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Core i series or older dual core series?

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April 13, 2010 11:30:02 AM

I'm looking to upgrade my pc in the latter part of this year, and am on a fairly tight budget.
At the moment I have a pretty old setup:
3.o ghz pentium 4 (single core)
2gb ddr2 ram
some cheap motherboard
Nvidia Geforce 7950 GT 512mb

I'm looking to upgrade at least the cpu and motherboard, and basically want to know whether I should go for the new core i series, which would of course require completely new ram, or just get a top end dual core like the E8400. My main use for this pc is gaming, so best bang for buck is my top priority.
So, do i get say an i5 660, new ddr3 ram and a new motherboard, or do i get say an E8400, a really good motherboard and possibly save alot of money?
I'm not wanting something that can play the latest games on full graphics at anything bigger than 1600x1200, but I do want to get the most out of my geforce 7950GT while it can still handle relatively recent games (like modern warfare 2).

Any advice would be very welcome!
April 13, 2010 11:32:23 AM

When your on a budget go AMD.
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April 13, 2010 11:35:52 AM

Stay away from socket 775, it's a dead end. Its successors socket 1156 for mainstream, 1366 for enthusiast are where to go now. For tighter budgets you will want to use AMD's socket AM3, by spending a little less on CPU/Mobo you can funnel the saved cash into a more powerful video card. Even a cheap AMD HD4670 (65$) will be faster than that 7950GT.
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April 13, 2010 12:21:19 PM

You should go either Core i5 750 and P55 (LGA1156) or AMD PII X4 955 (AM3)
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April 13, 2010 11:42:56 PM

thanks for the prompt reply guys. I can see that the newer i series or PIIs are the way to go, but it's just frustrating to have to spend so much money on new DDR3 Ram. Is there any other cpu/mobo combo that is compatible with ddr2? Getting say 4gb ddr3 would cost like an extra $140 or something-too much for me!
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April 14, 2010 12:17:05 AM

Yes you can go AM2+ it will support the new 6 core.
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April 14, 2010 1:04:59 AM

Have you checked to see if your current motherboard will support any of the dual cores? Even a Pentium D would be enough to max out your current video card.

Other than that I agree with the others suggesting an AM2+ setup for you. The amd 250 setup (255 maybe? I forget and am work) I picked up for my wifes pc is surprising nimble! It has me wanting to upgrade too and AMD pricing is hard to beat.
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April 14, 2010 1:18:04 AM

Also you could go with an Athlon II X3.
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April 14, 2010 3:02:58 AM

E8400 is way overpriced. go with AMD! the ahtlon II quad 600 series are good cpu's and they outperform the e8400. and they cost less! also if you want ddr2 memory get a 785 chipset or a 790fx.
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April 14, 2010 5:18:17 AM

Hmmm . . . so amd would be the way to go then-I know virtually nothing about amd-I'll have to do more research. How much impact do you think motherboards have on the overall handling of games? And which amd motherboards would you recommend if I was looking at getting say an Athlon II x3?
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April 14, 2010 10:46:23 AM

Any good quality ASUS, Gigabyte, etc. boards. Oh! And by the way AM2+ uses DDR2.
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April 14, 2010 11:25:15 AM

Yeah if you go for AM2+ and DDR2 then get Athlon II Quad 6xx CPU

edit - yeah or get one of the II X3 versions, pair it with some nice mobo and unlock the 4-th core;)
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April 14, 2010 12:03:07 PM

ok thanks alot guys-I think I'll do that-but I know NOTHING about unlocking cores-so isn't a bit risky for me to try? Can much go wrong? Also, do 4 cores make much of a difference with most games, as opposed to 2?
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April 14, 2010 7:36:05 PM

No if something goes wrong you can reset but be warned once the unlock is done the warranty is voided so you might what to get the AMD PII 720 since it's only OEM so it only as the 30 warranty from the store.
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April 16, 2010 6:13:30 AM

Done some more research-now my thinking is the following combo:
amd phenom II x4 955
asus m4a78lt-m-le
I reckon i could get these two parts for 220, which seems pretty reasonable . . . ?
Any recommendations for other ddr2 compatible motherboards? Most users seem to prefer asus to gigabyte.
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April 16, 2010 10:48:43 AM

Asus to Gigabyte thing is only preference...
Any standard to high end AM2+ boards will take DDR2
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April 23, 2010 5:42:50 AM

Best answer selected by rimogrom.
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