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Want to upgrade my PC, been out of the loop and now I need some help.

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November 25, 2008 6:21:59 PM

I built a fairly decent PC a couple of years ago but now it's really struggling at playing the most recent games so I need to upgrade it. It doesn't need to be high-end, I just want it to play some of the new games, like Fallout 3, Crysis, COD5, at a a fairly decent framerate (while looking good too of course :p ). I also don't want to waste alot of money, 200€-300€ (closer to 200€ preferably).

This is my current PC:
- Asrock P4V88 Motherboard
- P4 3.0 HT
- 6800 GT (AGP)
- SoundBlaster X-Fi
- x2 80GB HDDs (Raid 0)
- x4 512MB DDR1 (300)
- RAIDMAX 500W PSU

The CPU is my obvious bottleneck, but to replace that I need a new MB cause of the new sockets, and that means a new GFX card since its AGP. I can keep the X-Fi and the HDDs, but what about the PSU, is it good enough?

As for the new stuff I was thinking of getting something along the lines of a 9800 GT, they're cheap and seem to perform quite good. As for the CPU I really have no idea. I've really been out of the loop on that. Are Dual/Quad Cores worth it? What's the difference between a Core2Duo and a DualQore?

I'll also need some help on what MB to buy cause I really have no idea. And if I buy one with DDR3 support, will my DDR1 ram still work? I was thinking I'd use the old one for a while till I get new RAM later.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

More about : upgrade loop

November 25, 2008 8:04:07 PM

wow, my PSU isn't even mentioned in those PSU reviews. Guess I'm off to a bad start :p 

Thanks for the links.
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 25, 2008 8:36:16 PM

Going to be tough to fit all that you need into a 200-300 Euro price range.
* Are you going to need an OS?
* You can use your existing HD's, but 99% of mobo's these days only support 2 IDE drives! That means that both of your HD's are going to be sharing 1 IDE cable. You'll need SATA DVD/CD drives to make things work, or you'll have to stick to 1 DVD/CD drive and 1 HD for the 1 IDE cable.
* Your going to need to go with a C2D (Duo core) to keep your price down. You might have to consider going with an e5200 CPU (2.5 gHz Duo core CPU) to try and fit everything into the budget.
* The 9800gt is a decent GPU to go with, especially if you get it for a good price. Not sure what the price are where you live, but there are other options to consider on the GPU front, if you can't fit the 9800gt into your budget.
* Most mobo's right now use DDR2 RAM. Your going to need to be using a p35/p45 based mobo for budget reasons. You won't be able to fit an i7 based mobo/CPU, because of cost.
* You will need to get a new PSU, since the one you have won't have what you need and it is getting quite old.

Overview:
CPU - $76 e5200 2.5 gHz Core Duo CPU
Intel Pentium E5200 Wolfdale 2.5GHz 2MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor - Retail
Mobo - $80 p43 based mobo
GIGABYTE GA-EP43-DS3L LGA 775 Intel P43 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
Memory - $55 - $30 MIR = $25! Solid CAS5 RAM (5-5-5-18 speeds). 4 gb's is almost standard these days. If your going to use XP you can get by with 2 gb's of DDR2 800 mHz RAM, which is cheaper.
CORSAIR 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail
SATA DVD Burner - $27 RETAIL version so you get the software to read/burn DVD's.
LITE-ON Black 20X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 20X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 20X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe - Retail
PSU - $50 Antec EW PSU w/45A on the 12v rails. PLENTY of power for what you need!
Antec EA650 650W ATX12V Ver.2.2 / EPS12V version 2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail

Total USD = $280 or so. And this is before we even have added the 9800gt to the overal price. Then you could have both HD's on 1 IDE cable if you like or you could save the $27 on the DVD Burner and just use 1 DVD/CD and 1 of your HD's on the 1 cable. It's up to you.
So as you can see you will be very hard pressed to fit all of the parts that you need into the 200-300 Euro price that you have asked for.
November 25, 2008 8:56:23 PM

lunyone said:
Going to be tough to fit all that you need into a 200-300 Euro price range.
* Are you going to need an OS?
Nope, I want to keep using my XP.
lunyone said:
* You can use your existing HD's, but 99% of mobo's these days only support 2 IDE drives! That means that both of your HD's are going to be sharing 1 IDE cable. You'll need SATA DVD/CD drives to make things work, or you'll have to stick to 1 DVD/CD drive and 1 HD for the 1 IDE cable.
Both my HDDs are SATA already so I don't think that's a problem. :)  I also have an IDE DVD Burner that I forgot to mention.
lunyone said:
* The 9800gt is a decent GPU to go with, especially if you get it for a good price. Not sure what the price are where you live, but there are other options to consider on the GPU front, if you can't fit the 9800gt into your budget.
They cost around 150€ here, which isn't too much, but seing I'll have to get new RAM as well I might have to look at other options.
lunyone said:
* Most mobo's right now use DDR2 RAM. Your going to need to be using a p35/p45 based mobo for budget reasons. You won't be able to fit an i7 based mobo/CPU, because of cost.
I'll have to look up most of that stuff up but thanks for the info :) 
lunyone said:
* You will need to get a new PSU, since the one you have won't have what you need and it is getting quite old.
Hum, what exactly doesn't it have? Not enough power or is it a matter of different cables and such?



Many thanks for all that info. Really appreciate it. I'll be looking at the Overview now.
a b B Homebuilt system
November 25, 2008 10:41:18 PM

Sorry forgot to mention the details on the PSU. If your PSU is like this one:

28A on the 12v rail is a good sign, but I wouldn't bet on it producing that for too long.

than you might be okay, but since it's been a couple of years or so since you built it, it might be time to upgrade the PSU. If your were going to run the 4670 or maybe even the 9600gt than you probably should do fine with the PSU. RAIDMAX isn't a PSU that I'd recommend using. I had used one in the past and it fried within a few months. They are usually cheaply built, so I try and stay away from them. It's up to you if you want to keep it on the new build, but beware that you might damage more than just your PSU when/if it goes out.
November 26, 2008 1:32:53 PM

Well, the Amp values aren't exactly the same:



And here's what SpeedFan is reading:
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
November 26, 2008 5:58:03 PM

Yeah that would be a bad choice in the PSU dept.
!