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Upgrading PC

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May 8, 2010 10:17:58 PM

Ok so i am currently running a slightly aged gaming rig which was built by me around 2 years ago.

Motherboard EVGA 122-CK-NF68
Process E6600 @ 3.0 GHz
2 x 8800 GTX SLI BFG Tech 0C2 Version
4 GB DDR2 Ram

I am looking to upgrade now as its starting to age i am noticing a drop in performance in gaming and was looking at my options.

So far i have been lead to believe that 2 x 8800 GTX will perform around the same as a 280 GTX and anything above this is around 400 pounds for a new Graphics card so i believe i will be sticking with those.

What i am now looking into is upgrading the Processor as im currently on a old Duo Core. I am on a student budget so i dont have tonnes to shell out on an upgrade right now so i was considering getting an Quad core that would fit into my current board such as an Intel Core 2 Quad Q9650, S775. Would that still be comparable to say the i5 720 quad core or would an i5 be considerably faster.

More about : upgrading

a b B Homebuilt system
May 9, 2010 12:00:10 AM

Unless you enjoy being in this situation where you'd have to buy a new motherboard or an older something that you hope is good enough (and really it should be in this case) you'd need to go AM3. Not upgrade to another dead-in-a-year socket.

But I'm not sure why the $200 limit on this current socket...
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a b B Homebuilt system
May 9, 2010 12:19:37 AM

False_Dmitry_II said:
Unless you enjoy being in this situation where you'd have to buy a new motherboard or an older something that you hope is good enough (and really it should be in this case) you'd need to go AM3. Not upgrade to another dead-in-a-year socket.

But I'm not sure why the $200 limit on this current socket...


Bit confused by your post... Anyways, if you get up to around $300 you could get an i7, even at $200 you can get an i5. It just doesn't seem to make sense to me to put so much money into a discontinued platform.

Edit: yes i realize the i's would require replacing the mobo and ram ;) 
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May 9, 2010 2:39:21 AM

jbakerlent said:
Welcome to the forum. I personally wouldn't spend over $200 on a new CPU for that socket, so here's my recommendation

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

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/50?vs=109

Don't know what site you are buying from or your budget, so it could change...

jbaker, you put the Q9400 as the recommended CPU but compared the i5 750 with the Q9550 which might be misleading as the Q9400 will perform weaker.
To the OP:
I think there is no worthy upgrade in the current motherboard since only multi threaded games such as far cry 2 have considerable benefit in terms of fps increase.
So I think the way to go is to have motherboard change as well. If you want to salvage your 4GB ram, the only way to go is to get a really cheap AMD AM2+/AM3 motherboard which allows even high end Phenom II's to be used with DDR2 RAMs.
Depending on how much you are willing to spend, you can get either the X4 955 or even the X4965BE.
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May 9, 2010 2:42:53 AM

jbakerlent said:
Welcome to the forum. I personally wouldn't spend over $200 on a new CPU for that socket, so here's my recommendation

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

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/50?vs=109

Don't know what site you are buying from or your budget, so it could change...

jbaker, you put the Q9400 as the recommended CPU but compared the i5 750 with the Q9550 which might be misleading as the Q9400 will perform weaker.
To the OP:
I think there is no worthy upgrade in the current motherboard since only multi threaded games such as far cry 2 have considerable benefit in terms of fps increase.

Edit: Sorry I spoke to soon. I re-read and saw you are considering a Q9650 which costs around $329.99. I think with this budget you can get a cheap AM2/AM3 motherboard and the X6 1090T ( re-using your 4GB DDR2 RAM ) which will perform better than the Q9650 in most games and you got an X6 and a new mobo to boot.

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May 9, 2010 2:51:46 PM

In all i would have around 400 - 500 to spend or so

If i went with the AMD II x6 1090T and an AMD motherboard with SLI then that would be the cheaper of the 2 options or would it be better to go for an i5 compatible board and with an i5 750 as i can just about afford to get that with a motherboard and ram. Id opt for that because it has around similar benchmarks to the i7 and it is going to save me around $200 - 300 over the i7 when the benchmarks show it it not that much better.

