Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question
Solved

Upgrade or New Build? Aging 775 system

Last response: in Systems
Share
January 23, 2011 5:52:19 PM

Hi All,

I'm in something of a dilemma. At least, it seems that way to me, probably because my hardware knowledge is limited.

Here's what I'm running now:

Motherboard: ASUS P5WDG2-WS ("Mainstation") - LGA 775 - no XFire or SLI support
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 Conroe 2.4GHz
RAM: 4GB (4 x 1GB) G-Skill DDR2 (Mobo supports up to 8GB)
GPU: EVGA GeForce 8800GT (512MB 256-bit)
PS: Rosewill RP550-2 550W
Case: Cooler Master Centurion 5

This rig lets me play games like MW and Fallout 3 on mid-to-high settings with decent frame rates, but still isn't phenomenal - and I'm dying to try later games like MW2, BF:BC2 and others (I wouldn't even bother trying them on my current build).

What I'm trying to sort out is whether it makes more sense for me to upgrade a few components on this system and get a couple more years out of it, or to simply start the inevitable move to one of the newer platforms (1155 or 1366). Or maybe jumping to the mid-ground at 1156 makes sense?

I doubt my approach to gaming will change - I don't care if I'm running the latest at maximum settings. I just want to be able to play some of the great games that've come out in the last 2-2.5 years with respectable graphics and smooth frame rates.

I'm hoping some of you epic nerds (I mean that respectfully - I'm just a junior nerd) can help me identify A) where my current bottleneck is and B) whether I just need to suck it up and upgrade most of my components if I want to play MW2 at even mid settings.

My budget is limited to the $250-300 range now so a new build would be put off a few months - I just want to be sure I don't waste money upgrading this system if its a lost cause.

Any help would be massively appreciated.

Thanks,
Mike
January 23, 2011 6:28:09 PM

you could upgrade the powersupply and video card right now for a bit of a boost in some games, but your processor would likely hold you back regardless.
however, a new psu and video card on this machine could easily be swapped into a new machine months down the road

tl;dr: psu/vid card now. everything else in a few months
m
0
l
January 23, 2011 7:22:07 PM

I'm still on 775 myself. But you'll end up spending far more money patching your system up rather than building a new system. It happened to me myself.

My advice is, save up for a while longer. Get a good quality PSU - Very important, this will allow you to also upgrade to a good CrossFire or SLI configuration in the future, and stopping any bottlenecks while the current tech is 'hot'. I'd honestly grab Sandy Bridge now. The pre-order prices are beautiful, and they overclock unbelievably well.

If you wait and you're patient saving up, you'll be glad you did. That was my downfall. I wish I could get about that £300's worth back (I bought too many cheap parts thinking "this'll hold it up for a while", and I should have saved up for a couple more weeks, and overall spent less money).
m
0
l
Related resources
January 24, 2011 1:40:37 AM

justaguywithagun said:
you could upgrade the powersupply and video card right now for a bit of a boost in some games, but your processor would likely hold you back regardless.
however, a new psu and video card on this machine could easily be swapped into a new machine months down the road

tl;dr: psu/vid card now. everything else in a few months


Sounds like a good idea - I was toying with picking up a new card since PCI Express 2.0 is pretty universal at this point. I hadn't considered the PSU though. I'll start looking at those. Thanks!
m
0
l
January 24, 2011 1:51:50 AM

d3fu5i0n said:
I'm still on 775 myself. But you'll end up spending far more money patching your system up rather than building a new system. It happened to me myself.

My advice is, save up for a while longer. Get a good quality PSU - Very important, this will allow you to also upgrade to a good CrossFire or SLI configuration in the future, and stopping any bottlenecks while the current tech is 'hot'. I'd honestly grab Sandy Bridge now. The pre-order prices are beautiful, and they overclock unbelievably well.

If you wait and you're patient saving up, you'll be glad you did. That was my downfall. I wish I could get about that £300's worth back (I bought too many cheap parts thinking "this'll hold it up for a while", and I should have saved up for a couple more weeks, and overall spent less money).


That's what I was afraid of - getting caught up upgrading a few odds and ends on this machine and ending up regretting it, wishing I'd saved the money for a new build.

Where are you finding good pre-order prices for Sandy Bridge? Everything I've seen has been in-stock orders, nothing pre-order.

