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Advice on 2year System Upgrade

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February 14, 2009 7:00:22 PM

I was originally debating between a i7 build or building a Phenom II 940 BE build, however due to uh... cost vs value over a long period of time I abandoned the idea. It's silly to build a cutting edge system for 4 months and be deployed for another 12-18 months unable to use it.

So I'm going to ugprade my old machine (build Jan 2007) to decent specs, OC the CPU, and when I build the cuttign edge machine down the road, I'll gift this rig to my folks - who still use a Dell from 1997.

Anyway, I think the best thing to replace would be the CPU, Heatsink, Vid card, and the Ram. I'm trying to stay in the $400-$500 range if possible, 500 being a definite top end. Hows it look?

The system is currently built this way:

Intel C2D6600 (2.4ghz OC to 2.7, stock HSF) - socket t / lga775
BFG Tech GeForce 7950GT 512mb (OC by manufacturer)
Asus P5N-E SLI Mainboard - ***I'm not 100% on the model, it was a 650i though.
Ram - 2GB Corsair something. I don't recall, I asked the folks to use CPU-Z to fnd out and tell me.
ENERMAX PSU, 550W.

Upgrading with these parts:
CPU
C2D E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HSF
I can't decide between these, the reviews all peg them to be pretty similar for heavy OCing. I've heard reports on replacing the z600 fan with a regular 120mm case fan, one for each side of it to improve airflow, any thoughts on that?

COOLER MASTER Hyper Z600 RR-600-LBU1-GP - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Xigmatek HDT-S1283 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Noctua NH-U12P - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Video
I think the P5N-E SLI has PCI-E 2.0, or it might just be PCI-E x16. I don't know if a 2.0 card would be incompatible with a slot thats (i assume) 1.0? If so that severely limits card choices.

XFX GeForce 9800 GT 512mb - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Sapphire HD 4830 512mb - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

As for RAM, I think it needs either DDR2 800 or DDR1066, I'm shooting for 4gb, but don't have many leads on this since I don't have an exact mobo spec to run with.
February 14, 2009 7:21:59 PM

Get the Xigmatech cooler and OC your E6600 further.

Get 2x2GB of G.Skill or Mushkin DDR2 800 rated at 1.8V and then sell your current RAM.

What resolution is your monitor?
February 14, 2009 7:58:23 PM

Oh right, sorry! I didn't see your thread prior on how to ask for advice ;p

Anywho, my monitor runs natively at 1680x1050 (22" wide). Primarily used for gaming - WoW, Crysis, HL2 (and supporting mods), HL2 level design, and uh. web surfing.

I'm not familair with G.skill or Mushkin, I've always adhered to Corsair in the past or Kingston. WHen I built the rig initially, I don't think i'd seen either G.skill or mushkin on the market, are they that good?
I don't have the specs for a 6600, bt the ddr2 800 I looked at is all 1.8v, will that affect the wolfdale CPU (if i went that route?) as it lists it's voltage as 0.85V – 1.3625V?

Or am I just being silly and wasting money pushing for the wolfdale 3.0 c2d and thinking to push it to 3.5 or higher?

***edit***

Ok, link to the C2D E6600 Conroe CPU

looks like it's a 0.85V – 1.5V cpu.. wouldn't 1.8 burn it up or cause some sort of issue?

***Edit2***

Just realzied the xigmatek uses those blasted pushpins. There's a way to mount it without using pushpins right? I remember it was a bloody nightmare trying to mount the stupid stock cooler because of those pins, lots of foul words escaped me, and some blood too..
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February 14, 2009 8:41:06 PM

For that resolution I'd recommend an HD4850 or 9800GTX+.

G.Skill seems to be very popular right now and good quality. I'm using Mushkin, also good quality. Kingston and Corsair are also solid choices. The 1.8V on the RAM is not related to the CPU. The standard for DDR2 is 1.8V so it's better for compatibility.

The E6600 should easily go over 3GHz, and the highest voltage you would want to use is 1.5Vcore. I don't think it's worth getting another Core2Duo that will only go a few 100MHz higher.
February 14, 2009 10:58:54 PM

So.. on review it looks like this:

XFX GeForce 9800 GTX+ BE 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI

mushkin 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)

XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 120mm Rifle Cooler

XIGMATEK ACK-I7361 CPU Cooler

Sicne I despise those peg screw things to attach a HSF, i figured that sicne this is a 3 pipe HSF and the comments sugegsted a 4 pipe bracket, i'd find the 3 pipe bracket instead to attach it without the stupid pushpins. Without spending for a new cpu, I could bump the card to a gtx+ no prob, plus it comes with far cry 2! Totals to $296 with a 30MIR on the card, and the HSF coems with a free 15ft M-M usb2.0 cable. No idea what I need one for, but soemthing for the bag of tricks.

Also.. my case (lianLi) has 4 80mm fans, 2 intake, 1 rear exhaust, 1 top exhaust. Is it worth upgrading those to try to chill it out further in the case? I'mt rying to find some outstanding 80mm fans with no luck... I don't want anything icnredibly loud (like the vantec tornado), but i want real solid airflow. I know higher rpm equates to higher dbl too..ot to mention vibration noise. Controller to boot or not, just wodnering. Also is it worth it to replace the stock Xigmatek 120mm fan on the HSK with soemthing like a Scythe Ultra Kaze?

Look solid?
February 15, 2009 1:46:35 AM

I would consider the ATI 4850. Just as powerful, uses one less power connector, takes up less space, and usually cost less.
February 16, 2009 9:01:44 AM

OK. Sorry for te bump, I think this died.

I got confirmation that my board is in fact a ASUS P5N-E SLI (go go good memory), so that means it tops out around I think ddr2 800 memory. Now, the email I got said that the memory was clocked at 459MHZ, and I'm certain if my mainboard can support 800, then thats what I would have bought at the time. It's a dual channel hyperthreaded corsair pair of 1gb sticks... so I'm going to assume the timing is jacked up and it isn't clcoked right at all. Something I enevr kenw about 2 years ago. Anyways.

I've avoided the idea of going to an ATI card, I had -alot- of problems with my first one (generic ati radeon 32mb) i picked up back in '01. I realize the drivers team was evicted and ati has new drivers that don't suck now, but it's still the fact I had issues int he past, I dont like to chance repeating it. Of course if it's the absolute best ever and I can find a 4850 cheap, sure I guess.

back to the fan thing, would it be worthwhile to replace the 4 80mm lianli case fans as well? if so, what with? don't need jet engines, but don't want to have something that doesnt push air either
!