Upgrading my desktop?

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Upgrading my desktop?

Postby rath358 » Thu Dec 01, 2011 5:39 am UTC

So, I have been kicking around the idea of upgrading my desktop, maybe replacing one or two components for Christmas. I was wondering what might get me the most noticable improvement for, say, $100-$200.
I had my friend build me the machine as a (very)budget gaming machine. I think I asked him for something would handle WoW and Autodesk Inventor well. (They were the only good things I could think of for a benchmark). I definitely didn't expect to run Crysis on high quality or anything.
Sorry, I got off track there. This computer is now a secondary machine. It sits at my desk running folding at home all day. On evenings or weekends, I like to do a bit of gaming, usually just TF2 or Oblivion, although the people I hang out with seems to be slowly dragging me towards more requirement-hungry things.

I downloaded and ran PC Wizard, its results are below. If there is more specific information that would help, I would be glad to track it down.
Mainboard : Asus P5QL-CM
Chipset : Intel G43/G45
Processor : Intel Pentium E5200 @ 2500MHz
Physical Memory : 4096MB (2 x 2048 DDR2-SDRAM )
Video Card : NVIDIA GeForce 9600 GSO 512
Hard Disk : Western Digital WD6400AAKS-22A7B0 ATA Device (640GB)
DVD-Rom Drive : Toshiba-Samsung CDDVDW SH-S223Q
Monitor Type : LTV-19w6 - 19 inches
Monitor Type : CMC 22 W - 22 inches
Network Card : Realtek Semiconductor RTL8168/8111 PCIe Gigabit Ethernet Adapter
Operating System : Windows 7 Home Premium Home Edition Media Center 6.01.7601 Service Pack 1 (64-bit)
DirectX : Version 11.00
Windows Performance Index : 2.0 on 7.9

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Re: Upgrading my desktop?

Postby PhoenixEnigma » Thu Dec 01, 2011 7:05 am UTC

That's a bit of a tricky one, as your current system is fairly well balanced (a good thing), so upgrading just one component is likely to leave it held back by something else.

That said, upgrading the video card then CPU as far as reasonable might be the best approach. Something like a Radeon 6750, 6770 or GeForce 450 is probably a good point to aim for, particularly if you can pick up a re-certified one or the like - this one caught my eye as a good deal that's going to be substantially faster than your 9600 GSO. The CPU side is a little trickier, as LGA 775 CPUs are getting a little rare and a little pricier then the performance justifies, but replacing the motherboard, RAM, and CPU is a little impractical. If you can find an E6600 or E6700, they might not be bad options for a reasonable boost without breaking the bank.
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Re: Upgrading my desktop?

Postby GeorgeH » Sat Dec 03, 2011 1:41 am UTC

For ~$200 I'd grab an i3-2100, LGA-1155 motherboard and some RAM (doable using a cheap motherboard, or watch for holiday sales on better ones) sell your old stuff, save for a little bit and buy the best GPU you can afford. Spending anything on your platform (CPU/mobo) doesn't make much sense to me, and while a 6770-class GPU upgrade would help a lot your CPU is also holding you back in Skyrim-esque games.

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