Looking to upgrade my hardware, thoughts?

Here’s what I have so far:

PC Part Picker List

I’m basically looking for mobo, processor, RAM, and power supply. I currently have a GT 610 video card which, while not the best, will do the job until I can save another couple hundred for a much better card. The rest of my current setup is a Core 2 Duo E5300 2.6GHz, ASUS P5G41-M mobo, 4GB PC-3200 DDR2, the aforementioned video card, Toshiba P300 1TB HD, and a 250w power supply.

My main goal would be to play newer Steam games (right now my newest is Brutal Legend and BioShock Infinite that I have to play at 720p and settings on medium or lower) and to get my emulators for the later systems running smoothly. Would this do the job? Obviously a better video card down the line is also in order. Thanks for any feedback!

Well if you are going for AMD cpu then wait until a ZEN cpu is available. The fx series are dead and let’s say that your cpu “dies” in 2 years then it will be hard to even get replacement. On the contrary, if you buy a ZEN cpu and compatible motherboard, then there is a high chance that you will even be able to update to newer cpu in the future with just updating your BIOS…

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You can also try on Reddit’s /r/buildapc:


Just got an MSI RX480 GamingX 8GB which is a beast of a card. In Linux, it even has a better performance than my Fury X (which apparently must have had a bug or regression somewhere) - It powers my 2k 144Hz Freesync screen quite good, in Windows I can even game on Ultra in all games (not at 144fps, but it has at least 50fps there)
AMD’s opensource - drivers are great with MESA 13 and Kernel 4.9.

The chip of the RX480 is faster than the memory according to some benchmarks, which means that you should look for cards with higher GDDR5 speeds to get the best performance.

If you don’t want to spend that much money on the card, a 470 will do the job nicely.

For the CPU: My FX8350 still does an excellent job here, but most applications don’t use more then 4 cores which means that it will be good enough for 3 more years ( I bought it 3 years ago)
But: Waiting for the new Ryzen CPU’s will definitely be worth the time. They are said to have a lot more performance and a lot less power consumption and also come with completely new sockets and DDR 4 RAM.

Good advice about the FX series being dead/on the way out. The one caveat is I forgot to mention my budget is around $300 for the desired parts.

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Thanks, Orajnam. The reason I posted here is because I love my manjaro and that is going to be nearly 100% Windows talk. The only non-open source things I have in my home are the SOHO router so my SO can work from home and our work laptops. That being said, it’s not a bad idea to check out over there either

you won’t be able to get a decent GPU for 40$ :wink:

and: Ryzen will for sure bust your budget, it will arrive on the market in February (at least the 8-cores) and prices are said to be about 500-600$ (it is also said to compete with the fastest Intel which has a cost of about 1000$ which makes the AMD price a really cheap one in comparison (at least if Ryzen can keep what it promises)
The 4-cores come later that year and no price has leaked so far. But they want to release them as SR7 SR 5 and SR3 and following the intel - categories of the numbers. The 8-core in February is said to be the fastest SR7 in the Ryzen lineup.

Right on, I appreciate it. And for sure I won’t be able to get a decent graphics card for $40, I’m thinking get the main components now, worry about the graphics card in about 6 months as a birthday gift, heh.

thats a good step. 150$ should be the minimum to spend on a GPU, but that is money well spent. Nearly all games are GPU-limited, the CPU does not really play a role.
However, your Core2 might be a limit simply because it is too old.

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You may want to research the games you are playing and how many cores they are using. In most instances you will be better off with a dual core running on a higher frequency and better single thread performance. In that price range a Pentium G3258 Anniversary Edition is a very reasonably priced overclockable dual core with a better single thread performance than the FX6200. For a MOBO I have had luck with Biostar, and Asrock. For an inexpensive workhorse of a CPU Fan go with the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo, mine has been running for two years 24/7/365 and still going strong. Also you may not need 16GB of RAM for most games. Lastly dont spend good money only to get a cheap power supply waiting to fry the rest of your build. I recommend Seasonic. If you want to understand why go to jonnyguru.com and read the power supply reviews. Hope that helps.