Which of the 2 would be more future proof as i do not want to upgrade it again for a while ideally and i am doing an computer games design course so im going to be using it for that kind of stuff mostly.

Also could any1 recommend any good motherboards that would be SLI compatible for my 2 8800 GTXs, for these i think if i go with the i5 then id get another EVGA board probably an 132-LF-E655-KR.
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a b B Homebuilt system
May 9, 2010 5:14:09 PM

No getting that AMD would be cheaper/better. And more future proof. The motherboard you'd get with an i5 will be obsolete next year when intel changes both of its sockets... again.

You'd probably want to go with a DDR3 motherboard though. And if you're after SLI specifically, you'll have to look at what boards that support that CPU. (and would be likely to support any other new stuff for the socket.) Generally we tell people to stay away from the nvidia AMD boards. But you don't have a heck of a lot of a choice here.
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May 9, 2010 5:41:41 PM

Why is it that you tell people to stay away from the nvidia amd boards then are they not that great ?
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May 11, 2010 5:16:34 PM

Any other advice on this ?
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May 12, 2010 9:51:22 AM

groedius said:
Why is it that you tell people to stay away from the nvidia amd boards then are they not that great ?

It depends. I myself have an nVidia amd board ( GF8200A ). It works fine and I am even able to make hybrid SLI with it but I wouldn't buy another one just because I now prefer ATI video Cards.
Since you already have 2 x 8800 video cards, it is sound decision to keep them since together they will still be a formidable.
Here is a good motherboard that can handle Phenom II X6 and SLI.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
More choices from here even as low as $99 SLI motherboard:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...
Pair it up with this and you are good to go:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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May 13, 2010 10:56:01 AM

Ok so looking through all the options and i have come up

£480
6GB (3x2GB) Corsair XMS3, DDR3 PC3-12800 (1600) Non-ECC Unbuffered, CAS 9-9-9-24, 1.65V
Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R, Intel X58, S1366, SLi/Xfire PCI-E 2.0, DDR3 2200/1333, SATA 6Gb/s, RAID, ATX
Intel Corei7 920 D0 SLBEJ Bloomfield 45nm, 2.66 GHz, QPI 4.8GT/s, 8MB Cache, 20x Ratio, 130W, Retail
Scythe Mugen 2

Or an AMD set up

£530
AMD Phenom II X6 Six Core 1090T
MSI NF980-G65
6GB (3x2GB) Corsair XMS3, DDR3 PC3-12800 (1600) Non-ECC Unbuffered, CAS 9-9-9-24, 1.65V
Scythe Mugen 2

I am probably leaning towards the intel i7 because it is cheaper and basically the same and i know that i wont have any trouble running my cards on that.
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a b B Homebuilt system
May 13, 2010 10:11:30 PM

AM3 is not triple channel. You'd have to get either 4 or 8 gigs.
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May 14, 2010 5:56:03 AM

groedius said:
Ok so looking through all the options and i have come up

£480
6GB (3x2GB) Corsair XMS3, DDR3 PC3-12800 (1600) Non-ECC Unbuffered, CAS 9-9-9-24, 1.65V
Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R, Intel X58, S1366, SLi/Xfire PCI-E 2.0, DDR3 2200/1333, SATA 6Gb/s, RAID, ATX
Intel Corei7 920 D0 SLBEJ Bloomfield 45nm, 2.66 GHz, QPI 4.8GT/s, 8MB Cache, 20x Ratio, 130W, Retail
Scythe Mugen 2

Or an AMD set up

£530
AMD Phenom II X6 Six Core 1090T
MSI NF980-G65
6GB (3x2GB) Corsair XMS3, DDR3 PC3-12800 (1600) Non-ECC Unbuffered, CAS 9-9-9-24, 1.65V
Scythe Mugen 2

I am probably leaning towards the intel i7 because it is cheaper and basically the same and i know that i wont have any trouble running my cards on that.

As Dmitry said, you can get just 4GB RAM ( 2x2GB ) for the AMD build and that should be enough. This should reduce the cost for the AMD build and may bring it up to par with the intel build you show. But the things is you will only have 4GB of RAM instead of 6GB.

