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Upgrade help/advice...

Last response: in Memory
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November 16, 2006 9:30:16 PM

I'm considering currently upgrading my system. Here's what I currently have:

AMD Athlon 64 3500+ (2.2ghz) Socket 939
ASUS A8V Motherboard
1 gig Kingston PC3200 HyperX Ram (2x512mb)
Radeon X850XT PE AGP Card (256mb)
Antec 430 watt PSU
etc, etc...

And here's what I'm looking at possibly getting:

Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 (2.13ghz)
GIGABYTE GA-965G-DS3 LGA 775 Intel G965 Express ATX Intel Motherboard
(2 gigs of ram, read below in a second)
SAPPHIRE Radeon X1950PRO (PCI-E)
(and maybe better PSU, etc)

Any thoughts on my upgrade? Does it look like I'll get a pretty good performance increase? What sparked this was a gaming purchase that required SM3 for my video card, and I thought, hey, while I'm at it, I might as well get away from AGP and enter the dual core era, and it seems like Intel (while I've been an AMD fan for quite some time) has surpassed AMD price/performance wise. Also, since this is in the ram forum, I have a ram related question. For motherboards that have a DDR2 standard of 667 or 800, do I absolutely need to get ram of that equivalence, or can I get something lower/higher? Any recommendations on good ram for a 2 gig dual channel setup? Thanks for your time and help!
--Matt

More about : upgrade advice

November 17, 2006 2:38:07 AM

For best performance the RAM should match or be a multiple of the processors FSB..
November 17, 2006 6:41:12 AM

Not really. The main thing seems to be to *not* be one speed increment faster than synchronous. For example, DDR2-800 performs better than DDR2-533 on non-OC'ed C2D systems, even though DDR2-800 is two speed increments faster than synchronous DDR2-533. However, it's not a big performance jump, so to minimize cost, get RAM that matches the FSB after the max OCing you're planning (e.g. if you want to OC the FSB up to 400MHz, run the memory at DDR2-800 speed).
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November 17, 2006 6:18:03 PM

Thanks! Any ideas as to what brand/series of ram to get for a good performance/price ratio? Also, any other thoughts on my upgrade? Is it worth the money now, or would waiting for DX10 be advised?
--Matt
November 17, 2006 6:28:19 PM

You will definitely see a huge difference in terms of CPU power when you upgrade from Athlon64 to Core2Duo's ...

Before any of us could recommend you on what to build on, we need to know what kind of budget could you afford?

If you're tight on budget, check the link over my signature. If you have a much higher budget, let us know what you have in mind. Besides that, a little more info would help, as in are you planning to overclock? And what kind of speed you expecting? I assume you do game a lot, coz you needed SM3.0 support, but I could be wrong? But we need more info on your budget, coz you might want to consider 8800GTS/GTX since they're the best in the market, and supports DirectX 10. More details won't hurt. :) 

If you're planning to run C2D, it's best recommended to run the ram:fsb at 1:1 ratio ... so unless if you're planning to overclock, there's no reason to go above 533MHz (266MHz FSB) ... but then, if you're overclocking, which these C2D's does very well at, you might want to look into at least the 667/675MHz modules? Or even 800MHz modules, which would allow you to overclock higher.
!