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What parts should I buy to upgrade my current computer?

Last response: in Systems
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March 3, 2013 7:33:46 PM

My current computer has:
CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual-Core 6000+ 3.0 GHz Processor
Motherboard: ASUS M2N-E Motherboard
Memory: 2G RAM
Storage: 500G (not sure what brand but I bought this in 2006)
Video Card: Radeon 5770 HD
Case: Thermaltake Armor Jr. Mid Tower Case
Power Supply: Corsair TX650W 650W ATX 12V 52A 24PIN ATX Power Supply Active PFC 120MM Fan
Optical Drive: I have one but it was bought in 2006, will it still be compatible with an upgrade?
Monitor: Samsung SyncMaster 1680 x 1050

My budget is $500 and I am planning to just upgrade my CPU, motherboard, memory and storage. With my 5770, I seem to be able to run borderlands 2 (can sometimes get 40 fps) and some other games... HOWEVER there is a lot of stuttering with newer games. I am pretty sure my system is bottle necking my GPU, am I right? If I upgrade can I expect a significant increase in fps?

What do you guys think of crossfiring 5770s, would that be a good option if I wanted a cheap graphics performance upgrade. It would be great if I could run Far Cry 3 at 1680 x 1050 resolution. Or should I just go for the 7850 but I am not sure if this will fit my budget.

With this computer I plan to play video games and also use it for MATLAB, Solidworks and other 3D modelling software. Is Intel Core i5-3570K a good CPU for this? How risky is overclocking a CPU?

a b B Homebuilt system
March 3, 2013 7:36:44 PM

You GPU is old and needs to be upgraded as well.

Do this:
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3470 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($188.79 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock H77 Pro4/MVP ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($87.55 @ Newegg)
Memory: Mushkin Radioactive 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($49.98 @ Outlet PC)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card ($159.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $486.31
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-03-03 16:36 EST-0500)

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March 3, 2013 8:04:43 PM

tiny voices said:
You GPU is old and needs to be upgraded as well.

Do this:
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3470 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($188.79 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock H77 Pro4/MVP ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($87.55 @ Newegg)
Memory: Mushkin Radioactive 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($49.98 @ Outlet PC)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card ($159.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $486.31
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-03-03 16:36 EST-0500)


What about my hard drive? It was bought in 2006, will it still be good?
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 3, 2013 8:05:39 PM

You will need a SATA drive. Your current drive is probably IDE.
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March 3, 2013 8:11:21 PM

tiny voices said:
You will need a SATA drive. Your current drive is probably IDE.


Hmmm, what do you recommend? I am not very computer savvy :p 
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 3, 2013 8:13:20 PM

Any 7200 RPM drive that is SATA.
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March 3, 2013 8:30:21 PM

tiny voices said:
Any 7200 RPM drive that is SATA.


Thanks!

Also, how do I ensure that it all will fit in my case? Are there for example, numbers/symbols that I have to match?
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 3, 2013 8:33:26 PM

Just looked up your case. Everything will fit just fine.
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!