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Old 08-29-2013, 02:04 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Upgrade for Gaming on a Budget

I'm looking to upgrade certain aspects of my desktop to improve its gaming performance. It's a relatively old PC, and I'm on a relatively low budget.

This is my current configuration:
ASUS A8N32-SLI Deluxe 939 NVIDIA nForce4 SLI X16 ATX AMD Motherboard
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4600+ Manchester 2.4GHz Socket 939 Dual-Core Processor
2x 1GB PC3200 RAM
PSU: looks like WT Power 550HD 550W Dual Fan SATA/24-pin Power Supply
Radeon X1300/X1550 Series
Case: looks like a Diablo XKROMA.
HDD: WD3200AAKS 320GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
I've been reading some threads and general guides, and it seems I shouldn't go and change everything just yet. Thus why I posted in this System Upgrades area. As mentioned, I intend to align it primarily toward gaming. Obviously Skyrim and newer. Let's say a few years running new-ish games on high would be pretty all right. $350 to $500 range over all.

Just in time for Labour Day Weekend sales, right?
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Old 08-29-2013, 10:25 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upgrade for Gaming on a Budget

You might as well replace pretty much everything. Luckily, you can do a pretty good gaming machine for just under $500.

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1xBnj
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Old 08-29-2013, 12:34 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upgrade for Gaming on a Budget

Indeed. I tried playing newer games on an X2 3800+ based machine overclocked to 2.9GHz and i was rather sluggish. The old beasty just doesn't have it anymore.

Agreed to the above list of parts, except you will need a new PSU to run something like a 760.
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Old 08-29-2013, 04:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upgrade for Gaming on a Budget

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yevrag35 View Post
You might as well replace pretty much everything. Luckily, you can do a pretty good gaming machine for just under $500.

Intel Core i3-3210, EVGA GeForce GTX 760 - System Build - PCPartPicker
great build there! a 760 will beast through anything you can throw at it, it will max out current games at playable FPS at 1080P, and modern games dont use more than 2 cores so a good dual core processor is still a good way to go. save up a bit more to get a decent power supply and you will be good to go!
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Old 08-29-2013, 09:13 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upgrade for Gaming on a Budget

Thanks for your help, everyone. Is that i3 really fine, or what would call for an i5 at this level? (Or is everything really so heavily dependent on the GPU.)

For PSU something like a Corsair HX750 would be good (because it's currently on sale on Newegg cheaper than the HX650). Or am I looking too high for what I need?

And how about cooling? I just have two case fans. Not too much to warrant anything heavier, eh?
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Old 08-29-2013, 09:34 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upgrade for Gaming on a Budget

i3 is perfectly fine. I have built 6 machines now with the i3 3220 featuring different Nvidia and AMD GPUs. Just really depends on how much cash you want to drop into the setup.

If you're sticking with single GPU (what I recommend), then a quality PSU around 650w is fine. TX650, Seasonic s1211 620w, ect. If you want modular you could go with the Seasonic G series 650w, or the HX650/750. They also make the M1211 Seasonic 620w.

The i3 runs cooler than the X2 believe it or not. Cooling shouldn't be an issue. Just make sure you have something blowing in, and something blowing out.
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Old 09-02-2013, 12:59 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upgrade for Gaming on a Budget

There seems to be little difference between the i3 3220 and the 3210 that was listed in Yevrag's build for me, so I think I'll just go with the 3220. Just 1 Ghz, and they're the same prince on Newegg, which I'll probably just buy everything from. (Or should I just go with the cheapest listings I can find?)

Additionally, I was thinking it might be a good idea to get one 8gb ram instead of 2x 4gb, for upgrade potential later. I mean, I've heard the performance boost of having two is relatively little, and it should be fairly easy to match type if / when I get another one.
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Old 09-02-2013, 04:12 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upgrade for Gaming on a Budget

To the top part, indeed. I didn't realize he listed the 3210. I forgot they even made that one lol. Newegg is fine, or if you prefer Amazon. I know some prefer Amazon but typically Newegg is cheap.

To the bottom part, true and not true. Dual channel does give a big boost over single channel on any platform. It's only when you get above 1600MHz, triple/quad channel, ect that you don't really see a difference. BUT that being said, anything is going to be way faster than what you currently have. Even single channel 1066. I only suggest going the single 8GB if you plan on upgrading within the next 6 months. Otherwise, the price of DDR3 won't really be all that worth it.
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Old 09-02-2013, 05:46 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upgrade for Gaming on a Budget

That's right. The price of DDR3 will only continue to increase with the release of DDR4, isn't it? In that case I should seek to upgrade it sooner than later indeed.
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Old 09-02-2013, 05:58 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upgrade for Gaming on a Budget

Yup. Samsung already announced DDR4 modules available for the server market. We won't be seeing DDR4 in the consumer world for another year at least, but DDR3 has been on the price rise for almost a year now. When around Christmas time you could get 8GB for close to 30 bucks, and now it's more like 55.
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