Jul 12, 2011
Hey all. Long time lurker, first time poster.
I haven't built a pc in quite some time, maybe close to 3 or 4 years now. Currently, my system is thus:

Antec 900 case
Corsair vx550 PSU
ASUS M4A78PRO board
AMD Athlon x2 7500 Black ed. CPU
OCZ CPU Heatsink (thing is HUGE, can't remember what model it is..)
WD 1TB Green sata drive (5400)
2GB Corsair 800mgz DDR2
Nvidia 8800GT GPU
Creative SoundBlaster Audigy 2Zs Platinum (simply for the Digital Out which runs to my home theater reciever
42'' Panasonic LCD monitor (yes, i play on my tv..)

I'm in the market to upgrade since Skyrim is coming out and I want to be prepared for it. The main thing that I hate about my current setup is that it gets HOT after some time, heating my small room up to significant temps after some time being on. I don't even have to be gaming. The system is clean, I do take care of my gear. All the fans are on medium and it gets great airflow. The simple things have been taken care of! Sometimes it seems bogged down, slowing for a hot second, then regaining speed. I can't really figure out why it's doing that, perhaps there is a bottleneck somewhere?

I'd like to spend about 3-400 bucks. I'm not looking for the best of the best, just some components to see me through Skyrim. I'll be building another larger budget system late next year and don't want to blow my budget now if I don't have to. I want to purchase the most necessary components now, however to take care of my heat and potential bottleneck issue.
Anyways I need some help. Being out of the scene for that long isn't good for me and I have no clue what people are talking about now! EEK!


i would reccommend upgrading your BIOS then upgrading to a Phenom 955.

BIOS upgrade:

phenom 955:

for the graphics card i would reccommend this:

evenrything else is fine, it would come to $295, then if you wanted faster boot/loading times i would reccommend an SSD, something like this for an OS drive:

or this if you can afford it:

when looking for SSDs look for good reviews and high read/write speeds.

forgot to mention another 1gb or another 2gb ram (4gb would be idle for future gaming, but 3gb would suffice also):