Upgrading - Budget Range is $300 - $400. Upgrading my older PC.

Approximate Purchase Date of parts: Within the next 2 weeks.
Budget Range: $300-$400 After Rebates.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, surfing the internet, Photoshop, watching movies, Home.

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS, Power Supply 550W.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com, amazon.com, tigerdirect.com

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: I would like to use an Intel CPU & Nvidia Graphics Card

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080


Hello, I'm new to the community, but I came here first to seek help from the brilliant minds of Tom's Hardware with my upgrading dilemma. End results for PC: I want to run World of Warcraft flawlessly. Also, want Guild Wars 2 to perform above 60-80 fps [hopefully in WvW too :)] I solely want to upgrade the CPU and Graphics Card, but willing to consider other upgrades if needed. My computer specs are as follows:

OS: Windows XP Home Edition
MoBo: Asus M3A78 Pro (AM2+/AM2 AMD 780G HDMI ATX AMD) 140W CPU Support
Graphics Card: MSI N9600 GT-T2D512-OC
Ram: OCZ Platinum Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066
CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 7750 Kuma 2.7GHz Socket AM2+ 95W Dual-Core Black Edition
Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar SE 320GB 7200 RPM Sata 3.0Gb/s
Power Supply: 550w
Computer Case: Raidmax Smilodon Extreme Black ATX-612WEBP

Thank you in advance. If any other information is needed, please don't hesitate to ask.
11 answers Last reply
More about upgrading budget range upgrading older
  1. Get an i3-2120.
  2. Or skip the graphics card and just use integrated since you're not going to be playing any demanding games.

    Intel 3570k Integrated HD 4000 graphics 3.4 Ghz
    http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116504
    GIGABYTE LGA 1155 H77
    http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128548
    Ripjaws 4GB RAM
    http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231425
    1TB 7200 RPM 6gb
    http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148697

    Total: $450.96
  3. I currently have an Asus M3A78 Pro, is getting a new mobo necessary? Also, I want to run WoW on max settings and have it run smoothly (+60 fps), and play GW2 with the same settings and fps. Thats what I'm shooting for anyway.
  4. Added question: Can I overclock the AMD CPU to 3.0GHz and adding a new heat sink? Or would it just be easier/better to upgrade CPU?
  5. romann921 said:
    I currently have an Asus M3A78 Pro, is getting a new mobo necessary? Also, I want to run WoW on max settings and have it run smoothly (+60 fps), and play GW2 with the same settings and fps. Thats what I'm shooting for anyway.

    You need a new mobo because most modern AMD processors use the AM3+ socket, not AM2.
  6. Understood. Thanks guys for the great suggestions. I'm now thinking of just building a brand new computer all together lol...Now when it comes to my old rig, I'm still thinking of upgrading it and giving it to my bro to game on. Will buying the GeForce GTX 550 Ti 1GB, mentioned above, do it enough justice to at least get WoW playing flawlessly?(It's the only thing he plays on it)
  7. Nope won't work 550TI to weak of a card to get flawless anyways
  8. Gigabyte GTX 460 $99.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125412

    i5-3450 $199.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116506

    ASRock H77M $74.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157303

    Crucial Ballistix 4 GB $24.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148488

    Total: $399.96

    A more all around build that will max out WoW with AA, and probably GW2 with AA turned off. If you want the most raw power possible, drop the CPU to a i3-2120 and use the money on a GTX 560 Ti. Normally I would suggest the 480, but I'm assuming your PSU is generic junk, which I wouldn't try running a 480 on, due to the big power drain.

    Here is a link to some Radeon HD 7770 benchmarks for WoW that also show the GTX 460's performance.
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-7770-7750-benchmark,3135-10.html
  9. @bigcyco1, so its possible to upgrade the 9600GT to something powerful enough to run WoW 60-80 fps? If so, what did you have in mind?

    @Merueth, thanks for your feedback. As for the PSU, its an ULTRA LSP 550w.
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