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What should I upgrade my computer with next?

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August 27, 2011 8:11:03 PM

Hello, this is my first time posting on this forum and want some advice on how I should upgrade my computer in the near future. It is a gaming computer so I am not that interested in hardware that would not benefit gaming on it. I no a bit about computers but I am no expert so I hope I'll get some help here. My current system specs are:

Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Dup CPU @ 3.00 GHz
RAM: 4.00 GB
Video Card: NVIDIA 9800 GTX+
Monitor: 1920x1080 Resolution, 16:9 Aspect Ratio 24"



There is another video card slot on my computer so I could buy another GTX+ and put it alongside my current one. I do not need a new hard drive because I have plenty of space.

More about : upgrade computer

August 27, 2011 11:02:37 PM

I wouldn't recommend SLI'ing that card, it is quite old now. You would be better off buying an HD 6850/GTX 460 1GB or something. Overclocking your CPU would help too.
a b U Graphics card
August 27, 2011 11:23:33 PM

Did you have a budget for this upgrade? I'm with jmsellars1 that SLI'ing the 9800gtx+ isn't a good idea. You don't mention your Case/PSU, which are very important to know also. Please give us your complete specs, so we can help you better.
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August 28, 2011 5:40:15 PM

Sorry for not giving all the information here are the rest of the specs:

Case: Antec Nine Hundred - UK
Motherboard: ASUS P5N-D
PSU: Not 100% sure how to find out. There is a label with S/N: D0468257 on it. It has a fan with a model: A8025M12S whcih says 12V and 0.22 A as well as HI-POT OK if that helps.

Also, in terms of budget I was thinking around £300-400 which is about $500-$650 US dollars.
August 28, 2011 6:23:04 PM

With that budget i would get:

https://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Motherboards...

https://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/CPUs+%2F+Pro...

https://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Graphics+Car...!+?productId=45722

Then i would upgrade to a good quality 650-750W PSU as soon as you can. Presumably the one you have can power a 6870 if it was fine with your previous card but a new, good quality one is always nice for stability. 650-750W would also allow 2 way Crossfire.
a b U Graphics card
August 28, 2011 6:26:42 PM

Cheapest option is to OC the CPU (if you want to) and to buy a better GPU, but you should probably get a new PSU for the newer GPU.

Cheap option:
* OC CPU (if needed)
* Might need better CPU HSF for OC'ing (if needed)
* New GPU <--- Transferable to a new system if needed.
* New PSU <--- Transferable to a new system if needed.

Total Upgrade option (use existing Case/HD):
* $80
AMD Athlon II x3 455 (minimum) or Phenom II x4 955 BE

* $80-100
AM3 mobo

* $35-55
DDR3 4-8 gb's of RAM depending on budget limits

* $150-200
GPU (6850/6870/460 gtx 1gb/560 Ti/6950 1gb)

* $40-60
PSU - 400-550w quality PSU (Antec/Seasonic/PCP&C/Corsair)

All of these above would fit into your budget. This would give you a slight upgrade on the CPU (Athlon II x3, better w/the 955 BE) and quite a bit of an upgrade on the GPU side of things. You could also get an AM3+ mobo and possibly have a possibility of upgrading to a Bulldozer CPU later.
a b U Graphics card
August 28, 2011 6:32:21 PM

jmsellars1 said:
With that budget i would get:

https://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Motherboards...

https://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/CPUs+%2F+Pro...

https://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Graphics+Car...!+?productId=45722

Then i would upgrade to a good quality 650-750W PSU as soon as you can. Presumably the one you have can power a 6870 if it was fine with your previous card but a new, good quality one is always nice for stability. 650-750W would also allow 2 way Crossfire.

He still would need some new RAM for the new mobo. ($35-55)
PSU would be $50-75 (with your suggested wattage)

So...with your options listed he's spending $655 (converted from 400 pounds) PLUS new RAM and PSU (another $140 for the 2 items, again converted from ~$85)
August 28, 2011 6:35:49 PM

Well presumably the old RAM is DDR3 and the old PSU should be able to cope for a while.
a b U Graphics card
August 28, 2011 6:47:06 PM

jmsellars1 said:
Well presumably the old RAM is DDR3 and the old PSU should be able to cope for a while.

