I'm looking to upgrade my build from 2007. I currently have the following hardware:
2 GB DDR2 1600 G. Skill Ram
8800 GTS Geforce GPU
Intel Core 2 4300E 1.8 GHz CPU
Arctic Freezer 7 Heatsink
Gigabye GA-965P-S3 Mobo
650 W Powersupply
What would you recommend to upgrade in order to improve this system's gaming potential. I would imagine the GPU and the Ram both need an upgrade. I currently have the CPU overclocked to 2.45 GHz and could probably take it higher with a better cooling system. With that OC and the Vcore reduced from 1.35 to 1.15 I am running core temperatures of around 70 C at load. I am trying to keep the ugrade under $350.
Total: $262 with XFire board
Total: $255 with USB/SATA III
That should leave enough for Windows 7 x64 allowing you to make use of 4gb RAM, unless you plan on reusing your windows xp in which case you have $100 to save towards a GPU.
The downside to this build is the fact you don't get a new GPU now, but on the brightside you are getting better technology and using a tri core CPU instead of dual (very helpful for gaming nowadays)so you are ready for the future. Get a good GPU when you can and a future upgrade in a couple of years to change the CPU to the new Bulldozer CPU and you have a system lasting you 5 years.
with the savings you're down to about 213 in your $350 budget, we can save even more with some Newegg combos.
But you should pick: either win 7 or a graphics card.
I was able to throw in combos and get the non SATA3/USB3 board and get windows 7 AND a GT240 graphics card, which is a lateral move on the card from your 8800 GTS. The 240 is a die-shrunk 9600GSO, so its about the same as your GTS, maybe a step down.
That's certainly a fine alternative, though if you are happy with rebates, while 1600mhz is not much differenct to 1333, it is also only $2 difference so I would go with the ones I linked (also, the latency was 7 instead of 9)
The board is a good point and I shuold have included one in that price range as an option - I had focused on boards more future friendly so that there will be no need to replace it. But, if XFire and USB/SATA III is no interest for the next few years then its a great option (I personally care little for either XFire or USB/SATA III so the $60 board would be perfect for someone like me)
After spending some time looking at newegg, I found that the ASRock mobo that was linked early supports core unlocking. I think I will probably go with that motherboard but I would still like a recommendation for a heatsink.