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Old 11-21-2012, 01:37 PM   #1
OCNewbie
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Default Upgrade advice for my friend's PC (Pentium E5200)

My friend is looking to upgrade his PC. His current specs are:

Intel Pentium E5200 (stock (2.5 GHz), never oc'd, aftermarket cooler IS avail. but not currently installed)
Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3R motherboard
RAM = 4 x 1GB lower speed, DDR2 memory (unsure of brand/speed)
XFX Nvidia 8800GT 512MB
1080p ~23" LCD monitor
Win 7 Home Prem 64-bit

He's working on a pretty tight budget. He definitely has $200 to spend, and potentially up to $400. He's having issues with his video card now, but I'm not sure if if it's just an issue with the cooler (he says the cooling fan is spinning really slowly) or a more serious problem. He saw a lot of corruption in the BIOS/Boot screen recently, if that sheds any light.

Anyway, considering he doesn't have much of a budget, and his video card may be on the fritz, what would be a good next step?

Purchase a video card like this for ~$150: Radeon HD 7850 2GB

And then maybe look into a new mobo, cpu, and RAM in a few months?

Assuming the video card is just experiencing a cooler issue (I think I may have a cooler that will work for the card which I can give to him), would it make more sense to upgrade the cpu/mobo/RAM now and stick with the 8800GT or just swap out the video card and OC the CPU for now?

Looking for thoughts/opinions. Thanks in advance!
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Last edited by OCNewbie; 11-21-2012 at 01:39 PM.
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Old 11-21-2012, 02:19 PM   #2
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The reference 8800gt cards ran very hot and loud - so if the fan isn't running well, he'll have serious problems.

That HD7850 you picked out is a great deal. Absolutely a perfect pick, if he's going to upgrade his system soon.

Luckily, with $250 left over out of a $400 budget, there's plenty he can do, including going to an i3 dual-core plus a B75 board. If he has the money now, I'd encourage him to do it all at once. That 7850 will be working at about half capacity on a stock e5200.

Motherboard/RAM - Gigabyte B75 and 8GB G.Skill DDR3-1600 ($78 shipped): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813128540

CPU - i3-3220 ($130 with $10GC): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16819116775

That's $208 for the platform upgrade, or a total of $358 with the video card. I'd actually order the CPU first to try to apply the gift card to the GPU.

If he has no reason to upgrade other than the faulty video card, he could certainly just pick up something like an HD7750/HD7770 and call it a day for ~$100, getting 50% better performance in the process.
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Last edited by Termie; 11-21-2012 at 02:22 PM.
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Old 11-21-2012, 02:38 PM   #3
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Microcenter had the i5 2500k for $99.99 the other day, but neither of us are anywhere near a MC. I imagine there won't be anything close to that price anytime soon. I think CompUSA/Tigerdirect had them for $150, and there is a CompUSA nearby. I wonder if that would be a good purchase: i5 2500k for $150?

Thanks for the input!
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Old 11-21-2012, 03:07 PM   #4
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Hmmm, decisions, decisions:

HIS Radeon HD 7850 2GB for $149.99 (after $40 MIR) - Link

OR

Galaxy GTX 660 2GB for $154.99 (after $10 MIR) - Link

I'm leaning towards the 660 for $5 more.
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Old 11-21-2012, 03:33 PM   #5
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The 660 is the better deal. But there are now cheaper 7850 models for BF:

http://promotions.newegg.com/best-bl...ls/index6.html
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Old 11-21-2012, 08:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Termie View Post
Motherboard/RAM - Gigabyte B75 and 8GB G.Skill DDR3-1600 ($78 shipped): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813128540

CPU - i3-3220 ($130 with $10GC): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16819116775

That's $208 for the platform upgrade, or a total of $358 with the video card. I'd actually order the CPU first to try to apply the gift card to the GPU..
Very nice picks. It's pretty interesting to see Newegg running the RAM promotion on a B75. They must be barely breaking even on that deal.
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