1. #1
    Moderator Nobleshield's Avatar
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    Looking to get some PC upgrades on a limited budget

    My desktop PC has gotten quite long in the tooth (AMD Phenom II X4 810 ~2.6GHz; 4GB RAM; NVIDIA GeForce 9500 GT) and I'm looking at getting some upgrades. I want to be able to play most new games and MMOs (e.g. Rift, LOTRO, maybe WoW again) at a decent level (not looking to have everything maxed out, just at a decent level of graphics; as high as possible ofc). I can most likely reuse the case (standard black iBuyPower tower) and hard drive; I'm not sure about the power supply. I don't plan to overclock at all.


    Troblem is I have a very limited budget to spend, around $400 maximum for everything (maybe up to $500 if I stretch it). Since I have extremely limited funds, I'm not looking at the latest and greatest CPU/GPU, but more like last year's models or even higher end 2011 models that have dropped in price since I just want decent performance at something other than "Very Low" graphics setting even with using the Razer Game Booster.


    As a baseline to at least have some makes/models to go by I was using a website I stumbled across from 2011 when Rift was first coming out that lists two high-end (at the time) PC builds (one Intel, one AMD) that it claims could run Rift on Ultra without any problems; some of the parts are since out of stock and have been replaced, but it's giving me an idea of what roughly to look at: http://thepriorart.wordpress.com/201...ltra-settings/


    Because of my limited funds to look at upgrades, should I stick with AMD as it's fairly cheaper than Intel? Just from a quick glance on Newegg I can get an AMD Phenom II X4 Black 965 for $99 (to compare, the website abovet suggested the Phenom II X4 955 which I assume was the predecessor to the 965 in 2011 when the article was written), compared to double that for an equivalent i5 (~$220 on Newegg) and almost triple that for an i7 ($~299 on sale).


    I will primarily buy from Newegg or TigerDirect, or even Amazon if they have deals; mostly looking to get the most bang for my buck with my limited funds and not be stuck with low graphics settings and even then getting <20fps.


    Any suggestions on what to get would be greatly appreciated, since it's been ages since I've put together a PC and I forget what to look for
    NOBLESHIELD
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  2. #2
    The Lightbringer Toffie's Avatar
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    If you do have the optical drive,case & memory you could get a pretty good gaming rig.

    http://pcpartpicker.com/p/vLEO
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  3. #3
    Moderator Skarsguard's Avatar
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    Ok so I just did some benchmarks in wow on our third computer it's mainly for my kids or if I have company over or something anyways this is what it has in it.

    Amd black 965
    XFX 7750
    Crucial M4
    Asrock mobo
    8 gigs of vengeance ram
    XFX 550 pro PSU
    22 inch monitor running at 1680 x 1050

    With everything maxed out except shadows I put it on low all the old content in wow ran at 60 fps in mop it ran at a solid 53 fps in LFR hovered around 35-40 fps in 25mans. It never fells laggy or like it's the worst computer ever. Most people say you need an I5 I don't think you have to have one there nice but not needed for every build.

    This is what I would do upgrade to a 965 black edition and get a aftermarket cpu fan(stock one is loud). get 8 gigs of ram if your Mobo and windows support it. and get a hd7850.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814150641 XFX 7850 2 gig version. 175$ after rebates
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16819103727 965 black edition 100 $
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16835103099 CM evo cpu cooler 30$
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820233186 Corsair vengeance 1600 8 gigs ram 46$

    Total should be around 350-375$ ish



    I promise you will see light and day between what you got now and these upgrades.
    Last edited by Skarsguard; 2013-01-04 at 04:37 AM.

  4. #4
    The Lightbringer Toffie's Avatar
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    He is not planning to overclock, so buying an aftermarket cooler seems like waste of money. That cpu is worse than the i3 i linked for games. The 7870 OC will run almost every game maxed.
    Steam Big Picture Mode - 4570 - GA-H87N - MSI R9-290 - 120 GB Samsung 840 EVO
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  5. #5
    Moderator Skarsguard's Avatar
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    yeah but if he gets an I3 he will have to get a new mobo. the Amd cpu is cheaper then the I3 he can spend that money on ram and a oc'd 7850 is enough for most games out there and is cheaper.
    Even if he doesn't OC the reason why I recommended the cpu cooler is because the stock fan is very load even if you don't oc. Seems like you have never used this specific cpu I actually have one and know it pretty well its not terrible like everybody makes it out to be.
    Last edited by Skarsguard; 2013-01-04 at 06:36 AM.

