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Upgrading for 2009: Thoughts/Advice on Using Old Mobo

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May 9, 2009 10:11:49 PM

EDIT: I've been told that OC'ing the E8400 to ~3.6GHz might be a problem on my older motherboard. Comments?

Was considering an all-new i7-920 build this month, but finally decided on simply upgrading the old workhorse as follows:

=== 2006 ===
CPU: Intel C2D E6600 2.4GHz LGA775 Conroe
Motherboard: ASUS P5B Deluxe P965 LGA775
PSU: Coolermaster 500W PSU
GPU: EVGA 7900GTO 512MB
RAM: Corsair XMS2 2GB DDR2-800 PC6400

=== 2009 ===
CPU: Intel C2D E8400 3.0GHz LGA775 Wolfdale
Motherboard: *Same motherboard*
PSU: Corsair 750TX 750W PSU (may want SLI in my next build)
GPU: EVGA GTX260 Core 216 55nm
RAM: Corsair XMS2 4GB DDR2-800 PC6400 (just adding 2GB of the same RAM)

I'm happy to stick with 2 cores since I mostly use the computer for gaming, internet, university research, and some average photoshop work for time to time. The benefits of 4 cores don't justify cost for me at this point :) 

Basically, I am looking for any comments, criticism, or advice on pairing several newer parts with an aging, but so far solid mobo. Is it worth it to pay for a new LGA775 mobo to take advantage of faster DDR2-RAM or am I fine with PC6400? Is there anything else critical I should be considering before dropping money on a CPU and RAM that have almost no upgrade path ahead of them? All in all, I am just looking to enjoy some recent games at medium-high settings, hopefully including the Starcraft II beta this summer :D 

Thanks for any and all input!
May 9, 2009 10:30:34 PM

PC6400 will work just fine, no need to get a new mobo just for slightly faster DDR2. Everything else looks good for a gaming build. Unless you have a really high res monitor that setup should run everything on high.
May 9, 2009 10:34:23 PM

Thanks Calinkula :D 

I was actually thinking of upgrading my display to the 1920x1200 Dell 2408WFP IPS with the money I saved from not going with Core i7, but I think the GTX260 will be fine ;) 
a c 84 B Homebuilt system
a c 253 V Motherboard
May 10, 2009 2:53:41 AM

For a duo, the E8400 is about as good as it gets. You won't even need to overclock.
You can't do sli on the P965 chipset, only crossfire with ati cards. but I don't think it is such a great idea, anyway.
SLI/crossfire has been a poor upgrade path in the past. It should be used only by
those who will not currently be satisfied by the fastest available single vga card
which is currently the GTX295. The 4870, or GTX260-216
offer very good performance for the money now.
To get SLI. you have to spend more up front for a SLI capable mobo,a
more powerful SLI capable PSU, and better case cooling. Upgrading a single card later with a
second equal card does not get you 2x increase, it is more like 1.3x to 1.8x depending on the game.
At that time, you will still be paying top dollar for a card that is closer to
being obsolete.
It would be better to sell the old card and use the proceeds
towards a better new generation single card.

You could probably still use your old 500w psu, but I don't know the specs.
The corsair 550w unit, would power any single vga card you can buy today.
Spend extra money on a second monitor, or a bigger one.
!