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CPU & Mobo Choices?

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April 26, 2011 8:01:18 PM

Currently I am trying to upgrade my CPU and motherboard, as I believe that's the best thing to do right now. If there are alternate suggestions, let me know, but this seems to be the most efficient thing I can do right now from what I've read.

The problem is, I don't really understand what to look for currently, at all.

Current specs as follows:

2x2GB RAM, I believe Kingston, and they are DDR2 I'm not sure about additional information (like speed?).

nVidia 9800 GTX+

ASRock P43Twins1600

Intel Pentium D 3.40 GHz

I'm attempting to keep the price for the mobo+CPU under about $240 or so. I've been looking at combo-deals on Newegg, for example, but I don't really understand CPUs too well. Everything under $240 shows up as 3.1 GHz or even lower, but I suspect that they may still be faster than my current CPU, which was released in '06.

My goal is to improving gaming and performance. If I'm totally swinging in the wrong direction for such an upgrade, let me know. I do know that the CPU is the oldest component of my computer right now (it's pretty much the only piece that survived a full-on computer fatality in December 2008).

*(I was not sure which forum to put this question in. Please let me know if this is wrong.)

More about : cpu mobo choices

April 26, 2011 8:55:01 PM

How about just a CPU upgrade to a C2D E8400 ($170 newegg) or C2Q Q9505 ($240). Both will give you a noticeable difference, will overclock well, and allow you to stay under your $240 limit by using the same motherboard.
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a c 190 à CPUs
a c 75 V Motherboard
April 26, 2011 9:08:02 PM

I would have to go with the Intel® Core™ I3 2100, an H61 chipset series board, and 4GB of DDR3 (2 x 2GB) RAM. This would open the door into the 2nd generation Intel Core processors for you and allow you to upgrade in the near future to an I5 or better processor. This should all be right around of the budget that you listed. Also if you don’t want to use a video card it will allow you run the on processor till you can afford to get a better card.

Christian Wood
Intel Enthusiast Team
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April 26, 2011 9:41:28 PM

A few quick questions that might help.

How big a difference will a change in motherboard make?

How big a difference will a change in CPU make?

If I can "get away" with swapping out JUST the CPU on my system, and leave open lots of options later to just upgrade the motherboard, that seems like it would be optimal (in which case I might pick upt eh E8400).

That way instead of buying a halfway-decent CPU and halfway-decent motherboard now, I can buy a reasonably good CPU now, and then in a few months buy a better motherboard.
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a c 190 à CPUs
a c 75 V Motherboard
April 27, 2011 2:46:04 PM

Ok first of all we would need to look at the model of your motherboard to find out if it would support an Intel® Core™ 2 Duo. While the board you have uses socket 775 that doesn’t mean that it will support the Intel Core 2 Duo or Quads, so we need to look into this first. Now while moving to an Intel Core 2 Duo may save use some money and give you a big improvement over the older Intel Pentium® D processors since it is discontinued you may have a hard time finding it. Also you may need to upgrade the ram that you have. Intel Pentium D had an 800 FSB so most likely the ram that you have is DDR 2 400, for the Intel Core 2 Duo you are looking at a FSB of 1066 or 1333, which means that you would be looking at DDR 2 533 or 667. If you don’t know how to find this information on your computer download and run CPU-Z from http://www.cpuid.com/. It will give you the basic system information on your computer and then we can see about upgrading within the same motherboard. For the most part motherboards dont make a difference in performance they only make a difference in the features and processors that they support. The fastest Intel Pentium D that we made had a clock speed of 3.73 as an extreme edition. One of the first Intel Core 2 Duos that we made was the Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 in benchmarks done here on Tom's out of 20 different the E6400 out performed the Pentium D in 16 out of the 20 and only just under it in the other 4 benchmarks. For a $200 processor to do that to a $1000 processor says a lot about the upgraded technology.

Christian Wood
Intel Enthusiast Team

P.S. For upgrading to the Intel Core I3 2100 and H61 series board and 4GB of DDR3 memory you are looking at a budget of around $260.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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April 27, 2011 3:06:07 PM

bonker said:
A few quick questions that might help.

How big a difference will a change in motherboard make?

How big a difference will a change in CPU make?

If I can "get away" with swapping out JUST the CPU on my system, and leave open lots of options later to just upgrade the motherboard, that seems like it would be optimal (in which case I might pick upt eh E8400).

That way instead of buying a halfway-decent CPU and halfway-decent motherboard now, I can buy a reasonably good CPU now, and then in a few months buy a better motherboard.


Yeah, disregard my previous suggestion. I didn't realize an i3-2100, H67 mobo, and 4GB of DDR3 memory could be had for so little cash. Try this. You should be able to recycle everything else, assuming your hard drive and optical drive use a SATA interface and your PSU has a 24-pin ATX power connector and a 4-pin CPU power connector.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... <--Intel Core i3-2100 Sandy Bridge CPU combo w/ MSI H67-E43 Motherboard $214.98
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... <--4GB G.Skill DDR3 1333MHz 1.5v CAS8 RAM $46.99

I know your budget was $240, but for $30 more (shipped) you can have all of the above which will be much better than just upgrading to that E8400. Don't get me wrong, the E8400 is a good chip, it's just outclassed by the less expensive i3-2100.
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April 28, 2011 4:03:11 AM

bonker said:
Alright, based on some suggestions from another thread, what I'm looking at now is some AMD stuff.

This RAM: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

With this CPU/mobo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

This comes out to $184.

What might be better? I can go up about $20, reasonably, if I can get a significantly better deal for the money.


It'll work if that's all the money you have to spend. It'll game decently and multitask better than the Pentium D you have now. You're buying into technology that you can't really upgrade without changing the motherboard and CPU again. Just keep that in mind. With only two memory slots you would have to replace your RAM, whereas with four slots you could add to it. If you have to have something new now, then go for it. If you can wait a bit, save up some more and go with the suggestions that I posted earlier. If you want to game and can't afford at least a Sandy Bridge Core i3, then wait until you can. This coming from an AMD fan. Or you could wait until Bulldozer and see what you can afford at that time.
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April 28, 2011 4:12:56 AM

I ended up going with the following.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

In addition I got a free cheapie video card with the CPU, which I'm just going to resell on eBay (it was an extra $10, and I know I can sell the GPU for upwards of $30 or so).

So, that came out to $204, pretty much dead on my optimal price range. Higher would have been rough on the cash flow, and it looks like I got the best deal for the money.

Thank you all for your help. I will be saving up, no doubt, for an i5 + mobo later, and this should improve things for now.
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April 28, 2011 4:13:47 AM

Best answer selected by bonker.
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