I have a home built system based on an Intel 975XBX2 with E6400 Core 2 Processor, Radeon X1650 graphics, 2GB RAM, SATA RAID1, Antec P180 case, lots of effort spent on making it quiet, etc... When I built the system 3 years ago it was perfect for my needs and I spent about $2000 putting it together.
Now I'm considering going from XP to Windows 7 and I know the system won't be seeing any speed improvements with the OS upgrade.
Is this base system worth salvaging at this point? I want to know if processor, RAM, and/or Graphics card upgrades would be sufficient to get a few more years out of this system and make it run quickly on Windows 7.
I know a new i7 based system would be ideal but I'm alraedy putting one of those together to the tune of about $1500 and can't swing buying two of them, so I want to stretch the life of this one out as far as I can.
Performance may increase (usage wise) because of more caching and prefetch etc, but benchmarks will drop a little if anything (ignoring the first few weeks with that "fresh" install feeling etc)
You could overclock that CPU (raise the FSB to 1600/400 to get 3.2ghz) and get a new video card (GTS250 or 5770 etc) and pack the system with 8gb for a decent upgrade, otherwise you will have to do more drastic steps to get more performance (new motherboard, cpu, video etc)
Thanks for both of your replies. Would you say this is still a fairly viable system? I know it's not a stellar performer based on what could be bought for $1500 today, but it can still hold it's own on Windows 7, right?
JSC mentioned that my motherboard is three generations behind, so I suspect putting the fastest CPU that this motherboard will handle would be a waste of money??? Overclocking might be a better (and free) option.
If this were your system would you buy 8GB of RAM and a new Video Card or just leave it alone and see how long it takes to get frustrated with Windows 7? (I don't do any gaming, but I do mess with video and audio and I have very little patience for waiting on my computer to respond).