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Super cheapo mobo/cpu upgrade

Looking for some advice on whether I should upgrade in this situation or try to squeeze out an entire new build.


This is what I'm currently running

MOBO: Asus M4A78LT-M LE
CPU: Athlon X2 245
RAM: 4 GB DDR3 1033
VIDEO: GTX 550ti 1GB
HD: 500GB 7200 RPM Seagate


I'm looking to get back into playing BF3 at something around medium settings. I also would like to be able to play Total War: Shogun 2, Mechwarrior Online and Planetside 2 and some other upcoming games at reasonable settings.

I'd like to spend no more than 200 dollars to possibly get to this point. This socket AM3 board is limited to a 95W CPU and I figure the best option I would have is http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103871

I'd like to do this as cheaply as possible as I am a broke college student and spending anymore than this on gaming at the moment would just be silly.

Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
17 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about super cheapo mobo upgrade
  1. If you live near Microcenter, get the Phenom II x4 for $60: http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0389134

    It's 95W. Then, spend $140 on a 6850/6870. I recommend you wait for lower GPU prices.
  2. The video card is fine, and honestly just get a triple core Athlon and unlock the 4th core and L3 cache. It would be about a $70 upgrade... But your current system should be able to handle BF3 at least at medium settings...
  3. I should have added that I'm playing on a 1600x900 monitor and have a solid OCZ 500W PSU. Not sure what other information to include as this is my first time asking for advice here. Would simply adding an X3 Athlon that I've seen on newegg such as this one:http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=19-103-911&SortField=0&SummaryType=0&Pagesize=10&PurchaseMark=&SelectedRating=-1&VideoOnlyMark=False&VendorMark=&IsFeedbackTab=true&Page=3#scrollFullInfo be a solid holdover until I can afford a new build in about two months?

    I'm only looking for something to hold me over until a build, not a permanent upgrade.
  4. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116397&Tpk=g850

    That will outperform the Athlon X3. Then you have $110 for a good mobo, which is totally possible.
  5. AMD Phenom II X4 945 Deneb 3.0 GHz 4x512 KB L2 Cache Socket AM3 95W $108.00

    on the supported CPU list for your motherboard. upgrade to a AM3+ socket later.
  6. If you are going to get a Phenom just get the Athlon X3 equilivent... then unlock the 4th core and L3 cache... you will save $40... That is why they dont make the Phenoms any more, cause people can just get a Athlon and unlock it.
  7. No. Must people buying AMD are getting the Phenom II x4/x6. Go to your local Microcenter if you have one, and get the Phenom II x4 for $60. New architecture, more cache, better performance. The 550Ti is a bit weak, so sell it, and get a 6850/6870.
  8. Ah so a consensus opinion seems hard to come by.
  9. Best answer
    ComradeTony said:
    Ah so a consensus opinion seems hard to come by.

    not really . .you have a few telling you a PIIx4, the best your motherboard can support, is the way to go . .another who is an intel person and one goof ball that is telling you to unlock a core that hasn't been able to be unlocked for a year now . . .

    get the 945 you'll be happy . .just from where?
  10. http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/328351-28-athlon-turn-phenom

    All X3's produced now are able to be unlocked... get with the times... Its been this way before buldozer came out...
  11. Doesn't change the fact that LGA 1155 is a better socket for gaming...
  12. azeem40 said:
    Doesn't change the fact that LGA 1155 is a better socket for gaming...

    The high end i5 and i7's will perform better, but 1 is it that big of a difference and 2 does it really matter at that point, most of the time its the difference between 70fps and 75fps... its not like one is playable and one is not.
  13. JefferyD90 said:
    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/328351-28-athlon-turn-phenom

    All X3's produced now are able to be unlocked... get with the times... Its been this way before buldozer came out...

    you get with the times . .what your talking about is not guaranteed as you state
    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/274559-28-athlon-fourth-core
  14. So it seems like the Phenom is the safest bet? The BIOS on this mobo does have some OC ability but wouldn't unlocking one of the Athlons cause it to possibly draw more power than the 95W?
  15. Phenom is what I recommend.
  16. ComradeTony said:
    So it seems like the Phenom is the safest bet? The BIOS on this mobo does have some OC ability but wouldn't unlocking one of the Athlons cause it to possibly draw more power than the 95W?

    yes the phenom is the safest bet. when it comes to possibly unlocking an AIIx3 you need a bios that supports unlocking AND there is still no guarantee it will work so you could end up wasting your money.
  17. Best answer selected by ComradeTony.
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