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Looking for Advice on Upgrading a system to a Quad Core or i7 CPU?

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  • CPUs
  • Quad Core
  • Intel i7
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December 11, 2009 3:07:07 PM

Hello, Im trying to get advice on the best way to upgrade my CPU? I've been into PC gaming about a year now.. And I play games like WoW, NBA 2K10, and Modern War Fare. So what I want to know is should I upgrade to the new i5 or i7 Technology or will I be ok by grabing a Quad Core Proc and calling it a day? Because my system is ancient! Im running a Intel P4 3.0 800 Ghz CPU with 2 gigs of DDR2 Memory with an 9800GT Nvidia Video Card, running on a asus 775 socket mobo... Can you tell me what will be the best upgrade for my Cpu with or without my old Mobo? I'm trying to spend under $400.00 if I can get away with it! I'm not an extreme gamer but I want my CPU to be good enough to play just about anygame at max settings and be able to last at least 3 yrs before I have to upgrade to a better Proccesor?

More about : advice upgrading system quad core cpu

a b à CPUs
December 11, 2009 3:35:15 PM

It's doubtful you might be able to upgrade to some dual core CPU's though.
To see what CPU's your motherboard can use go to the ASUS support website.
You could also specify your model and we will look it up for you.

However it's possible to build a quad core AMD system for around that price though.See the threads here.
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/271462-28-socket-moth...
You could opt for a higher end quad core AMD CPU in that discussion rather than the dual core ones mentioned.This is just the hardware without the operating system.

Is it possible to build a quad core system under $400 yes without the Windows Operating System.

Going the i5 route would be good although you would need DDR3 memory which now has gone up in price.An i5 CPU is around $200,cheap LGA 1156 Mobo around $150 and 2 GB DDR3 memory (not much 4 GB is better) would cost you around $45 for the cheapest one.
You could perhaps swing it and reuse you graphics card but you would still need a newer SATA 2 hard drive and most likely a newer power supply.You could perhaps reuse you case and Optical Drive though.Once you change motherboards you will need another version of Microsoft Windows in addition to the hardware.
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December 11, 2009 4:35:56 PM

Thanks alot for the the info! This is the mobo I have an: ASUS P5GC-MX
It does not support a Quad Core Cpu... I know I could have went with a D/Core™2 Cpu or just upgrade to a better board that will support a Quad Core Cpu! My whole thing is why go D/Core 2 when I can get a Quad for cheap? Alot of people say its really not worth buying a Quad Core Cpu because their are some Dual Core Cpu's that's better than Quad Core's? This is why I don't want to spend money on something that's to much for what its worth when a Dual core 2 proc will do the job and probably better? I don't mind upgrading to a new Mobo and Proc because I can use my memory I already have and buy 2 more gigs.... So my main issue is selecting a good gaming board and a good Processor! If I go Quad the best one for the buck and that will last until the i7 goes way down in price? I've been thinking about amd but I think I'm going to stay Intel.... What do u recommend or what will u do if u were in my shoes?
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December 11, 2009 4:40:38 PM

Thanks alot for the the info! This is the mobo I have an: ASUS P5GC-MX
It does not support a Quad Core Cpu... I know I could have went with a D/Core™2 Cpu or just upgrade to a better board that will support a Quad Core Cpu! My whole thing is why go D/Core 2 when I can get a Quad for cheap? Alot of people say its really not worth buying a Quad Core Cpu because their are some Dual Core Cpu's that's better than Quad Core's? This is why I don't want to spend money on something that's to much for what its worth when a Dual core 2 proc will do the job and probably better? I don't mind upgrading to a new Mobo and Proc because I can use my memory I already have and buy 2 more gigs.... So my main issue is selecting a good gaming board and a good Processor! If I go Quad the best one for the buck and that will last until the i7 goes way down in price? I've been thinking about amd but I think I'm going to stay Intel.... What do u recommend or what will u do if u were in my shoes?


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a c 159 à CPUs
December 11, 2009 5:18:18 PM

On asus website, in the cpu support section for your board, it shows support for .065 core2 duos with the right bios. I would look for one used in anandtech's for sale forum. Might find one for $40-60. Then flash the bios if needed or check newegg for a cheap open box board, such as the g31. Getting a new 775 board and quad core cpu isn't a great investment now; best deal is at frys today where they have an e5200 with msi g31 board for $50 after $10 rebate. That would be a great investment for little money. Otherwise, wait until Jan and see if prices fall for some components. The i7 920 won't get below $199 (microcenter deal) but memory prices might drop a little; it all depends on demand. For a little more money, some quad systems are going for around $305-350 refurbished right now with vista. It's not much more than buying a new board and 9550.
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a b à CPUs
December 11, 2009 7:52:29 PM

Holy crap there are a lot of Core 2 Duo CPU's that you could use with a BIOS (Flash)update.I'm surprised that you didn't look into this sooner.However some of the CPU's still are being sold.
http://support.asus.com/cpusupport/cpusupport.aspx?SLan...

