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Build Advice Hi guys, new here a little advice needed pls

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by robfosters, 1 Dec 2010.

  1. robfosters

    robfosters New Member

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    OK, I nearly bought a new PC, had all the specs and everything. But then I was thinking whether or not it might be wiser (and cost effective) for me to upgrade my current system.

    My main specs now are Q6600, 2GB RAM and 8800GTS 512. I like playing games like Total War and FSX. This system runs them OK, but I could do with an extra few FPS. Well, quite a lot extra tbh.

    Anyways, I was thinking of the following:

    Overcoming my fear of OC'ing and clocking the Q6600 to 3.2ghz and getting a high end cooler.

    Upgrading to 4GB Ram, although i'm only using 32bit vista, so dont know if that would be much of a benefit.

    Switching the graphics card to a Radeon 5770 or GTX460. Is the 460 a lot better?

    Adding a SSD.

    What do you reckon? That should cost about £300 in all. Worth it or should I just bung the money towards a new i7 system?

    Also, if my info is correct, my corsair HX620, the new cooler and the SSD will all fit nicely into a new i7 setup down the line. I believe 775 and 1366 sockets have the same fixings.
     
  2. Instagib

    Instagib Well-Known Member

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    Nope, they do not; 1366 spacings are much larger than 775. But most coolers you can buy now will come with mountings for both.

    To get the most out of your Q6600, you'd need to overclock it, add a new cooler, bring the RAM up to 4gb, add a GTX 460 / ATi 6850 and install a copy of Win7 (64bit). And even then, that'd probably only buy you an extra year or so out of that rig.

    In all honesty, i'd hold off for a few months to see what Sandy Bridge (intels latest platform) brings to the table and reassess then.
     
  3. Parge

    Parge the worst Super Moderator

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    Can’t agree with that I’m afraid, a new cooler, a Q6600 @ 3+Ghz and a decent GPU (460GTX or higher) is a great upgrade and will last you well into the future. Sell your current GPU and put the funds towards the above. People totally overestimate how much power you need to play games these days. Crysis being the exception.

    1GB 460GTX = £129
    Corsair A50 = £30

    8800GTS = -£40

    Total cost = £119

    Barring any new console releases, that'll last you well over a year.
     
  4. =DJ=

    =DJ= Torturing x86 since '86

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    I'd say don't write the system off just yet!

    Sure, it's past its prime, but a few carefully picked upgrades now will give you great gaming over Christmas, and if/when you upgrade the system next year these parts can be transferred across.

    What I'd suggest:

    1. Get 2x2GB (4GB total) memory and replace your existing RAM. Sure it might be cheaper to just add 2GB to your existing RAM, but a lot of the early boards had voltage and stability issues with 4 DIMMs and overclocking

    2. For now, forget SSD and grab a Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB drive - it's about £35 but the transfer rate is excellent (due to the data density on the 2 x 500GB platters) and that will bring your boot up time and level loading times right down.

    3. If you can install Windows 7 64 bit then I'd thoroughly recommend it! It's just soooo much nicer than Vista, and feels quicker (certainly the boot time is much improved). Being 64 bit you'll get the FULL benefit of the 4GB - under 32 bit you'd lose 512Mb (or however much RAM your graphics card has, as it comes out of the system total)

    4. If you're running the stock Intel fan on the Q6600, consider a decent after market one (an Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 for around £15 is a good starting point)

    5. Don't be afraid - overclock! Of course how much you will be able to get from your system is massively dependent on your motherboard, the individual chip, and the quality of your PSU but I'd be surprised if you couldn't push it from 2.4GHz to 2.8 or 2.9GHz without even really trying!
    Most should go beyond that - mine has been running at 3.5GHz for the last couple of years...
    Considering that you'd get all this extra horsepower for free (just a bit of time spent reading and asking for help on these forums) it would be criminal not to give it a try! :thumb:

    6. You might be surprised how much the above improves your games already, but if you still want more then consider a new graphics card.


    Only the memory will not be useable on a new system (I'm assuming DDR2 here), as the hard drive, OS, Graphics Card and potentially even the HSF can be retained. That's why I think it's worth upgrading a few bits now in time for Christmas, and plan a replacement of the mobo and chip for later next year.

    Questions:
    What is your screen resolution (helps with graphics card choice)
    What is your motherboard (overclocking advice)
    What PSU do you have (let's us take a guess at overclocking stability)

    HTH,
    Dan
     
    Throbbi and Parge like this.
  5. Parge

    Parge the worst Super Moderator

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    Great post - I see a seasoned forum member here, even if your profile says 5 posts.

    +rep

    Also, beyond anything else, for games, new GPU = essential upgrade. (another 2GB of Ram will only cost you £25 as well atm)
     
  6. Instagib

    Instagib Well-Known Member

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    I'll agree to that, especially with all the console ports.

    Ok, while we don't agree that 775 is the way forward, can we all agree that for just games, an i7 rig is perhaps not the best way to spend the money?
     
