Diablo® III

Need to upgrade on a budget

100 Orc Warrior
9990
Posts: 1,600
Below is my system specs. I'm wanting to be able to play WoW on decent settings without lagging. Play Diablo 3. and at least on medium settings play skyrim. I have 500.00 roughly to make it happen. Is it possible with only 500.00? Not super tech savy so, priority wise, what should I target 1st, 2nd, 3rd (if possible) with my available income....

OPERATING SYSTEM:
Windows 2.6.1.7601 (Service Pack 1)

CPU TYPE:
AMD Athlon(tm) 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 4400

CPU SPEED:
2.32 GHz

SYSTEM MEMORY:
2 GB

VIDEO CARD MODEL:
NVIDIA GeForce 7900 GS

VIDEO CARD MEMORY:
262 MB

VIDEO CARD DRIVER:
nvd3dum.dll

DESKTOP RESOLUTION:
1680x1050

HARD DISK SIZE:
232.82 GB

HARD DISK FREE SPACE:
98.1 GB (42%)

DOWNLOAD SPEED:
693.06 kB/s (5.7 mbps)
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Posts: 1,189
Up your RAM to 4 GB (depends on your speed and number of slots, but 2GB should be about $30) and find a good deal on like a 460GTX ($150 after rebate).

Depending on what your motherboard can support, I would see if you can upgrade the processor with what you have left. You may even be able to find a mobo/processor combo deal which will allow you to upgrade even further at a later date.

If you wanted to blow the $500 now...

Get your RAM up to 6GB of the fastest that your motherboard will support. Then go for a 570GTX. Your processor will be the bottleneck at that point.

Edited by Myth on 11/22/2011 1:20 PM PST
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100 Orc Warrior
9990
Posts: 1,600
Do you think my comp can handle D3 on low setting right now?
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Posts: 1,189

Maybe.

Right now 2GB of RAM is the recommended requirements to run Windows 7 with bells and whistles.

And Diablo 3 has the 7800GT as the low end requirements; so the 7900 GS might be right on that same edge.

Depending on the speed of your harddrive(s) and how fragmented it is, you will probably see some stuttering.
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Posts: 22
Is your GeForce AGP or PCI-E?

Myth's recommendations are pretty good - but what I would strongly suggest, if you have the patience - is saving the $500 and waiting until you can afford around $1000. With 1k, you should be able to replace your motherboard / CPU / Ram and upgrade your video - as long as your power supply is ~650 Watts, you may be able to re-use that as well...

Switching to a new "class" of processor and motherboard would be a huge step up, and also give you the ability of putting much faster RAM in the machine.

Budget this way:

Video - $250 (recommendation GTX560)
RAM - 6 GB DDR3 - you can pick that up at newegg for less than $100
CPU / Motherboard Combo: Core i7 w/ ASUS board on newegg for $488

That puts you at about 850 - and will be a much better investment in your gaming future than upgrading your current box...

Worth saving up the extra 350 if you ask me!

Just my $.02
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Posts: 687
11/22/2011 01:16 PMPosted by Myth
Up your RAM to 4 GB (depends on your speed and number of slots, but 2GB should be about $30) and find a good deal on like a 460GTX ($150 after rebate).<br /><br />Depending on what your motherboard can support, I would see if you can upgrade the processor with what you have left. You may even be able to find a mobo/processor combo deal which will allow you to upgrade even further at a later date.<br /><br />If you wanted to blow the $500 now...<br /><br />Get your RAM up to 6GB of the fastest that your motherboard will support. Then go for a 570GTX. Your processor will be the bottleneck at that point.<br /><br />

Actually they have DDR1.... which is a bit more expensive ~$45+. 6GB is extreme overkill, 4GB is plenty, even for people like me who leave tons of programs open (A lot is for work). Also GTX 460 is WAY overkill for D3. I don't know why so many people recommend it... its overpriced, inefficient and power hungry, may also require a PSU upgrade... probably just Nvidia fanboys. I go with AMD but really any $80+ card from AMD or Nvidia (Online pricing) should be totally fine... though going to $100 gets you more perf/dollar.

