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Need advice on either upgrading all of my pc or just certain parts

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May 26, 2008 6:01:20 AM

My wife and I love to game. This is our current setup:

Core 2 Duo E4300
MB: P4M800PRO-M v2 link:
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PC2-5300
ATI 1950 Pro 256 8x AGP

Using our current motherboard, can we upgrade the CPU to any of the following ones?

E6750 / 2.66GHz Socket 775 1333MHz
E8400 / 3.00GHz Socket 775 1333MHz
E8500 / 3.16GHz Socket 775 1333MHz
E6850 / 3.00GHz Socket 775 1333MHz

If we could, would we see any significant performance boost in upgrading a current 1950pro to Radeon HD 3850 512MB?

Now for the flip side, if we cannot upgrade the cpu I then know there would be no need to upgrade the graphic card since it is limited to the speed of the CPU. So, if we have to upgrade everything should I just wait for this fall when the quad-core Q9550 (2.83GHz), is dropped from $530 to $316 or would the E8500 be good enough for a good processor?

The reason I ask is because I am very interested in playing Crysis on the max settings. I am hoping that either the GT200 or RV770 can allow me to play the game on the max settings. Would the GeForce 9800 GX2 SSC 1GB running in SLI allow me to achieve max settings with the E8500?

I want this new computer that I buy, if I cannot make the current one last another year, last a few years. Any help would be appreciated.

Happy Memorial day weekend,
Andrew

More about : advice upgrading parts

May 26, 2008 6:51:25 AM

I woudl keep your current processor and overclock it to 3.0-3.2Ghz (I have th same chip). I then would upgrade your videocard to either a 3870 or a 9600gt.

May 26, 2008 6:55:43 AM

^as stated. there is no need to chnage the whole pc. of course, getting a new grapbics card is a must.

if u are willing to overclock, it will be better for you to do that to your cpu. beside, if u screw it up (which rare people do these days) u can finally buy urself a new cpu (which u planned already). :)  so it all works out great.
Related resources
May 26, 2008 6:57:16 AM

The E8400 CPU has the best performance/price ratio in that list, the E8500 isn't worth the money when you compare it to the E8400 (you could easely OC the E8400 that 160Mhz).

As for quad cores, nearly all current games (Crysis included) do not support that many cores and thus will not use it and the dual core CPU's will often be faster as the quad core CPU's when they are clocked higher (3Ghz dual core is faster then a 2.83Ghz quad core in this case).

As for the GPU, yes you will see a performance boost but I do not know how much (should be noticeble tho).
a b U Graphics card
May 26, 2008 7:34:28 AM

According to the mobo link you provided, that mobo supports:

  • DDR 400 (not DDR2) :non: 
  • AGP graphics card :ange: 
  • 1066 FSB Core2 duo (not 1333) :kaola: 

    If you really want to play Crysis on max settings, you are gonna need a new mobo, Wolfdale CPU (like the E8400), DDR2 800 RAM, and a PCIe graphics card.
    May 26, 2008 7:40:38 AM

    Thanks to everyone for the replys.

    hesskia said:
    I woudl keep your current processor and overclock it to 3.0-3.2Ghz (I have th same chip). I then would upgrade your videocard to either a 3870 or a 9600gt.


    1. How do I overclock it? Do I need better ram (I heard ram is the key to overclocking)? Do I need cooling? I tried to overclock it once but it kept on making my computer restart. I have no idea how to do things on my bios and I think that is why I had problems before. In my 1st post I gave a link to the motherboard I own. Will that motherboard allow me to overclock it?

    2. The higest card they make for AGP are these two on Tigerdirect:

    Sapphire Radeon HD 3850 Video Card - 512MB GDDR3, AGP 8x, (Dual Link) Dual DVI, HDTV, HDMI $184.99

    HIS Radeon HD 3850 Video Card - 512MB GDDR3, AGP 8x, (Dual Link) Dual DVI, HDTV, HDMI Support $164.99

    3. Why is there a $20 price difference when both cards are identical?

    The 3870 and 9600 do not exist for AGP (at least not on Tiger direct).

    night_wolf_in said:


    if u are willing to overclock, it will be better for you to do that to your cpu. beside, if u screw it up (which rare people do these days) u can finally buy urself a new cpu (which u planned already). :)  so it all works out great.


    Got it. I just need a really good site thta will give me a step by step on what to do and what to buy.

    Security said:
    The E8400 CPU has the best performance/price ratio in that list, the E8500 isn't worth the money when you compare it to the E8400 (you could easely OC the E8400 that 160Mhz).


