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When will it be time to upgrade?

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March 27, 2010 3:04:07 PM

I put down about $2000 two years ago to purchase the gaming computer I have now. Bought all the parts from Newegg, self-build. Cheap and easy. Anyways, I stopped paying attention to new computer parts about three months after I bought it and have just been playing games on it without really paying attention to the technical side of things. I've noticed now, of course, that some newer games I can't run at full highest settings with AA without lag ;) . So I'm basically just asking, what should I upgrade first? Is an upgrade necessary yet? I don't want my computer getting completely outdated. So here we go:

Monitor: Samsung 2232BW 22" (1680x1050) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
RAM: 4GB Crucial http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Processor: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6660 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (usually have it OC'ed to 3.0GHz)
Graphics Card: XFX GeForce 8800GTS 512MB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Power Supply: CORSAIR CMPSU-550VX 550W http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS3L http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Sound Card: Creative X-Fi XtremeGamer http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Case (in case it matters): Antec 900 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I don't want to have to spend a ton of money if possible, maybe just sell some parts and there not be too big of a gap for an upgrade. Thank you in advance for any advice :D !

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a b B Homebuilt system
March 27, 2010 4:37:35 PM

For a cheapo upgrade look to hit a GTX 260/HD 4870 on the 2nd hand market ^^
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March 27, 2010 7:53:10 PM

You can sell your Q6600 on ebay for ~$160ish. I sold my B3 stepping 3 months ago and got $170. I bought a Q9550 at microcenter for $180.
I had my Q6600 @3ghz and my Q9550 @3.6ghz. The motherboard is limited by the fsb. I would just stick with your Q6600 and possibly try for 3.2ghz.

Upgrading your gpu is your best option to increase fps in games.
Depending on your budget I would pick up the Radeon 5850. You should see 2x performance if not more :) 
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March 27, 2010 9:04:44 PM

So the processor upgrade is not worth it at all? What if I just sell my motherboard too and upgrade that? Does upgrading to an i7 make sense?

And as for the GPU, what is the best venue to sell it through? Craigslist? eBay?
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 27, 2010 9:24:05 PM

+1 for more GPU. If gaming is your main concern, the Q will hold up for a while. It gets stood up by the i7 and i5, but is still more than competent unless you like spending money. If it's a G0, it should go beyond 3, and the gains keep coming. I also agree on a 5850, you could also go GTX470/480 now, but I haven't done much looking into those.
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March 27, 2010 10:38:47 PM

I was able to get $170 for my B3 Q6600 on ebay 3 months ago. I think you could get $250 for your cpu/mb/ram if sold separately.

Selling on forums (hardforums/overclock.net) has advantages since ebay/paypal take a cut of your profits. The downside is the items usually sell for less money.

If your looking for a cheap upgrade I would just update the graphics...but if your willing to spend the money go i7. Do you have a budget in mind?
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 28, 2010 7:16:11 AM

The cheapest upgrade is the graphic card. From Nvidia 260gtx and from Ati 4870,4890 or with the 5850.
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 28, 2010 7:51:13 AM

Yeah, replacing the CPU is not going to do nearly as much for the money as the GPU is. The Q6600 overclocked to that extent is as good as any other LGA775 processor you can buy out of the box.

Go for the 5850 if you have the budget, 5770 if not.
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