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$500 upgrade recommendation

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Last response: in CPUs
January 20, 2010 4:56:59 PM

I've got an aging socket 939 setup so I need a new mobo, cpu & memory. The power supply, video card and hard drives are all fine. I'm thinking Intel quad core but the whole core 2 quad/i5/i7 thing has me totally buffaloed. I mostly do electronic music production using pro audio software like Cubase, Acid, software instruments, etc. I do like to play Team Fortress 2 but super high end gaming is not a requirement. I need at least one PCI slot due to my pro audio sound card. I'm on WinXP 32 bit due to most of the pro music software being optimized for that platform.

I've got $500 to spend. What would you get?

More about : 500 upgrade recommendation

a b à CPUs
January 20, 2010 6:06:05 PM

Athlon II x4 for $100
2GB of DDR2 RAM for $35
or
4GB of DDR2 RAM for $70
AM2+ motherboard for about $70


OR
PhenomIIx4 ~ $150
2GB of DDR3 ~ $45
or
4GB of DDR3 ~ $90
AM2+ or AM3 motherboard ~$110

You might need a new power supply if it is aging.


or
i5 or i7 860 (socket 1156) ~$200-$280
2GB of DDR3 ~ $45
or
4GB of DDR3 ~ $90
1156 socket ~$150

or i7 920 ~$279
3GB of DDR3 ~$70
or
6GB of DDR3 ~$120
1366 socket ~$170
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a b à CPUs
January 20, 2010 6:24:06 PM

jsdcnet said:
I've got an aging socket 939 setup so I need a new mobo, cpu & memory. The power supply, video card and hard drives are all fine. I'm thinking Intel quad core but the whole core 2 quad/i5/i7 thing has me totally buffaloed. I mostly do electronic music production using pro audio software like Cubase, Acid, software instruments, etc. I do like to play Team Fortress 2 but super high end gaming is not a requirement. I need at least one PCI slot due to my pro audio sound card. I'm on WinXP 32 bit due to most of the pro music software being optimized for that platform.

I've got $500 to spend. What would you get?


At your price point right now you are in the high i5 or PII 955 range or maybe the LGA 1156 socket i7. i7 or i5 is most likely your best bet.

i7 setup $491:
cpu & motherboard combo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
4GB ram: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

i5 setup $414:
cpu & motherboard combo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
4GB ram: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I would go with the i7 setup. If you had about $50-$100 more you could go with the i7 with the LGA 1366 socket.
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a b à CPUs
January 20, 2010 6:31:50 PM

Hmm... only problem recommending 4(+) GBs of ram is that the OP sounds like there going to use the 32 Bit XP. 32 bit can only use like 3GB to 3.5 GB of ram.


@ OP: Can you give us your current spec of the computer you currently have? this will help us figure out what you can reuse.
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January 20, 2010 9:19:40 PM

warmon6 said:
Hmm... only problem recommending 4(+) GBs of ram is that the OP sounds like there going to use the 32 Bit XP. 32 bit can only use like 3GB to 3.5 GB of ram.


@ OP: Can you give us your current spec of the computer you currently have? this will help us figure out what you can reuse.


Current system:
Asus A8N-SLI mobo
Athlon 64 X2 4200+
2GB OCZ PC3200 RAM
Radeon 4850
3xSATA hard disks

I forget what the power supply is... 550 or 650W i think.
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a c 133 à CPUs
January 20, 2010 10:18:09 PM

warmon6 said:
Hmm... only problem recommending 4(+) GBs of ram is that the OP sounds like there going to use the 32 Bit XP. 32 bit can only use like 3GB to 3.5 GB of ram.


This is true but buying a 2x2GB kit would allow for dual channel and would be cheaper than buying 1 2GB stick and a 1GB stick or 3 1GB sticks.

On the other hand, from my experience, windows xp doesn't benefit from more than 1GB. Hence I would get:

Keep your power supply, hard drives and radeon 4850 (better than my card and I'm a gamer).
About $300 after shipping:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If the drive windows is on is more than 2 years old an upgrade would do you some good. Western digital 500GB for about $60
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