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Best part to upgrade?

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October 23, 2010 8:27:42 PM

Here are my desktop specs:

Nvidia 8800 GTS 512MB
4GB RAM
Intel Core 2 Quad OC'ed to 3.0GHz
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3L
Monitor: Samsung SyncMaster 2232BW Plus

If my budget is, say, $400 or less, what would be the best way to upgrade this system? I think I put it together about 2 years ago and it still runs newer games like a champ (IMO), but I think it's time for an upgrade. I thought about moving to an i7 but I think the inconvenience of a new motherboard and all that would be too annoying... Do I even need to upgrade my processor? And then the RAM, I don't think more than 4GB is really necessary for video games. So I guess that would leave me with the video card - I'm considering the GeForce GTX 470, any thoughts there? I would really like to run Call of Duty: Black Ops at the highest possible settings at 1680x1050. I'm behind the times when it comes to computer hardware so if I said anything ridiculous or ignorant please let me know... It wasn't intentional lol.

Also, my CPU overheated so bad yesterday that my system shut down... I reseated it, tried again a few hours later and it turned off even faster. I decided it must be cheap thermal paste or improperly applied thermal paste so I went out to Best Buy and they only had a brand I had never heard of - bought it ($10, no big deal), applied it, and when I turned my computer on, within two minutes of idling it was at 100 degrees celcius :ouch: . So I'm basically at a wtf moment there. I've ordered some Arctic Silver 5 from Amazon and it'll get here Tuesday... Hopefully it will be better than this Best Buy trash...

Thank you in advance for any answers to my many questions.

More about : part upgrade

October 23, 2010 9:03:33 PM

Your rig is still plenty good. As you suggested, the GPU is easily the thing that would benefit you the most in terms of gaming etc. The 470 is a good card too, but there's plenty of competition out there right now, especially w/ the release of the 6870.

Also, what are you using to cool the cpu? I'm sure the thermal paste is a possible problem, but 100c?!?!? :o 
October 23, 2010 9:25:49 PM

A heatsink with a fan on it. The fan on the heatsink says Intel so I guess I left the stock heatsink in. Maybe a better heatsink? Any suggestions?
This happened before about a year a half ago. Started getting those ridiculously high temperatures. My friend had thermal paste (don't remember the brand or anything) that he applied for me while I was out of town and he had my PC that right away took the temps down to 50 celsius, so that's why I was going for another redo of thermal paste.

Also, so there is GPU competition, but what do you think is the best currently? In your opinion.
And this is a really stupid question... Will I have any problems with newer GPU's and my motherboard?
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 23, 2010 10:39:15 PM

Since you're having problems with temps, I would suggest a 6870, cooler than the GTX470 while haing nearly the same performance. Costs $20 less also.

However, you can totally get away with a 6850/460OC too, you don't need that much power anyways for that res.

On your temps, did you install the cooler correctly? Its the push-pin one and can be a major PITA, wiggle it and see if it moves at all.
a b B Homebuilt system
October 24, 2010 12:24:33 AM

New cooler (212+) and a 6850 or GTX 460. Get your temps under control and drastically improve gaming performance.
a b B Homebuilt system
October 24, 2010 12:57:53 AM

Yep, I agree with welshmousepk. Regarding 460 vs 6850...

If you will be further upgrading (mobo, etc) in the next year, go with the 460 so you can SLI them. If you are not, get the 6850, it's the better single card.
a b B Homebuilt system
October 24, 2010 1:15:06 AM

etk said:
Yep, I agree with welshmousepk. Regarding 460 vs 6850...

If you will be further upgrading (mobo, etc) in the next year, go with the 460 so you can SLI them. If you are not, get the 6850, it's the better single card.

Um no.
The HD6850 scales just as well in crossfire compared to 460s in SLI. So I have no idea why you said that.

Also, the HD6850 opens him up to new AMD chips, with the 460 and SLI, he would be pretty muchlimited to Intel boards.
October 24, 2010 1:50:36 AM

You can do a whole lot for your system with $400 (or less). I suggest these three upgrades:

1. New cooler
2. New GPU
3. Add an SSD

You obviously have something majorly wrong with your CPU cooler. Trying different brands of thermal paste seems kind of silly.

A 6850 will deliver all of the performance you need at 1680 x 1050 until the rest of your system starts slowing it down (in the future). And this gives you two upgrade paths: Overclocking the GPU (if/when you get another monitor) or adding a second one (when you upgrade CPU/MOBO).

You can get a small SSD to use as a boot drive and to hold your most-used programs and games. Most of the really small ones (~30GB) have just okay performance. But the next tier gives crazy-fast performance that you'll notice immediately. Just know that you'll likely buy another one in a couple of years because the price/performance/size will increase very rapidly.

Have fun!
October 24, 2010 6:20:48 AM

My suggestions...

New CPU cooler (not too expensive)

Radeon 6850, great card, not too much heat.

Ohhh, was that said already? Oops! :sol: 

J/k guys J/k :D 
a b B Homebuilt system
October 24, 2010 6:15:02 PM

Timop said:
Um no.
The HD6850 scales just as well in crossfire compared to 460s in SLI. So I have no idea why you said that.

Also, the HD6850 opens him up to new AMD chips, with the 460 and SLI, he would be pretty muchlimited to Intel boards.


My mistake, I went to look for some benchmarks to prove you wrong and found the opposite, 6000 series cards scale worlds better than 5000. Thanks for the heads up.
October 24, 2010 9:41:10 PM

So what I gather from all these posts (thank you so much everyone, btw) is that I want one of these graphics cards:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And, as a side note, my GPU heat (are on any heat in my case) is no problem at all. My GPU stays around 50 degrees celcius. It's a purely processor problem. So then for the cooler I would want something like this?:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
That would work with a Q6600 right?

And then for an SSD drive, something like this perhaps?:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Another round of input on these items here would be great.
a b B Homebuilt system
October 25, 2010 3:13:40 AM

That should do the job. good quality cooler for sure.
!