Are your games running slower than you'd like? Want to upgrade and spend your money right? This is the place to start!
I will gradually make this more detailed. However, for now, the $500 entry in the System Builder Marathon at Tom's Hardware is an excellent place to start.
CPU - AMD Phenom II X4 925 - $125
CPU Cooler - AMD boxed heatsink/fan - $0
Motherboard - ASRock M3A770DE - $60
RAM - G.Skill 4 GB (2 x 2 GB) DDR3-1333 (PC3 10600) Model F3-10666CL9D-4GBNS - $40
Graphics - Sapphire 100315L Radeon HD 6850 1 GB - $170
Hard Drive - Samsung Spinpoint F4 HD322GJ/U 320 GB SATA 3Gb/s - $43
Case - Xigmatek Asgard II B/O CPC-T45UE-U01 - $30
Power - Antec EarthWatts Green EA380D 380 W - $40
Optical - Lite-On 24x DVD Burner SATA iHAS 124-04 - $19
Total Price - - $527
I just want to let ya'll know about slamming new Video cards in your existing gaming or new build rig.
Today's video cards are power hungry. You'll need to research how much AMP it requires and how many +12V Rails, this year most of them requires 2 rails and research power supplies that how much AMP output.
If you slam your new video card in your current 2 or 3 year old power supply and if your PSU AMP output is +12V@16A or less and the video card requires 22A or higher.
Then your power supply will explode(yes I saw that happened at my buddies house) it threw sparks out of the back, loud boom, and smoke(no, you don't wanna inhale those smokes) that PSU he just bought was a 1000W Rosewill but the AMP was so low.
My suggestion is to upgrade your power supply with 80 PLUS GOLD Certified and higher than 30AMP each +12V rails if you are using dual video cards you need 4 rails and larger Wattage.
You can contact video card manufacture about PSU Wattage and AMP recommendation just to be safe, those PSU are not cheap if you want it to last long.
Careful on the low wattage PSU, because the PSU lifespan will shorten and hotter if you have alot or larger components under the rig's hood.
Hope this info helps.
Original thread by Ampersand, moved from old site