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Thread: What upgrades for £250-300?

  1. #1
    HEXUS.social member Allen's Avatar
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    • Allen's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus MAXIMUS VIII GENE
      • CPU:
      • Intel® Core™ i5-6600K @ 3.5GHz
      • Memory:
      • Kingston HyperX Predator DDR4 2x8GB
      • Storage:
      • 256GB Samsung 960 PRO + 512GB Samsung 960 Evo
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Asus ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1080 Ti
      • PSU:
      • XFX P1-650X-NLG9 XXX 650W Modular
      • Case:
      • Fractal Design Node 804
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 10 Home 64-bit
      • Monitor(s):
      • 27" BenQ XL2730Z + 23" Dell U2311H
      • Internet:
      • Virgin Media 200Mbps

    What upgrades for £250-300?

    OK, as you can see by my system on the left, my PC is a bit outdated. I need to upgrade it! I was considering getting an Xbox, but I love PC gaming too much (despite many things going so wrong for us, but that's another post).

    So, with the above budget, what would you consider to be my best upgrades? I think a new mobo, CPU and RAM is a must as my current mobo is LGA775, CPU is too slow and RAM is only DDR2.

    I've read a lot of good things about P55 chipsets, they seem to be very future proof. However, I'm not sure of the structure of the new Core i3/5/7 series of CPU's. I would be looking for one that is relatively cheap, but easy and able to overclock nicely. The RAM I guess would be pretty easy to source, 4GB+ (using 64 bit OS') of branded memory.

    Lastly, the graphics card. My card isn't great, however I think it's not performing to it's best due to the bottleneck of my current mobo/CPU. If I upgraded my mobo, CPU and RAM to current standards, would my graphics card perform OK for recent games, or would I have to invest in a new card too? Would this be viable with this kind of budget?

    I could always upgrade the mobo, CPU and RAM and get a new graphics card next month if my current budget is not enough.

    Cheers in advance guys!

  2. #2
    jim
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    HEXUS.clueless jim's Avatar
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      • CPU:
      • i5 2500K @ 4.5GHz
      • Memory:
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      • Graphics card(s):
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    Re: What upgrades for £250-300?

    It's not a huge budget, so I would stick with the motherboard - personally.

    My gut reaction would be to go second hand:

    Q6600 - £70
    ATI 4870 - £70
    2x2GB DDR2 RAM - £50-70 (if you can find someone on Hexus who bought some cheap a while back and wants to sell)

    Obviously that leaves some cash spare, so it gives you a bit of scope. How about a good quality cooler so you can overclock the Q6600? Or you could go for new parts instead, or maybe get a faster graphics card.

    You may want to leave the RAM as well, depends whether you're likely to use more than 2GB. I wouldn't recommend populating all four slots though, especially if you want to overclock - so go with either 2x1GB or 2x2GB.

    At the end of the day, the CPU and the graphics card is more important than anything else - assuming you've got enough RAM. DDR3 isn't going to make a big difference, and if you've got a slow dual-core at the moment then moving to a fast LGA775 quad-core will be like light and day - I wouldn't be rushing for P55 myself.
    Last edited by jim; 05-07-2010 at 10:39 AM.

  3. #3
    HEXUS.social member Allen's Avatar
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    • Allen's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus MAXIMUS VIII GENE
      • CPU:
      • Intel® Core™ i5-6600K @ 3.5GHz
      • Memory:
      • Kingston HyperX Predator DDR4 2x8GB
      • Storage:
      • 256GB Samsung 960 PRO + 512GB Samsung 960 Evo
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Asus ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1080 Ti
      • PSU:
      • XFX P1-650X-NLG9 XXX 650W Modular
      • Case:
      • Fractal Design Node 804
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 10 Home 64-bit
      • Monitor(s):
      • 27" BenQ XL2730Z + 23" Dell U2311H
      • Internet:
      • Virgin Media 200Mbps

    Re: What upgrades for £250-300?

    Having actually looked into the prices of P55 motherboards and i5/7 processors, I think they're way out of my league for the time being.

    So, looking at a Core 2 Quad seems a much better option, thanks snootyjim. I can keep my motherboard, add some more memory (will get 2x2GB and sell my 2x1GB pair) and get a Q8300, that should give me a reasonable performance boost. Then I should have plenty spare for a new graphics card, maybe something along the lines of a HD5770 (I've read that PCI-E 2.0 cards will work in PCI-E slots, just a bit slower).

    That should keep me going for a while, with the graphics card being good enough to transfer to a new system when I can afford another upgrade.

  4. #4
    jim
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    • jim's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus Maximus IV Gene-Z
      • CPU:
      • i5 2500K @ 4.5GHz
      • Memory:
      • 8GB Corsair Vengeance LP
      • Storage:
      • 1TB Sandisk SSD
      • Graphics card(s):
      • ASUS GTX 970
      • PSU:
      • Corsair AX650
      • Case:
      • Silverstone Fortress FT03
      • Operating System:
      • 8.1 Pro
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell S2716DG
      • Internet:
      • 10 Mbps ADSL

    Re: What upgrades for £250-300?

    Yeah, that'll be the best approach I reckon. PCIe is no big deal, you don't need that much bandwidth so it will make no appreciable difference.

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