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Uprade Advice


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#1
Samjula

Samjula

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Hi, currently i own the following system, i built it about 2 years ago and want to update it.

Asus P5LD2-VM Mobo
Intel P4 3.4Ghz LGA775 551 CPU
EVGA 7800GT 256mb PCI-e
2gb ddr2 533mhz RAM
various SATA drives
etc.

I would like to uprade it to be able to handle some newer games a bit better, but would like to do so in the most cost effective way as im on a tightish budget. I've got 1 ram slot left so i could either fill that with another stick of the same ram or upgrade all of the ram to higher speeds, would the second option be worth it? For example, would 2gb of fast ram be much better than 3 or 4gb of cheap, slowish ram?

Next, the graphics card is getting old, how big of an improvement do you reckon a new card for about £100 would produce?

Something like this: http://www.ebuyer.com/product/145605, any other reccommendations?

I'm under the impression that i'd be better off upgrading the graphics card than the cpu, and im not sure if i want to cough up the cash to upgrade both. Would i see a bigger improvement with a graphics uprade than cpu (gaming wise)? If i upgraded the graphics would my outdated cpu hold it back? I'd like to upgrade to dual core but dont know if it would be too pricey for the increase in performance.

I haven't given it all much thought yet as ive only just decided that i want to update my system, so any advice, suggestions or reccomendations would be really helpful. Basically i want to get the most out of my system and stand me in good stead for the next couple of years without spending a fortune.

Thanks :)

EDIT

After a bit of browsing i've found these.

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/116755

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/139584

The memory seems good value, but im not sure if my motherboard could handle it. The CPU isn't badly priced either and gets over double the score on passmark benchmarking (http://www.cpubenchm...et/cpu_list.php). What do you reckon?

Edited by Samjula, 09 July 2008 - 06:29 PM.

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#2
SRX660

SRX660

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There is not a lot of difference between 553 and 667 memory. You will notice a small improvement if you buy some more memory, but you already have 2 gigs and XP does not even use over 500 MB to run. What you cannot run is 4 gigs of memory if you are running the 32 bit XP system. Only the 64 bit OS can see more than 3.2 gigs of memory. The 32 bit XP OS will ignore any more memory than the 3.2 gigs it see's.Your motherboard will take 4 gigs of memory and any intel proc you can throw at it, except maybe the quad core as i dont see any references to it.

By the way, Asus says "Only PCB R2.0(or higher) support Intel® Core™2 processor"

http://www.asus.com/...n...l3=194&l4=0

The graphics card will help quite a bit.No guarantee on Performance unless you use benchmarking programs to tune the computer for best performance.

I really don't see where a 2.2 dual core would be much faster than your 3.4. Perhaps a good E8400 3.0 core2 duo cpu would be much faster at a cost of US $190 here in the states. Another thing to think about is that Asus MB's are good at overclocking. You might try it for some better speeds, and the intel core2 duo's will overclock easily.

So my answer would to go for the graphics card. It's the best buy for your buck right now. The problem is that the 945 chipset on the MB is already slightly outdated for gaming. You might think about a new build with the 975 chipset motherboard and a intel 3.0 E8400. The quad cores are really not ready for gaming. My quad core Vista computer still only uses one corewith a few times of a second core use playing games. I feel i wasted the money for it as it cost the same as a E8400.


SRX660
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#3
Samjula

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I've been considering a new build and i think it would probably be the best idea. Can you recommend any motherboards?

I've been using this to compare cpu's - http://www.cpubenchmark.net/, do you think its a good indication of performance? My current cpu gets a score of 523 whereas the cpu i mentioned previously scores 1210, which i think is pretty good for only £50. The E8400 gets about 2000 but would set me back around £120.

Not sure my current motherboard would work with that Ram, you can't select 2.1v as the memory voltage in the bios and a few people have mentioned that as a problem in the review section.

Almost definately going to go for that graphics card, although haven't given ATI much thought.

After the upgrade i'd definately think about some serious overclocking, i have an antec nine hundread which keeps my currently system very cool and also aftermarket cpu/gpu coolers that i could transfer to the new parts.

My HDD's are all fine for now but i was wondering if my current power supply would still be ok, It's a cheap 550W one (this one i think http://www.ebuyer.com/product/102994). If i upgraded to more powerful components is this sufficient? Would it limit their performance in any way?

Thanks, and sorry for all the questions, i relatively confident with most pc related stuff but when i'm about to fork out a few hundread quid i like to make sure everything is going to work nicely. :)

Sam
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#4
SRX660

SRX660

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Well, i can only go by my own seat of the pants feelings. I am running a BTX computer i built with a intel MB & dual core 2.2 cpu, and i also have built a XFX MB Intel Q6600 computer in a e-machines case, and i have a third compute which is a compaqKR1750 with a Pentium D 3.0 cpu. Funny thing is all three computer play the games i have on them at just about the same speed. There are slight differences but not enough for me to even try benchmarking them. All three do anything i want to do easily. I am not into heavy gaming but i do build some pretty H-D rigs for a couple of gamer's that live near me. For them 3 or4 FPS faster is worth a $300 graphics card. I tend to build middle of the road $600 computers for myself. Theirs start at around $3000.

So i'm not a real expert but do know what does run a bit faster. It all depends on what you use the computer for and how much money you have.

I have had to many problems with Asus MB's to use them in my builds. While they are great overclockers they can be problematic with memory, and other problems. I cannot afford to spend time fixing MB problems when they are inheretto the motherboard. So i generally pick intel MB's for basic builds and Gigabyte MB for better builds and for overclocking. Gigabyte seem to be very forgiving on setting and are not as picky about other hardware. I have seen failures in all MB including the intel's but intel a gigabyte have the best records for me.

Heres some good reading on power supplies.

http://www.jonnyguru...=...ory&reid=71

Read his reviews carefully. It will enlighten you on what a GOOD PS can do for you. The cheapies are for people who think computer's are a household appliance. Sometimes it is a matter of having a good 12 volt or 5 volt line in the PS that is up to specs. Any old PS is good if there is no stress on it, but when pushed near it limits it can cause freezes, blue screens, and even fry the motherboard. Go with trusted products and you cannot go wrong. I even have some PS's that i move with me to new builds rather then sell them. I just drop in a good regular PS in the computer then sell it. I get to keep my PC power and cooling and enermax PS's for other builds.
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