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Looking for advice on new tech before I upgrade

Last response: in Systems
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December 6, 2007 11:05:07 PM

Hi folks, I'm looking to build a new gaming machine to replace my old Athlon 64 / AGP / DDR1 setup. I don't want to spend too much more than $1000-1100 at this point, but I also want something reasonably future-proof and upgradeable. I'm not interested in overclocking.

I haven't been keeping up with what's new in technology, though, so I was hoping for some advice on a few things...

1) Will modern motherboards support my older IDE drives (and would I still want to use them anyway)?

2) DDR3 is expensive, and as I understand it, is not really a great choice right now due to its high latency. Only a few boards seem to support both DDR2 and DDR3 right now. I'm pretty sure I'll be happy with DDR2 until I need another full system upgrade, but any input on this?

3) I've only just heard about PCIe 2.0 - is this something I should pay attention to, since I want to be able to upgrade components a year or two from now? Are 2.0 cards backwards compatible? I don't want to end up in the situation I'm in now, with an obsolete video card slot.

4) I'm thinking of running either an Intel E6750 or Q6600, but again I want to be able to upgrade in the future. I was reading an article on Anandtech which, if I understand it correctly, states that many LGA 75 socket motherboards will be compatible with Intel's next generation of quad-core processors with BIOS updates, which should be enough upgradeability to suit me. Is that correct, and if so, would it be better to wait until those chips come out and buy a motherboard that specifically supports them?

5) How much power would I need for a mid-range / budget gaming PC with upgrade potential? I'm thinking 600 watts, but I really have no idea.


I've been wanting to upgrade for a while now, but it seems the technology is always in the middle of transitioning to something newer, better, and incompatible. I always feel like I can't buy an upgradeable system without buying the lowest of the high-end, and therefore spending a lot more than the performance is worth. Thanks in advance for your help and patience.

More about : advice tech upgrade

December 7, 2007 1:04:19 AM

1)Yes modern motherboards will support older IDE drives. A lot of new MB's only come with 1 IDE channel though, so keep that in mind.

2)I wouldn't get DDR3 if it were me.

3)PCI-E 2.0 card are backwards compatible.

4)Someone else might want to help you on this one.

5)600W will be plenty for your typical mid-range gaming rig. What is most important is buying a reputable brand. Check this out.
December 8, 2007 9:58:08 AM

Thanks for the info. Would I be missing out on much by not getting PCIe 2.0? Can you get that on mid-range motherboards, or is it more on the expensive side?

This is the article I was reading about Penryn compatibility - anyone have a comment on that issue?
December 9, 2007 2:13:06 AM

I don't think current hardware has taken full advantage of the previous generation of PCIe.

Honestly, I haven't even noticed any PCIe 2.0 motherboards out yet. I will admit though, I haven't really been looking.
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