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Updating an old system


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#1 jon51

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Posted 16 July 2010 - 09:54 PM

Hello all.
I heard from some people that when attempting to build a new computer (I7, GTX 460, triple channel memory) I was going way overkill. I don't do any graphics, mostly just games and normal stuff.
I was given some advice to keep my current system and to just upgrade the parts I have already. As much as I value that opinion I have always had great responses here on this site.

My current system specs:
ASUS P5B Deluxe Motherboard
Core2Duo 2.4 775
2GB DDR2-800 memory
Geforce 7950

The people giving me advice (for gaming) was to keep my CPU and overclock it to at least 3.0Ghz, add another 2GB of RAM, buy a nice higher end graphics card (GTX 460 seems to be a decent price) and go 64-bit Windows 7.
I wanted to go with a 24" monitor plus my 19" and they said if going for that large of a screen go with the 1GB version of the 460.
My current Motherboard is PCIe 1.0, so am I wasting performance sticking a new video card in an old slot?

Also on the overclocking issue my current temps with WoW/firefox running is at 27C with the motherboard running a 33C. I was told the CPU should be able to handle 60C no problem (may upgrade fan/heatsink if you guys think it would be necessary).
I have never overclocked a system before and I don't mind experimenting a bit. I was told to use a Windows based overclocking utility to test stability and temps before messing with the BIOS.

So my main questions are:
Should I use the AI tools software provided by my motherboard manufacturer or do you guys suggest a good free, novice friendly software.
Is this a reasonable way to go about upgrading?
With a new monitor this setup was only running me about $550 with tax and shipping versus nearly $2000 going to a completely new system.

Thoughts?

Thanks for any help! You guys are great.

Edited by hamluis, 18 July 2010 - 08:50 AM.
Moved from Internal Hardware to System Building/Upgrading ~ Hamluis.


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#2 dpunisher

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Posted 16 July 2010 - 11:20 PM

A can of worms.

Agree with a 1gig GTX460. It is at a sweet spot now on the performance/price list, at least for now. You won't lose any noticable performance with a 1X PCI-E slot.

Agree with overclocking the CPU, disagree with the method. Get comfortable going into the BIOS and bumping up the FSB. Change around your memory dividers to underclock your memory to take that out a a limiting factor on your overclock. Find your CPU's limits without worrying about the RAM. After you find out your CPUs limits, then play with RAM dividers to find your RAM's limits.

I don't honestly know if I would throw another 2 gigs of RAM at it now. DDR2 is end of life and any money you spend on it is useless for a future upgrade. RAM prices are currently dropping and holding off on it for awhile is wise. Plus, going with 4X1gig sticks will limit your overclock, especially if the sticks are unmatched.

Agree with the 64bit WIN7. Go retail over OEM so you can use it on your next build. It will work with 2gigs of RAM, and with few exceptions, 2gig will suffice for gaming needs.

CPU cooling. The only way to tell is to overclock it, tweek voltage and constantly check CPU temp while it is loaded (CPU burn or similar program). I got a 800mhz overclock out of my E6750 so 3.0 ghz out of your CPU should be doable, if not easy.

If I was spending the money, I would first find out what my CPU will do, and how hot it will get doing it. That will determine what cooling will be needed. Grab your cooling solution, monitor, WIN7 and a GTX460 before they jack the prices on it. After I got that put together and configured I would seriously game on it and find out if my memory was holding me back. If your hard drive is thrashing during games (except when loading levels) you ran out of memory.

Main thing I would be concerned with is how many components I will be able to carry over to a new build in a year or so. I got into the trap with an older AGP system and burned $200, that in retrospect, was a waste of cash.

All the above is an opinion. I could be wrong.

EDIt: I completely forgot about the PSU. What are your power supply specs? Overclocking and going with that video card will significantly boost your wattage requirements.

Edited by dpunisher, 16 July 2010 - 11:22 PM.

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#3 jon51

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Posted 17 July 2010 - 12:52 AM

Thanks for the input. I'm just new to this stuff and didn't want to waste time, effort and money if it wasn't worth it.




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