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Looking to upgrade, where is my biggest bottleneck?

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May 26, 2008 9:12:22 PM

I built my system almost a year and a half ago. I have a Dell 3007FPW so I play most games at 2560 x 1600 and I'm looking to get some better performance but I'm not ready to upgrade the whole system. Currently I'm running the following.

CPU: E6400
MOBO: Asus P5N-E 650i
CASE: Antec P180
GPU: BFG 8800GTX
PSU: PC Power and Cooling 750 Quad Silencer
RAM: 2 Gigs Corsair XMS2

Will upgrading the GPU or the CPU benefit me more? What should I upgade to? Will upgrading to 4 gigs of ram make a big difference?

Any thoughts would be appriciated.
May 26, 2008 9:22:26 PM

Until next month the 8800 GTX is still the fastest at your resolution in most games.
You can use RivaTuner to get some more performance out of it if you would like.

You would benefit most from overclocking your E6400. As long as Dell has not locked overclocking in your BIOS, you should be able to break 3GHz easily to match any currently available CPU for performance. As it is a Dell Mb, it will be a little iffy as far as CPU upgrades go. You will probably want to contact Dell support for a list of supported CPU's.

Upgrading to 4Gb ram will give you a boost but not a major one. With the cost of RAM so low, it wouldn't hurt to upgrade it.
May 26, 2008 9:25:57 PM

I went from 2 8800GT's in SLI and a E6300 to 1 8800GT and a E8400 and my 3DMark scores went up (I also changed my motherboard from a 680i to a X48). Your system looks good but your weak link is your CPU and I would suggest upgrading that. Your motherboard supports the 45nm dual cores so I would suggest either the E8400 or E8500.
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May 26, 2008 9:45:44 PM

For everyone recommending CPU upgrades, oveclocking etc. let it be said that on your Dell, you won't be able to overclock anything and CPU upgrades can be very iffy. Best contact Dell to find if you can upgrade the CPU before you buy one that will not work on your motherboard. Just because the chipset supports a newer processor does not mean Dell has written support for it into the BIOS. Dell doesn't want you upgrading, they want you buying new systems.
May 26, 2008 10:02:37 PM

A dell 3007 FPW is a monitor its not a dell computer
May 26, 2008 10:06:55 PM

Before you spend more cash on another CPU, give overclocking a try.
You can easily surpass the stock speeds of an E8500 with little or no added cost (you may need a better cooler).

Free > Spending hard earned $$
May 26, 2008 10:07:00 PM

I guess the Dell monitor must have caused some confusion. My monitor is Dell. My system is completely built by me. Nothing in it is Dell. I had a feeling it might have been my CPU. I will take a look at the E8400 or E8500 and see if I can budget that. Thanks for the input.
May 26, 2008 10:07:59 PM

:pt1cable: 

Crap, should have spotted that when you specified your case.
Now I feel special :cry: 
May 26, 2008 10:10:42 PM

i got a E6400 and i oc it to 3.0 and it take everything i throw at it. for me i dont really see the emergency to upgrade ... only ram, get 2 another GB
May 26, 2008 10:11:42 PM

Depending on your budget, you should get a new processor. If you have a decent amount of money you should definitely go for the E8400 or E8500, they are great performers even when they aren't overclocked. If you are limited to say, 130$, the E7200 is also a wonderful processor as well. Both of those processors can be overclocked very easily, and it would improve performance substantially.
May 26, 2008 10:15:01 PM

I just took a look at Newegg and I think I can swing an E8400. Might pick up 4 gigs of RAM as well. 2 x 2 GB sticks is better than 4 x 1 GB sticks right?
May 26, 2008 10:18:58 PM

there is only 1 answer. sli and oc. oc will keep u from bottlenecking sli performance. at ur resolution a ned cpu w/o a graphics card upgrade wont give u more frames, unless the game is cpu bound at 2560*1600. preposterous!
May 26, 2008 10:19:43 PM

sli that baby. even at 8x speeds when u sli, ull notice about 2x performance at ur high resolution.
May 26, 2008 10:22:10 PM

at ur resolution, games arent cpu bound, but Gpu bound. he doesnt play at 800*600 guys, stop recommending him buy a new processor. oc is a good idea though.
May 26, 2008 10:27:46 PM

Yeah upgrade your cpu if you can and make sure you update the bios to the latest version to support the new 45nm processors like the e8400
May 26, 2008 11:50:00 PM

If you want performance and you need it NOW, go buy another GTX (which have gone down in price a lot) and get an E8400 and OC to around 3.6Ghz or 3.8Ghz.

SLI + 45nm 3.8Ghz should give you a nice boost. If you can, get a 2x2Gb pair of nice RAM (G.Skill Pi memory or OCZ Reaper) and OC that too.

All of this should be enough and shouldnt cost you too much. If we were talking about DDR3, Quad-cores and 9800GX2s then that would be another story...
May 26, 2008 11:51:04 PM

1. Upgrade your ram to 4GB, regardless of OS. If you are running a 64 bit OS, you could take it up to 8GB, however, the extra 4GB will give diminshing returns compared to the first upgrade.
2. Video upgrade, I would consider waiting another month or so with new board releases coming from both ATI and nVidia.
May 28, 2008 9:53:19 AM

^ wait 2 months until the 4870X2 comes out... and goes down in price
!