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what do i need to upgrade?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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May 30, 2008 9:50:28 AM

Hi my current pc specs are:
450w power supply
Ati x1950xt graphics
2 gig of ram
intel core 2 duo E6600 cpu
asus p5b motherboard

i have a budget of about £600ish
or i could wait a month and just get a totaly new pc for £1300 from pcspecialist.co.uk
i mainly use my pc for playing games like age of conan and want a better frame rate so what should i get?
btw my monitor max resolution is 1280x1024 i think synmasters 930bf i duno if that makes a diffrence when getting a vid card.

More about : upgrade

a b U Graphics card
May 30, 2008 9:58:38 AM

At 1280x1024 you should have more than enough GPU power with an 8800GT/GTS 512. You just have to check that your PSU has enough +12V amperage to support your system.

I see no need to upgrade your E6600 as you can easily overclock it past 3Ghz to match any newer chip. You may want to inves in a better heatsink for it to handle the extra heat.
May 30, 2008 10:04:57 AM

ok cool how do i overclock my cpu ill try it now i have coretemp on my pc and current cpu temp is 31c for each core is that a decent temp?
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a b U Graphics card
May 30, 2008 10:14:01 AM

Sounds alright for now. You will have to keep an eye on it as you overclock to make sure it stays reasonable. I would recommend keeping it under 70C full load when overclocked.

Overclocking is very easy to do. Essentially, you raise the FSB on your motherboard and add voltage as needed. You may also need to adjust your RAM speeds to keep it in spec. If you started by putting your FSB at 333Mhz (1333FSB), raised your core voltage to 1.35V and made sure your RAM stays set to it's proper speed you will have a very easy 3Ghz.

I would recommend reading the C2D Overclocking guide as it goes much further in depth and details how to stress test your overclock to insure stability.
May 30, 2008 10:22:31 AM

how do i make sure ram is at proper speed?
a b U Graphics card
May 30, 2008 10:30:13 AM

You should refer to your Mb's manual on where the settings are at in your BIOS. What ever the speed raiting of your ram (i.e. 666mhz, 800mhz, 1066mhz, ext.) you should try to keep matched when you raise your FSB. More details are provided in the guide I linked you.

Essentially, when you raise the FSB, the speed of your ram increases with it. You need to set a diffrent FSB:RAM divider to keep your speeds in spec.
May 30, 2008 10:37:03 AM

ok thanks i read in the guide i need to know what type of ram i have before i overclock how do i find out the timings of my rm and the highest its frequency can go?
a b U Graphics card
May 30, 2008 10:44:23 AM

You can use CPU-Z to find most of the information. The best place to look would be at the manufactures product page.

Take out your RAM and see what it said on the chips. There should be a sticker or something painted on it. If you have any problems finding information on it, post what you have.
May 30, 2008 10:59:33 AM

hey sorry to keep asking questions i have done everything on that beginners overclocker guide except change my cpu frequency i changed everything else but when i move to it in the bios and press enter nothing happens its like its stuck at its default setting
a b U Graphics card
May 30, 2008 11:13:00 AM

You probably need to change it from Automatic settings to Manual settings, or something similar. If you read through the Manual it should point you in the right direction.
May 30, 2008 11:16:35 AM

cant find it thanks anyway
May 30, 2008 11:36:07 AM

nvm i had to use the + - to adjust it i put it on 333 and my pc just turne doff and wouldnt restart for ages then after about 6 times off pulling the power my bios said overclocking failed press f2 to load default settings
a b U Graphics card
May 30, 2008 11:42:09 AM

That is good!
You found the right settings but failed to adjust all necessary fields.

What happened is one of Asus' features. If it detects you constantly rebooting with out the BIOS posting is assumes you biffed your OC and resets.

Now you just have to find the proper adjustments that will let it boot. My first guess is that the RAM was set to fast. Also check the voltages. It may be necessary to bump the CPU voltage to 1.4V (perhaps even higher, just not past 1.5V). Once you are able to stably boot, you can stress test as described in the OC guide. Lower your voltage until you find the minimum stable voltage.
a b U Graphics card
May 30, 2008 11:43:36 AM

You are not an overclocker.
Pull out that aging 1950XT, was a great card in it's time.
But it's time has come and gone.
Buy yourself and 8800GTS (g92) and be happy.
You will be amazed at the difference, trust me.
Between that and your CPU, at the resolutions you will be gaming you have all you will ever need for the next year or so.
a b U Graphics card
May 30, 2008 12:38:11 PM

That is unfortunate but at least you gave it your best try. Hopefully you learned something in the process and, in a few years, you will be better prepared to overclock a different system.

I agree with jitpublisher, at your resolution you don't really need to have your CPU overclocked. At least it was still fun to try ;) 
May 30, 2008 12:47:41 PM

do you know why it wouldnt work? lol
a b U Graphics card
May 30, 2008 12:55:19 PM

Off hand, no. It could be that your Nb or CPU just doesn't like to overclock. Or it could be a simple setting that needs to be changed.

