Do I really need to spend this much?

The main components of my aging PC are:

AMD Athlon XP 2200
ASUS A7N8X Deluxe
512 MB RAM
Geforce 4 TI 4800 128MB
Windows XP

I’ve been pricing up Conroe systems that are coming out at over £800. I would prefer to spend less than this and am wondering if even to get a significant step up in performance I may be over-specifying. I do want it to still have a decent shelf life for playing games etc. but do I really need this at £858?

CPU: (Sckt775)Intel® Core™ 2 Duo E6300 CPU @ 1.86GHz 1066FSB 2x1MB L2 Cache
Motherboard: Asus P5N32-SLI SE Deluxe nForce4 SLI Chipset LGA775 Supports Core 2 Duo CPU FSB1066 DDR2/800 Mainboard w/GbLAN, USB2.0, IEEE1394&7.1Audio
Memory: (Req.DDR2 MainBoard)2GB (2x1GB) PC6400 DDR2/800 Dual Channel Memory (Corsair XMS2 Xtreme Memory w/ Heat Spreader)

Or will something like this still do the job for £ £575?

CPU: (939-pin) AMD Athlon™64 3800+ CPU w/ HyperTransport Technology
Motherboard: (Sckt939)ASUS A8N SLI Deluxe nForce4 SLI Chipset SATA RAID Dual PCIE MB w/Gb-LAN, USB2.0, IEEE-1394, &7.1Audio
Memory: 1024 MB (512MBx2) PC3200 400MHz Dual Channel DDR MEMORY (Corsair Value Select or Major Brand)

Both options use the same case, 500watt PSU, graphics card, hard drive, DVD drive etc.

NVIDIA Geforce 7600 GT 256MB PCI Express x16 Video Card
Hard Drive (300GB SATA-II 3.0Gb/s 16MB Cache 7200RPM HDD)
LiteOn SHM-165H6S 16X Double Layer DVD+-RW Super Allwrite + Lightscribe Technology
Floppy Drive
Windows XP

Thank you for any responses.
6 answers Last reply
More about spend much
  1. It's the graphics card that will make the big difference, so an AMD CPU is fine (just get an AM2 socket so you have at least minimal upgrade possibilities). Otherwise you're fine, but stay away from the ValueSelect brand -- it's among the worst of the "value" lines. Kingston makes a good value line.
  2. You didn't even specifiy what "job" you are wanting it to do. I'm guessing core2duo will be overkill in your case. Dual core if you are a mega multitasker.
  3. Quote:
    You didn't even specifiy what "job" you are wanting it to do. I'm guessing core2duo will be overkill in your case. Dual core if you are a mega multitasker.


    I did mention that I want it to be up to playing games, which I understand is what normally defines the level of performance you need from a PC. Smoke grenades currently ruin my COD2 experience! The other thing I do quite a lot of is image processing where it's nice to have a responsive PC, particularly with the large files generated by current digital cameras.

    I sometimes do a bit of video editing/rendering and music production, but not often enough to qualify as a mega multitasker.

    Beyond that I do the normal Internet surfing, website maintenance, word processing, spreadsheets etc. that any PC should be able to handle.

  4. The listed Intel system will outperform the listed AMD by a wide margin. The E6300 beats the X2-3800 handily in benchmarks. Plus you have 2GB of DDR2-800 ram in the intel system vs 1GB of DDR-400 in the AMD system which will increase the intel system's lead.

    Either one should play COD2 very smoothly. The intel system will shine on your image processing work.

    You can get cheaper motherboards since you don't have 2 graphics cards like the G-byte GA-965P-S3 or ABIT AB9 or ASUS P5B. Also, the P5n32-SLI Delux only lists support for DDR2-667.
  5. Will you be OCing??
    If you wont, the prices will come down considerably.
  6. IMO, if you are looking for overclocking and gaming performance, there is no match to the Intel Core 2 Duo... so I vote that it is worth the additional $275 compared to the 939 build...

    and if not going to overclock much or you shop around, you can find a cheaper mobo and even use DDR2 533MHz memory which runs in sync 1:1 with the CPU... bringing the cost difference closer the the 939 build...

    and you will be getting a faster system, with current tech and a possiblity of a future upgrade path if desired...
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