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Computer Upgrade Time! (Suggest inside)


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So I've got a decent budget with which to upgrade my personal PC.

Some basic specs (Some are very sub-par, I warn you):

Processor - AMD Athalon II X2 220 (2 CPUs)

Video Card (A priority) - ATI Radeon 4200

RAM - 4 GB

Motherboard - FOXCONN (Wth?) model 2AB1

Keyboard, mouse, moniter, and speakers I'm all happy with - they work, they're new, and they look nice.

Using an HP, with Windows 7 Home Premium (64x).

I'd say I have a budget of $1000 USD for everything (Getting about $400 disposable income next paycheck) in the near future, so I really just need to upgrade what needs it most.

Also, my computer literacy is somewhat sub-par. I know how to change the hardware and whatnot, all the obvious things, but between taking anywhere between four and six hours of classes per day, working 8+ hours of minimum wage per day, running cross country and being in a show choir I'm too exhausted/have too little time to become literate in a reasonable space of time.

Which is where you come in! Pick your favorites within a reasonable price, I'm after performance only - frills and expensive brand names need not apply.

Thanks for any help and suggestions, if you could also provide a link I'd appreciate it but no matter what I'm going to search for the best price myself too.

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lol jus by som alinwar you no.

Ahem, seriously now.

Before anything, it would be pretty useful to know what is your motherboard. Because, no matter how good a component is, if you MB can't handle, it'll be useless.

Next, I'd get myself some RAM. It's VERY cheap right now, and even though 4GB is good enough for most things, you'll most likely feel more comfortable with 8GB, for example if you want to use large TP's with Technic.

For the video card, I'd check out this site for all the offers, it's very nice to see what is better than what, and how some VC are better than the one you have right now.

I personally like the NVIDIA Geforce cards, I personally use the GTX series, but they might get you over your budget with the other components.

For the processor, I've always been loyal to good ol' Intel, and I was never disappointed, at the very least I'd go ahead and get something along those lines, but if you can, I'd prefer an i7 over it.

I will go in more details for the components at a later date, but I think that's a fine overview for now.

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RAM is very cheap right now... Anyways, that's taken care of now.

As for the video card, like RAM, are there different 'pin amounts' on the cards? Or are they all essentially the same?

About the processor, I'd really like to not replace it right now if possible. I'll see about getting a new graphics card and getting my RAM first.

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If you're mainly using this for MC, or like, most gaming, then getting an i7 is excessive. Most games won't even use more than two cores.

For $1k you can get a decent sized upgrade, especially without having to worry about peripherals.

So an i5, mobo, and graphics card are going to run you most of it. Did you want a SSD, or maybe a SSD as a main drive and a larger HDD as a storage drive?

Edit: Video cards come in different types, but all recent ones will be pci-e.

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The use will be primarily gaming, yes, but for a member of this board I actually play extremely little MC. Not saying I'm a high-end gamer who needs max performance, but I would like to build a system that works fairly well for casual gaming and hopefully won't be outdated for a reasonable amount of time.

If it'll be able to run the majority of games for the remainder of 2012 and at least 2013 with say, 60+ FPS on medium graphics settings, I should be happy.

Right now my primary concerns are: 4 GB RAM (Already ordered some that I know will fit and work well with my PC from a local store), an outdated graphics card, and maybe a junk processor.

Edit: Examples of the kind of stress I foresee putting on my system: Planetside 2 is one I play consistently (Albeit that it's not optimized for my processor and it runs like junk atm, beta is beta), TES V: Skyrim (I mod it heavily, 60+ mods, although most are small changes), maybe Borderlands 2, things along the lines of those games.

I don't really think I'll be getting any games that are any more stressful on a system than those (AAA titles, ah ha ha), and it's not like I'm playing these competitively or anything.

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