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alien ware aurora upgrade help

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  • Photoshop
  • Hard Drives
Last response: in Systems
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July 23, 2014 4:52:12 PM

im upgrading my fathers pc for him.
he is a movie editor and does a lot of photography.
he uses premier pro and photoshop a lot.
he has an alien ware aurora.
im already up grading his hard drives to eaxctly what he wants an os ssd 256gb and a secondary 4tb hdd

he wants Photoshop and PP to be faster
i was planing on going for this ram http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
an i7 quid core that gets 3.4 ghz which one i do not know?
i have heard graphics cards only slightly help Photoshop would there be any improvement getting a gtx 580 or 680 over his 260. and im asking for non game applications he does not play games
hes power supply is 525 so i may need to replace that to

thank you all for any help

More about : alien ware aurora upgrade

July 23, 2014 4:59:15 PM

What are his current PC specs?

There isn't, in my opinion, much benefits with faster RAM such as the one you selected. He could probably reinvest that money somewhere else, such as more capacity, faster CPU...

Concerning the video card, it depends a lot on what features of Adobe CS he uses. I'm no expert on the subject, however, I'll leave this question for someone with more experience with this software.
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July 23, 2014 5:28:07 PM

he has Intel core i7 920 2.66ghz 8mb
9gb ddr3 1066mhz 3*2gb and 3*1gb
gtx260
sound blaster xfi
the mother boards number is e203413 de0907
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July 23, 2014 5:43:16 PM

Hmmm... Socket 1366. Your options are pretty limited. You'd probably want to replace that motherboard, not sure if this can be done on Alienware's.

You will have to buy used if you do not want to replace the motherboard. The fastest CPU you can get is the Core i7-990X (6 cores, 3,5Ghz), I believe. Those used to be around 1000$ however, not sure now. The 980 and 970 would also be an option (both are 6-cores too). Anything less than that wouldn't be much of an upgrade.

Then again, only if you can find a very good price on those, otherwise it would be better to upgrade the MB.

The RAM is fine, getting a dual channel kit you suggested would almost be a downgrade actually (except in terms of capacity). You could replace those 3*1GB with 4GB modules, for a total capacity of 18GB. Of course, if you change the MB, you should probably get different RAM.
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July 23, 2014 6:20:27 PM

are you sure about the cpu? i had called them and they said newer cpus should be compatable. but i know you cant always trust the pepole they hire.
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July 23, 2014 6:30:32 PM

8bitgamer8 said:
are you sure about the cpu? i had called them and they said newer cpus should be compatable. but i know you cant always trust the pepole they hire.


Definitely. The socket type is what will determine compatibility with different CPUs. Yours is 1366. Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge (i7 2600/2700K, 3770) uses 1155 or 2011 (Sandy/Ivy Bridge-E), and the newer Haswell CPUs (i7 4770, 4790) use 1150. The number/name of the socket refers to the number of pins on the socket/CPU, so backward compatibility would be physically impossible.

The i7 970, 980 and 990X are a bit more recent than your 920, this could be what they meant by "newer CPUs". But there is no way you will be able to upgrade to the newest i7 without replacing the MB.
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July 23, 2014 6:37:41 PM

yup pulled it out and checked your right. dam dell lieing to me good thing i did not order yet
thats going to be a big problem then. the buget is around 1000 with an abslute max at 1500
putting a new mother board in this tower may be alot of work as its designed for this spasific one
is there a 4 core option at that speed?
and your sure the faster ram would be slower in the end?
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July 23, 2014 7:24:23 PM

1000-1500 USD? Worst-case scenario, with that kind of budget, you could build a new system from scratch that would by far outperform this one (and sell the old one finance it).

I'd do some research first to see if a new MB is a possibility, however.

The fastest socket 1366, 4 cores is the 975 Extreme Edition (3,33 Ghz), otherwise the 960 (3,2Ghz).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Intel_Core_i7_micr...
Not much of an upgrade, you could probably overclock your 920 and get a similar performance increase.

New RAM would not be slower, but its a marginal difference at best. Your current CPU uses a triple channel architecture, so if you use a "trio" of RAM modules the available memory bandwidth is tripled (compared to a single module). I'm not sure if your CPU/MB can work in dual-channel if you use a pair of modules.

1066MT RAM in triple channel would give you a bit less memory bandwidth than 2133MT in dual channel, maybe 30% less. In real world applications, that might translate to 2-3% better performance in some memory-intensive programs (video encoding, compression software, encryption, etc.) So the new RAM would be faster, but not by much. The increase in capacity will sure help a lot more than the speed of the RAM, the extent of the benefits depending on the kind of work your father does.
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July 23, 2014 7:41:17 PM

thank you so much for your help. this is turning out more complex then i thoght it would be as i built my pc but that was easy as i got high end everything all new so there was no compatibility issues.
i guss i may need to start from scratch
i posted in the motherboard section asking if anyone knew of a motherboard that worked good with this modle as it has alot of extra crap coming off the mother board that may not work with any random one

in the event i start from scratch with new case and everything whats your recommendation for case and motherboard i can do everything else at this point from the info you gave me
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July 23, 2014 8:02:14 PM

about to hit the bed found someone saying that this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
would work but im not sure as the current motherboard has like a mini board off to the right and i dont have any idea if there would be compatbility issues. ill have to full dissasymble to see what its connected to tomarow thanks again for your help
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Best solution

July 24, 2014 1:48:18 AM

I did a bit of research, it would seem that the motherboard inside the Aurora is a standard microATX one, with an additional board for lightning and some other features. According to a few forum posts here and there, replacing the motherboard is indeed possible.
http://en.community.dell.com/owners-club/alienware/f/37...

Take everything I say with a grain of salt, as I have no experience with the Alienware Aurora. Everything here is based on a few forum posts.

Now, concerning which MB, I'd get a LGA1150 instead of the 2011 (like the one you listed). The LGA2011 socket is basically dead, there will be no further updates on this socket and it is already a few years old. The only advantage it holds against the newer socket 1150 platform is compatibility with old-ish 6-cores CPUs (which I doubt your father needs), additional PCI-E lanes (which he surely doesn't need) and greater memory bandwidth (quad channel architecture, but as I explained, the gains here are minimal).

The quad-core 1150 CPUs will perform better than the older socket 2011 ones in most cases anyway, and you get plenty of additional features.

My recommendation would be to, first, confirm that you can upgrade the motherboard without issue.
Then, pick a mATX LGA1150 motherboard and get an i7-4790K.
You'll probably want some new RAM too, so add a 16GB kit.
Those parts should be around 600-700$ depending on what you pick.

If you cannot upgrade the motherboard in your Alienware, those recommendations still stand. You'll only need to add a case, maybe a PSU too.

A few suggestions for parts:
MB: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CPU: Intel i7 4790K
RAM: 2x8GB www.amazon.com/dp/B00D1IUEHW/
Case: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00DSFEQKY, http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ET0OFQM/, http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005DDCDH2/
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