New Low End Gaming PC Upgrades?

Building a new system? Need help choosing between parts? Then step in and let our trained gerbils assist you.

Moderator: JustAnEngineer

New Low End Gaming PC Upgrades?

Postposted on Thu Nov 03, 2011 3:13 pm

Hey Guys,
I recently bought a low end gaming PC off of craigslist. The specs are as follows:

-Thermaltake V3 case
- Motherboard MSI h61m-e33 b3
-Corsair 430W power supply
-Intel i3 2100 Sandy Bridge dual-core CPU with Hyperthreading
-4GB DDR3 dual channel RAM
-64GB SandForce SSD (boots the OS and apps VERY quickly)
-750GB SATA HDD for storage
-GeForce GTX 460 video card, great for gaming
-DVDRW drive
-Windows 7 Ultimate X64

I purchased this for $400 because It was a good upgrade to my current system. The system came clean and all the parts are like new. I was able to get a 47FPS benchmark on Just Cause 2 max setting 1680 X 1050. My only problem is now that I got a tast of decent gaming I want more! :D I'm working on a low budget maybe 100-200 bucks. What cheap upgrades can I do to make this a faster machine? How much would an extra 4GB RAM help? If upgrading would be too expensive I was thinking of possibly reselling (thinking I can probably get $600 for it) and maybe building my own Utility Player? Let me know what you guys think. thanks!
Last edited by Valkoon on Thu Nov 03, 2011 4:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Valkoon
Gerbil In Training
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2008 8:47 am

Re: New Low End Gaming PC Upgrades?

Postposted on Thu Nov 03, 2011 4:03 pm

I would probably upgrade the CPU if I were to upgrade anything on it.

To be honest, I don't think that you're going to get a lot more performance for another $100 though.
"TORTURIS EXUVIAS EUNT"
Phenom X6 1090T @ 3.2 GHz
Sapphire Radeon 6950
TurtlePerson2
Graphmaster Gerbil
 
Posts: 1097
Joined: Sat May 26, 2007 9:08 am
Location: Plano, Texas

Re: New Low End Gaming PC Upgrades?

Postposted on Thu Nov 03, 2011 4:11 pm

The only thing that's really going to have a tangible impact on gaming performance is a faster CPU or a faster GPU. A worthy upgrade to either your existing CPU or GPU would cost at least $175. Upgrading the GPU would not be worthwhile, considering your CPU is pretty weak. I would save up for a $200ish i5 2500K, which should really help you max out your video card and offer a lot more CPU power for just about everything.

Another option would be to sell the GPU and/or CPU, and use the proceeds towards better parts. As it stands, $400 for that system seems like a darn good deal to me, maybe just enjoy the games for a while?
x--x--x--x
Spyder22446688
Gerbil Jedi
 
Posts: 1850
Joined: Fri Jul 18, 2003 12:28 pm
Location: Seattle, Washington

Re: New Low End Gaming PC Upgrades?

Postposted on Thu Nov 03, 2011 4:23 pm

Can you give some details on the motherboard? It might allow for some suggestions - i.e. whether or not SLI might be possible. Depending on whether or not you have a 768mb or 1GB 460, I imagine you could find a 2nd matching for a pretty reasonable price. However, if you're going to be looking at beefing things up, don't neglect the foundation, and by that I mean the power supply. That's a decent enough unit, but I don't think it would support SLI with a quad core if you're looking to head in that direction.

An interesting option might be to upgrade your motherboard to something like a z68 chipset that would really open up options - SLI, overclocking, quicksync video, Ivy Bridge compatibility, etc. Then, you could save the parts from this original machine as you upgrade (which is sounds like you will) and build a nice little secondary box for yourself or someone else. Keep your eyes open for a nice cheap case (some of the low end antecs are actually quite nice) or upgrade the one you've got now.

Get memory if you're thinking about it - seriously - it's so cheap. Get another 8GB so you can run 12 for now if you want and then you can always slit off and go back to 8.

Get a better heatsink if you're running the stock one - it will be quieter and run cooler.