Your CPU is probably fine (I used to have the 4600+), but if you wanted, you could upgrade your core system. You can get a dual core system with 4GB RAM for ~$150-200 depending on motherboard quality/features (AMD prices, Intel probably similar). I have the Athlon X2 @ 3 GHz. I can max SC2, BF3 (beta), and any other game I have ever played @ max and high res. If you wanted you could get 8GB RAM since prices are dirt cheap right now (DDR3), but since budget, I would still say 4 GB is totally fine, don't let any one tell you diff. I have 8 GB now since I just upgraded... but only because it was only $60, and 4GB would have been like $40, I had 4 GB for a few years and never had an issue.
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Posts: 687
11/22/2011 01:44 PMPosted by Newbie
Is your GeForce AGP or PCI-E?<br /><br />Myth's recommendations are pretty good - but what I would strongly suggest, if you have the patience - is saving the $500 and waiting until you can afford around $1000. With 1k, you should be able to replace your motherboard / CPU / Ram and upgrade your video - as long as your power supply is ~650 Watts, you may be able to re-use that as well...<br /><br />Switching to a new "class" of processor and motherboard would be a huge step up, and also give you the ability of putting much faster RAM in the machine.<br /><br />Budget this way: <br /><br />Video - $250 (recommendation GTX560)<br />RAM - 6 GB DDR3 - you can pick that up at newegg for less than $100<br />CPU / Motherboard Combo: Core i7 w/ ASUS board on newegg for $488<br /><br />That puts you at about 850 - and will be a much better investment in your gaming future than upgrading your current box...<br /><br />Worth saving up the extra 350 if you ask me!<br /><br />Just my $.02
<br />Umm they are asking about a budget upgrade, not a super elite overkill system. Even for an overkill system your components are way high, like 5x as fast as is needed to max D3, and prices absurd. My core components (includes video) cost $325 and I can run any game on the market high settings, and D3 doesn't even stand a chance @ working it, my GPU usage will probably be like 40% @ 60 FPS (2048x1152).<br /><br />If they really felt the need to spend $500, they could get Phenom II X4 ($120), decent mobo ($120), 8 GB RAM ($50), HD 6870 ($150) and still have $60 to spare (find a good deal on an SSD), while being extreme overkill for D3.<br /><br />For Skyrim... my listed components are a bit above the recommended requirements.
Edited by Xeridea on 11/22/2011 3:47 PM PST
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Posts: 2,734
I second the notion that the first couple of suggestions were overkill. I have almost the same computer as the OP (except I have a radeon 2600 pro, slightly better video card but still in need of an upgrade) and already I can run skyrim at 1920 by 1080 on low - getting to normal on 1680x1050 would be very easy on his budget.

If they really felt the need to spend $500, they could get Phenom II X4 ($120), decent mobo ($120), 8 GB RAM ($50), HD 6870 ($150)


I'd also second this recommendation if OP wants as much performance as he can afford on his budget. Maybe drop to the 6850 (slightly better performance/price ratio, should still hit high settings at your resolution on the games you listed). Hell you could probably even go with the 4870 (currently $75 with free shipping) and get the performance you're looking for:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814103193

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Posts: 1,093
If you're running Windows 7 64bit, go get 8 gigs of RAM. I just picked myself up 2 4 gig sticks for $40... If not, go for 4 gigs total. For ~$160 you can get a Radeon HD 6870 graphics card (GTX 560 equivalent, but less expensive), setting you up for great success for a while to come. Next I'd upgrade to a quad core processor, but that may require a new motherboard altogether.

Order of priority should be Motherboard above all else (can't do much if it wont let you), RAM (best cost / benefit ratio), then video card and processor (these both depend heavily on the motherboard)

Phenom II Quad Core Processor: ~$160
Radeon HD 6870 video card: ~$160
8 gigs of RAM: ~$40
New motherboard: ~$100

*edit*

Wow. Someone posted the exact same thing already. I should read before posting.
Edited by Jps on 11/22/2011 4:32 PM PST
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Posts: 356
I don't think the first few suggestions are overkill, not if the OP intends to upgrade to a system that would last another 3-4 years.

Sure the OP could spend $500 on upgrades that will extend current build by another 1-2 years, but another option would be to invest in higher end components that will take on games produced 3-4 years from now.
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Posts: 687
11/22/2011 04:32 PMPosted by Ice
I don't think the first few suggestions are overkill, not if the OP intends to upgrade to a system that would last another 3-4 years. <br /><br />Sure the OP could spend $500 on upgrades that will extend current build by another 1-2 years, but another option would be to invest in higher end components that will take on games produced 3-4 years from now.

Uh.... yeah, because everyone and their mother has to have the most bleeding edge system to play games at all. My 3 year old 4850 would play D3 max, and many other games today perhaps on medium, which would still look pretty good. And with the current trend of crappy console ports you don't really need a super insane computer.

