Need a CPU and GPU upgrade for my computer

Hi. Building a computer seems so hard for a computer noob such as me. Upgrading just one thing doesn't fix every problem as I have learned. However, due to my budget, I have to limit myself to only certain hardwares.

My CPU socket is LGA 775 and my PSU is 500 watts/ 600 watt peak.

I wish to play Black Ops and every other game on
because my monitor is such a ****, the screen becomes distorted if I raise the resolution higher. Also, I'd like to play games on high texture qualities, but without AA.

My budget is about $400. I CANNOT order online because... I don't have a credit card. The only store near me is Best Buy. I realize Intel Core 2 is a really bad CPU model, but I won't have enough money to buy a new motherboard, then buying new ram, new PSU. So, please recommend me a CPU and a GPU meeting my requirements. Thanks in advance.
43 answers Last reply
More about need upgrade computer
  1. No cpu!
    Better buy a gpu then later on you can uuse the gpu on your new pc.
  2. At that resolution a cheap video card like the 6770 will be plenty. What is the make and model number of your mother board? What do you have for a chip right now?
  3. a cheap video card like "6770'?!?!
    i was thinking at maximum gtx 460....
    my motherboard manufacturer is Dell
    model name is "0WG864"
    i dotn know what a chipset is so ill just right down everything

    Chipset: Intel P965/G965 Rev. C2
    Southbridge Intel 82801HH (ICH8DH) Rev. B0

    my current cpu is
    Intel Pentium D 915 2.8 GHz dual core
    my current gpu is
    Nivida GeForce 9500 GT

    I'd like to upgrade my CPU and GPU so I can play Black Ops with 1024x768 resolution with high qualities and about 60 fps.
    Many people said the LGA 775 socket is really old, but I'm a computer noob and I won't be able to save enough money to buy a new motherboard, then buy DDR3 ram with it, then new cpu, then new gpu.
    So I gotta stick with LGA 775. I think Intel Core 2 series is my only option.
    I want to buy a decent one, so I'll be able to play future games(up to 2~3 yrs?)
    as well as a GPU.
    Please recommend.
    My PSU is 500 watts/600 watts peak
    My budget is $400
  4. what model Dell?
  5. Dimension E520.
    please recommend within my needs
  6. dont worry I have a similar Dell myself
    I understand being on a budget :)
    I will go check out Bestbuy online for you and see what the store carries
    Be back soon
  7. thank you so much for understanding my situations. God bless you. :)
  8. here are your specs in PDF form
    under appendix
    You have a 305 watts continuos max Dell PSU
    that means it can run at 305w max load continously

    it can support a full size card (good news)
    I know it cant be more than a PCIE 1.1 x 16 slot
    lets play it safe and figure on a PCIE 1.0 x 16 slot
    (makes a difference-pcie 2.1 doesnt work well on 1.0 so lets just
    go for pcie 2.0 cards)

    okay looking at BestBuy online
    Your choice would be between a Nvidia GT 240 and a HD 5670
    both are low power usage cards
    in the 100-150 dollar price range

    here is a MSI HD 5670
    it is a 2.1 card but I run it alright on my Dell Optiplex 745 which is a PCIE 1.0 slot

    The GT 240 is a little slower than the HD 5670 would be the safer bet
    since I believe it is a 2.0 card but like I said I took the chance on the HD 5670 and it was fine

    you could go for a GTS 450 but you would need a 4 pin molex to 6 pin power connector adapter and would really be pushing your PSU to the limit

    cards like the GTX 460 or HD 5770 are out of the question
    draw too much power

    for 1024x768 either card will play fine
    I play Crysis 2 with my Core2Duo 3.0 and HD 5670 at 1920x1080 Advanced setting
    so at 102x768 you should be able to max almost any game out

    as far as CPU your best bet would be a Core2Duo E4700 or E6600 or E6700
    (the Core2Duo E6700 NOT the Pentium E6700)
    the 965 chipset you have only supports up to Conroe C2Ds