That's the direction I would start. Have fun!
i7-3770K | Asus P8Z77-V LK | 8GB DDR3-1600 | HD5850 | 128GB 840 Pro | Samsung F3 1TB | U2412M | Define R4 | Seasonic 520W M12II | Win7 Pro x64.
frumper15
Gerbil Team Leader
Silver subscriber
 
 
Posts: 236
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 3:25 pm

Re: New Low End Gaming PC Upgrades?

Postposted on Thu Nov 03, 2011 4:32 pm

frumper15 wrote:Get a better heatsink if you're running the stock one - it will be quieter and run cooler.


The stock cooler with the i3 2100 is more than enough to keep the CPU very cool, and the fan is barely audible. My friend has an i3 2120 with the stock cooler, and it practically runs at room temperature. I would save the money...
x--x--x--x
Spyder22446688
Gerbil Jedi
 
Posts: 1850
Joined: Fri Jul 18, 2003 12:28 pm
Location: Seattle, Washington

Re: New Low End Gaming PC Upgrades?

Postposted on Thu Nov 03, 2011 4:59 pm

How much memory on the GTX 460? If it's 1GB I would just sell your monitor and upgrade to a nice 1080p or higher display. Otherwise, maybe invest in a better sound system?
Intel Core i7-875K, Asus P7P55D-E Pro, Win 7 Home Premium
MSI GTX 560 Ti OC, Mushkin 2x2GB DDR3-1333, Corsair TX650
Cooler Master Hyper 212+, Logitech Z-2300, ASUS Xonar DX
Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB, Dell Ultrasharp U2410, Antec P183
DeadOfKnight
Gerbil Elite
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 634
Joined: Tue May 18, 2010 1:20 pm

Re: New Low End Gaming PC Upgrades?

Postposted on Thu Nov 03, 2011 5:08 pm

Thanks for all the replies. I have added the mobo info to the original post ( MSI h61m-e33 b3). Spyder is right the thing runs VERY quiet & cool as it is. In terms of more memory what type of performance increase would I get as far as gaming? I guess it's cheap enough so as long as it does something I can go for it. Maybe I will wait to find a good deal (blackfriday maybe)on the Core i5-2500K and start with that but I don't think my current mobo can overclock it (haven't really checked it out yet).
Valkoon
Gerbil In Training
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2008 8:47 am

Re: New Low End Gaming PC Upgrades?

Postposted on Thu Nov 03, 2011 5:13 pm

DeadOfKnight wrote:How much memory on the GTX 460? If it's 1GB I would just sell your monitor and upgrade to a nice 1080p or higher display. Otherwise, maybe invest in a better sound system?

The GTX is 768MB.
Valkoon
Gerbil In Training
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2008 8:47 am

Re: New Low End Gaming PC Upgrades?

Postposted on Thu Nov 03, 2011 5:20 pm

I think you'll get the most bang for your buck from a better CPU. An i5-2500 is just $10 outside your price range at Newegg and will provide a lot more power for modern games that can take advantage of it.

Alternatively, play and enjoy! You got a good deal.
Cuhulin
Gerbil
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 89
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2003 12:52 pm
Location: Meridian, Idaho

Re: New Low End Gaming PC Upgrades?

Postposted on Thu Nov 03, 2011 5:32 pm

Valkoon wrote: - Motherboard MSI h61m-e33 b3
-Intel i3 2100 Sandy Bridge dual-core CPU with Hyperthreading
-4GB DDR3 dual channel RAM
-GeForce GTX 460 video card, great for gaming
-64GB SandForce SSD (boots the OS and apps VERY quickly)
-750GB SATA HDD for storage
-DVDRW drive
-Corsair 430W power supply
-Windows 7 Ultimate X64
Enjoy where you're at for a while. Save up your funds until 28nm GPUs make it to market. A $200 graphics card purchased early next year should be excellent.

Your motherboard has only two memory slots, so you'd have to discard your existing DIMMs if you wanted to upgrade to 2x4 GiB.

