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System Upgrade: Cpu And Gpu


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#1 Village Baka

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 03:58 AM

I got my computer about 6 months ago and I think it's about time to do an upgrade. I use it for everything, but gaming is the main and most important aspect. I've got $400 and I'd like to stretch each dollar as far as it can go. Here's everything important in my PC at the moment:

Motherboard
Processor (using stock cooler)
RAM
Video Card
500W PSU (came with case)

I have these picked out:
8800 GTS
Core 2 Duo 3.0ghz

...and I have a few questions. First, would it be better to get the new video card, or simply buy another 8600GT and SLI it? Second, is the performance gap between the new and old CPUs enough to warrant spending the money? Third, is a 500W PSU going to be enough for this, or will I need to get a more powerful one first? Finally, I want to get some aftermarket coolers for my CPU and GPU. Now up to this point I've never really thought of cooling, so I'm not quite sure what I'm looking for. I've picked these out:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16835103031
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16835118037

Aside from the previous questions, I'd greatly appreciate it if anyone can suggest cheaper parts that won't sacrifice performance, or more expensive parts as long as the better performance makes it worth it. More expensive parts are ok, as long as it doesn't push the total over $500 maximum. Thanks for the help!

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#2 Sterling14

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 03:33 PM

Here's a better card for less money: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16814130319 . That's the super overclocked edition. The regular one is 10$ less http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16814130318 . The 640mb 8800GTS is older and not as good as the 512mb 8800GT. Don't let the Vram fool you.

Thats a pretty nice processor, but I don't think you would see a great performance increase. Maybe if you could get about 100$ for the one you have now, but I still don't think it's really worth it. Intel's making new processors, and you might just be better off waiting for even newer ones to come out.

Also, with the aftermarket coolers. I don't think a VGA one is really necessary, but a cpu one is usually not a bad idea, especially if you want to overclock.

If you wanted some extreme performance for games you could get two 8800GT's in SLI. The thing is you would need a new power supply. A nice 600-Watter should be fine. Just don't go cheap on one if you want to do SLI.
"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." - Thomas Watson, Chairman of IBM, 1943

#3 Village Baka

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 07:13 PM

That card you picked does look a heck of a lot better, thanks. But... it's PCI Express x16 2.0. The board I have just has PCI Express x16 slots, or does that not matter?

Assuming I don't have to buy a new mobo to use that card, would this PSU work if I do SLI?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16817121012

It's a 600 watt, SLI certified, not a cheapy, modular, and it's even shiny. But it says it's a "ATX 12V Ver.2.2" type PSU. My case's PSU just says "ATX", does it make a difference at all? Thanks for the help, as always.

EDIT: It just occurred to me, I don't know exactly how SLI works. I know I have to flip that chip on my motherboard around and I need to install the connector that links the two cards, but isn't there some kind of DVI cable that connects the monitor to both cards? It didn't come with my motherboard and I know it isn't included with the video cards. Is it something that I need to buy separately?

Edited by Village Baka, 13 June 2008 - 08:04 PM.


#4 Sterling14

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 08:27 PM

Pciex 2.0 is backwards compatible with pcie x16. It will work with your board.


That power supply looks good, but I think the difference is that it uses an 8-pin motherboard cpu connection. Your motherboard, like most, only uses 4-pin. I'm pretty sure it will still work though. You should be able to plug the middle 4 pins in the motherboard, but hopefully someone else can verify this. There are probably some adapters out there anyway, if you really needed one. Besides that, it should work fine.

I've never done SLI, but I think as long as you put the SLI bridge on both cards, you just need to plug the monitor into one of the cards.
"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." - Thomas Watson, Chairman of IBM, 1943

#5 Village Baka

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 09:54 PM

Oh, that's a relief for the x16 2.0 thing.... I wasn't looking forward to another motherboard replacement so soon. If the mobo slot is specifically an x16 2.0 slot, do you get better performance or something?

I consulted my mobo's instructions and found out a couple things. One, it looks like you only have to connect the monitor to the first card, so that's it for SLI. Also, the CPU power connector on my board has another 4 pins that you can uncover to make it 8 pins (you can see it if you look closely at the pics on Newegg). The manual refers to it as "ATX 12V connector", so it looks like my motherboard can handle either or (which is a big convenience, makes PSU shopping a little easier).

Well then, once I get the monetary details all sorted out, it looks like I'll be doing my first SLI upgrade. Thanks for all the help, Sterling!

#6 Sterling14

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Posted 14 June 2008 - 07:51 AM

PCI express 2.0 has higher bandwidth, so cards that support it should run a little faster if the motherboard also supports it. From what I've read though, it doesn't make that big of a difference. One thing you should know is the other PCIex16 slot on your motherboard, runs at X8 speed. This will slow down your second graphics card a little, but its the best you can do unless you want to shell out some serious cash for a high end motherboard. I also remember reading that X8 doesn't slow it down too much either. It's X4 that really slows down cards, but you don't have to worry about that :thumbsup: .

The help was no problem! I receive so much help from these forums, that it is the least I can do.

I hope everything works out fine for you, and have fun gaming!
"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." - Thomas Watson, Chairman of IBM, 1943




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