APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: before Christmas, or possibly early Jan.
BUDGET RANGE: <150USD before rebates
USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: HD playback, streaming video, video editing, ..., ..., maybe someday gaming.
CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY: NVIDIA GeForce 210 / Antec BP550 Plus 550W
OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS:
MoBo: MSI A75A-G55
CPU: AMD Athlon II X4 631 2.6GHz 4x1 MB L2 Cache Socket FM1
RAM: 2x4Gb 1333MHz DDR3
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: frys, newegg, cheap and fast is good by me.
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA (California)
PARTS PREFERENCES: You may be able to tell that I assembled this rig without much consultation or careful consideration. It was a surprise when I put the CPU into the MoBo and it didn't work just like that. I admit being so frustrated by the time I figured out what the problem was I just went to BestBuy and bought the cheapest available part that I knew would work. Hence the GeForce 210.
So, I'm open to upgrading my GPU to a decent one OR upgrading my CPU to a verifiable APU. What do you think?
OVERCLOCKING: No / Maybe SLI OR CROSSFIRE: what?
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1600x900, but upgrading soon to a 1080p TV/monitor. Probably like right before the Superbowl.
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Putting this together (last year) was an ordeal. It's still a crapshoot each boot. But I love my computer with all my heart, and I won't hear anything bad said about it, ok? I appreciate your help! Thanks in advance!
Some clarification: I'm experiencing stuttering when streaming video presently, and am anticipating the monitor upgrade. I assume the crappy graphics card I bought on the cheap is the culprit. All other system procs almost never top out. So, I'd like some help figuring out which direction to take in terms of GPU vs. APU,
I run a 64 bit installation of Linux Mint (poorly), by the way.
Since you say "maybe" to gaming, I think you ought to drop a HD7750 in your rig. It's well under your budget, will have no trouble with video, and will let you sample games on medium settings. If you anticipate that you will play and get into games, and don't mind spending closer to your budget, then get a HD7770.