Your motherboard has the H61 chipset, so you cannot overclock even the unlocked Core i5-2500K processor.
i7-4770K, H70, Gryphon Z87, 16 GiB, R9-290, SSD, 2 HD, Blu-ray, SB ZX, TJ08-E, SS-660XP², 3007WFP+2001FP, RK-9000BR, MX518
JustAnEngineer
Gerbil God
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 15343
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2002 7:00 pm
Location: The Heart of Dixie

Re: New Low End Gaming PC Upgrades?

Postposted on Thu Nov 03, 2011 8:20 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:
Valkoon wrote: - Motherboard MSI h61m-e33 b3
-Intel i3 2100 Sandy Bridge dual-core CPU with Hyperthreading
-4GB DDR3 dual channel RAM
-GeForce GTX 460 video card, great for gaming
-64GB SandForce SSD (boots the OS and apps VERY quickly)
-750GB SATA HDD for storage
-DVDRW drive
-Corsair 430W power supply
-Windows 7 Ultimate X64
Enjoy where you're at for a while. Save up your funds until 28nm GPUs make it to market. A $200 graphics card purchased early next year should be excellent.

Your motherboard has only two memory slots, so you'd have to discard your existing DIMMs if you wanted to upgrade to 2x4 GiB.

Your motherboard has the H61 chipset, so you cannot overclock even the unlocked Core i5-2500K processor.

I agree, what you have is actually really good for the money you paid, but its upgradability is questionable.
If you are interested in building your own utility player, 22nm and 28nm parts are only a quarter away.
Intel Core i7-875K, Asus P7P55D-E Pro, Win 7 Home Premium
MSI GTX 560 Ti OC, Mushkin 2x2GB DDR3-1333, Corsair TX650
Cooler Master Hyper 212+, Logitech Z-2300, ASUS Xonar DX
Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB, Dell Ultrasharp U2410, Antec P183
DeadOfKnight
Gerbil Elite
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 634
Joined: Tue May 18, 2010 1:20 pm

Re: New Low End Gaming PC Upgrades?

Postposted on Thu Nov 03, 2011 10:28 pm

Agreed with everything said thus far. 1) the motherboard is of the "H" variety meaning you cannot overclock the processor (very much) so getting an Intel "K" series processor is pointless and not worth the extra money as you will not be able to use its benefits. As far as getting a better processor, the one you have there already costs more than $100, so thats out. (an i5 2400 is where I would start) Tomshardware frequentlly publishes a "best gaming CPUs for your money" bit. See below for why you should start at a minimum an i5 2400 otherwise you might not notice a substantial increase in performance over what you already have.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-cpu-overclocking,3052-3.html

That brings us to the GPU. I would also wait until early next year when the 28 nm GPU's come out before buying a new one. In the mean time you can dial down the screen resolution a notch to get yourself better frame rates, that should smooth gameplay out a bit. The 768 MB GTX 460 will run into a ceiling at high resolutions because of its limited memory. Dollar for dollar, you'll see more frame rate increase with a GPU upgrade than a CPU upgrade (with your current system)

Edit: Your $100 price limit really only leaves room for a RAM upgrade. An average 8 GB kit of good ram will only cost you $40ish. Ram is dirt cheap right now, so I don't think another 4GB kit is worth the $10 savings over an 8GB one, maybe it is to you. 8 GB total ram blankets the needs of a vast majority of pc owners and its probably all you need, 12 GB would be even better though!!! Make sure to match the same timings, frequency, and voltage otherwise your mobo will select the slowest common denominator. (capacity can be changed though, aka you can have a 4gb kit and an 8gb kit that will run fine together as long as everything else matches) This information can be found on the ram sticks themselves. I'm doubtful that you will see much gaming performance with this upgrade for most cases, but it may help outside of games if you like to have lots of windows open at the same time or if you have other programs that use alot of ram.

Basically youre shopping for Ferrari's on a Kia budget. You got a very good deal on your computer, a quick figure gets me somewhere in the $700 range (without consulting newegg). While it does have very striking flaws (H61 mobo) for gaming, its still a decent rig. If you want the high end performance you have to pay for it. Although your seemingly stellar ability to find good deals suggests that you may not have to pay quite as much as others.

