System Upgrades

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SunDune

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I'm the kind of person who built their own computer and is constantly "frankensteining" new parts into it a little bit at a time. Before I can do any more upgrades, though, I need to get a new PSU. Right now I'm running an Athlon 64 X2 3800+ with a GeForce 7600GS 512MB, 2GB of RAM, as well as a 250GB SATA drive and a 40GB IDE. My PSU is 500W.

My first question is this - I eventually plan on sticking an 8800 in there, definitely a new processor as well, probably an X2 6000+ or maybe an equivalent Core 2, and maybe a third hard drive. I know I need to upgrade my PSU first - will a 750W be enough, or would I need 800W+ to run something like that?

Second, what would be the best upgrade for gaming purposes? I was thinking the video card should be next, but maybe a new CPU might be a little more cost-effective. I'm likely going to buy a new motherboard no matter which CPU I pick (my current one sucks), so would it be better to switch over to Intel since I'm buying a board either way? I looked over some tech specs and it looks like the 6000+ outperforms Intels of the same price range.

If anyone could take a few minutes to answer one (or all) of these questions for me, I'd greatly appreciate it. Thanks!
 
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More than enough, and you probably could run that with 500 watts if the quality is up there on the psu and not generic or unknown brand name. For safety sake a 600 watt Antec, Enermax or Thermaltake would be fine.
 
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The 6000+ and a decent am2 board would be a cheaper alternative to a comparative intel mobo/cpu. I've got no complaints at all and with my 7950gt I can play almost everything with high settings and no lag.
What mobo do you have? A good video card will make almost any system better with games, even with bottlenecks. What you have to do is find the bottleneck and fix that (cpu, mobo, ram, etc.)
 
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SunDune said:
Thanks! Anyone have any thoughts on the CPU question?
3800 to a 6000, go for it. Huge difference in cache which aids speed and I have one of those suckers and it flies.
 

SunDune

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MichaelDee said:
What mobo do you have? A good video card will make almost any system better with games, even with bottlenecks. What you have to do is find the bottleneck and fix that (cpu, mobo, ram, etc.)
I'm currently using an ASUS M2V-TVM (I think, the model # is partly hidden under the CPU mount, but it looks right). There's nothing really wrong with it, there are just a bunch of minor things about it that irritate me - mATX, no 1394, only 2 PCI slots, only 2-channel audio, etc.

I understand that the video card upgrade would be a much better performance boost, but I don't think I can afford it right now. If the processor upgrade will actually make a marked difference, I might just go with that.
 
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After a quick check, it seems that that is just a basic board, only 2 ram slots (can't use higher speed ram) and a via chipset.

Here is a qiuck comparison of amd cpu's.
http://www.amd.com/us-en/Processors/ProductInformation/0,,30_118_9485_13041^13077^14670,00.html
I would make sure that it would take a cpu like the 6000+ before you bought it, if it worked, you would notice some improvement, but with a lower end mobo its hard to know what kind of difference it would make. What makes more of a difference in games is the video card. If you had a great high speed system, but used onboard or a low end card, your games would still lag and stutter.
If you look at this page you will notice that the overall score of the 7600 gs is pretty low.
http://www23.tomshardware.com/graphics_2007.html?modelx=33&model1=859&model2=722&chart=318
You can also check various other benchmarks as well as different cpu's.
You can get a very good video card for a very good price because they are EOL (End Of Life) since newer ones have come out. I would recommend an x1950 card, great performance for a bargain price. Once you have a decent card (pci-e), then you can decide later on what to upgrade (ie. cpu and mobo, then ram later since you already have 2gb).
 
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MichaelDee said:
After a quick check, it seems that that is just a basic board, only 2 ram slots (can't use higher speed ram) and a via chipset.

Here is a qiuck comparison of amd cpu's.
http://www.amd.com/us-en/Processors/ProductInformation/0,,30_118_9485_13041^13077^14670,00.html
I would make sure that it would take a cpu like the 6000+ before you bought it, if it worked, you would notice some improvement, but with a lower end mobo its hard to know what kind of difference it would make. What makes more of a difference in games is the video card. If you had a great high speed system, but used onboard or a low end card, your games would still lag and stutter.
If you look at this page you will notice that the overall score of the 7600 gs is pretty low.
http://www23.tomshardware.com/graphics_2007.html?modelx=33&model1=859&model2=722&chart=318
You can also check various other benchmarks as well as different cpu's.
You can get a very good video card for a very good price because they are EOL (End Of Life) since newer ones have come out. I would recommend an x1950 card, great performance for a bargain price. Once you have a decent card (pci-e), then you can decide later on what to upgrade (ie. cpu and mobo, then ram later since you already have 2gb).

Not quite sure what you are talking about....board is not lower end though it is cheap right now, and it can take 4 gb 800 ddr2 ram as well as the 6000 X2 cpu.
Of course agreed that the video card is at best adequate and the 1900 ATi is better card and value.
 

SunDune

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MichaelDee said:
I would recommend an x1950 card, great performance for a bargain price. Once you have a decent card (pci-e), then you can decide later on what to upgrade (ie. cpu and mobo, then ram later since you already have 2gb).
I'd rather wait and buy a better card later than buy a cheaper one now, if the video card would be the better upgrade. I'm thinking I'll probably get an 8800GTS 320MB, I've been able to find some pretty good prices on them. I realize I could buy a card at a good price that would still be much better than my current one, but I'd rather save up for a little while and buy a really good one that won't need replacing for a while.

Thank you both for your help, I really appreciate it.
 
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go for AMD Black Edition +5000 its overclockable to 3Ghz and its the first 65nm cpu almost like E6550.

Oh well, its just a suggestion.
 
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The 8800 gt is supposed to be coming out within a few days (maybe tomorrow) for around $250. It performs just under the 8800 ultra. You will see many used 8800gts pop up shortly.
 
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