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Which upgrade path should I take?

Last response: in CPUs
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July 13, 2012 8:53:15 PM

Hello everyone,

My Dell Inspiron 530 machine right now consists of

Intel E7300
Geforce GTX 550 ti
4GB RAM
450W Antec PSU

The Motherboard is a Dell OEM. I use the machine for mostly school work and light gaming. The upgrade path is fairly limited since the mobo only allows me to upgrade to core 2 duo CPUs and 4GB of RAM is the max it can handle. I read somewhere that a BIOS update can allow it to run 8GB of RAM and use a Core 2 Quad CPU. Not sure if this is true or not.

I'm wondering when it's time to upgrade should I upgrade the CPU and possibly GPU? Or just get a new mobo that supports newer CPUs out there. I checked online and the price for the higher end core 2 duo and core 2 quads are about 120-200.

Is it worth it to upgrade to Core i3 or i5 instead for the about the same price as an upgrade to high end Core 2 Duo or Core 2 Quad?

More about : upgrade path

July 13, 2012 8:55:30 PM

upgrading to an i3 or i5 would be a much better choice as the architecture of the newer chips is much more advanced. also putting more money into an old socket 775 system doesn't make much sense.
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July 13, 2012 8:57:33 PM

Yes it is worth it to get an i3 over a core2duo. The only problem is every Dell I've worked on, the case doesn't fit regular ATX and mATX motherboards. You would be looking at a new case, motherboard, i3 or i5, and some DDR3 RAM. This will run you about $200-$400 depending on what components you get.
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July 13, 2012 9:00:30 PM

stickg1 said:
Yes it is worth it to get an i3 over a core2duo. The only problem is every Dell I've worked on, the case doesn't fit regular ATX and mATX motherboards. You would be looking at a new case, motherboard, i3 or i5, and some DDR3 RAM. This will run you about $200-$400 depending on what components you get.


According to the research I've done online people said the Inspiron 530 would work with a regular mATX mobo so I saved some money there. Do you have a recommendation to which CPU I should get. Budget is 100-130 dollars.
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July 13, 2012 9:07:01 PM

i3-2120 available on newegg for $125
i5-2400 newegg for $190, not hugely more and significantly faster
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July 13, 2012 9:10:51 PM

Best answer selected by nixthewiz.
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July 13, 2012 9:16:09 PM

Thanks for the suggestions. This forum is fast :D 
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July 13, 2012 9:36:29 PM

nixthewiz said:
According to the research I've done online people said the Inspiron 530 would work with a regular mATX mobo so I saved some money there. Do you have a recommendation to which CPU I should get. Budget is 100-130 dollars.


$100-$130 for the CPU or for all of it (mobo, RAM, CPU).

IF you can spend $125 on a CPU and another $100 on RAM and Mobo then I can find you something great.

For $150 I can find you a CPU, RAM, and Mobo thats not quite as good but still faster than the Core2Duo

~~$240
Intel Core i3-2120 - $125 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
ASRock B75M mATX motherboard - $70 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Crucial 8GB (2 x 4GB) SDRAM DDR3 1333 - $45 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

or

~~$170
Intel Pentium G630 Sandy Bridge 2.7GHz - $68 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
ASRock B75M mATX motherboard - $70 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Crucial Ballistix 4GB (2 x 2GB) SDRAM DDR3 1600 - $30 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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