Biggest band for the buck:
I figure out my requirements (CPU/MB/RAM/Vcard) and budget, then I make a request for advice. I'm pretty sure some respondents (if any) will suggest spending a little bit more on this and that. Fair enough. I've been convinced to spend an extra $1-100 on minor upgrades...but for what components? And why is this upgrade best and by how much will the improvement to the component add to the gaming performance? (I did not consider improvements to other parts of my existing system...should I have?)
Which component to Upgrade?
I've done some basic research on the four components. If I go low end the total price is $301. However, I could go up another $100. The range of component prices is approx. $100 based on www.canadacomputers.com listing. I've ignored the mail-in rebate price.
CPU ($74 - $175):
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4600+ (65W) Dual-Core Socket AM2, 2.4GHz, 512KB x2 L2 Cache, 2000MHz HT, 90nm
AMD Athlon 64 X2 6400+ (125W) Dual-Core Socket AM2, 3.2GHz, 1MB x2 L2 Cache, 2000MHz HT, 90nm
Motherboard ($81 - $182)
Gigabyte GA-MA69GM-S2H Socket AM2 AMD 690G Chipset Dual Channel DDR2 800 HD Audio ATI X1250 Integrated GPU Mirco ATX
Gigabyte GA-MA790FX-DS5 Socket AM2 AMD 790FX Chipset Dual-Channel DDR2 /800/1066Mhz SATA 3Gb/s 8-Channel Intel High Definition Audio Gigabit Lan Firewire Dual PCI-Express 2.0 Graphic Slots All-Solid Capacitor Silent-Pipe Design Support AMD Quad Core
Memory ($54 - $152):
Mushkin EM2-6400 DDR2-800 2GB (2x1GB) EM Series Cas 5-5-5-12 (1.8V) 240pins
Mushkin XP2-8500 DDR2-1066 4GB (2x2GB) Extreme Performance Series CAS 5-5-5-15
Video Card ($92 - $194):
EVGA e-GeForce 8500GT 512MB (512-P2-N747-LR) nVidia GeForce 8500GT Chipset (459Mhz) (800Mhz) 512MB DDR2 DVI/ D-Sub PCI-Express Graphics Card
XFX GeForce 8800GT XXX nVidia 8800GT Chipset (670Mhz) 512MB (1.95Ghz) GDDR3 Dual Dual-Link DVI PCI Express 2.0 Graphics Card
I've not considered whether I should go with an ATI product instead of GeForce nor using an Intel CPU rather than AMD. Am I missing a performance/value leader by doing this? As well, I could divide up my upgrade amongst the different components. Or should I improve the power supply/case, HDD, etc.? And overclocking...is it worth it?
The Current Condition
In my situation, I'm upgrading the 2+ y/o gaming PC for my teenage boys (they are footing the bill—budget <$450 CAN). They have a keyboard/mouse, WinXP, 22” widescreen (1680x1050pi), old case, 360W Silverstone power supply, DVD, floppy, an IDE and/or SATA 80gb 5400rpm HDD, various 80mm & 120mm fans.
They want a system that can play COD4 at least at medium settings (BF2 at max.) and will last for 2-3 years or so before they need to upgrade. (They cannot afford high end components). Other than reusing power supply, case, and peripherals, I don't see the point in spending money now so upgrades can occur tomorrow. I'm sure new technology will enter the marketplace two years from now and they will rebuild.
Does anyone have any thoughts or suggestions?
Edited by Silly Wabbit, 27 June 2008 - 03:05 PM.