    but neither of those are at BestBuy
    your best bet is looking at Craigslist for for one of the E4xxx or E6xxx
    Core2Duo Conroes (refer to C2D Conroe list below)
    careful not all E6xxx are Conroes
    do not want Wolfdale 45nm Core2DUos
    the 965 chipset doesnt support them

    list of C2Ds
  9. since you mentioned the GTX 460 at top of price range
    I went between 100-150 on GPU

    you know you can get a preloaded Visa card at a storeor bank
    and use that for online purchase
    the HD 5670 is only about $80 at Newegg
    would save you alot of money
  10. There are several posts on dell's forums stating the Q6600 and 6700 work but BB doesnt carry these. I'm pretty sure the C2D 8 and 7 series wont work either.
  11. also to let you know I have the 965 Intel chipset in my tower
    so that is why I am so familiar with it
    look at more info under my picture/avatar to see my computer setup
  12. thank you, king smp. you have provided me with valuable information.
    but i have more to ask and more to add
    I have taken out the old crappy stock psu and have replaced it with a Rocketfish 500 watt/600 watt peak power supply unit. I stated it above, but perhaps you didn't notice :)
    My current psu DOES have a 6 pin connector, I believe, so I think I will go for EVGA GTX 460 on Best Buy.

    For my cpu, I have no idea what a chipset is, so could you please kindly lecture me on that subject shortly? I was thinking about buying a quad core with a lower GHz than a dual core with a higher GHz. Please recommend on this subject as well. I play Black Ops, FIFA 11, Company of Heroes, (all with low fps. Black Ops=30fps, FIFA 11= 40fps) and will play Modern Warfare 3 when it comes out.
    Either choice would end up as the Intel Core 2 series. However, I don't understand why my motherboard can't support certain processors of the Intel Core 2 series. I thought only the socket type had to match. My bet was on the Intel Core 2 Quad Q8400 2.66Ghz. Please tell me if my motherboard is compatible with the Q8400.
    If not, please recommend a product and if I should buy a dual core with a higher GHz or a quad core with a lower Ghz in the Intel Core 2 series. If Q8400 IS compatible, please tell me if there will be any "bottleneck" with the GTX 460. I'm not much knowledgeable on the idea of bottleneck either, so pleaese consider all the factors.

    "My 500 watt/600watt peak (with a 6-pin connector) PSU, if Q8400 is compatible on my motherboard, will there be any bottleneck with Q8400 and GTX 460, what other CPU if Q8400 ISN'T compatible."

    Again, my standards for PC gaming isn't high due to my low resolution monitor.
    1024x768 is VERY fine (for me at least) for the resolution. I'd like to use high text quality settings, and probably no AA.

    Thank you very much.
  13. the 965 Chipset only supports E6xxx conroes and maybe a Q6600
    I have heard of the Q6600 working with it
    the chipset is the chips that help the CPU communicate with motherboard

    have you thought of something like this
    that is a CyberPower PC Intel I3 2100 Sandybridge for $420
    it has decent onboard graphics and you could save up for a video card
    will absolutely DESTROY any LGA 775 upgrade you could do
    something to think about
  14. at 1024x768 the onboard graphics of the CyberPower would be
    fine for most games

    And you would have a Sandybridge build which will
    be upgradeable for years to come
    instead of a dead socket like the LGA775

    please really consider putting the money on a preloaded
    visa card and ordering online if you can

    otherwise get a HD 5770 for a video card
    the GTX 460 uses two 6 oin connectors
    and it kind of powerhungry

    at 1024x768 the HD5770 will be very good

    at that res the HD 5670 and the gt 240 will be just fine
    really at that res any more powerful a card will be wasted
  15. I'd love to try that but.... if I order online, my parents would be suspicious when it comes to our house. They don't like me spending money on computers...

    So, HD 5770 would be better than GTX 460? I think I DO have 2 6-pin connectors, so I don't care about that. I care about price and performance. I'd still like to buy GTX 460 since I'm more familiar with Nvidia.. What GTX 460 do you recommend from Best Buy... There are several manufacturers and I can't decide.

    Also, my CPU doesn't meet the requirements for Black Ops and FIFA 11.
    I'll need a recommendation for CPU from Best Buy..
    I heard quad cores are good for gaming now, but since you know more than me :D, please pick a good one, so I don't have to upgrade in the next 3 years.

