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Thread: Upgrade Advice CPU, GPU and RAM

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    Upgrade Advice CPU, GPU and RAM

    Hi all,
    i'm planning an upgrade this winter for my pc (my current rig is showing its age). I'm not planning a super high cost upgrade, just one that will keep up for a couple of years. I do game a bit but i don't require max settings and ultra high resolutions (my monitor is 1600x900 and thats fine for me), something mid range is good. I don't do anything else intensive apart from a little work on flash and photoshop aswell as sketch up but my current set up didn't have any problems so it's not a big issue. My budget isn't huge as im also currently saving (or trying to) for university and i figured upgrading now would be better than later when im in a lot of student debt
    So anyway i've already got a mobo (Asus P5G41C-M LX. socket 775, DDR3, PCIe etc), i just need a new CPU, GPU and some RAM. I thought of a few options and i was wondering if these would see me through a good couple of years. If anyones got any better options, please tell me.

    CPU:
    Either a Core 2 Duo E7500 £69.99 (in a sale)
    or a Core 2 Quad ~£108
    I know the quad core would be the best future proof route, but will I see the difference for the price. I could always overclock a bit i think my cooler is up to it (coolermaster Hyper TX3).

    GPU
    AMD XFX 5750 £70-80
    or Palit GTS 450 ~£90
    or maybe a Sapphire 5770 ~£110 if i've got money left over and if it's performance increase is significant.

    RAM
    Mushkin Silverline 4gb DDR3 1333Mhz 7-10-10-24 ~£50 (in a sale)
    Corsair XMS3 DDR3 1333Mhz 9-9-9-24 ~£65
    I know the Mushkin is cheaper but has it got good performance?

    Anyway, I hope someone can help. Thanks
    hmmm

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    Re: Upgrade Advice CPU, GPU and RAM

    Quote Originally Posted by jsfarthing View Post

    Anyway, I hope someone can help. Thanks
    I would probably start by asking what exactly you would use the upgrade for - that is to say what are you using your current system for? What sort of software are you using? Office applications may are less demanding to video editing or Photoshop for example. Also what is your system specification at the moment?

    If you don't plan on gaming, video encoding you probably don't need to splash out on the likes of a 5770 or 450. You can easily get a cheaper budget graphics card for around £40 or lower.

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    Bows out! CAT-THE-FIFTH's Avatar
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    Re: Upgrade Advice CPU, GPU and RAM

    You should have got either a socket AM3 or H55 motherboard as socket 775 is now EOL.

    I assume you are talking about a Q8300 quad core?

    For instance a 3.2GHZ Phenom II X4 955BE can be had for around £108 and is much faster than even a Q8400:

    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/88?vs=89

    An Athlon II X3 445 triple core processor costs around £58 and is probably as fast as an E7500 in most games. In any games which use more than the two cores the X3 445 is most likley to be faster than an E7500.

    Also,I assume you have a decent PSU??


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    Re: Upgrade Advice CPU, GPU and RAM

    I would buy a new HDD (or SSD? ) as well, if I were you.

    those 80GB IDE drives are really slow.

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    Re: Upgrade Advice CPU, GPU and RAM

    if your looking at spending £110 on a gpu then go the extra few quid and get a GTX460. Massively better bang for buck. This is of course assuming your PSU is up to the job.

    I would go for the corsair ram out of those choices but tbh i reckon you can find better deals if you look around.

    If your really set of keeping that motherboard then go for the cheapest CPU option as i reckon you will need to upgrade quicker than you think and the money is better spent on GPU.

    Whats max budget?

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    Re: Upgrade Advice CPU, GPU and RAM

    gpu 5770 or 460 if you can afford.
    as long as that ram is 1.65v and under get it if its on sale. mushkin makes great ram.
    well a dual core is still good in todays standards, i wouldnt suggest upgrading to one. if your going to buy a cpu get a quad.

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    Re: Upgrade Advice CPU, GPU and RAM

    Quote Originally Posted by jsfarthing View Post
    ... my current set up didn't have any problems so it's not a big issue. ...
    If your current setup doesn't struggle, don't upgrade anything Seriously. If you're having slow down problems it's far more likely to be a software issue than a hardware one. Either clean down your existing windows install and defrag both the hard drive and free space, or do clean install. Depending on how old your hard drive is it might be worth considering replacing it.

    You could also overclock that Athlon X2 a bit - the 3600+ should have some upward headroom (although your slowish memory might hinder than a little). And if you want more graphics power there's plenty of cards that would be an upgrade over a 2900 - look at the Radeon 5670 for ~ £70 which doesn't require an extra power connector so shouldn't stress your PSU too much.

    Speaking of which: what brand / rating is your PSU? It's one of the most commonly skimped on components and most cheap PSUs can't provide anywhere near their rated power. You need a good quality branded PSU before you think about anything else...

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    Re: Upgrade Advice CPU, GPU and RAM

    I should have probably posted my system specs sorry about that (the specs in the "jsfarthing's rig need to be updated a little)
    AMD Athlon x2 3600
    2gb OCZ Gold RAM 800Mhz
    ATI 2900GT
    500gb Seageat hard drive

    As for the socket 775, I though since the new i3, i5 and i7 were out, the core 2 series would go down in price and a core 2 quad or even a faster core 2 duo would be a good enough upgrade for me.

    My PSU is one other thing i will upgrade that i failed to mention. I have 570w one by Trust i think (i know its a pretty bad brand for a PSU), i haven't had any problems but I don't know how reliable it'll be with the upgrade.
    I found a Powercool Modular 550W 80+% eff for £40 from scan. Im not sure if these are any good. If not then a Corsair 430W CX for £35 (430watts is enough i think). The reason for the powercool is because it's modular.

    I will be gaming with it, but casually, so the GTX 460 might be a little much for me unless I have money left over. Other than that it's mostly surfing the web and office software with a little photoshop and sketch up for coursework and things like that (so i'm not a heavy user).
    Thanks
    hmmm

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    Re: Upgrade Advice CPU, GPU and RAM

    On top of that, RAM prices are still falling.

    Next spring you will be able to buy a completely new architecture CPU from either AMD or Intel, both should have stellar performance.

    Next summer, the next generation of GPUs will come out and should leave the current stuff standing as they will be made on a 28nm process and so will have lots more shaders for the money.

    I know there is never a *good* time to upgrade, but really there is some amazing stuff on the horizon so if you don't need to upgrade right now I would strongly suggest holding off.

    Having said that, you might find a new HDD makes a big difference to loading times. Get a WD Caviar Black or a fast Samsung. Just make sure it doesn't have the word "green" in the title

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