Need Opinions on New Budget System Ideas

Hi all, new poster to Tom's Hardware, but I tend to visit fairly often to try and stay semi up to date with the tech. I have however, not upgraded my computer in quite some time, and could do well with some advice from you experts.

I recently bought Guild Wars 2, and have been enjoying it at relatively low settings on my pc (The specs of which I won't list, for fear of pure ridicule and I'm replacing all the main parts anyway), but when I jumped into WvW I got a spectacular 4fps :pfff: Needless to say, I decided this will not do. So now I have been researching new upgrades for my computer, and have narrowed it down into two categories: A lower-end, more reasonably priced version, and the somewhat higher end version. Let me know what you think, and if there are any better upgrades I could do while still maintaining the price ranges. My budget max is about $550, don't want to push it any higher than that, but lower cost is my main factor.

Lower End:

Motherboard - ASRock H61M-DGS LGA 1155 Intel H61 Micro ATX $44.99

CPU - i3 3220 3.2 GHz $129.99

Graphics Card - Radeon HD 7850 $209.99

RAM - G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) $39.99

Grand Total: $424.96

Higher End:

Motherboard - ASRock H61M-DGS LGA 1155 Intel H61 Micro ATX $44.99

CPU - i5 3450 3.1 GHz $194.99

Graphics Card - Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition $259.99

RAM - CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) $40.99

Grand Total: $540.96

Alas, I have also run into a snafu. I know naught about power supplies beyond what I have read up on this site, and would love some help in figuring it out. I currently have a TurboLink Switching Power Supply LC-A420ATX which is 420 watts. I used the eXtreme power supply calculator, and it said I would need about 410 watts to run the higher end system--so I was thinking a 500 watt power supply would be perfect. What do you all think of the Rosewill Green Series RG530-S12 530W?
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  1. I would definitely go with the higher end, you'll see a nice bump for only about 20% more expense. You probably want to pick out an inexpensive H77 board in lieu of the H61 from last gen in either case though.

    Rosewill is kind of hit and miss in my experience, but I think that'd probably be an okay choice. I used a Rosewill 550W in my previous build some 3 years ago and it's still going strong.

    Edit: It might be worth the extra $10 to go with this XFX 550W model.

    You could also save a little by going with either of these ASUS 7870 GHz models:

    This Kingston RAM is also a shellshocker deal today, would save you another $10 to help pay for the XFX PSU.
  2. Thanks for the nice tips, the and the RAM free up around $20, but if I upgrade to the mobo that sucks away that. However 50-70 for a PSU might be manageable, since I have to get one anyway as I doubt the system will run on my 420. Anyone knowledgeable in PSU's know?
  3. Here's the thing. If you want to spend less money, you can get a Trinity A10 apu for dirt cheap that gives you rather impressive performance.
  4. I looked up the benchmarks and the minimum CPU I'd want to go with is the i3 3220, good price and good results. I was thinking if I get the I3 3220 CPU, HD 7870 Graphics Card, Corsair RAM, Rosewill PSU and the ASRock H77M Motherboard for a grand total of $560.97 isn't too bad. A smidgen over the 550 but should be manageable, and the only thing I lose is a I5 CPU--which would be great but I think the rig will be fine on its own. How do you guys think it'd hold up with that I3? And any knowledgeables know what type of watt consumption I'm looking at with that rig?
  5. Avoid Rosewell PSU's don't skimp on quality here or else it can cost you big time. Go with a good quality PSU and something that won't fully tax it either you still want a little bit of wiggle room for it.

    If your worried about the CPU and don't mind the higher energy consumption there is the AMD FX 4100 (or 4170) and just overclock that as it's has an unlocked multiplier so it is quite friendly to overclocking.

    And here, this will give you an estimate on watt usage once you input your parts.

    Actually the fx 6100 is only $105 with the promo code, just get that and OC it, should be quite a capable CPU than and last you a good while. And the 4100 $95 and 4170 $105 on newegg. If you don't plan to OC get the 4170 has higher base clock speeds which would help with gaming and use the spare cash from this on other components.
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