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Should I upgrade to be able to handle games? Intel i7-920 8mb L2 cache, 2.66GHz

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Last response: in CPUs
May 24, 2013 12:31:31 AM

I have spent the past 3 years gaming mostly on consoles (xbox 360). I would like to get back into PC gaming but I think my system from 2009 needs some upgrading and I want to do it the right way. Here is what we are starting with:

Dell Intel Core i7-920 (8MB L2 Cache, 2.66GHz)
6GB Tri-Channel DDR3 SDRAM @ 1066MHz-6DIMMs
ATI Radeon HD4670 512MB
Hard drive 750GB - 7200RPM Sata 3.0Gb/s, 16MB Cache
Windows Vista home premium 64-bit
I am not sure what the power supply is but I think it may be less than 400 watts

I am looking to buy a new 27inch led monitor as well as whatever components you guys think are necessary. My budget for everything is $1000-$1500 but I would like to stay closer to the low end of my budget. Thank you all for your help

More about : upgrade handle games intel 920 8mb cache 66ghz

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May 24, 2013 12:44:01 AM

Your old I7 can still hold up nicely - especially if it can be overclocked.

On the other hand, that GPU is very weak and won't handle games at all but the lowest settings.

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May 24, 2013 12:51:25 AM

smeezekitty said:
Your old I7 can still hold up nicely - especially if it can be overclocked.

On the other hand, that GPU is very weak and won't handle games at all but the lowest settings.



He might as well as buy a new computer now especially since the new sockets and new GPUs are coming out so soon.


I would suggest you wait until june 1st and come back again when Hanswell chipset comes out.
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May 24, 2013 12:52:29 AM

smeezekitty said:
Your old I7 can still hold up nicely - especially if it can be overclocked.

On the other hand, that GPU is very weak and won't handle games at all but the lowest settings.



Do you have any specific recommendations? My primary concern is comparability and having a large enough power supply.

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May 24, 2013 12:55:13 AM

I would say buy a good quality 600watt+ PSU
and get a much better Graphics card and your old i7-920 will still handle most of everything out today
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May 24, 2013 12:56:40 AM

Here's another thought. If my graphics card is my weakest link, what's the best card I could safely run and what upgrades do I need to make to support it. I'd rather not over clock my chip if I don't have too.
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May 24, 2013 1:02:51 AM

MarcRN said:
Here's another thought. If my graphics card is my weakest link, what's the best card I could safely run and what upgrades do I need to make to support it. I'd rather not over clock my chip if I don't have too.


you can probably run a 7950 or a GTX 670 or a GTX 760 ti at stock clock without your cpu bottlenecking too much.
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May 24, 2013 1:04:54 AM

killerhurtalot said:
MarcRN said:
Here's another thought. If my graphics card is my weakest link, what's the best card I could safely run and what upgrades do I need to make to support it. I'd rather not over clock my chip if I don't have too.


you can probably run a 7950 or a GTX 670 or a GTX 760 ti at stock clock without your cpu bottlenecking too much.


So I need a 7950, 600 watt PSU? Anything else?
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May 24, 2013 1:11:38 AM

MarcRN said:
killerhurtalot said:
MarcRN said:
Here's another thought. If my graphics card is my weakest link, what's the best card I could safely run and what upgrades do I need to make to support it. I'd rather not over clock my chip if I don't have too.


you can probably run a 7950 or a GTX 670 or a GTX 760 ti at stock clock without your cpu bottlenecking too much.


So I need a 7950, 600 watt PSU? Anything else?




You don't need anything more than a 500W PSU.
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May 24, 2013 1:16:06 AM

I highly recommend an overclock of the cpu, and waiting for the major upgrade of cpu/motherboard/different kind of ram and new psu. Because its a Dell, you may not be able to overclock.

My i7 920 with an aftermarket cooler has been OC from 2.6 to 3.8 stable for 3 years. Its still a very strong cpu, and i wont be upgrading until alteast Broadwell (2014). My 920 runs 2 gtx560 ti in sli with no problems and i get very good results with most games at high-ultra settings at 1080p. Your biggest and best upgrade option would be Video card, and I would recommend this:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-car...

you will be limited by the psu. If you supply the DELL model, i could tell you if your psu is upgradable or proprietary. Your second biggest upgrade would be to buy a SSD as a boot / programs drive, and use your HD for storage. You can pick up many good SDD in to 100$ for 120gb range. I own a 560 gb crucial m4 myself, and recommend the crucial m500, but there are many good alternatives.

I recommend walking into a store to compare monitors, then after you pick one compare it to newegg pricing and pricematch or order from newegg. Remember that stores set monitor brightness to horrible levels. You should get a feel in person for what the matte / glossy screen, bezel and stand look like.

PS: your cpu could handle ANY single die GPU besides the TITAN (if it is overclocked). If you want a cheap option with no overclock, I may sell my 560 tis to upgrade to gtx780 (which I expect my i7 920 to "slightly" bottleneck).
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May 24, 2013 1:34:49 AM

killerhurtalot said:
smeezekitty said:
Your old I7 can still hold up nicely - especially if it can be overclocked.

On the other hand, that GPU is very weak and won't handle games at all but the lowest settings.



He might as well as buy a new computer now especially since the new sockets and new GPUs are coming out so soon.


I would suggest you wait until june 1st and come back again when Hanswell chipset comes out.