  1. Games and graphics cards: it depends on what games you want to play. You don’t need a 300 €/$ card to play Civilization. Maybe you can get a used GTX 960 which is fast enough for nearly every (Linux) game in Full HD. Windows-only GTA V works great in high details with that card (and a quad core CPU, dual-core is not enough for GTA).

  2. Ryzen looks very interesting indeed. If you want to go for AMD, wait until Ryzen and motherboards are out and tested. That means waiting 2-3 months after release before you buy.

  3. If you want to keep your current processor: get another 4 GB of RAM, that should give you a nice boost. Also get an SSD, even cheaper models offer a substantial performance boost.

  4. For a completely new computer, I wouldn’t get anything less than a full quad core. You’ll certainly want to use your brand new machine over the next years, and more and more games are making use of multi-core.


What is the rpm on your current HDD? If it is 5400 then you are probably still going to have loading issues even with everything else upgraded.

Current RPM on my hard drive is 7200

Shouldn’t be too bad then. I can play games quite happily on a 7200rpm HDD, load times might be a little long, but the 16GB of RAM should mean things are fine once the initial loading is done. This will of course vary between games.

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I’m looking at games like Firewatch and We Happy Few ( if it ever makes it to Linux) as far as newer ones, and right now my system is struggling to play PS2 and GameCube emulated games. Everything PS1 and below, no problem

Either way, you will be GPU bound.
I have almost the exact same AMD-setup that your looking to buy. It’s still a very good cheap build, imho.
I picked up a “used” AMD Radeon HD7750, Asus HD7750-DCSL-1GD5, for $30, and it plays a lot of games easily. Even a cheap “used” GT-450/460, with GDDR5, or better can be had around $40, if you look around.

But, ya, as others have mentioned, if you can wait for Zen,…, which may mean 'till the summer or longer, when it settles down, but then, you’ll definitely be paying a lot more than $260 -as your present PC-list.

Are they?

@lerner17 Your PC Part Picker List is good enough, cheap and it’ll keep you happy for years to come.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t say that it’s not a good cpu. I have an fx 8150 (which I bought on 2012) and I have no plans to change it for at least 6 years… However, my main concern is the support. One of the advantages of buying AMD cpu and motherboard, is the long support on socket and chipset. The AM3+ socket and the compatible chipsets have come to an end (btw the selected motherboard has 760g chipset, but I would prefer a chipset from the 9xx series like 980g which is newer and also has better intergrated gpu). If he can wait for almost a year, then the AM4 socket will probably have support for at least 5 years (it will probably be possible to upgrade a cpu for the next 4 cpu generations that will come), it will also have DDR4, PCIe 3 slot (which might be relative if he wants to buy a high end gpu in the future). So, if he wants to buy a pc right now, I would suggest him to go for intel cpu even if it means 80-100 dollars more…

EDIT: Unfortunately I cannot find any motherboard with 980g chipset, maybe they are not very popular…

Unfortunately, with only a $300 budget, according to OP, for a “whole” system, that would not even buy a new Intel CPU. ?!
If the OP can’t wait a few months more, and save LOTS more money, then sure, go for a new AMD Zen cpu, or even new Intel, and then there’s the added expense of DDR4,… and none of those will be cheap.
Like I said, there’s also lots of great options in the “used” market as well, for Video cards, but that definitely means try before you buy.
But if he wants something now, that is also good and stable, then a system build around the “AMD FX-6200 3.8GHz 6-Core Processor” is more than enough for all his needs, and for quite a few more years to come.
It’s the cheapest and best solution right now, from which he can affordaby add a much more powerful Video card later.
Juggling on a strict budget is always a pain.


never heard of that chipset.
There only are 990FX, 990X and 970 chipsets in AM3+ 9xx chipsets.
could it be that you think about 880G? I can only find one Asrock µATX board that uses that chipset.

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