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Upgrading 2yr old system for birthday

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Last response: in Systems
October 4, 2010 5:37:43 PM

Hello all, I'm looking to upgrade my current rig to something better, but without spending a ridiculous amount of money (nothing above $800). I have been looking at going from DDR2 RAM to DDR3, which would mean replacing my mobo because it only accepts DDR2. Now, I'm curious how much of a performance difference that would make going from DDR2 to DDR3 at 1333 MHz with Cas latency of ~9. Would it even be noticable?

Lastly, I am wondering if anyone could tell me how well my Q9450 CPU would do with a GTX 460 Fermi. I'm afraid the cpu might just bottleneck the card, in which case it would be an useless upgrade. Any help is greatly appreciated. I've got class starting in 20 minutes but I'll be back around 3 to check for responses.

My current system is:

CPU: Intel Core2 Quad CPU Q9450 @ 2.66GHz (4 CPUs), ~2.7GHz
GPU: Nvidia GeForce 9800 GTX+
Mobo: ASUS P5N-D
RAM: 4GB Corsair DDR2 memory
OS: Windows Vista Home Premium x64
PSU: 850W velocity micro

Thinking of upgrading to:

Mobo: ASUS P5P43TD <<http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...;>
GPU: EVGA GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) Superclocked EE 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 <<http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...;>
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 <<http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...;>

I've done a lot of independent research on specs and what kinds of things I'll want to look for when buying parts, so I am confident that I am choosing independently good parts, but I have no idea how to tell how they will work together and if I'll see much of an increase in performance at all.

More about : upgrading 2yr system birthday

a b B Homebuilt system
October 4, 2010 5:49:37 PM

I dont think you will see any performance increase from swapping the motherboard and RAM. 8GB is not faster than 4GB unless you know you are exceeding the 4GB you have.

I would get a good CPU cooler and Overclock the Q9450 to 3GHz, maybe more if its stable with good temps.

The GTX460(1GB) will be a moderate graphics boost and probably worthwhile, especially if you OC the CPU. I have a 9800 GTX+, 5770 and 460(1GB). Each is a noticeable step up from the others. It will depend on the games you play, as some are more CPU focused and others are GPU hungry.
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 4, 2010 6:06:45 PM

Ram doesn't play a lot into the equation when gaming. You won't really notice a performance boost. Good ram is required for a good overclock though. A low CAS 1333Mhz ram will out perform a high CAS 1600Mhz ram any day. Although the 1600Mhz ram might tolerate a higher overclock of your CPU. It's trial and error.

Read what other people with similar setup to yours are doing. For my X48 board, I use Mushkin Blackline CAS 7 1600Mhz. I'm able to get a stable overclock (3.8Ghz) by upping the CAS up to 9. I also had to up the voltage to 1.9.
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October 4, 2010 8:21:40 PM

Thanks for the input on the RAM, I won't bother wasting my money by upgrading needlessly as it seems. I'd rather spend it on games to actually play. If I needed to how could I find out if I'm exceeding the 4GB of RAM I currently have?

As far as the GPU is concerned thank you as well, I'm fairly positive that upgrading to a 460 is what I want to do, and I'm most certainly going to overclock my CPU so thank you for that as well.

Is there any systematic way to tell what kind of games are more CPU or GPU oriented? I suppose it would be just monitoring your pc's performance as you play different ones. My only question would be how I would go about tracking this..?

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a b B Homebuilt system
October 4, 2010 9:32:45 PM

The best way is to check that games forums. They almost always have some threads with people asking about hardware to run the game. Some even have benchmark threads with different CPU/GPU combos to compare.
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October 5, 2010 1:11:54 AM

Awesome thanks dndhatcher for your continued response.
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October 5, 2010 2:12:32 AM

Yeah, there's now way I'd be placing a Q9450/DDR2 for gaming. There just aren't any really good significant increase to be had for an i7.
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October 5, 2010 2:21:17 PM

wait until ssds become more mainstream when they become cheaper, there is no real performance increase from ddr2 to ddr3, if you have $800 to spend just get a decent cpu cooler and a gtx 480, your cpu wont bottleneck the gtx 480, dont get more ram 4gb is more than enough, there is no real world difference between them, well just not enough difference to be worth the extra money and it is not needed
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October 5, 2010 2:36:45 PM

yes the gtx 460 is a performance increase over the 9800, but if he wants a major increase in performance he can go for the gtx 480, he said he can spend up to $800, he can get a gtx 480 for around $500 and then he can get a cpu cooler, a coolermaster hyper 212+ would be enough for a mild OC and even a bit more an its only $30
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October 5, 2010 3:39:45 PM

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/180?vs=158 yes of course the gtx 460 costs less, and yes i know its a good card, but if he wants a major performance increase then he can get the gtx 480 and its way within his budget for an upgrade, and hel also have bragging rights.... not that that really matters though
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 5, 2010 4:21:40 PM

A 480 may not fit in his case. He would need to measure. A 470 is a reasonable option also that performs stronger than a 460.
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October 5, 2010 4:48:02 PM

what case does he have? he could fit a good case in his budget, it will still be lower than $800, he can get a decent case for around $120, hyper 212+ for $30, gtx 480 for around $500, total $650
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 5, 2010 5:02:13 PM

Im not so sure that there will be much performance difference between a 470 and a 480 in an old 775 system. Also the 480 is a huge power/heat hog. Its not the greatest card, mostly for that reason.
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October 5, 2010 5:40:07 PM

dndhatcher said:
Im not so sure that there will be much performance difference between a 470 and a 480 in an old 775 system. Also the 480 is a huge power/heat hog. Its not the greatest card, mostly for that reason.


true
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 5, 2010 9:07:04 PM

sp12 said:
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/46?vs=50

The Q9 and i7 are within a few percent of eachother in games, I don't think it will bottleneck a single 480 at all.

Not that the 480 makes a good choice.

That comparison is likely (cant find specs) a Q9 in a new motherboard, not an old nforce chipset mobo like the OP. My assumption is the same CPU would not fare as well in the older motherboard. Maybe thats an unfounded suspicion.

In any case I still wouldnt try a 480 in case the PSU is aged and would gag under the extra load. The performance boost isnt worth it if you factor in a new PSU. A 460(1gb), 470 or 5870 would be better choices IMO.
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October 8, 2010 5:59:14 PM

Wow all, thanks so much for the wonderfully tailored responses. I've been so busy with college that I haven't been able to check back on this topic until now, but I still greatly appreciate the input from everyone. To answer the somewhat latent question, my current case kinda sucks, idk what it is since my current system came pre-built from Velocity Micro. I have 4 case fans, two in front and two in back. I'm thinking of upgrading to a Rosewill Challenger... 1 front 120 mm, 1 top 140mm, 1 back 120mm (it also has the option for two side 120mm fans).

As it currently stands I'm gonna go for the 460, and overclock my current CPU. I'm adding a CPU cooler because I'm afraid mine runs too hot right now. I'm pretty sure it idles around 50 something degrees C... which just seems way out there to me. I've done some looking but I can't find any average temps that it should be running at. I'm also gonna throw in an extra 2GB of RAM, same speed and everything.

Thanks again all!
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October 8, 2010 6:12:43 PM

dont get another 2gb of ram its a waste
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 8, 2010 7:00:52 PM

No need for more than 4GB RAM. Adding more than 2 sticks often slows things down a little.
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