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Should I upgrade?

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January 1, 2011 11:40:56 AM

I have a Dell XPS 420 with Q6600 processors. I want to use it as a gaming machine. Are the processors still good for gaming? Or should I upgrade and what are my choices? Or just build a new machine?

Help please

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January 1, 2011 12:40:08 PM

1) The Q6600 is still a decent gaming CPU when overclocked, however not an option on a Dell PC

2) I would not trust the PSU or case cooling capabilities for a "gaming system". The PSU is typically the minimum the system requires so it doesn't leave room for adding more powerful graphics cards.

3) I would look to build a new system based on either AM3 or Sandy Bridge. If budget is a concern, a setup based off of the Athlon II X3 450 / ASRock 870 Extreme3 is hard to beat for price to performance / features. If you are looking at $1,200+ build, I would consider going with the Sandy Bridge CPU's once released.
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January 1, 2011 3:50:28 PM

Depends on your video card. The above post is correct if you are looking towards a GTX470 or higher or an SLI/crossfire setup.
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January 1, 2011 10:59:40 PM

You could always just splurge on an i7 Core processor when the Sandy Bridge comes out. Prices are gonna be cut quite substantially most likely.
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January 2, 2011 12:09:32 AM

What people are trying to say is this:

At stock speeds, your Q6600 will be sufficient for playing games. IF you had the capability of overclocking it, you would of course get higher frame rates. However, there is no way to overclock on a dell motherboard. This leaves you a few options. One, is to stick it out and wait until the games you play will no longer benefit from a faster processor. Another option is to upgrade the motherboard in your computer to a new motherboard that will allow you to overclock the CPU (probably not the best option. Dell's and some other OEMS use the BTX standard (more expensive).

I would wait. The graphics matter more in games. Ideally, you want higher clock speeds over more cores.
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January 2, 2011 12:43:33 AM

The Q6600 is still good for gaming. I would just spend the money on a video card.

The Dell XPS 420 comes with a 375w power supply which is manufactured by FSP Source (Fortron) and is a reputable company. Additionally, Dell under rates their PSU so the actual power is 400w - 425w.

You can safely install a HD 5750. Installing a HD 5770 is possible, but the extra 20w - 25w it consumes would stress the PSU a little too much for my tastes. You can always install a new PSU if you want a more powerful card.

If it does not provide the level of performance you are looking for then you can build a more powerful computer. You can use the same video card and PSU for your new build if you already upgraded both.

Depending on what CPU you upgrade to, you can see anywhere from maybe 5% - 20% (Intel Core i7-980X Extreme Edition CPU) gaming performance improvement. However, the video card is the primary source of improvement.
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January 2, 2011 12:56:28 AM

g335 said:
I have a Dell XPS 420 with Q6600 processors. I want to use it as a gaming machine. Are the processors still good for gaming? Or should I upgrade and what are my choices? Or just build a new machine?

Help please


How well does your current PC work for the games you play?
What monitors and resolution do you plan to use?
What is your current graphics card?
How much ram do you have?

My guess is that you need both a cpu and a gpu upgrade to get a balanced gaming machine.
Plan on a sandy bridge new build.
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January 2, 2011 1:23:52 AM

jaguarskx said:
The Q6600 is still good for gaming. I would just spend the money on a video card.

The Dell XPS 420 comes with a 375w power supply which is manufactured by FSP Source (Fortron) and is a reputable company. Additionally, Dell under rates their PSU so the actual power is 400w - 425w.

You can safely install a HD 5750. Installing a HD 5770 is possible, but the extra 20w - 25w it consumes would stress the PSU a little too much for my tastes. You can always install a new PSU if you want a more powerful card.

If it does not provide the level of performance you are looking for then you can build a more powerful computer. You can use the same video card and PSU for your new build if you already upgraded both.

Depending on what CPU you upgrade to, you can see anywhere from maybe 5% - 20% (Intel Core i7-980X Extreme Edition CPU) gaming performance improvement. However, the video card is the primary source of improvement.



^1 Great answer
I have had a bunch of dells and the PSUs always outperform the rated wattage
I have had a Dell Precision 450 with a 360w PSU and it has had two HDs,PCI-X scsi HD,XFX 7600gs video card,dvd-rw,pci slot fan,sound card and two P4 based Xeons running on the original PSU.
The PSU calculator said I needed 475-500 watts.
Depending on your system if you only have one HD,minimal PCI cards,one dvd-rw then you should be able to run cards rated for 400-450 watts no problem.
If you go to Dell Support page (just google dell support) and research your tower (its easy to do) you can find out what the PCIE slot rated wattage alone is.
it will usually be between 25-40 watts or so.
That info helps in looking for a card.
Stick with ATI cards since they usually consume less power than Nvidia in general.

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January 2, 2011 4:28:46 AM

geofelt said:
How well does your current PC work for the games you play?
What monitors and resolution do you plan to use?
What is your current graphics card?
How much ram do you have?

My guess is that you need both a cpu and a gpu upgrade to get a balanced gaming machine.
Plan on a sandy bridge new build.


The games I have installed work fine so far but they are older games, original StarCraft, Rise of Legends, WOW. I havent tried to play intense games yet, but I am going to buy StarCraft 2, play more RPGS, MMOs, RTS and those types. I will buy Diablo 3 when it comes out.

Wouldnt I have to upgrade to a new 6 pin x2 PSU any way if I am going to buy a new card?

If I build a new machine, which processors would be good? I do not want to spend a ton of money but I do not want to get cheap cheap either. Computer will be used for gaming mostly, some video watching.

