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Looking for cheap upgrade, is this worth doing?

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June 22, 2007 2:48:14 AM

Right now I have a P4 550 @ 3.4 Ghz running on a Nforce4 motherboard that doesn't support dual-cores, with 2 gigs of 533 Mhz DDR2 and a 6600GT. I plan on building a Q6600-based system around early August, but I want to turn this computer into a viable second gaming rig so I can play LAN games against my brother. Keep in mind I'm in Canada, so no Newegg for me, and prices are a bit higher.

I found a bundle on NCIX that includes a Biostar Tforce P965 board, 2 gigs of 4-4-4-12 Corsair DDR-667 RAM, and a Pentium E2160 for $275 canadian:

http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=24805&vpn=E2160%2FTF965%2F2G5400&manufacture=BIOSTAR&promoid=1008

To this, I plan on adding a 7600GT for around $130 from tigerdirect, mostly because they have a retail store 10 minutes down the road from my house. I can't really afford an X1950pro, because the cheapest one is around $180, and that's too much of a jump. Power supply shouldn't be a problem, I just upgraded to a 500W Ultra X-finity when my old unit died, and I'm going to carry over the old case, cooling drives and everything else. I plan on overclocking that E2160 to around 3 Ghz, which should be possible because it's basically an E4300 with half the cache disabled, and this board and memory should easily support 333 Mhz FSB. As for CPU cooling, I plan on using the CoolerMaster (I think...) Big Typhoon I had on the P4, which is a giant brick of copper with heatpipes. Please tell me if this is worth the money, or if there is a better option that costs around the same amount of money. Thanks for your help.

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June 22, 2007 3:58:36 PM

Hi, not too familiar with prices in Canada however if you're on a very tight budget that seems like a decent deal. I have seen good reviews of the motherboard and ram which is a plus. The Biostar if I remember correctly doesn't OC as well as some but should be sufficient to get you a good boost for sure. Best guess probably at least 2.8 if not 3ghz but might make it there since you're using aftermarket cooling. The processor is a very good budget CPU. It should show you a noticable increase across the board compared to your P4 especially once OC'd a bit.

Its always easy to debate whether something else could be slightly better but since I am not familiar with pricing there its hard for me to say (at work so can't spend a lot of time on this reply). Just wanted to say I think it sounds like a good idea and will show you a good increase for a bit. At some point n the future you would obviously want to upgrade the GPU but that 7600GT will hold you for a little while. Maybe list what you plan on doing with the rig so others can be of further help. What do you play, or plan/hope to play with it. You're obviously building a beefier system soon so maybe just playing todays games well on this rig is all that matters. If thats the case I think it will suit you just fine.
June 22, 2007 4:06:36 PM

I plan on building a Q6600 based system soon, with an 8800GTS at the very least, and then once Penryn quad-cores and the G92 cards from Nvidia come out, I'll probably pick up one of each and drop the Q6600 and 8800GTS into the other rig. So basically, this rig needs to last me about 8 months (from what I know of Penryn and G92 release dates) playing current games and some older classics. Super-high quality and high resolution isn't terribly important, I only have a 17" CRT on that system, so games would probably be played at 1024x768. Any more suggestions are welcome.
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