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Should I Upgrade?

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January 11, 2011 6:01:56 PM

I've been out of the build community for a couple of years and haven't kept up with current hardware and performance trends. My current home studio PC was last updated in 2005(!) and is as follows:

-ASUS A8V DELUXE 939 VIA K8T800 Pro ATX
-AMD Athlon 64 3500+ Winchester 2.2GHz Socket 939
-ATI Radeon X850PRO 256MB 256-bit GDDR3
-3gigs PC 3200 RAM
-Antec tower w/ 430W PSU
-Windows XP Pro SP3
-x2 WD 37gig SSD hard drives (Windows install and applications, storage in 4 other large WD Caviar 7200rpm drives)

I currently use it almost exclusively for Adobe CS4 apps and other mundane web tasks. To be honest, this thing still runs like a charm and I don't have any real reason to upgrade...other than it's become a little dated for current games AND I'd like to make the move up to CS5 (Premiere Pro and After Effects CS5 won't install with my current hardware profile, requires dual-core). Additionally I'd like a little more speed running multiple Adobe CS apps side-by-side, as well as the ability to turn up the graphics settings on WoW (this machine used to run WoW maxed out...just came back from a 1.5yr break and most of the video options now require dual-core also!). Oh, obviously I'll be moving to Windows 7 as well.

Having said that, I don't feel I NEED to upgrade yet, but am wondering how much of a boost I could pull off looking at something in the say sub-$700 range. Is there enough bang for my buck to make the move and relegate my current system to a media server or something?

Any advice is as always, MUCH appreciated!

More about : upgrade

January 11, 2011 6:31:20 PM

Your OS date: 2008
Your CPU date: 2004
Your GPU date: 2007
Your RAM date: ~2003

I would say yes. For sub-$700 excluding your current case and HDDs.

RAM: $99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
MOBO: $99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CPU: $145 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GPU: $197 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PSU: $80 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Windows 7 64bit: $104

Total: $724

As a avid CS5 user (it's my job) I can tell you that the difference will be dramatic in Illustrator, Photoshop, and Premier Pro. InDesign and Dreamweaver, not so much.
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January 12, 2011 1:04:39 AM

The OP is currently using a ATI card and the new ATI cards support Advanced Parallel Processing. Besides, the CPU does 95% of the CS5 workload anyways and the OP games, so I fit a nice card into the budget. Change the ATI card to something else if you feel inclined
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