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Upgrade or Replace

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Last response: in Systems
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January 8, 2011 3:32:34 PM

I built my current system approx. 5 years ago. Since that time I have lost touch with the changes to hardware. It takes quite a bit of effort to stay on top of where tech is currently at so I am hoping to get some suggestions on how best to proceed.

Specs are:

MB MSI MS-7235 Socket 775 LGA
http://www.comx-computers.co.za/computer-store-specific...
Cache 1 2x64KB
Cache 2 4096KB

Core2 6600e 2.4

2 Gb DDR2 SDRAM

485w Enermax EG495P-VE power supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Sata 350Gb HD

Radeon HD 5750

24" widescreen running at 1920x1080

I do game some and currently have Black Ops which is probably my most system demanding game. My son plays warcraft on this machine and historically it has not been a very system demanding game but it appears to have become so. I can run Black Ops at about medium settings but any more and the video gets jerky. It is the same with warcraft. He cannot run shadows at better then fair settings. View distance has to be set about medium, cannot run water effects and sunshafts at all. Also when alot of effects are going on the fps drops to about 15.

I think the vid card is not the problem but the processor, MB and RAM might be the choke point.

What I'm interested in know is:

Would my MB allow an upgraded chip? I believe I could go to a quad core but would it really help the situation. The MB is 5 yrs old and was not top of the range when purchased. I assume enough has changed over time that the newer chips will not work in my MB and that FSB speeds have increased enough that a MB upgrade is worthwhile.

If I do go with a I5 or I7 upgrade chip and a new MB, which brand/model of MB would be recommended?

Is there a significant difference in I5 and I7?

I can research the correct RAM form factor for a new MB but which manufacturer is producing the most reliable RAM?

I wish to keep my SATAII HD. Do new MB's use this connection type?

Should I be concerned that my power supply has the correct connection types and is sufficient for a newer MB?

If hardware has changed that significantly then I would consider just buying a complete system and keeping my current machine as a living room media machine.

I live in California so I would prefer to purchase from out of state retailer. Cal taxes are a killer on pricing. Budget isn't the only consideration but is important. Can you suggest a reasonably prices online retailer for components and or complete systems?

Please ask for any clarifications if I missed something important.

Thanks.

More about : upgrade replace

January 8, 2011 3:52:07 PM

It's no longer FSB now, it's QPI ;) 
The motherboard you have right now wouldn't let you do too much as far as upgrading goes. You could go up to a Core2Quad or Core2Duo but they're quite old and rather expensive considering their age. You also would be forced to stick with DDR2. I'd definitely look into getting a new mobo.

I believe all the I5's are quad cores while the I7's are technically 8 cores. I could be wrong though.

Corsair, G.Skill, OCZ, Mushkin, and Patriot all seem to be reliable companies. Maybe even Crucial and Kingston as well.

Most connections nowadays are SATA II 3GB/s or SATA II 6GB/s.

Your power supply appears to have all the necessary cables and it should provide sufficient power but you still might want to look into upgrading, both for a better company and something more power efficient.

Newegg is the only site I use but then you'd have to pay taxes so you might want to check out frys, buy.com, TigerDirect, and maybe even Amazon.
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January 8, 2011 4:09:53 PM

Grove said:
It's no longer FSB now, it's QPI ;) 

Told you I was out of date :pt1cable: 

The motherboard you have right now wouldn't let you do too much as far as upgrading goes. You could go up to a Core2Quad or Core2Duo but they're quite old and rather expensive considering their age. You also would be forced to stick with DDR2. I'd definitely look into getting a new mobo.

I expected that but wasn't positive


I believe all the I5's are quad cores while the I7's are technically 8 cores. I could be wrong though.

Thanks for the clarification. I will check pricing on both

Your power supply appears to have all the necessary cables and it should provide sufficient power but you still might want to look into upgrading, both for a better company and something more power efficient.

Which companies are noted as reliable? And what would be the minimum power output recommended? 650w?


Newegg is the only site I use but then you'd have to pay taxes so you might want to check out frys, buy.com, TigerDirect, and maybe even Amazon.

I've used Newegg in the past but taxes of course. Frys has a Cali presence so not my 1st choice. I will check the others. Thanks for the info



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January 8, 2011 4:20:00 PM

CoolerMaster, Antec, SeaSonic, Corsair, and XFX would be the most reliable but Cougar, Kingwin, Thermaltake, SilverStone, and Rosewill might have some good ones as well.