Well the mobo doesn't support DDR3, so it's DDR2 only, which means buying DDR3 (which is cheap right now).
ASUS P5N-D LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 750i SLI ATX Intel Motherboard

I don't ASSUME that the PSU is good enough. We don't know what it is and it's probably 3+ years old, but I'm just assuming it's as old as the original parts. Plus you have to remember that the PSU (if it's at least 3 yrs. old) has lost about 30% of it's capacity over the 3 years time due to capacitor aging.
August 28, 2011 6:51:03 PM

Would it be worth the extra money if I bought what jmsellars1 recommended alongside new RAM and a PSU, because I know the i5 is meant to be a great CPU but I'm not sure how much better it is than my current. If it is a noticeable increase and is worth the money I could spend the extra money even though it is slightly more than I originally bargained for. I'm not sure if it would be a waste to go with jmsellars1's option because I'd have to get completely new RAM.
a b U Graphics card
August 28, 2011 7:01:50 PM

The intel i5 2500k is a much better CPU than just about any AMD CPU right now. It would be the better option. I only suggested the AMD route due to your original budget and also allowing you more options for GPU's. It's up to you what you want to do. The Intel route gives you more CPU improvement over the AMD route at this point in time. Intel has been changing their mobo sockets quite frequently, so that is something to consider. AMD has been much better at backwards compatibility recently. With Bulldozer on the horizon, AMD might be getting more competitive with Intel, but time will tell. I suspect AMD will become about equal to Intel's latest, but that is just speculation on my part at this point and time.
a b U Graphics card
August 28, 2011 7:23:11 PM

Quote:
Well I expect to see quad core BD overclocked giving i5 2500k a run for its money.

I remember when the 965BE released I was considering buying an i5 760 before I found the 965BE :D 

I have been happy with it since Fall 2009. the 955BE would probably have saved me around $50 at the time but I wanted the best of the best and lol the 965BE had just released like 3 days before I purchased lol so it was brand spanking new.


Still, even if you purchased the 955 today its still a great processor you just might have to overclock it a little with more powerful gpu setups.

Totally agree. I always suggest AMD CPU's when on a tighter budget because it just makes sense (financially). The 955 BE is still a good CPU, but if you put the 2500k against it, it's hard to recommend the 955 BE over the 2500k. I personally would like to have the 955 BE w/a better GPU (since I like better gaming), but if you can afford the 2500k and the same GPU your going to have a better system, but it'll cost you.
August 28, 2011 7:29:55 PM

Thanks for the advice, is their a suspected release date for the Bulldozer CPU because I do not have to upgrade straight away and could wait for it to be released, however will the Bulldozer be much cheaper than the i5, because if it won't then I will probably get the i5 anyway because it looks to be better even though it is probably costs more and is less flexible in terms of mobos.
August 28, 2011 7:30:59 PM

I would get the i3-2100 instead then if you want to make room for the RAM and PSU. It usually performs better than a 955 or 965.

EDIT: (in games)
a b U Graphics card
August 28, 2011 7:43:05 PM

jmsellars1 said:
I would get the i3-2100 instead then if you want to make room for the RAM and PSU. It usually performs better than a 955 or 965.

EDIT: (in games)

Only thing that I get a bit cautious with on an Intel system is the mobo. The intel based mobo's usually cost $20-50 more than equally equipped AMD mobo's. Although the Intel CPU's are usually going to do better in most tasks, the overall system cost is going to be cheaper with an AMD based system. So it all depends on what you prefer. The i3-2100 is a good CPU too, so don't discount it from your options. I just like that you could possibly get an AM3+ mobo (that might support Bulldozer) and upgrade to it later down the road. This isn't a sure thing, but it would cost you less now and possibly save you more later. This is speculation at this point, but Intel is going to change sockets again shortly. Intel has been changing sockets quite a bit in the last 3-4 years and have plans for more changes too. AMD has been a bit more backwards compatible than Intel, so you might want to consider that in your decisions. I just mention this, so you can make an informed decision.
August 29, 2011 7:30:12 PM

Thanks for all the advice about how to upgrade my computer. One thing I am wondering is how noticeable the improvement will be in terms of gaming, because with my current computer I haven't had any major problems running games and most of the time they can be run at high graphics settings. Is the difference I will see in terms of gaming going to be worth the cost of upgrading the machine?
August 31, 2011 2:15:39 AM

I'd feel much safer with 450-500W for that build.

EDIT: And when i say 450W i mean a good quality XFX/Corsair/Seasonic/Antec unit.
a b U Graphics card
August 31, 2011 3:23:38 AM

a stock e8400 games only a fraction slower than an i3 2100 , which in turn runs close to the frame rates on an i5 2400

Since the e8400 can be OC'ed [ even on an nVidia board ] to 4 GHz or beyond its not worth replacing at this budget

Buy a good quality 650 watt psu , a big cpu cooler
and the most powerful graphics card you can find that fits your budget
!