I have a PC that is getting a little long in the tooth. I kind of want to bump it up a few notches, at the least possible price (prefer to stay <$200). My primary need for performance boost is gaming (I play a lot of strategy like Civ V and RPG like Fallout series). I upgraded the video card to a mid-range Radeon HD 4770, which is probably OK relative to the rest of the system. What do you guys think? What's my best option? I think I need to upgrade the CPU, but that entails a motherboard upgrade. If that's the case, what's the best bang for ~$200-300? Here are the specs:
(OS: Windows 7)
- Dell Dimension 9200 (prebuilt but I am capable of building/adding)
- 2 LGA 775 CPU Sockets
- Dual Intel Core 2 Duo 6700 @ 2.66 currently occupy the sockets
- ATI Radeon HD 4770
- 4GB RAM (not sure of speed)
WR2, I totally agree there's no CPU upgrade that makes sense. That seems to be the consensus amongst other owners of this machine. Unfortunately, it was purchased (not by me) at the end of its lifecycle, so the upgrade path sucked. It's too little bang for the buck to snap in any other compatible processor...So the question is, could I get a motherboard/CPU combo that I could replace my current one with, for < $250 or so total, which would also be a substantial upgrade and give me an upgrade path?
Anything that will fit inside the $250 budget is again at the wrong end of an upgrade path.
AMD is moving to AM3+ very shortly
and Intel has moved on from 1156 and is on 1155 now with it's Sandy Bridge CPUs.
Both of those are DDR3 boards so we're talking CPU/MB/RAM upgrades at the minimum.
Even slipping in the least expensive SandyBridge for which there is an upgrade path isn't a slam dunk. It kind of highlights how good the C2D CPUs were. But this jump up over the Core i3-i5 first gen CPUs into the 2nd.
It will improve the CPU situation, but Im thinking it won't give you the increased performance you'd expect due to the video card staying the same.
WR2, thanks a ton for this advice! It sounds like perhaps I should just wait until I'm ready for a full CPU/MB/RAM combo upgrade; maybe when AMD launches AM3+ and pending numbers on those looking like they're worth the cost. Thanks very much for sharing your wisdom.