    My motherboard says that these are the speeds it takes:

    FSB 1066/800MHz

    But I noticed this:

    E6750 / 2.66GHz Socket 775 1333MHz
    E8400 / 3.00GHz Socket 775 1333MHz
    E8500 / 3.16GHz Socket 775 1333MHz
    E6850 / 3.00GHz Socket 775 1333MHz

    That each these cpus have a higher FSB. Does this mean if I buy one of those CPUS and put it on my current MB that they would not be compatible with it?

    Security said:
    As for quad cores, nearly all current games (Crysis included) do not support that many cores and thus will not use it and the dual core CPU's will often be faster as the quad core CPU's when they are clocked higher (3Ghz dual core is faster then a 2.83Ghz quad core in this case).


    Ok. I didn't know this. I heard that the 8 cores and 12 cores are coming within the next year or 2. Would it be better to wait until them to buy or do you think 4 cores will be good enough for the next few years?

    Security said:
    As for the GPU, yes you will see a performance boost but I do not know how much (should be noticeble tho).


    I used my cpu the E4300 on another motherboard with a 8800gt and when I played gears of war it was smooth but it kept on skipping because of the speed of the E4300 (1.8GHz).

    Is the 3850 as good as a 8800gt?

    Will the CPU overclocked to 3.0 MHZ combined with the 3850 give me the same performance as a 8800gt and my E4300 @ 3.0GHz?

    Having close or the same performance would enable my wife and I to play of the current games that I cannot play with my cpu @ it's current speed and my 1950.

    Thanks for all the help.
    May 26, 2008 7:43:03 AM

    DXRick said:
    According to the mobo link you provided, that mobo supports:

  • DDR 400 (not DDR2) :non: 
  • AGP graphics card :ange: 
  • 1066 FSB Core2 duo (not 1333) :kaola: 


  • I know that the ram I am using is DDR but my motherboard supports it. I think it just slows it down to DDR400.

    What performance gains do you think I would get with a 3850 and my CPU overclocked to 3.0ghz?

    I went on here:

    http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/graphics-cards/3dmar...

    and noticed tomshardware has the ATi HD3850 ranked higher than the Nvidia 8800 GTS ACS3 Overclock Edition. Is the agp version of the 3850 just as powerful?
    a b U Graphics card
    May 26, 2008 7:45:46 AM

    I would disagree that you need a new CPU.
    You do need a new motherboard badly, though.

    The E4300 is highly overclocable and should have no problem reaching 3GHz or higher with a little better cooler. Even with the stock cooler and your current MB you will have no problem running it at 2.4GHz. All you have to do is change the FSB settings in your BIOS to 266MHz (1066QDR) from 200MHz (800QDR). Even at 2.4GHz you should have enough power to run any current game.

    What is really killing you is the AGP interface. 8x AGP is roughly equal to 4x PCIe in terms of total bandwidth (8x AGP has 2333 Mb/sec, 4x PCIe has 2000 Mb/sec total). Couple the bandwidth limitations with the lack of availability of AGP cards and you are in a bad place. What you really need is a newer motherboard. If you can afford a $75 P35 Mb and $46 worth of RAM you would be in a much better place. It will cost you much less to get a comparable GPU for the PCIe interface as compared to the AGP interface, also.

    The 3850 is the best you can possible hope for on your aging platform. You should see a decent performance increase especially if you bump your CPU to 2.4GHz. It would be a much better choice to upgrade your platform and GPU at the same time, though.
    May 26, 2008 8:08:50 AM

    outlw6669 said:
    I would disagree that you need a new CPU.
    You do need a new motherboard badly, though.

    The E4300 is highly overclocable and should have no problem reaching 3GHz or higher with a little better cooler. Even with the stock cooler and your current MB you will have no problem running it at 2.4GHz. All you have to do is change the FSB settings in your BIOS to 266MHz (1066QDR) from 200MHz (800QDR). Even at 2.4GHz you should have enough power to run any current game.


    Ok. I went into the bios and this is whats there:

    CPU Over-clocking Func. Disabled
    CPU Frequency: 200MHz
    DRAM Frequency Auto
    Memory Voltage 1.8V
    CPU Voltage Nomal


    If I enable the CPU Over-clocking Func the CPU frequency automatically goes to 300Mhz. It does not give me the option of changing it.

    I am allowed to change the DRAM Frequency to 266mhz.

    What do I do?

    EDIT:

    I enabled the Over-clocking Func with the DRAM Frequency to 266mhz and I didn't notice any changes. Where do you go to notice a change?

