Upgrading CPU and Mobo on a custom build


Sep 5, 2011

I'm currently in a bind regarding my existing gaming machine. I used to build them myself what seems like many, many years ago, but owing to career pressures elected to go with a home-delivered, custom-built jobby some two to three years ago. It came overclocked and after one or two startup issues it mostly ran fine.


For the previous two years I've had an issue where the system would freeze up randomly. It could happen in post, it could happen five minutes after logging in, or it could be fine if left overnight. I tested memory, temperatures, loads, power consumption, reset any overclocking. I even repositioned it in case it just didn't like facing West.

Long story short the problem has been identified as 'possibly' being the motherboard, and I'm now being asked if I want to swap out both the motherboard and processor as follows:

Existing kit (from memory, be gentle):
nforce 790i SLI Ultra motherboard
2x GeForce 9800 GTX in SLI
Intel Quad Core Q6600 @ 2.4GHz
750GB @ 7200rpm

Suggested upgrade
Gigabyte H67 motherboard (no specifics)
Intel I5 2300 @ 2.8GHz

The cost of this upgrade would set me back around £240 supposedly, plus £55 for fitting.

I'm mainly interested in getting the PC back into working order in preparation for this years sparkly game releases. Seeing as how I'm stuck for time to address this myself and will inevitably end up paying for the work to be carried out I would also like to use it as an opportunity to throw an increse to performance in if possible too.

Any advice with the above situation is greatly appreciated.

The only problem is H67 only is made for 1 video card, even if you get one with 2-pci-e slots, they only operate at 16x/4x.

This may not really be a problem considering were talking about ancient 9800GTX's.

But for what you pay for a H67 with 2-pci-e slots, you could probably find a P67 or Z68.

Also you'll only be able to use 2 of your dimm's.
1) The 2300 is a nice upgrade over the Q6600. Passmark is 5548 vs. 2982.

2) H67 on Gigabyte can give you x16, x4 which might be ok with 9800GTX's, given that their bandwidth needs are not that high, and will probably not saturate x4.
But... I don't think Gigabyte has paid the Nvidia license to support sli on their H67 motherboards. You could take the deal, and let the vendor figure it out. A Z68 or P67 motherboard is not much more expensive, so you might get one in the deal. Or... see if they would swap your two 9800GTX's for something like a single GTX560ti or GTX570.

3) Sandy bridge wants 1.5v ram, 1.65 at most. Don't know what your's is, but older systems often used 1.8v ram which could brick the cpu. 6gb is doable with 4 ram slots, but the odd 2gb stick will operate in single channel mode. Not a biggie, more ram is much better than dual channel. Sandy bridge has an outstanding memory controller.
For the same money you can get this ; GIGABYTE GA-Z68MA-D2H-B3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard , and be able to use your video cards ( even though they are quite old) and all your ram sticks . I'm assuming the ram sticks are two sticks at three gb each dual channel ?
I don't know your budget but if you were looking for an additional increase in performance then you should consider new video cards. Two 560 Ti's or two 570's would do the trick but like I said I don't know your budget and two 560 Ti's would run you around $500 and two 570's almost $700 of course with some shopping around you can find something a little cheaper.