I guarantee no game in the next 5 years will require an i7 to play. AMD has it right in their side by side demos, sure a $300-500 Intel CPU may get you a few extra frames (if you also have an insanely expensive GPU), but it is not even close to necessary. 90 FPS vs 80 FPS doesn't matter.

Also everyone insisting you must have 8GB of RAM is insane.... for new system may as well get it (due to insanely cheap RAM currently), but it is by no means even remotely required. No game currently on the market or even in the foreseeable future can even come close to using the 4GB which is common now. Anyone thinking it is needed for Win7 is misinformed, or just likes to make stuff up. Win7 (before bloatware) uses less than 1 GB of RAM, Vista uses more, and XP uses less, Win8 uses slightly less than Win7. No game I have ever heard of can even utilize 2GB or more... perhaps with bad memory leaks.
Edited by Xeridea on 11/23/2011 12:14 AM PST
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Posts: 22
There seems to be a big misconception of what was discussed here. The OP asked for budget upgrades. He gave a budget of $500. A few of us responded with the best "Bang for his buck" as WELL as giving him options, where if he saved a bit more - he would have a much more "Future ready" machine that would play not only D3 but also games that are far more graphics intense.

Its the simple notion of - sure - you can toss money into an old machine to make it last a bit longer, or you can swap out the core components for just a bit more and won't be left asking these same questions (ok - ready to sink another 500 in!) two years from now!

Clearly its up to the OP - just wanted him to see how close he was (financially) to being able to build a Core i7 system that would BLOW away his old box.
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Posts: 233
Get this, HP Pavilion dv6-6091nr Notebook PC ($736*) or HP Pavilion dv6-6170us Notebook PC ($757*)

Specs are:

# 2nd generation Intel Core i7-2630QM Processor (2GHz) with Turbo Boost‡
# 6GB DDR3 memory
# 1TB hard drive§ (5400 rpm) with built-in protection
# Radeon HD 6770M graphics (1024MB GDDR5, up to 3813MB total)

Take your $500, and put the rest on credit.

I just can't believe that computer is sooo cheap and it's a laptop capable of gaming cheaper than a gaming PC.
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11/23/2011 05:54 AMPosted by LoveJohnny
and it's a laptop


Your reason not to buy it!
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Posts: 687
11/23/2011 05:25 AMPosted by Newbie
Clearly its up to the OP - just wanted him to see how close he was (financially) to being able to build a Core i7 system that would BLOW away his old box.

90% of those getting i7 systems don't actually have need of them, but buy them for the cool factor, someone told them to, or like to spend money.

Take your $500, and put the rest on credit.

I just can't believe that computer is sooo cheap and it's a laptop capable of gaming cheaper than a gaming PC.

Uhhh OP wants budget upgrade not put the rest on credit... which is the problem with americans these days, the average american has several thousand dollars of credit card debt... paying $100/month or more just on interest. Retailers know this, this is why they push store credit cards so much, even if they give you half of first purchase, chances are they will make it up in interest.

I guarantee I can build a desktop gaming machine for cheaper, that is at least twice as fast, and if OP keeps resuable components (Monitor, keyboard, mouse, case, hard drives, optical drives, speakers), can do it for less than half.
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100 Troll Druid
16550
Posts: 2,055
11/23/2011 02:41 PMPosted by Xeridea
90% of those getting i7 systems don't actually have need of them, but buy them for the cool factor, someone told them to, or like to spend money.
But I got an i7 with 16 gigs of...

(looks at Oxidizer, Handbrake, Illustrator, Premiere, Audition, After Effects, and 20+ Chrome tabs open concurrently)

...nevermind, I guess I'm that 10%.
Edited by Krystle on 11/23/2011 3:08 PM PST
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Posts: 687
11/23/2011 03:07 PMPosted by Krystle
90% of those getting i7 systems don't actually have need of them, but buy them for the cool factor, someone told them to, or like to spend money.
But I got an i7 with 16 gigs of...

(looks at Oxidizer, Handbreak, Illustrator, Premiere, Audition, After Effects, and 20+ Chrome tabs open concurrently)

...nevermind, I guess I'm that 10%.

I use handbrake, do light image editing, have 20+ chrome and FF tabs, coding, some databases open, webserver, and still don't have to close programs to play games. Oh and I only have a $60 dual core.

My point is many just default to saying "buy an i7", when in reality most users, even many power users don't actually need to spend that outrageous amount on CPU, not even counting more expensive motherboard. You can about build an entire system capable of playing any game for the cost of an i7.
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