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Upgrading Rig, don't know where to start

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September 3, 2012 1:29:27 PM

Hey guys! I've been using this machine for editing videos, playing games ETC for the past few years now, and it's been holding up well but it's starting to show its age on some of the newer more graphics-intensive games on higher settings so I was thinking of doing some minor upgrades to keep it competitive, but I've not been keeping track of hardware recently so I don't know where to start! The specs are:



CPU
Intel Core 2 Quad Q9450 @ 2.66GHz
Yorkfield 45nm Technology
RAM
4.00 GB Dual-Channel DDR2 @ 400MHz/800MHz (5-5-5-31)
Motherboard
ASUSTeK Computer INC. P5N-D (Socket 775)
Graphics
DELL 2408WFP (1920x1200@60Hz)
896MB GeForce GTX 260 (XFX Pine Group)
Hard Drives
932GB SAMSUNG SAMSUNG HD103UJ SCSI Disk Device (ATA)
Optical Drives
TSSTcorp CDDVDW TS-H653N SCSI CdRom Device
Audio
Realtek High Definition Audio



So what do you guys think would be the way to go for an upgrade? My go-to answer would normally be a new Graphics card, of some kind, but being so out of touch now I don't know whether or not It'd be better to get a whole new one or run a second one. And that RAM is looking a bit slow, or I could go for one of these fancy SSDs people are raving about? Of course there's always overclocking, but I'm not too experienced with that either so I'd need your advice on whether or not it sounds like a good idea.

What do you think?

EDIT- And it's just occurred to me that I'm still using a stock Intel CPU cooling fan, this is definitely a terrible thing, does anyone have any good recommendations on cheap and effective cooling? especially if I go for the overclock option...

More about : upgrading rig start

September 3, 2012 5:02:31 PM

Cooler master hyper 212 evo is great and can get 2500k easily to 4.5ghz (example)

Depending on what your budget is you could get a Radeon 7870, or if you have more money i'd get a GTX 670. Maybe get a bit more ram if you can but 4GB should be fine for the next year or so. Tell your motherboard and ill sort out the CPu but that was avery good CPU and still is ok today. Overclocking is recommended.
September 3, 2012 5:29:13 PM

I would upgrade your ram to 8gig if you can. And get a 7870 or a 7950>7970 depending on your budget. You did not state what OS you are running but if it is Windows 7 32bit you can update to 64bit and use the same key if you can get a copy of Windows OEM that is the same version that you are using. For instance my laptop came with Windows Home Premium 32bit I had a OEM copy of Windows Home Premium 64bit so I was able to install it and use the key from the bottom of my laptop to activate it and it worked fine.
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September 3, 2012 5:30:53 PM

hmmm.. you would need to change almost everything when you jump from LGA 775 to LGA 1155. GTX 260 can handle BF3 and other games today so you can still hold on to that. Your mobo, ram and processor on the other hand needs to go. If you would OC, go with i5-3570k, if not. use the i5-3450. You would need DDR3 ram modules for that so your DDR3 rams will not be used. Hyper 212 Evo is a good cooler but it's MASSIVE! its important you get a good look at your case. What's your chassis by the way?
September 3, 2012 5:32:41 PM

Motherboard is an Asus P5N-D.
I was thinking of maybe getting some faster RAM instead of more. I could order a Coolermaster Hyper 212 evo right now if you think it's really that good, and I'll start looking into overclocking.

Should I go for the new Card or just try overclocking my current one? What about SLI?


Case is an NZXT Lexa blackline. I think I'd rather not overclock anything I'd just bought, so I'd probably just run it normally if I bought a new component, haha. I'm on Vista Home Premium 64-bit right now. I'm only looking for a small upgrade, not a major overhaul, just a new component or an overclock here or there to get as much FPS as I can without spending or changing too much.
September 3, 2012 5:40:22 PM

wait wait wait.
Q1: are you sticking to your processor? if NOT, select a platform and processor. if YES, you don't need to buy a cooler for that since you won't be overclocking that Q9450.

Q2: If you answered NO to Q1 and going with LGA 1155 platform. Your current processor, ram and motherboard will be changed.
September 3, 2012 5:50:33 PM

I think that a GTX 660Ti would do the trick.. (or some similar card like HD7870).
It's simple, it's fast.
September 4, 2012 12:12:42 PM

najirion said:
wait wait wait.
Q1: are you sticking to your processor? if NOT, select a platform and processor. if YES, you don't need to buy a cooler for that since you won't be overclocking that Q9450.

Q2: If you answered NO to Q1 and going with LGA 1155 platform. Your current processor, ram and motherboard will be changed.


I think I'd like to stick with this processor, assuming that it isn't going to keep the components down too much...
Why won't I be overclocking the Q9450?

And I'm definitely thinking of doing something in the Graphics Card department... Would SLI be out of the question? Should I run another GTX260 with this one, or would it be more cost/power effective or just simply more powerful to get a new card?

As for new cards, I'd like to stick with nVidia, is there a clear winner out of the near-top range? I'm looking at that GTX670 but is there a 10/10 Price/Performance card out right now that it's hard not to recommend?
November 24, 2012 1:19:58 PM

Sorry to doublepost but I thought it'd be better to just bump this with a new question than start a whole new thread on the same subject :D 

I'm still considering SLI on the GTX260; I was originally considering picking up a GTX660Ti or 670 or whatever but thinking about it now, couldn't I just pick up another GTX260 and run it with the one I have now?

Would that be a good enough increase or is it not worth it? Does SLI have drawbacks or anything that would put me off? Or am I simply better off ditching this card and getting something newer? I've been out of the tech race for ages so I don't really know where I stand anymore :p 
!