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Another upgrade thread

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April 15, 2009 2:04:47 AM

I recently got some money back from taxes and am considering a small upgrade. My specs:

E6550 @ 3.33 24/7 (Gotten up to 3.4 - 485fsb)
Gigabyte GA-P35C-DS3R
Super Talent 2x 1GB DDR2 @ 950Mhz 4-4-4-8
EVGA GeForce 8800GTS 640MB @ 625/2000
WD Velociraptor 300GB 10k RPM
A few other SATAII drives
OCZ StealthXStream 600W
Cooler Master Centurion 5
Tuniq Tower 120 Cooler w/ AS5
LG 20" (1680x1050) widescreen & 19" (1280x1024) standard LCDs

I have a little under $450 to spend so upgrading to i7 is out. What would you suggest? I've been considering adding a quad core, more memory and a new video card. Thanks for the help.

More about : upgrade thread

April 15, 2009 2:11:16 AM

Go with a 2 x 2GB kit of DDR2 800.
Go for a new video card, that 8800GTS is a G80 core and you will see a decent improvement by upgrading it.

You "could" go for a quad but you won't see a whole lot of difference really, not if your already over 3GHz with your 6550.
April 15, 2009 2:23:39 AM

boonality said:
Go with a 2 x 2GB kit of DDR2 800.
Go for a new video card, that 8800GTS is a G80 core and you will see a decent improvement by upgrading it.

You "could" go for a quad but you won't see a whole lot of difference really, not if your already over 3GHz with your 6550.


+1

GTX260 would be a nice upgrade.
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April 15, 2009 2:33:25 AM

So what about GTA4, Crysis and SupCom? Also winrar. Wouldn't they benefit nicely from say a simple q8200 OC'd?
April 15, 2009 3:37:27 AM

onryou said:
So what about GTA4, Crysis and SupCom? Also winrar. Wouldn't they benefit nicely from say a simple q8200 OC'd?


Other than Crysis, yes.
April 15, 2009 4:27:13 AM

I found a combo deal on newegg for a Q8200 & G.Skill 2x 2GB DDR2 @ 1066 5-5-5-15 for $215. On zipzoomfly they have an XFX GTX 260 core 216 for $185 and an MSI 4890 for $233. I've heard the 4890 is supposed to be a great overclocker and when OC'd runs close to a GTX 285. How is the GTX 260?
April 15, 2009 4:52:33 AM

onryou said:
I found a combo deal on newegg for a Q8200 & G.Skill 2x 2GB DDR2 @ 1066 5-5-5-15 for $215. On zipzoomfly they have an XFX GTX 260 core 216 for $185 and an MSI 4890 for $233. I've heard the 4890 is supposed to be a great overclocker and when OC'd runs close to a GTX 285. How is the GTX 260?

Well adding a Quad will give you significant performance increase for the apps that you have given...
And yes the 4890s are great overclockers and perform similar to the GTX285 for resolutions upto 1900X1200...
The GTX260 is in the league of 4870 1GB...

But why do I feel going with an AMD X3 720 when overclocked, will give the Q8200(Overclocked) a run for the money
And that platform, will provide a better upgrade path...
(If you not intel specific that is...)

CPU+ Mobo
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

RAM -
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total $295 including rebates

And adding the GTX 260/ 4870 1GB(Can add one more later for crossfire on that mobo)
Would just increase $30 more but the overall system would give you a better upgrade path...
April 15, 2009 4:55:50 AM

If you are going over the budget, you can skip the graphics card now, use the GTS...and save some more and buy the 4890 later...
Anyways the prices are always gonna move south...
April 15, 2009 5:13:30 AM

gkay09 said:
Well adding a Quad will give you significant performance increase for the apps that you have given...
And yes the 4890s are great overclockers and perform similar to the GTX285 for resolutions upto 1900X1200...
The GTX260 is in the league of 4870 1GB...

But why do I feel going with an AMD X3 720 when overclocked, will give the Q8200(Overclocked) a run for the money
And that platform, will provide a better upgrade path...
(If you not intel specific that is...)

CPU+ Mobo
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

RAM -
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total $295 including rebates

And adding the GTX 260/ 4870 1GB(Can add one more later for crossfire on that mobo)
Would just increase $30 more but the overall system would give you a better upgrade path...


I'm not sure, for that price I could grab the Q9400 or even Q9550. I'm not very comfortable relying on rebates since I've heard nothing but problems with online rebates, especially with newegg. Also AMD hasn't had the best track record for best performing cpus recently and while they are cheaper I'm not so sure if I want to invest in that platform yet. Plus if I'm not mistaken the Tuniq Tower 120 isn't compatible with AM3 so I'd need a new cooler on top of that. I'm just looking for an upgrade to hold me over for another couple years.
April 15, 2009 5:29:44 AM

Well as for your concern regarding the performance of the AMD CPUs, check out...
http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/socket-am3-phenom,review-...

Off late, the AMD CPUs have made a great comeback especially the X3 720...You can check any h/w forums or websites and they all have praises for the X3...

And as for the CPU cooler, Check it from the support list again as the AM3 and AM2 socket design are same and as the CPU cooler can be used on the AM2, it can also be used on AM3...
April 15, 2009 6:24:46 AM

Well from what I've read, DDR3 on AMD platforms seems to offer little to no performance increase.

Newegg has the Q6600 (says it's the 95W version) open box for $131. Sounds like a good deal to me. What are your thoughts on open box? With the 30-day return policy I can always return it no prob if there's an issue.
April 15, 2009 7:30:12 AM

onryou said:
Well from what I've read, DDR3 on AMD platforms seems to offer little to no performance increase.

Newegg has the Q6600 (says it's the 95W version) open box for $131. Sounds like a good deal to me. What are your thoughts on open box? With the 30-day return policy I can always return it no prob if there's an issue.

Well that was a comparision between using a DDR2 and DDR3 RAM...The point was to show the performance of the new Phenom II processors... ;) 

And for $131, the Q6600 is a very good buy...And yes its worth a try...I have seen many people lucky with the open box items...
April 15, 2009 10:11:30 AM

One more question. Would my motherboard have an impact on the 4890 with it's massive memory bandwidth being that it's not PCI-E v2.0, just PCI-E x16?
April 15, 2009 10:26:56 AM

No there wont be any significant real world performance difference between the pcie1.1 and pcie 2.0
April 15, 2009 1:27:51 PM

Not sure if an open box Q6600 is a good idea. That chip is the favorite target of enthusiasts overclockers. You would have to move up to a 24" monitor to get the real value of the GTX 260 and up or 4890.

Don't do rebates. I'm 0 for Two, zero batting avg on rebates in the last year. In both instances I was told my forms and UPC codes were okay and the process went through. However, I never got any checks in the mail and when I asked the check to be resent (all they have to do is check the first check wasn't cashed) they said they fulfilled their obligations and sent the check and was not responsible for the Postal Service error! Scam artists!!
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