Also, watch that 430 watt PSU as it might start to get overstressed if you start putting in better (and as a result more power hungry) hardware.
http://www.thermaltake.outervision.com/
Last edited by DPete27 on Fri Nov 04, 2011 9:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
i5-3570K, ASRock Z77 Pro4-m, Asus GTX660 TOP, 120 GB Vertex 3 Max IOPS, 2 TB Samsung EcoGreen F4, 8GB G-Skill @1.25V, Silverstone PS07B
DPete27
Gerbil Jedi
Silver subscriber
 
 
Posts: 1623
Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2011 12:50 pm
Location: Madison, Wisconsin

Re: New Low End Gaming PC Upgrades?

Postposted on Fri Nov 04, 2011 5:07 am

DPete27 wrote:I don't think another 4GB kit is worth the $10 savings over an 8GB one, maybe it is to you. 12 GB would be even better though!!! Make sure to match the same timings, frequency, and voltage otherwise your mobo will select the slowest common denominator. (capacity can be changed though, aka you can have a 4gb kit and an 8gb kit that will run fine together as long as everything else matches).
JustAnEngineer wrote: Your motherboard has only two memory slots, so you'd have to discard your existing DIMMs if you wanted to upgrade to 2x4 GiB.

He cannot run 2x2 GiB + 2x4 GiB in that motherboard at the same time.
i7-4770K, H70, Gryphon Z87, 16 GiB, R9-290, SSD, 2 HD, Blu-ray, SB ZX, TJ08-E, SS-660XP², 3007WFP+2001FP, RK-9000BR, MX518
JustAnEngineer
Gerbil God
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 15343
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2002 7:00 pm
Location: The Heart of Dixie

Re: New Low End Gaming PC Upgrades?

Postposted on Fri Nov 04, 2011 7:55 am

I think JAE has the best suggestion - stand pat until spring and look at what the new AMD GPUs have to offer. Right now $170-$200 gets you a Radeon 6870, which is faster than what you have right now to be sure, but its replacement is sure to be faster still. Plus a GTX 460, even a 768MB variety, is still pretty quick.
I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do, I do not do. But what I hate, I do.
derFunkenstein
Gerbil God
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 21260
Joined: Fri Feb 21, 2003 9:13 pm
Location: WHAT?

Re: New Low End Gaming PC Upgrades?

Postposted on Fri Nov 04, 2011 8:25 am

That's a steal for 400 bucks. Jeez. Like they've all said, you're not getting much of an upgrade to core parts for 100--a new CPU would be what it takes, and a core i5 2400 is like 200 bucks, double your budget. If that was in budget, it'd be an easy suggestion, but it isn't.

Ditto a graphics card--to see a *real* upgrade you're looking at dropping like 175-250. Ram, you're good on (6 gigs isn't bad).

If you really want, you can get fairly decent headphones or 2.1 speakers for 100 bucks, and that's fairly fun. Or you could sell your current monitor and upgrade to a nicer one, that's always fun...but there's just no internal component that's a worthy upgrade in your budget.
Ugly people have sex all the time. We wouldn't have 6 and a half billion humans if you had to be beautiful to get laid.
paulWTAMU
Gerbil Elder
 
Posts: 5517
Joined: Wed Nov 24, 2004 5:14 am
Location: Amarillo, Texas

Re: New Low End Gaming PC Upgrades?

Postposted on Fri Nov 04, 2011 9:04 am

$400 was a good deal for that.

If it has no trouble running the games you want right now, I wouldn't upgrade anything. For now.

In 6-9 months or so, spend $500ish on a bigger SSD (128GB ~$200, put the 64GB SSD in a laptop) and whatever passes for a $300 graphics card that time next year. That's what I would do. Faster processor is third on the upgrade list, a year or so from now, along with more RAM. But the i3 2100 and 4GB are enough for a gaming machine for now.
FuturePastNow
Gerbil Elite
 
Posts: 601
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2008 11:28 am


Return to System Builders Anonymous

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Flying Fox, Google Adsense [Bot] and 5 guests