Hello all!

I'm looking to do a minor upgrade to my fairly old computer. I would like to spend around $200-$300. The main use for the system is gaming with some video editing on the side.

Windows XP SP3 (I'm not really counting an OS upgrade in the budget)
2.13ghz Core2Duo
2gb RAM
GeForce 9800 GT 512mb
150gb WD Raptor 10k + 320gb 7200rpm
Asus P5B motherboard
- Support Intel® next generation 45nm Multi-core CPU
- Intel LGA775 Platform
- Intel® Quad-core CPU Ready
- Intel® Core™2 Extreme / Core™2 Duo Ready
- Intel® Pentium® Extreme / Pentium® D / Pentium® 4 / Celeron® D Ready
- 1066/800/ 533 MHz
- Dual-channel DDR2 800/667/533
- 1x PCI Express x16
- 6x SATA 3Gb/s

I think I included all the key components.

I realize the whole system is fairly outdated for gaming but I would like to make the most of it. Do you all think it would be worth it to upgrade the RAM, OS, and graphics card? I feel like there is a good combination that could get a little more life out of the rig. Most games still run fairly well and xp runs extremely smooth(well...ya know what I mean...) but I would like to move to at least dx10 at some point haha.

Thanks all,
11 answers Last reply
More about upgrades
  1. What is the brand and model (not just wattage) of your PSU? Do not buy more DDR2 RAM or a faster CPU; both would be money wasted as those things would not move into your next PC.
    For $300, you could get a HD7850 and a decent 500W-550W PSU. Both of those could be moved into your next PC, so there's no money wasted.
  2. With the current setup, i would change your mobo, cpu and ram.

    Intel Pentium G850
    H61 chipset mobo
    8 gb ddr3

    Thats like 150 dollars.

    Then either a hd7770 1 ghz edition for a 100 dollars or hd7850 2 gb for 170 dollars...
    If your psu is decent
  3. I'd get better (more fully-featured) mobo than H61, but if you can increase your budget another $50-$100, that's not a bad idea.
  4. Thanks for the replies! And so fast! I haven't really followed tech upgrades lately. Is newegg still the best bet or does amazon have better deals sometimes?
  5. So a 500-550W PSU, an hd7770(or 7850), 8gb ddr3, pentium 850, and an h61 mobo and I'll be good to go? It will be over budget but it might be worth waiting a little longer and going all out.

    What mobo would you suggest on a budget jtt?

    Oh! And I haven't really paid attention to windows lately. Is 7 a big improvement over Vista?

    Thanks again for the replies!
  6. It varies. People usually cite Newegg, but that doesn't mean there won't be deals available elsewhere on the same parts. Newegg has good customer service though; I'm not as familiar with Amazon.
  7. Windows 7 is what Vista should have been.
    There are a few cheaper ones, but unless you're willing to go to a micro-ATX board with only 2 RAM slots, I'd probably get this H77 for $70: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157302
    Another $60 will get this Seasonic 430W PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817151074 which will be strong enough for any graphics card with a single PCIe power connector (such as a HD7850). I would avoid the cheaper Corsair V2 "Builder" models because they are made with a line of inferior Samxon capacitors known to fail; based on the information in the thread at http://forums.hardwaresecrets.com/not-so-tough/8805?threadid=8805?goto=newpost they review well, but may not hold up.
  8. OK! After doing a little more research I found out that I have a 450W PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817103936&name=Power-Supplies

    The 7770 says it needs a 450W and a 6 pin power connector. Am I missing something or will I just be able to swap out my 9600GT(ya I realize I said 9800GT... oops). http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130334

    And I found a decent RAM upgrade for $20 that would put me up to 4gb.

    This seems like the cheapest solution but will it work and is it worth it? I mean, I'll be able to move the 7770 to the next machine but I'll eat the $20 for the RAM.

  9. I think I found a flaw...will that mobo support pci-e 3.0?
  10. The old CWT-built Antec Smartpower series was notorious for capacitor problems. Replacing it is probably a good idea. The Antec Neo Eco units are built by Seasonic, and the 400W version (enough for a HD7770) goes on Shellshocker today for $30.
    You should be able to run a PCIe 3.0 card on your motherboard; it's backwards compatible.
  11. Awesome! =)

    Thank you for all your help. I found the 7770 on sale for $88! And I have another 2gb of RAM coming in for $20 and I just installed Win7 64bit. That should hold me over until I can put some real money into this system.

    Thanks again all!
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