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Old 11-19-2012, 04:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Upgrading my HTPC for gaming

I built an HTPC about 3 years ago for hi-def video only, wasn't interested in gaming at the time. Now I want to try running some older games on it, and I'm wondering how best to spend my $200 dollar upgrade budget for best performance. Here are my current specs:

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CPU: Pentium Dual-Core E5200 2.50GHz LGA775
CPU Cooler: Stock cooler
Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-EP43-UD3L LGA775
Graphics Card: SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 4670 GDDR4 512MB
HDD: Western Digital WD6400AAKS 640GB SATA 3.0Gbps
Memory: A-DATA 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model ADQVE1B16K
PSU: Corsair VX450W CMPSU-450VX 450W
Case: SilverStone Lascala LC17 SST-LC17B ATX
Optical drive: LG Black Blu-ray/HD DVD-ROM & 16X DVDĪR DVD Burner
OS: Windows 7

************************************************** **************************************************

For now I just want to be able to do some basic gaming, then if I get into it I'll do a full upgrade (mobo and all) in a year or so. I'll be replacing the HDD with a 128gb Samsung 470 Sata 2 SSD from my laptop. I'm planning on spending the $200 to buy a used CPU that will work with this older mobo, and a new GPU. I'm also considering keeping the CPU (which I believe has the Core architecture) and spending more on the GPU. My display is a 720p plasma TV, so I won't need full 1080p settings or 60fps performance.

So I have 2 questions: 1, what older games will run on my system as is? I'd like to run a few games before changing anything. 2, how best to spend the $200 for upgrades? CPU and GPU, or keep CPU and spend all on GPU?

I know these upgrades won't let me run the latest games on ultra settings, but for now I'm just looking to test the gaming waters.
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Old 11-19-2012, 04:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upgrading my HTPC for gaming

Grab a 650ti and you will be able to run any game out there on medium to high settings. Most games on high.
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Old 11-19-2012, 05:01 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upgrading my HTPC for gaming

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Originally Posted by PP Mguire View Post
Grab a 650ti and you will be able to run any game out there on medium to high settings. Most games on high.
Thanks, that's well within my budget. I'll look for some deals on a 650ti on Black Friday.
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Old 11-19-2012, 05:04 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upgrading my HTPC for gaming

The reason I'm not saying anything else is because your PSU isn't strong enough to really handle much more. PLus, no point in wasting money on a dead platform. If you really want to waste some cash on that platform though, I have a friend on another forum who has 2 Q8300s for sale and some DDR2 800. I personally think he wants too much for the quads (85) but he only wants 35 for the DDR2. Course, for 40 you can get some new from Newegg and another 4GB wouldn't hurt you. Up to you though.
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Old 11-19-2012, 05:16 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upgrading my HTPC for gaming

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Originally Posted by PP Mguire View Post
The reason I'm not saying anything else is because your PSU isn't strong enough to really handle much more. PLus, no point in wasting money on a dead platform. If you really want to waste some cash on that platform though, I have a friend on another forum who has 2 Q8300s for sale and some DDR2 800. I personally think he wants too much for the quads (85) but he only wants 35 for the DDR2. Course, for 40 you can get some new from Newegg and another 4GB wouldn't hurt you. Up to you though.
Actually your post was exactly the advice I was hoping for. I'd prefer to just get a graphics card and leave everything else alone. That way, when I do rebuild the whole system, the GPU will still be useful and I won't have wasted money on parts I'll have to get rid of in a year. So as long as the E5200 will just get by for now, I'll just go with the 650ti and leave everything else alone. Thanks again for the advice. The $40-50 I save off my budget will leave a bit to spend on games
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