If you can really get the Intel build at £480 with 6GB to boot, then go for it.
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May 14, 2010 11:13:57 AM

Yeah i can get the intel at that price and that would bring the AMD down to around the same price too.

I have decided i am going to go for the intel i7 now i am just going to look into the possibility of water cooling as my 8800 GTXs seem to run quite hot at around 80 C under full load.
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May 14, 2010 12:03:29 PM

Try to pick up a E8X00 series second hand, if you can secure one that will probably put you of upgrading for like 10 months, when ddr3 and mobos will be cheaper for intels latest platform, 1156.
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May 14, 2010 2:59:35 PM

Gedoe_ said:
Try to pick up a E8X00 series second hand, if you can secure one that will probably put you of upgrading for like 10 months, when ddr3 and mobos will be cheaper for intels latest platform, 1156.


Out of upgrading for 10 months when an E8X00 series will hardly be faster then my E6600 overclocked ... at the very least I would look at a quad core upgrade such as an Intel Core 2 QUAD Q9505 2.83GHZ
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a b B Homebuilt system
May 14, 2010 3:47:17 PM

Just a thought, but the 1090T offers no gaming improvement over the Phenom II X4 955/956 Black Edition processors. They're over $100 cheaper than the 1090T, so I would expect around 50 pounds less expensive?

The real question is, what sort of games are you playing and what performance are you getting? Depending on the game(s), you might be better off upgrading the graphics cards rather than the CPU.
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May 14, 2010 4:55:53 PM

coldsleep said:
Just a thought, but the 1090T offers no gaming improvement over the Phenom II X4 955/956 Black Edition processors. They're over $100 cheaper than the 1090T, so I would expect around 50 pounds less expensive?

The real question is, what sort of games are you playing and what performance are you getting? Depending on the game(s), you might be better off upgrading the graphics cards rather than the CPU.


Ok well i am playing some of the newest games out there and i know its not my GPU I am 99 % sure i am been bottlenecked by my CPU and RAM. I only have 2 GB of RAM i was told for the 2 8800 GTX and to run windows i should use 6 GB of RAM. On top of that i have an old C2D e6600 which is at 2.2 ghz and in the benchmarkings the new i7s kill it several times over. Ive seen a test set up on an i7 system using 2 x 8800 GTX and they used those and then an 280 GTX and the 8800s outperformed it in 3d mark vantage.
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a b B Homebuilt system
May 14, 2010 5:52:19 PM

You definitely don't need 6 gigs of RAM.

If it's gaming you're after a phenom II 955 would be a better idea.

You just need to have enough of a CPU to allow the graphics cards to do its thing. And that would be enough.
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a b B Homebuilt system
May 14, 2010 6:34:17 PM

In your original post, you said you had 4 GB of RAM. 2 GB is probably less than you want, 4 GB is all you need for gaming these days. 6 GB is unnecessary for gaming unless you're using something on socket 1366.

What resolution are you gaming at? That's another important piece of information.

Some games are more dependent on the CPU (Starcraft 2, other RTS games), others are much more dependent on the GPU. You're right, 2x 8800s in SLi should be adequate for many titles, but again, it really depends on the title. While it's possible that your CPU is holding you back, I would suggest that upgrading to an i7-930 or a 1090T is not cost-effective. As I've said and False Dmitry said, a Phenom II X4 or an i5-750 would be a much better choice for a gaming build. If you plan on doing a lot of video or audio editing, then you might look at the 1090T or the i7s.
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May 14, 2010 7:01:11 PM

Ill be plaining on doing a lot of gaming and games making and such as thats what i am doing at University. I was looking into the costs and the i5 750 with an SLI board will cost about the same as the I7 with an SLI motherboard so really there is very little difference in cost about 10 pounds in it .... I am gaming on my on Samsung 24 inch screen at 1920 x 1080 and also the I7 is socket 1336 hence why i was looking at 6 GB my friend said that I would need around 4 GB for the system and then because my 2 video cards between them have 2 gb memory i should have 2gb of RAM for that aswell for better performance. Games i usually run is Starcraft, diablo and those sorts of strategy games mainly and RPGs.
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a b B Homebuilt system
May 15, 2010 1:58:47 AM

"and then because my 2 video cards between them have 2 gb memory i should have 2gb of RAM for that aswell for better performance."

