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Help Upgrading - CPU/RAM/MB Combo

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August 17, 2010 11:46:28 PM

Hi everyone,

I've recently been noticing that my PC doesnt meet my needs (newest games aren't running well and some photo apps take a bit long to execute certain tasks). Since I've used Tom's hardware for all my previously builds, I'm hoping to get everyone's expert help again in upgrading my PC in the next few weeks. I think I'll target the CPU, Motherboard and RAM for this upgrade and potentially my GPU sometime in the future...

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: 2 - 3 weeks (thinking labor day sale on Newegg)

BUDGET RANGE: ~$500

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, Photoshop, Video Encoding, everything else...

CURRENT SYSTEM:
Core2Duo E6600 @2.4Ghz
ASUS P5B Deluxe
NVIDIA GeForce 8800GTS
2GB RAM (forget what type)
3 x 320GB Barracuda 7200.10 SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drives
2 x DVD-RW Drives

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg

LOCATION: US

OVERCLOCKING: No

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION: I might get a new monitor running 1920x1080, but right now I've got 1680x1050

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:
I'd prefer Intel but could be convinced to go AMD. Also, I know I probably could add more memory to get a speed increase but that wouldn't be as much fun :) 

Thanks for all your help!
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
August 17, 2010 11:50:16 PM

PSU please, brand and model.
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August 17, 2010 11:54:34 PM

Here is some additional info (found using Newegg order history):
CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TWIN2X2048-6400

Antec TRUEPOWERII TPII-550 550W ATX12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready Power Supply

Thanks again!
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August 18, 2010 2:29:34 AM

DDR3 is faster, lower voltage, and ~8$ more expensive. Not to mention DDR2 is kinda dead.
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August 18, 2010 2:49:36 AM

Sell the 8800 and get a $300-$400 DX11 video card.
Based on your priorities as listed this will yield the best results.
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a c 113 B Homebuilt system
August 18, 2010 2:59:31 AM

If you upgrade the GPU you will need to upgrade the PSU possibly also. The TPII-550 is good for about 35A brand new, but that was 4 years ago.
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August 18, 2010 3:04:18 AM

Yea - my PC is about 4 years old so I wouldn't mind investing some more into it if needed. If I up the total to around 650, what would you recommend (assume I would include a new PSU with new limit)
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August 18, 2010 3:21:13 AM

No overclock, and no SLI/Xfire. The 8800 already uses quite a bit of power.
The 550 watt Antec is a decent unit.
A 5850 or GTX470 should run fine with what you have.
It would be better to have a faster base system, but... for now that's what I would do.
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a c 113 B Homebuilt system
August 18, 2010 3:49:09 AM

They only last so long but on the bright side it's got good protections. Use it until you can't or get mysterious instability.

Switch from the SLI/Crossfire board I used earlier to this one:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
You loose a few features but that will get you enough room to fit a GTX 460 1GB or 5850 into the build. I would try to avoid the GTX 470 though as it pulls quite a bit more power
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August 18, 2010 12:18:57 PM

Proximon said:
They only last so long but on the bright side it's got good protections. Use it until you can't or get mysterious instability.

Switch from the SLI/Crossfire board I used earlier to this one:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
You loose a few features but that will get you enough room to fit a GTX 460 1GB or 5850 into the build. I would try to avoid the GTX 470 though as it pulls quite a bit more power


Can you send me that link again? Seems to be taking me to the Core i5 site :) 

Thanks again for your help.
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a b B Homebuilt system
August 18, 2010 12:20:05 PM

sp12 said:
DDR3 is faster, lower voltage, and ~8$ more expensive. Not to mention DDR2 is kinda dead.


DDR3 isn't really faster. Maybe 1-2% and only in benchmarks. DDR2 800 is roughly equal to DDR3 1333 and DDR2 1066 to DDR3 1600.

http://ixbtlabs.com/articles3/cpu/ddr2-800-vs-ddr3-1333...

And his problems in games are mainly because of the video card, a GTS 8800 can't cope with the new games.

Anyway:

GIGABYTE GA-870A-UD3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
AMD Phenom II X4 955 + XFX HD-585X-ZAFC Radeon HD 5850
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

$639.96

If you want to add a second card later you can get the Gigabyte GA-890XA-UD3.











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August 18, 2010 12:33:41 PM

I started out thinking $500 for CPU/RAM?MB and now I'm contemplating a major overhaul including graphics card... How does this always happen? :D 
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August 18, 2010 4:14:02 PM

Think I have decided to go with the following for now & upgrade GPU in 6 months (or if i have any issues before then). Overall, I agree the GPU will give me the most impact for games but I do a lot of other things on the PC and i think the CPU upgrade will give me the most overall improvement for now (plus i can't go crazy with the upgrade).

Since I only plan to use 1 graphics card in the future, what do you think of the choices below?

RAM & MB COMBO:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

CPU:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Any compatibility issues / changes?
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August 21, 2010 3:05:38 AM

mrkoolaid said:
... what do you think of the choices below?...

Pointless given the results you want.
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a c 113 B Homebuilt system
August 21, 2010 4:33:41 AM

Those are good parts and it's a fine upgrade. What Newf is trying to say I think is that your GPU will still be holding you back, but you know that.
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a b B Homebuilt system
August 21, 2010 6:10:25 AM

This combo: $523.99 (503.99 afer rebates)

AMD Athlon II X3 445 Rana 3.1GHz Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Desktop Processor ADX445WFGMBOX
MSI NF980-G65 AM3 NVIDIA nForce 980a SLI HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL
COOLER MASTER NV 690 NV-690C-KWN2-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Rosewill Green Series RG700-S12 700W Continuous @40°C,80 PLUS Certified,Single 12V Rail,Active PFC"Compatible with Core i7, ...
Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST31000528AS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

This graphics card: $219 on sale
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$744.
724 after rebates.
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!