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Low-Mid Tech Gamer - Potential Upgrade

wargigas

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Oct 14, 2008
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Current:
ABit GD8 Pro
P4 3.6Ghz
2Gb Kingston DDR2 533Mhz
Geforce 8600 GT

Mid-level Upgrade:
ASUS P5Q Pro
Intel Core 2 Duo e8400 3.0Ghz 1333Mhz FSB 6MB Cache
2Gb Corsair DDR2 1066Mhz or 4GB 800
ATI Radeon HD 4850 or Geforce 9800 GTX+
Thermaltake Pure Power 500W PSU
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Total: ~560

High-End Upgrade
nForce 780i (has SLI but no DDR3) or an Intel x38 (no SLI but has DDR3. could go
Intel Core 2 Quad q9550 2.8Ghz 1333Mhz FSB 12MB Cache
4Gb Corsair DDR2 1066Mhz or 4Gb Corsair DDR3 1333Mhz Depending on MB
Geforce GTX 260 or Radeon HD 4870
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Total: ~1000

Right now, as lousy and old as my setup is, can handle Crysis on Med/High settings in general but has to be lowered to all Medium at best in the more intense areas. I was going to do a full, high end upgrade but I don't really see the point or need based on my casual-medium gaming habits and the fact that my current system actually gets the job done (CoD4 is fine for example). Due to that I started looking at a mid level upgrade but I'm not sure if that will be enough of an upgrade to be worth it. On the other hand, aside from Crysis not much at the moment needs the high end build, although who knows what will come next and the high end build will have superior longevity. The options for SLI/CS are nice but I would be unlikely to ever need it and I'm partial to Nvidia. Any thoughts on how much of a performance boost the mid level upgrade would really be? Would it be worth it? Thanks
 

wargigas

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Thanks for the responses. I looked at the P45, and specifically the P5Qs and they looked pretty good.

I think I'm going to go w/ the mid-lvl upgrade. But, I have a couple questions about specifics, I know the general stuff but I've never tried to OC or paid much attention to clock speeds before.

After a little reading I think I'm going to go for the Intel Core 2 Duo e8400 3.0 and OC it to 400x9 or x10 for 3.6 or 4.0Ghz. Read a few posts that sd this shouldn't be hard and for what I do which is really only straight forward gaming, the e8400 is equal to or better than the q6600 for less money. I have a giant Max Orb air fan which, assuming it fits in the new build, would be fine from what I read. I don't play FSX or do any video editing by the way.

Also read, however, that OC'ing the CPU adjusts the clock speed of the mem as well and that's when I start to get lost.

I read that Windows XP, being a 32bit OS, can only run 4Gb of RAM including that of the GPU, sound card etc, so is there even a point to getting 4gb on XP?

I don't really plan on OC'ing the RAM, if I don't have to and most people said that 800Mhz is better than 1066 if you don't plan on OC'ing the RAM. Would I have to OC it if I OC the CPU? How hard is it to OC DDR2 1066? Price wise the 800 is cheaper, although newegg has a 2x2gb 1066 Corsair kit for $25 after rebate which is almost 2/3 off.

Since the e8400 is 1333 how does that relate to the RAM being 800 or 1066/1066 OC?

Could I OC the CPU to 3.6 or 4.0 1333 and just leave the Ram at 800 or 1066? What would I have to OC the 1066 to, if anything, to be safe/compatible?

I'm sorry for so many questions and so many generalizations that have probably been covered before. I did look at the RAM/CPU forums but in most cases I got quickly lost. This isn't my first build but I've never had to get this detailed with it or considered overclocking anything.

Suggestions, thoughts, insight appreciated
 

wargigas

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Here's what I found as specific potential components:
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo 8400 3.0Ghz 1333 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115037
MB: ASUS P5Q Pro http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131299&nm_mc=OTC-pr1c3watch&cm_mmc=OTC-pr1c3watch-_-Motherboards+-+Intel-_-ASUS-_-13131299
GPU: Saphire ATI Radeon HD 4850 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102775
or
XFX Geforce 9800 GTX+ http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150314
RAM: Corsair Dominator 2GB (2x1GB) DDR2 1066 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145043
or
Corsair XMS2 4GB (2x2GB) DDR2 800 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145176
PSU: Thermaltake PurePower 500W http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817153052
HDD: Seagate Barracuda 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148288
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Total = $610-640

I am partial to nvidia, never had ATI and on another article here by tom the 9800 GTX compared on average almost identically to the HD 4850. Game to game, however, the 4850 performed better on most of the games I'd play though. I doubt that I'd ever SLI or Crossfire. By the time I'd want or need to I'd probably just upgrade again. Had this setup for several years now.

And still not sure if 2gb 1066 is better than 4gb 800 with or without OC'ing. The 2gb 1066 is the cheaper
 

ke7diz

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i would not try overclocking if you don't know what you are doing the gains are good but you could out your self a couple hundred $
(but if you really want to do some research and you can find the answers to all your ?)

+1 fore the midrange

i would go fore the 4850 it is a great buy

amount of ram always beat speed get the 4gb and you won't see much of a difference between 1066 and 800

 

wargigas

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Since the ASUS P5Q runs standard mem of DDR2 1200 which would be more compatible/easiest, the 800 or 1066 for someone who barely knows what he's doing? Both being round #s the multipliers for the 800 would be better I'm guessing. Or does it even matter?

 

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