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Upgrading Advice Required

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September 10, 2008 6:28:38 AM

Hello All.

I came here 2 years ago with some questions on a build I was doing at the time. The advice I received here went a long way in some of the final decision making. As such I want to thank the community for its support when I first built this rig. At the time I did not think I would need to return here for anymore advice for some awhile but alas times do change rather quickly in this enviroment. Here is what my rig consists of :

CPU - AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ Dual Core S939 Manchester 2Ghz

MoBo - ASUS A8N-SLI ATX NFORCE4-SLI S939 DDR 2PCI-E16 2PCI-E 3PCI SATA RAID

VC - EVGA E-GEFORCE 7900 GT KO 500MHZ PCI-E 256MB 256BIT 1.5GHZ GDDR3 Dual DVI HDTV

HD - SeaGate Barracuda 250GB 7200.9 8MB 11MS SATA2

Ram - Kingston HyperX PC3200 2GB 2X1GB DDR400

Its sole purpose in life is for gaming as my ability to do anything else with this contraption is very limited. It has served me well over the past 2 years. I was a hardcore Planetside player and found this rig a huge improvement over the other PC the wife still uses. I have discovered that Blizzard is coming out with Diablo III and having played Diablo II for almost 4 years I am eager to get my hands on the latest chapter in that series whaen it comes out. However I dont think this rig will come close in exploiting the eye-candy that I'm sure is to come with the new game.

My question to the masses that come here to help us newbs is what would you change? Can I still get a few more gaming years out of this rig or is it time to scrap it all? Since the endevor at the time cost me $1800 I'm not in a rush to do anything at all but I do understand progress and I will want to enjoy the eye-candy that Blizzard will be dishing out soon

Thank You all for your time. Looking forward to some helpful insight

CaptStress
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
September 10, 2008 10:09:31 AM

It's time to get a new computer. You can't even upgrade a socket 939 anymore. You don't have to spend a huge amount.

E8400 CPU
P5Q pro
4Gb DDR2 800Mhz
ATI 4850

Those parts would cost you about $550.00, and if your PSU is still fine, all other parts are optional.
September 10, 2008 1:25:50 PM

Thanks for the input. My PSU is from the case I bought which is an Antec Sonata II. Its a 450w and has given me no trouble since new.

You say its time for a new computer but your only suggesting to replace 4 parts?

If you could do me a favor and spell out exactly what your trying to tell me with your suggestions I would really appreciate it. I'm not used to the short versions of the gear, so other than the Ram that you are mentioning I have no idea what the other stuff is.

Thanks
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September 10, 2008 1:32:50 PM

i would suggest just upgrading, not getting a new rig. if i were to make a suggestion i would go with 4 gigs of RAM, a new gpu (it really depends on your budget), and a new processor (the e8400 is a pretty good processor. im chosing that one for my build as well). those are the main upgrades you need to think of. aside from that i think your in pretty good shape IMHO.
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
September 10, 2008 7:19:01 PM

Ok, here we go:

You need to replace all the core components of your computer. You cannot replace just the processor without replacing the motherboard, because

a) You can't actually buy a faster socket 939 CPU any more.
b) Even if you could it would not be a significant upgrade and would leave you in the same position.

You did not list your full system specs, so I just replaced those parts you listed, that needed replacing the most. Here is the full list of what you now NEED to upgrade - it will be followed by further suggested upgrades.

CPU
Intel E8400
This is a good price on a very fast CPU. AMD can't compete currently, don't even go there.

Motherboard
ASUS P5Q Pro
This excellent P45 board will give you all the features you need at a good price, and will leave you the option of upgrading to Crossfire later on if you need to.

GPU
ATI 4850
This is the best video card at this price range and will be a significant upgrade over your 7900 GT.

Memory
Mushkin 800Mhz 1.8V 2x2Gb
4Gb is standard now due to cost, regardless of what OS you use. This kit is low voltage, low timings, and dependable. 800Mhz will allow you to OC should you choose.

PSU
OCZ 600W
This will cover your new system well and is an excellent price after rebate. This is a tested and quality PSU and at the final price would be very hard to beat. Technically your old PSU will run this new build... but it's old and when they work hard at gaming for a few years they loose some efficiency, getting hotter and noisier and less able to supply all the needed power.

Beyond those things, you might want:
-A larger hard drive
-An after market CPU cooler, such as the Xigmatek S-1283
-A case with better airflow, such as the Antec 300

You could spend more money. I chose less expensive parts that would deliver good performance for you. The CPU comes in combination with the MB right now at newegg for $275.
September 22, 2008 4:33:27 AM

Thanks for your input Proximon.

