Rig update - needs your advice/input!


Feb 9, 2008
So my rig is seriously outdated, and it's time for an upgrade. Generally speaking it does all the things I need atm, but shader model 3.0 on my graphics means no new games :(

I've been looking at upgrading, and so far I've been sticking with my trusty AMD for CPU and graphics. I really don't keep up with hardware any more though so would be good to get some input.

I read an interesting article looking at the performance increases of multiple cores, and it shows for most things past 3 doesn't see a great improvement. And for me trying to cheaply update my system, and using a single core at the moment it seems like a good price saver.

I should also point out I've still got all my watercooling gear, so something that's overclockable would be a plus. I don't know if they still make them like the old days with my Winchester core AMD 64 3000+ overclocked 50% ...

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Tomorrow or the next day, so ASAP! :lol:

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: I am folding, gaming, using photoshop, surfing the web and watching hd movies.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Probably easier if I state the parts I do need: CPU, RAM, Motherboard, and Graphics card

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: I've always liked ebuyer.com but places in the UK please :kaola:

PARTS PREFERENCES: None, I'm thinking 4GB of ram now - I'm used to 1GB so will be a nice upgrade. If I need to I can add more later. The cheaper the better as it means I can upgrade my monitor. Motherboard can be mATX I guess, but I would prefer the full ATX (onboard graphics not needed).


MONITOR RESOLUTION: I've got a 17" monitor at 1280x1024 currently, but as mentioned looking to upgrade to a nice 24" one. High resolution is a must!


What I've found at the moment:
CPU: £62.55 - AMD Phenom X3 Triple Core 8650 2.3GHz Socket AM2+ 2MB L3 Cache Retail Boxed Processor
Mem: £39.99 - Crucial 4GB (2X2GB) DDR2 800MHz/PC2-6400 Ballistix Memory Kit CL4 2.0V
Mobo: £65.37 - ASUS M3A78 PRO 780G Socket AM2+ onboard graphics 8 channel audio ATX Motherboard
Graphics: £109.98 - Sapphire HD 4850 512MB GDDR3 HDMI DVI VGA PCI-E Graphics Card
Total: £277.89

• Are they any price savings to be had?
• Should I spend a bit more on something for a lot more performance?
• Dare I say it - "Intel" / "Nvidia"?

I would rather spend a bit less than I have now, as it would mean I could afford getting a new monitor, but obviously there's no point wasting money on a rig that just fails.
Many thanks :)
Triple core is fine, but not the old, crippled Tolimans. Check out the 720BE.
If you are getting a 1680x1050 monitor, the 4850 is fine. If you intend to play the most demanding new games at 1920x1200, you might want at least a 4870.
What PSU do you have? A quality PSU that is at least 500W is needed for a 4870. Antec, Corsair, PC Power & Cooling, Seasonic, and Enermax are among the better brands.