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Upgrade to 2010s

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Last response: in Systems
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July 9, 2010 10:48:37 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: this week (the closer the better)

BUDGET RANGE: 500 - 1000 before rebates

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: gaming (Starcraft II, Team Fortress II, new games yet to come out)

PARTS NOT REQUIRED:
PSU: ANTEC|NEOHE 550 550W RT
HDD: HD 1T|SAMSUNG HD103SJ 32M 7K, HD 500G|ST 7K 16M SATA2 ST3500630AS
DIS: Samsung TD260HD, ViewSonic VP930b 19"
OS: Windows 7 64bit

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: J&R, newegg.com

PARTS PREFERENCES: I've been considering an upgrade to i5/i7 and a 5850 but I am open to any good option.

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe, would prefer not to
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe, would prefer not to

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1200 AND 1280x1024 dual display

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:
System feels a bit sluggish in the 1920x1200 resolution, looking to get it back to speed. Here is what I am looking to replace. Am I correct that I will definitely need to get new memory ?

MB: GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS3L (Rev 1)
CPU: E6750
GPU: 8800GTS
MEM: 2x: 1Gx2|PATRIOT 240P PDC22G6400LLK (total 4GB)

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July 10, 2010 12:53:32 AM

Your E6750 is still a good cpu. I would upgrade the vga card first, and see how you do. Make the jump a couple of tiers, perhaps to the 5850 or GTX470 level. Both $300 cards.

To assess you options a bit better:
1) Run your games, but reduce the resolution and eye candy to a minimum. This will simulate what will happen if you upgrade to a stronger graphics card. If your FPS improves, it indicates that your cpu is capable of driving a stronger graphics card to higher levels of FPS.

2) Keeping your graphics resolution and settings the same, reduce your cpu power. Do this by removing the overclock, or by using windows power management to set a maximum cpu% of perhaps 70%. If your FPS drops significantly, it indicates that your current cpu is a limiting factor, and that a faster cpu would help.

The cheapest way to upgrade your cpu power is to sell the E6750 on e-bay, you should get about $50 for it. Then buy a E8600 for about $150-$200.

Unless your games are cpu bound and can use three or more cores, like FSX, then a strong duo is all you need.
I like the 32nm clarkdales. Get a H55 motherboard and use the integrated graphics for your small monitor, and the strong graphics card for the large gaming monitor. If you don't need a lot of expansion slots or sli, look at a mini atx motherboard; they should be a bit cheaper

.August 28 is supposed to bring some intel price cuts and new models. A i3-560 @3.3 for $138 for example. Google for details.

Any of the new motherboards will require DDR3 ram. Just plan on marketing the old ddr2 ram along with your cpu and graphics card. The mobo may not sell for much.
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July 10, 2010 4:35:07 PM


Thank you for your reply geofelt. Your suggestions on how to analyse the situation are excellent. I'm already running both games at lowered graphics settings so I'm pretty sure a new GPU will help. Will try throttling the CPU when I get a chance. I'm going to take your advice and start by upgrading the GPU to probably a 5850 since I know already that this will help my FPS and hold off on the motherboard upgrade until I can make sure it will actually have an impact.

The E8600 is selling for $289 on Newegg right now which seems like a lot, I'm thinking that is probably not a sensible upgrade at this stage. Do you agree ?
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July 10, 2010 7:13:08 PM

Seculus said:
Thank you for your reply geofelt. Your suggestions on how to analyse the situation are excellent. I'm already running both games at lowered graphics settings so I'm pretty sure a new GPU will help. Will try throttling the CPU when I get a chance. I'm going to take your advice and start by upgrading the GPU to probably a 5850 since I know already that this will help my FPS and hold off on the motherboard upgrade until I can make sure it will actually have an impact.

The E8600 is selling for $289 on Newegg right now which seems like a lot, I'm thinking that is probably not a sensible upgrade at this stage. Do you agree ?


I would not buy a E8600 new today. If you do, look to ebay.
In about 6 months Intel will launch "sandy bridge" 32nm cpu's with a better architecture. Wait if you can.
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July 13, 2010 12:05:17 AM

Best answer selected by Seculus.
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