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Help me upgrade my gaming rig on a budget

Last response: in Tom's Guide
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April 21, 2014 7:43:11 PM

I built this back in 2011:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD Athlon II X3 450 3.2GHz Triple-Core Processor ($64.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-78LMT-S2P(REV5.0) Micro ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($50.48 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($45.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 160GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($29.95 @ Amazon)
Video Card: HIS Radeon HD 6850 1GB Video Card ($158.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Power Supply: Antec High Current Gamer 520W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($82.84 @ Mwave)
Total: $433.23
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-04-21 22:31 EDT-0400)

Looking to upgrade for a few reasons : 1) the hard drive is actually older, from 2006 and it's about time to get a new one, 2) Starting to notice some lag in games like Diablo 3 RoS, and 3) I got a nice bonus that my wife has given me the ok to spend :) 

That all said, i have about 500 bucks to spend, with some wiggle room.

My thoughts and questions for the community:

1. Could I upgrade my processor to the FX-6300 with this build? I'm thinking that right there would bump me up significantly, but i'm worried about compatibility.
2. How much RAM should I add? I was going to go all the way to 16GB just because (i'm also upgrading from win7 to win8.1 pro on this box), but i'm just curious as to how much of a difference it would make vs. just going to 8GB.
3. Is the HD6850 still going to cut it? What's a suitable upgrade that may work with my board?
4. FInally, am i just better off rebuilding from scratch with something brand new? If so, suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks all, i appreciate the feedback.

Best solution

April 21, 2014 8:29:46 PM

This is my suggestion. 16GB is for supercomputers :) 

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD FX-6300 3.5GHz 6-Core Processor ($114.97 @ OutletPC)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.98 @ OutletPC)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-78LMT-S2P(REV5.0) Micro ATX AM3+ Motherboard (Purchased For $0.00)
Memory: A-Data XPG V1.0 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($64.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 160GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (Purchased For $0.00)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($56.98 @ OutletPC)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 760 2GB Video Card ($224.99 @ Micro Center)
Power Supply: Antec High Current Gamer 520W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply (Purchased For $0.00)
Total: $491.91
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-04-21 23:27 EDT-0400)

ps. just kidding... but no game will need more than 8 gb. not even minecraft...
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April 22, 2014 6:02:18 AM

Thanks, I didn't even consider the 760 as an option!
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April 22, 2014 7:10:48 AM

Your Antec PSU is great for FX-6300 + GTX 760.

Good luck mate!
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