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General Computer Upgrades

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January 31, 2012 8:31:04 PM

I am an avid gamer looking for the most cost effective upgrade to my 3 year old XPS 730(Im going to build my own computer from now on, but this one has worked very well though and I don't have the budget to build an entirely new one). I am willing to spend about ~500$ max, though ~400$ would be much better.

Please move this if this is in the wrong section.

My current specs are (and ask for anything else if I forget it/formatting fixes):

CPU: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Quad CPU Q9550 @ 2.83GHz, 2833 MHz
CPU Type: 2x Intel Pentium III Xeon, 2833 MHz
No overclock


Motherboard: XPS-6A61MB01C-00


Power Supply: Don't know off the top of my head, but I will check that when I know what I am putting in.


Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 280


RAM: 4GB (1GBx4) I will probably change my setup to 8GB (2GBx4).
Memory Type: DDR3 PC3-8500, DDR3 PC3-10600, DDR3 (non-ECC)
Maximum Memory: 8GB
Currently Installed Memory: 4GB
Total Memory Slots: 4
Available Memory Slots: 0


OS: Windows Vista x86. I will probably upgrade to Windows 7 x64 and change my setup to 8GB (2GBx4)


Chassis: Stock XPS-730 Case (Serial Number G96PRH1)


BIOS Properties:
Vendor Dell Inc.
Version 1.0.5
Release Date 09/18/2008
Size 512 KB
Boot Devices Floppy Disk, Hard Disk, CD-ROM
Capabilities Flash BIOS, Shadow BIOS, Selectable Boot, EDD, BBS
Supported Standards DMI, APM, ACPI, PnP
Expansion Capabilities ISA, PCI, USB


Screen Resolution: 1920-1080


Hard Drive: 274 GB free of 688GB (Though a lot of that will not come back onto my computer after I have to clean install in order to get to Windows 7 x64.)
Seagate: ST375063 0AS SCSI Disk Device


Stock fans. Never tried to overclock my current system. I have never had any real system instability.

Now I assume the best upgrades for me are upgrading the graphics card(and probably the power supply), the RAM, and the OS. I don't know if I will need to upgrade my motherboard to support the graphics card, and thus changing my memory compatibly, but I do believe it can support a x64 OS.

I also assume that my CPU is good enough/ too high over my budget to upgrade, though tell me if my CPU is what is really bottle-necking my system.

And if i do get a new graphics card, will I need a better case?

I have recently started looking around because odd things are happening to my performance. Like right clicking something on the desktop sometimes takes a while, and after a game's "load bar" finishes, I will sit waiting looking at that screen, while everyone else is launched into the game. I am in this "load limbo" for about 5-10 seconds.


Thanks in advance for your help guys!

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January 31, 2012 8:48:10 PM
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For that setup the best investment would be a 60-128GB SSD and maybe GPU upgrade to min GTX560Ti. Both parts that will carry over to a total rebuild if you do so in the near future.
February 2, 2012 8:16:33 PM

I am thinking right now of getting a 120GB SSD (are the cheaper ones OK?) and a GTX 560Ti Kr . Though my main concern is being able to move them into a laptop in a few months, for I will be moving to college and will be unable to keep my desktop. Will these components be able to move with me into the laptop, or will I need to find smaller/different parts?

Thanks for your answer!
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February 2, 2012 8:23:59 PM

only thing you can put into a laptop are ram and maybe a second drive.

you won't be able to get anything but an ssd if you want to put it in a laptop, even then you'd need a laptop with an second hdd bay.
February 10, 2012 2:35:00 AM

Yes I know, i currently own a XPS 730, but I will soon be moving out and can't take it with me. Therefore I am buying a laptop in a few months. I actually played around with my comp. and got some good overclocks on my stuff, so I should be fine for a while. Though I guess I could get a SSD for my desktop and then put in a laptop that has 2 HDD bays.
February 21, 2012 9:45:03 PM

Best answer selected by Flying Pigs.
February 21, 2012 10:22:00 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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