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Need a CPU and GPU upgrade for my computer

Last response: in CPUs
July 13, 2011 10:57:12 PM

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.
a b à CPUs
July 13, 2011 11:05:04 PM

No cpu!
Better buy a gpu then later on you can uuse the gpu on your new pc.
a b à CPUs
July 13, 2011 11:11:22 PM

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?
Related resources
July 14, 2011 12:58:09 AM

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
a b à CPUs
July 14, 2011 1:02:13 AM

what model Dell?
July 14, 2011 1:17:31 AM

Dimension E520.
please recommend within my needs
a b à CPUs
July 14, 2011 1:23:17 AM

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
July 14, 2011 1:25:30 AM

thank you so much for understanding my situations. God bless you. :) 
a b à CPUs
July 14, 2011 2:03:59 AM

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

a b à CPUs
July 14, 2011 2:06:44 AM

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
a c 150 à CPUs
July 14, 2011 2:08:32 AM

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.
a b à CPUs
July 14, 2011 2:08:39 AM

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
July 14, 2011 2:54:22 AM

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.
a b à CPUs
July 14, 2011 3:26:39 AM

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
a b à CPUs
July 14, 2011 3:31:12 AM

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

July 14, 2011 12:53:04 PM

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.
a b à CPUs
July 14, 2011 4:22:23 PM

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
a b à CPUs
July 14, 2011 4:47:55 PM

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 :) 

July 14, 2011 4:48:39 PM

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.
July 14, 2011 4:51:14 PM

P.S. : Do I need a new case for a new motherboard?
a b à CPUs
July 14, 2011 5:18:17 PM

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
July 14, 2011 5:34:38 PM

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...
July 14, 2011 5:57:11 PM

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?
a b à CPUs
July 14, 2011 8:43:30 PM

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-rep...
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

a b à CPUs
July 14, 2011 9:04:59 PM

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 :) 
a b à CPUs
July 14, 2011 9:08:58 PM

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
a b à CPUs
July 14, 2011 9:21:07 PM

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
a b à CPUs
July 14, 2011 9:24:00 PM

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
a b à CPUs
July 14, 2011 10:15:23 PM

Anandtech site is having problems
but there is the I3 2100 vs the 955
and the 2100 beats it easily
July 14, 2011 10:35:04 PM

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.
a b à CPUs
July 14, 2011 11:19:43 PM

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
a b à CPUs
July 14, 2011 11:21:25 PM

so you sacrifice and save for awhile to achieve a better result

Being an Adult Lesson 101
July 15, 2011 12:56:35 AM

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?
July 15, 2011 1:06:03 AM

P.S. : Does Best Buy buy back old hardwares? I bought it from the same store like a year ago
July 15, 2011 3:54:19 AM

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.
July 15, 2011 12:49:34 PM

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?
a b à CPUs
July 15, 2011 2:09:32 PM

Promoting pirated software isn't allowed on this forum.
July 15, 2011 4:14:13 PM

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?
July 15, 2011 4:32:42 PM

Motherboard: Dell 0WG864

Computer: Dell Dimension E520

Socket: LGA 775

Will Intel Core 2 Quad Q8400 work?
a c 479 à CPUs
July 15, 2011 4:46:03 PM

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.

a c 190 à CPUs
July 15, 2011 4:53:58 PM

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
July 15, 2011 5:33:07 PM

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?
a c 190 à CPUs
July 15, 2011 6:21:43 PM

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
a b à CPUs
July 15, 2011 7:00:54 PM

This next topics has been merged by Mousemonkey
  • CPU and chipset??
  • What do I need to know to upgrade my CPU?