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$500 Gaming PC Upgrade

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March 1, 2013 10:33:49 AM

I am thinking about upgrading my 9 year old HP a1430n to be able to play some modern games (Diablo 3 and Farcry 3 among others). Basically I want to upgrade piece by piece until I have a completely new system. My budget is around $500, but I don't need to max anything by any means; med-high or high would be just fine. Here is what I have been looking at, please tell me what you think:

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/G8mK

Notes:
-I already have the Thermaltake PSU. Got it for real cheap. Is it good enough?
-I have no real brand loyalty. These products are what I found when browsing the forums and/or the articles.
-I am not totally sold on the case. I really like the looks of the Coolermaster Elite 430, but it doesn't have USB 3 (which I am not convinced I need at this point anyway). Plus there was a review by a 12 year old who said it was too small to work in, and since I am older and (I assume) larger than a 12 year old.....
-Is the MOBO too powerful for what I am doing with it? Is there a less expensive one that will work?
-I know I can save money on a CPU/MOBO combo from my nearby Microcenter, including the ones I chose, so there is a little bit more play room.
-I know next to nothing about coolers. That is just one I found recommended most often with the CPU/MOBO combo that I chose.
-Not really looking at SSD at this point.

Maybe someone can answer a question for me. If I upgraded my Win XP to Win 7 with a download directly from the Microsoft website, will I need to buy a new OS with the new system?

Next challenge: If I wanted to upgrade piece by piece, and wanted to be able to play games before buying everything, which order should I buy them in? Here is what I have currently:

MOBO: ASUS A8N-LA
PSU: 300W don't know brand
Processor: Athlon 64 X2 3800+
Ram: 4G DDR
GPU: GeForce 6150LE

I figured maybe the PSU then the GPU and that should get me playing at super low, which I can live with. Then next would be the MOBO/CPU/RAM together. Then the case to put it all in. Then I can add on as I go. Would that work?

Thanks for the help!

More about : 500 gaming upgrade

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March 1, 2013 10:54:25 AM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD FX-6300 3.5GHz 6-Core Processor ($119.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper TX3 54.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($19.98 @ Outlet PC)
Motherboard: ASRock 970DE3/U3S3 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($69.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Patriot Viper 3 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($44.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Hitachi 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($54.98 @ Outlet PC)
Video Card: Diamond Radeon HD 7750 1GB Video Card ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master Elite 431 Plus (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($38.98 @ Newegg)
Case Fan: Rosewill RFX-120 87.5 CFM 120mm Fan ($5.60 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($24.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB DVD/CD Writer ($16.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $486.47
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-03-01 07:53 EST-0500)

I swapped in some less expensive parts, added a hard drive and dvd drive
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March 1, 2013 10:59:04 AM

gibby1282 said:

-I am not totally sold on the case. I really like the looks of the Coolermaster Elite 430, but it doesn't have USB 3 (which I am not convinced I need at this point anyway). Plus there was a review by a 12 year old who said it was too small to work in, and since I am older and (I assume) larger than a 12 year old.....


I'd suggest this case.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It's simple and a great price. Regardless of price I think it's one of the best looking cases out. Corsair did a great job on this one considering most other companies are pushing all these flashy products these days and half of them look like kid's toys.
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March 1, 2013 12:54:56 PM

This comes in about $30 farther over budget than yours, but includes a hard drive, and pretty much everything is better except the RAM and the case:
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor ($213.79 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Pro3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($87.55 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.73 @ Compuvest)
Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition 1GB Video Card ($96.99 @ Microcenter)
Case: Rosewill Blackbone ATX Mid Tower Case ($31.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($24.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $545.03
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-03-01 08:18 EST-0500)

(The 2500K is overkill, but by your original CPU choice it looks like you want to OC, and that's the cheapest OCable Intel. You can get the system now, run it stock, and buy a cooler and a better case later as your budget allows. The Corsair suggested above is a fantastic case.

You could also save a bit on the CPU by getting a non-OCable Intel and spend that money to go up to a 7850.)
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March 8, 2013 1:06:26 PM

Best answer selected by gibby1282.
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