    Does cpuz work? What am I looking for. Right now this is what cpuz says:

    under clocks (core#0) it says:
    Core speed 1350.1 Mhz
    Mulitplier x6.0
    Bus spped 225.0Mhz
    Rated FSb 900Mhz
    a b U Graphics card
    May 26, 2008 8:16:17 AM

    jesusisgod said:
    Ok. I went into the bios and this is whats there:

    CPU Over-clocking Func. Disabled
    CPU Frequency: 200MHz
    DRAM Frequency Auto
    Memory Voltage 1.8V
    CPU Voltage Nomal


    What do I do?


    CPU Frequency => 266MHz
    DRAM Frequency => 533MHz
    Memory Voltage => 1.8V
    CPU Voltage => Normal <= what other settings do you have?

    This will result in an easy 2.4GHz.

    You should be able to run your CPU at 300MHz FSB no problem. That would give you an overclock of 2.7GHz. What may pervent you from running it that fast would be your ram or a lack of voltage adjustments. If you turn on the Overclocking Funciton, what DRAM Frequency options are avaliable to you? What voltage options are avaliable to you?
    May 26, 2008 8:20:20 AM

    outlw6669 said:
    CPU Frequency => 266MHz
    DRAM Frequency => 533MHz
    Memory Voltage => 1.8V
    CPU Voltage => Normal <= what other settings do you have?

    This will result in an easy 2.4GHz.

    You should be able to run your CPU at 300MHz FSB no problem. That would give you an overclock of 2.7GHz. What may pervent you from running it that fast would be your ram or a lack of voltage adjustments. If you turn on the Overclocking Funciton, what DRAM Frequency options are avaliable to you? What voltage options are avaliable to you?


    I will update this in a few minutes again:

    I enabled the Over-clocking Func with the DRAM Frequency to 266mhz and I didn't notice any changes. Where do you go to notice a change?
    May 26, 2008 8:26:09 AM

    outlw6669 said:
    If you turn on the Overclocking Funciton, what DRAM Frequency options are avaliable to you? What voltage options are avaliable to you?


    This is whats there:

    DRAM Frequency 200MHz, 266MHz, 333MHz, 400MHz, and 533MHz.
    Memory Voltage +.05v, +.10v, +.15v, +.20v, +.25v, +.30v, and +.35v
    CPU Voltage +0.03v, +0.02v, and +0.01v
    a b U Graphics card
    May 26, 2008 8:53:13 AM

    OK, it sounds like your Mb has your clocks locked to standard or their overclocking settings.
    That is kinda **** for what we are trying to do.

    Try these settings and see what happens

    CPU Over-clocking Func. Enabled
    CPU Frequency => Should switch to 300MHz
    DRAM Frequency => 533MHz
    Memory Voltage => 1.8V
    CPU Voltage => 1.4V or +0.1V (depending on what is avaliable)
    May 26, 2008 8:54:47 AM

    outlw6669 said:
    OK, it sounds like your Mb has your clocks locked to standard or their overclocking settings.
    That is kinda **** for what we are trying to do.

    Try these settings and see what happens

    CPU Over-clocking Func. Enabled
    CPU Frequency => Should switch to 300MHz
    DRAM Frequency => 533MHz
    Memory Voltage => 1.8V
    CPU Voltage => 1.4V or +0.1V (depending on what is avaliable)


    For Memory Voltage you said 1.8V. So what does that translate to with the options I have been given?

    +.05v, +.10v, +.15v, +.20v, +.25v, +.30v, and +.35v

    For CPU Voltage => 1.4V or +0.1V. The only other options are +0.03v, +0.02v, and +0.01v.

    a b U Graphics card
    May 26, 2008 9:00:23 AM

    jesusisgod said:
    For Memory Voltage you said 1.8V. So what does that translate to with the options I have been given?

    +.05v, +.10v, +.15v, +.20v, +.25v, +.30v, and +.35v

    For CPU Voltage => 1.4V or +0.1V. The only other options are +0.03v, +0.02v, and +0.01v.


    If those are the only options you have...
    CPU Voltage should be +0.03V, Memory Voltage should be Normal or +0.05V.

    As we are keeping the RAM speed where it was it should need no extra voltage.
    The CPU, however, will probably need the extra voltage to be stable.
    May 26, 2008 9:09:36 AM

    outlw6669 said:
    If those are the only options you have...
    CPU Voltage should be +0.03V, Memory Voltage should be Normal or +0.05V.

    As we are keeping the RAM speed where it was it should need no extra voltage.
    The CPU, however, will probably need the extra voltage to be stable.


