What part should I upgrade first?

I have decided I am going to upgrade my GPU, most likely to a 8800GS. As I know all too well from the answers in my last topic, I am most likely not going to be able to acheive what I want with just a GPU upgrade. I now am wondering what I should upgrade first on my PC. My specs are:

1.5GB DDR2 RAM
Pentium D 2.8GHz HT
nVidia 8500GT 256MB
Dell 375W PSU (12v rail x2, equals 36A)
Intel® Desktop Board D945GPM
Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005
18 answers Last reply
More about what part upgrade first
  1. Your old p4 will significantly bottleneck the 8800gs. Don't be surprised if you don't notice much of a difference. Get cpu first. :p
  2. What would you reccomend that I could get for around $75-$115?
  3. Waffles87 said:
    What would you reccomend that I could get for around $75-$115?

    Not much. There just isn't much for a cpu upgrade within that price range. It might make more sense to scrap by for a while longer and save up for a new system.
  4. This weekend, I gave an ATI x1900 XT 512MB to a friend who is using a 2GB DDR2 RAM and a Pentium D 2.8GHz. (This should have been a significant upgrade compared to the 6600GT that he was using).

    As a reference, the x1900T gave me 60 FPS in many DX 9 games at a resolution as high as 1920x1200.

    The new system struggled to get more than 45 FPS at a lowly 1024x768 at the same settings. After several tests, we discovered the culprit to be the 2.8GHz Pentium D. The 2nd core is next to useless in quite a few games.

    The good news is that your motherboard should be able to support Core 2 Duo processors. (It may not support the new 45nm CPUs due to voltage requirements) Check your motherboard manufacturer's website and get the latest BIOS. Find out the Core 2 CPU models supported on your motherboard, and consider purchasing that CPU.

    The 8800GS should be faster than the x1900XT. The Pentium D 2.8GHz will surely bottleneck your system at it stands...
  5. If $115 is your absolute maximum price range, there are a few options, such as the:
    Intel Core 2 Duo E4600 Allendale 2.4GHz 2MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115032

    Be advised, however, that at your price range, all the CPUs will be somewhat hampered by its smaller cache size, etc.

    Your options significantly improve CPU-wise once the budget is increased to $200, but at that point, you may need an entire system upgrade....

    In any case, anything will be better than the Pentium D, and it will significantly improve your gaming experience - even if it is the lowest in Core 2 Duo you get.
  6. densetsu612 said:
    If $115 is your absolute maximum price range, there are a few options, such as the:
    Intel Core 2 Duo E4600 Allendale 2.4GHz 2MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115032

    Be advised, however, that at your price range, all the CPUs will be somewhat hampered by its smaller cache size, etc.

    Your options significantly improve CPU-wise once the budget is increased to $200, but at that point, you may need an entire system upgrade....

    In any case, anything will be better than the Pentium D, and it will significantly improve your gaming experience - even if it is the lowest in Core 2 Duo you get.

    That looks good. It should give a significant improvment, and shouldn't bottleneck the 8800gs. Not that you'll have money left over for a new graphics card anyway. So might as well wait and save up.
  7. It is looking more and more like a new PC is the shot. Would I be able to get a system with only certain things in it? Like, if I wanted a new processor, new graphics card(s), and a new Mobo, but wanted to just install my current 1.5GB of ram into the PC, would I be able to get a tower with just the above things? I am only asking because I might end up needing a job this summer if I am going to get a new PC.
  8. Waffles87 said:
    It is looking more and more like a new PC is the shot. Would I be able to get a system with only certain things in it? Like, if I wanted a new processor, new graphics card(s), and a new Mobo, but wanted to just install my current 1.5GB of ram into the PC, would I be able to get a tower with just the above things? I am only asking because I might end up needing a job this summer if I am going to get a new PC.

    Of course, buy the parts and assemble it yourself. It's not rocket science. I started building systems with the old 486s back when I was 11. Ah, good times... :na:

    It depends on the ram. It might be too slow or too low amount per stick to be worth keeping. 2gb of ddr2 800 is only around $35 those days.
  9. I have one stick of 1GB PNY "PC2-5300 667/533/400" DDR2, and 2x256MB DDR2 "PC2-4200" My system is a partially upgraded Dell XPS 400, with two 2-socket banks.
  10. Waffles87 said:
    I have one stick of 1GB PNY "PC2-5300 667/533/400" DDR2, and 2x256MB DDR2 "PC2-4200" My system is a partially upgraded Dell XPS 400, with two 2-socket banks.

    The single stick of 1gb ddr2 667 is still worth salvaging. :p
  11. What should I do with the rest? Is there any way to make any money with my other parts?
  12. Waffles87 said:
    What should I do with the rest? Is there any way to make any money with my other parts?

    Put it on ebay, or garage sale and see if you can con anyone into paying big bucks for it. :D
  13. I'll give you $29 bucks for the 8500GT
  14. Since you sound like your on a budget, you may consider a cheap AMD dual core system. However some of the core 2 duo chips are said to overclock pretty well.

    If you've already got the 8500gt, I think I'd go with something dual core, the fastest you can buy, and get another gig of memory to match the stick of 667 you have already, and a new board with some overclocking headroom in case you want it, and a better power supply. Possibly new case if you have to. I think I'd stick it out with the 8500gt for now though. Get the base of the system going first. While the 8500gt is low end, it's still current generation. Hold onto that and save your money for something like an 8800gs, 9600gt or 8800gt. But if you get a faster chip and more memory, I think you would essentially make it to where your video card is the bottleneck, and you may not play at high settings, but you should be able to at least play your games. Because I'm on a low end card myself, an old 7300 LE that I got on ebay for 13 bucks or something because I was making the switch into a new chip, board, and pci express interface, so didn't have a lot of money to spend on video card, so picked that up as a place holder to get me by. Actually suprising how well it does for how much I paid.
  15. Btw, give us an idea how much you can spend, I'm sure we can find something for ya.
  16. I will have $95 in two weeks, but after that I have no real source of income. Any ideas? >.>
  17. If you're nearing out of money, surely get the 8800gs first
  18. Can someone tell me if this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103212 processor will work with my Intel 945G/P Mobo? Is there some way to look this up?
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