$450 upgrade, CPU + mobo + gpu

Approximate Purchase Date: 9/15/12

Budget Range: $450 USD ; Before Rebates, After shipping

System usage from most to least important: gaming, photo editing, surfing the internet, watching movies

Buying monitor: no (using old Samsung TV/monitor 23inch 1920x1080)

Planning to Upgrade to:

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition

CPU cooling: COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus

mobo: MSI 970A-G46 AM3+ AMD 970

RAM: G.SKILL Ares 8GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM 1600 (PC3 12800)

gpu: SAPPHIRE 100355-1GOCL Radeon HD 7850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 ($214 before rebate, after tax and shipping)


gpu: EVGA GeForce GTX 560 ($185 br, after tax+ship)


gpu choice 2: xfx radeon 6870 ($174 br, after tax+ship)

Parts being reused:

Rosewill RP600V2-S-SL 600W ATX12V v2.01

WD Blue WD5000AAKS IM 500GB

Need to buy OS: probably

Preferred website: newegg.com, amazon.com

Location: Orange county, CA

Parts Preference: AMD over intel b/c for mobo+cpu, the intel is 50% more expensive than AMD, but I'm not playing the most demanding games and doing occasional photo editing, so I think AMD 965 is enough for me, even though I know the i5 knocks the 965 out of the park. Hoping piledriver will be good, possibly can upgrade to that, holding the same mobo.

Overclocking: yes

SLI/crossfire: no

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: I would like a quiet PC, and games played: Dota 2 (valve), starcraft II, possibly Crysis, Battlefield 3. Using: Adobe Photoshop

Why I am upgrading: having trouble running Dota 2, and other newer generation games

Current configuration: AMD Athlon II x2 245, radeon HD 4650, ddr2 ram
4 answers Last reply
More about upgrade mobo
  1. Don't get that mobo. It's a 990FX but the slots are x8 in Crossfire/sli. True 990fx should be x16 in crossfire/sli. You could do just as well with this mobo:
    MSI 970A-G46 AM3+ AMD 970 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard with UEFI BIOS - $90

    And try for this gpu:
    SAPPHIRE 100355-1GOCL Radeon HD 7850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card OC Version - $180

    With your RAM and CPU that comes out to about $420 not counting shipping.
  2. what if i don't do crossfire in the future? i don't know the increase in GPU performance offered by crossfire..ie is it +30% performance? I know a downside is that the computer will run really hot with two videocards running in there, so i'm leaning towards not doing a crossfire config in the future.

    in the case that i don't upgrade to crossfire in the future...

    1. what would be the best motherboard?
    2. should i still get the sapphire HD radeon 7850 1GB ($214 after shipping and tax) over the xfx radeon HD 6870 1GB ($174 after shipping and tax)? I notice that the Radeon HD 7850 is a 1GB, while most sites only hold the 2 GB version.

    3. will my psu be ok? because now i am supplying power to a more powerful gpu, and possibly a new SSD. from this review
    for a similar 650W, they claim that the psu can't deliver 650W continously.
  3. This mobo seems popular and is recommended a lot:
    ASRock 970 EXTREME3 AM3+ AMD 970 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard - $85.00

    Or you could go with something like this to save some bucks to put towards the GPU:
    ASRock 960GM/U3S3 FX AM3+ AMD 760G SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - $55.00

    I apologize, I meant to link to this card:
    SAPPHIRE 100355L Radeon HD 7850 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card - $200 ($10 rebate)

    The 1GB would probably be enough, but the 2GB will be better for games such as BF3.

    As far as your PSU goes, it should suffice but I would strongly urge you into making the psu upgrade a priority in the near future.
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