Best way to spend $300 on xmas?


Nov 25, 2005
I need to update my system. I had an AMD xp2000+ based system that was adequate, but got hit by a power surge. I retrofitted my system this summer with what I thought would be adequate: a sempron 2300.

It sucks. It is slower than shite. I haven't kept up with the industry like I should have, so I'm pretty clueless on the best bang for the buck.

What is the best way to spend $300-400 on upgrades to get this system up to snuff?

What I do:

Download/manipulate large files from usenet and resample video files.
Occasional light gaming (not a priority at all.)
Typical stuff
Burn lots of CD/DVDs

What I have:
Teac 2x DVD burner (only burns at 1x?)
Lite-on 48x cdrw
Sempron 2300
Mushkin PC2700 512mb
Gigabyte RZ mb
Radeon 9200
120gb Seagate SATA drive
80gb WD
brand new Antec 450w PS


p.s. I'm dated on my PC knowledge, but if anyone needs advice on Cisco networks, PM me. ;)
You can go with a socket 754 3400 (2400 hertz) or newer socket 939 3200 (2000 hertz) for less than $300. Either one will work fine. I use via chipsets for both my boards, but nforce3 or nforce4 (for pci-e) is recommended if you want to try overclocking. There's also the asrock dual sata II board that works with either agp or pci-e for socket 939 only (about $70 at newegg).


Apr 7, 2005
If your video card is AGP and want to reuse it go the socket 754 way, if you will buy a video card I'll recomend the Epox nForce 4 ultra (PCIe Socket 939), with any Athlon 64 and the NEC DVD burner at newegg (I think it's <$40 and burns at 16X).
CPU around $140-150
Mobo around $105
DVD burner around $40

This comes close to the $300 but you'll need a PCIe video card.

Maybe if you sell your video card and the sempron.


Feb 5, 2002
basically im not sure exactly on the price of the barton xp 3200+ and the 512 pc2700 mem, but if you have a few bucks more i'd deff invest in a liteon DVDBURNER as well.