My moniter is a Dell that came with the computer, think it is a 19 or 21 inch.
Video card is a Nvidia 8600 GTS.
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January 2, 2011 1:40:21 PM

RTS games will annihilate CPU's. You really do need a high clocked quad to get the true experience from them.
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January 2, 2011 2:11:21 PM

1) Right click on your desktop, and look at the screen resolution.
A 19" monitor might be 1440 x 900. a 21" monitor might be 1920 x 1080. The higher the resolution, the stronger your graphics card needs to be.

2) The 8600GTS is a fair card. If it plays OK, you probably do not need a very expensive card for good gameplay. I think I would keep everything until a new game demands more than you have.

3) If you do upgrade, I suggest jumping several tiers of capability, or you may be disappointed. Since you are a current Nvidia user, I recommend upgrading with Nvidia, primarily because you can just pop a new card in without cleaning out old drivers and installing new. I would upgrade the graphics card first and see how you do. If the cpu is lacking, you can always use a good graphics card in a new build.

4) A nice inexpensive jump would be to a GT240 with gddr5 memory:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Only $40 after rebate, and no pci-e connectors required. A similar ati card might be the 5570.

5) For something stronger, look at the GTS450 $90 after rebate. You will need one pci-e 6 pin connector, and a molex adapter will come in the kit:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... A similar ati card might be the 5750
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January 3, 2011 10:29:19 PM

geofelt said:
1) Right click on your desktop, and look at the screen resolution.
A 19" monitor might be 1440 x 900. a 21" monitor might be 1920 x 1080. The higher the resolution, the stronger your graphics card needs to be.

2) The 8600GTS is a fair card. If it plays OK, you probably do not need a very expensive card for good gameplay. I think I would keep everything until a new game demands more than you have.

3) If you do upgrade, I suggest jumping several tiers of capability, or you may be disappointed. Since you are a current Nvidia user, I recommend upgrading with Nvidia, primarily because you can just pop a new card in without cleaning out old drivers and installing new. I would upgrade the graphics card first and see how you do. If the cpu is lacking, you can always use a good graphics card in a new build.

4) A nice inexpensive jump would be to a GT240 with gddr5 memory:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Only $40 after rebate, and no pci-e connectors required. A similar ati card might be the 5570.

5) For something stronger, look at the GTS450 $90 after rebate. You will need one pci-e 6 pin connector, and a molex adapter will come in the kit:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... A similar ati card might be the 5750


Thank you. Ok I will buy a card for now and plan on a new build.


So what CPUs would be good for gaming? i5, i7 or i3, I want to watch blue ray maybe with it too and do graphics work.
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January 3, 2011 11:55:44 PM

If your budget allows for a $200 cpu, then I think a sandy bridge i5-2500K based build is a no brainer.
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January 4, 2011 3:06:54 AM

geofelt said:
If your budget allows for a $200 cpu, then I think a sandy bridge i5-2500K based build is a no brainer.


I can probably push it to $300 dollars.

Which processor than?
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January 4, 2011 1:15:54 PM

g335 said:
I can probably push it to $300 dollars.

Which processor than?


The 2600K will be $317 , or thereabouts.

But, for gaming, I would get the 2500K and spend the extra $100 on a graphics card upgrade.

It will pay you to read the reviews.
http://www.anandtech.com/show/4083/the-sandy-bridge-rev...
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January 4, 2011 2:24:31 PM

Do you think the OP will sell his tower to me?
Really cheap because of SandyBridge of course LOL
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January 10, 2011 12:05:35 PM

geofelt said:
The 2600K will be $317 , or thereabouts.

But, for gaming, I would get the 2500K and spend the extra $100 on a graphics card upgrade.

It will pay you to read the reviews.
http://www.anandtech.com/show/4083/the-sandy-bridge-rev...


I read the reviews. So it is not worth buying last years i3s, i5s or i7s? Wouldnt those be a big improvement over my Q6600? Should I just get Sandy Bridge?
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January 10, 2011 12:30:57 PM

g335 said:
I read the reviews. So it is not worth buying last years i3s, i5s or i7s? Wouldnt those be a big improvement over my Q6600? Should I just get Sandy Bridge?

The 2500K will be a huge improvement over a Q6600. You will need to use a P67 based motherboard to take advantage of the K capability of easy overclocking. The 2500K is strong enough to drive ANY sane graphics configuration that uses only one monitor. If you are on a budget, the extra $100 or so for a 2600K is better spent on other components to get a balanced system.
Spend any extra budget on a great graphics card, A quality PSU, and perhaps a SSD.
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April 1, 2011 3:00:42 AM

Best answer selected by g335.
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April 1, 2011 4:14:12 AM

tecmo34 said:
1) The Q6600 is still a decent gaming CPU when overclocked, however not an option on a Dell PC

2) I would not trust the PSU or case cooling capabilities for a "gaming system". The PSU is typically the minimum the system requires so it doesn't leave room for adding more powerful graphics cards.

3) I would look to build a new system based on either AM3 or Sandy Bridge. If budget is a concern, a setup based off of the Athlon II X3 450 / ASRock 870 Extreme3 is hard to beat for price to performance / features. If you are looking at $1,200+ build, I would consider going with the Sandy Bridge CPU's once released.


Actually by using a BSEL pin mod you can possibly if your board supports 1333mhz OC the Q6600 to 3.2ghz
BSEL pin mod is when you jump two pads on CPU and bootstrap the cpu to the next highest FSB which in this case
would be going from 1066 to 1333

I did this with a E4300 went from 1.8ghz 800fsb to 2.4 1066FSB completely cool and stable for over 3 months now.

So yes I Overclocked A Dell Dude!
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