Help upgrade my computer

Hello,
My computer contains:
EVGA Nforce 680I SLI MB Motherboard
D-Core 2 Duo 2.13GHz E6400 2M Cache 1066 MHz Processor
PSP 1 GB DDR2 Low Latency PC-6400 AW108 Memory: SlotA0 has 1024MB and Slot A1 has 1024MB
Nvidia GeForce 8800GTS 512

I am planning to upgrade from Vista to Windows 7, and I would also like to increase my RAM. If the RAM I use is outdated which type of RAM should I ask to purchase when I go to the store? I would also like to get another hard drive to send fraps videos to. If the hard drive I have isn't that great then I think I should make this my secondary drive but if my hard drive is still decent then maybe I should just get a cheapy with decent space.

99% of my computer's use is for gaming. The problem is, I'm a good gamer and bad computer tech. It has been a little while and I'm worried my gear is starting to get outdated.

What do you think I should upgrade next and what would you upgrade to? Thank you for helping me upgrade my game machine.
3 answers Last reply
More about help upgrade computer
  1. I'd start with adding some RAM and OCing your processor
  2. Well, for gaming, your primary concern would be your graphic card. I'm assuming that your nVidia GeForce 8800GTS 512MB is G92 based, so, adding another card in SLI would give you between GTX 280 and 285 performance, which is enough to max quite a few games at moderate resolutions. The only place to get it would be from eBay or something similar. Otherwise, if you're willing to add a new card, you should probably get an ATi Radeon HD 5770 or 5850, which would be a decent upgrade to your 8800GTS G92.

    Then next you have the CPU - I'd either o/c the Core™ 2 Duo or get Core™ 2 Quad Q6600 and o/c it too. You can get Q6600s pretty cheap on eBay I believe.

    As far as RAM goes, it isn't oudated, PC2-6400 is still a decent speed for DDR2. I'd get a 2x2GB kit though, and with the 680i, it seems to prefer 2.1V+ RAM, just by looking at the RAM QVL. If you yourself want to have a look at it, here it is:

    http://www.evga.com/support/motherboard/

    After all the upgrades, you'd have something like this:
    Intel® Core™ 2 Quad Q6600 2.4GHz
    EVGA nForce 680i SLI Motherboard
    nVidia® GeForce™ 8800GTS 512MB in SLI or
    {Insert ATi card manufacturer here} Radeon HD 5770 or 5850
    Some random DDR2 kit.

    A system like that would be more than adequate to play max most of today's gaming titles.
  3. tl;dr: video card first 5770 to 5850, overclock if you are CPU limited, 2nd 8800GTX of you can find one cheap and SLI works on games you play.

    As Lmeow pointed out, focus on the GPU first, that is what will have the most noticeable impact on gaming per money spent, on top of that, attempt to overclock your CPU (2.8GHz on stock cooling should be a piece of cake) before throwing the towel on the core components (new CPU, mobo & RAM).

    Games tend to be single threaded, seldom few are double threaded and next to none are effectively multithreaded enough to justify a quad core over a cheaper, higher clocked dual core.

    Grabbing a 2nd hand 8800GTS would be the most cost effective way to go IF the game(s) you play have been blessed with SLI optimizations, otherwise, sell the 8800GTS and buy a modern GPU in the 5770-5850 range (or a 470 when nVidia manage to get those on the market, might require a new PSU).

    If you need storage, 1.5TB 5400RPM are cheap and will do the trick for frapsing to.
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