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System upgrade - critique please

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  • Motherboards
  • Systems
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Last response: in Systems
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October 25, 2007 8:27:24 PM

After sticking with my current system for near enough 3 years, it's time for a change. I've looked at the options and come up with:

CPU:
Intel CPU Core 2 Quad Pro Q6600 95W Energy Efficient 2.4GHz SLACR G0 Stepping
http://www.microdirect.co.uk/(21806)Intel-CPU-Core-2-Quad-Pro-Q6600-95W-Energy.aspx
£166.84

RAM:
Corsair 2048MB TwinX XMS2 6400 DDR2 Memory Kit (2 x 1024MB)
http://www.microdirect.co.uk/(15884)Corsair-2048MB-TwinX-XMS2-6400-DDR2-Memory.aspx
£46.12

PSU:
Antec NeoHE 550W Modular ATX2.0 + EPS12V PSU
http://www.microdirect.co.uk/(11448)Antec-NeoHE-550W-Modular-ATX20-EPS12V-PSU.aspx
£69.91

Motherboard:
Either-
Gigabyte motherboard GA-P35-S3 Intel P35 Express LGA775 1333 FSB Quad-Core / Core2 Duo DDR2 ATX
http://www.microdirect.co.uk/(22006)Gigabyte-motherboard-GAP35S3-Intel-P35-Express.aspx
£64.86
or
Asus Motherboard P5K-VM Intel G33 LGA775 Core2 Quad / Core2 Extreme / Core2 Duo PCI-E integrated VGA DDR2 micro ATX
http://www.microdirect.co.uk/(18218)Asus-Motherboard-P5KVM-Intel-G33-LGA775-Core2.aspx
£70.44 (I'm leaning towards this board as I would prefer to have a firewire port)

TOTAL: £350ish
Added to this will be added my current XFX 7800GT and (possibly) my two sticks of 512Mb DDR PC3200 RAM (is it worth it or even compatible?)

Any feedback/suggestions would be greatly appreciated, although as a uni student, the budget is pretty much tied at around £350.

Cheers, Graeme

More about : system upgrade critique

October 25, 2007 8:38:47 PM

Everything looks good. Motherboard is just preference, both brands are pretty reliable with good support. (Asus gives you a cool sticker though :D )

Quote:
Added to this will be added my current XFX 7800GT and (possibly) my two sticks of 512Mb DDR PC3200 RAM (is it worth it or even compatible?)


I don't think the extra gig would make a difference, and it may just force your other ram down to a slower clock speed or not work at all with your new board / cpu. (Remember, RAM has to be faster than the CPU)

*The ASUS board supports the following types of RAM: PC2-6400, PC2-5300, PC2-8500
October 25, 2007 8:43:02 PM

Are you planning to OC that rig ? If so an after maker HS would be in order. If not well don't bother.
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October 25, 2007 8:57:20 PM

Thanks for the quick replies guys. Looks like I'll just ditch the old RAM.

As for OCing, for time being I think I'll just keep it stock, I'm thinking the GPU will bottleneck the system first (at least in games) for anything that would really push the Q6600 CPU-wise. If I were to take the OCing route later down the line, any broad suggestions for a decent HS? It's something I've never dabbled in before.
One last thing; I'm all but ready to buy now, but is there any pressing reason I should hold off a couple of weeks? Any word of new CPUs just on the horizon, for example, that would be in the same price bracket?
Thanks again, Graeme
October 25, 2007 9:09:19 PM

I wouldn't mix DDR and DDR2 memory. Not sure if it's possible.

The non-extreme (i.e. reasonably priced) 45nm intel processors are coming out in January, so not likely to be anything really soon. Of course, Phenom is supposed to come out in the meantime, but no one here is counting on them. Or to be readily available given the issues Barcelona is encountering.
October 25, 2007 9:10:40 PM

If you're ready to buy, go ahead. There is always something better coming around the corner, eventually you got to take the plonge. Right now there seems to be a lot of people waiting to buy their new graphic card because the new 8800 GT is just around the corner. Since you already have a decent GPU, there is no rush and you can always add a new one later on. As for after maker heat sink there is plenty of good choice out there : Thermalright Ultra 120, Tuniq Tower, Scythe ninja just to name a few. Those should fit (might worth more researchto make sure) most Motherboard. The major problem with those cooler is their hight, they are tall and require a case that can accommodate them.
October 25, 2007 9:16:20 PM

Quote:
Thanks for the quick replies guys. Looks like I'll just ditch the old RAM.

As for OCing, for time being I think I'll just keep it stock, I'm thinking the GPU will bottleneck the system first (at least in games) for anything that would really push the Q6600 CPU-wise. If I were to take the OCing route later down the line, any broad suggestions for a decent HS? It's something I've never dabbled in before.
One last thing; I'm all but ready to buy now, but is there any pressing reason I should hold off a couple of weeks? Any word of new CPUs just on the horizon, for example, that would be in the same price bracket?
Thanks again, Graeme


You could always look at it another way. You'll get absolutely every ounce of performance out of your GPU. :D 

As for coolers and heatsinks, check this site out:

http://www.frostytech.com/top5heatsinks.cfm

You'll always find the Thermalright's at the top of the charts in terms of performance. Zalman and Scythe are other nice cooler brands.
October 25, 2007 9:40:23 PM

Thanks everyone, it's all been very useful. I think I'll just dive right in any buy now, even if some brand spanking new kit comes out in January it'll still be the longest I've gone without being superceded (I'm looking at you, the 7800GT I bought the week before the 7900GT was released at the same price...).

The GPU can wait for a while, I usually buy a new one in the middle of my CPUs lifecycle, although I'll keep an eye on how the 8800GT fares.

The info on the coolers is just what I was looking for, thanks, it wouldn't hurt to squeeze every last bit of juice out of the GPU :D . The real issue will be space, as you say fatcat. I've currently got a mini-tower, so there isnt much room in there as it is (although some 'subtle' manipulation of the CPU exhaust/vent/plastic-tube-thing might do the trick). If I were to OC, does anyone know if there's a program like ASUS AI Booster (which I use at the moment to get a bit of life out of my 3500+) to do the legwork for me with the new Mobo/CPU? Either way, it's a hurdle I'll cross when I get to it, but I'd rather not tamper with BIOS settings manually if possible.

Once again, thanks guys, it's reassuring to get the thumbs up before I shell out for this lot. I'll try and report back on how the installation goes, peace.

Graeme
!