If you wanted to post screen shots of your BIOS or list every line with it's settings it may be possible to give you some more incite.
May 30, 2008 1:14:41 PM

seems to be working now i reset all bios by pressing f2 then just changed the cpu to 311 so it will be running at 2.8 and made voltage 1.200v thanks for help
May 30, 2008 1:20:44 PM

been stress testing for about 5 mins max temp both cores have got to so far is 46c with 100% load do you think going from 2.40 to 2.80 will give much of a performance gain?

btw before i overclocked i did a stress test and my cpu got to 75c just by changing the volatage from auto to 1.2 seems to have made a big difference
a b U Graphics card
May 30, 2008 1:38:22 PM

You should see around a 17% increase in CPU intensive tasks.

If it is fully stable at 1.2V, it should be able to overclock much further. If your motherboard is up to the task and with further tweaking, you should be able to hit the 3Ghz mark.

Undervolting your CPU is a great way to lower your temps and also save energy. If you can get it stable with less voltage you will be in even better shape.

Congrats on your first successful overclock :sol: 
a b U Graphics card
May 30, 2008 1:42:00 PM

You are starting to get the hang of it now.
The trick to overclocking is start low, move up slowly, only increase the voltage if you HAVE to. Mild overclocks usually don't require a voltage increase. As you start to move up, your RAM is usually the first the wall you hit and you'll have to start experimenting with the timings, buss speed of the RAM, the voltage, etc to keep going.
Having said that, all CPU's are not equal. 2 identical CPU's will not always be able to achieve the same speeds.
The other thing is your PSU. You will get better results with a top tier PSU that has a clean, steady power feed.
May 30, 2008 1:48:43 PM

ok for my last question (thanks for all the help so far btw you have saved me alot money i was going to buy a £1300 pc) what 8800gts should i get my power supply is 450w as i said earlya says 12v1 18.0a (yel) 12v2 18.0 (yel/black) on the side of the psu, are you sure i will be ale to run a 8800gts? there is so many on the overclockers.co.uk to choose from with prices from £99 upto £176 i want the best possible card that will run on my system doesnt have to be from overclockers btw
May 30, 2008 2:02:55 PM

That sounds like plenty for a 8800gt get it with 512MB GDDR3 or better memory. DON'T GET GDDR2.
May 30, 2008 2:21:40 PM

got my cpu to 3ghz now by raising the ram voltage to 2.0 hopefully that wont damage my ram?
May 30, 2008 2:28:51 PM

I have the same motherboard. This motherboard loves high fsb.

Loosen up your timings if you want to overclock higher and raise your memory voltage to 2.1 volts. Shouldn't be a problem because most DDR2 run even at 2.2 and sometimes 2.3 volts fine.

Lot of DDR-667 does DDR-800 no problem and many instances higher. E6600 is a 1066 FSB. With some fidgeting and poking around you should be able to run it faster. You need good cooling though.

8800gt seems to be the sweet spot. At $140 after rebate it's a good deal or a 8800gts for a little more to get 5-10% faster.
May 30, 2008 2:51:32 PM

when you say loosen up my memory timing what do you meen can you give me a example at moment i have to set the option where you choose 5 5 5 15 or w/e to auto otherwise my pc wont boot what type numbers should i be trying i dont wana kill my mobo or ram
a b U Graphics card
May 30, 2008 3:01:50 PM

Loosening the timings would mean raising those numbers i.e. from 5-5-5-15 to 6-6-6-18. This will take some of the strain off of your RAM and allow it to clock higher. As you already have it at an easy 3Ghz OC, I would not worry about it until you start to run out of power again or you get better RAM.

Your RAM should be just fine at 2V as stated earlier. If the worst case happens, DDR2 is dirt cheap right now. You can find 2Gb of DDR2 800 for under $50 (probably £30).

All 8800GTS 512's are created equal. What you are paying extra for is a factory overclock. You can get the cheapest available and overclock it past any of the factory ones easily. If you can find on e for less than £99, go for it.

Dual 18A rails should be more than enough to power your system so no worries there.
May 30, 2008 3:06:33 PM

ok cool going to order a 8800gts now pci express 2.0 will work in my system right?
May 30, 2008 3:07:17 PM

Most memory has life time warranty anyway.
May 30, 2008 3:07:39 PM

steel1985 said:
ok cool going to order a 8800gts now pci express 2.0 will work in my system right?


Yup
a b U Graphics card
May 30, 2008 3:15:46 PM

No problem, enjoy your new system!
May 30, 2008 3:46:39 PM

am going to buy anew psu too any recomendations? prefeably from overclockers site so it will ship with my graphics card.
a b U Graphics card
May 30, 2008 3:59:53 PM

Not quite my specialty, but I have heard many good things about the PC Power&Cooling Silencer series. With 49A on a single rail it should have more than enough power for you. Corsair also makes a good PSU if the PCP&Q doesn't sit good with you.
May 30, 2008 4:09:58 PM

People seem to like Corsair power supplies too.
May 30, 2008 4:19:43 PM

so how do i know what size psu to get i dont want to order one and then have it not fit in my case lol
May 30, 2008 4:22:48 PM

They're typically the same size, though PCP&Q tends to make some longer ones. You're probably safe with anything you get from corsair.
a b U Graphics card
May 30, 2008 4:24:24 PM

Yeah, the mounting for PSUs is standardized. Which ever one you chose it will fit just fine.
!