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Worth upgrading Pentium 4 to i5? (Or i7?!)

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October 13, 2010 5:15:41 PM

Hey,

I was wondering if anyone can advise... am considering upgrading my current desktop. Mostly this is prompted by it sounding like it’s about to take off the entire time, despite cleaning out the fans. I know I could buy a new fan but it’s getting dated now anyway.

Mainly use computer for the usual office and surfing functions, including youtube etc. Sometimes stream sports etc online. Biggest use however is gaming. In particular:

WoW (I hear relies more on CPU speed than graphics card?)
LOTRO (graphics heavy)
Football Manager 2010 (processor heavy)
Half-Life 2 & Bioshock 1 (will probably get Bioshock 2 at some point)

I like playing games, especially the mmo’s, with everything maxed. Football manager with a very large set of nations and leagues selected (50-60).

Current set-up: (about 5 years old)

-Dell Dimension DIM5000 Pentium 4 3.2ghz (Not sure but THINK fsb = 800; THINK L2 cache = 1mb?)
-3gb ddr3 ram (2 x 1gb; 2 x 512 – unsure of bus speed) Thinking about it, it might even be ddr2
-Nvidia GeForce 7600 GT (added couple of years ago)
-160gb SATA hd 7200rpm
-XP sp3
-I use a belkin usb wireless connector to connect to wireless to play the MMOs.

I’m looking at the following spec from Dell and have a few questions (see below):


Intel® Core™ i5 Processor 750 (2.66GHz, 8MB) - Alienware
Windows® 7 Home Premium 64bit
ATI® Radeon™ HD 5870 graphics card
8192MB (4x2GB) 1333MHz DDR3 Dual channel memory
750GB (7200rpm) Serial ATA/100 Hard Drive with 16MB DataBurst™ cache
24X DVD+/- RW Optical Drive
Dell 1525 Wireless PCIe Network Card 802.11n
Dell Wireless 365 Bluetooth EUR
Alienware 19-in-1 Media card reader

1) Is it worth it – will I get a quiet system that allows me to play the games I like? Will there be a noticeable difference?

2) Should I get an i7? I hear it makes very little difference for WoW (my main game) and atm am thinking the extra cash doesn’t justify it. Will this processor be much better than my current one?

3) Is the hd5870 overkill? Should i just get hd 5770? Also will 5870 be louder than 5770?

4) Hard drive – dell also has an option of a 500gb sata but it doesn’t mention whether it is sata/100 or with 16md databurst as above. What do these things mean and do thy add significantly to performance?

5) Is it worth £10 to get a 24x dvd drive rather than the standard 16x? Again I have no real idea of the difference in quality or what this means

6) Is it worth paying £30 for the inbuilt wireless-n networking rather than just continuing to use my existing usb dongle thing?

Any help much appreciated – am a bit limited with advanced technology – cheers,

Mike
a c 103 à CPUs
October 13, 2010 6:32:58 PM

Firstly alienware is going to cost you way over the odds for what the rig actually is but its up to you whether you feel confident enough to build one yourself or not I guess,
**Sidenote, Dont play mmo's over a wireless dongle :p  hardwire it man

you would see a massive difference in performance on that system :) 
You'll get great performance on WoW/Lotro from a triplecore or quad running at ~3Ghz (Checkout the amd x3 435,440,445,450 reviews) with a 5770, the 5870 would be nice but a 5770 will handle anything wow throws your way
8Gb of ram is more than you'll need for gaming, get 4Gb of 1600Mhz instead
x24/x16 is just the speed of the dvd drive, x24 is faster is all, whether its worth £10 is your call
and I wouldn't pay for the wireless card as I stated before, gamers are hardwired hehe
P.S. whereabouts in uk are you?
Moto
a b à CPUs
October 13, 2010 7:16:30 PM

Not many people here will recommend an already made computer. Like said above, because of the cost versus performance. Another option is talking it to a local computer store you trust, and ask them if they will assemble the computer for you, if you provide the parts. It might cost you one or two hundred dollars, but it will still be way cheaper than an Alienware computer. Ideally, just read and take your time while building it yourself. It really isn't that difficult.
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October 13, 2010 7:50:46 PM

Mikey787878 said:
Hey,

I was wondering if anyone can advise... am considering upgrading my current desktop. Mostly this is prompted by it sounding like it’s about to take off the entire time, despite cleaning out the fans. I know I could buy a new fan but it’s getting dated now anyway.

