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To upgrade or not to upgrade...

Last response: in CPUs
August 24, 2010 1:23:37 PM

Hi guys

I presently have the following configuration:-

Asus P5W-DH Deluxe
Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHz
2 x 1GB memory
Barracuda 7200.10 SATA 3.0Gb/s 300-GB Hard Drive
GeForce 9600GT

I imagine that an upgrade to an i5 or i7 processor, with 3-6 GB memory (I've purchased Windows 7 64 bit) and a new GPU will make a difference. However, I don't know how drastic a difference it will be, and I understand that a new Intel platform is around the corner.

I use the system for games (WoW - until Old Republic arrives) and internet/email. I plan to start doing some basic photo and video editing soon.

Is now the time to upgrade? I haven't noticed any major system slowdown, although WoW is sluggish in high-traffic areas like cities.


More about : upgrade upgrade

a b à CPUs
August 24, 2010 1:28:36 PM

Yes and No.

If you go for an i5/i7 config with a good GPU then it would serve you fine for the next 3 years. Then again, the Sandy Bridge is coming at the end of the year. Nothing official is out, but its on its way. So if the Pcis serving you well and you are satisfied with it keep it for a while, overclock a little and then let it go.

What you can do is get a new card and PSU which you can use with your new config as well.
August 24, 2010 1:31:13 PM

Many thanks for this. Would the card (say, a 5850) make a significant difference? I plan, with the Windows 7 install, to increase the amount of memory also.
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a c 158 à CPUs
August 24, 2010 1:31:15 PM

Hi newcomer and welcome to the Tom's hardware forum.

Well u can upgrade the rig but bear in mind that the only thing that u can keep from the old rig is the HD. U need new mobo, RAM, CPU, GPU and maybe a new PSU.
August 24, 2010 1:35:04 PM

Thanks, saint19. I'd figured that a CPU switch would necessitate an upgrade of everything else.

It seems, from what hellstorm said, that a GPU upgrade would be a good idea in the interim. The PSU is fine - I have a PC Power & Cooling 850W in there, which is overkill I realise, but I purchased it with future-proofing in mind.
a c 158 à CPUs
August 24, 2010 1:55:39 PM

Yeah, that PSU is more that enough even support a Crossfire.
a c 158 à CPUs
August 24, 2010 1:59:18 PM

DDR2-8500 isn't the most faster DDR2 RAM u can find DDR2-1200 but is more expensive that DDR3. and u won't see any big difference between 6400 or 8500.

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a b à CPUs
August 24, 2010 2:00:09 PM

If you want a general estimate of the difference look at these 2:

fyi, 8800 is slightly stronger than 9600.

i7 920 vs your cpu. So as showed, there will be quite a big difference, as there will be with upgrading the RAM to atleast 4 gigs. However a better idea would be to get as much out of it for a few months, like OC everything, maybe put a little extra RAM in there, and wait for Sandy Bridge and Bulldozer to come out. That will get you a lot more performance than whats out now, and just for waiting a little bit. Obviously HDD's will get bigger, ssd's faster and cheaper, but those would happen after waiting for anything. Dont wait for things like that, you'll never get a computer, but it is a very good idea to wait for the 6xxx series, Thermi to finish its lineup, Bulldozer to start up, and Sandy Bridge to come out.
August 24, 2010 8:25:02 PM

Guys, thanks again (and ares1214, thanks so much for assisting with those comparison charts).
a b à CPUs
August 24, 2010 10:26:52 PM

No probelm, love that site. :) 
a b à CPUs
August 25, 2010 8:08:11 AM

Please let us know what you have decided. If you are getting a new GPU, I would suggest a GTX460 1GB now and another when you get you complete upgrade.
August 25, 2010 1:43:38 PM

Hello hell_storm2004!

Although I am still considering options at this stage, I believe I will be upgrading memory from 2GB to 4GB, acquiring a new HD for my Windows 7 install (I am eyeballing the VelociRaptor 150GB) and leaving the GPU alone until such time as I upgrade the CPU, motherboard and ram.

The ASUS forums suggest that a BIOS update may not be necessary for these changes, despite my BIOS revision being fairly old. We'll see I guess!
a b à CPUs
August 25, 2010 1:55:32 PM

Isn't 150GB too small? Velociraptors are nice HDD's. But try and get a bigger one.

As for the RAM's just make sure that they are of equal timings and frequency as your old RAM's. Otherwise you may have compatibility issues.

Save up and upgrade.
August 25, 2010 2:18:42 PM

Sorry guys, I should have been clearer. Malmental, you are absolutely right that my current drive will now be a secondary drive (storage), and the smaller 150GB drive will be for the OS and main programs.

