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Need upgrade advice

Last response: in CPUs
August 26, 2010 10:56:55 AM

I'am a semi-professional using multimedia programs like:

Premiere,Photoshop,Flash,Dreamweaver,After Effects, Illustrator, 3d max, avid, wavelab etc. I currently using a P4 3.2Mhz with 4GB DDR2 RAM 800Mhz,500 HD & 256mb VGA and my question is this:

Uprade 1 : Quad core 9500 Series + 4GB RAM (8GB Total) + Nvidia GT250 or

Upgrade 2: Intel I7 920 + new 12GB DDR3 + New Mobo + Nvidia 460

Upgrade 2 will cost extra 500 - 600 euro!!!

Is the perfomance between these 2 deserves the differnce?

**I'm not a game enthusiast but i guess i could play a "simple" FIFA soccer with any upgrade, or not?**

More about : upgrade advice

a b à CPUs
August 26, 2010 11:56:00 AM

Welcome to the forums!

Upgrade 3:

AMD Phenom II X6 1055T 2.8GHz Hexacore: $200
Gigabyte GA-880GA-UD3H: $110

16GB DDR3 (2x 8GB DDR3 1066 Kits): $340 ($170x2)
8GB DDR3 (2x 4GB DDR3 1333 Kits): $140 ($70x2) After MIR

Total: $450-650

For the workload you are looking at, the GPU is next to worthless and AMD's hexacore offerings offer exceptional performance for your $$.
The $200 1055T should have enough punch to keep you happy for quite some time and is also quite overclockable.

The onboard HD 4250 should be enough for basic gaming (with lowered system settings).
If you end up needing something more powerful, an $80 5670 will give you a significant boost in performance (you should not need anything more powerful for a football simulator ;) ).


Missed the part about buying in euros...
In that case, what are your preferd part sites?
I highly doubt your local prices match up with newegg ;) 
a b à CPUs
August 26, 2010 12:09:42 PM

I agree with outlw's suggestions, but there is no need to go with 16GB RAM, 8GB is more than enough
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a c 81 à CPUs
August 26, 2010 1:11:40 PM

The AM3 platform supports a 16GB max memory.. Going for a 2 x 8GB setup would leave two memory banks empty for no purpose.. I guess a 8GB (2 x 4GB) setup will be a good starting point.. That leaves room to add another 8GB if required.. Coming back to the setup discussion, both the i7 930 setup and the X6 1055T setup is good.. The AMD setup will work out less though.. The savings can be used to buy other critical components.. I'd recommend using a professioal video card such as the ATI FirePro V4800 instead of any mainstream video cards..
a b à CPUs
August 26, 2010 1:17:25 PM

Yeah i agree on the AMD hexa-core PC. Your programs will make good use of the CPU cores. And no need to go for 16GB. Get 8GB instead, it should be enough for your needs.
August 26, 2010 9:29:40 PM

Thank you for your replies. Unfortunately AMD Hexa option still not availiable here(Cyprus). Main reason i like the Intel CPU is that i arleady have an Intel mobo for upgrade 1 and upgrade 2 cost is not so far from the adviced amd option... You are right for prices though , noway we can match newegg, amazon etc...

This is what it would be my system after adding (in bold letters) the "low cost/upgrade 1" option
I think it will be more than ok for next 3-4 years, dont you think? Why spending $1600 for I7/DDR3 if in 3 years i will be able to buy better hardware right?

Samsung 24" B2430H
NEW-> Intel Core 2 Quad Q9505 $330
Zalman 9600 LED CPU Cooler
Coolemaster HAF932
Corsair 850W
Gigabyte P35-DS3L
4GB (2X2) 6400 Kingston RAM + NEW 4GB (2X2) 6400 Kingston RAM= 8GB $120
NEW -> Gainward Nvidia 250 GTS 1GB DDR3 $140
Samsung DVD/RW + Samsung DVD
Card Reader
HD2 Samsung 103SJ 1TB
NEW-> Asus Xonar STX Audio Card $210
Creative 5.1 T6600 Speakers
Total Upgrade Cost = $800/€600