Thanks for your input - I do appreciate it.
m
0
l
January 24, 2011 9:03:19 AM

mikeunstuck said:
That's what I was afraid of - getting caught up upgrading a few odds and ends on this machine and ending up regretting it, wishing I'd saved the money for a new build.

Where are you finding good pre-order prices for Sandy Bridge? Everything I've seen has been in-stock orders, nothing pre-order.

Thanks for your input - I do appreciate it.


I've found them at ebuyer (I live in the UK, the prices seem good, a 2500K (K = unlocked multiplier) for about £200-ish and a P8P67 Deluxe for around - £150-ish) As far as I can remember. Prices may have shot up.
m
0
l

Best solution

January 24, 2011 10:21:23 AM

Upgrading bit by bit is easy and no more expensive as long as you are smart about it - for example, don't buy things that are obsolete the moment you buy it. So, parts you can upgrade on this PC then reuse later:
Quality PSU
Decent GPU
Decent case (the one you have will do fine)
DVD Drive (no point in upgrading this unless it is an IDE one as what you have can be reused)
HDD (if Hard Drive is using IDE or is just very old it can be worth upgrading, however due to having to reinstall everything I would not get new HDD until I had upgraded the core of the system)
Universal CPU cooler (Something like a Hyper212+ can be used to cool your CPU so you can Overclock to extend its life, it can also be used on 1156, 1155 and AMD builds so is transferable no matter what your upgrade)

Basically the items not to upgrade as they would be wasting money are the core of your system:
CPU - Do not replace this with another CPU of the same socket type as it will still be old tech with no future
Motherboard - Do not buy a fancier mobo for the same socket for the reason above
RAM - Do not buy DDR2 RAM because when you upgrade to a new socket it will be obsolete as you need DDR3.

So, essentally when getting a new PC/Upgrading the old one you can do it in parts based on your finance. The first list are pieces you can buy one at a time, bit by bit to help maintain performance on your computer. The second list or 'core components' need to be done all at once. So when you can afford it you would replace the mobo, RAM and CPU together. How much this costs depends on what you upgrade to:
AMD Phenom II 955 + Mobo + 4gb RAM ~ £233 (using an older chipset mobo with XFire capability. Increase price for more modern board, decrease price if not going XFire)

i5 2500K + Mobo + 4gb RAM ~ £315 (using a mobo without SLI/XFire. Add £40 if you want this capability

Personal recommendation: Do not upgrade your system to the 1156 socket (the old i5) price difference between the old and new i5s are not enough to justify the decrease in performance compared to Sandy Bridge. Either save up the few extra £ for the Sandy Bridge or go budget with Phenom II.

If you go to www.scan.co.uk they tend to have some of the best prices in the UK (even with shipping cost for everything I still tend to save money (i5 2500k OEM is £174, Asus P8P67 Pro is £140) - unless of course you buy with multiple purchases. Note: 20 posts at Bit-Tech gives free Scan delivery. Also keep an eye on Today Only Offers at scan - I just built 2 new PCs saving about £50 overall)
Share
January 24, 2011 10:28:31 AM

I would not dump any more money into a 5 yr old rig; be content with Fear/Quake4/Medal of Honor/Doom until you can afford a new GTX570/580 based rig...
m
0
l
January 24, 2011 1:20:11 PM

mike, your system is old enough (Conroe CPU and G92 videocard) that about the only thing that makes sense (maybe) is to upgrade the PSU and GPU and later port them to a new system. The "maybe" is if you know you will build a new system within the next 6 months. Otherwise, hold off on the video card. In 6 months, there will be almost certainly new video hardware coming.

