I would just build a new Core i5 or Phenom II X4 system. The GTX 260 would be compatible, most graphic cards would be. If you do intend to give this system to someone else, it might be worth putting the E6300 in, but you may need a BIOS flash.
I has a revision 3.3 of that motherboard ( last one I think ) and it had unofficial support with the later BIOS for newer Core2 chips. It was really designed for the first generation Conroe chips. I would look on ebay for a Q-6600....with a decent cooler that would probably overclock to at least 3.2. I also would not spend more than $100 on it to be honest because it is a very early LGA 775 and LGA 775 is basically dead.
Look for the revision number on the board. If it is 3.3 you can basically use all LGA 775 chips up to and including the E-4xxx, E-6xxx, E-7xxx and E-8xxx series of duals and Q-6xxx, Q-8xxx and Q-9xxx series of quad cores.
You would need the latest BIOS for the newer ones.
You will be limited in overclocking the newer ones.
If the board is an earlier revision you will be limited to the 4xxx and 6xxx series of duals and Q-6xxx quads.
That E-4300 was an overclocking champ if I remember right and should run at ~3ghz pretty easily with a decent aftermarket cooler. If you do not really want to spend much right now just get a cooler and turn that sucker up to 11. A bit more money and try for a cooler/cheap quad. If you can afford to buy a new computer you pretty much cant beat an i7 930. The i7 will put to shame anything you could upgrade the old box to.
i7 needs DDR3 triple channel kits and X58 chipset motherboards.
I like the idea of Q6600 tho I see only a couple on ebay with quite a few bids on them - not the only one with this idea?
I actually upgraded to 800GTS a year or so ago, would it be worth upgrading to 260 GTS?
Look on the board. The revision should be written somewhere on one of the outer edges if I remember right.
If you can not find a cheap Q6600 I would just get a good aftermarket cooler and overclock what you have.
A 260 will work fine BUT I believe it will be bottlenecked pretty bad unless you overclock your CPU. It is just too much card for a 1.8ghz processor. If you can get it to around 3ghz it would be a much better combination.
If you are not sure about overclocking here is a great, pretty much step by step guide for the Core2 line.
I used to run my E4300 @2.4 GHz and even 2.8 I believe, but for the life of me I can't OC it any more for about a year... I have another postat OC forum, pretty much I have it set to 9x266 for 2.4Ghz and it just boots to 9x200 (1.8 - stock). I think since I updated my BIOS to F13 (to run SSD drive), or maybe before.. I have a good aftermaret cooler Zelman 110mm.
So thinking about Q6600 or maybe Q9300? Would that work on my Gygabite 965P-S3? I found where it says, it is Rev 1.0 (not 3.3), on the corner of motherboard... Seems those Q6600s are in demand on ebay
So it's kind of back to square one, still not sure if this setup is worth or upgradable:
- Intel Core 2 Duo E4300 @1.8Ghz, used to but can't OC any more
- Gygabite GA-965P-S3 Mobo 800FSB
- 8 GB Corsair DDR2 800 RAM and
- GeForce 8800 GTS (OCed to 600/900)
Rev. 1.0 is the first generation of the board and is going to be limited to earlier 65 nm chips.I believe E4xxx, E6xxx and Q6xxx. Q9300 is 45nm fab and not supported.
Hmm if a BIOS update killed your overclock have you tried to clear CMOS and start over? Also read the overclock guide I posted the link to carefully. You may have a single setting screwing you up somewhere. Also the board may not like 8GB of RAM when overclocking. Try it with 4GB you never know. I am almost certain if it used to overclock that it will again with a little patience. If not it might be time to start saving money for a full upgrade.