NCIX is supposedly a good site as well, just make sure you're on the US version of the site rather than the Canadian version. http://www.ncixus.com/
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January 8, 2011 5:00:01 PM

Upgrade to a P67 Sandy Bridge motherboard, an i5 2400 processor and get 4Gb of DDR3 1333 RAM and you will get another 5 years out of this new system.

Keep your PSU, 5750 and HDD for now. Look to replace the HDD with an SSD in the future.

Cost would be about $370-$380 and I would go with the 2400 as it is close in performance to the i5 2500. Some overclocking may be allowed too but not as much as with a i5 2500k which has an unlocked mulitplier for overclocking.

Look for USB 3.0, SATA 6Gbps and 2 PCI express slots on the motherboard (16x and 4x).
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January 8, 2011 5:07:45 PM

doive1231 said:
Upgrade to a P67 Sandy Bridge motherboard, an i5 2400 processor and get 4Gb of DDR3 1333 RAM and you will get another 5 years out of this new system.

Keep your PSU, 5750 and HDD for now. Look to replace the HDD with an SSD in the future.

Cost would be about $370-$380 and I would go with the 2400 as it is close in performance to the i5 2500. Some overclocking may be allowed too but not as much as with a i5 2500k which has an unlocked mulitplier for overclocking.

Look for USB 3.0, SATA 6Gbps and 2 PCI express slots on the motherboard (16x and 4x).


Thanks Doive.

The price mentioned is reasonable for my budget and extending the life of my current case, PS and HDD is a plus.

I don't do overclocking for the most part but if the 2500 is close enough in price, OC'ing would be an option to extend the life of the chip.

What retailer are you looking at for the pricing?
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January 8, 2011 5:24:26 PM

I'm in the UK so I priced it at around £250 which is about $380 I think. Should be sold in the US from Monday.

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January 8, 2011 5:34:52 PM

I did a little research while waiting for your reply.

Sandy Bridge and the I5 2500 sound like a solid upgrade for very reasonable expense. I'm actually surprised the chip is in the $200 range for how it performs.

I will wait for Monday to start price shopping. The review site I looked at had the 2500 at about $216 but the only MB they had was a high cost Intel board.

I guess my timing to want to upgrade is pretty good for a change.

Thanks for the help gents and have a great weekend.

EDIT:

I went to select the "best answer" but you both gave me great info on different portions of my questions. Can I select best answer for both? :D 
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January 22, 2011 5:10:08 PM

I am ready to buy and would like to get some confirmation that the components I've selected have no known issues.

Regarding the RAM.
Example: A reviewer on a site noted:
"I gave this all five's, but you need to have the ability to play with bios if you're going to get this ram. 90% of the time this ram will default to 1066mhz 7-7-7-20 1.5V setting. This ram needs to be atleast 1333mhz (unlinked to processor don't burn it out) 9-9-9-24 timing and 1.7V. If you can fix this on your computer then this ram is an amazing deal.

A follow up reviewer:

The information that Aaron King stated about the voltage on this memory is not correct. Please check the Manufacturer Website as it takes 1.5v only.

This is a little outside of my knowledge base. I'm fine with modifying the bios if I need to but would prefer to run straight out of the build with minimum of problems.

Anyways here are the links to the components:

RAM
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/ite...

MB - There is a huge price jump between this "entry level" MB and ones that are Dual 16X Crossfire/SLI that I'm not sure paying the extra is worth it since I am not a "gotta have the best" type. Can you recommend where this board may end up not worth the discount?
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Chip
I've decided to spend a few $'s extra and get an unlocked I5 2500K. The price from an 2400 to a 2500K is only a $30 difference. If I decide to dig into overclocking this seemed a reasonable start. Am I wrong with this idea?
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Any suggestion or recommendations would be highly appreciated. As you can see from my original post I do not upgrade often and would like to keep it that way but $425 is hitting the max on my budget. If you can see a superior choice that doesn't significantly increase the price or see where any of the linked items are likely to be a significant "damn.. I wish I had spent a few dollars more" item please let me know

Thanks

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January 22, 2011 7:05:44 PM

I'm not really sure about the RAM. I know my 2 sets of G.Skill RAM haven't forced me to mess with the settings but I don't know what other sets will.

You don't really need X16/X16, you need X8/X8 at the very least. Here's an MSI board for just a little extra with X16/X8.
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

The 2500K sounds like a good idea to me.
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