I don't want to spend any more money on the HD than I have to, as I intend to upgrade to a SATA 6 drive when I rebuild.

Hell_storm2004, I will be replacing the ram altogether. Mine isn't particularly noteworthy, and Newegg has Corsair DDR2 ram listed relatively inexpensively.

Guys, thanks again for the feedback.
a b à CPUs
August 25, 2010 2:36:14 PM

The raptor is TERRIBLE. Its spins at 10000 rpm, so isnt the safest little thing, costs terribly high prices, and some HDD's tie it, and all SSD's blow it out of the water. Get a 60-100 gig SSD, that is easily the better thing to do. Although i still wouldnt recommend doing that until you upgrade GPU, RAM, and CPU, basically in that order.
a c 158 à CPUs
August 25, 2010 3:08:15 PM

^I disagree with u expect the SSD the Raptors are the most faster HD and the only one with SATA connections that run at 10000rpm
a b à CPUs
August 25, 2010 3:21:57 PM

SSD's are faster than raptors. The Samsung f3, and upcoming f4, are almost as fast as raptors. The raptors cost 3 times as much for a 7th of the capacity than the f3. The only reason the Raptor is faster is due to its 10000 rpm, and its SATA is 3 Gb/s like all the others, not that it can even touch it. Heres a comparison of ssd to raptor:

keep in mind that is also the best raptor there is, the 600 gig one.
a b à CPUs
August 25, 2010 3:28:45 PM

Theres a comparison of the raptor and F3. Of course the raptor will have lower access time due to 10,000 rpm, but it loses in the rest. Even if it is faster, it isnt fast enough to cost $1.2 a gigabyte, when the F3 cost $0.07 a gigabyte :lol: 
a c 158 à CPUs
August 25, 2010 3:34:38 PM

That's why I say except the SSD.

Yeah, the SSD's are much faster but with low space here are a comparison of the Raptor to other HD NOT SSD See here
a b à CPUs
August 25, 2010 3:41:46 PM

Well i just showed the same thing, but yeah. Im not arguing the Raptor isnt a little faster. Im arguing that if you are gonna spend $300 on an hdd for speed, you should definitely buy an SSD, no questions asked. The raptors occupy a space of bad value. Too expensive and too small to compete with normal HDD's for value, and too "slow" to compete with ssd's. To add on to that, you saw how close the F3 was. Considering the F3 is $70 for 1 TB, and the Raptor is $300 for 600 GB, i think its small boost in speed isnt worth the horrid price/GB. And if you want speed, go for a small boot drive ssd with a F3 for storage.
a c 158 à CPUs
August 25, 2010 3:47:47 PM

In that point I agree with u, the Raptor are very expensive per GB that other HD's more if u bear in mind that a RAID 5 with 3 F3 is around $225 and u get an amazing performance and some other features.

Obviously we can still writing in the thread without find an answer, so stop here with this and focus in the original thread ;)  but i'm still prefer the Raptor :lol: 
a b à CPUs
August 25, 2010 3:50:02 PM

Just out of curiosity why? You lose the value of the HDD, and the speed and safety of SSD. Its like an unhappy medium :lol:  . And this is part of the thread, lets just not get carried away :lol: 
a c 158 à CPUs
August 25, 2010 3:56:33 PM

1- Because few years ago I used some of this in a OC contest and performs amazing
2- For change my current Itachi HD that are a crap....:lol: 
3- I'm waiting to get 2 or 3 SSD but that is a high cost so for now I want the Raptor performance.
a b à CPUs
August 25, 2010 4:04:22 PM

Fair enough. However keep in mind, that was a few years ago, they arent a good buy now.
a c 158 à CPUs
August 25, 2010 4:08:14 PM

:lol:  I think so more if in my country cost 2 or 3 times that in the egg. :lol: 
August 25, 2010 4:23:46 PM

Hi guys

I've been following the thread, and I've looked at the benchmark comparisons between the Samsung, Raptor and also the WD Caviar Black. It seems to me that in balancing price and performance, the Samsung comes out ahead. On this basis, I am heading in that direction. Wish me luck!
a c 158 à CPUs
August 25, 2010 4:25:37 PM

^Good choice and u don't need luck since u build a balanced rig ;)  Enjoy it :) 
a b à CPUs
August 25, 2010 4:54:35 PM

Haha, if ya need anymore help, you know where to come! :) 
August 28, 2010 12:31:07 PM

Best answer selected by sdym.