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Need Help! Upgrading for Christmas

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December 1, 2007 11:27:31 PM

My mother has agreed to purchase me an 8800GT for Christmas, which I believe gives me the most bang for the buck. I also want to generally upgrade my CPU and motherboard in preparation for upgrading to Vista and DX10. I'm prepared to spend up to a $1000 on new components but I'm only comfortable spending around $500--you'll have to convince me to go higher than that. So a few questions:

1) What manufacturer should I purchase the video card from?

2) I don't want to bottleneck to the new videocard: what new CPU and motherboard can I get the most bang for the buck from for my budget? Do I even need to get a new motherboard?

3) Is there anything else I need for Vista?

4) Is water cooling an affordable option?

Here is my current PC:

-Processor: Pentium D Processor 830 with Dual Core Technology (3.0Ghz,800FSB)
-Motherboard Chipset: nVidia nForce4 (Crush CK8-04)
-Ram: 2GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 533Mhz- 4 DIMMs
-Video: 256MB Nvidia GeForce 7800 GTX
-Hard drive: 250GB Serial ATA Hard Drive (7200 RPM)
-Sound: Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS (D) Card w/Dolby 5.1, IEEE 1394 capability


I'm a forum noob so tell me if I left anything out

Thanks!

More about : upgrading christmas

December 1, 2007 11:29:55 PM

WCing is going to cost more than you have (not really worth it unless you want to go extreme... quiet or OC).

Is your PSU EPS12V compatible? (4+4 or 8 Pin CPU connector)

Are you comfortable with overclocking? (can save money on a CPU)

Do you also need to buy a copy of Vista with that $500?
December 1, 2007 11:34:06 PM

OK

I have no idea. Can you tell me how to check that?

I don't know how to overclock . . . I kind of want a Core 2 Duo anyways and wont overclocking require me to get better cooling?

I'm not paying for the Vista.
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December 1, 2007 11:38:01 PM

hershey_highwayman said:
OK

I have no idea. Can you tell me how to check that?

I don't know how to overclock . . . I kind of want a Core 2 Duo anyways and wont overclocking require me to get better cooling?

I'm not paying for the Vista.



The power supply will have an 8 Pin Connector for the CPU. The reason I ask is (you don't need it) I was just wondering.

Core 2 Duo is fine, but you can save money by getting a lower end 4300/4400 and overclocking it versus buying an E6850.

If you plan to do this after Xmas, I would wait until mid-January and buy a Penryn CPU when they come out.

P35 Motherboard + 2 GB DDR2 Ram + CPU shouldn't be more than $300-400. You might want to get 2 SATA Hard Disks for RAID 0 (faster than ATA... definately). That would be another $100 or so. You can always get more RAM down the road.

If you want the SLI option than a 680i + 2 GB Ram + Dual Core would be fine. I wouldn't get a Penryn with an nVidia board though (compatibility issues.. they might be worked out but I trust Intel+Intel more than nVidia+Intel).
December 1, 2007 11:40:37 PM

Not sure if that motherboard supports Core 2 Duos, check the manufacturer's website if it can be done with a bios update. Plus, your memory is running at a low frequency so you can't really overclock the processor unless you overclock the memory also.

I would wait till January till the Penryns are released to purchase your stuff.
December 1, 2007 11:42:26 PM

Thanks for the reply.

Will my current ram be compatible with a decent Intel motherboard? How would I check?

And also, which motherboard would you suggest that works with both Penryn and Nvidia
December 1, 2007 11:43:36 PM

nightscope said:
Not sure if that motherboard supports Core 2 Duos, check the manufacturer's website if it can be done with a bios update. Plus, your memory is running at a low frequency so you can't really overclock the processor unless you overclock the memory also.

I would wait till January till the Penryns are released to purchase your stuff.


He said he'd be getting both MB and CPU. And yes, you are definately right about the memory thing. Fortunately DDR2800 is about $60 for 2 GB right now.
December 1, 2007 11:46:29 PM

hershey_highwayman said:
Thanks for the reply.

Will my current ram be compatible with a decent Intel motherboard? How would I check?

And also, which motherboard would you suggest that works with both Penryn and Nvidia


Yes, your ram will be compatible, but it wouldn't be the best performance wise.

I would get a Penryn quad, a p35 motherboard, 2 gb ram, and an 8800 GT or 3870.

$300 Processor, $100 motherboard, $60 ram, $250 (by next month hopefully) video card = $710 roughly.
You can add $70 to get another harddrive like yours to run in raid-0 like cnumartyr suggested.

Plus you possibly would need a new PSU.
December 1, 2007 11:55:32 PM

How powerful of a PSU would I need to run the suggested parts?
December 2, 2007 2:36:48 AM

A good 400-500 Watt quality PSU with 25+ amps on the 12+ rails would suffice, no need for an overkill.
!