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Update Advice

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
May 15, 2009 7:43:22 PM

I am running a ASUS P5N-E-SLI (nVidia 650i chipset) I have a 2.0ghz Allendale processor, 2gig of RAM and an XFX 8800 GS Alpha Dog (384MB), I have 2GB of Corsair RAM.

I am thinking of the following upgrades and wondering if it's worth the money or if I should just save up and go for bigger upgrades later.

for video I was thinking of picking up this XFXGS250XYDFU GeForce GTS 250 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card - Retail $134 from NewEgg

3 GHz Core 2 Duo E8400 Processor, picking it up from Dell 199.99, would like to go Quad Core but as I understand it my board will not support the 45nm quad cores?

and 4GB of DDR2 PC2-6400 • 4-4-4-12 • Unbuffered • NON-ECC • DDR2-800 • 2.0V • 256Meg x 64 Crucial Ballistix for $55

so a total of $488.00

let me know if you have any ideas. I also might do this in stages for instance Video and Memory this month cpu next month. I am mainly concerned with getting better performance out of games, such as Fallout 3. Which does fine except in VATS mode.


More about : update advice

a c 177 U Graphics card
May 15, 2009 8:04:26 PM

The Egg has that CPU for $170.
Unless you do a LOT of work that needs a Quad, it is not needed (see the Toms article 'how many cores do you need?' if you have not already done so), either way the E8400 is a good, workmanlike processor and wiil see you right for a year or so.
I would leave the memory alone for now.
What resoloution will you be/are you using? The GTS 250 is getting weak and it may pay you to save a little (CPU from the Egg, no RAM yet) and put the cash towards a GTX260 card instead.
May 15, 2009 8:33:28 PM

Think the CPU is whats draggin me down more than the Video card? I have been running the cpu pretty stable at 2.53 for a year now.

Forgot to add the resolution my native res is 1680x1050
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May 20, 2009 4:02:21 AM

I have done some research and found the following BFG Card at Best Buy BFGRGTX2851024OCE

My question is I can find a BFGEG model numbers on NewEgg with good reviews but not BFGRG I am not sure what the difference is or if this would be a subpar card. At any rate with my best buy rewards I can pick this one up and still be able to grab the E8400 cpu and bump my power supply up to a Corsair 650.

Any Thoughts?

Thanks in advance
a c 177 U Graphics card
May 20, 2009 12:32:01 PM

Nice find on the card:) 
BFG have a good long warranty, just remember to register it to get the full benefits of that peace of mind.
Those planned upgrades look ok, no problems I can see but I would suggest using the GTX275 rather than the 285: It is nearly as fast and $50 cheaper:

And check out other suppliers, you could save even more by juggling how you spend those rewards and sourcing elsewhere.
May 20, 2009 3:16:45 PM

Thank you! The only reason I was going to go with the 285 over the 275 is that I was hoping to stave off obsolescence a bit longer. However if they are the same architecture and likely to be obsolete about the same time I will go with the 275. I suppose there is always the option of dropping a second one in SLI later as well. On that note i decided to go with the Corsair HX1000W PSU rather than the 650.

One further question, if I was going to grab a new Motherboard as well, or down the line (a couple of months) so that I could recycle what I have now into a computer for my son what would recommend for a Motherboard.
a c 177 U Graphics card
May 20, 2009 3:55:39 PM

With prices shifting all the time it's hard to recommend anything, especially with E-tailers specials cropping up all the time.
Look for price rather than high specs.
Search the Egg by price rather than manufacturer and do not be afraid to get a small board, as long as the case is large enough micro-ATX boards will still support a full sized card (perhaps you'll drop that 275 in later;))
As long as it can use the 1333MHz chips and has a proper PCI-E X16 slot it will be more than enough for now and have some upgrade potential for later.
Oh, and read the Newegg reviews before making a decision.
May 20, 2009 4:52:27 PM

once again thanks for the advice trolling NewEgg this looks like a good mobo.

and will support quad core. I do some video editing from time to time and it looks like I will benefit from a quad processor for that, however mostly just coding and playing games :) 

Thanks again.
a c 177 U Graphics card
May 20, 2009 5:07:44 PM

Sorry, got the wrong end of the stick there, I though you wanted a mobo to swap the CPU/RAM of your current Allendale unit onto! DOH
Asus seem to make good boards and it has some glowing reviews. Just one point: It is an Intel chipset, so no SLI support, Crossfire only.
May 20, 2009 5:17:39 PM

Oh I guess I could go that route. Actually I was planning on going upgrading mine and then just putting motherboard, cpu and components in son's case.

What chipset should i be looking for. ?
a c 177 U Graphics card
May 20, 2009 5:37:33 PM

Your soloution makes profound sense, go for it.

If you mean 'which chipset for SLI' then you are stuck with Nvidias Nforce.
Check the SLI lanes though, a lot of the 'SLI' boards drop their PCI-E slots to X8 speed with SLI enabled.
May 20, 2009 6:06:23 PM found this on Dell site. about the same price as newegg without rebates, and since Dell wont charge me shipping.. a break even.

From what I understand by reading the specs its supports dual PCI-E 16x but may be pretty tight once i drop a second 275/285 in later.. although coming from the lower end cpu and the 8800 GS i have I dont think I will feel the need to SLI off the bat.

Once again thank you for helping me out! Been away from building my own for several years and the tech has changed a lot on me!
a c 177 U Graphics card
May 20, 2009 7:15:45 PM

Let me see here: Coming from the spec in the top line of the post to a E8400, 4Gb RAM and a GTX275, I expect to be turned deaf by your cries of joy:) 
Hope the build goes more easily than making the choices!
Post back, let us know how it goes on.
Any thanks in the form of small, unmarked bills. Cash only;)
May 31, 2009 4:58:41 AM

Thanks again for your advice

Ended up with an e8400 3.0ghz chip
a BFG GTX 285
A Corsair HX1000W PSU
4 GB of Crucial Ballistix
and the EVGA 750i SLI FTW edition motherboard

The switchover went very smoothly, less than 2 hours from tear down to first boot.

Getting 5.9's in everything except CPU (5.6)for Vista's stats

under Windows 7 RC
CPU -- 6.5
RAM -- 6.5
Graphics -- 6.6
Gaming Graphics -- 6.6
HD -- 5.9

3DMark Vantage (trial, 1680x1050 primary monitor, 1440x900 secondary monitor and forgot to disable A/V during the trial) of P14448 Marks