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CPU upgrade

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July 3, 2009 9:22:42 PM

I'm planning to upgrade my current 2005 PC with a new CPU (which will require new ram and mobo). Currently it is:

AMD Athlon 64 3800+ 2.4GHz - Socket 939
1024MB RAM - (DDR2?)
ATi x1950 Pro 512MB - PCI-E x16
Two Sony DVD drives plus floppy
250GB SATA HDD

And I'm wanting a good, powerful CPU capable of most good games, no more than £300. I'm thinking along the lines of

Intel Core 2 Dual 3GHz Socket 775
Gigabyte P35 motherboard
4GB RAM DDR3

Any advice along the lines of hardware and manufacturers?

EDIT: What about a E6850?

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July 3, 2009 10:19:36 PM

If you really wanna go Intel then instead of getting an E6850 get one of the newer 45nm parts or a quad core. I mean the Q6600 is around the same price and is a good value if you overclock it. I also say go with a P45 board (especially one that can do crossfire) rather than the older P35 board.

Since I'm guessing you have a rather low budget you should really take a look at AMD.
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July 3, 2009 10:34:14 PM

I think you would see a bigger bang for your buck with a new graphics card and a memory upgrade.
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July 3, 2009 10:35:47 PM

+1 for the P45 motherboard

If you're only looking for a CPU, motherboard, and RAM upgrade, you should look at Intel's E5200/E7300/E8400 + a P45 motherboard that supports DDR2 RAM. DDR3 at the moment still requires quite a bit more cash than DDR2 memory and the difference in speed is minimal at best.
July 3, 2009 11:00:28 PM

Thanks for the advice

As to the P45: I'll look at it, but it seems to only have space for one IDE, and I'm fairly sure that both of my opticals are IDE, plus FDD which I want to keep.

For the processor, what's the Q8400 like? It seems decently priced and has a good clock rate for single threaded games, and when the time comes the other cores will kick in. But, what AMD ranges should I look in for what I need, Phenom or X2?

BadTrip: That graphics card is two years newer than the processor, which is single core and doesn't have a good clock speed at that, so surely RAM+CPU would be a better upgrade?

I'm haven't settled on AMD vs Intel etc, this is just what I've been looking at.
July 3, 2009 11:08:05 PM

That 1950 pro will hold you back
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July 4, 2009 3:13:36 AM

The Phenom II 940 (X4, 3.0GHz) will be faster than the Q8400.
If you wanted to go for a cheaper option, the Phenom II X3 720 would be better than the Core 2 Duo E8400 in most cases.
You might prefer to upgrade your graphics card too, in which case you could consider the Phenom II X2 550, which performs almost on par with the E8400.
As for LGA 775, it is a dead socket and AM3 provides a better upgrade path. However, if you think you'll just buy a new computer in 3 years rather than upgrade, you should be fine if you chose a Core 2 CPU.
July 9, 2009 8:20:44 PM

I'm now looking at the AMD 770 and 790. I dont want to pay more than £90 on the motherboard, and most 790's I find are ~120. The 770's are well priced and seem to have all the components I need, but I've heard the northbridge has heating problems and this can affect performance, and I will also be intending to overclock it a bit (or atleast play around). Also, are Gigabytes reliable or should I look at ASUS etc?
!