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Old 07-24-2008, 06:02 PM   #1
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Default What should I upgrade?

Short Bio (First post):
I built this computer about 2-ish years ago I believe. I was doing a Co-op at a computer store and the manager helped me buy the parts. I'll be going to university soon and I will be studying computer science. I know a fair bit about older computers and how to build them, but the newer stuff I'm a little lost.

The Specs:

OS:
Microsoft Windows XP Professional - Service Pack 2
Motherboard: Asus M2N-E
CPU: AMD Athlon(tm) 64 Processor 3800+, ~2.4GHz
RAM: Corsair 1024MB DDR2, PC2-5300, 2 sticks of 512MB
Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GT (256 MB)

The issue:
Any advice where I should go from here? I'm looking to upgrade mainly because of the newer games that are coming out. I can play F.E.A.R on nearly max settings, Half-life 2 everything maxed, just to give you an idea of how it's performing. Unreal Tournament 3, well, 800x600 with max detail, but that's as far as it'll go. Any higher and I get choppy gameplay. I'm not a huge fan of overclocking, so I would like to avoid that if possible. I like to play games on a high resolution with decent detail while maintaining decent FPS.

The budget:
Roughly $500 - Flexible

Notes:
I am happy with my sound card, mouse, keyboard, hard drive...etc. I'm mainly concerned about the performance at this point. And lastly, any suggestions where I should buy from?

Thanks in advance
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Old 07-24-2008, 06:17 PM   #2
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Default Re: What should I upgrade?

Quote:
Originally Posted by yourmojo View Post
Short Bio (First post):
I built this computer about 2-ish years ago I believe. I was doing a Co-op at a computer store and the manager helped me buy the parts. I'll be going to university soon and I will be studying computer science. I know a fair bit about older computers and how to build them, but the newer stuff I'm a little lost.

The Specs:

OS:
Microsoft Windows XP Professional - Service Pack 2
Motherboard: Asus M2N-E
CPU: AMD Athlon(tm) 64 Processor 3800+, ~2.4GHz
RAM: Corsair 1024MB DDR2, PC2-5300, 2 sticks of 512MB
Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GT (256 MB)

The issue:
Any advice where I should go from here? I'm looking to upgrade mainly because of the newer games that are coming out. I can play F.E.A.R on nearly max settings, Half-life 2 everything maxed, just to give you an idea of how it's performing. Unreal Tournament 3, well, 800x600 with max detail, but that's as far as it'll go. Any higher and I get choppy gameplay. I'm not a huge fan of overclocking, so I would like to avoid that if possible. I like to play games on a high resolution with decent detail while maintaining decent FPS.

The budget:
Roughly $500 - Flexible

Notes:
I am happy with my sound card, mouse, keyboard, hard drive...etc. I'm mainly concerned about the performance at this point. And lastly, any suggestions where I should buy from?

Thanks in advance
well, firstly...where are you located...? you can get a kick ass upgrade with that budget here in the US...

depending on where you live, (near a Microcenter...?), you could possibly get an E8400, HD4850 and 2GBs DDR2 6400 for about $300 after MIR, then you should be able to find a good LGA775 motherboard for around $75-$150...
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Old 07-24-2008, 06:35 PM   #3
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Default Re: What should I upgrade?

I am living in Canada, Ontario. I'm like 60% certain that I can still order parts from the computer store. I just want to have a backup idea in mind in case I can't. The manager doesn't work there anymore, they have a new one.

Edit: So would I need to upgrade the motherboard then? I'm reading about PCI Express 2.0 though this is fairly new to me. I'm guess my current board doesn't support it.
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Old 07-24-2008, 06:38 PM   #4
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Default Re: What should I upgrade?

i would recommend getting the cpu to a dual core, then upgrade to 1 more gb of ram or buy a new 2gb of ram with better speed and timing if you dont have 800mhz of speed and CAS4, and get a new graphics card after that.
the new games coming out needs a dual core, and to run smoothly i recommend having at least 2gb
as for pci-e 2.0, it would be backward compatible with every pci-e x16 slot, i would upgrade the motherboard the last, unless you want something like a quad core processor.
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Old 07-24-2008, 06:55 PM   #5
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Default Re: What should I upgrade?

I was thinking about going dual core. The main reason I didn't is because I have an AM2 socket motherboard. The manager basically told me that AMD dual cores aren't terribly great compared to the AMD single cores. I would like to keep my current board if possible, mainly for cost reasons.

As for the ram, I'm not too sure what I need to buy to be honest. Since the motherboard supports dual channel I'm guessing I need to up grade to - two 1GB sticks as wol-va-rine suggested. I don't think I can use anything in the other two slots. Suppose I could always sell or give away the two older sticks.
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Old 07-24-2008, 07:10 PM   #6
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Default Re: What should I upgrade?

i think dual cores are better than single core, i do stuff faster than i could with a single core.
heres a dual core i would go with
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16819103211
but you could get better ones if you are willing to pay $10-$20 more.

as for the ram, i would go with OCZ platinum
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820227089
or the Corsair XMS2
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820145034
they both are great ram

and for the graphics card, if you want to play on the highest settings on most games, go with either the 8800GT
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814130318
this is the one i recently bought.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814130359
which is also great, and its the same price, but only get it if you got the space for it.
or the 4850
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814102747
and if you get the 4850, you could combo it with the OCZ platinum for $204.99, which gives you like a $20 discount.

