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Upgrade or rebuild?

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June 6, 2011 5:55:53 PM

I'm at a crossroads here, I want to get an upgrade for my computer. 3 years ago I built a machine with an E8500 and 8 gigs of RAM on an Asus P5Q-e Motherboard so I could later update it to a quadcore if I saw the need. But now with the i7s smoking the 6600s and at a cheaper price point than the 6600s it's making me consider building a new computer.

I mostly do some gaming on my computer, and I intend on using it mostly for that purpose. Currently I am running:

E8500 3.16 GHz Core 2 Duo (no overclock)
ASUS P5Q-e
8 Gigs of G.Skill DDR2 PC800 RAM @ CL 4-4-4-12
1 Gig GTX460 256bit Video card (EVEGA)
WD 7200 RPM 500 Gig HDD

I play an older game called Everquest, of which I run multiple instances (3 currently, sometimes 4, but the computer can't handle it) and I have to use my i5 Laptop to handle the other boxes. The i5 completely trashes my Desktop in terms of performance and just absolutely runs 5 better than my desktop runs 3. I want to get where I can run at least 6 instances on my desktop, and I'm sure if I went to the i5 2500k that I could easily run 10 instances (given the appropriate amount of RAM of course)

I guess what I'm driving at is, would it be worth it to go ahead and get something like a Q6600 and try to extend the life of the current PC for another year or so, or would it make more sense to go ahead and just build a new one? I'm hoping the fine people over here at Tom's can help me get a little insight, because while I am a computer enthusiast, I am by no means an expert.

Option A:
Upgrade to Core2 Quad processor of some sort
Try to find a set of 4 gig sticks and upgrade to 16 gigs of RAM
potentially look into getting a SSD.

Option B:
Rebuild

Option C:
Turn my laptop into my primary computer by getting:
SSD
3rd Monitor - for old computer so it would still be functional
Keyboard and Mouse

There's no reason for me to have a bleeding edge computer as I'm not looking to drop 2500 on a system that a 1000 dollar system would do just fine on, for my needs. I don't want a system that's going to be entirely obsolete as I feel my current computer is, with only 2 cores and no hyperthreading it really hurts me for what I like to do. I would like to stay under 1000 and I do think that my GTX460 would easily transfer to a new system, and I could put my old Radeon back in the current system and pass it off to my wife.

More about : upgrade rebuild

a c 81 à CPUs
June 6, 2011 7:23:00 PM

Well since you have the cash, going for an i5 2500k is surely the way to go. Your requirements however are just too little for what that CPU can deliver. Regardless, it'll keep you happy for 3+ years guaranteed.
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June 6, 2011 8:34:54 PM

Right, so by the means of me not 'needing' the 2500k, would the q6600 or something like that deliver what I'm asking for? Or would I be wasting my money to just upgrade the fan and CPU and RAM, only to replace it 6 months down the road with an i5 or even i7.

After looking at it, there's no reason for me to go with the i5, I'd rather spend the 100 bucks to get Hyperthreading, unless someone wants to talk me out of that. But to have 8cores instead of 4cores just makes sense for 90 dollars. Even if it meant waiting an extra month and skipping a few expensive meals, for lower priced ones to make up the difference =)
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June 6, 2011 8:55:28 PM

Okay, so I priced out what it would be to go to 16 gigs of DDR2 and the top end Core2Quad, and it would be over 700 bucks just for those 2 pieces, without upgrading my cooler etc, or I could just build an entirely new i7 and have 2 functioning computers for just like 300-400 more than maxing this old machine out. Maybe that's why they keep prices so high on 'old' stuff so you want to spend just a little more to get the new stuff!!!

Alright, so at this point I'm hoping I can get some direction in terms of parts, and what would play nice with an i7 2600k and the GTX 460, cause those are the only 2 pieces I'm really sold on atm. I never used much of the functionality on the current computer I have. I also never put a raid in it or anything like that, so wondering if it'd be better to get a raid set up, or if I'd be better getting a SSD for the system drive, just like a 32 gig, and then using a 500 gig or 1TB drive as the 2ndary drive for storage.

PS, if this isn't the right place for this sort of question could someone kindly point me there? I don't want to be a bother for anyone.
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June 6, 2011 9:09:32 PM

I have a very similiar rig, core2quad 6600, 4 gigs ram and a 5770 ati card. My philosophy has always been build once and use it til it breaks, becomes obsolete or a needed feature is available for cheap. I try not to upgrade a part to a higher lever of performance then my original build. So based on this philosophy I offer the following.

Option A: I don't recommend. For half the price of a new mainboard, ram and processor, you will get very small if any speed bump depending on how well the game threads(I know it uses a ridiculous amount of ram for an older game.). Your Just not gonna be able to upgrade that system with 2 year old gear to make it worth the cost.

Option B: very easily within budget, you already have a good card to use. There is a good chance that a rebuild would last you another 3 years.

Option C: A cheap alternative that you have to decide on personally. An alternative could also involve running a couple instances on the laptop and put on the desk next to you. The ssd is unneeded, but really nice to have.

Personally I prefer B because i Dont multitask. I also prefer dual monitors, so option C appeals to me more for your given example.

I hope i offered some helpful insight, but its mearly one mans opinion.
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a c 81 à CPUs
June 6, 2011 9:20:18 PM

iloxygenil said:
Right, so by the means of me not 'needing' the 2500k, would the q6600 or something like that deliver what I'm asking for? Or would I be wasting my money to just upgrade the fan and CPU and RAM, only to replace it 6 months down the road with an i5 or even i7.

After looking at it, there's no reason for me to go with the i5, I'd rather spend the 100 bucks to get Hyperthreading, unless someone wants to talk me out of that. But to have 8cores instead of 4cores just makes sense for 90 dollars. Even if it meant waiting an extra month and skipping a few expensive meals, for lower priced ones to make up the difference =)


Those are 4 virtual cores on the i7 2600k. It is a little different from having 8 real cores. If your program can make use of the hyper threading feature then surely get it. Otherwise the i5 2500k is plenty fast. Moreover, since that game uses huge amount of memory, the extra 100$ can be spent on getting more amount of ram.
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a b à CPUs
June 6, 2011 10:03:16 PM

Considering that you want to run so many instances of Everquest (personally I think that's crazy), the extra threads on an i-7 would help you over the i-5 though I don't know by how much. In your case, I say get an i5 2500k or an i7 2600K if you can afford it. Older X58 setups (being made obsolete by the 2600k) are also available pretty cheaply now so a decent X58 board with an i-7 930 in a combo deal might also be a good option for you so long as you overclock the CPU of course.
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June 7, 2011 2:33:37 AM

I have decided (after getting the wife's approval) that I'm going with Option B, the complete rebuild.

I am going to be selling this desktop to her parents (who are on an 8 year old "computer") Soooo, that being said I need some help with my build now.

I am going to go with the 2600k (at least at the start because I figure go big or go home on this one it needs to last 3-4 years)

Beyond that I know I'm going with 16 gigs of RAM, keeping my current video card (GTX460) and then from there I need to build from scratch. Can't keep the case or the power supply cause I'm selling them obviously. So could someone get me headed down the right path for a motherboard etc?
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