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Would like to upgrade my "guts" (cpu/mobo/psu) I guess I'm going i7?

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October 7, 2011 10:20:26 PM

I'm looking to upgrade the guts of my current PC . The current price point I have in mind is $500 or less. For starters, here is what I currently have:

Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 2.40GHz Socket 775
XFX nForce 780i 3-Way SLI motherboard
Corsair 8 GB (800MHz Dual DDR2 RAM)
Two nVIDIA e-GeForce 8800 GTS's in SLI
One GeForce 7900GT
100 GB SSD - OCZ Vertex 2 OCZSSD2
60 GB SSD - OCZ Vertex Turbo OCZSSD2
2x Western Digital Caviar Green 2TB (media & backups)
Cooler Master 690 case
650W PSU
2 x 24" Dell UltraSharp 2407WFP-HC


For cost cutting purposes, I'd like to upgrade only the items in red:

Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 2.40GHz Socket 775
XFX nForce 780i 3-Way SLI motherboard
Corsair 8 GB (800MHz Dual DDR2 RAM)

Two nVIDIA e-GeForce 8800 GTS's in SLI
One GeForce 7900GT
100 GB SSD - OCZ Vertex 2 OCZSSD2
60 GB SSD - OCZ Vertex Turbo OCZSSD2
2x Western Digital Caviar Green 2TB (media & backups)
Cooler Master 690 case
650W PSU
2 x 24" Dell UltraSharp 2407WFP-HC


The system will not be used for gaming so upgrading the graphics is not a priority. I do however want to ensure that this upgrade will go the distance, so I'd like to go i7 and also have access to USB 3.0. Is this a reasonable expectation given my budget goal? What recommendations can you offer?

(I've only built one very simple media computer about a year ago, and I'm not expert, so please keep your responses to an intermediate understanding. ;)  )
October 7, 2011 10:39:59 PM

An I7 Sandy Bridge @ $300ish or Bloomfeild @ $260ish at Newegg will chew up the best part of your budget if you need to stick with an I7 cpu. Walk in purchasing at Microcenter is a good deal cheaper if you have one near you. None of these will leave much less for a decent MB and memory sticks, let alone also trying to drop a depenable psu into the mix.

$500 budget is gonna be a tight one to do a worthy upgrade thats realy worth the upgrade...if that makes sence.

So your not needing gaming type speed. Do you do lots of video rendering or high end photoshop or have the need to have many apps running at the same time? Thats where an I7 would strut its stuff..gaming too. But the I5 Sandy and even the I3 Sandy are hard to pass by. Both are far less expensive then the I7-2600K and as long as you dont need the heavy graphics or hyper thread abilities, they both are great cpu's.

An I3 Sandy Bridge goes for @ $125 and would give you more room within your budget for the rest of the parts.
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October 7, 2011 11:00:48 PM

I agree with epidot that an I5 might be the way to go depending on your needs.

An I5 around $170ish
Dent mobo another $200ish
Decent power supply around $150

Should fall right around your budget.

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October 8, 2011 6:17:29 AM

Sounds reasonable enough. Looking at the i5 2500 CPU instead of the i7 2600, I can shave off ~$90 on the price. Plus, the i5 2500 runs @ 3.3Ghz where as the i7 runs @ 3.4Ghz; more bang for my buck and the i5 2500 is a far better deal.

Am I reading that incorrectly....?

Any motherboard recommendations?

I'd like to continue on with 8GB of RAM, and with RAM being so inexpensive I don't really see a need to skimp in that dept. Any recommendations there?

PSU? My 650W has been great for years. Do I need more than that going forward? Maybe a 750W?
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October 8, 2011 6:49:20 AM

I would suggest waiting on a psu upgrade til you upgrade your gpus. What are you using the pc for?

For mobos, the asrock z68 extreme3 or extreme4 gen 3, asus z68 v or v-pro, gigabyte xp-ud3 or a-d3h, there's lots of other choices. For ram get 2x4gb 1600 1.5v gskill and corsair are the most popular, but there's really no bad company, get the best deal you can find, just don't get corsair vengeance because the heatsinks are too tall.
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October 9, 2011 3:27:52 AM

Thanks for the tips folks. Gonna buy all this tonight unless someone objects or sees a problem. (Gonna wait on GPU's) Wishlist with everything listed - https://secure.newegg.com/WishList/MySavedWishDetail.aspx?ID=12698349

or here are the individual links -

Motherboard - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128512

CPU - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115072

PSU - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139010

Memory - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231468
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Best solution

October 9, 2011 4:46:48 AM

Graves73 said:
Thanks for the tips folks. Gonna buy all this tonight unless someone objects or sees a problem. (Gonna wait on GPU's) Wishlist with everything listed - https://secure.newegg.com/WishList/MySavedWishDetail.aspx?ID=12698349

or here are the individual links -

Motherboard - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128512

CPU - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115072

PSU - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139010

Memory - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231468


If you're going with DDR3 2133 RAM, make sure you use the Intel XMP Profile for it (requires OC'ing), and that it's compatible with your motherboard, otherwise you're wasting it. If you don't want to do that, then get the DDR3 1600 RAM. I would honestly stick with 1600 RAM as 2133 is mostly for benchmarking purposes.
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October 9, 2011 6:21:18 AM

Thanks guys. Ordered. :) 
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October 9, 2011 2:34:16 PM

Enjoy your new set of "guts" :) 
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October 9, 2011 5:55:37 PM

steelbeast said:
If you're going with DDR3 2133 RAM, make sure you use the Intel XMP Profile for it (requires OC'ing), and that it's compatible with your motherboard, otherwise you're wasting it. If you don't want to do that, then get the DDR3 1600 RAM. I would honestly stick with 1600 RAM as 2133 is mostly for benchmarking purposes.


1600 and 2133 are both OC speeds. XMP or manually OC doesn't make much of a difference, xmp is just a preset settings, manually setting it to the same settings is exactly the same. I would try OC to 1.6v to lower the timings because CL11 isn't really good, or downclocking it.

I hope you got that mobo in a combo with either the cpu or psu. http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
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October 10, 2011 5:46:01 PM

I did. :) 
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October 20, 2011 12:35:41 AM

Best answer selected by Graves73.
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