New System or Max out what I have?

I'm a new member here. After having been a browser of Tom's site for many years and having built quite a few systems from this sites recommendations I'm now rather uncertain what to do for my own system.

I'm not a hard-core gamer. I think the last "hard-core" PC game I played was the original version of Doom. However, I do use a graphic-intense radio controlled flight sim (RealFlight G3), play lots of video, occassionally work on web site design and use Flash.

My current system definitely shows it's limits when using the flight sim. With photo-realistic environments and very detailed models, the frame rate often lags and it becomes a real drag to use.

I've debated about upgrading the system, either a different component here and there or to a whole new machine.

No, I don't want to spend a dump-load of money and I certainly don't need anything BLING or for playing the latest RPG online with hundreds of other people. Just something more powerfull then what I have. This machine has lastest me for over 2 years with the only upgrades in that time consisting of the power supply, the video card and an extra 512mb of ram.

I'm also curious whether or not any of the Mini-ITX or Micro-ITX machines would be a good upgrade for me, with a proper video card of course and help me downsize my tower. Again, I'm not looking for a disco lightshow $3k+ game killer :)

Any sort of helpfull insight on where to start looking would be really helpfull. It would be even more of a value if I could reuse as much of my exist system if possible.

Current sys:
MSI Neo-2-LS Bios V2.5
P4 2.4 Northwood PGA478 800MHz FSB OC'ed to 3.0ghz (250mhz x 12)
Swiftech MCX4000/Panaflow 80mm
(2) Corsair CMX512-4400C25PT = 1gig
BFG nVida GeForce 6600GT AGP
WD400JD 40gig SATA
Enermax EG465P-VE 431W
10 answers Last reply
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  1. Whole new system. These days you'll lag with nothing less then dual core.
  2. ok, so if I go for a dual core system, what would be the best bang for the buck CPU to start with that would be a good step up from what I am currently running?
  3. Well since you stated you overclock, I'd suggest the e6550 or the pentium dual core e2160. This depends on your budget. As for video card, if you have the money get the 8800GT. If you don't, get the HD3870 or 3850. I should ask what is your budget?
  4. I'm thinking $300-$400 or less if possible. I certainly don't need a near $300 video card! I'd be willing to throw $150 or so to a video card at max.
  5. Athlon 64 X2 4000+ (2.1GHz) - $66
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103774

    Gigabyte GA-M52L-S3 - $69
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128069

    G.Skill 2x1GB - $50
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231098

    Western Digital 80GB SATAII - $43
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136195

    EVGA 8600GT - $100 (with a $20 MIR)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130297

    LG 18x DVD burner - $29
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827136120

    thermaltake 400w - $43
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817153060

    Case - pick one :)

    *assumes that you have a usable mouse, keyboard, monitor, and speakers*

    Total is ~$400 minus case/peripherals and shipping.
  6. Ok, just did a ton of reading and here's what I've come up with to replace my MB & CPU, keep my drives, power supply and memory.

    1. MSI P965 Refurb $40 or New $112
    2. Intel Pentium Dual Core E2160 OC'd to 3.0GHz as per Tom's OC article $75-$88

    - and of corse a high quality fan, and looks like that eVGA video board would give great bang for the buck.
  7. looks good mate
  8. Intel Dual-Core E2180 Allendale 2.0GHz 1MB L2 Cache LGA 775 Processor - Retail 89.99$
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116052

    A-DATA 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail 37.99$
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820211066

    Open Box: Intel BLKDP965LTCK LGA 775 Intel P965 Express ATX Intel Motherboard 39.99$
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813121036R

    HIS Hightech H165GTQT256GDDN-R Radeon X1650GT 256MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail 79.99$
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161182

    Rosewill RE502-BLK ATX 12V v2.03 500W Aluminum Power Supply 115/230 V cUL, FCC, CSA, CB, TUV, CE, NEMCO - Retail 42.99$
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817182002

    HITACHI Deskstar 7K160 HDS721680PLA380 (0Y30005) 80GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM 42.99$
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822145192

    LITE-ON Black 16X DVD-ROM 52X CD-R 32X CD-RW 52X CD-ROM SATA Combo 24.99$
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827106100

    COOLER MASTER Elite 330 RC-330-KKN1-GP Black SECC ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail 30$
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119115

    Total comes out to 388.93$. I chose the e2180 over an AMD because you can easily overclock this to 3.0GHZ on the stock cooler alone. Although the Video Card isn't DX10 compatible, I think that it's a good improvement from what you have now.

    Hope it helps,

    BatCommander64
  9. Can I reuse my existing memory with a P965 MB?
  10. darkfa8 said:
    Can I reuse my existing memory with a P965 MB?

    I believe your current memory is standard DDR.
    You will need to change to DDR2.
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