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What would be the best possible upgrade for my PC

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November 11, 2012 12:28:47 AM

Hello, I have a Dell Optiplex 745 with a Pentium D running at 3.40 GHz with what i think is a 775 socket. I have 3gb DDR2 SDRAM. I don't know what my motherboard model is. I want to use my computer mainly for photo shopping pictures and some light gaming. I was thinking of upgrading the cpu to a core 2 duo but i'm not sure it's that simple. What kind of core 2 duo will fit my motherboard? Also what graphics card is good for my needs? the photo shop is just for pictures (mainly) and maybe some light video editing. Another thing i would like to know is if i can still keep the cpu and upgrade the gpu (currently i have none). Right now i have a budge of around $200. What would be the best possible road to upgrade my computer. I can't afford a new computer and i currently just have 100 dollars but by the end of the year i'll have the 200 dollars. Thank you for your help.

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November 11, 2012 12:57:36 AM

Well it's not that simple really, ideally you should upgrade to socket 1155 and get an i3 but that's not an option due to your budget.
In terms of a socket 755 CPU, a Core 2 Duo would show little to no difference seeing as you already have that pentium D. The only worthwhile upgrade for you on socket 755 would be a Core 2 Quad like a Q6600 that's stock 2.4 ghz but can overclock to 3+
Now it's not just your CPU, your RAM speed will be holding you back a ton as well. From a socket 755 in this day and age, there is no point upgrading staying with 755.
I'd suggest save up more, buy an i3 and socket 1155 motherboard, and a Radeon hd 6850 / 6870 would do fine or a 7770. An i3 will cost around £90, you can get a cheap-ish ASUS or Gigabyte motherboard around £40 and the graphics card will cost around £100 (sorry for the prices i'm english)
I know that will be over your current budget but there is no point in upgrading staying with a socket 755.
Hope i helped! :) 
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November 11, 2012 1:39:44 AM

I'd get a SATA controller card and an SSD.
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November 11, 2012 4:46:02 AM

hey get a cheap core 2 duo e 8400 or a cheap core 2 quad q6600 or something like that.
they would actually be pretty good upgrade over your pentium D.
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November 11, 2012 8:29:27 PM

Thank you for all your answer and helping me on the right track.

CalumConroy would you recommend buying a graphics card for my current system? is there a graphics card that would work for my current system but once i have enough money to upgrade with your recommended hardware i could transfer it to my new system?

another quick question. Would it help if i buy more ram?
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November 11, 2012 9:32:51 PM

You could maybe buy a Radeon 6870 as they are still decent and keeping up with todays games (people use them with i5s and some with i7s), ALTHOUGH, it would bottleneck with your current CPU and RAM. I don't think its worth upgrading anymore staying on socket 755 / DDR2 as it would be a waste. If you got a 6870 you should upgrade asap if you can as you would see a huge difference!
Also what power supply do you have? You may need a bigger one if it's under 450w and / or doesn't have the PCIe connectors.
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November 11, 2012 11:28:11 PM

Thank you for all your advice i really appreciate it. i have a power supply which i believe is 500 watt -i bought it a while ago-. The mother board does have a PCI-E connector -only one of them-. The only question i have now is would it be alright if i install windows 7 with my current system? or which OS do you recommend to install with my current system. I have a recovery disc that came with the computer, it has windows vista service pack one. What do you think i should install?
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November 12, 2012 7:11:25 AM

Be careful with slamming a CPU into that motherboard.

Most Dell proprietary motherboards only accept a very small amount of specific CPUs. Just because it's socket 775 doesn't mean the motherboard will recognize any ole 775 chip.

Being that it's a Dell I wouldn't trust that PSU for anything.

Like I said, go with a SATA controller card and an SSD.
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November 12, 2012 7:14:09 AM

calumconroy said:
You could maybe buy a Radeon 6870 as they are still decent and keeping up with todays games (people use them with i5s and some with i7s), ALTHOUGH, it would bottleneck with your current CPU and RAM. I don't think its worth upgrading anymore staying on socket 755 / DDR2 as it would be a waste. If you got a 6870 you should upgrade asap if you can as you would see a huge difference!
Also what power supply do you have? You may need a bigger one if it's under 450w and / or doesn't have the PCIe connectors.

A Radeon HD 6870 would not go over well with the CPU.
I recommend to save up for another PC, although it would help a lot to upgrade it's wasting money.
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November 13, 2012 10:16:03 PM

I really appreciate all your help you guys. I would take your advice and save up money for a new rig. Thank you for all your help.
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November 13, 2012 10:19:30 PM

Best answer selected by santiago10.
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