Getting some upgrades and need some help!
I'm looking to get a new CPU and Motherboard and looking to spend around $400. I was looking at the Intel Core 2 Quad Q8400 and an Asus P5N-D Motherboard... I'm not really good with all this stuff so any help would be awesome I have 4g ddr2 ram and and geforce 8800 video card, which I'll be replacing soon but not at this time. Thanks for any help!!
I have been running Intel motherboard/CPU combo for the past several years. I have had problems with motherboard failures with the Intel northbridge. The longest a motherboard has lasted is six months. The failures were not caused by a bad installation. I repair computers for a living. After spending a fortune returning defective motherboards to Gigabyte and Asus for RMA repair, I finally gave up and got these components from Newegg.
I spent less than $300, and I like the combo much better than the Q6600 quad I have been running for the past several years. The Phenom II 940 is currently overclocked to 3.5 at stock voltage. You don't have to touch the FSB to overclock, because the CPU has an unlocked multiplier. It was the easiest overclock I have ever accomplished. So far, it is rock solid. I highly recommend this combo. When I bought it, it was a combo special from Newegg for $274.98 with free shipping. Good luck, especially if you go with Intel, and I am no AMD fanboy.
If building from the ground up, probably best to go with ddr3 memory. Just that the op already had the ddr2, so he might be able to save money. Personally, I'm an AMD guy, so I'm a little biased, lol. In all seriousness, at this point if I had the money and were upgrading, I'd probably go with the AM3 phenom 2 chip. I don't really know too much about i5, maybe other guys will know more, but the consensus seems to be that i7 is no doubt on the top of the heap, but that if gaming is what you want to do, there may not be that much advantage to the i7 chips. You just pay more.
Of course if you are doing audio/video encoding or something like that, the i7 might be better in areas like that, but real world performance, at least lower end i7 vs phenom 2, I don't think there is much difference. The best thing you can do is google and check reviews. But if it were me, I'd probably go phenom 2 to save the money so then you can get other, better components, for example more memory or a better video card, etc.