  6. #6
    Moderator Nobleshield's Avatar
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    I don't remember what to look for in a mobo but wouldn't I basically need to get a new one no matter what, even if I just got a higher-end Phenom II? I'm mainly unsure of what components go best together but at the same time pricing a few things out I don't want to end up spending a lot since I'm not looking for really high-end usage, just want decent performance. If I had the money I'd just get an i7 and whatever, but seriously considering sticking with AMD because it's not total garbage (I don't think anyways lol) and is about 1/3 the price of the comparative Intel CPU, so that leaves more money to upgrade the video card, mobo (if necessary) and anything else. I'm not sure what power supply the current machine has (probably whatever the normal wattage is) so that might need to be upgraded too. I probably need to crack it open and take inventory so I know what can be reused and what needs to be replaced.

    Is an i3 really better than a Phenom II X4 965? I thought the 965 was equivalent to an i5 (at least that's what I was lead to believe since the site I was looking at for examples lists an i5 in their Intel build, and the 965's predecessor the 955 in the AMD build)
    Last edited by Nobleshield; 2013-01-04 at 12:25 PM.
    NOBLESHIELD
    <Meliora> of Turalyon-US
    Raids & Dungeons Moderator


  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Toffie View Post
    He is not planning to overclock, so buying an aftermarket cooler seems like waste of money. That cpu is worse than the i3 i linked for games. The 7870 OC will run almost every game maxed.
    While you may be right $200 is =/= to $100 or > than $100? So using his existing MOBO would be ideal, especially where a 965 is a fairly decent upgrade along with a 7xxx series gpu, taking the entire pc up a notch will be better than pissing away 50% or more of your budget on a single component.

    While ideally you should upgrade the CPU and possibly mobo to atleast an Fx-x3xx series $400 w/ such an outdated GPU makes it very difficult to get a GPU, new mobo and new cpu. So I opted to a higher end phenom, a 7850, and a 128Gb SSD for O.S/Games. These 3 should net a very noticeable and pleasurable gaming experience for another year, maybe 2.

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($89.99 @ NCIX US)
    Storage: Crucial M4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($99.99 @ B&H)
    Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card ($190.98 @ Newegg)
    Total: $380.96
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-04 08:02 EST-0500)

    ---------- Post added 2013-01-04 at 01:08 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Arothand View Post
    I don't remember what to look for in a mobo but wouldn't I basically need to get a new one no matter what, even if I just got a higher-end Phenom II? I'm mainly unsure of what components go best together but at the same time pricing a few things out I don't want to end up spending a lot since I'm not looking for really high-end usage, just want decent performance. If I had the money I'd just get an i7 and whatever, but seriously considering sticking with AMD because it's not total garbage (I don't think anyways lol) and is about 1/3 the price of the comparative Intel CPU, so that leaves more money to upgrade the video card, mobo (if necessary) and anything else. I'm not sure what power supply the current machine has (probably whatever the normal wattage is) so that might need to be upgraded too. I probably need to crack it open and take inventory so I know what can be reused and what needs to be replaced.

    Is an i3 really better than a Phenom II X4 965? I thought the 965 was equivalent to an i5 (at least that's what I was lead to believe since the site I was looking at for examples lists an i5 in their Intel build, and the 965's predecessor the 955 in the AMD build)
    phenom 2 x4 are all the same, just higher core clock, nothing else "new" about them, and they are more or less equivalent to Core i7 first gens. The i3 stock can in some games outperform a phenom 2, if you are talking second gen and up. However is it $60-$100 more performance, saying you buy a cheap mobo and i3 that should be $200 atleast. I went for overall bang for each penny, keep in mind "Faster, fastest etc" are all relative to how much you have to spend and how high the settings resolution etcetcetc you want to play on, YOU DO NOT NEED THE ABSOLUTE BEST.

  8. #8
    phenom 2 is not comparable to a first gen i7 for gaming. More like a QX6850 or something like that. At least for WoW, which I guess he is playing.

  9. #9
    Moderator Nobleshield's Avatar
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    It's mostly Rift and LOTRO right now. All I know is the Phenom II was the processor on the AMD side of that "PC Build for running Rift on Ultra" page from Feb '11.
    NOBLESHIELD
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  10. #10
    Stood in the Fire Rafax's Avatar
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    Why would anyone suggest an ssd on this kind of budget? geez just go with a cheap socket 1155 mobo, something like a b-75 plus an i3 3220 and the 7870 linked above.

  11. #11
    Moderator Skarsguard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rafax View Post
    Why would anyone suggest an ssd on this kind of budget? geez just go with a cheap socket 1155 mobo, something like a b-75 plus an i3 3220 and the 7870 linked above.
    He could or he could save money and just get a new cpu a cpu fan, video card and bam save about 100 bucks getting a new mobo and 40 dollar more cpu use that savings to get 8 gigs of ram. If he wants 100 fps sure get an 1155 and mobo but he just said he didn't have to have something that ran everything on ultra at the highest fps. That processor with that video card I linked him is powerful enough for the games he is wanting to run. Every build doesn't have to have a I5 and a 7970.

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