Looking for upgrade advice...

A little over 2 years ago, I built this system:

Motherboard: Asus P5B-Deluxe
CPU: Core 2 Duo E6600
RAM: 4GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 667 (PC2 5300)
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce 8800 GTS 640 MB

It's been a great system, but I recently bought the Dell 3008 WFP 30" monitor, and I want to beef things up a bit, though I'm not wanting to build a whole new system just yet. I know that if I get a new faster graphics card that there's a possibility of the cpu becoming the bottleneck, so I'm looking for advice on upgrading in a "balanced" way.

I'm looking at going with the Nvidia GTX 275 for graphics, and possibly the Core 2 Duo E8400 for cpu. Does that sound like a good combination? Is there something else I should be looking at?

Also, RAM has gotten crazy cheap since I built this system. I could either get a couple more sticks of the 2GB I have now, or should I upgrade the RAM as well?

7 answers Last reply
More about looking upgrade advice
  1. Welcome to the forums!

    How about overclocking the processor?
    It's a great processor for overclocking.
    Your RAM is fine.
    The video card upgrade would be good if you are a gamer.
  2. you have any budget in mind?
    4GB of ram is more than enough. and if you want more, you have to switch to 64bit OS
  3. I would suggest the video card upgrade and either leave the CPU alone or overclock it and set the money aside for a new build later on (or just take the gir/boy friend out for a little treat).
    Unless you are doing a lot of multitasking with video or image files 4 Gb is more than enough and, as mansalim has pointed out, will require a 64 bit OS to take advantage of it.
  4. Thanks for the replies.

    I probably should have mentioned that I'm already using a 64 bit OS. Was using 64bitXP, currently using the release candidate of 64 bit Windows 7. (dual booting)

    While it's true that 4GB is a lot, I just can't believe how cheap RAM is right now. Only reason I'm thinking about it really. Although I do game a lot, I also do 3D graphics and lots of Photoshop work, so I'm thinking beyond just gaming.

    Would you consider it a waste then to upgrade from an E6600 to an E8600? Is there not enough there to warrant the price? My current rig is only two years old, so I'd like to use it for at least another year, maybe 2.

    I haven't done much overclocking in the past, for fear of stability issues. I've got a Sunbeam / Tuniq T-120 CPU Cooler...is that going to let me overclock? I don't think I want to start messing with water cooling.

    As far as a budget, it would be great to stay under $500.00 for the cpu and gpu upgrade. I'll hold off on the bigger bucks for when it's time for a new system.

    On the other hand, if you think the cpu is fine as is, I could spend more on the gpu.
  5. The E8600 is not fully supported by your motherboard:


    And you may need to flash the BIOS to use the processor, being a cautious person, I would not suggest you do so although others may disagree.
    It sounds as if this system is used for business or for student assignments so, again I will be cautious.

    By all means overclock the processor but this is potentially a dangerous operation if done without some caution, so do further research (such as looking at Toms Overclocking Forum) so you know what you are getting in to. The cooler you have by the way should allow for a good overclock.

    For now, I would just upgrade the graphics card and see how things develop: Best value would be either the GTX260 or 1Gb HD 4870 and, because you have an Nvidia card already, I would suggest the GTX260 to eliminate any possible problems with drivers. For a bit more punch the GTX275 is quite a bargain and the GTX 280 is about as fast as you can get for a single GPU, it was hugely expensive but is getting cheaper now. As always, check prices carefully and do not get the 192 ore GTX260, look for the 216 core version, it is faster.
  6. The E8600 is pretty overpriced. A good cheap upgrade from your current cpu would be the E7400:


    Or E7500:


    You could sell the cpu you already have on ebay and make up part of the cost ^.^
  7. Btw if the E7x00 series is too weak for you get the E8400 or E8500, the E8600 is too pricey for what it offers.

    E8400: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115037

    E8500: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115036
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