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Old April 18, 2012, 07:35 PM
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Default $300 - $400 MOBO, CPU, RAM & Case. Help Needed

Hi guys,

It's been a while since I upgraded my computer (last time I did, the newest CPU was dual core processor). I have been meaning to upgrade my computer to at least i5 CPU, but after doing research, I heard about MOBO & CPU synergy and the numerous type of i5 CPU. Honestly, I am overwhelmed with so much information, it's just hard for me to make an educated decision, which is why I turn to this forum for help. For the sake of this thread, my computer literacy is about 3 (on a 1 - 10 scale)

Currently my computer has
1. NVIDIA 9600 (not even sure which one anymore)
2. 1 TB of Seagate Hard Drive

I need a new processor, mother board, RAM and case for around $300 - $400, the cheaper the better without sacrificing performance. My priority would be future upgradability (so no 1 PCI-Express slot or only 2 slots for RAM). I also want a regular size case, not too small, not too big

I use my computer for everything, from gaming to work, browsing, photo editing, etc etc
Games: World of Warcraft, Heroes of Newerth, and other MMORPG
Photo Editing Programs: Photoshop
Works: Require me to open up bunch of programs at the same time
Browsing: I usually have a lot of tabs open

Based on reading through various threads, I am thinking of using this thread's MOBO & CPU
Thoughts about my build?

Thank you very much in advance (oh yeah, I'm located in Los Angeles). I hope I provided enough information

Last edited by Tooret; April 18, 2012 at 08:13 PM.
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Old April 18, 2012, 08:08 PM
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You won't be able to use your existing RAM with a new motherboard -- current motherboards utilize DDR3 RAM, and will not accept DDR2 or other prior versions. Happily, RAM is cheap these days and the usual 8GB should set you back $40-$60.
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Old April 18, 2012, 08:14 PM
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Oh...I didn't know that...

I edited the original post.

Thanks :)

is there any difference between different RAM? or as long as they are DDR3, it's all good?
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Old April 18, 2012, 09:11 PM
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No expert in RAM area but depends on what you want to do. Some RAM have faster speed and lower latency but since I don't OC or anything, I just stick with value RAM that are stable at regular speed. At $400, you can easily build a 2500K with board and 8 gig of RAM. You can pick up a used video card at BST section for reasonable price or save up. Can the 9600 even run WoW?
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Old April 18, 2012, 09:24 PM
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Hahahahaha, it runs it decently, can't use a lot of add-ons and some video settings have to be set to low.

Do you have any recommendation for the board and the case if I want to build it with the i5-2500k?

Thanks
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Old April 18, 2012, 10:56 PM
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Personally, I don't like MSI, ASRock, and ECS. But then again some don't like Asus and Gigabyte. I wouldn't pay that kind of money for a MSI board to be honest when a regular Gigabyte is cheaper. If you don't need SLI or Crossfire, no need to get a higher end board. I suggest you wait for Ivy Bridge to get to retail and compare prices. I hope they will drop the prices for Sandy Bridge CPU and 6x series motherboard.
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Old April 18, 2012, 11:29 PM
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Z68 board will be more expensive than a p67 board and offer only a few features extra.. (ssd caching being a main one)

As your not going to be overclocking (2400, not a 2500k) then even a p67 board far surpasses your needs.
H61 board should be plenty enough. Supports the 1155 socket, has pci-e in plenty and should support 16 GB ram (which will be more than enough for quite a few years yet)

Just make sure it's got what you need.. enough sata ports (and sata3 for if you ever get an ssd)
PCI-E x16
4 Dimm slots
and anything else your in need of beyond that.

Should save you a fair bit on a z68 board.

Other option is an AMD phenom... granted it's not as good as the i5 but substantially cheaper and a decent upgrade to a dual-core
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Old April 19, 2012, 11:16 AM
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Given your needs I would get an i5 2400, 8gb (2x4gb sticks) of 1600mhz DDR3, and an H61/H67 based motherboard.

Newegg.com - Intel Core i5-2400 Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz (3.4GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 2000 BX80623I52400

Newegg.com - Patriot Signature 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory with heatshield Model PSD38G1600KH

Newegg.com - GIGABYTE GA-H61MA-D3V LGA 1155 Intel H61 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard

Its $301.97 + any taxes and shipping.
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