N00b needs help on first 'gaming' pc

hi guys.

i have just started casually playing games on my pc, but it is evident the one i have now isn't really geared towards running anything after 2002.

the current set up is:
amd athlon 64 x2 6000+
asus m2n68-am+
2 GB ram
nvidia geforce 8400GS

I'm not after anything amazing, just something that will let me play COD or battlefield on reasonable settings at a usable frame rate. trying to play homefront on the pc i have now is impossible.

the rig i was looking at is this. please keep in mind i'm a total novice and dont know how to build a pc, so this is an of the shelf package from a store near by.

Intel Core i5-3550 3.30Ghz
Intel B75 Motherboard with USB3.0
8GB DDR3 1600Mhz
Western Digital or Seagate SATA 3.0 1TB
620W PSU
Sharkoon T28 Green USB 3.0 Gaming Case
integrated graphics.

is this a reasonable step up? i mainly use the pc for audio programs so graphics is bit of an after thought, but a graphics card down the track is an easy upgrade?

thanks for all your help in advance
12 answers Last reply
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  1. and is this system capable of running 64 bit?
  2. with your current spec, why not add a discrete graphic card? onboard graphic is will not even do "adequate" graphic. A $100 AMD HD7770 will do wonder with your card, even more with higher budget graphic card

    edit: your system (both old and new) are capable of running 64bit OS, though the old one will not be able to run it smoothly/not optimized. With 8GB of memory, you should run 64bit OS to take advantage of the memory above 3.2GB
  3. what he said ^^
  4. the reason i was looking to upgrade was the old pc struggles to run newer audio programs like ableton live and sonar 10. as the main use for the pc is as a studio computer first and games second, i guess i can forgo graphic quality for a faster, more reliable system running smoothly on windows 7 64 bit to take advantage of the extra ram to load samples.

    with the i5 or i7 systems and a different graphics card around the $100 mark, would i be any better of performance wise over the old rig?

  5. compared with your old amd athlon 64 x2 6000+ rig, even an i3 system will give you better performance... so upgrade away :D

    on a side note, have you considered adding ssd and more ram? 128gb ssd is about $100 and will do wonder on your boot time, and an additional 8gb (at around $50) might also help (disclaimer: i don't have any knowledge about audio software, so i just assume it will help having more ram to load samples onto it)

  6. thanks for the reply mate.

    yeah music software streams samples of the hdd, but i have an old external 1tb drive plugged in via sata for all my samples and this is fine for my needs. maybe ill upgrade to ssd when the price comes down as sample libraries are massive, and i could only fit a few on the ssd before it was full.

    so would you go for the i5 or i7 systems?
  7. Another disclaimer: i have no idea whether your audio program can make use of multihread/multicore cpu effectively.

    But the general idea, if money does not matter, then go for the i7.
  8. well the newest programs i own all can operate with 64 bit OS and require a fair whack of grunt to work efficiently. how can i check?

    ok so if i go the i7, thatd be it, or if i got the i5 i would have a few dollars to play with for a graphics card around the $100 mark. the shop i am buying the system also offers free psu upgrades when i buy a system with a gpu upgrade. any recommendations for a gpu at this price point?
  9. well, at around $100, the HD7770 is my best bet, but see this chart for comparison should you get better deal on other type of gpu
  10. i found this:

    i5 3450
    b75 motherboard
    8gb ram
    1tb 7200 rpm ram
    hd 7770
    650 watt psu
    card reader
    atx midi case

    for $680. good deal?
  11. Don't buy a mini case, buy at least a mid tower for better breathing of the components, and the best is if it has the psu installing on the bottom of the back. And as I said to everyone whose wants to buy a SSD: DON'T DO IT IF U DON'T HAVE THE MONEY TO REPLACE IT, becouse more than a upgrade is a luxury part, SO DON'T!

    And I say is luxury becouse u have to replace it once a half year!
  12. nah it is a midi case. and yeah, not getting an ssd. cost - benefit for my situation doesnt really stack up.
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