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Upgrading Rig $300 Budget

Last response: in Systems
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December 22, 2012 2:21:49 AM

Hi everyone. First off this is my first time on this site and my first post. I've poked around a bit but I apologize if I'm breaking some part of this forum's etiquette. I'll gladly correct any mistakes and i'll try to make this to the point.

Do not know much about the technical aspects of pcs or how the hardware relates to each other etc. But I was hoping to give my pc and upgrade and thought asking around would be the best way to figure things out quickly. I also apologize for my ignorance on these subjects and if I'm asking stupid questions or asking for something impossible just let me know :]

I believe I got my pc from dell around five years ago and was not sure if I could simply keep the basic shell and swap some parts out to give it a much needed performance boost.
I would be using it for gaming only. Practically nothing else. (Tribes Ascend, Team Fortress 2, Left 4 Dead)

Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 CPU 6600 @ 2.40GHz
Memory (RAM): 2.00 GB
System Type: Windows Vista 32-bit Operating System
Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce 8600 GTS

My initial research seemed to say the most obvious thing was to purchase more RAM. I found this and thought it was surprisingly cheap though I do not really know if it is any good:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I also read that Vista was the dark ages and that I should upgrade to Windows 7 64bit which I will do outside of the budget. (That's possible right? Sorry I'm stupid)

So really any direction or help in terms of CPU, Graphics card, literally anything to help me out would be great since I do not know how these components interact and do not know about how they can bottleneck each other. Budget around $300 if possible.

Thank you so much. Any mistakes or any more information just let me know.

-Matt
December 22, 2012 3:04:17 AM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD FX-4100 3.6GHz Quad-Core Processor ($89.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: ASRock 970 Extreme3 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: PNY XLR8 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($32.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7770 1GB Video Card ($99.99 @ NCIX US)
Total: $292.96
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-22 00:04 EST-0500)
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