Upgrading my Dell for gaming...

mmjeffrey

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Apr 30, 2009
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Hey, So I have been out of the PC gaming biz for awhile now and am looking to get back into for reasons mainly: Diablo 3, SWTOR, and I would like to try out Crysis. So My brother had an old Dell XPS 410 he wasnt using so i picked it up to upgrade. It has a 19 or 20" Dell LCD Monitor it came with that i'll be using. So regardless of it being a Dell I think it can be put up to standards with a little money. I already purchased a good bit of upgrades and would like some advice on the rest. Oh and I dont OC at all and dont plan to.

Current Dell Stock Build
MB: Dell P965 Socket 775
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 at 1.86Ghz
Ram: 1Gb Nanya PC5300
GPU: Nvidia GeForce 7300LE <-- and Dell called this a gaming rig :(
PSU: Dell stock 375W
OS: Windows XP 32-bit
HD: 160Gb SATA (Probably at 5400 or 7200rpm Idk)

-Needed serious work to stand to up to new games as you can see

New Upgrades I just bought off Newegg
XFX GeForce GTS 250 Core 512mb GDDR3
BFG 550W PSU
Crucial 2x1Gb PC6400 Dual Channel RAM (Taking out the stock RAM)

More Upgrades to get along the way
-Another Crucial 2x1Gb addition
-Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 at 2.4GHz or Q6700 at 2.6Ghz (Only quad cores compatible with mobo)
-2nd SATA HD 500Gb at 7200rpm
-Windows 7 64bit (When it comes out)

So im thinking ill go for the second set of RAM first as I get the money, then after that i dont know. I was kind of wondering how important the HD speed and size is in terms of gaming and performance, and also wondering if my current CPU will be a bottleneck to the new GPU? Im kinda hoping if I wait until next holiday season both that CPU and HD price will be cut in half but we'll see. And also i know 100% i will be getting windows 7 when it comes out, but I was still wondering if I should just say screw my current windows xp and download the Win 7 RC and use it until release. Nobody was using the comp so there is nothing important on it that a Win 7 RC malfunction was lose.

Any advice or comments appreciated!
 

Kill@dor

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Apr 28, 2009
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I don't know much about that Dell mobo...You can upgrade RAM, CPU (E5200 65nm $70 if you want), and 9800GT or better for a mere $150 or less. ..

What budget are you setting for? Is this for hardcore gaming or moderate?

This isn't a full build, so assuming you just need RAM, maybe new CPU and graphics card or hard drive, can your motherboard hold more items? And can the case fit a new PSU?

If you do upgrade, how long do you plan on keeping this build until the next upgrade?

Lots of questions to ask yourself bud ^_^
 
I wouldn't bother with the Q6600 just for games like D3 or Crysis. An E8400 would be better there, because it's higher clocked and the games won't use more than 1 core or two at most. You do need a quad for FSX and GTA4, that's about it.

 

mmjeffrey

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Well... as you can see in my post i already bought RAM and a graphics card, and yes i am pretty sure the new psu will fit. Also I am a college student= that explains my budget



Yeah I considered this but unfortunately my crap Mobo doesnt support any thing above like a E6700 except for those two quad cores i listed. And also im aware that most games right now don't use multiple cores but im looking to the future as well (assuming in the future more will cores will be utilized or that windows 7 will use them too)
 

Kill@dor

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E6700 is perfect man. I have an E6600 @ 3.5 and i've had it for 3+ years now. If you were to build a future machine, wait for the future to get components that are compatible. Mixing old and new is fine, but its just better to get all new stuff later. Your PC will still last for years if you maintain it...i mean blow a little dust out w/TLC.

I can play crysis on my machine with 45+ fps on high settings...1920x1080 on my Asus 22" screem It is 2ms so that makes a huge difference too!
 
With your LCD i am thinking you are running 1280 x 1024 or 1440 x 900? D3 from what i gathered has a game engine no where as GPU hungry as Crysis speaking of which at those resolutions are doable (high not very high hehe) with that GTS 250 or even a HD 4770! Since you are on a propriety system with locked BIOS my choice would be just upgrade to a better GPU
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Diablo 3 is supposed to work well on "mainstream graphics cards", that's what Blizzard said. Of course, with an expected release date in 2010, when the "mainstream cards" will be comparable to today's HD 4890 or even GTX 285, that's not very helpful. :)

Another thing they mentioned is support for Havok physics (HD 4870 has it, for example). That enables stuff like making a wall crash down and squish a few monsters, etc. I saw it in a demo and it was VERY neat :)

About the Q6600: OK, if that's the best your MB can take then go for it. I have one myself and it's still just fine.