Upgrading a 2007 build

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.

Thanks in advance for the suggestions.
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  1. Assuming you have a Rev 3.3 board, and a recent enough BIOS according to this list:


    You could upgrade your C2D to E7500 2.93GHz $125:

    and your vid card to a $230 GTX 460 like:


    You don't mention what res you game at, or what else you do, so you might be better off with a quad from your mobo's supported cpu list and a less expensive, slightly slower ATI card. But I doubt it.

    You won't notice any improvement in gaming if you upgrade the speed of your memory, but depending on what's running on your PC and what games, you may gain something by adding more memory.
  2. I am always reluctant to spend money on old tech.
    Personally I would look to replace your core with new tech and the ability to upgrade further in future.

    With that in mind I would go with:

    Rana x3 440 (3.0ghz) - $75

    4gb 1600mhz DDR3 CL7 - $80 after rebate

    Asus 790 (XFire able) - $107

    Or, if you would rather have USB/SATA III instead of XFire
    Asus 870 - $100

    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.

    What resolution are you playing at?
  3. asteldn has a good start. I'd go with the AMD770 DDR3 board instead. If you don't need USB3 or SATA 3, it still uses DDR3 for only $60, saving $40 off asteldan's build.


    If you want USB3 and SATA3, there is a $75 version:

    If you get he $60 version, and the Rana 440 and RAM and its $215.

    you could save several upfront $ and a couple after rebate with this Mushkin DDR3 1333, at $77.99, the difference between 1333 and 1600 is around 1%:

    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.

    if you forgo getting windows at all, you can get a very nice video card, I saw a combo, th Rana 440 and a HD4870

    that with the Mushkin RAM,

    and the version of the 770 with DDR3, USB3, and SATA3

    comes to 346.86, shipped
  4. 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)
  5. Is there a motherboard I can buy that will allow me to unlock the 4th core on the Rana and supports DDR3 RAM? Also, can someone recommend a good cooling system for this CPU with the 4th core unlocked?

  6. 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.
  7. if you don't plan to overclock, the stock cooler will be fine, even with the 4th core unlocked (note, unlocking is not 100%, some x3s have a bad 4th core.)

    Everyone loves the Cooler Master Hyper 212 fan set, but this will probably be adequate:
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