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Upgrade on a $300 - $350 Budget

post #1 of 54
Thread Starter 
Current Machine:

Motherboard: MSI P43 Neo3-F PCB 1.1
Processor: Intel Core 2 Quad CPU Q8200 @ 2.34GHz
Power Supply: 500W
Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce 9600 GSO
Hard Drive: 500GB
Memory: Two sticks = 3.72 GB DDR2-800 RAM total

I would like to keep the current motherboard unless it's cheaper to buy another, and get a video card with an HDMI output so I can hook up to my big screen.

I want more/max power with this (or cheaper) motherboard but I don't want to overspend for power I'm not going to be using (ie amazing graphics cards w/ little processors or vise versa). I have a desire to learn how to overclock my cpu and gpu if possible and will need advise on that as well.

I play mostly SW:ToR and games similar, I do a lot of video and photo editing.

I want brands that are good and reliable. I want to try to spend $300 - $350 and no more than that thumb.gif

Any help or suggestions would be very appreciated
Edited by NeverB4Seen - 2/24/12 at 10:45am
My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i3 2100 H67MS-E33 (MS-7680) Radeon HD 6870 G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB DDR3 
Hard DriveOSMonitorPower
500 GB Windows 7 Professional 32bit 22' Neovo Flatscreen monitor 500W Antec Earthwatts 
Case
Antec Sonata III 500 
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My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i3 2100 H67MS-E33 (MS-7680) Radeon HD 6870 G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB DDR3 
Hard DriveOSMonitorPower
500 GB Windows 7 Professional 32bit 22' Neovo Flatscreen monitor 500W Antec Earthwatts 
Case
Antec Sonata III 500 
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post #2 of 54
What board do you have? That's really going to play a big factor in your clocking capability.

DDR2 or DDR3?

Primary use for the machine?

--Alex
My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
3570K  GB Z77x-UD5H GTX465GE / 470 Flashed G-Skill  
Hard DriveOSPower
128GB Vertex 4 (x2) Win7 64 PCP&C 750w 
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My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
3570K  GB Z77x-UD5H GTX465GE / 470 Flashed G-Skill  
Hard DriveOSPower
128GB Vertex 4 (x2) Win7 64 PCP&C 750w 
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post #3 of 54
Thread Starter 
My motherboard is an MSI N1996
My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i3 2100 H67MS-E33 (MS-7680) Radeon HD 6870 G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB DDR3 
Hard DriveOSMonitorPower
500 GB Windows 7 Professional 32bit 22' Neovo Flatscreen monitor 500W Antec Earthwatts 
Case
Antec Sonata III 500 
  hide details  
Reply
My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i3 2100 H67MS-E33 (MS-7680) Radeon HD 6870 G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB DDR3 
Hard DriveOSMonitorPower
500 GB Windows 7 Professional 32bit 22' Neovo Flatscreen monitor 500W Antec Earthwatts 
Case
Antec Sonata III 500 
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Reply
post #4 of 54
Primary use?

That's the biggie. I run a GT210 for HDMI in my HTPC, wouldn't run it in a gaming machine though. Gotta know what your trying to do.
--Alex
My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
3570K  GB Z77x-UD5H GTX465GE / 470 Flashed G-Skill  
Hard DriveOSPower
128GB Vertex 4 (x2) Win7 64 PCP&C 750w 
  hide details  
Reply
My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
3570K  GB Z77x-UD5H GTX465GE / 470 Flashed G-Skill  
Hard DriveOSPower
128GB Vertex 4 (x2) Win7 64 PCP&C 750w 
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Reply
post #5 of 54
Thread Starter 
I'm not a heavy gamer. I am playing SW:ToR right now but my current machine is good enough to run that on full graphics. This is mainly just an As-much-as-I-can-get-out-of-it upgrade. Want to know I am doing all I can with the motherboard I have before I go upgrading to a whole new rig.
My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i3 2100 H67MS-E33 (MS-7680) Radeon HD 6870 G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB DDR3 
Hard DriveOSMonitorPower
500 GB Windows 7 Professional 32bit 22' Neovo Flatscreen monitor 500W Antec Earthwatts 
Case
Antec Sonata III 500 
  hide details  
Reply
My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i3 2100 H67MS-E33 (MS-7680) Radeon HD 6870 G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB DDR3 
Hard DriveOSMonitorPower
500 GB Windows 7 Professional 32bit 22' Neovo Flatscreen monitor 500W Antec Earthwatts 
Case
Antec Sonata III 500 
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Reply
post #6 of 54
It would better to just get a new pc, besides psu and hdd, then to upgrade an old machine because you'll spend a lot more money to get an equivalent upgrade. Whats your price range anyways?
     