Thanks again for your contribution
a c 81 à CPUs
August 27, 2010 5:02:21 AM

Many things don't make sense here.. It looks like you are trying to spend more behind unnecessary components such as -

1. You do not need a full tower.. An Antec 300 or CM 690 II Advanced will do fine..

2. The PSU is overkill.. The Antec EA650 watts is a more sensible option..

3. The sound card and the speaker setup do not match.. For your selected speakers, an Asus Xonar DX will suit more.. i.e. if you need a sound card.. Otherwise the onboard audio chip is potent enough..

4. For the CPU, i think you are refering to the Q9550.. Its the best LGA775 CPU available IMO.. You wont need that CPU cooler btw.. The CM Hyper 212+ is good enough..

The main pointer stays as, you can use your cash in getting more practical components..
August 27, 2010 12:30:30 PM

I needed a bigger/better case when i bought the corsair psu and decided a full tower was about time. Both case and cpu cooler was good deal. A great sound card is something i have always wanted and reviews say it makes a difference in sound quality but i guess you are right for the speakers point.... sadly i cant afford buying a better sound system(logitech monster?) now so i will stick to my onboard option. Indeed the CPU im looking at is Q9550.

Thanks for the info
a b à CPUs
August 27, 2010 5:04:58 PM

Your upgrade thoughts do not look bad.
I would however suggest looking into a Phenom II x4, AM3 motherboard and RAM.

Clock for clock, the Phenom II arch is nearly as fast as the Core 2, and quite a bit less expensive.
I would expect that you could locate an Phenom II 955 BE and motherboard for about the same price as a Q9550.
Not only will this give you a slightly faster CPU (which is much simpler to overclock), it will give you a platform that is compatible with x6 offerings and AMD's soon to be released new arch.
Most AM3 platforms also have decent IGP's, potentially saving you a bundle on the GPU (you may not need a new one).

As for the sound card, the Xonar STX is an excellent card IF you have a decent pair of headphones.
If not, it is massive overkill.
Look into the Xonar Dx (PCIe) or Xonar D1 (PCI).
Both are excellent sounding cards missing only the headphone amplifier.

If you have a preferred local parts site perhaps we could give you a hand finding the best value?
August 30, 2010 8:38:38 AM

My preferred local part site is Please use google translator as i think it doesnt support english. I also use + and ebay when i dont find a part locally. Many people recommend the amd option and im suprised a bit, you are right for price part, i can buy a Phenom X4 (945) and a decent mobo am3 for the about the same price of Q9550. Only con is that am3 mobo's needs new DDR3 ram(cant use my ddr2) but i guess it would makes quite difference in my pc perfomance. As for the sound card thing i have decided not to buy anything until i have the appropriate speakers and headphones so i will use my decent onboard chip option although as a metal fan i cant wait the momment i have a proper audio configuration! :) 
a b à CPUs
August 30, 2010 9:29:09 AM

Alright, here are a few ideas I have.

For 260€ (35€ less than a Q9550) you can get a faster Phenom II x4 965 BE and Gigabyte GA-MA785G-UD3H.
This motherboard uses DDR2 RAM so you can reuse what you currently have.
It is also compatible with the Phenom II x6 CPUs so you would have a further upgrade path.
The down side is that it probably will NOT be compatible with the next generation AMD CPU (which should be DDR3 only).

For 410€ you can get a PII 965, 4GB DDR3 and Gigabyte GA-MA785GT-UD3H.
This will give you the same performance as above and should keep support for future AMD CPUs.

Either setup will be faster at stock than a simple Q9550 upgrade and will allow for further upgrades (the Q9550 will not as Intel is no longer releasing S775 CPUs).
Both also have a decent IGP so you may not need a dedicated GPU for your gaming.
August 30, 2010 12:41:26 PM

Thanks outlw, your recomendations are very good and i can see my self now that amd option is a superb choice as well.

Thank you all for your thoughts , its all clearer now for me what to choose.