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I Need to upgrade, what do I buy?


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#1 Iceman2424

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Posted 13 February 2010 - 08:00 PM

I built my computer 2 years ago and it has been fine with gaming graphics until now, when I bought Bioshock 2 and noticed the graphics suck. What I currently have for hardware is:

Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-M61P-S3 AM2 NVIDIA GeForce 6100 / nForce 430 ATX AMD

CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 5600+ Windsor 2.8GHz Socket AM2 89W Dual-Core Processor Model ADA5600CZBOX

Video Card: EVGA 256-P2-N751-TR GeForce 8600 GT 256MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 SLI Support Video Card

RAM: 2 - 1GB of G.SKILL 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel

Knowing that I need to upgrade, what do I buy? Do I only need to upgrade a few componets or all of them? There are so many choices on newegg and I don't really know what to get. I don't understand all of the technical jargon for the description of the items. I do know I want to stick with AMD cpu and NVIDIA chipset for video card (unless you can convince me otherwise). So I would just like some good suggestions on how to make my computer a good gaming computer agian. I would only like to spend 200-300 dollars if at all possible.

Thanks for your help.

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#2 DJBPace07

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Posted 13 February 2010 - 09:37 PM

You can upgrade some of them piece by piece. You could probably get a better graphics card and that would make a big difference for little effort. Since your PC doesn't allow for SLI, you aren't limited in what you can get in terms of graphics. Currently, ATI is winning the GPU race with their Radeon 5 series. For graphics, I would go for the SAPPHIRE 100283L Radeon HD 5770 (Juniper XT) 1GB. I know you wanted Nvidia (I have no idea why given your hardware) but the Radeon 5770 is equal to the Radeon 4870 but is smaller, uses less energy, produces less heat, and allows for DirectX 11. Benchmarking this card is tricky in that with the right settings, drivers, and games, this will blow past NVidia's GTX 260, but in others it lags behind. Regardless, in terms of power draw and noise, this still beats that card, plus, it has DirectX 11 which no Nvidia card has, yet. If you want the absolute, top-of-the-line in terms of power, the VisionTek 900298 Radeon HD 5870 (Cypress XT) 1GB is currently the most powerful single GPU solution on the market, but it is very expensive. As for your CPU, your options are surprisingly wide. Gigabyte has decided to support AM3 processors on your motherboard, so you can use the latest and greatest AMD has to offer. There is a catch, though. You will need to update your BIOS to the most recent version to use them. You can get the dual core AMD Phenom II X2 550 Black Edition Callisto 3.1GHz or the quad core AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz. Which you should get depends on your budget, the dual core will be great for most games, but the quad core will handle games that can use multiple cores (beyond two) better. Note that if you get a GPU beyond the Radeon 5770 level, a quad core is suggested to reduce the bottleneck. Next on our upgrade list, is the RAM. Your motherboard supports four RAM slots with a maximum of 16GB. I suggest getting the Patriot Extreme Performance Gaming Series 4GB DDR2-800. If you are using a 32-bit operating system, you should only use one kit since those OSes cannot use more than 4GB and 1GB will be gone due to addressing. If you have, or are planning on upgrading to, a 64-bit operating system, you can get two kits if you wish. In a 64-bit environment, you will not lose memory due to addressing, so if you have 4GB of RAM, you will see and use all 4GB whereas in a 32-bit environment, you would only have 3GB to use. You don't have to do all of these at once. I think upgrading your GPU will be the first thing you should upgrade.

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#3 the_patriot11

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Posted 13 February 2010 - 09:47 PM

a video card upgrade is probably a must-but what kind of budget are we looking at here? we can make a more informed recomendation from there. :D

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Primary system: Motherboard: ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3, Processor: AMD Phenom II x4 945, Memory: 16 gigs of Patriot G2 DDR3 1600, Video: AMD Sapphire Nitro R9 380, Storage: 1 WD 500 gig HD, 1 Hitachi 500 gig HD, and Power supply: Coolermaster 750 watt, OS: Windows 10 64 bit. 

