Upgrade vs New System?

Hey Guys,

I've been on this site for a little while now, and absolutely love it. I'm looking to either upgrade or build a new computer, and the info here is my go-to guides.

The reason I'm posting is because I was hoping to get your opinion on what (if anything) I could upgrade in my old build from 2.5 years ago, or whether I should start a new build from scratch. My goal is a gaming rig capable of getting teh most out of more recent games (Witcher 2, Mass Effect 2, Dead Space 2, Civ 5).

My current hardware consists of:

CPU - Core 2 Duo E6420 - Overclocked @ 2.9Ghz Bus 415 Multiplier 7x
Cooler - Zalman Al/Cu Cooler on it
Motherboard - Gigabyte 965P-DS3
Graphics Card - BFG Tech 8800GTS 320MB
RAM - 2 x 1 gig Corsair PC2 - 6400 (400mhz)
Harddrive - 500 gig SATA 2

The two things I planned to do was 1: get a water-cooling system for the CPU (excellent stability when overclocked, so this would allow me to really push it), and double the ram to 4 gigs.

Please let me know what you guys think. Thanks in advance for the advice!
7 answers Last reply
More about upgrade system
  1. It depends on you cash flow...

    better cooler (make sure it will fit your next cpu)
    New GPU (could get bottlenecked by your current hardware but get one you can keep)

    Or just a new rig if you have the $$$!
  2. Wait for the new Bulldozer CPUs due in June.
  3. how much is your budget?
  4. If on a really tight budget, upgrade to 4GB of RAM and get a new GPU; water cooling won't give you a boost warranting the investment.

    Otherwise, I think a complete overhaul is needed.
  5. Thanks for the replies guys!

    My budget is currently up to $300 for upgrades, may be slightly more if needed.

    For RAM, there's currently a sale on Muskin Silverline 8Gb DDR3 1333MHz Cl9 DIMMs (2 sticks) for $60 at my local Canadacomputers, which would be nice to have if eventually overhauling everything. Would these be compatible with the current build? The motherboard has: "4 DDRII DIMM memory slots (supports up to 8gb memory), supports dual channel DDRII 800/667/533 unbuffered DIMMs, supports 1.8V DDRII DIMMs." (As an aside, is there a good from the basics tutorial on RAM and compatability? The Tom's Hardware stuff I found seems to be a bit over my head)

    Regarding the watercooling, again there's a sale for an Antec Khuler H2O 620 for $50, it's something I can put into an eventual new build, would hopefully allow me to push the CPU as much as I can, and gives me an excuse to dremel my case for a radiator hole ;p.

    In regards to the GPU, I'm looking at 3 options right now:
    - Zotac nVidia GeForce GTX 460 1Gb: $100
    - Sapphire AMD Radeon HD 6870 1Gb: $150
    - Asus EAH 6850 DC/2DIS/1GD5/V2 Direct CU AMD RadeonHD 6850 1Gb: $140
    According to the hierarchy chart, the 6870 is one step up from the 6850 and GTX 460, both equivalent. Is it worth spending an extra $50 (or 50% more) for one step up on the graphics chart?

    Thanks again for all the help!
  6. For it to be worthwhile, a full overhaul would need to be to the SandyBridge platform and an i5-2500K alone is 230$ so out of the 300$ budget; so I would rule-out the complete overhaul.

    For the DDR3, your MB only supports DDR2 so this is a no-go too; moreover you don't need 8GB, 4GB should be more than enough (and cheaper).

    For the cooler, most "all-in-one" solutions are, at best, as good as good tower coolers which are often cheaper as well (Look at Noctua or Xigmatek). The only benefit I see is the reduced size.

    For the GPU, I think a 6870 or a 6950 would be a tremendous upgrade over your 8800GTS in most games since not that many are CPU hungry.
  7. Xspc do some Rasa kits for reasonable outlay, but as you dont mention your psu, I'd be wary of overclocking too much :P
    I also vote for ram and gfx card
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