    Thank you.
  16. what about buying a tower from BB

    if not then look at this

    that is a motherboard and CPU upgrade kit for $115
    it is your only option for your tower at BestBuy
    they dont have the older Core2Duos you need
    none of the CPUs they sell will work
    the CPU in the upgrade kit is better than yours
    and you can upgrade later

    and I would pick this 460
    EVGA is one of the best

    that would actually leave you about $125 and you can save up
    and look into getting a better CPU for that motherboard in the Intel kit

    only thing that is tricky is putting the motherboard in
    but there are plenty of guides and info on web
    and you have people on Toms to help

    but really I would recommend getting a XBox 360 or PS3
    instead of doing that
    In the long run you will get alot more gameplay with
    alot less trouble
  17. if you buy that mobo/cpu combo
    you can support these CPUs
    as you can see it is all the top end LGA775 CPUs

    this is link to mobo

    this is link to CPU

    that is a 45nm Wolfdale based CPU
    at 2.6ghz
    much more powerful than your current CPU

    then later you can go with a E8xxx or even a Q8xxx or Q9xxx
    quad core

    do realize that the LGA775 is a DEAD socket
    it is a EOL (end of life) socket
    for now you can get CPUs but they are actually as expensive
    or more expensive than current high tech CPUs

    I appreciate your interest in computers
    I cant understand parents that wouldnt encourage your interest
    I am a father of a ten year old
    and I would rather she spend her money on a computer
    than alcohol and drugs when she is older!

    anyway really consider a nice XBox360 bundle with your money
    Pretty much every game is available and will play with no problem
    you can get this
    and still have a $100 for games

    then later when you are older you can build a kick butt computer :)
  18. thank you for ur recommendation.
    I will buy the EVGA GTX 460 as you've recommended.
    Perhaps, I SHOULD buy a new motherboard as well. I think the only reason the "sucky" Intel Core 2 series is so expensive is because Intel wants me to buy newer motherboards and buy the Intel i series.
    I'm very sorry, but can you recommend a motherboard and an Intel i series CPU from Best Buy that will play games well up to 3 years later?
    I guess this means I'll have to buy new RAM too...
    The motherboard has so many things connected to it, I'm afraid I'll mess up my computer.

    Also, does Best Buy buy back old products?
    I have 2 Kingston DDR2 1GB RAM sticks, and 9500 GT.
    If they buy it back, I might be able to get more money.

    Thank you so much for your continuous answers.
  19. P.S. : Do I need a new case for a new motherboard?
  20. If you dont feel comfortable with a mobo swap out
    then my recommendation is keep the computer the way it
    is and buy the Xbox 360 for $300

    Are your parents okay with you tearing apart the computer?

    really with a PentD and a 9500gt that machine is fine for
    browsing,schoolwork,light gaming,cd/dvd ripping etc

    get the Xbox360 right now and game on that
    you will save yourself alot of headache by doing that
  21. my brothers already have an xbox, however, i enjoy pc gaming more.
    I just might wait longer, and save more money then see what i'll do.
    will I need a new case for a new mb?
    also, my computer makes a clicking/grinding noise when its loading something.
    do you thikn my computer is too old? its 4.5 years old...
  22. ps3hacker. Could you please explain the process of motherboard replacement more precisely?

    What are the steps of replacing a motherboard, what will I need, what will result from it?

    Do I need a new case for a new motherboard?
  23. I recommend a new case
    Dell uses some specific parts for them in their towers
    for example the fans use different wired connectors
    $30-$50 will get you a new case

    this is your homework
    there will be a pop quiz on friday,how-to-replace-your-pcs-motherboard.aspx
    basic guide to replacing motherboard
    there are many guides on the web for computer building including
    some great ones on Toms
    just check the stickies in the cpu and also system forums

    check this out
    I3-2100 3ghz dual core with Hyperthreading
    with Asus mobo
    get a case like this
    HAF 912

    now you have spent $280
    have that to get the video card
    like the GTX 460
    plus another $125 or so for a new hard driveand Windows 7
    That clicking and grinding sound when loading is your hard drive
    that HD will be dead very soon
    so get something for about $50 like a Western Digital Caviar Blue or Black
    or Seagate Barracuda

    also you will need a copy of windows for the tower 7&lp=11&cp=1
    125 for Win7 Premium 64-bit

    so you are short about $50 right now
    save up just a little
    and you could have a I3-2100 Sandybridge and a GTX 460
    you could shave a few bucks off of the video card
    go with a HD 5670 for about a $100
    that is your extra money for the Hard drive

