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Upgrading from Core 2 Duo to i5

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Last response: in Systems
September 29, 2010 9:38:03 AM

Alright guys the current gaming computer that I have has been needing an upgrade. I have some money to spend but would like to stay within 1k.

Here are the things that I would like to upgrade:

CPU (quad core)
RAM (+2gb / +4gb) up to 6gb or 8gb depending on price and current setup
HDD (+1-2TB)

Here is what I currently have. I no longer play computer games (360, PS3, Wii) - so the video card does not need to be upgraded or any component needs to be selected to amplify frame rates, etc... I do however do some video encoding (1080p/720p) , and use as a media server/holder.

Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

ASUS P5Q Pro LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard

Intel e7300 core 2 duo 775

Video/Graphics Card:
SAPPHIRE 100245L Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX

Antec Neo Power 500 500W ATX12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready Modular Active PFC Power Supply

Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model 996587

Western Digital Caviar Blue WD6400AAKS 640GB
Western Digital Caviar Blue WD800JD 80GB 7200
Seagate 500gb

Optical Drive:
SAMSUNG 22X DVD±R DVD Burner Black SATA Model SH-S223Q LightScribe Support

Recommendations on particular setups, deals through Newegg?

More about : upgrading core duo

a b B Homebuilt system
September 29, 2010 10:22:37 AM

Is there a reason you aren't just putting in a quad? Your current system is ok for what you want. 4GBs of ram with a quad 9xxx should be fine for converting videos. Yes the i5/i7 would be faster but not sure its worth what you'd spend. Also because your 4850 is overkill for non gaming purposes you could sell it and use it to buy a lower power GPU saving you even more. I personally would sell the 4850 and E7xxx for whatever you can get, buy a new 5570 and Q9xxx and spend the $800+ on other new toys like monitors, keyboard, converting software, etc.
September 29, 2010 10:38:03 AM

I feel that I should upgrade to a newer platform of computing, but if adding a quad, ram, and larger HDD can do it, I'll entertain the idea. I have 2 22" monitors and decent mouse/keyboard. I could upgrade though...

I trans-encoded a 8gb movie last weekend and it took 13 hours to complete....

With the Ram dual-channel kit, can I purchase another dual-channel kit for 8gb?
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a b B Homebuilt system
September 29, 2010 10:48:03 AM

13hrs? From what to what are you transcoding? The only transcoding I really do is converting a 1.4GB .avi file to DVD. To do this AND burn it at 4x takes me just over 1hr. Yours is x8 as large, so I would think 8+ hrs would be enough. (unless you are using more advanced codecs or resolution.) My CPU is probably similar in performance to yours, an E6600.

You can certainly upgrade to something newer/better. I'd probably grab an AM3 board with a 1055T. 6 cores should make short work of those videos. Nothing wrong with going this route, more so if you have the $$$. ]

You can just grab another 2x2GB kit. You would then have 4x2GB for a total of 8GB. Just make sure you have a 64bit version of windows or it won't work.

I just looked and saw you do 1080 videos. Mine are considerable smaller so thats probably the difference.
September 29, 2010 1:50:03 PM


It is because of the 1080p. Usually I don't transcode files this large, but I would like the processing power to certainly make a dent in the overall time.

So to get this straight I would be fine with have two 2x2GB dual channel Ram kits? It would be very wise to stay with the same model correct?

The i5 and QX9XX are practically the same price, should I take the plunge and revamp everything, or would it be a waste of money?


I don't transcode files of this resolution often so upgrading to a newer/larger video card really isn't necessary - hopefully.
September 30, 2010 4:24:24 PM

So I'm deciding between these two: (Second component setup will be posted later)

Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 Yorkfield 2.83GHz 12MB L2 Cache LGA 775 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor

Will this processor turn my performance around? Like Night and Day changes? Or will it be subtle?

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory.

The RAM that I have is now discontinued. Will this be a good substitute to add up to 8GB? Also will this be compatible with my motherboard? The motherboard that I have says the memory standard is Dual-Channel. Will it be ok with 2 Dual-Channel kits?

Western Digital Caviar Black WD2001FASS 2TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5"

Total: $ 530 (Yay or Nay) ?
a b B Homebuilt system
September 30, 2010 4:28:50 PM

The quad will be faster for sure. I'm not sure how big of a difference it will make compared to "night and day". A quad with way more cache should be faster.

What are the timings on your current ram? The new ram is CL5, which might slow the rest of your computer down. Then again running four sticks you might need to move to CL5 anyways.
September 30, 2010 5:07:48 PM


Mushkin Enhanced



240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM

Tech Spec

4GB (2 x 2GB)

DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)

Cas Latency



Multi-channel Kit
Dual Channel Kit

Heat Spreader

a b B Homebuilt system
October 1, 2010 12:27:55 AM

They are both CL5 so you shold be ok. 5-5-5-15 or 18 is what I would manually set in your bios once the new sticks are in.