Is your PC having difficulty keeping up with the latest games and applications? An upgrade may be in order. Many people feel that in order to “properly” upgrade their PC, they need every component to be replaced, and the newest, most expensive parts to get the best performance. Nothing is farther than the truth. An extremely respectable gaming rig can be built for less than $500, and I’m here to show you how.
Motherboard, Processor, Memory and Graphics Card. Four components is all most people need to buy when purchasing an upgrade, but this number can vary depending on how old your system is. If your pc is quite old, say 3 years or so (an eternity when it comes to computers!) additional parts may be required to properly support the newer components, such as a new power supply. If your computer is less than a year old, but you still want to play new games without shelling out over $1000 for a new gaming computer, you may only need a new graphics card!
Before upgrading any PC, make sure to triple-check that all the components are compatible. Proper power from your power supply is key. For the example system I will show you, a 500 watt power supply or above is recommended.
Here are some sample components I picked out from Newegg.com
BIOSTAR TA790GX – Motherboard: $99.99
AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ – Processor: $112.99
OCZ Platinum Revision 2 2GB DDR2 800 – Memory: $49.49
SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 4850 512MB – Graphics: $169.99
THIS IS BEFORE REBATES! At the time of this post, there is a $30 rebate on the memory.
I can personally vouch for this system, as I have the same graphics card and memory, my processor is actually slower, and my motherboard specs are nearly identical. At 1650×1080 I get above 70 frames a second with max settings in Call of Duty 4. Six months ago, that probably would have run you over $1000! So there you have it. Proof that you don’t need a crazy amount of cash to get a crazy amount performance.