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CPU/Memory upgrade advice please

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  • Homebuilt
  • CPUs
  • Memory Upgrade
  • Systems
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December 4, 2011 2:26:18 PM

Hi all,

I'm thinking of upgrading the CPU and RAM of my homebuilt system, as I originally put this together about 4 years ago and have only upgraded the GPU since.

Primary use of the system is gaming. Types of games that I play are things like: Elder Scrolls V, Mass Effect series, Dragon Age 2, Deus Ex Human Revolutions. Also looking to buy the new Star Wars game later this month.

Current build:

CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 2.4Ghz, o/c to 3.11Ghz

Motherboard: Nvidia NForce 680i SLI

GPU: ATI Radeon HD 5850 1GB GDDR5

RAM: 2 GB

PSU: Etasis 850W

I'm thinking something like upgrading the RAM to 4GB (http://www.scan.co.uk/products/4gb-%282x2gb%29-corsair-twinx-xms2-ddr2-pc2-6400-%28800%29-240-pins-non-ecc-unbuffered-cas-5-5-5-18-dhx) and a quad core processor (http://www.scan.co.uk/products/intel-core-2-quad-q8400-s775-yorkfield-core-266-ghz-1333mhz-4mb-cache-8x-ratio-95w-retail).

I'm not sure if I'm along the right lines here or whether I should consider a complete departure from a s775 build and go for a new motherboard as well, given that I'm planning to replace the two motherboard-dependent components anyway?

Budget is around £200, though don't mind going up to £400 if replacing the mobo as well - ideally I'd like to make my system as future-proof as possible.

More about : cpu memory upgrade advice

December 4, 2011 3:05:32 PM

kempie said:
Hi all,

I'm thinking of upgrading the CPU and RAM of my homebuilt system, as I originally put this together about 4 years ago and have only upgraded the GPU since.

Primary use of the system is gaming. Types of games that I play are things like: Elder Scrolls V, Mass Effect series, Dragon Age 2, Deus Ex Human Revolutions. Also looking to buy the new Star Wars game later this month.

Current build:

CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 2.4Ghz, o/c to 3.11Ghz

Motherboard: Nvidia NForce 680i SLI

GPU: ATI Radeon HD 5850 1GB GDDR5

RAM: 2 GB

PSU: Etasis 850W

I'm thinking something like upgrading the RAM to 4GB (http://www.scan.co.uk/products/4gb-%282x2gb%29-corsair-twinx-xms2-ddr2-pc2-6400-%28800%29-240-pins-non-ecc-unbuffered-cas-5-5-5-18-dhx) and a quad core processor (http://www.scan.co.uk/products/intel-core-2-quad-q8400-s775-yorkfield-core-266-ghz-1333mhz-4mb-cache-8x-ratio-95w-retail).

I'm not sure if I'm along the right lines here or whether I should consider a complete departure from a s775 build and go for a new motherboard as well, given that I'm planning to replace the two motherboard-dependent components anyway?

Budget is around £200, though don't mind going up to £400 if replacing the mobo as well - ideally I'd like to make my system as future-proof as possible.


I'd suggest leaving socket 775 and going to socket 1155. If you really wanna get the best bang for your buck get an i5-2500.
You'll get 4 cores on a solid architecture. I would definitely upgrade to 4 GB of ram, hell I'd go to 8 GB if possible.
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
a b à CPUs
December 4, 2011 4:15:21 PM

dude if you have a ati vid card already catalyst is going to help you out anmazingly with a AMD processor, get a Phenom II X4 965 from newegg, overclock, then set up a new mobo, Biostar TA990FXE.

As ffor memory, get Corsair DDR3-1600 Vengeaance, 4GB in dual channel 2x2GB sticks.
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a b B Homebuilt system
a b à CPUs
December 4, 2011 5:00:01 PM

For £300 you can upgrade for a future-proof system:

£107.60 Inc VAT Asus P8P67 Rev3 Intel P67 Express Socket 1155 Motherboard http://www.scan.co.uk/products/asus-p8p67rev30-intel-p6...

£162.18 Inc VAT Intel CPU Core i5 2500 Sandy Bridge Quad Core Processor http://www.scan.co.uk/products/intel-core-i5-2500-s1155...

£30.96 Inc VAT Corsair Memory XMS3 8GB DDR3 1333 Mhz CAS 9 Dual Channel Desktop http://www.scan.co.uk/products/8gb-%282x4gb%29-corsair-...
December 4, 2011 5:02:33 PM

Quote:
dude if you have a ati vid card already catalyst is going to help you out anmazingly with a AMD processor, get a Phenom II X4 965 from newegg, overclock, then set up a new mobo, Biostar TA990FXE.

As ffor memory, get Corsair DDR3-1600 Vengeaance, 4GB in dual channel 2x2GB sticks.


This person is in the UK so I seriously doubt they'll be ordering parts from newegg, but since you made the comparison I'll go with it. The i5-2500 is $210 and the Phenom 970 (newegg is out of 965's) is $140. The i5 will out perform the 965 in every test by at least 20%, most things around 30%. Look at the CPU charts by tom's.

Sure you can over clock the hell out of a 965 (I know I have one) but even the non-k 2500 can be as well. Not to mention he'll probably want some expensive aftermarket cooling solutions to get real aggressive clocks and a high tier motherboard. AMD used to be the best bang for the buck budget wise, but not anymore.
December 4, 2011 5:10:12 PM

spasmolytic46 said:
I'd suggest leaving socket 775 and going to socket 1155. If you really wanna get the best bang for your buck get an i5-2500.
You'll get 4 cores on a solid architecture. I would definitely upgrade to 4 GB of ram, hell I'd go to 8 GB if possible.


Thanks. What sort of motherboard would you recommend to go with an i5-2500?
December 4, 2011 5:12:35 PM

jemm said:
For £300 you can upgrade for a future-proof system:

£107.60 Inc VAT Asus P8P67 Rev3 Intel P67 Express Socket 1155 Motherboard http://www.scan.co.uk/products/asus-p8p67rev30-intel-p6...

£162.18 Inc VAT Intel CPU Core i5 2500 Sandy Bridge Quad Core Processor http://www.scan.co.uk/products/intel-core-i5-2500-s1155...

£30.96 Inc VAT Corsair Memory XMS3 8GB DDR3 1333 Mhz CAS 9 Dual Channel Desktop http://www.scan.co.uk/products/8gb-%282x4gb%29-corsair-...


Thanks a lot
a b B Homebuilt system
a b à CPUs
December 4, 2011 5:17:29 PM

You are welcome!
December 4, 2011 5:31:44 PM

kempie said:
Thanks. What sort of motherboard would you recommend to go with an i5-2500?


I'll second jemm's choice on motherboard. The P67 is a great choice of chipset and ASUS is a great quality brand.
a b B Homebuilt system
a b à CPUs
December 4, 2011 6:17:52 PM

See my build in my signature, previous build was AMD 965BE, 4 gig, 560ti.
This build is just so much stinking faster (even if I turn off SLI), there is no comparison.
December 5, 2011 11:29:28 AM

Just been doing a bit more research and I'm wondering if it's worth paying the extra to invest instead in an i7 processor and an X58 or X79 motherboard, in order to use the triple or quad channel DDR3?

Would the performance boost be worth it given that the CPU, motherboard and RAM all appear to be around 50% more expensive?
a b B Homebuilt system
a b à CPUs
December 5, 2011 11:53:17 AM

Forget about X58 plataform. As for the X79, yes you certainly gain a lot in performance, but the cost involved are a lot, but a lot higher.
!