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Looking to modernize my system, need CPU and RAM rec's please

Last response: in CPUs
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December 28, 2010 12:03:08 AM

First, My specs:

  1. Operating System
  2. MS Windows XP Professional 32-bit SP2
  3. CPU
  4. AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ 39 °C
  5. Windsor 90nm Technology
  6. RAM
  7. 2.0GB Dual-Channel DDR2 @ 368MHz 5-5-5-15
  8. Motherboard
  9. Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd. M68M-S2P (Socket M2)
  10. Graphics
  11. Plug and Play Monitor on NVIDIA GeForce GTS 250
  12. Default Monitor on NVIDIA GeForce GTS 250
  13. 512MB GeForce GTS 250 (EVGA) 54 °C
  14. Hard Drives
  15. 250GB Seagate ST325082 4AS SCSI Disk Device (IDE) 44 °C
  16. 640GB Western Digital WDC WD64 00AAKS-00H2B SCSI Disk Device (IDE) 43 °C
  17. Optical Drives
  18. PHILIPS DVD8801


I have Windows 7 that I will be installing when I complete the hardware upgrades. When all is said and done, I want to have a 64-bit rig that will last me 2 - 3 years. My needs are not great - budget gets priority. The most intensive thing I ever do with the computer is play World of Warcraft.

I'm keeping the motherboard and graphics card, unless there would be issues with them in the upgrade. I've read Tom's recommended CPU's for November, but I have a hard time knowing what CPU will really meet my needs for a couple years. I have a feeling even a modern budget processor would be a huge improvement.

Would an AMD Phenom II x4 955/965/970 be overkill? They're slightly more than I wanted to spend, but I'd be willing to do it if worth the cost.

Also, since I'm looking to go 64-bit, Would I be wise to get some new RAM? If I read correctly, the motherboard supports "Dual Channel DDR2 1066" Does that mean DDR3 is not an option? If not, is a new motherboard that supports DDR3 a big enough upgrade to warrant purchasing?

I'm willing to spend up to roughly $200 for the total upgrades. Thank you for any help you can offer.

a b à CPUs
December 28, 2010 1:19:03 AM

^ I agree.
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a c 111 à CPUs
December 28, 2010 10:50:58 AM

I'm not seeing an over-whelming reason to key your new Win7 OS to an 'old tech' motherboard. Same with purchasing additional DDR2. Might be time to move on, and move up.

Asus M4A88T-M AM3 880G / AMD Athlon II X3 445 Rana: $145

Snag a kit of 2x2GB DDR3 on the mobo QVL list for around $45, and off yee go ...
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a b à CPUs
December 29, 2010 1:48:24 AM

Or, upgrade what you have and keep XP.
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January 5, 2011 12:18:11 AM

Best answer selected by apathos.
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