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Considering upgrade: advice?

  • CPUs
Last response: in CPUs
August 25, 2009 3:31:24 PM

I am considering an upgrade, but am not sure how far to go with it this time around. I am still a 'new' DIYer. I mostly game, so with that in mind, here are my specs:

MOBO: Intel D945 PSNLK
CPU: Intel P D805
RAM: 4X.5 GB DDR2 667
GPU: nVidia GeForce 8800GT oc
PSU: 500w, (if I remember correctly): dual rail 32 total amp

I am thinking my weak link is the processor, but it is a dual core, each at 2.4 GHz, but in a recent gaming session, I noticed the CPU chugging hard and graphics FPS below 20 (and often 10) for a new game coming out.

My MOBO seems to only be able to handle DDR2 667, not even 800 (if I remember correctly again).

So - where do you think my bottle neck is (assuming no malware and no ancillary running programs)?

Thanks for any advice.

More about : upgrade advice

August 25, 2009 3:32:57 PM

oops - forgot to mention I have Windows XP - and have no immediate plans to go Vista/7 and its 64bit system, etc.
a b à CPUs
August 25, 2009 3:43:15 PM

That pentium D is the bottleneck.It won't be able to run new games even at medium(Even Though graphic card is strong enough)

Ram is fine.

Overclocking the CPU would give a boost on framerates.

Related resources
August 25, 2009 4:09:42 PM

I have never attempted to OC a CPU - and if I do it wrong, I burn it out, and that would be bad :p . I will look into this though.

If I just upgrade the CPU, then I need to worry about compatibility with the MOBO, right? LGA 775 socket is common enough. What sorts of compatibility issues should I check for?
a b à CPUs
August 25, 2009 4:14:47 PM

I saw specs of your mobo and the CPU you have i.e pentium D series is the best it supports.

For CPU upgrade you will need to buy a new mobo and proccy.

If you are looking 4ward to the upgrade then tell me your budget.
a b à CPUs
August 25, 2009 4:17:30 PM


It seems oyu're out of luck, that board does not support Core 2 CPUs.
If you decide to raplace your mobo, consider the AMD Phenom II CPUs which are cheaper and practically equal to Core 2 Quad in terms of performance. Another option would be to wait for Intel Core i5 and socket 1156 motherboards which will launch in September.
August 25, 2009 5:27:01 PM

Yeah - looks like it is time to build another . . .

Wellp - I just looked over the 'cheap' (<$600) game rig DIY here on TomsHardware (from a few months ago) - and it seems to use a MOBO that is on the cheap side - thus I'd budget probably ~$800 for the whole deal. I can't justify much more for playing games (sheesh).

The Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 seems to be a good chip to start with, if I can find it closer to $150 than $200. I may try to keep my GPU and see how it does in the new rig, before planning to upgrade it.

I can re-use hard drives and optical drives. If you have a good MOBO suggestion, I'd appreciate it.
a b à CPUs
August 25, 2009 8:01:24 PM

mitofi, I strongly recommend you to get a Phenom II X4 (quad core) for the same price you'd get a E8500, and will be way more future-proof as well as provide better overall performance.
August 25, 2009 10:05:50 PM

sanchz said:
mitofi, I strongly recommend you to get a Phenom II X4 (quad core) for the same price you'd get a E8500, and will be way more future-proof as well as provide better overall performance.

Thanks, sanchz - I'll put it on the list of potentials.

And thanks, obsidian, for the link.
a b à CPUs
August 26, 2009 2:45:48 AM

Definitely upgrade that CPU.
August 26, 2009 5:48:11 PM

I'd also say take a look at the AMD possibilities. At that end of the market, they are providing better "bang for the buck" at the moment.
As for your GPU, it will handle most of the current stuff, but will start to struggle soon. No reason you can't spread the cost by still using that 8800 for now, and upgrading in the future. That also means you'll get a better card for your money in the future (or the same card cheaper).