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#1
antiherodave

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I was looking at my windows experience index score, and it is 5.6. I would like to upgrade my computer to get it higher. i wanna spend 300 to 500 dollars. I am interested in a better video card, better processor, and more RAM. Here is my current operating system hardware:

Antec 300 Computer Case - $54.95
Gigabyte GA-EP45-DS3L - $104.99 (with a $15 MIR)
EVGA 9600GT video card - $104.99 (with a $20 MIR)
Rosewill RP500-2 500W ATX12V v2.01 Power Supply
Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 @ 3.00 GHz- $164.99
Corsair 2x1GB RAM - $35.99 (with a $13 MIR)
Samsung F1 320GB - $54.99
Plextor px-806sa dvd drive
Windows Vista Home Premium 32-bit

Don't get me wrong, this has been about the most awesome computer! And that I built it is pretty cool, to me. It's just time to upgrade!
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#2
Ferrari

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Hi antiherodave,

First thing, I wouldn't pay too much attention to the Windows Index Score. Is there certain areas where you feel your computer is struggling? You have a pretty nice build, but if you are gaming, your video card could use some improvement.

I think you could definitely use some more RAM. Since you have a 32bit Operating System, your computer is only able to recognize about 3.2-3.5GB's though. Can you tell me what kind of Corsair Memory you have? i.e. DDR2 PCXXXX? or DDR2 1066.

If you really feel strongly about upgrading the processor, I suggest the Q9550.

Answer those questions and we can go from there. :)
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#3
edge2022

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I have a really good computer and it has a score of 5.9 (Is that the highest???) The score you get isn't everything.

If getting a C2Q I would also pick up a Q9550... the Q9400 works great too. If you are not using any threaded apps that will benefit from more cores, the processor you have is fine.
If you game a lot, the best bang for your buck is the ATI 4870. Even though it has high temps (therefore I would suggest the ones with the aftermarket heatsinks), it has very good performance and can play modern games with ease.

As mentioned by Ferrari you would need a 64 bit OS to utilize more RAM.
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#4
antiherodave

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hey ferrari,
when i start my computer it says ddr 2 +1333, i assume this is what
you are refering to.? if that does not sound correct, can i look
that up in my computer properties or something? i am gaming, and
playing resident evil 5 and arkham asylum (during the poison ivy part
which i assume is a segment of the game that is very demanding) the
computer graphics became kind of jumpy, not to smooth. so what do
you recommend to solve this and what do you recommend for a video card
and RAM?

P.s. sorry for such a late response!
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#5
edge2022

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For a video card, I would get an ATI 4870 or 4890. If you want to stick to NVIDIA, then try a GTX 260 or GTX 275.
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#6
Ferrari

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Do you mean ddr3 1333? I couldn't find any on Newegg that was ddr2 running at 1333, but I thought there was ddr2 that did. :) Let me know... What do you think edge?

I second what edge says about the video cards, all of those are great. The higher the number the better. i.e. 4890 is better than 4870, 285 is better than 260. Best bang for your buck is going to be the 4870.
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#7
antiherodave

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The kind of video card i have is "EVGA 512-P3-N860-TR GeForce 9600 GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card" is this what you are refering to? i don't know, just whenever i turn on my computer, a screen comes up that flashes for a short time that says Gigabyte DDR2 1333+ or something like that. here is my motherboard info:
GIGABYTE GA-EP45-DS3L LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
CPU Type: Core 2 Quad / Core 2 Extreme / Core 2 Duo
FSB: 1600/1333MHz
South Bridge: Intel ICH10
Number of Memory Slots: 4×240pin
Memory Standard: DDR2 1200
Maximum Memory Supported: 16GB
Channel Supported: Dual Channel
PCI Express 2.0 x16: 1
Model #: GA-EP45-DS3L
i looked, it is no longer available at newegg, but that is where i got it.
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#8
antiherodave

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Sorry, I was telling you everything except what you where asking for! Here is the kind of memory i have:
CORSAIR XMS2 1GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Desktop Memory Model CM2X1024-6400.
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#9
Ferrari

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AHHHH, in that case, your board can handle up to 1333mhz which is overkill. Anything over 1066mhz on that board is over kill because of the bottle neck between the cpu and memory controller.

