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A $580 (AU) system upgrade, am i buying the right gear?

Last response: in Systems
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March 20, 2009 8:35:30 AM

hi, i've managed to scrounge up $500 australian for a pc upgrade & think i've managed to build something that would work ok.. your thourghts would be greatly appreciated!! thanks. I use my computer for graphic art, & also for gaming, so need performance for both...

:)  mark

old system:

Asus a8n-sli motherboard
2 x 512 DDR 333mhz dimms
AMD64 Athlon64 3000+ (1.8ghz O/c to 2.39ghz)
nvidia 6600gt x 2 SLI gpu's
(& 2 sata drives, dvd drive, etc..)

new system:

ASUS P5KPL/1600 Intel G31/ICH7Chipset - $95

INTEL CORE 2 DUO E7400 2.8GHz LGA775 CPU (3MB CACHE, 1066FSB) - $215

512MB ATI SAPPHIRE HD 4850 DDR3 CrossfireX PCI-EXPRESS 2.0 GRAPHICS CARD (2xDVI, TV-Out, Support HDMI, with FAN) - "Best Value VGA" $229

2GB DDRII-800MHz PC-6400 ADATA DESKTOP RAM $45

comes to $584 Australian, (which is $403 USD or $294 Euro).. is this upgrade worth it, is there anything i should change.. some questions

1) this mobo supports 4 gig ram max, but has four slots.. better to run 2 x 2 gig sticks or 4 x 1 gig sticks??
2) would i be better spending more on a faster cpu or a gpu??.. considering i plan to use the computer for both graphic design & gaming..
3) what is better SLI or xfire??.. i figured getting this board would mean i can upgrade with a 2nd card in the future using Xfire, but if SLI is better I can spend a bit more money buying a better SLI board, & use my old 6600gt x 2 cards for a bit until i can afford a newer card..

thanks guys!
March 20, 2009 8:43:28 AM


1) this mobo supports 4 gig ram max, but has four slots.. better to run 2 x 2 gig sticks or 4 x 1 gig sticks??

2x2gig because you can always upgrade. the MB might get a bios update to support more mem.

2) would i be better spending more on a faster cpu or a gpu??.. considering i plan to use the computer for both graphic design & gaming..

more games are GPU dependent so put more money to the graphics. CPUs are easy to overclock today.

3) what is better SLI or xfire??.. i figured getting this board would mean i can upgrade with a 2nd card in the future using Xfire, but if SLI is better I can spend a bit more money buying a better SLI board, & use my old 6600gt x 2 cards for a bit until i can afford a newer card..

depends which games you play. and secondly if you want a dual GPU system i would advise getting a MB designed for it. this board has only got one x16 PCIx slot.

also this asus board got alot of bad press on new egg i think.
March 20, 2009 11:47:01 AM

Yes, the board supports crossfire...
March 20, 2009 11:54:40 AM

It looks decent, I would get a CPU cooler too though so that you can OC the CPU some to get the most for your money. Xigmatek S963 is a pretty decent little cooler and pretty cheap.
!