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Strategic System Upgrade. Where to put my £200?

Discussion in 'System Builder's Advice' started by jgolby, Jun 9, 2009.

  1. jgolby New Member

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    I need to keep this old but faithful gaming rig running nicely for another year till I bite the bullet and build again. I

    CPU: AMD 64 3000+ (Socket 939)
    RAM: 2GB DDR 3200
    VideoCard: GeForce 7900GS VideoCard 256MB
    Monitor: 15” TFT

    I have many thoughts as to what to upgrade here.

    CPU: Possibly the main bottleneck, upgrade to a 939, Dual core?
    Or a higher clocked single core?
    GPU: At 1024 x 768, buying a new 250 GFX card a waste of money.
    Should I buy a 19” monitor and a 9600GT maybe?


    CPU: AMD 64 3000+ (Socket 939) > AMD 64 X2 3800+ (£60)
    RAM: 2GB DDR 3200 > 4GB (£20)
    VideoCard: GeForce 7900GS VideoCard > 9600GT or 8800GT (£60)
    Monitor: 15” TFT > 19” TFT (£60)


    Thoughts?
  2. Gam'ster

    Gam'ster New Member

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    Hi jgolby,
    Im in the same situation as you, Im waiting to see how the Intel I5 fairs before i up grade my ram, cpu mobo.
    But in the mean time in getting a cheap 8800gt, New HDD, ODD and PSU already bought a new case. Imo i would get the 8800gt/9800gt and a new 19" monitor. Not really worth putting out for a new CPU or ram if your going to replace it anyway in year or before and the 939 cpus prices are getting high for what they are.. But if you can get a good deal on ram in the FS section then go for it.
    Hope this helps you out, any questions just ask and welcome to TPU.
    jgolby says thanks.
  3. jgolby New Member

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    Thanks for the advice, it is the option that makes most sense in the rong run.

    I have seein few old AMD 64 single cores for cheap as chips. 3500+ for £16. Thats a 400mhz jump plus overclocking for under £20. Maybe worth a punt.
  4. Gam'ster

    Gam'ster New Member

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    Ohh nice price, in that case just for some OC fun id go for it, But if i remember correctly the duals are getting high in price.
  5. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    motherboard, CPU and ram.

    assuming thats a PCI-E video card, you can get yourself a decent DDR2 775 board, 2-4GB of ram (ram is VERY cheap) and the most basic core 2 based CPU you can find (pentium dual core is a good start)

    in a year when you bite the bullet, you can get a new CPU and video card.
  6. jgolby New Member

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    Roughly how much will this improve my gaming compared to a new GFX card and monitor? Right now Im running most games on high settings at 1024x768 with little or no AA.

    Maybe Is it worth waiting until the I5 is released and get a decent Core2Duo in the inevitable price drop?
  7. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    right now, you're CPU limited. you wont get any better graphics even by buying a new graphics card.

    Any and all modern games require a dual core or better - and a cheap pentium dual core is going to be better than the most expensive 939 dual core.

    The post-i5 price drop is why i said get the best board you can, and a cheap CPU. get a better CPU after christmas, when the prices have dropped. same for the video card, you can score one after DX11 cards hit.
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  8. jgolby New Member

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    Yes the dual cores are getting pricey, especialy when there is a limited supply of the older 939s. A used 3800+ costs upward of £60 and runs at 2ghz, so I would only get a .2Ghz increase on single thread applications. Your talking at least a ton for a decent X2.

    Im going pentium next anyway, which is a shame since I've been with AMD from my first build, the old XP chips :)
  9. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    i cant help with UK prices, but go find the cost for 4GB DDR2 800MHz (or 1066Mhz if its cheap), an asus P5Q-PRO motherboard and an E2180, E5200 or E7200.
    jgolby says thanks.
  10. Gam'ster

    Gam'ster New Member

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    About £40+/- for 4GB of 800mhz ram, Asus P5QL Pro Intel P43 around £75+/- and E5200 is around £55-£60+/-. Around £170 for that upgrade.

    P5Q-PRO P45 is about £90 + i believe.
  11. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    P5Q pro is above the QL, iirc. worth the few extra dollars.


    Point is, with 800MHz ram and a pentium dual, its guaranteed to do some serious overclocking. an E5200 at 3.5GHz is going to do some very, very bad things to the performance of your 3000+.

    add a better video card in a few months time, and no problem. you got a beast that would fit right in with the majority of users here at TPU.
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  12. jgolby New Member

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    Thanks Mussels. For my first day on forums, loving you guys. Thanks for all the help so far people.
  13. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    the only thing left is to make sure your video card is PCI-E. cause your budget will get blown otherwise.
  14. Gam'ster

    Gam'ster New Member

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    Lol Mussels your convincing me to go 775 and its not even my thread lol, But jgolby thats a good option that and leaves room for more upgrades ( GFX ) down the line as in the posts above.
  15. Darren

    Darren New Member

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    jgolby, if you are able to put up £300, I might be able to have you gaming at very high settings for two years.

