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Best possible way to upgrade without total rebuild

Last response: in Systems
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March 10, 2011 8:26:08 PM

My rig is getting a bit slow with some of the newer games coming out this year and from the end of last year. It is a homebuilt system, but was done by a more knowledgeable person than myself, I am want to upgrade, but don't want to have to totally rebuild.

Was wondering if just buying a new GPU would give it enough juice to keep up with the newer titles. Have been researching and have be considering the ATI Raedon HD 6970 2GB. I am unsure if my PSU has the right connections for this card.
Just want to know if my rig can handle this, and if this would be the best way to upgrade. Price Range max $400.

My PC specs are:
Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM) 2 duo CPU E8500 @ 3.16GHZ
Motherboard: ASUS P5Q
Ram: x2 Corsair DDR2 2048mb
GPU: ATI Raedon HD 4850 1GB
PSU: Coolermaster SilentPro 600 RS-600-AMBA-D3 (600w)
OS: Windows 7 Ultimate 64x SP1
Display: Samsung SyncMaster 2493HM 1900x1200, 1080p
Sound Card: SB Audigy
HD: 160GB (Standard)
Tower: Coolermaster CM 690
Fans: x2 Case Fans

More about : upgrade total rebuild

a b B Homebuilt system
March 10, 2011 9:25:22 PM

If this is your PSU http://www.katerno.com/detail.php?s=147294 it should run the 6970 fine, The 6970 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... shows it need 1 6 pin and 1 8 pin PCI-E and 550W

A new GPU IMO would be the best way to go ATM I would even look into a http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And save the rest for a new quad core SB CPU/MOBO/RAM down the road when more and more games need it.

You could also pick up a HSF and OC the E8500 to 3.8 no problem.

March 10, 2011 9:39:59 PM

Thanks really helpful, will look into the OC but, dont know much about OC.
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 10, 2011 10:07:59 PM

You are on the right path here Bussy. Niklas' advice is correct.

You have lots of choices for a video card. You could go with Niklas' suggestion and get a 560 Ti, or try this out for size: MSI R6950-2PM2D2GD5 Radeon HD 6950 2GB for $234. This card is $23 less, and is unlockable to a 6970. The card still fits within the confines of your power supply, and your case is big enough to hold it. Pick your favorite game out of this review to compare. If you go with the 6950, make sure you get a 2GB model so that you can unlock it.

Now for overclocking, here is a heatsink that is reasonable in price: Cooler Master Hyper 212 plus for $37.

With the rest of your budget, you could drop your operating systems and favorite games on an SSD: G.SKILL Phoenix Pro Series FM-25S2S-60GBP2 2.5" 60GB for $130

Finally, since your build skills may be a bit rusty, here are a couple of references that might help avoid any problems:

1) Step-by-Step Guide to Building a PC

2) PERFORM THESE STEPS before posting about boot/no video problems

I have done these very same things to a similar machine, and you can expect to be very happy with the results. Good Luck.
a b B Homebuilt system
March 10, 2011 10:19:21 PM

Oh, I saw your post asking about overclocking: here is an guide for your style of chip. It is very detailed, and might be a bit intimidating. It is actually a lot of fun, and pretty simple once you get the hang of it.
March 10, 2011 10:38:04 PM

Looked into the HD 6950 to 6970 unlock, looks promising especially in the $ saving if was to go straight 6970, thanks also for the OC adivce
March 10, 2011 11:01:58 PM

Doing a bit more research on the 6950, would my PSU be able to handle 2 of them in crossfire
a b B Homebuilt system
March 10, 2011 11:31:47 PM

Not two of them - one is even pushing it, since that is a fairly hefty card. I do not think your motherboard has two PCIe slots, either.
March 10, 2011 11:39:17 PM

Was just wondering, i think i have decided to go fo the unlocked 6950 2gb and then if needs must look into OC my cpu.
!