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New system or upgrade?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 27, 2009 9:05:31 PM

Is it worth upgrading my current system or is it time to build a new one?

My monitor is 21", though the system is also connected to my 46" flatscreen via HDMI cables.

Here is my current config:

Core2 Duo E6300 Dual Core Processor LGA775 Conroe 1.86GHZ 1066FSB 2MB Retail
Sapphire Radeon X1950 XT 625MHZ PCI-E 256MB GDDR3 Dual DVI-I HDCP HDTV Out VIVO OEM Video Card
Gigabyte GA-965P-S3 ATX LGA775 Conroe P965 DDR2 PCI-E16 3PCI-E1 3PCI SATA2 GBLAN Audio Motherboard
OCZ Gold XTC PC2-6400 2GB 2X1GB DDR2-800 CL5-5-5-12 240PIN DIMM Dual Channel Memory Kit
Coolermaster CAC-T05 Centurion 5 Aluminum ATX Tower Case 5X5.25 1X3.5 4X3.5INT SILVER-BLACK No PS
OCZ GameXStream 700W ATX12V 24PIN SLI Ready Active PFC ATX Power Supply 120MM Fan Black
Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro
Seagate Barracuda 7200 320GB SATA2 3GB/S 7200RPM 16MB Cache NCQ Hard Drive
1TB 7200 hard drive
Pioneer DVR-111D Black DVD-RW 16X6X16 DVD+RW 16X8X16 DL 8X IDE OEM DVD Burner
Sony Black 1.44MB 3.5IN Floppy Drive
Logitec X-530 speakers

I can probably OC my cpu to around 2.7 ghz (haven't done it for a while).

Was thinking about new RAM (4gb), new video card and Windows 7. I don't want to spend a lot, though if it is really worth it I can afford to. My issue is that there aren't many games coming out I absolutely need for the PC, so this system may be used primarily for titles that support mods (Dragon Age, Oblivion, Fallout 3 etc.).

Suggestions?

More about : system upgrade

December 27, 2009 10:39:27 PM

You should see what kind of overclock you can get out of your CPU before you make a decision. I have a somewhat similar system to you; 4 GB DDR2, C2D Conroe 2.66 ghz, and 8800 GT. My CPU overclocked to 3.4 ghz, and that extra speed is definitely noticeable. It's what makes this system still work 2 years after it was built, despite it being a 'lowly' dual-core. Even the more CPU intensive titles like TF2, DA: Origins, L4D, and Crysis [Warhead] still work great on this system. Hell, even GTA4 runs acceptably well, and that game is notorious for its CPU intensity. This is all at 1600x1200, btw.

If you can't get a good overclock, you may consider swapping your CPU to a higher speed quad core, such as this one. Yeah, it's a bit expensive considering its age and that the core i5-750 is in this same price point. It could save you the cost of building a brand new system, though, so it might be worth the investment after all.
December 28, 2009 12:32:01 AM

efeat said:
You should see what kind of overclock you can get out of your CPU before you make a decision. I have a somewhat similar system to you; 4 GB DDR2, C2D Conroe 2.66 ghz, and 8800 GT. My CPU overclocked to 3.4 ghz, and that extra speed is definitely noticeable. It's what makes this system still work 2 years after it was built, despite it being a 'lowly' dual-core. Even the more CPU intensive titles like TF2, DA: Origins, L4D, and Crysis [Warhead] still work great on this system. Hell, even GTA4 runs acceptably well, and that game is notorious for its CPU intensity. This is all at 1600x1200, btw.

If you can't get a good overclock, you may consider swapping your CPU to a higher speed quad core, such as this one. Yeah, it's a bit expensive considering its age and that the core i5-750 is in this same price point. It could save you the cost of building a brand new system, though, so it might be worth the investment after all.

As mentioned, I'll be able to get to around 2.7 ghz.
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December 28, 2009 3:23:37 AM

Decado1 said:
As mentioned, I'll be able to get to around 2.7 ghz.


You said you could probably get that high, not that it was the absolute max =P

Semantics aside, another option is you could buy a strong video card (since it sounds like you wanted something new anyway) for your current system. If the new card + your OCed CPU isn't giving enough performance, then you can build a system around the new GPU you bought.
December 28, 2009 4:12:57 AM

you don't more than 4 gigs memory ddr2 is expensive now and being phased out by ddr3 hold off on the memory for your next system new video card would be a good upgrade at the very least a 4770 or above for a 22" monitor get the best you can afford the ati radeon 5000 series have directx11 support so does windows7
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-310-5970,24...
a b U Graphics card
December 28, 2009 4:15:21 AM

Try to get a 5750 or better, the performance is leagues from the X1950XT.
a b U Graphics card
December 28, 2009 4:40:00 AM

I also suggest OCing the cpu and a better video card. The video card itself without ocing the cpu will be a strong upgrade. OCing the cpu will be even more noticeable and worthwhile.

Make that work for another 2 years and by then there will be more new cpus to choose from if you want to build a new system. The current high end cpus will be mid range in a couple of years anyway...
December 28, 2009 6:39:43 AM

Thanks.

Would it be worth upgrading the RAM to DDR3 (if I even can on my current mobo)? I have to replace the RAM if I upgrade since I can't find that ram any more around here.

Is DX11 going to be a big deal if you don't have a super high end machine? It's all well and good having a DX11 card...but it is it worth the price when, I assume, I can get a better performing DX10 card for less money?
a b U Graphics card
December 28, 2009 2:38:10 PM

Your motherboard wont support DDR3. I don't know where you live and I don't know anything about this site that I found but it has your ram very cheap:

http://www.theestore.net/product_info.php?language=en&c...

Here's some other sites that have your ram that you can choose from:

http://www.google.com/products/catalog?hl=en&source=hp&...

You have 4 dimm slots and you can add 2x1g to give you a total of 4gigs for the sweet spot.

I would get this card:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This OS:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you didn't mind spending a few extra bucks and putting your cpu on ebay to recover some of it back (and live in the US near a Microcenter):

http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

You will need to update your BIOS to the latest version before switching cpus.

You should be able to get about 50 bucks fairly fast from your old cpu making your new cpu 119.00 bucks + tax.

This will put your major overhaul for less than 450.00 and you can use this system easily for the next 4 years.

If you decide to keep your current cpu and OC then it will cost about 325.00. The extra 119 for the Q9550 Quad core cpu will add a couple of years of life to your system even after the 325.00 upgrades.

Since you are going Windows 7 I would stick with a dx11 card and the 5770 is a nice price/performance card to go with...





December 28, 2009 5:22:05 PM

Thanks for the advice. I think I'm going to just OC my CPU. If that doesn't work out well I'll replace it.

I'm going for the video card you suggested and Windows 7 Home. The RAM is still a problem. I can't find a 2gb stick in Canada. Does it have to be OCZ or can I use another PC2-6400 stick?

http://www.atic.ca/index.php?page=LongDesc&sku=34412
a b U Graphics card
December 28, 2009 5:37:19 PM

The manufacturer doesn't matter, as long as the timings are the same, if not the tighter stick will loosen its timings.
a b U Graphics card
December 28, 2009 7:39:26 PM

That's perfect, and yes I do mean that, for DDR2 it's usually x-x-x-xx.
Is the voltage the same? There should be no problem as the A-Data can run between 1.9V - 2.1V.
December 28, 2009 7:55:49 PM

How do you tell what the voltages are? I don't see that anywhere.
a b U Graphics card
December 29, 2009 2:10:26 AM

Its in the BIOS settings...
!