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Advice on upgrading a 2007 Alienware

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December 16, 2012 2:48:55 PM

Hey everyone, I need some advice. Keep in mind I am a complete noob at this.

I have a 2007 Alienware Area 51 7500
It currently has:
Chassis: Alienware P2 Chassiss
GPU: 2x Nvidia GeForce 8800 GTX - SLI
CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 @ 2.4 GHz
Operating System: Windows Vista Home Premium 32-bit
Motherboard: Nvidia nForce SLI
RAM: 4x PC2-6400 400 MHz 1024 MB (4GB of RAM)
HDD: I don't know but I'm keeping it
Disk Drive: Broken LG one
Standard Alienware cooling system
750 Watt SLI Capable Power

Alright so my main goal is to play Battlefield 3 on ultra and Crysis 3 on whatever it's max settings are

Right now this is what I am looking at
GPU: EVGA Superclocked GeForce GTX 680 2GB 256-bit
CPU: Intel Core i7 2600K Quad processor
Operating System: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Motherboard: ? I was thinking maybe ASUS P8Z77-V DELUXE LGA 1155, but that might be overkill?
RAM: Patriot Viper Xtreme Series Division 2 Edition DDR3 8GB
HDD: I'm reusing what I have
Disk Drive: ASUS BW-12B1ST

Alright so I really just need advice on a good motherboard that would work with this setup and I know this is a stupid question but can I just assume that I can reuse my cooling system, power supply, and chassis? Nothing is wrong with them right now. Is 750 Watts enough power, especially if maybe in the future I wanted to run two GTX 680s?
Also just general advice and comments about what I am thinking about and if they will work.
I'm thinking I just take out the old motherboard put all my new stuff in new motherboard connect old hard drives to motherboard and then reconnect the power system and cooling system to the new motherboard, simple as that I hope....

Really appreciate this guys, this is gunna be a fun Christmas :D 
Thanks very much!

EDIT: Just double checked and my powersupply is only 750W Max
Edited the original post.
a b V Motherboard
December 16, 2012 9:54:28 PM

You keep systems for a while.

Most people here would build an i5 / gtx670 system vs a, i7 /gtx680 ssytem, then use the savings to replace the video a year or two earlier. But your strategy works for you.

The i7-2600K is sandy bridge. Check out ivy bridge instead = i7-3770K. Also compare with the i7-3770K with the i5-3570K and see if the extra money makes sense.

Your current PSU powered your 2X gtx 8800 = 300W. The 680 is only 200W. You should be fine there. Your new processor will be less than 100W, and is ballpark comparable to the q6600 in power draw.

Win8 makes a cheaper upgrade over vista than win7. Having used both, win7 is nicer, but that might not be true in a year or two. If your current vista is not 64-bit then make sure you have an upgrade path to 64 bit.

Consider a new disk drive. 2007 was a long time ago and drives fail. Consider adding a 240GB/256GB SSD as system drive. That is less than $200 now. OR consider going raid 0 with two spinning.

p.s. that alienware system is a beast.

p.p.s vista will ask you to revalidate the license when you boot it with all those new parts. It's not big deal, takes only 30 seconds over network or a 2 minute phone call.

edit: given you were looking at overclockable 'K' processors consider an aftermarket heat sink. Or drop back from the 'K' processor if you don't plan to OC the CPU.
December 17, 2012 12:02:29 AM

tsnor said:
You keep systems for a while.

Most people here would build an i5 / gtx670 system vs a, i7 /gtx680 ssytem, then use the savings to replace the video a year or two earlier. But your strategy works for you.

The i7-2600K is sandy bridge. Check out ivy bridge instead = i7-3770K. Also compare with the i7-3770K with the i5-3570K and see if the extra money makes sense.

Your current PSU powered your 2X gtx 8800 = 300W. The 680 is only 200W. You should be fine there. Your new processor will be less than 100W, and is ballpark comparable to the q6600 in power draw.

Win8 makes a cheaper upgrade over vista than win7. Having used both, win7 is nicer, but that might not be true in a year or two. If your current vista is not 64-bit then make sure you have an upgrade path to 64 bit.

Consider a new disk drive. 2007 was a long time ago and drives fail. Consider adding a 240GB/256GB SSD as system drive. That is less than $200 now. OR consider going raid 0 with two spinning.

p.s. that alienware system is a beast.

p.p.s vista will ask you to revalidate the license when you boot it with all those new parts. It's not big deal, takes only 30 seconds over network or a 2 minute phone call.

edit: given you were looking at overclockable 'K' processors consider an aftermarket heat sink. Or drop back from the 'K' processor if you don't plan to OC the CPU.


Sorry but what is the difference between sandy bridge and ivy bridge I am a noob. I think I want to stick to i7 cus I am in it for the long run, but if you could tell me the major difference between the i5 and the i7 that would be awesome.

Good I think I have enough power for sure.

And ya I know windows 7 and windows 8 are the same price right now, but I really don't feel like I will want windows 8 cus of all its "extra" stuff like the metro dashboard or whatever, windows 7 just seems simple and smoother which is all I need for gaming!

Definitely will consider a SSD, good prices now. Also I am thinking about instead of getting 2X4 GB RAM, I go for 2X8 GB Corsair Vengeance

And ya about the re-validation, I think I am just going to wipe my hard drives anyway and then start clean with win7.

About overclocking. I think I might just go for the non "k" version, but what would you do? I have never overclocked any parts on my Alienware before. Does it just mean that your pushing the system a little hard, cus if a new fan stops it from breaking and it is just running better then that seems like a no brainer.

Thank you for replying, but one thing. I really am unsure of what motherboard to get. There are a lot out there for a lot of different prices. If you could steer me in the right direction or just link me to one that would work that would be perfect.

One last thing, should I run my current graphics cards with my new one or take those out and just run the new one solo. I was originally just going to do the latter but if you think I should do both, I'll do it.

O and thanks for the compliment on the Alien, I got her before Dell got hold of them. She is definitely a beast :love: 
!