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2013 low budget system upgrade advice

Last response: in Systems
March 3, 2013 1:42:55 PM

Hey fellas,

In the end of 2009 I updated the desktop(in a ruch out of necessity). In the past few months, its been randomly shutting down with no errors in the sys manager log..... I did some troubleshooting but aside from buying replacements one at a time, I can't zero in on the problem, so I figured I may as well upgrade. Been 3 years anyways...

Primary use : I watch a LOT of HD video on the computer, I generally rip all my dvds as soon as I buy them then put them away and never get them out again lol - I also watch a lot of streaming content(I'm an anime nut :) , I play a small number of games, but I'd like to be able to play whatever strikes my fancy, my current setup runs crysis ok, but not very well.

Here are the current specs :

Asus server case(I run 3 hard drives internally - 1 for OS and 2 for backups).
AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Black Processor HDZ720WFGIBOX
ASUS M4A79XTD EVO AM3 AMD 790X ATX AMD Motherboard
G.SKILL 3GB (3 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model
Rosewill 750 watt power supply
LG Blu Ray disk optical drive
2x 40mm case fans.

For vid card I have the XFX HD-487A-ZWFC Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
(old card I know, but it plays crysis :) 


I want to upgrade, but don't want to spend a lot, I'm actually thinking I may stick with my current vid card for the time being, and upgrade in the future when I have more spare cash.

I need to buy a new copy of Windows as I need 64 bit to get more ram, I'd like to stay at $400 including Windows, so about $300 for components.

Here is what I am considering :

GIGABYTE GA-970A-D3 AM3+ AMD 970 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard - $90
AMD FX-6300 FX-Series Six-Core Processor Edition, Black AM3 FD6300WMHKBOX - $135
Corsair Vengeance Blue 8 GB (2X4 GB) PC3-12800 1600mHz DDR3 240-Pin SDRAM Dual Channel Memory Kit CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9B - $48

I was also wondering if its necessary to get a water cooler... Like this one -

I think the card/processor keeps me a little more future proof than I am now, so in a few years I can just buy more ram and upgrade the vid card.

but again, I've been out of the hardware game for several years, I think 2006 was my last in depth build, the upgrades from late 09 were necessity based and rushed.

I see a lot of people talk about the Phenom II X4 955 quad core processor that can be had for about $90, but again, figure the 6 core is faster....

Any thoughts/input would be greatly appreciated. I know the vid card needs to get updated, but the current one runs crysis which is the max I run right now, which saves me a bit of cash and I can upgrade as I need to....
March 3, 2013 1:55:41 PM

Get the fx6300 and a hyper 212 cpu cooler.
March 3, 2013 2:04:40 PM

Yeah I was looking at the poll threads for the best budget AMD gaming PC and saw they all added the CPU cooler another $30 is no problem.