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Upgrading core components

Last response: in Systems
September 14, 2010 11:24:03 PM

Its about that time to do some upgrading. I think current builds are about 2 1/2 years old. I always upgrade 2 pc's, 1 for me and 1 for my wife or she gets jealous.
Currently we have Intel E8400's on Gigabyte P35-DS3L boards. 4 gigs of ram. Single Radeon 4800 series cards and Win XP home. We play games at 1680 x 1050 resolution.

Things I would like to keep:
-- DvD/CD drive
-- 250GB Hard Drives SATA
-- Mice, keyboards and 22" monitors are fine
-- Onboard sound has been great so far
-- Power Supply is currently 650w from a known brand (just can't get to it at the moment to identify)

Things to upgrade:
>> Win Xp - Windows 7 for sure but is there a reason to get OEm vs full version besides price? I'm just use to having XP full since it came out and have installed it countless times over the years.

>> CPU -- Price is not really an issue but I'm a practical person. If an i5 750 will do the job for most games then I'm all for it. I kinda abandoned AMD a couple of chips ago so Intel would be my choice.

>> Motherboard - So many to choose from. I don't need bells and whistles so just the basic needs from a strong company. I have had both Asus and Gigabyte products before.

>> Case -- Normally I would keep the case but they really look ragged and made by ... who knows!? I saw Cooler Master cases but I need the top flat and smooth for settin' stuff on.(These cases are really old so with a new one do the standoff screws for the mobo come with it or is it seperate purchase?)

>> GPU -- Not sure really where these are at now. I see 460gtx and 5800 here and there so up to suggestions.

>> RAM -- Whatever is supported by the motherboard. 4 or 6? I'm not sure what Win 7 needs

I think thats about it. We have never overclocked but if a program did some minor adjustments on stock sinks I would try it. If it matters heat can be an issue, this area of the house really gets hot in the summer.

I know if I perused the forums long enough I could get up to speed and find what I need but I have really been working alot so free time is short at the moment.

Thank you to any able to give suggestions. We prefer buying from Newegg also.
September 14, 2010 11:58:26 PM

If money is no object, perhaps.

You could get LARGE performance boosts just overclocking those Wolfdales though.

3.0Ghz -> 3.6Ghz is usually nothing. You might need a better CPU cooler and your RAM might need some tweaking.

Win 7 OEM is only really good for one motherboard. Full version let's you install on future motherboards as well. I think MS currently has a "family pack" that may be of interest.

CPU. Sandybridge is coming out on a new platform soon. Hold off until then. The extended turbo function is going to dominate and then you can build on a new LGA 1155 board that will have some longevity. See the article at Anandtech

If your RAM is decent I can walk you through a simple overclock on those Wolfdales easily. It is not a difficult CPU to OC, given a good board.