Is my motherboard "up to snuff"? I've been thinking about doing some upgrades, but can I get away with that motherboard/cpu combo for a while? If not, will my cpu work in another motherboard? I vaguely remember the i7's having no pins? Does this matter? It's been about two years since I put this rig together. Also, concerning my RAM, if I were to buy three more sticks of RAM to put in the other three available slots, would that mess with the current RAM I have in there now? I remember that used to be a problem in the past, but I've heard otherwise lately. I just can't handle only have 6gbs of RAM anymore!
I feel like buying RAM right now is a safe upgrade, because if I do decide to move forward, the RAM can go to a new RIG, as can my video card. So I guess my most pressing question is, will upgrading my RAM cause any problems? Like, for example if I installed these sticks - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... or perhaps something similar that you guys might recommend? I've been out of the loop for too long, I'm afraid.
I've got an EVGA 9800 GT :x I can barely run BF3, and sometimes when I close out Windows likes to remind me that my PC is barely keeping up. I also like to run Minecraft in the background all day, and it tends to be a RAM hog, so I'd like to have a nice cushion of RAM. But yea, my Video Card is getting ordered sometime this week, just checking out whats available. I'm also afraid to overclock, I don't want to break anything.
Depending on how much you're willing to put into it there's a couple of things you can do. You can upgrade the cpu to a faster i7 900 series chip. Do you want used or new? For $260 you can get a used Intel Core i7 960 CPU Quad Core 3.2GHz 1366 SLBEU. Or the SAME THING NEW HERE for $276. There is only a small difference in speed from what you currently have but it is an upgrade. Most people in your shoes will spring for the 980X with the extra cores and the 3.33GHz speed that you can GET HERE for $830. However, your current chip shouldn't have any problems running anything out today. And before I spent any money upgrading the cpu to what I mentioned above, (except the extra cores on the 980X). I would invest in a better cpu cooler and break your taboo about overclocking, After all, you were going to buy a new one anyway right? And getting an extra 0.5GHz out of the 920's 2.66 to 3.3 is easy even for beginners. With the cooler of course.
AS for your memory - The memory you linked to at newegg is actually on the support list for your motherboard , just scroll down to memory and X58 boards, so It should work fine. Your board says it supports 24 GB's of memory so 2 kits might even work. It might require some tweaking in the bios for voltage to get all 6 sticks to work. I doubt you can use it with your existing memory but the 12 GB kit should be plenty.
Then for upgrading your video card, that's the easy part. This XFX HD-695X-ZNFC Radeon HD 6950 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity will hold you for quite some time to come for only $209 with the dirt 3 game.
So my recommendations. Your motherboard is "up to snuff". Get the new memory you linked to and use it alone, you can try with the current memory but put in the new memory in the right slots, boot up and see the 12 GB's. Turn off and stick your old memory in the empty slots and see. Doubt it works, probably won't boot but it shouldn't hurt your board to try, Then the video card I linked to and your solid on the upgrade. Shoot, a little later I would spring another $75 for the second memory kit and give it a shot.
I've got a pretty good PSU, it's an 850w. My original plan for this PC was to SLi, but my priorities shifted into keeping up with bills and buying a new car, so I kind of forgot to budget in two new video cards back when I built it. As far as video cards are concerned I'm kind of biased towards EVGA nVidia cards. I've used ATI in the past and have had nothing but bad experiences, I'm thinking this card looks about right, for my price range - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Edit: Also, thank you so much for the responses! I can't wait to start ordering some parts. And on a side note, my RAM certainly is not fine. When 90% of my RAM is being used while in a game on extreme low settings that makes me cringe. Even games like Minecraft, which albeit is a pretty big RAM hog.
If you'd rather have nvidia instead of an amd card then that's a good one. You shouldn't have any problems with that baby up and running. Just make sure you have good air flow through your case cause those cards will produce more heat than your old card could ever think about.
Sorry for the double post but it won't let me add it to my last message.
One other thing to do. You probably already know this but I couldn't help myself. Have you gone into "msconfig" and turned off all those stupid things that turn on with you computer? You know, like the printer, adobe, office ect... Turning those off during start up will eliminate lots of extra memory and cpu usage. They will all still work of course but only when you click on something that needs them then they will automatically come on. Also, when you Ctrl, Alt, Delete and go into task manager look to see how many processes are running, bottom right. Not the programs themselves but the processes that run in the background. You should be able to limit them to 40 or 50. If you're running upwards of 70ish then you should turn some of them off. When you install programs lots of them will stick things in the "start when windows starts" and run processes in the background that will eat you up in time. Check them, turm em off. It should help with the closing down and being told you're at your limit of system resources. lol cause it has to turn them all off when it shuts down also.
Or if you have a mind to. Save your stuff and do a wipe and reinstall of windows. Get rid of the couple of years of bloatware we all accumulate during trying this and putting this on it and going - "what crap". Delete some and leave a handful of stuff behind each time. Always the best way to keep your system running at top notch.
That's a good idea, suteck! Once I get my 24gbs of RAM and new Video Card, I'll be sure to do a clean install of Windows and start fresh I did just check, and I'm currently running 74 Processes and tbh the only things open are Ventrilo, Firefox, and Minecraft. Bad sign, eh?
I wouldn't call that bad after repairing and cleaning some people's stuff of over 100 processes running Yeah, the programs come and go as you open and close them but the processes will continue to build and run EVERY TIME THE WHOLE TIME you turn it on. It does sound like it's time to do some house cleaning. And you're good on the startup programs?? It should only be about, sorry, I only have 4 programs that start with windows - windows side bar, ati video, Zone Alarm and Rocketdock. Everything else is click on to use. Yours' might vary a little bit but it shouldn't be much. And don't forget to turn off your computer every couple of days. Your ram gets loaded up with every program you open and the only way to clear it is a reboot.