Any of these dual channel kits will work. I recommend, OCZ Platinum or OCZ Reaper. Corsair Dominator is very good, but you are getting away from the "best bang for your buck" here.

I think with a Q9550, 4870 by Saphire, and a OCZ or Dominator you will have a very nice upgrade all for about $450. If you want to save money, go with a bit less expensive processor, which I can help you with and G.Skill has some nice inexpensive RAM. I would stay with the 4870 for sure.

Hope that helps! :)
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#10
edge2022

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That is a nice board to be able to handle DDR2 1333 and above. It could also be referring to the fact that you should be able to overclock to that level.

I would also get a Q9550, and any RAM will do (OCZ is usually inexpensive and of good quality)
I like this kit: http://www.newegg.co...N82E16820146785
Ballistix Tracers overclock well and have awesome LEDs too: http://www.newegg.co...8-214-_-Product
Corsair Dominators are strong and are of very high quality.
You can also go with these Ballistix (no LEDs): http://www.newegg.co...N82E16820148212

I would also go with a 4870...
Although I'd go with a Powercolor card: http://www.newegg.co...1-148-_-Product
It runs 47 idle and never goes above 70 load (for me) It's cheaper than the Sapphire and has 1GB memory.
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#11
Ferrari

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Its not cheaper than the saphire, but 1GB of memory for only $10 more and the fact that you have actually used that card edge, I would definitely get that one then.

Get your prices right!!! :) :)

Unless you were going on Mail in Rebate... ugh. I just pretend those don't exist. I usually look for free shipping. :) :)
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#12
edge2022

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Ya I was counting the rebate... I got the rebate too, they were prompt.
I try to buy from Amazon since they usually will give free shipping (even with cases) and no tax (California sales tax).
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#13
antiherodave

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Are those both ATI cards? I read that ATI cards were not very good and is PhysX gonna be the next step in technology? ATI does not support PhysX.
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#14
antiherodave

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how do you think this card would do if i upgraded to core 2 quad and Corsair Dominator?

BFG Tech BFGEGTX2851024OCBE GeForce GTX 285 1GB 512-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
Chipset Manufacturer: NVIDIA
Core Clock: 666MHz
Shader Clock: 1512MHz
Stream Processors: 240 Processor Cores
Memory Clock: 2484MHz
DirectX: DirectX 10
OpenGL: OpenGL 2.1
HDMI: 1 (via Adapter)

Also, what is the benefit of heat sinks and cpu coolers and how do you know if you need one?

Edited by antiherodave, 23 September 2009 - 08:12 PM.

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#15
edge2022

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There is nothing wrong with an ATI card. In fact the performance of a 4870 rivals and in some cases "trumps" the performance of NVIDIA's GTX 260 which is priced about 60$ more. If you can afford a GTX 285 though, I would definitely go with that.
ATI's competition to that would be the 4870 X2 (basically 2 4870 GPUs internally Crossfire connected), but even that cannot compete with NVIDIAs high-end GPUs.

Another thing to keep in mind when choosing a graphics card is size and connectors... you need a ATX mid or full tower with plenty of space and ventilation/cooling. I suggest the Antec 900 or 1200 or CM HAF 922 or 932. You also need a PSU with enough PCI-E connectors and amperage on the 12V rail to keep your system running smoothly. What PSU are you planning on getting?

An aftermarket CPU cooler is used to keep temps down and to get more overclocking headroom. If you are not overclocking, then you don't need an aftermarket cooler although it might extend the life of your processor (not by that much though, just a little)
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