The Best, Cheapest Ways to Upgrade Your PC



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This is very helpful. Thank you for sharing this awesome this. This is a very good thing to apply.

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Thank you for this post. This is very interesting. Upgrading a PC is really expensive. But now, there is a cheaper way. Thanks for sharing.

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If you are running older rigs and you are going to start swapping CPU's you'd be better off build a new rig that has a better upgrade path down the road. At least this is what I think.

Best regards,

Cazare munte



I just put together a computer (Monday), so it's way too early to upgrade right now, but it was still a good article. 

The Hyper 212 Plus is pretty great. My i5 750 at stock frequencies idles at 24-26 degrees C! That's barely above room temperature! This isn't even with the fan running at full speeds, usually it's at ~1000RPM or lower (Max is 2000RPM). Running Prime 95 for hours, it will barely pass 40 C. I did lower the voltage a bit (from 1.2156V to 1.1V), but it's still perfectly stable. A few days after I ordered mine, brought the prices from $30 to $60.

The SSD is something that I considered, but I think that I would rather see how the Samsung Spinpoint F3s do (2 x 1TB) and maybe get a X25-M G3 when they come out.

I looked at the 750TX, but I don't need anywhere near that amount of power, so 650W was plenty. The 650HX was only $10 more than the 650TX, so I decided it was worth it. 

My system:

Intel i5 750

Gigabyte GA-P55a-UD3

Gigabyte Radeon 5870

4GB Corsair XMS3 DDR3 1600 

2x Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB

Antec Three Hundred Illusion

Corsair 650HX

Lite-On Blu-Ray player

ASUS VH226H (Yes, shitty TN monitor) 



Seagate yeah right,

Samsung also can't stand simple Smart test so...

Hitachi is my best guess, yes it cost more but at lest it's quality, better 500GB Hitachi then 1TBGB Seagate or Samsung for one year.



Think allot of people missed the point of the article. Its not a budget build or best bang for buck build. Its best money spent for most improvment on an upgrade. If you have a decent GPU then buying a 5770 wont give you much for $150 so it would be dumb to upgrade to it. The 5850 on the other hand will give you a very large margin of improvment for your money.

Reread the part about the i7 920-930, it wasnt suggested to upgrade from a 920 to a 930 it was said the 920 was allways a good buy and they believe the 930 is no different. 

Sometimes I wonder why I bother reading comments when I know the majority of them are just whines and rants about a perfectly good article. 



This entire series of routers from Belkin have abysmal reviews everywhere from Newegg to Amazon. I have a previous gen Belkin G router that I LOVE but they missed the mark with reception and bugs this time around, steer clear of this IMHO.



For PC parts - Newegg all the way because it's really easy to filter out the exact parts your looking for....and the price. But for hardware such as LCD monitors, Tigerdirect all the way for their prices.



I don't about everyone else's idea of what "budget" means, but a $300 video card does not fit the bill.  I personally consider a budget video card one that falls into the sub-$200 range.  MaxPC, you guys reviewed the Radeon 5770 a few months back and said it was a solid low/mid-range card for people using displays around 22 inches.  To me, if you're on a budget with your PC's hardware, you're probably not going to running a 30-inch display anyway.  Maybe my view is a little off-center b/c I don't do a lot of gaming (some, but not a lot) and I don't need earth-shattering performance in that department.

Overall a very good article!  I read the Hyper 212+'s review about 2 months after I baught my ArcticCooling Freezer 64 Pro and promptly kicked myself in the ass for not waiting to get the 212.  I take MaxPC's reviews into heavy consideration when upgrading my PC (along with user reviews), so keep up to excellent work!



I thought the article is about budget. 4, 6 Gigs of Ram?
All of my PCs including my Gaming PC have 2 Gigs. The performance is not great
but it’s ok. All I had to do is upgrade my video card to HD 5850 and don't
underestimate PSU. People usually buy the cheapest they can. PSU is the device
that brings juice to all your PC components the cleaner juice the better
and longer components will work. I lost so many motherboards, video cards
because of bad, cheap PSUs. Is there any serious PC gamer who plays over wireless?



This is about budget UPGRADES. If you are thinking about upgrading, I pray to god that you already have 2 gigs of ram. 2 gigs on a modern rig is the absolute minimum you should even consider. I find it hard to believe you can justify $300 on a video card, but not $40 on an extra 2 gigs of ram. Given, the video card is going to increase graphics performance, but if your computer is constantly using a swap file to make up for lack of ram, everything is slow not just games.



If you're not into having the "greatest rig on Earth", you can still save money by reusing some things (provided they still work).  The only things I bought were a new mobo, CPU, and GPU.  The memory was "donated" to me and I'm using my monitor, HDD, CD/DVD drive, and PSU (going strong after 6+ years).  At current market prices, my PC costs probably no more than $600 (a few things are "discontinued" so that pretty much excludes them from the overall price).  Sure it might not destroy any benchmarks but it can do some high-detail gaming with smooth frame rates (hell, it can do max AA in a few games).

