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New Member
Feb 12, 2013
So to start out I currently run an outdated machine but I am on a very limited budget to upgrade. I am currently running:
(Yes I know this is outdated, no laughing! lol)

Q6600 - 2.40 gigahertz Intel Core2 Quad
1000.14 Gigabytes Usable Hard Drive Capacity
NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT [Display adapter] PCI E (16)
4GB Dual-Channel DDR2 SDRAM
350W Power Supply
Windows 7 32 bit
Motherboard - Dell Inc. 0GN723 MicroATX
Bus Clock: 266 megahertz
BIOS: Dell Inc. 1.0.15 06/23/2008

Now for my questions. I am trying to upgrade with around $300-$350 (Less is obviously better). My first thought was to upgrade video card to a GTX 650 TI. However, I do have to upgrade a power supply in order to upgrade the video card. I was going with a Bronze 80 450W.

1st Option
GTX 650 Ti $150
450W Micro ATX12V 80 PLUS BRONZE $69.99
Total - $219.99

After looking over some things, I am now looking over upgrading processor and motherboard and RAM. But I will have to upgrade to Windows 7 64bit and if I do this I want to upgrade tower to a mid tower for future upgrades. I currently have a DELL Vostro 400 and I would like to get away from that MicroATX tower due to low air flow.

2nd Option http://pcpartpicker.com/p/Cvf1

AMD FX-4100 3.6GHz Quad-Core Processor $104.99
Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler $32.99
Gigabyte GA-78LMT-S2 Micro ATX AM3+ Motherboard $49.98
Patriot Gamer 2 Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory $45.98
Gigabyte GZ-F5HEB ATX Mid Tower Case $28.12
Raidmax 600W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply $42.49

Total - $304.53

Now I will be using the 7200 RPM 500GB x2 SATA Harddrives , the 2 DVD Drives from the Dell and the 8800 GT from the Dell if I choose option 2. Now I would prefer to upgrade the video card to Radeon 7850 but that would up my cost another $170 which I can not afford right now.

So which one would I benefit better gaming from? Would I be ok with the 8800 GT while upgrading to option 2? Or would just upgrading the video card and power supply be more bang for buck in the Dell Vostro 400? Although I am afraid with upgrading the video card in the Vostro 400 I will run into overheating issues as well as the Mobo in the Dell is only PCI.e 1.0 so I would be seeing lower upgrade due to that. The new motherboard would be PCIe 2.0, still not 3.0 which I would prefer but 2.0 would suffice.

So please advise is greatly appreciated. If you see a better combo of builds then please by all means let me know. I am not currently hooked on any type. Just looking for the best bang for my buck on the upgrade. Thanks in advance.
Best upgrade currently will be the video card. Your processor will hold you back, but you will see immediate gains. You could then upgrade your mobo/CPU/ram later when you have more cash.

If you went the other way around you wouldn't notice any significant FPS increase.
Ok, Do you think just upgrading the video card will produce results moreso then upgrading motherboard, processor and RAM? Granted the Q6600 isn't a bad chip due to being able to overclock, although I don't have much experience in it. The 7850 was my first choice but I didn't think it would fit in my current MicroATX tower. Also will the MicroATX board fit in the ATX mid tower case or will I have to fabricate mounts to make it fit?

**I posted this before I saw the above post** my apologizes.
NEVER buy a cheap PSU from an untrustworthy brand. Knufire's suggestion or some variant of it seems like the best option. You'll see much better gains from a GPU upgrade than a CPU upgrade.
A micro ATX board will fit into a full ATX case no problems. I ran an MAXT board in my wifes CM 690-II for over a year, and I thought it was really nice. Had lots of extra room for stuff without having to go up to a bigger case.