    I did what you said and it crashed when I restarted. The second restart seems to be fine. I checked CPU-z and the numbers appear to be the same. So how can I tell the performance boosts?
    a b U Graphics card
    May 26, 2008 9:25:27 AM

    First, make sure you have the latest version of CPUz.
    2nd, download CoreTemp (if you don't already have it).

    CPUz should show your new FSB settings. Don't worry if it only shows a 6x multiplier, this is normal when you are not using much CPU power.

    If CPUz dose not properly show your settings, check CoreTemp. A nifty little feature of core temp (normaly used to check your temps) is that it shows your normal multiplier setting and your current FSB. If your overclock is working, it will also be usefull in stress testing your CPU.

    Try these and see how we are looking then...
    a b U Graphics card
    May 26, 2008 12:48:11 PM

    Security said:
    The E8400 CPU has the best performance/price ratio in that list, the E8500 isn't worth the money when you compare it to the E8400 (you could easely OC the E8400 that 160Mhz).

    As for quad cores, nearly all current games (Crysis included) do not support that many cores and thus will not use it and the dual core CPU's will often be faster as the quad core CPU's when they are clocked higher (3Ghz dual core is faster then a 2.83Ghz quad core in this case).

    As for the GPU, yes you will see a performance boost but I do not know how much (should be noticeble tho).

    OT - e8400 is excellent - don't totally agree though on the rest- you should look at these as they contradict what you just said:
    http://www.legionhardware.com/document.php?id=737&p=2
    http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/display/core2quad-...

    a b U Graphics card
    May 26, 2008 12:55:51 PM

    jesusisgod said:
    My wife and I love to game. This is our current setup:

    Core 2 Duo E4300
    MB: P4M800PRO-M v2 link:
    http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
    PC2-5300
    ATI 1950 Pro 256 8x AGP

    Using our current motherboard, can we upgrade the CPU to any of the following ones?

    E6750 / 2.66GHz Socket 775 1333MHz
    E8400 / 3.00GHz Socket 775 1333MHz
    E8500 / 3.16GHz Socket 775 1333MHz
    E6850 / 3.00GHz Socket 775 1333MHz

    If we could, would we see any significant performance boost in upgrading a current 1950pro to Radeon HD 3850 512MB?

    Now for the flip side, if we cannot upgrade the cpu I then know there would be no need to upgrade the graphic card since it is limited to the speed of the CPU. So, if we have to upgrade everything should I just wait for this fall when the quad-core Q9550 (2.83GHz), is dropped from $530 to $316 or would the E8500 be good enough for a good processor?

    The reason I ask is because I am very interested in playing Crysis on the max settings. I am hoping that either the GT200 or RV770 can allow me to play the game on the max settings. Would the GeForce 9800 GX2 SSC 1GB running in SLI allow me to achieve max settings with the E8500?

    I want this new computer that I buy, if I cannot make the current one last another year, last a few years. Any help would be appreciated.

    Happy Memorial day weekend,
    Andrew


    I also say you don't need a new CPU. If you can OC it great, but your GPU is going to hurt you way more than the CPU. Read this review: http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/$500_gaming_pc_upgrade/page7.asp

    The HD3850 AGP would help you quite a bit in most games. Pricing isn't terrible, but if you are willing you would get more for your money going PCI-e. You could do a $100 P35 mobo, OC that e4300, and grab the PCI-e bargain of your budget being HD3850 / 8800GS or better like a 8800 GT or GTS 512MB.
    a b U Graphics card
    May 26, 2008 9:50:11 PM

    My situation is similar but a bit worse than your's. I am on an Intel 845P mobo with P4 3.0, ATI X800XT, and 2G DDR 400. I hate the idea of spending $150+ for a Radeon 3850 AGP card for an incrimental gain, knowing it is unusable if I later decide I need a new mobo with PCIe.

    For less than $150 you can get a P35 mobo and 4G DDR2 800 RAM, and then spend another $164 (or so) to get a 3870 PCIe card. (The 3870 PCIe is a tad more $$ than the 3850 AGP but faster :whistle:  ).

    So, do you spend $150 on an AGP card to try to keep a current system alive or spend $300 for a system that can really run Crysis at decent settings?

    I am about to build a new system.
    May 28, 2008 9:57:38 PM

    I agree with DXRick...but to be honest, if you wanna play crysis at max settings, thats gonna take a lot of hardware to do...but then again, I'm not sure how well crysis plays with current tech (I'm still using a single core Athlon 64...)
    !