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