MB, RAM & OC -or- Video Card

I need help making a decision upgrading my current system:

Q6600 Stepping B Revision G0
HP motherboard (G33)
3GB RAM PC2-5300
EVGA 8800GT 512MB
Enermax Liberty 500AWT
2x320GB Raid 0 (System)
2x500GB Raid 1 (Data)
24" Monitor 1920x1200
42" 1080p TV (HDMI or Component)
WinXP (Win7 this fall)

Used 50% for gaming, 30% for media and 20% for office

I have $200-250 to spend now, and about the same next spring.

Right now, should I:

replace motherboard (GA-EP45-UD3R), RAM (G.SKILL 4GB PC2 8500 5-5-5-15), CPU fan and overclock

or

replace the 8800GT with a GTX260 or HD4870/HD4890

Thanks!
10 answers Last reply
More about video card
  1. you wont see a performance increase by changing mb's. The P45 isnt any faster than a G33. The difference between the two ammounts to how many pci-e lanes and usb ports they support .
    It seems wasteful to invest more money in a platform intel are dropping

    Changing RAM to pc 6400 [ 800 MHz ] will help a bit , but not much Normally a 2 x2 gig kit is the way to go but you dont mention which version of windows you use and more than 3 gig wont help if you are using xp or vista 32 bit

    Because the g33 supports pci-e x16 and not pci-e [2] x 16 that puts a limit on gfx card upgrades
    The 4870 or gtx 260 are not going to be bottlenecked by that slot but anything more would be . Both should improve your fps in gaming
  2. I just had the written a beautiful response and hit the back button on accident, so here's the quicker version of what I'm trying to say.

    At that resolution, the GPU is the weakest link. I'm guessing since its a board built for HP, it won't OC. But just replacing the mobo and OCing the CPU won't do you any good by itself. You can eihter buy one part at a time and see what kind of performance you get. Start with the GPU, then the mobo/HSF, then the ram or all at once:

    4870 1gb $130 amir
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161269

    Gigabyte G31 mobo. This is reported to be a champ to overclock the E5200 and will work with the Q6600. $52
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128357

    To do the overclock, can't beat this. Comes with good goo: $25 amir
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835207004

    You won't see much gain by going to 800 ram. The mobo isn't rated for 1066 so 800 is where we are at. 3gb 667 will be good for XP, but when win7 hits, you'll probably want 4gb anyway. So you can do this later and see where you are at or just get it over with. $35 amir
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145241

    Total: $298 - $45 mail in rebates = $243
  3. The mobo upgrade might be to accomodate the ddr2 1066 ram. But, as outlander said, this path will only affect if your system runs a 64-bit OS, otherwise it's pointless.

    If sheer gaming performance is your primary goal then go with the GPU upgrade. Just make sure that your PSU can handle your GPU of choice (both 4870 and gtx260 uses 2 peg connectors).
  4. skora said:


    Gigabyte G31 mobo. This is reported to be a champ to overclock the E5200 and will work with the Q6600. $52
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128357

    3



    you are suggesting he updates by DOWNGRADING his motherboard?

    The G33 is a later model . Its a P35 with integrated graphics . Its a far better chipset than the g31 and overclocks more easily if anything
  5. Outlander_04 said:
    you are suggesting he updates by DOWNGRADING his motherboard?

    The G33 is a later model . Its a P35 with integrated graphics . Its a far better chipset than the g31 and overclocks more easily if anything


    I'm suggesting he find a cost effective solution other than an HP bios if he wants to OC. Only way to fit a mobo in there with the GPU in one shot. Or do like we suggested and do the GPU and see where the system is at.
  6. skora said:
    I'm suggesting he find a cost effective solution other than an HP bios if he wants to OC. Only way to fit a mobo in there with the GPU in one shot. Or do like we suggested and do the GPU and see where the system is at.


    Ok I see where you are coming from with that .

    Of course if hes using an HP supplied version of windows its not going to install on a system with another motherboard

    To my mind that leaves the gfx card , and more than that and you start you have that cascade effect where you start replacing pretty much everything
  7. I don't have anything to cite this, but when I was looking at using my Dell copy of XP on an upgrade, only one of three of the GPU, CPU, or Mobo had to remain from the original system. Now this was a number of years ago and like a lot of the reterhict on the net, could be dangerous. Since then, lets just say I have "a friend" that has used the dell XP cd for a build with no parts from their old dell.

    And CONGRATS on hitting regular. That must have just flipped over.
  8. skora said:
    I don't have anything to cite this, but when I was looking at using my Dell copy of XP on an upgrade, only one of three of the GPU, CPU, or Mobo had to remain from the original system. Now this was a number of years ago and like a lot of the reterhict on the net, could be dangerous. Since then, lets just say I have "a friend" that has used the dell XP cd for a build with no parts from their old dell.

    And CONGRATS on hitting regular. That must have just flipped over.



    I tried an upgrade with my gf's Dell running xp . I was giving her my old mb/cpu/ram which was far better than the bottom end celeron she had
    In the end I gave up and just stuffed it full of ram . Shes happy , but its still fairly limited as computers go .
    Sometimes license are applied differently in different countries . But here in NZ you cant install the Dell OS on anything but the correct original model mb . US versions might be different

    Thanks for the congrats
    Becoming a regular wasnt part of my life plan but the recession has bitten pretty hard and I have a lot more free time than I intended LOL
  9. I would say get a motherboard and RAM and overclock... your 8800GT can wait....just no eye-candy till next year...

    or don't do anything till next year and you will have a bigger budget.....

    heh, you are not alone my friend... the recession hurt most of us....... <-------- Outlander_04 ;)

    Sunbeam CR-CCTF92-4 92mm Core-Contact Freezer CPU Cooler
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835207006

    GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3R LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128359

    G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-8500CL5D-4GBPK
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231166

    Total : 210.00$ all items ship for free, doesn't get any better than that....btw you still have 40.00$ to burn....

    You will be able to overclock that chip to @ least 3.4Ghz EASY with 1.424v(vcore).. [:lectrocrew:6]
  10. Outlander_04 said:
    I tried an upgrade with my gf's Dell running xp . I was giving her my old mb/cpu/ram which was far better than the bottom end celeron she had
    In the end I gave up and just stuffed it full of ram . Shes happy , but its still fairly limited as computers go .
    Sometimes license are applied differently in different countries . But here in NZ you cant install the Dell OS on anything but the correct original model mb . US versions might be different

    Thanks for the congrats
    Becoming a regular wasnt part of my life plan but the recession has bitten pretty hard and I have a lot more free time than I intended LOL


    btw.. i just noticed your "Regular"... congrats on that.... [:jaydeejohn:5]
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