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LGA775 System Worth Upgrading?

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October 5, 2011 12:31:29 AM

Hey Everyone,

So I am debating building a new system, or upgrading my current one. I'd like to stay away from spending a lot, so if just upgrading what I have is feasible, I'll try that.

I use this machine primarily for gaming. I game at 1680x1050 and am currently only getting around 25 FPS on High settings while playing the BF3 Beta. I anticipate playing a lot of BF3, so I'd like something a little better than that.

I am currently running:

CPU: Intel Core2 Duo E6850 3.0 GHz (OC'd to 3.6 GHz)
MoBo: MSI P35 Platinum LGA775
GPU: BFG Tech BFGR88768GTXOCE GeForce 8800 GTX 768MB 384-bit GDDR3
RAM: CORSAIR XMS2 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel
PSU: Thermaltake W0116RU 750W
HDD: Western Digital Raptor X 150GB 10000 RPM 16MB Cache
Case: Antec 900

My understanding is that my board only runs the second PCI x16 slot at x4, so I'm not sure if CF is an option for me (SLI isn't supported by my mobo). And I'd like to try Eyefinity (maybe not immediately), so the XFX HD-697A-CNFC Radeon HD 6970 2GB 256-bit was looking pretty good to me.

So I guess my question would be this: Would that GPU even work with my board? And if so, would it be overkill - ie, would any other part of my system be creating a bottleneck? Would going to something like 8GB RAM make a difference?

Thanks in advance for the help and suggestions!
a b B Homebuilt system
October 5, 2011 12:38:37 AM

most of the time I game on a 775/q9550 and a 6950 2gig card. I can play anything so far without any problems. It is CPU bound so to speak and fear in the next 2 years will have to be replaced to keep up gaming wise without difficulties. My old processor was the dual core 6850 and I can say with surety that regardless of how high you over clock it it will be the limiting factor. At this point in time I would NOT spend money on a 775 quad core. The graphics card will help your system but will be bottle necked by the processor and it's 2 cores. Option "B".......... buy a new mother board/processor/ram and the card............ carry over everything else.
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October 5, 2011 12:44:47 AM

Upgrading RAM wouldn't help gaming since 4GB is generally enough. Also, you have DDR2 RAM, which is obsolete and not worth upgrading (ie. getting more DDR2 RAM).

The GPU will work fine on your board (uses PCI Express x16). CF is an option but definitely not a recommended one with a second slot at x4. There will be a massive performance loss.

The dual core CPU will bottleneck your system to some extent (BF3 recommends a quad core processor). I'm not entirely sure how much, so I will leave this for someone else to answer.

Upgrading Graphics card is a good choice for you at the moment because you can always move it to a new system should you choose to build one in the future.
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October 5, 2011 12:58:16 AM

swifty: I was afraid of having my CPU being the bottleneck, but I guessed as much. And I agree, the 775 quad cores don't seem to be a worthwhile upgrade. If I end up going to Option "B" I guess I could save some money and carryover everything I can.

AMD: Good to know about the RAM. It is pretty old and not any cheaper either, so I'll probably stick with what I've got if I stay with my system. I was also thinking along the same lines...the 6970 is what I'd probably put in a new system anyways, so maybe I try it out on what I've got and if that doesn't work I can keep it for my new build?

Thanks for the input guys!

Any other thoughts or suggestions? Will my CPU just end up being too great a bottleneck for justifying a new graphics card?
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 5, 2011 1:18:55 AM

A new card will be better than what you have now. I went from a 5850 to a 6950 2gig and it was like getting crossfire 5850's with a little "extra". Having said that, if you start saving money now and /or start buying now, and you get 1 piece a month or every other month, and you save getting the new card for last............ the new 7000 series cards from AMD be out and perhaps the performance of that one card will equal or better 2 6950'/ 6970's.. ?? the new cards should be out around February next year. Just food for thought.
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October 5, 2011 1:42:17 AM

swifty_morgan said:
A new card will be better than what you have now. I went from a 5850 to a 6950 2gig and it was like getting crossfire 5850's with a little "extra". Having said that, if you start saving money now and /or start buying now, and you get 1 piece a month or every other month, and you save getting the new card for last............ the new 7000 series cards from AMD be out and perhaps the performance of that one card will equal or better 2 6950'/ 6970's.. ?? the new cards should be out around February next year. Just food for thought.


Ah, that is an intriguing proposition. Good to know a new GPU can make such a big difference too. Though I imagine if I try a new one on my current system and I'm not happy with it, I just say "screw it" and splurge on a whole new one, haha. And I forget, could I add one of the 7000 series cards to the 6970 later in CF somewhere down the line if I so choose (assuming I have a new system)?
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October 5, 2011 2:08:23 AM

Q6600 OC to 3.x will help a lot but I'd suggest a GPU upgrade maybe to a 560 or something similar. It seems like there is still some game in a 3.6Ghz machine. Admitedly my gaming was way better with an q6600 at 3ghz vs my dual at 4ghz
mind you my q6600 will take up to 3.8 but milage will vary.
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 5, 2011 2:19:02 AM

APF858 said:
Ah, that is an intriguing proposition. Good to know a new GPU can make such a big difference too. Though I imagine if I try a new one on my current system and I'm not happy with it, I just say "screw it" and splurge on a whole new one, haha. And I forget, could I add one of the 7000 series cards to the 6970 later in CF somewhere down the line if I so choose (assuming I have a new system)?


you're scaring me. i wouldn't count on being able to xfire those 2 cards. ( 7000 series and 6000 series )
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a c 136 B Homebuilt system
October 5, 2011 4:18:48 AM

I still game on a C2D @ 3.6 GHz , with a 6870 .
The original Crysis runs at 45 - 50 FPS on high on a 1920 x 1080 monitor.

Games are much more dependent on the GPU and not so much the cpu , though there are a few that run better on a quad .
Just upgrade your graphics card . A 6870 , 6950 , or GTX 560 should run anything at your resolution .
If you decide to upgrade cpu/mb/ram later you can keep the graphics card for your new build
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October 5, 2011 4:52:06 AM

Thanks for all the advice guys!

I think I will try just upgrading my GPU and seeing what the improvements are. And if nothing else, I will have already started the build for my new rig, haha.
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