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What should I upgrade first?

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Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
November 3, 2011 5:55:00 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: Sometime between Nov - Dec 2011


Budget Range: Around £500


System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming and other general usage.


Parts Not Required:
Keyboard, mouse, speakers, monitor,os.


Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Amazon, E-bay or any reputable e-store that ships to UK.


Country of Origin:
UK


Parts Preferences: Don't have a bias for AMD/Nvidia etc ... so anything goes as long as it's good quality and price.


Overclocking: No mainly because I don't know how and don't wanna mess things up.


SLI or Crossfire: No - I'm on a rather low budget so a 2nd card doesn't sound like a worthwile investment at the moment.


Monitor Resolution:
1440x900 at the moment but will upgrade my monitor some time in the near future.


Additional Comments: Ideally I would like to re-use parts that are still usable from my current PC(won't bottle neck the upgrades) and I would also prefer a small size, quiet PC but these are just pluses and they wont break or make the build.

What I have at the moment:
All this info is from CPU-Z or Device Manager I'm not sure of what exactly is inside because I didnt build it so this is all the info that i have. If you know of a way to check more accurately or to find out something specific please leave a comment.

OS: Win7 64bit
Motherboard: Model: CLR0 Chipset: Intel P35/G33/G31 Southbridge: Intel 82801IH (ICH9DH)
Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo CPU E6550 @ 2.33GHz
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce 9600 GT 512Mb - Core: 700MHz Shaders: 1750MHz Memory: 950MHz
RAM: OCZ 2x2GB DDR2 400MHz
PSU: I'm not sure, but I guess it would need an upgrade because this system is old... haven't upgraded it for at least 3 years.
HDD: Barracuda 7200.10 SATA 3.0Gb/s 320-GB Hard Drive

I'm upgrading in anticipation of upcoming games such as Diablo 3, Skyrim, MW3, BF3, Assassins Creed :Revelations because I want to be able to run them at decent settings while mainting good constant FPS.

Let me know if I missed any vital info, thanks.

More about : upgrade

a b B Homebuilt system
November 4, 2011 12:19:34 AM

Your upgrade path will only be limited by how much you want to spend. For gaming at 14x9, your cheapest improvement would be to invest in a faster graphics card* with 1GB memory and upgrade your motherboard to 6 or 8 GB of the fastest memory it can handle. DDR2 400 is quite outdated. 800MHZ or faster would help.
As expense permits, see if you can find a Core 2 Quad processor that your board supports.
If you were to move to a new motherboard, the expense of the board wouldn't be all that much. But upgarding RAM, CPU, and Memory might get expensive.

*If you move to a more powerful graphics card, be sure your PSU is up to the task.
http://www.extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.js...

Some cards that won't break the bank and would improve your gaming w/existing system if PSU is adequate:
AMD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...
Nvidia: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
November 5, 2011 6:05:37 PM

Hey, thanks for the reply! So the best upgrade at the moment would be a new GPU, followed by RAM for which I would have to upgrade my board and CPU. I don't think its worth to look for a motherboard that supports my current CPU's socket since I will be replacing mine with something better hopefully which would mean I would have to buy yet another motherboard. I guess I'll have to look into the prices and if I'm not able to get everything right now, then I'll have to upgrade just the GPU and leave the rest for later. Also, I've looked into the parts a bit and what do you think about these? Do you think they would last me a few good years into the future without another upgrade?

GeForce 570GTX
Core i5-2400
A motherboard with the correct socket for the CPU (any suggestions?)
DDR3 ram, not sure which speed/timing's I should go for (again suggestions welcome).

Thanks
Related resources
a b B Homebuilt system
November 5, 2011 6:46:37 PM

Yes, the graphics card for an immediate boost in gaming.
I don't know what that motherbpard is you have. But the P35/G33/G31 chipset dates it pretty far back. If it can accept faster DDR2 memory, do that too.
http://www.ebuyer.com/search?sort=pricelow&store=2&cat=...

Your component choices for the new system are very good. The motherboard for an i5-2400 would be a 1155 socketed board. Picking one out is pretty much a personal decision based on preferences, needs, cost, etc. I prefer Asus, Gigabyte, MSI in that order. Others are probably good too, but those are the ones I've built with that never gave me any trouble. Others, I have had some issues with.
Here's a number of Asus boards, but don't feel you have to use just that brand.
http://www.ebuyer.com/search?page=1&sort=rating&limit=1...

For memory, I always try to first use the choices listed on the manufacturer's QVL (qulaified vendor's list). If one populates all the slots with the max size and fastest speed the board can take, the selections on the QVL can eliminate finding out you have timing issues. Especially if you tend to O.C.
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
November 5, 2011 8:59:05 PM

clutchc said:
Yes, the graphics card for an immediate boost in gaming.
I don't know what that motherbpard is you have. But the P35/G33/G31 chipset dates it pretty far back. If it can accept faster DDR2 memory, do that too.
http://www.ebuyer.com/search?sort=pricelow&store=2&cat=...

Your component choices for the new system are very good. The motherboard for an i5-2400 would be a 1155 socketed board. Picking one out is pretty much a personal decision based on preferences, needs, cost, etc. I prefer Asus, Gigabyte, MSI in that order. Others are probably good too, but those are the ones I've built with that never gave me any trouble. Others, I have had some issues with.
Here's a number of Asus boards, but don't feel you have to use just that brand.
http://www.ebuyer.com/search?page=1&sort=rating&limit=1...

For memory, I always try to first use the choices listed on the manufacturer's QVL (qulaified vendor's list). If one populates all the slots with the max size and fastest speed the board can take, the selections on the QVL can eliminate finding out you have timing issues. Especially if you tend to O.C.


Hey I appreciate your help very much but I got another question :)  how does this mobo and ram look to you? Are they compatible and would you replace either one with something better of similar value?

Asus P8H67 R3 H67 Socket 1155 8 Channel HD Audio ATX Motherboard
http://www.ebuyer.com/260484-asus-p8h67-r3-h67-socket-1...

Kingston 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1333MHz HyperX Blu Memory Kit CL9 1.5V
http://www.ebuyer.com/248449-kingston-8gb-2x4gb-ddr3-13...

And I'm not too sure where to check the QVL this is the 1st time i've heard about it.
a b B Homebuilt system
November 6, 2011 1:48:13 AM

The QVL download is found on this page of the board's web site:
http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/Intel_Socket_1155/P8H6...

But even if that particular model of Kingston memory isn't on the list, it should be fine. I've pretty much used Kingston DDR3 1333MHZ in all my late builds. I don't O.C. my RAM, but at stock speed it has been utterly dependable. I always get the Value Ram because it's less expensive and never fails:
http://www.ebuyer.com/172949-kingston-8gb-2x4gb-ddr3-13...

About the board. You may want to read this: http://www.ukgamingcomputers.co.uk/difference-between-h...
to be sure you are picking the board with the right chipset for your wants and needs. There's a difference between the H61, H67, P67, and Z68 chipsets.
Also, be aware... if you're planning on doing Xfire, that board does Crossfire at x16, x4. From my past experience, a 2nd graphics card in the x4 slot will drag down performance badly. I don't know why they make that arrangement. x8, x8 would be preferable to that.
!