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Upgrading from an Athlon Xp 2900 ! Help!

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February 21, 2009 8:47:41 PM

:hello:  It's been about 5 years since I built my first PC and now it's time for an upgrade. It will be used for gaming and I do want to overclock. This is what I'm thinking of going with so far based on some research I did. I'd like for as many suggestions on my list and recommendations. I really want to order all this stuff by Wednesday the 25th. Budget is around $800 maybe more. Should I go with Vista or stay with XP? Any suggestions are appreciated. Thanks.

Case
Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU
Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz 2 x 4MB L2 Cache LGA 775: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MB
GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3P LGA 775 Intel P45:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power Supply
Antec earthwatts EA500 500W ATX12V v2.0 SLI :
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Video Card

HIS Hightech H485QT512P Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Exp:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
OR
ASUS EAH4850/HTDI/1G Radeon HD 4850 1GB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Exp:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
OR
MSI R4870-T2D1G Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Exp:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I'm not sure what memory to get or heatsink for CPU. Any suggestions?
I already have a 22" LCD (1680x1050), 2 big hard drives, and I will probably use my old pioneer dvd burner.
Note: Newegg links are used only as reference.

More about : upgrading athlon 2900

February 21, 2009 9:23:02 PM

$10 more gets you a Corsair 650TX. With that PSu you will be able to do Crossfire when/if you need to. Your case and MB and video card already support it.

That's an excellent MB, by the way.

If it's mostly for gaming, and you don't play FSX or GTA4, change the Q6600 to E8500.


Heatsink: Xigmatek Dark Knight.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835233029

The HIS card has only 512MB, but that's OK for 1680x1050. It's also cheaper, has a free game, and has the best reviews. I'd pick that one.

RAM:
G.SKILL PI Black 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 900 $55
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231211

or

G.SKILL PI Black 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 $55
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231209
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February 21, 2009 9:26:28 PM

I hadn't seen Proximon's post yet. 100% agreed with both S75CF and HD 4870, if the budget allows.

I noticed a combo at Newegg for Antec 900 and P5Q Pro, $30 off. The P5Q Pro is very similar to the GA-EP45-UD3P.

February 21, 2009 10:15:02 PM

Thanks for the suggestions Proximon. I think I will go with the S75CF and HD 4870. Thanks for the suggestion Aevm, but I do plan on playing GTA4 and I want to multitask while gaming. I will be getting one of those G.Skill kits, but I think I will stick with the Gigabyte MB. Thanks for help guys. One more questions, what OS are you guys running, Vista or XP?
February 21, 2009 10:16:00 PM

I'd go with the 1GB MSI 4870. As for the heatsink it's a matter of preference but I would go with something like this XIGMATEK XP-S964

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

For cooler selection you may want to do your own research to see which coolers are worth it and which really aren't. X-bit labs does a number of cooler reviews so you may want to check it out, especially if you want to get the maximum overclock from your Q6600 as in that event every last bit of cooler performance is important. with Xigmatek rifle coolers you may also want to consider getting the retention back plate as some of the models do not come with it.

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

While that 500W PSU should be able to handle the load I think you may be pushing it a little if you decide to crossfire with two 4850s. If you want to crossfires with two 4870s I would seriously suggest getting a more powerful PSU such as a 600W+ unit from the likes of Corsair or FSP.

February 21, 2009 10:34:08 PM

For a gaming box I'd recommend Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit OEM. It gives you DirectX 10 and full access to the 4GB of RAM (or even more if you add more sticks later.)

Your other major option is XP 32-bit, which will see 3.5 GB or less and plays games in DirectX 9 mode (i.e. some games look the same and some look less good).

XP does have an advantage: old devices (printer, scanner, etc.) may not have drivers for Vista at all.
February 21, 2009 10:36:35 PM

krunk666 said:
Thanks for the suggestions Megamanx00 now I might just end up going with the 1GB MSI 4870. I looked at that cooler but now I'm thinking of going with the XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler. The fan seems to be bigger.

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


It is bigger, it's 120 mm instead of 92 mm. Be careful, if you get the HDT-S1283 you need a different retention bracket, called ACK-I7751.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835233019
February 21, 2009 10:50:01 PM

Thanks for all the suggestions Aevm, I will be getting that bracket. I might have to get Vista to play games in DirectX 10. What OS do you use?
February 21, 2009 11:46:15 PM

krunk666 said:
Thanks for all the suggestions Aevm, I will be getting that bracket. I might have to get Vista to play games in DirectX 10. What OS do you use?


Vista 64 Home Premium ftw. It reads all 4 gigs of memory and utilizes DirectX 10. Newegg has the builders edition (OEM) for $100 + free shipping.
February 22, 2009 12:52:30 AM

Thanks Why_me, I think that's what I'll go with ftw.
February 22, 2009 6:39:46 PM

Good choice IMO. Personally, I dual-boot xp/vista just because I'm too lazy to wipe out the xp and reinstall everything on Vista :) 
February 23, 2009 2:34:34 AM

I'll give Vista 64 a chance, hopefully its a good OS.
!