So if you got the 4850, the OCZ ram, and the 5000+ dual core, it would be $271, and theres a $50 MIR with the 4850 ($20) and OCZ ($30) so in total would be $221, and it has free shipping, but not sure if it is to Canada.
Then you can buy a mother with what you have left, or spend a little more for a better Processor/Ram/graphics card.
If you want intel instead, you will have to spend more, the Intel processors cost more, and also buy a new motherboard, but from what i heard, its better and has better OC. So AMD is for people on a budget.
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Old 07-24-2008, 08:01 PM   #7
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Default Re: What should I upgrade?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Teny View Post
i think dual cores are better than single core, i do stuff faster than i could with a single core.
heres a dual core i would go with
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16819103211
but you could get better ones if you are willing to pay $10-$20 more.

as for the ram, i would go with OCZ platinum
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820227089
or the Corsair XMS2
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820145034
they both are great ram

and for the graphics card, if you want to play on the highest settings on most games, go with either the 8800GT
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814130318
this is the one i recently bought.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814130359
which is also great, and its the same price, but only get it if you got the space for it.
or the 4850
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814102747
and if you get the 4850, you could combo it with the OCZ platinum for $204.99, which gives you like a $20 discount.

So if you got the 4850, the OCZ ram, and the 5000+ dual core, it would be $271, and theres a $50 MIR with the 4850 ($20) and OCZ ($30) so in total would be $21, and it has free shipping, but not sure if it is to Canada.
Then you can buy a mother with what you have left, or spend a little more for a better Processor/Ram/graphics card.
If you want intel instead, you will have to spend more, the Intel processors cost more, and also buy a new motherboard, but from what i heard, its better and has better OC. So AMD is for people on a budget.
actually that combo would be around $210 after MIR (the RAM is basically free in the combo deal with the 4850) if Newegg shipped to Canada, but they don't, but could this work...? OEMExpress.com...

memory...$70...Kingston DDR2 6400

PCI-E...$160...9600GT, or...again, 9600GT, but between these two, at least one is available at all 3 locations...

cpu...$100...AM2 Athlon 64 X2 5200+ Dual Core

still around $300, and still a big jump in performance, do you live by one of these stores mojo...? and from what I understand, you can still run the new PCIe 2.0 cards in your PCIe slot on your motherboard, PCIe 2.0 is backwards compatible, and you have a good motherboard, that's the last thing you'll want to upgrade, and when you do, upgrade the motherboard and cpu at the same time...

EDIT: oops, didn't see that you put the MIRs in there Teny, my bad...
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Old 07-24-2008, 08:12 PM   #8
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Default Re: What should I upgrade?

Well, I just started looking around tigerdirect and I think I will buy from there. They ship to Canada and accept money orders, and they have a good reputation. But anyway, here's what I came up with.

They have a list of a bunch of processors. They pretty well get more expensive $10 at a time. I figure I'll go with this one for no specific reason:

CPU:
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applicatio...IN#detailspecs

RAM:
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applicatio...IN#detailspecs

Video:
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applicatio...042&CatId=1826

So based on what you said, a PCIe 2.0 card will still work in my regular PCIe slot? I'm not sure why the card prices are so different (comparing the ones you listed with this one), but this is the cheapest 8800 GT i could find on tigerdirect. What do you think?

This would put me at $428.95 plus shipping and taxed if that counts. Should be within the budget.

EDIT:

Quote:
still around $300, and still a big jump in performance, do you live by one of these stores mojo...?
No, but I will be going to Ottawa for university. I might be able to slip down there, that's pretty neat. I'll look into that.
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Old 07-24-2008, 08:26 PM   #9
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Default Re: What should I upgrade?

whoops, got the total wrong, forgot to put an extra 2 there....

good choice on the RAM, and video card.
i never heard or saw this type of cpu before though....
but its by brisbane, so i guess its good.
yes, a card that uses PCI-E 2.0 will work on all pci-e x16 slots due to backward compatibility.
i dont really see much improvement from a pci-e 2.0 x16 from an pci-e 1.1 x16 (which should be the one you got)
is there any improvements from if using 2.0?
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Old 07-24-2008, 08:31 PM   #10
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Default Re: What should I upgrade?

Quote:
Originally Posted by yourmojo View Post
Well, I just started looking around tigerdirect and I think I will buy from there. They ship to Canada and accept money orders, and they have a good reputation. But anyway, here's what I came up with.

They have a list of a bunch of processors. They pretty well get more expensive $10 at a time. I figure I'll go with this one for no specific reason:

CPU:
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applicatio...IN#detailspecs

RAM:
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applicatio...IN#detailspecs

Video:
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applicatio...042&CatId=1826

So based on what you said, a PCIe 2.0 card will still work in my regular PCIe slot? I'm not sure why the card prices are so different (comparing the ones you listed with this one), but this is the cheapest 8800 GT i could find on tigerdirect. What do you think?

This would put me at $428.95 plus shipping and taxed if that counts. Should be within the budget.

EDIT:

No, but I will be going to Ottawa for university. I might be able to slip down there, that's pretty neat. I'll look into that.
same video card for less...$163.99 after MIR

put it with your processor and memory and it should be closer to $400.00...
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