    Guys, word of warning UK prices for £200 budget forget socket 775 with a high end board, P45 chipsets start at like £90 on AM2+/AM3 Nforce 8 and AMD 780V chipsets start from £50.

    Also Pentium 5200 is like £55, whilst the Phenom II X2 550 is like £80.

    My point is the saving of about £30 going from 775 to AM2+/AM3 would mean that he can afford the better CPU which would be much faster at stock whilst also benefiting from being very overclockable too.

    Edit:

    I found the Asus P5Q PRO P45 Socket 775 on ebuyer for £98, thats half the budget gone. £102 on overclockers.co.uk :eek:

    Edit 2:

    jgolby, in reference to your first post, I would avoid the 9600 GT series the early versions had a bug which caused it to randomly crash in video intensive activities. For £64 you can buy a sapphire ATI 4830 which would be much faster!
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2009
  16. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    my specialty lies with intel, not with AMD.

    The guys software runs fine on a single core, so IMO he's better with a faster performing dual, than a lower performing quad*.

    Intels also a lot easier to OC, with a chip like the E5200 you literally just turn the FSB from 200 to 266, and you've got a basic OC on the spot.



    *on single/dual threaded apps.
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  17. jgolby New Member

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    Thanks for the help, give me an email at joe@scarletblade.com with what you had in mind...

    Does Air France use the 9600GT....
  18. Darren

    Darren New Member

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    Indeed, I'm more of an AMD person, so we can complement each other well and teach one another new things :)

    The new Phenom II X2 550 is a dual core, it was released last week so not a lot of people are aware of it. Benchmarks have shown it destroying the E7400 and matching the E8400. Techspot.com managed to get it to 3.9 GHz on air. XBit labs managed to get it stable @ 4 GHz on air with only 0.15 voltage increase. Here - 3.8 GHz is a more realistic area though unless you're going to pump more volts into it.


    lol, email? I'll post the suggestion here, that way TPU can critique the build and find better and cheaper solutions. :)

    I'm not sure what Air France uses :s

    Edit 2:

    Very true!

    On the overclocking side the 550 only has it being a black Edition on its side. If you can get away a good overclock on the E5200 with default voltages then it might be worth going socket 775.
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2009
  19. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    while techspot and Xbit may get 3.9Ghz, a complete beginner would be lucky to get it 100Mhz above stock. Thats why i suggest the intel, as he can purely do an FSB raise with no voltage tweaking neccesary - if he gets a 200MHz FSB CPU on a 400MHz FSB board, its an easy ride.
  20. jgolby New Member

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    I do have some OC experiance. Back in the day I took one of the classic barton core 2500+ mobile XPs from 1.83 to 3.1 So I know how to incrementaly test, internal multipliers and up Vcore etc...

    But I do like an easy ride so the E5200 is appealing.
  21. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    it is an easy ride. all you need to do is set the DRAM divider to 1:1 (200 FSB = 400MHZ DDR2, for example) and raise it up. that gives you free run up til 400MHz FSB... at which point you've doubled your CPU clocks, without having to OC your motherboard or ram.

    Sure you'll never double the clocks on air cooling, but you KNOW that the CPU is the only limit.
  22. Darren

    Darren New Member

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    It comes down to this:

    If you want an overclockable processor: draw
    If you want an easiest to overclock: Intel E5200
    If you want a fast processor out of the box: Phenom II X4 550 BE


    Ok I've managed to stay under £300! This rig presumes that you are going to use your existing hard disk drive, case, fans and have an operating system CD at hand. The rig is enough to run todays games at high settings like a breeze, and allows for some overclocking potential and upgradeability.



    Sapphire HD 4830 512MB GDDR3 DVI VGA HDMI PCI-E Graphics Card £65.61
    AMD Phenom X2 550 Black Edition 3.1GHz 6MB L3 Chche Socket AM3 £81.05
    OCZ 4GB (2x2GB) DDR2 1066MHz/PC2-8500 Gold Memory £39.99
    Arctic Power 600W PSU - Retail Boxed £34.99
    ASUS M3A78-CM 780V Socket AM2+ £57.08

    Total: £278.72 (free super saver delivery)

    PS. If you replace the Phenom II X2 550 with the Phenom X3 710 its £296.64 - which is still under the quoted £300 for the build.

    ------------
    Remember Mussels also gave you a good route to go down too so you will have to make a strategic decision as to which path to go down.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jun 9, 2009
  23. boomstik360

    boomstik360

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    Yes I suggest going with an AMD setup over intel
  24. boomstik360

    boomstik360

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  25. LittleLizard

    LittleLizard New Member

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    +1. Also the phenom is very to oc as it has an unlocked multi.

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