Media Center: Motherboard: Gigabyte mp61p-S3, Processor: AMD Athlon 64 x2 6000+, Memory: 6 gigs Patriot DDR2 800, Video: Gigabyte GeForce GT730, Storage: 500 gig Hitachi, PSU: Seasonic M1211 620W full modular, OS: Windows 10.

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#4 Iceman2424

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Posted 14 February 2010 - 11:31 AM

Thanks for your help guys. I mentioned in my post that my budget was between 200 and 300 dollars. I would like to upgrade it all for that but I don't know if I can get away with that.

#5 Iceman2424

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Posted 14 February 2010 - 11:35 AM

Also, if I was going to upgrade my motherboard, what one would you guys recommend?

#6 the_patriot11

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Posted 14 February 2010 - 05:09 PM

lol sorry I see that now my bad I didnt read the bottom two lines. What kind of PSU do you have? if its at least a 500 watt or more how bout this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16814102809 video card or for a cheaper model with directx 11 support this one http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16814102858 and then maybe throw in a memory upgrade, either another 2 x 1 gig set or something like this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16820220396 and it should more then double your computers performance.

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Primary system: Motherboard: ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3, Processor: AMD Phenom II x4 945, Memory: 16 gigs of Patriot G2 DDR3 1600, Video: AMD Sapphire Nitro R9 380, Storage: 1 WD 500 gig HD, 1 Hitachi 500 gig HD, and Power supply: Coolermaster 750 watt, OS: Windows 10 64 bit. 

Media Center: Motherboard: Gigabyte mp61p-S3, Processor: AMD Athlon 64 x2 6000+, Memory: 6 gigs Patriot DDR2 800, Video: Gigabyte GeForce GT730, Storage: 500 gig Hitachi, PSU: Seasonic M1211 620W full modular, OS: Windows 10.

If I don't reply within 24 hours of your reply, feel free to send me a pm.


#7 the_patriot11

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Posted 14 February 2010 - 05:11 PM

oh and perhaps, this is a bit over budget with the two above products, but this board here http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16813128395 will work with your current memory, has crossfire support as well as being AM3 compatible.

picard5.jpg

 

Primary system: Motherboard: ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3, Processor: AMD Phenom II x4 945, Memory: 16 gigs of Patriot G2 DDR3 1600, Video: AMD Sapphire Nitro R9 380, Storage: 1 WD 500 gig HD, 1 Hitachi 500 gig HD, and Power supply: Coolermaster 750 watt, OS: Windows 10 64 bit. 

Media Center: Motherboard: Gigabyte mp61p-S3, Processor: AMD Athlon 64 x2 6000+, Memory: 6 gigs Patriot DDR2 800, Video: Gigabyte GeForce GT730, Storage: 500 gig Hitachi, PSU: Seasonic M1211 620W full modular, OS: Windows 10.

If I don't reply within 24 hours of your reply, feel free to send me a pm.


#8 DJBPace07

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Posted 14 February 2010 - 09:55 PM

You don't really need a new motherboard as your current one will take most AM3 CPU's, this makes a new mobo more of an indulgence than a must have. Remember, if you replace the motherboard, you will need to repurchase and reinstall Windows. That is, unless you own a boxed, full retail copy of the OS, in which case you can simply reinstall it. I also suggest only using Crossfire with two high-end cards, like the 58xx series or better. Also, that motherboard isn't very good with Crossfire as one of the slots operates at X4 and not X16 when in Crossfire mode. For the $200 to $300 range, I would get the SAPPHIRE 100283L Radeon HD 5770 (Juniper XT) 1GB and the Patriot Extreme Performance Gaming Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800. By getting this particular kit, you will still have two RAM slots open for future expansion should you get a 64-bit operating system. That is assuming you have a power supply good enough to run such a card.

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