Upgrading my system...

mhogan35

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I'm considering currently upgrading my system. Here's what I currently have:

AMD Athlon 64 3500+ (2.2ghz) Socket 939
ASUS A8V Motherboard
1 gig Kingston PC3200 HyperX Ram (2x512mb)
Radeon X850XT PE AGP Card (256mb)
Antec 430 watt PSU
etc, etc...

And here's what I'm looking at possibly getting:

Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 (2.13ghz)
GIGABYTE GA-965G-DS3 LGA 775 Intel G965 Express ATX Intel Motherboard
(2 gigs of ram, read below in a second)
SAPPHIRE Radeon X1950PRO (PCI-E)
(and maybe better PSU, etc)

Any thoughts on my upgrade? Does it look like I'll get a pretty good performance increase? What sparked this was a gaming purchase that required SM3 for my video card, and I thought, hey, while I'm at it, I might as well get away from AGP and enter the dual core era, and it seems like Intel (while I've been an AMD fan for quite some time) has surpassed AMD price/performance wise. Also, I have a ram related question. For motherboards that have a DDR2 standard of 667 or 800, do I absolutely need to get ram of that equivalence, or can I get something lower/higher? Any recommendations on good ram for a 2 gig dual channel setup? Thanks for your time and help!
--Matt
 

Fungalberry

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I'm considering currently upgrading my system. Here's what I currently have:

AMD Athlon 64 3500+ (2.2ghz) Socket 939
ASUS A8V Motherboard
1 gig Kingston PC3200 HyperX Ram (2x512mb)
Radeon X850XT PE AGP Card (256mb)
Antec 430 watt PSU
etc, etc...

And here's what I'm looking at possibly getting:

Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 (2.13ghz)
GIGABYTE GA-965G-DS3 LGA 775 Intel G965 Express ATX Intel Motherboard
(2 gigs of ram, read below in a second)
SAPPHIRE Radeon X1950PRO (PCI-E)
(and maybe better PSU, etc)

Any thoughts on my upgrade? Does it look like I'll get a pretty good performance increase? What sparked this was a gaming purchase that required SM3 for my video card, and I thought, hey, while I'm at it, I might as well get away from AGP and enter the dual core era, and it seems like Intel (while I've been an AMD fan for quite some time) has surpassed AMD price/performance wise. Also, I have a ram related question. For motherboards that have a DDR2 standard of 667 or 800, do I absolutely need to get ram of that equivalence, or can I get something lower/higher? Any recommendations on good ram for a 2 gig dual channel setup? Thanks for your time and help!
--Matt
Well, here's my honest thoughts:
That's not a good CPU upgrade. Your current processor is better than the one you want to get, I'm sorry to say. You will be able to run more demanding games and applications with your current one; it is faster, and Intel's AMD equivalent is often several tenths of a GHz higher. Example (not a realistic one): A 2GHz AMD = 2.4GHz Intel. Don't worry, I'm including the Core Duo factor in my calculation; all that allows you to do is more stuff at once, and limits your overall possible demand level of an application.

My suggestions for CPU:
*Either put out a bit more for a faster Intel - you won't get a performance increase and will waste money in the meantime by buying the E6400.
*Stay with what you have for a little longer....it's not that bad of a system. I'd wait a few months more and get all the performance you can out of your current Box. Then get a new system.
*OC if you're sad about your speed.

However, I think that if you get a new system, you should get more RAM and a better video card, as well as something like a 550W PSU (You don't need more than that, TRUST ME, no modern video cards, including ones with SLI use more than 600W). Crucial is the overall most stable, reliable RAM - it's made in the US, NOT Taiwan or China. However, it does cost a bit more and is insignificantly slower. If you're worried about this, get OCZ.
 

hdawg06

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I think the E6400 would be faster than his current processor when Over-clocked. He could probaly get that thing to 2.8Ghz or so fairly easily, and that would be good enough to run most games. Also, are you sure you want to upgrade your video now? Why not atleast upgrade to a DX10 card or wait until you can?
 

fatcat

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He's making a good upgrade. I have a 2 x 4200 and a C2D 6400 at home. The Intel CPU performs better than my 4200, not doubt in my mind. I haven't done any serious tests but it's obvious to the eye that the intel runs every thing faster. If he has the cash then ok go for the C2D 6600 but the 6400 is no slouch. If I am not mistaken, the 6400 is considered running with the 4400-4600 which are both a good notch over what he has now.

And the rest of what he has selected makes for a pretty good machine but I agree on the PS, I would get a 500w - 600w. DX 10 are at a premium right now, not sure it's the best of time to make that purchase.
 

mhogan35

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Thanks for the replies! It seems like the Intel cpu's are at a great price bracket right now, and are way more affordable (per performance dollars) than AMD is as of now. I just purchased the new Splinter Cell game, which requires SM3 on my GPU, which is one of the main reasons I started thinking about an upgrade, and thought, hey, while at it, might as well get rid of AGP and upgrade to a faster CPU too...
--Matt
 

Fungalberry

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Thanks for the replies! It seems like the Intel cpu's are at a great price bracket right now, and are way more affordable (per performance dollars) than AMD is as of now. I just purchased the new Splinter Cell game, which requires SM3 on my GPU, which is one of the main reasons I started thinking about an upgrade, and thought, hey, while at it, might as well get rid of AGP and upgrade to a faster CPU too...
--Matt
I think that waiting for DX10/Vista would be a good idea right now. I agree with getting rid of AGP and getting a faster CPU at once is a good idea, despite the fact that I still don't agree with your CPU choice (this is based on BAD experience with them with friends, but hey, it's your choice), but I think that it could be made even better if you got a couple more things at once, example: DX10, PCI-E, Vista, and upgraded system.

Once again, I think that it's a good idea, that if you just want a faster processor, to put off upgrading your WHOLE system for a while and just overclocking or something instead. That's a whole lot of money to spend for just a processor... :?
 

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