That just sounds stupid. You really do only need 4 gigs. How would more system memory use video card memory better or make them magically faster??
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May 15, 2010 10:22:23 AM

Im not exactly sure it was what i heard from a friend he told me that it would make it run faster because there would be more RAM for the video card to use if it wont make any difference then ill go with 4 gb of RAM.
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May 15, 2010 12:29:09 PM

groedius said:
Games i usually run is Starcraft, diablo and those sorts of strategy games mainly and RPGs.

Those are very old titles and your rig already got more than what is needed for those. Startcraft don't even support resolution beyond 1024x768, does it?
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May 15, 2010 12:52:39 PM

randomkid said:
Those are very old titles and your rig already got more than what is needed for those. Startcraft don't even support resolution beyond 1024x768, does it?


The old starcraft does not but starcraft 2 is coming out soon aswell as diablo 3 and i dont seem to be able to get that great graphics on oblivion either. I also play other games such as DOW 2, and other new games such as Supreme commander 2
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May 15, 2010 1:08:12 PM

Aha, we are both waiting for the Starcraft 2. Sad that it is taking Blizzard forever to release it. I built my PC in 2008 anticipating it will come in 2009 but it was pushed back to 2010.

Back to your dilemma, I think its pretty much settled that if you could find the L480 i7 rig as you stated earlier. You should go for it. And yes, you can save some money too by getting just 4GB or DDR3 RAM instead of 6GB.
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May 15, 2010 1:44:47 PM

Ok i am going to put my order in for my i7, Motherboard and 4 GB RAM today should hopefully have it up and running Wednesday just need to try get a cheap copy of windows 7 64 bit now from somewhere ... I will probably hang onto my 2 cards as GPUs do not seem to be getting a hell of alot better right now and i know the new ATI cards come out next year so maybe around then i could grab a bargain on an upgrade for those.
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May 16, 2010 1:38:35 AM

groedius said:
Ok i am going to put my order in for my i7, Motherboard and 4 GB RAM today should hopefully have it up and running Wednesday just need to try get a cheap copy of windows 7 64 bit now from somewhere ... I will probably hang onto my 2 cards as GPUs do not seem to be getting a hell of alot better right now and i know the new ATI cards come out next year so maybe around then i could grab a bargain on an upgrade for those.

The 2x8800GTX in SLI is decent as they are to handle all your 1920x1080 gaming at high setting so it will be good to squeeze the life out of it before you invest in another video card.
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May 17, 2010 6:17:59 PM

Found this for 500 quid

Intel Core i7 920 QUAD Core CPU Nehalem - Socket LGA1366

Scythe Mugen 2 Rev.B CPU Cooler

Asus P6X58D-E Intel X58Motherboard

Corsair XMS3 6GB DDR3 1600MHz RAM

So i think i will be making my order for that as it looks really good :D .

Also 1 other thing i was worried about is my 8800 GTX are dual card slots so in slots 1 and 2 on this board they would be basically touching each other would this not make them run too hot ?
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a b B Homebuilt system
May 18, 2010 5:31:36 AM

You can always add more fans/ change case to optimise airflow. As long as they actually vent out the back that'll help too. Just check temps. It shouldn't make them overheat though.
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May 18, 2010 10:27:28 AM

False_Dmitry_II said:
You can always add more fans/ change case to optimise airflow. As long as they actually vent out the back that'll help too. Just check temps. It shouldn't make them overheat though.


Well I already have an enermax full tower case so i dont think i can get a bigger case to help with airflow i have a sidefan aswell so i should be mostly ok for airflow maybe add another fan or 2 although I dont really have another 150 to spend on another full tower lol.
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a b B Homebuilt system
May 18, 2010 9:06:55 PM

Then it should prolly be fine.
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