Mainly use computer for the usual office and surfing functions, including youtube etc. Sometimes stream sports etc online. Biggest use however is gaming. In particular:

WoW (I hear relies more on CPU speed than graphics card?)
LOTRO (graphics heavy)
Football Manager 2010 (processor heavy)
Half-Life 2 & Bioshock 1 (will probably get Bioshock 2 at some point)

I like playing games, especially the mmo’s, with everything maxed. Football manager with a very large set of nations and leagues selected (50-60).

Current set-up: (about 5 years old)

-Dell Dimension DIM5000 Pentium 4 3.2ghz (Not sure but THINK fsb = 800; THINK L2 cache = 1mb?)
-3gb ddr3 ram (2 x 1gb; 2 x 512 – unsure of bus speed) Thinking about it, it might even be ddr2
-Nvidia GeForce 7600 GT (added couple of years ago)
-160gb SATA hd 7200rpm
-XP sp3
-I use a belkin usb wireless connector to connect to wireless to play the MMOs.

I’m looking at the following spec from Dell and have a few questions (see below):


Intel® Core™ i5 Processor 750 (2.66GHz, 8MB) - Alienware
Windows® 7 Home Premium 64bit
ATI® Radeon™ HD 5870 graphics card
8192MB (4x2GB) 1333MHz DDR3 Dual channel memory
750GB (7200rpm) Serial ATA/100 Hard Drive with 16MB DataBurst™ cache
24X DVD+/- RW Optical Drive
Dell 1525 Wireless PCIe Network Card 802.11n
Dell Wireless 365 Bluetooth EUR
Alienware 19-in-1 Media card reader

1) Is it worth it – will I get a quiet system that allows me to play the games I like? Will there be a noticeable difference?

2) Should I get an i7? I hear it makes very little difference for WoW (my main game) and atm am thinking the extra cash doesn’t justify it. Will this processor be much better than my current one?

3) Is the hd5870 overkill? Should i just get hd 5770? Also will 5870 be louder than 5770?

4) Hard drive – dell also has an option of a 500gb sata but it doesn’t mention whether it is sata/100 or with 16md databurst as above. What do these things mean and do thy add significantly to performance?

5) Is it worth £10 to get a 24x dvd drive rather than the standard 16x? Again I have no real idea of the difference in quality or what this means

6) Is it worth paying £30 for the inbuilt wireless-n networking rather than just continuing to use my existing usb dongle thing?

Any help much appreciated – am a bit limited with advanced technology – cheers,

Mike




not noticable.., there will be a huge difference..
i5 is perfect for gaming in budget.. i7 ofcourse is better, you have to see your pocket first..

both are good, again depends on your pocket, hd 5770 can allow you play games under descent settings, so no problem in that..

spend a little more and get 1tb harddisk.. 500gb is soon gonna be outrun in market.

yup definitely 24x is worth...

next question i don't really know...
a b à CPUs
October 13, 2010 8:00:31 PM

The i5 and i7 perform virtually the same in most programs, provided they are clocked the same. The extra memory channel really only shines in a server environment, where a lot of ram is being accessed.
October 13, 2010 9:05:11 PM

i5 7** = i7 base models

I wouldn't get a alienware... you could get a better system if you just build it yourself or have a local PC store build it for you.
October 14, 2010 12:15:56 AM

Hi all,

thanks for the replies

Moto - i'm in London but am a northerner really!

Does anyone have a link to a guide for self build = i'll at least have a read though worried about making expensive ,ostakes....is it going to involve soldering?

Also particularly liked the alienware because of the liquid cooling - one of the main things i wanted was a computer that is very quiet, even playing intensive games - is it possib;e to do this with a self build?

alsp a final question - it may not be possible to hardwire my net connection due to layout of house but my router and dongle are both "g" - would upgrading to "n" be worth it?
a c 103 à CPUs
October 14, 2010 6:18:16 AM

Quote * worried about making expensive ,ostakes**?? :p 
dont worry about making ,ostakes man hehe
This has plenty of guidance in it, and no, unless you get into some strange modding there's no soldering to worry about,
http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/288241-13-read-post...
and We're all here to help/hinder advise/laugh if you need it
I'm a Cumbrian living/existing in Notts but if you'd been closish I'd have offered a hand in person, not to worry.
Watercooling is easily possible on selfbuilds but require a good deal of maintenance and knowhow (not to mention confidence in your work :p )
plus a decent built W/c loop will cost you good money
unless you get a self-contained set up like the corsair H50/H70 or similar, relatively maintenance and worry free,
and finally yes, if you cant actually plug into the modem/router, upgrade your wireless to the best you can.
Moto
!