For all practical purposes, LGA 1156 is nearly as dead as LGA775.
m
0
l
January 24, 2011 2:43:15 PM

Like said above, you can get a good psu and a good gpu. I would get a good after market cooler and oc the hell out of your cpu. Then when it really starts to show its age, upgrade the cpu/mobo/ram.
m
0
l
January 25, 2011 11:01:51 AM

asteldian said:
Upgrading bit by bit is easy and no more expensive as long as you are smart about it - for example, don't buy things that are obsolete the moment you buy it. So, parts you can upgrade on this PC then reuse later:
Quality PSU
Decent GPU
Decent case (the one you have will do fine)
DVD Drive (no point in upgrading this unless it is an IDE one as what you have can be reused)
HDD (if Hard Drive is using IDE or is just very old it can be worth upgrading, however due to having to reinstall everything I would not get new HDD until I had upgraded the core of the system)
Universal CPU cooler (Something like a Hyper212+ can be used to cool your CPU so you can Overclock to extend its life, it can also be used on 1156, 1155 and AMD builds so is transferable no matter what your upgrade)

Basically the items not to upgrade as they would be wasting money are the core of your system:
CPU - Do not replace this with another CPU of the same socket type as it will still be old tech with no future
Motherboard - Do not buy a fancier mobo for the same socket for the reason above
RAM - Do not buy DDR2 RAM because when you upgrade to a new socket it will be obsolete as you need DDR3.

So, essentally when getting a new PC/Upgrading the old one you can do it in parts based on your finance. The first list are pieces you can buy one at a time, bit by bit to help maintain performance on your computer. The second list or 'core components' need to be done all at once. So when you can afford it you would replace the mobo, RAM and CPU together. How much this costs depends on what you upgrade to:
AMD Phenom II 955 + Mobo + 4gb RAM ~ £233 (using an older chipset mobo with XFire capability. Increase price for more modern board, decrease price if not going XFire)

i5 2500K + Mobo + 4gb RAM ~ £315 (using a mobo without SLI/XFire. Add £40 if you want this capability

Personal recommendation: Do not upgrade your system to the 1156 socket (the old i5) price difference between the old and new i5s are not enough to justify the decrease in performance compared to Sandy Bridge. Either save up the few extra £ for the Sandy Bridge or go budget with Phenom II.

If you go to www.scan.co.uk they tend to have some of the best prices in the UK (even with shipping cost for everything I still tend to save money (i5 2500k OEM is £174, Asus P8P67 Pro is £140) - unless of course you buy with multiple purchases. Note: 20 posts at Bit-Tech gives free Scan delivery. Also keep an eye on Today Only Offers at scan - I just built 2 new PCs saving about £50 overall)


That definitely helps clear things up, thanks.

I've just now realized that the reason you helpful people keep referencing UK sites and prices is because this is the Tom's Hardware UK/Ireland forum. How n00b am I to post here without realizing that? I'm actually from New York. Not that it changes your advice much - still quite helpful.

I think I'll look for a suitable GPU & PSU that would work well in an upgrade system (and hopefully a GPU that could be combined with a twin for SLI/XFire), and just suffer through another several months until I can put a new core build together. And when I do I'll go to Sandy Bridge - probably the best advice to avoid getting another upgrade itch in just a couple of years (I'd like the new build to last 5-6 before I'm making significant upgrades, ideally).

Thanks Again,
Mike
m
0
l
January 25, 2011 11:06:51 AM

jsc said:
mike, your system is old enough (Conroe CPU and G92 videocard) that about the only thing that makes sense (maybe) is to upgrade the PSU and GPU and later port them to a new system. The "maybe" is if you know you will build a new system within the next 6 months. Otherwise, hold off on the video card. In 6 months, there will be almost certainly new video hardware coming.

For all practical purposes, LGA 1156 is nearly as dead as LGA775.


Good point - I'm aiming to upgrade in just a month or two, but it makes sense to consider holding off on the GPU until I'm sure I'll be upgrading soon (especially considering I'll still have other bottlenecks so a new GPU alone won't boost me to the next generation of games.)
m
0
l
January 25, 2011 11:10:25 AM

zooted said:
Like said above, you can get a good psu and a good gpu. I would get a good after market cooler and oc the hell out of your cpu. Then when it really starts to show its age, upgrade the cpu/mobo/ram.


That's tempting...but I'm not the most experienced overclocker. I love the idea of it, but I need to read up on the overclocking flexibility of all my components so I don't go destroying what is primarily a business machine (when I'm not gaming). I earn my living on it so I'll be out of more than a few weeks of gaming if I kill it.

But I'll definitely read up on it to see if it's a possibility for the mean time. Thanks for the suggestion.

m
0
l
January 31, 2011 10:56:13 PM

Best answer selected by mikeunstuck.
m
0
l
!