    I have the HD 5670
    I guarantee you can play any game at 1024x768 maxed
    I play Crysis 2 at 1920x1080 DX9 advanced (second highest setting)

    then later go for a GTX 460
  24. i looked at the specs for the 520
    your Dvd/CD is Sata and so is the hard drive
    so you have the optical drive and the cables you need
    you will also need thermal paste and isopropyl alcohol
    BB should carry Antec Formula 5 paste (good paste) @ $10
    pharmacies carry the alcohol @$3 for cleaning paste
    you need coffee filters supermarket $2 for cleaning paste

    that looks like a stock Intel box
    should hopefully include fan and heatsink
    stock HSF is fine
    ask at BB if it does

    also more homework
    that is Tecmo34 awesome building a computer guide

    read it over and over again until memorized LOL

    seriously you have to do your studying
    unlike Algebra or American History
    this is FUN :)
  25. Oh almost forgot you will need memory also
    if budget is tight buy one 4gb stick for now and then a matching one later

    Corsair XMS is good
    eventually you will have 2 x 4gb
    for now 1 x4gb is alright
    you lose a little speed but it isnt major
  26. not much point sticking with a core 2 duo the cost for the proper quad coresocket 775's are not worth it

    an i3/i5 can be got for under £400 for everything including ram that will murder it

    it is very cpu intensive, in other words it dosnt touch the gpu at all

    i got hd 4670 and core e7600 (3ghz dual core)

    you can buy a socket 1155 core i3 2100 for £91 inc VAT

    you can get a good motherbaord for arround £70

    8gb corsair ddr3 £55

    thats 216 and you can upgrade that by swaping the cpu out for an i7 2600 at a later date as its same chipset

    £216 for complete new system or

    Intel Q8400 Core 2 Quad Processor - 2.66 GHz, 4MB Cache, 1333MHz FSB, Socket LGA775, 45 nm, 3 Year Warranty, Retail Boxed

    for £119

    go for new build mate, ask someone else about graphcics cards, i dont have a clue about one at a good price at the moment
  27. remember that the I3 Sandybridge CPU/Mobo has onboard graphics
    that are about equal to your 9500gt if not better
    at 1024x768 it would fine for now

    could use the video card money rignt now for the HD,WIn7 and memory

    then later get a GTX 460
  28. Anandtech site is having problems
    but there is the I3 2100 vs the 955
    and the 2100 beats it easily
  29. king smp said:
    Anandtech site is having problems
    but there is the I3 2100 vs the 955
    and the 2100 beats it easily

    My anandtech is working alright, so there you go.

    i3 2100 beats PII 955 80% of the time, usually by a margin of around 10%.

    but in real life when paired with a GTS450, there will not be a difference of more than 1 or 2 fps in game.
  30. thinking long term is an adult concept you have no clue of

    do you deny that the upgrade path for the 1155 is %100
    better than the AM3?

    he could save up and get a I5-2400 for about $200 and probably
    cheaper later on

    or even a I5 2500

    it will a while before AMD can reach a SandyBridge I5 level of performance
    and will definitley need a new socket to do it
    Face it
    AM3 is soon to be dead
  31. so you sacrifice and save for awhile to achieve a better result

    Being an Adult Lesson 101
  32. please stop fighting. This subject is just about a mere attempt to enjoy a modern video game on PC.

    About secretly ordering online, that would never work in a million years...
    Perhaps, I can discuss this abject matter to my guardian. (my nearly 5 year old dying computer) and get more money to build a new PC.