I agree, that is if you dont want to overclock wait for Haswell and buy all new system. $1500 will yeild a sweet new machine even with a 27" monitor included in price. ...but wait for haswell before you configure it. New motherboards and video cards being released now as well, wait for the reviews to come out on those.
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May 24, 2013 1:43:02 AM

Schwanzstuck said:
I highly recommend an overclock of the cpu, and waiting for the major upgrade of cpu/motherboard/different kind of ram and new psu. Because its a Dell, you may not be able to overclock.

My i7 920 with an aftermarket cooler has been OC from 2.6 to 3.8 stable for 3 years. Its still a very strong cpu, and i wont be upgrading until alteast Broadwell (2014). My 920 runs 2 gtx560 ti in sli with no problems and i get very good results with most games at high-ultra settings at 1080p. Your biggest and best upgrade option would be Video card, and I would recommend this:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-car...

you will be limited by the psu. If you supply the DELL model, i could tell you if your psu is upgradable or proprietary. Your second biggest upgrade would be to buy a SSD as a boot / programs drive, and use your HD for storage. You can pick up many good SDD in to 100$ for 120gb range. I own a 560 gb crucial m4 myself, and recommend the crucial m500, but there are many good alternatives.

I recommend walking into a store to compare monitors, then after you pick one compare it to newegg pricing and pricematch or order from newegg. Remember that stores set monitor brightness to horrible levels. You should get a feel in person for what the matte / glossy screen, bezel and stand look like.

PS: your cpu could handle ANY single die GPU besides the TITAN. If you want a cheap option, I may sell my 560 tis to upgrade to gtx780 (which I expect my i7 920 to "slightly" bottleneck)


Thank you for the info although the order in which to do things is a little confusing.

The dell model is XPS 435MT.

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May 24, 2013 1:45:55 AM

MarcRN said:
Schwanzstuck said:
I highly recommend an overclock of the cpu, and waiting for the major upgrade of cpu/motherboard/different kind of ram and new psu. Because its a Dell, you may not be able to overclock.

My i7 920 with an aftermarket cooler has been OC from 2.6 to 3.8 stable for 3 years. Its still a very strong cpu, and i wont be upgrading until alteast Broadwell (2014). My 920 runs 2 gtx560 ti in sli with no problems and i get very good results with most games at high-ultra settings at 1080p. Your biggest and best upgrade option would be Video card, and I would recommend this:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-car...

you will be limited by the psu. If you supply the DELL model, i could tell you if your psu is upgradable or proprietary. Your second biggest upgrade would be to buy a SSD as a boot / programs drive, and use your HD for storage. You can pick up many good SDD in to 100$ for 120gb range. I own a 560 gb crucial m4 myself, and recommend the crucial m500, but there are many good alternatives.

I recommend walking into a store to compare monitors, then after you pick one compare it to newegg pricing and pricematch or order from newegg. Remember that stores set monitor brightness to horrible levels. You should get a feel in person for what the matte / glossy screen, bezel and stand look like.

PS: your cpu could handle ANY single die GPU besides the TITAN. If you want a cheap option, I may sell my 560 tis to upgrade to gtx780 (which I expect my i7 920 to "slightly" bottleneck)


Thank you for the info although the order in which to do things is a little confusing.

The dell model is XPS 435MT.



Your case should use a proprietary PSU.

Edit. my bad. that doesn't work for a mini tower.


Well. it seems like others has had luck putting in regular PSUs in.

http://www.tomshardware.com/answers/id-1651838/dell-stu...

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/416890/upgradi...

http://forums.extremeoverclocking.com/showthread.php?t=...
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May 24, 2013 7:34:39 PM

killerhurtalot said:
MarcRN said:
Schwanzstuck said:
I highly recommend an overclock of the cpu, and waiting for the major upgrade of cpu/motherboard/different kind of ram and new psu. Because its a Dell, you may not be able to overclock.

My i7 920 with an aftermarket cooler has been OC from 2.6 to 3.8 stable for 3 years. Its still a very strong cpu, and i wont be upgrading until alteast Broadwell (2014). My 920 runs 2 gtx560 ti in sli with no problems and i get very good results with most games at high-ultra settings at 1080p. Your biggest and best upgrade option would be Video card, and I would recommend this:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-car...

you will be limited by the psu. If you supply the DELL model, i could tell you if your psu is upgradable or proprietary. Your second biggest upgrade would be to buy a SSD as a boot / programs drive, and use your HD for storage. You can pick up many good SDD in to 100$ for 120gb range. I own a 560 gb crucial m4 myself, and recommend the crucial m500, but there are many good alternatives.

I recommend walking into a store to compare monitors, then after you pick one compare it to newegg pricing and pricematch or order from newegg. Remember that stores set monitor brightness to horrible levels. You should get a feel in person for what the matte / glossy screen, bezel and stand look like.

PS: your cpu could handle ANY single die GPU besides the TITAN. If you want a cheap option, I may sell my 560 tis to upgrade to gtx780 (which I expect my i7 920 to "slightly" bottleneck)


Thank you for the info although the order in which to do things is a little confusing.

The dell model is XPS 435MT.



Your case should use a proprietary PSU.

Edit. my bad. that doesn't work for a mini tower.


Well. it seems like others has had luck putting in regular PSUs in.

http://www.tomshardware.com/answers/id-1651838/dell-stu...

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/416890/upgradi...

http://forums.extremeoverclocking.com/showthread.php?t=...


So it does appear your model can upgrade the PSU, this is huge. You will need to upgrade you PSU to be able to upgrade the graphics card appropriatly. The SSD is not neccesary, but would increase load times to make it feel much more snappy. Start with the PSU, then graphics card.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
That is a small form factor, sweet card, which you could take with you (would be powerfull for a while) into your next build if you end up getting new cpu/ motherboard.
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