I recommended will handle any single graphics card system you can come up with. If you intend to later upgrade to a dual-graphics card system (SLI/Crossfire), then go ahead and look at the 750-850 watt PSUs.