Some that are great are the Core 2 Duo 8400 which is FAST !
Much more powerful than your current CPU.
The 8500 might be worth it but the 8600 which is faster but not really worth the cost (too expensive for the price).
Odd that the motherboard supports the E7200 and E7300 but not the 7400,7500 and 7600.
Notice though the E8000 series use a beta BIOS.
Here are the Core 2 Duo's still sold at newegg
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

Also I see a Pentium Dual Core the Intel Pentium E5200 Wolfdale 2.5GHz 2MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor that looks as though it is supported with a beta BIOS update.It's pretty inexpensive.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Also the E6300
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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December 11, 2009 8:02:18 PM

So you telling me if I just get the E5200 Duel core proc and the MSI G31 Mobo I will be ok? I will be able to play any game with no problems if I add the 9800 GT Video Card with the 2 Gigs of Memory? If so I'm going to get it today! And if this get me over until things get cheaper that will be great!! Man you have been a BIG help!!! Thanks alot! Like I said I only play like WOW and NBA 2k10 games!!!
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a c 346 à CPUs
December 11, 2009 8:28:36 PM

You need first to discover what is keeping you from playing the games you want. Can you run the performance monitor to see how cpu bound you are while gaming? Is your hard drive very active? It might be paging activity.

Most of the time, the graphics card is the limiting factor, not the cpu, particularly at higher display resolutions. What resolution do you game at?
The 9800GT is a decent card. It would not make sense to upgrade the card unless you were to jump a couple of levels, to something like a GTX260 or GTX275.

Most of the time a cpu like the E8400 will be all that is needed to drive such a card. Very few games can take advantage of more than two cores, so a faster duo is usually much better. I think that I might wait on a cpu until next quarter when Intel is supposed to launch the clarksdale 32nm processors.

Lastly, consider the merits of upgrading to 4gb. Here's a couple of reasons:
http://www.corsair.com/_appnotes/AN804_Gaming_Performan...

For today, look to e-bay.
You might find a E8400 for $125,
2gb of ram for $30,
a GTX260 for $150
sell the 9800GT for $50
giving you an upgrade cost of about $250.

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December 11, 2009 8:51:58 PM

So You thinks its best to just upgrade my system to more memory? I'm running a P4 3.0 800 Ghz single core with 2 gigs of ram with the 9800 GT Video Card? Someone told me to just go and buy the e5300 dual core cpu and board for 50.00 bucks and call it a day then upgrade when the i5's and i7 goes down in price? But if its a memory issue I can upgrade that!
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December 11, 2009 8:53:49 PM

He has a P4 processor. Its definitely the CPU!
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a c 346 à CPUs
December 11, 2009 8:57:07 PM

rbigrich said:
So You thinks its best to just upgrade my system to more memory? I'm running a P4 3.0 800 Ghz single core with 2 gigs of ram with the 9800 GT Video Card? Someone told me to just go and buy the e5300 dual core cpu and board for 50.00 bucks and call it a day then upgrade when the i5's and i7 goes down in price? But if its a memory issue I can upgrade that!


What problems or symptoms do you have now? Can you measure your FPS in your favorite games?
What resolution do you game at?

There is little sense in replacing parts willy-nilly without knowing what your problem is or what is causing it.

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December 11, 2009 10:30:00 PM

I agree with elmo. The difference would be astounding.
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December 12, 2009 2:20:26 PM

The difference would be astounding I agree.But with those components he would still need a new SATA 2 Hard Drive since likely his nearly 5 year old Hard Drive is either SATA or IDE.Also I don't think it's a good idea to reuse a nearly 5 year old power supply.In addition he would need another version of Windows for a new motherboard (new computer).Likely add a Optical Drive as well perhaps.
The price might be $300 higher.

However he did say "but I want my CPU to be good enough to play just about anygame at max settings and be able to last at least 3 yrs before I have to upgrade to a better Proccesor?"
So the i5 would be a good choice though a processor tends to get quite obsolete after 3 years.I think his graphics card will be obsolete before then though.
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December 12, 2009 3:36:46 PM

You can reuse your version of windows form an old build. The license is transferable. The only thing is it cannot be installed on two pc's at one time. Sata hard drives work with both sata and sata 2.
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