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Upgrading a quiet system for photography and gaming

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July 21, 2010 6:40:18 PM

Hi all,
I built my pc in 2007, and it's now getting a little slow and in need of an upgrade, especially since two of the RAM slots on my motherboard have stopped working - I'm worried it's the first signs of breaking down!

Thought I'd use the template I found in a sticky, so here goes:

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: 1-3 months, depending on cost

BUDGET RANGE: Cost is not such an issue, but I would like best value for money rather than the latest, shiny stuff

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Photo editing using Lightroom, CS4 etc, Gaming, Internet

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: I currently have, and would like to keep, the following:
Mouse, keyboard, speakers
Monitor Dell 2209WA
Windows 7 64 bit
PSU: Antec NeoPower 430W
3 hard drives
Network card
DVD player
Tower Antec Solo
RAM: 4 GB DDR2 800MHz/PC2-6400

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: www.ebuyer.com

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: UK

PARTS PREFERENCES: Intel for cpu

OVERCLOCKING: I've never overclocked anything, so not a necessity. If possible, it's a bonus

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1680x1050

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I'd like to upgrade the motherboard, which is an Asus P5B, and the processor, which is an Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 (1.86ghz), and the graphics card, which is a passively cooled XFX 7950GT ExTreme Edition 512MB.

When I originally built this system my focus was on best value for money, and on getting a PC that runs quietly, which is still my focus today. The sound of spinning fans drives me crazy! I do a little bit of gaming, but none of the more demanding games (I mostly stick to WoW, but I have problems even running that these days!) - however I do want a system that will last for a good 3 years.

Where I have the most trouble is when I am doing photo editing, as I will have several programs running at once, and my processor struggles to keep up.

It's been 3 years since I built this pc, and I'm completely out of touch with what's good or not! Your help and advice on what I should buy to replace the motherboard, processor and graphics card would be very much appreciated.

Oh, and a bonus question - If I replace the three components above, would I need to re-install Win7?

Thank you in advance!

Sunni

Anonymous
July 21, 2010 7:22:15 PM

Unfortunately, if you upgrade your motherboard and/or processor you will have to re-install Windows 7. :( 
Also, any current generation motherboard you upgrade to will use DDR3 memory, so you'll have to replace that.
One more thing that you might have to replace: the power supply. A mid range graphics card which is current, the ATI Radeon HD 5750, has a requirement of a 450W PSU. Seeing as you're not a heavy gamer, I wouldn't recommend getting a graphics card much more powerful than that but to last a few years playing WoW and maybe a few other games at medium settings you wouldn't really want anything less than that.
If you could tell me your budget (rough budget is fine) then I could recommend some parts for you based on that. Both the CPU and motherboard you listed look fine but depending on how much you have to spend, it might be better value for money to go down the AMD route.

P.S. It's good to see someone else from the UK on these forums :) 
July 21, 2010 7:39:15 PM

Anonymous said:
Unfortunately, if you upgrade your motherboard and/or processor you will have to re-install Windows 7. :( 
Also, any current generation motherboard you upgrade to will use DDR3 memory, so you'll have to replace that.
One more thing that you might have to replace: the power supply. A mid range graphics card which is current, the ATI Radeon HD 5750, has a requirement of a 450W PSU. Seeing as you're not a heavy gamer, I wouldn't recommend getting a graphics card much more powerful than that but to last a few years playing WoW and maybe a few other games at medium settings you wouldn't really want anything less than that.
If you could tell me your budget (rough budget is fine) then I could recommend some parts for you based on that. Both the CPU and motherboard you listed look fine but depending on how much you have to spend, it might be better value for money to go down the AMD route.

P.S. It's good to see someone else from the UK on these forums :) 


Hi Dangerman, and thank you for the response! Shame about having to re-install win7, but I guess it's a simple call to them to let me activate it on the new pc?
Hadn't thought about the RAM! How annoying, I just bought new ones - ah well, can't be helped!
My budget is roughly £500, and I'm a bit of an Intel fan so would rather avoid AMD :)  Passively cooled graphics card (if they still exist that is!) would be fantastic, but only if it will be a big improvement on my current card. I'd really like to play wow on full settings and with no stuttering :) 

So, not many from the UK on here? To all you Americans; I apologise for the funny spelling in the posts above! ;) 

Sunni
!