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Which upgrade path should I take?

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?
7 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about which upgrade path take
  1. 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.
  2. Best answer
    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.
  3. 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.
  4. i3-2120 available on newegg for $125
    i5-2400 newegg for $190, not hugely more and significantly faster
  5. Best answer selected by nixthewiz.
  6. Thanks for the suggestions. This forum is fast :D
  7. 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=N82E16819115077
    ASRock B75M mATX motherboard - $70 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157313
    Crucial 8GB (2 x 4GB) SDRAM DDR3 1333 - $45 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148485

    or

    ~~$170
    Intel Pentium G630 Sandy Bridge 2.7GHz - $68 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116406
    ASRock B75M mATX motherboard - $70 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157313
    Crucial Ballistix 4GB (2 x 2GB) SDRAM DDR3 1600 - $30 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148488
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