CPUGraphicsRAMHard Drive
[Intel] Core i7 740QM  [NVIDIA] GeForce GT 240M  [Dell] 6 GB 1600MHz [Samsung] 470 256GB SSD 
OSMonitorMonitorKeyboard
[Microsoft] Windows 7 (64bit) [Dell] 15.0" High Def+ (900p/1600x900) [I-INC] Hannspree 1366 x 768 [Razer] Nostromo 
PowerCaseMouseAudio
[Dell] 150W [Dell] M15X [Razer] Naga Standard [Creative Labs] Sound Blaster X-Fi 
CPUMotherboardRAMHard Drive
[Intel] Celeron Dual-Core [MSI] G41M-P23 [Team] Elite 4GB (2 x 2GB) (reused in another build) [Western Digital] Cav... 
Optical DriveCoolingOSMonitor
[LG] DVD Burner - Black [COOLER MASTER] 120mm - Blue LED [Microsoft] Windows 7 (64bit) [I-INC] Hannspree 1366 x 768 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
[Rosewill] RK-101 [Antec] EarthWatts Green 380W [APEX] TX-381-C Black Steel Micro ATX Tower Com... (died in two weeks) [Rosewill] RM-C2U  
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CPUGraphicsRAMHard Drive
[Intel] Core i7 740QM  [NVIDIA] GeForce GT 240M  [Dell] 6 GB 1600MHz [Samsung] 470 256GB SSD 
OSMonitorMonitorKeyboard
[Microsoft] Windows 7 (64bit) [Dell] 15.0" High Def+ (900p/1600x900) [I-INC] Hannspree 1366 x 768 [Razer] Nostromo 
PowerCaseMouseAudio
[Dell] 150W [Dell] M15X [Razer] Naga Standard [Creative Labs] Sound Blaster X-Fi 
CPUMotherboardRAMHard Drive
[Intel] Celeron Dual-Core [MSI] G41M-P23 [Team] Elite 4GB (2 x 2GB) (reused in another build) [Western Digital] Cav... 
Optical DriveCoolingOSMonitor
[LG] DVD Burner - Black [COOLER MASTER] 120mm - Blue LED [Microsoft] Windows 7 (64bit) [I-INC] Hannspree 1366 x 768 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
[Rosewill] RK-101 [Antec] EarthWatts Green 380W [APEX] TX-381-C Black Steel Micro ATX Tower Com... (died in two weeks) [Rosewill] RM-C2U  
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post #7 of 54
You won't gain anything going from 4gb to 8gb of ram unless your run a lot of virtual machines or something. Honestly the best bet for ya would be wait til you could upgrade the cpu/motherboard/ram/video card at least. If you have a microcenter nearby you could get a 2500k cpu, motherboard, and ram for under $300.
post #8 of 54
i would recommend you to upgrade your current motherboard to
GA-G41M-Combo
you will be able to use your current 2x2 GB RAM (i guess because you must be running windows 32bit its showing 3.72 GB)and go for a DDR3 memory chip which is quite cheap now-a-days a DDR2 may cost more and give less performance redface.gif
and as for the Graphics a Powercolor Radeon HD 6850 will be enough for gaming and a HTPC thumb.gif which will cost you 140$ as For RAM CORSAIR XMS2 4GB 2x2GB 800Mhz 53$
and if you are planning to motherboard too
then go with a 6770 100$ RAM 25$ and 60$ motherboard
total 185$ thumb.gif
you can go with 6790 125$ in stead of a 6770 which will bring the exact total to 200$ wink.gif
if you notice the DDR2 4GB ram are costing more then 8GB DDR3 RAM redface.gif choose wisely wink.gif

a core 2 quad is not still bad for gaming but the Socket 775 is dead so it would be wise if you spend something like 300$ or 35o$ and get a core i5 25ook+motherboard+RAM or Core i3 2100+P67 motherboard+RAM+Graphic card redface.gif
Hope that Helped thumb.gif
Edited by Tarun - 2/22/12 at 8:38pm
post #9 of 54
Get yourself one of the new Core i3 Sandy Bridge CPUs and a reasonable Z68 motherboard.

You won't regret it! thumb.gif
The Metallian
(13 items)
 
   
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i5 2500K 4.2hz ASUS P8Z68-V GEN3 ASUS GTX 660 2GB DirectCU II OC 8GB Corsair Vengeance Blue 1600Mhz 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Crucial M4 128GB, Samsung F3 1TB, WD Blue 2TB Zalman CNPS9700CU Windows 8 Pro x64 24" Iiyama 2473HDS 1080p 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Microsoft 2000 Wireless XFX 650W XXX Sharkoon T28 Blue Gigabyte M6980 
Audio
XFI Fatal1ty Pro + Gigaworks T20 SII Speakers  
CPUGraphicsRAMHard Drive
Intel Core i5 2.5Ghz Intel HD3000 6GB DDR3 PC3-8500 OCZ Vertex 3 120GB 
OSMonitor
Windows 7 Pro x64 15.4" 1600x900 
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The Metallian
(13 items)
 
   
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i5 2500K 4.2hz ASUS P8Z68-V GEN3 ASUS GTX 660 2GB DirectCU II OC 8GB Corsair Vengeance Blue 1600Mhz 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Crucial M4 128GB, Samsung F3 1TB, WD Blue 2TB Zalman CNPS9700CU Windows 8 Pro x64 24" Iiyama 2473HDS 1080p 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Microsoft 2000 Wireless XFX 650W XXX Sharkoon T28 Blue Gigabyte M6980 
Audio
XFI Fatal1ty Pro + Gigaworks T20 SII Speakers  
CPUGraphicsRAMHard Drive
Intel Core i5 2.5Ghz Intel HD3000 6GB DDR3 PC3-8500 OCZ Vertex 3 120GB 
OSMonitor
Windows 7 Pro x64 15.4" 1600x900 
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post #10 of 54
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much guys for all the good input! I'm looking online right now for parts and such. I'll put up my findings here to see what you guys think. More insight would help me out a lot!
My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i3 2100 H67MS-E33 (MS-7680) Radeon HD 6870 G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB DDR3 
Hard DriveOSMonitorPower
500 GB Windows 7 Professional 32bit 22' Neovo Flatscreen monitor 500W Antec Earthwatts 
Case
Antec Sonata III 500 
  hide details  
Reply
My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i3 2100 H67MS-E33 (MS-7680) Radeon HD 6870 G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB DDR3 
Hard DriveOSMonitorPower
500 GB Windows 7 Professional 32bit 22' Neovo Flatscreen monitor 500W Antec Earthwatts 
Case
Antec Sonata III 500 
  hide details  
Reply
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