Upgrading Computer

By cfitzarl
Jul 17, 2009
  1. Hey techspot :'D. I haven't posted in what seems like years xD . I think I was active about 3 years ago.

    Anyway, hello all members that I failed to meet in those years and welcome to my upgrade help thread ^___^ . Anyway, I'm off to college in late August, and I've decided that, to go with my new monitor and printer upgrade, I'm gonna upgrade my motherboard and possible my video card.

    The problem? I seem to have fallen out of line with the latest computer news (I'm going to be a psych major, and I don't deal with computers as much as I used to), so I have no idea what I should get. I do want to stick with my AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ monitor and my 4gb DDR2 memory, but I have no freaking clue what motherboard I should get. I hear there's such thing as PCIe 2.0, so that sounds good, no? Also, I'm not looking for something that max's out games or whatnot, I mainly use this computer for PHP Programming and some gaming so I don't need something that is top of the line.

    My budget, for both the video card and the motherboard is about $350. I think I can scrape that much from the graduation checks/cheques I got :p .

    Anyway, I thank anyone in advance who is able to offer me advice, and help me setup a rig that will run stellar ^^ .
  2. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,219   +157

    Hi cfitzarl,
    welcome back, I only know of you from your great posts in the gallery :) I have a couple of suggestions for you, if you don't mind coming in under budget. the Gigabyte board is a solid well performing board. the DFI is a personal favorite of mine, its more of a high performance board at a good price. the DFI board also has 2 pcie 2.0 slots if you decide that you want to up your
    the HD 4850 will give you good performance up to 1680x1050 resolution with most games on high settings. a notch up from that would be the HD 4870 for good performance at 1920x1080. and yes we have pcie v2.0 now. its not a huge deal yet as no card out to date saturates the bandwidth of pcie 1.0 yet....although Nvidia is coming out with a monster card (the GTX 300) that might challenge that. anyway i own a similar DFI board and 3 of the 4850's and they perform wonderfully. from what needs you described, this seems like it may be a good fit and pairing for your x2 6000, let me know what you think and if I can help. :)
  3. cfitzarl

    cfitzarl TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 1,975   +9

    Thank you very much for your post red1776 :) . I'm actually gonna luck out a bit from my monitor, seeing as it's a 1600x900 pixel 16:9 aspect screen. Because it isn't the highest resolution, the FPS will be higher :D .

    I will take a look at your links in a few minutes (I'm out to blockbuster to rent a movie at the moment ;) ).

    Looked at the links; I would prefer an ATX motherboard, which is what the Gigabyte is, and that SAPPIRE 4870 viddeo card looks nice :) .
  4. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,698   +1,885

    Everybody has been crowing about ATI's 4770 video cards. I'm not a gamer or an ATI afficianado so I have no idea what I'm talking about. But, it seems to me to be worth mentioning. Newegg was having trouble keeping any of these cards in stock, whatever that signifies (.) (?) (!)
  5. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,219   +157

    i can field that one cap, the 4770 is a wee bit faster than the 4830 in some games, the reason its not always in stock is that the yields were not good and they scrambled, and came up with , the 4730 to help mitigate the lack of supply.
  6. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,698   +1,885

    Has "Red Box" reached your area yet? They're at Supermarkets, buck a night for new release DVDs.
  7. cfitzarl

    cfitzarl TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 1,975   +9

    Ya, I've used those - I don't particularly care for them. I spend usually about 45 minutes searching for movies (I like a darker type of movies about abnormal 'A Beautiful Mind' and 'Spider').

    In any case, is there a GeForce card out there that is also cheap, but offers the same features at a similar price to the ATI cards? I've never had good luck with Radeon (I'm running on one right now that has died twice and magically come back alive).
  8. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,698   +1,885

    Perhaps Red Box is better suited to "Summer Movie" freaks such as myself.

    Rage had some nice things to say about the 9600GT cards in the mid price range. However, the price gap is closing between those and the 9800GT series. None of these offerings are state of the art, but they should play almost any game at reasonable settings.
  9. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 3,481   +44

    cfitzarl welcome home to TS, You say you dont have much luck with radeon cards, but as you said you've fell out of the loop, from 3 years ago the quality in supreme for even most 3rd party companies, "HIS, XFX even makes some ati cards, and a few others.

    this board

    with this card

    would do you well, staying under budget of 50 us dollars and offering 30+ dollars in rebates and saving,

    Spend the 70+ dollars on something else you need.
  10. cfitzarl

    cfitzarl TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 1,975   +9

    The board is the same as the card :p .
  11. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,431   +28

    Hey cfitzarl! Long time, no see! :) How've you been?

    I'd recommend getting the GA-MA770 here. Also, I recommend this HD 4850 for the Double Lifetime Warranty (provided you register the card within 30 days of purchase on the XFX site) that will cover you and any other person you decide to sell the card to.

    You will likely also need a new PSU. The 650TX is a great unit that is available for $100 on Newegg with an MIR. It will easily last you a couple of years and will give you plenty of headroom for upgrades.

    You may also have enough cash left over for a new CPU and HSF. The Phenom II X2 550\Athlon 64 X2 7750BE\7850BE and Xigmatek HDT-S1283 would be my recommendations, should you decide to go that way, budget-permitting.
  12. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 3,481   +44

  13. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,698   +1,885

    The "double lifetime warranty" baffled me in the past but you've illuminated the path one must take! You must will the card to your youngest child! Oh sure, it's only a video card, but it doubles as a family heirloom!
  14. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,431   +28

    LOL good one cap!

    Have you (or anyone else) tried claiming your warranty? (or is it insurance? ;))
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