Mobo: MSI 770-C45

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 955 BE

Memory: 6GB Corsair XMS3 DDR3

Video: 1GB Diamond ATI Radeon HD5770

Monitor: 19" Viewsonic VX1935wm

HDD: 320GB Western Digital SATA

CD/DVD: Pioneer DVR-111D



I must say MaximumPC this article is lacking in some serious value to the budget minded.  For one thing telling someone that has a LGA 1366 socket to go from a 920 to a 930 is a pretty worthless upgrade.  Especially since the 950 is due to drop down to almost the same price as the 930 in August.  A wireless router, really?  How many gamers do you know trust a wireless connection when playing games?  Probably 0.  The only thing I can say that would be a considerable consumer upgrade that would net the best results is the SSD.  The reason being is that Secondary Storage has always been the slowest part of any computer, and the old story goes that you can only go as fast as your slowest part. And for the record that Intel X-25-V SSD is rather lacking if you want my honest opinion since it only has a sustained read of 170 MB/s and a sustained write of 35 MB/s.  Where for the same price just about an OCZ agility has a 230 MB/s read and 135 MB/s write.  I understand that this information that you provide is free, but as it took me a matter of about two minutes to find out that tidbit of SSD information, I would think that you could do the same for your fellow readers. I also understand how narrowing down a list of components for viable budget upgrades can be tedious, I would say that most of these are not budget and lack value added. 



UndeniablyPC wrote: "I understand that this information that you provide is free, but as it
took me a matter of about two minutes to find out that tidbit of SSD
information, I would think that you could do the same for your fellow

I completely agree with you!  If I was "maximum"pc I would be embarrassed by this.  You aren't providing anything for your readers with this article, certainly, nothing that has anything to do with the meaning of "budget."

Somewere along the way it seems, MaximumPC has lost their way.  It's like everyone there quit caring.  Their articles about the latest and greatest seemed like unfinished reviews.  I hate "hitting the jump" to find out there isn't more to an article.  I hate reading a review about the latest thing only to see that the last sentence "no price or release date announced".  I wonder what happens when an item is released months or weeks later.  By then I'd forgotten about it and assuming I remember an item, then the "review"  you guys posted originally cannot help me in determining if I made a good buy or not.  

I remember I used to love the magazine (though the website has improved, I was never really impressed with it) and felt like I really was holding knowledge and power in my hand when I held it in my hands.  Now it feels I'm holding an advertisement in my hands and the bit of knowledge imparted to me seems to be growing smaller and smaller.  

I'll hold on though because I'm loyal, but I don't know!, the grass is looking greener on many other websites and magazines. 




Outstanding devices! i had bought Desktop computer couple of years back, it was assembled and i find best results. The reason was that i installed a branded part of each like storage, RAM, CD Drive etc.



Purchased my Hyper 212+ months ago and now, it can't be found anywhere it seems! Definitely an excellent buy for the price and cools better than the price might reflect. Heck! NewEgg is selling if for $50 now. What a rip off! Maybe we should report that to Cooler Master? Sounds like price gouging by NewEgg if you ask me! Micro Center is selling it for $25 though! That's an even BETTER deal than the normal


If you can find this cooler, get it! You definitely get more than your money's worth from it because any other cooler that cools as good as this one would cost $60+ it seems and it even can out perform many of the more expensive models!




i cant find the Q9500 ANYWHERE. wanted to give my old core2 rig a little more time before givin it up but oh well, more time to save for a good core i5 or 7 rig i guess



Perfect timing! I was just discussing an upgrade to our PC with the missus and had drawn the conclusion that an SSD might not be a good choice just yet... But reading this, I'm thinking of getting the Intel SSD _and_ the TB HDD mentioned... :)



Wouldn't an OCZ Agility 60GB drive be much more cost efficient in GB/dollar while still being a "budget" upgrade for most users?  Hell, I'd take that 64GB SSD that WD put out over a $125 SSD that's only 40GB.



To be totally honest other than the major components like CPU/GPU most these upgrades are totally worthless. If you are running older rigs and you are going to start swapping CPU's you'd be better off build a new rig that has a better upgrade path down the road. No offence to the 5850 its a great GPU but as this is a list of "BUDGET" upgrades you are way overkill for what most people consider budget. 4-6gbs of RAM...c'mon unless you are doing some serious multitasking the avg user is barely touching 4gbs let alone 6. If you are on a budget you'd be better of spening the cash elsewhere.


I should also add, upgrading to that router would be pointless without adding the need for a wireless N card otherwise you'd just be wasting money over a traditional wireless g router. 



I thought for sure, as I read this article, that I was the only one who thought that $300 for a graphics card was far from "budget" tag.  I appreciate what you guys have done here, a lot of helpful information.  But I want to see another solid $500 rig (use a cardboard box case if you have too!  :) ).  With the Quad core AMD chip at $99, and a good motherboard for about the same, throw in 4G of ram and maybe a Radeon HD 5770 for $160, finally a good 750G hard driver to start (about $80), use your existing case, power supply (unless it is in bad shape), and don't overclock the daylights out of it (so you can use the stock cooler) and you got a great budget PC. 

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