A general upgrade

December 4, 2009 at 14:05:46
Specs: Windows XP, AMD Athlon x2 5200+ / 2GB Kingston DDR2-800
Greetings, everyone.

It's been a year since I first assembled my computer and given that it is used mostly for gaming it is becoming a bit outdated. I'm not a "hardcore" gamer, and by saying so I mean I do not "demand" to play the latest game title with its maximum resolution and with its highest settings.
I do, however, wish to be able to play them on a reasonable resolution (say 1280x1024) and on medium-high settings with decent FPS'.
My budget is around $300~350 and this is my current configuration:

Motherboard: ASUS M2N-E SLI
RAM: 2xKingston 1GB DDR2 800
CPU: AMD ATHLON X2 5200+ 2.6GHz
Video Card: ASUS GeForce 8600GTS

I've been doing some research of my own and I've concluded that the most "critical" component to be upgraded is the video card. I have selected ATi's HD4870 as the best option but what I do not know is whether I can simply plug in on of those into my motherboard and get the system up and running. I'm aware my motherboard is based on an nVidia chipset...Could you tell me if that makes it somewhat "incompatible" with an ATi card? Or perhaps suggest a completely different card?
The prices of that card in my region are around $120~150 so I still have some funds left for further upgrading. I suppose the motherboard also a very important component, should it be replaced? Any suggestions?

Thank you in advance and best regards,
-Deimos

AMD ATHLON X2 5200+ 2.6GHz
ASUS GeForce 8600GTS
ASUS M2N-E SLI MB
2xKingston 1GB DDR2 800


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#1
December 4, 2009 at 15:21:07
The chipset on the motherboard should not affect the choice of video adapter.

Be sure you read the instructions that come with the adpater. It may say remove from software the current adapter and then reboot to vga then shut down and so forth.

I'd think about a $60 adapter and more ram maybe instead. You would have to do some tests to be sure.

Playing to the angels
Les Paul (1915-2009)


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#2
December 4, 2009 at 22:16:47
U need a new board to take advantage of newer amd cpu (asus m4a785-m if u can't find this board look for any good review board with amd 785g + 710 chipset). Hd 4870 is a great gaming card but u need to post your psu specs. U have ddr2 800 2x1gb=2gb the asus board i mentioned it has 4 ram slots u can add single 2gb ddr2 800 now you have total of 4gb but can't use dual channel and u need 64bit os.

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#3
December 5, 2009 at 04:42:58
My PSU isn't any good...I'm not aware of the brand but I do know it is of 500W. It was very cheap, that's why I suspect it's not good...I'm willing to replace it...what do you have in mind?

AMD ATHLON X2 5200+ 2.6GHz
ASUS GeForce 8600GTS
ASUS M2N-E SLI MB
2xKingston 1GB DDR2 800


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Related Solutions

#4
December 5, 2009 at 08:49:49
Look for corsair cmpsu-550vx 550w cost $89

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#5
December 5, 2009 at 10:02:11
OK, thanks a lot!
As a matter a fact, the model you suggested, CMPSU-550VX 550W is being sold at the same price as this one, CMPSU-650TXEU - 650 W. From my "newbish" point of view, more Watts means better, is that right?

AMD ATHLON X2 5200+ 2.6GHz
ASUS GeForce 8600GTS
ASUS M2N-E SLI MB
2xKingston 1GB DDR2 800


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