Looking to uprade CPU - Need some advice and suggestions

Hey Tom's,

I am wanting to upgrade my cpu so I am ready for Battlefield 3 when it comes out. I am looking to jump to a quad core. I am not very hardware savvy and I was curious what I would be needing to replace in order to do this (I have an idea of what needs upgrading but I am not entirely sure)

This is what I have right now:

Intel Pentium Dual-Core E5200 @ 2.50GHz
ASUS P5QL Pro Motherboard
Corsair 2 x 2gb DDR2
NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GT

The video card serves it's purpose for the time being so I am not really looking to upgrade that. I will also go to 8gb ram.

I looked and I found that I can upgrade just the CPU, keeping the same mobo, but would I be better off spending the little bit extra and just upgrading so I wont have to do it again sooner than later? and if I was to upgrade either just the CPU or cpu&mobo, what else will I need to look at upgrading?(fans, psu, etc.)

I am looking for some suggestions from people who know more about this than I do.

Thanks :)
11 answers Last reply
More about looking uprade advice suggestions
  1. IF you upgrade both the CPU and the MB, New DDR3 memory would be in order. I just bought a used Core Duo E8500 and swapped out a E4600 and that was a pretty good improvement for a WOW machine. So just processor upgrade will yield a decent bump.
  2. For starters, whats your budget
  3. wow those wolfdale chips are still in mass supply...i cant imagine the motherboards that run them are though. just buy the chip the guy above mentioned, the e8500. or the e8400 probably wont see much of a difference. that will give you a huge jump.
  4. I would not bother upgrading the CPU unless you upgrade the GPU as well, also you will see little benefit from more DDR2 RAM.
  5. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157226
    cheap crossfire am3 board that takes ddr2 memory so you can reuse your memory.

    -If you want to go to 8gb of ram, it is cheaper to opt for a ddr3 board and get ddr3 memory. If you do that its better to either get a am3+ board that can upgrade to bulldozer later or go for a sli/crossfire 1155 board and a i5-2500k cpu instead. -if you get the 1155 board and i5-2500k there is a special board for sli with a dedicated physx card that has 3 pcie slots on it too. But it starts to get expensive.

    - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814187144
    $99 sparkle geforce 460.

    AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 125W $109 with rebate code.

    KINGWIN ABT-850MM 850W

    -Reuse your 9800gt as a dedicated physx card. It should work well as a physx card paired with the 460.

    ? quad core xeon socket 775 cpu.
    $205.99 Intel Yorkfield 2.66GHz 6MB L2 Cache LGA 775 95W Quad-Core Server Processor
  6. A used core2quad/board/mem kit so you can rob the memory and cpu from it is cheaper if you find it for sale locally.

    -Winxp 32bit and win vista 32bit and win7 32bit all max out at 3gb. The os cant see more than 3gb, it wont matter how much memory you put in. The 64bit os versions can use more than 3gb of memory, but even with the 64bit there is a very little speed increase when going above 4gb anyway.
  7. Dear You Have To Change Ur CPU & GPU Both....For New Games...

    As u Said U Don't Want To Change Ur GPU And Also Ready For BF3.Then U Can Play BF3 With This GPU With Very Limited Fram Rates On Medium Settings With 1024*786 Resulations...
  8. I know it sounds stupid, but the hd-6770 or hd-6790 are 800 shader cards that are known to give you decent frame rates even with a slower dual core cpu.

    The 9800gt is about half of the speed of the 6790.

    Keeping your current cpu and just going to that card instead would let you run bf3 but the load times between maps would still be slow.

    It has something to do with the way the shader banks are in the gpu die. The 800 shader card has 4 banks of 200 shaders, but the larger ones like the 6970 have 8 banks of shaders. Each shader bank needs more cpu power to feed it. It seems like with 8 banks of shaders its too much and chokes a dual core cpu.

    I have paired the 6770 with the dual core athlonII regor 3ghz cpus that were on sale before for only $49.99. They work well together. Your current cpu is not much slower than the regor so it should still work ok with that card. I tried a 6950 from another computer i was setting up, the 6950 actually runs slower than the 6770 with the regor. So it seems like it's important to match the cpu and gpu.

    The older 4870 also does well with a dual core. The 6790 is basically a die-shrunk 4870 with some updates like dx11.

    My living room pc is a socket 939-x2-4400+ @2.5ghz, about the same as the 5200, with a hd-4870.
    It seems to play games well, games like assassins creedII, gtaiv, dirt2, ut3, batman, black ops, fear2, all at 1080p 46" lcdtv. It looks good and plays games well.
    The only thing is the load times are often longer with the old dual core.

    The hd-6770 is only $100, that is the cheapest upgrade by far, and the one that will help the most.
  9. http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/desktop-cpu-charts-2010/Gaming-Left-4-Dead,2432.html

    I suppose the core2 quad is pretty slow. that xeon quad is alot slower than the phenomIIx4.

    There must be a bottleneck on the socket 775 board since if you look the 5200 is not far behind. so upgrading the cpu to a bit faster 775 cpu wont help much.
  10. You will benefit greatly from a quad for BF3. I would strongly suggest NOT getting another dual core for that board. If you can afford it, I recommend getting a new board/cpu/ram(2500k if you can). but you should also upgrade the gpu as well.
  11. rocksinmysocks said:
    Hey Tom's,

    This is what I have right now:

    Intel Pentium Dual-Core E5200 @ 2.50GHz
    ASUS P5QL Pro Motherboard
    Corsair 2 x 2gb DDR2
    NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GT

    i had an E5300 that overclocked like a champ to 3.9 without batting an eye with a Q6600 heatsink. since after market CPU coolers are most always configurable to many different sockets might be a good idea to get a decent one and try OCing your chip first to see if you get satisfactory results.

    i ran COD MW2 very well and COD Black Ops ok with a 9600 GT 1024 with most *eye candy* turned on in MW2 but off in BO.

    or really save what money you can and upgrade your whole platform unless you see a great deal for a quad on ebay . .
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