    Thank you for the recommendations, both of you.
    But isn't i3 the lowest of the i series? Maybe I should save more money to buy an i5 or i7. Is the motherboard in the bundle available separately? Also, when you said the motherboard had an integrated GPU, can the system use the GTX 460 AND the integrated one at the same time?
    Also. I have to buy Windows again if I replace a motherboard? Why?....

    Considering every option, I will try my best to save money, and build a new PC.

    **When I said I was thinking about a quad core with lower GHz, I meant to ASK if it was better. Not that I wanted only THAT one.

    Which is better? With newer games willing to utilize multi-cores, should I buy a quad core with lower GHz or a dual core with a higher GHz?
  33. P.S. : Does Best Buy buy back old hardwares? I bought it from the same store like a year ago
  34. no the onboard graphics cannot be utilized together with the GTX 460.
    If you decide to save up more, the i3+GTX460 would definitly be the way to go.
    I think you can barely get any money from Bestbuy by selling them crap like pentium D.
    We are basically building you a new PC here, actually given the parts I showed you, (that $443 setup) you just need to add $60 for a new PSU or use your old one, $20 for another DVD drive or you can just salvage it off the old PC, and $120 for windows 7 home premium *cough cough* and you have your new PC.

    Honestly, to take any advantage from a GTX460 over a GTS450 you'll have to buy a better monitor, $120 would get you a good 1080P monitor for some hardcore action, too bad you have to first spend $120 on OS *cough cough*.
    so yeah, good luck saving up, maybe check out the new build section when you have the money.
  35. Hi.
    When I was searching for a processor that will work on my motherboard, I heard something about a chipset.

    I thought only the socket type had to match in order for my motherboard to use the processor.

    The CPU I'm looking at is Intel Core 2 Quad Q8400.
    In the descriptions, it says it's LGA 775 compatible.

    Well, my motherboard socket type IS LGA 775.
    However, someone pointed out that my chipset, which is
    Intel P965/G965, doesn't support it.

    Need some help here?

    My motherboard model is Dell 0WG864.


    Will Q8400 work on my motherboard?
  36. Promoting pirated software isn't allowed on this forum.
  37. I'm planning on upgrade my processor.

    What informations about my computer do I need to know in order to choose the correct processor that will run on my system?

    Only the socket type? or is there more?
  38. Motherboard: Dell 0WG864

    Computer: Dell Dimension E520

    Socket: LGA 775

    Will Intel Core 2 Quad Q8400 work?
  39. The best thing to do is to call Dell to find out what CPUs the motherboard is compatible with. Older LGA 775 motherboards may require a BIOS upgrade in order to use a newer LGA 775 CPU like the Q8400. Without the proper BIOS upgrade, the newer CPU will not be recognized and will most likely not work.
  40. Reqhjack24 to answer your question most likely it will not work. This board uses the 965 chipset. While in most cases this board could accept some Intel® Core™ 2 Duo processors it topped off at those with the 65nm manufacturing technology and 1066 FSB processors. Here is Dell’s listing of what is supported with that unit

    Christian Wood
    Intel Enthusiast Team
  41. most likely? so thats a no?

    Does this mean I have to upgrade my motherboard as well?
    Doesn't upgrading a motherboard require a new install of Windows?
    Pretty much getting a new computer?
  42. The problem with a number of these big OEMs is that they may update or change setting on a board from the release of the chipset by Intel or they may not update their site with changes from new Bios. So there is some flexibility on the range of what it may support. I used to own an Intel® DP965LT board (same basic chipset) and with it I could have upgraded to the Intel® Core™ 2 Quad Q6600 or Q6700, but Dell does not list those as supported on their 965 board. So there is a chance that they did something to support those processors but don't yes it is very small but there is a chance.

    As far as upgrading you can change the processor out with these processors and get a major improvement in performance,27250,27249,27248 without changing the board. I was able to find a couple places listing some of these processors for sale still without too much effort. If you want to upgrade to above this level of processor most likely you are going to have to upgrade the works.

    Christian Wood
    Intel Enthusiast Team
  43. This next topics has been merged by Mousemonkey
    CPU and chipset??
    What do I need to know to upgrade my CPU?
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