I have checked out your selections that you have made. The first thing I noticed is that the memoery is DDR2. If I am going to upgrade should I not look to the future and go with DDR3?

Here are some of the peices I have found. I think the CPU is the same one you selected:

Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Dual Core Processor LGA775 3.0GHZ Wolfdale 1333FSB 6MB Retail $215.90

EVGA Nforce 790I Ultra LGA775 ATX DDR3 3PCI-E16 2PCI-E1 2PCI SATA2 RAID Sound GBLAN 1394 Motherboard $339.99

Corsair XMS3 DHX TW3X4G1600C9DHX 4GB 2X2GB PC3-12800 DDR3-1600 CL9-9-9-24 240PIN Memory Kit $229.99

Total before tax as found on www.ncix.com = $785.88 Canadian

I was thinking I would keep the video card for now since it cost me $380 at the time and is DDR3 capable. At least I think it is? What do you think? I am looking for as much advice as possible from everyone.

Thanks for your time
September 22, 2008 7:03:17 AM

"""I was thinking I would keep the video card for now since it cost me $380 at the time and is DDR3 capable"""

THATS A NO NO...
most importaint thing in a gameing rig is the video card...
Hell i am thinking about changing my 8800gt.. Because its old..

GAMEING=VIDEO CARD..... AS simple as that....


Your ""Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Dual Core Processor LGA775 3.0GHZ Wolfdale 1333FSB 6MB Retail $215.90

EVGAhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EVGA Nforce 790I Ultra LGA775 ATX DDR3 3PCI-E16 2PCI-E1 2PCI SATA2 RAID Sound GBLAN 1394 Motherboard $339.99

Corsair XMS3 DHX TW3X4G1600C9DHX 4GB 2X2GB PC3-12800 DDR3-1600 CL9-9-9-24 240PIN Memory Kit $229.99
""""
gameing wise you will see more gained performance..with
2x2gb pc 6400 ram
and a 9800gx2

You get the most performance in gameing..

If your mobo can take the 45nm e8400 IT is a hell of a chip...Love that thing..



soo.. If it was up to me..

mobo Gigabyte DS3R --around 100$
2x2 gb pc 6400 ram --- like 50$ ps..DDR2 IS still GREAT!
9800X2 --279


TOTAL 429..
September 22, 2008 7:20:51 AM

If you upgrade your system, here's a list of what you would probably want to do without spending too much money. I'll list out what I would change in order of significance.

1. Video card
2. CPU/motherboard/memory
3. HDD

Here's the thing. In order to gain "maximum performance," you can't just switch the video card to a HD4850,HD4870, GTX 260 or GTX280 because it'll be bottlenecked by your Athlon X2-3800+ (don't even think about SLI or XF if you don't upgrade your CPU/Motherboard/Ram). However, your gaming performance will still improve a great deal (by a lot), if you just upgrade the video card.

That's the "cheapest way" to go about doing things and your PSU can handle the video card, so no worries there.

To be honest, you don't need to rush in and do a complete system overhaul. I'd personally sit tight and hang a little bit since Core i7 is about to come out (in November) and if things go as they have before with new CPU launches (the prices of the current CPU's will drop a great deal).

There's no point getting DDR3 memory as of now (even if you consider future upgrades), chances are you won't be keeping the same RAM you buy now since better standards will come out. In addition, DDR3 prices will drop a great deal in the future (as with all memory until it goes out of production).

If you do plan to do a complete system overhaul, a nice P45 motherboard (such as the ASUS P5Q-PRO or the Gigabyte EP45-DS3R) paired with a E8400 or Q6600 and a nice set of DDR2-800 RAM (Mushkin has some pretty solid value RAM satisfying the standard 1.8v) should give you the best bang of the buck.
September 23, 2008 7:04:06 AM

Ok so now the last 2 posts have me thinking of going in a totally new direction.

Here I'm thinking that the rig I have is a total loss and to start over, or if I do it in parts at least the video card stays to ease the budget problems. Now I have to sit back and digest these last two comments and decide whats best for me.

Will this MoBo support just a simple video card upgrade? Can the MoBo support 4gigs of Ram? Guess I'm opening up the case. Is waiting on the DDR3 for the next few months if not a year the better choice?

Now I just have more choices to make. Thank you for your comments so far guys. I really appreciate it. Even if the waters have just become a bit murky

May 17, 2009 7:55:22 AM

Hello Again.

I thought I would bump this thread and see if there was any other responses to my questions, especially since some time has passed since this was first posted.

Thanks in advance to all who respond
!