My current system is as follows:
CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 Processor 4200+
GPU: ATI Radeon HD 2900 Pro
RAM: 4gb DDR2 @ 400 MHz
PSU: OCZ GameXStream OCZGXS700 (700W)
It is an older Acer Veriton M410 which I put a new PSU, video card and RAM into in Spring 2008. A picture of the motherboard can be found here:
I have not done any installation or replacing of a motherboard or cpu before so this will be my first time if I do it. As far as I can tell from rough eye ball measurements with a ruler looking inside my case I think the motherboard is of size Micro ATX. I sent an e-mail to Acer to find out exactly so I should hopefully hear back from them soon.
Here is a picture of the tower:
I do some gaming and though I don't do a ton I am finding that my computer cannot handle the newer titles. Here is a link to my 3DMARK06 benchmark:
ATI Radeon HD 2900 Pro video card benchmark result - AMD Athlon 64 X2 Processor 4200+,Acer F690GVM score: 7522 3DMarks
In essence, my goal with this upgrade is to be able to run titles such as Arma II or possibly Skyrim with frame rate that is good enough to the point where I am not getting hitches when playing. For example, when I was playing Skyrim, I could not RUN with my horse because I would get massive hitches where the screen would freeze for 5 seconds or longer as it renders what I am about to see next. I don't really care about being able to run games at max settings or anything for now at least. My native screen resolution is 1680x1050 so if I can run newer games at that resolution, even if I have the settings on low or maybe medium, it is all right as I want to spend as little money as possible trying to get the most bang for my buck while hopefully spending a maximum of around $270 with trying to keep it closer to ~$190 or less if possible.
I did do some browsing on the web today and these are some of my ideas:
- Try to get at least a quad core
- Quite possibly use my existing video card just upgrading the motherboard, CPU, and RAM
- (Don't know if this will be compatible) Search for motherboard that I can crossfire onboard GPU or APU with my current GPU to try to get better performance without having to buy a new video card. I saw someone post something about buying extra RAM to partition for allowing an APU to have that memory to work with but I only have Windows XP right now so I am not sure how viable that will be but I don't know much about this right now.
I am thinking I will use all of my existing equipment like case, hard drive, and optical drive.
I appreciate what you guys have to say and thanks for your time.