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Upgrading E8500 / ATI 4850X2 system

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Last response: in Systems
October 12, 2010 3:49:03 AM

I am seeking advice on a partial rebuild of my current system. I have a few ideas, but I would like some other opinions on where to start. For sake of organization, I'm going to use the 'New Build' post template.

Approximate Purchase Date: (e.g.: this week (the closer the better))

Within in a month, unless I have reason to wait for something new to come out and/or price drops (since this is not urgent, I would have no problem doing that for the right part.)

Budget Range: (e.g.: 600-800) Before / After Rebates

$500ish for parts, but am looking to purchase parts that people could justify putting on a $1500 build.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: (e.g.: Folding@Home, gaming, surfing the internet, watching movies)

Gaming, browsing, watching movies

Parts Not Required: (e.g.: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS) **Include Power Supply Make & Model If Re-using**

N/A (existing system) -- but any part can go if you can justify me scrapping it.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: (e.g.:, -- to show us selection & pricing)


Country of Origin: (e.g.: Grand Fenwick)


Parts Preferences: by brand or type (e.g.: I would like to use an AMD CPU & Biostar mobo with a 24" LCD and full tower case)


Overclocking: Yes / No / Maybe

Yes, but only lightly.

SLI or Crossfire: Yes / No / Maybe

Currently Crossfire, but quite honestly I'd like to save the headaches and use 1 videocard if it can be justified.

Monitor Resolution: (e.g.: 1024x768, 1280x1024, 1440x900, 1600x1200, 1680x1050, 1920x1080, 1920x1200)

1920X1080 (Note, my p45 motherboard+crossfire is not ideal for this resolution, since I only get pci 2.0 x8 from it, which cuts into performances more at higher res.)

My Current Setup (with prices from Jan 09):

Case- Antec 900
$110 from $120

Cpu – E8500

PSU- Corsair 750w

HDD- Seagate Barracuda ES.2 ST3500320NS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
$90 from $100

GPU -SAPPHIRE 100270SR Radeon HD 4850 X2 2GB 512-bit (256-bit x 2) GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail

Mobo- ASUS P5Q Pro LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard – Retail
$130 from $140

CPU cooler – Xigmatek s1283

Ram – CORSAIR XMS2 DHX 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (cas4)
$75 from $105

DVD burner – Samsung Sata

OS – Vista home prem. 64bit
$100 from $110

More about : upgrading e8500 ati 4850x2 system

a c 143 B Homebuilt system
October 12, 2010 6:34:14 AM

Well you cant SLI on a p45 mb

and any upgrade to a later socket mb/cpu/RAM and graphics is likely to cost more than you want to spend
overclock the e8500 till just b4 it starts smoking , and add the most powerful graphics card you can afford IMO
Use the charts section of this site to help you choose
a b B Homebuilt system
October 12, 2010 10:22:12 AM

Some new ati hardware coming in a week or 2
Related resources
October 12, 2010 1:32:16 PM

Absolutely, I would sit back and wait a little for 6xxx release, also, OC that E8500 as fast as it will go, your rig is not a bad one you know more than capable, enough in my opinion to hold off till bulldozer/sandybridge releases next year!

Holding off now will give you a real massive performance bump from your current setup other than an incremental speed boost you will get with your current budget!

EDIT>> forgot to mention, get windows 7 now and replace vista already, you wont regret it, will make your pc feel so much better
October 12, 2010 1:57:18 PM

Thanks for the replies. Since this isn't urgent, I will wait for the 6000's series for the video card.

Windows 7:

I actually thought about getting windows 7 and a SSD for it (and wiping out + freshly reinstalling the programs I care about onto my current HDD.)

Obviously, a SSD isn't great bang-for-the-buck performance, but I figured a windows 7 installed SSD is something that could last me for awhile. Any thoughts?

BTW, vista is not currently installed on a hard drive partition. Since I screwed up the first time, figure I may as well do things the best way the second time around.


This was the first thing that came to my mind. And if I went the AMD route, it would be fairly cheap. Though I could justify going the core i5/i7 route as well (that $500 was a guideline, not hard limit.) Any thoughts on which route would make the most sense for me?

And excuse my n00biness here, but if I were to upgrade my cpu/mobo/ram, would I need to do anything beyond hooking everything back up (IE plugging my hard drive as it current is back into it) to get all my programs running as they were before?


Currently my my E8500 is OC'd from 3.2g to 3.8g, but I don't want to go too far beyond that. My video card is overclocked as well. I also had to OC my ram to get it running at the factory overclocked settings.
a b B Homebuilt system
October 12, 2010 2:28:55 PM

in 3-5 months, the new Intel chips will be out, and they'll be what to watch for
October 26, 2010 3:35:49 AM

So the 6000 series is now out, and it prompted an Nvidia price drop.

Should I get a....

a) ATI 6870
b) NVIDIA GTX 470?

Another question. Would a PCIe 2.1 video card be usable on my current PCIe 2.0 mobo slot?

a b B Homebuilt system
October 26, 2010 6:44:26 AM

I would say 6870, but the 470 isn't too far behind. yes, PCIe is backwards compatable.

On the win 7 /SSD note. Even though it might not be a bang for buck improvement in terms of benchmarks, real world the difference is night and day. I would do this before upgrading, especially since you've already got 2 4850's.
a b B Homebuilt system
October 26, 2010 8:22:59 AM

SSD will improve your system tremendously. This is perhaps the most effective upgrade you can get at the moment.

Your system can still serve you well at least until the Bulldozer and Sandy Bridge are out there. I would postpone the massive upgrades next year.

Getting HD6850 or HD6870 either single or XFired will give you also good results for their DX11 support.
I prefer the HD6000s than GTX400s since HD6000s are more power efficient than GTX400.
Getting the new HD6000s is the second best upgrade after the SSD.

Hence :
Get an SSD and/or get the HD6000s but postpone any proc, mobo and RAM upgrade until next year.
October 28, 2010 2:16:49 PM

Thanks for the replies. Any last minute advice before I submit the order?

Total: $478
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM
SAPPHIRE 100314SR Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity
Kingston SSDNow V Series SNV425-S2/64GB 2.5" 64GB SATA II Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
BYTECC 18" Serial ATA-150/300 Cable w/Locking Latch Model SATA-118C
SilverStone SDP08 3.5" to 2 x 2.5" Bay Converter