  7. rob the bank

    rob the bank New Member

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    I'm with DJ, sound advice, in order of up-grades i would go for:
    GTX 460
    OC Q6600 and up-grade fan
    Add 1TB F3 then install
    Windows 7
    Up-grade to 4gb, then sit back and admire you new gaming PC :=)
     
  8. Marine-RX179

    Marine-RX179 New Member

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    Just thought I'd provide a different option from what others already suggested:
    i5 760: £135-£140
    2x2GB Kingston 1,600MHz DDR3 RAM: £50 (ebuyer)
    Scoket 1156 P55 Motherboard: £85~£100
    Decent CPU cooler: £30

    Total: £300~£320

    GTX460 768MB/1GB: £115~£135

    Sell:
    Q6600: £70~£75
    8800GTS: £30~£35
    DDR2 2GB RAM: £20

    Total money back: £120~£130...so this bascially covered the GTX460 768/1GB cost.


    Or if you don't mind 2nd hand, you might be able to pick up some 2nd hand i5 750/760 CPU+motherboard bundle for cheap off people that are upgrading to Sandybridge in January.
     
  9. =DJ=

    =DJ= Torturing x86 since '86

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    Hey, thanks! :D New to the bit-tech forums, but been torturing x86 chips since the '80s! :hehe:
    I like the folks here, you're a nice bunch!
    Yes, a new GPU would be less £ per FPS than switching to i7, and should definitely done as a priority.
    Buying another 775 CPU would of course be silly given the OC headroom the Q6600 should have...but when upgrading the base platform for a little extra money I would simply have to have an i7 instead of an i5/i3! It's a bigger number! ;) (very shallow of me, I know...)
    Yes, I must admit if you don't mind selling stuff on eBay that really brings the price of new toys down! :thumb:

    Personally I've never bothered - all my old kit gets recycled into the wife's system, and from there into servers or friends & family rigs, hehe. (It's a carefully planned and nurtured lifecycle that means my wife encourages upgrades so that she gets a better system. Result!)
     
  10. Dae314

    Dae314 New Member

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    Most people have covered this already. Your system isn't ready for retirement yet, and especially with intel's new sandybridge so close in the release queue, I would suggest just an upgrade, then save your money and see what the new processors bring to the table.

    Buying Windows 7 x64 would probably be a good idea because then you can use it on your next build and not have to worry about operating system (unless you do OEM). Because you already own Vista, you should be able to justify a clean install from the W7 upgrade disk.

    If you do that, you'll be able to fit 2x2GB of memory into your system, and you can think about getting a newer GPU or other hardware.

    I would hold off on the SSD for now though as it won't create much of a boost in gaming.
     
  11. robfosters

    robfosters New Member

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    Cheers Guys, thanks for the advice.

    Right, the 460 it is then. Seems a very good card for the price. The 5770 would not seem like a great leap forward. Also, although I am running at 1650 x 1050 now, I will soon be wanting to run at 1920 x 1080 on a new sammy LCD.

    I will swap my current HDD for the Samsung. Add a decent cooler. I will up the ram if I decide to upgrade to Win 7 64bit.

    I may skip i7 altogether TBH. If I get the 460, I may even get another one and sli them in a sandybridge rig. Although I probably would need another psu to run that.

    Would 2 x 460s beat 1 580? I've heard that they can be slightly faster but are far more variable in frame rates.

    BTW Dan, in answer to your questions.

    1. My screen res is currently 1680X1050, but will soon be 1920X1080
    2. My mobo is sadly the cheap but cheerful Gigabyte G31. My 680i blew up and I did'nt have a lot of cash to replace it at the time. Still seems a good mobo though.
    3. My PSU is excellent. It's the Corsair HX620 modular. I'm sure that should be stable enough to OC a Q6600.

    But is the mobo solid enough?
     
  12. =DJ=

    =DJ= Torturing x86 since '86

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    Yes, according to these guys 2 x 460s in a decent SLI capable board should be on par with 1 x 580.... although they were testing solely at 2560x1600. I'm not sure how that will translate back to your lower resolutions (could go either way) but certainly they're both in the same ballpark.

    So - looks like buying a second one in a future system should give you a happy! :D

    Even at 1920x1080 I think the 768mb versions of the card should be fine, but if it were my money I'd pay the slight extra for the 1GB just to make sure, especially if I were thinking of partnering it with another card a bit further down the road.

    The "pre overclocked" versions are less clear. If the pricing between two cards were identical then of course go for the faster version...but overclocking by a few tens of MHz makes little difference to the FPS and I wouldn't pay much of a premium for it...

    Good job on the PSU! That should be nice and stable :cooldude:

    I'm not familiar with the G31 boards, but a quick search shows various folk have got their Q6600s up to 3.3GHz or so on them. I don't see why you shouldn't be able to get a few hundred MHz increase with little effort. Every little helps...

    Best overclocking results come from tweaking the BIOS yourself and managing every minor detail...but for first time overclocking you can see whether Gigabyte's own EasyTune software supports your G31 motherboard. (Should be easy to find a download).

    If it is supported then at its most basic it has a "quick boost" feature which offers three different predetermined overclocking levels to try, though one can also head into the advanced section to tweak individual settings too.

    Either way, overclocking is something we can go into more detail when you're ready :naughty:
     
  13. Bloody_Pete

    Bloody_Pete Technophile

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    I'm still powering through with a Core 2 Quad and it still easily has enough grunt for everything :) They only thing I'm considering is socket 2011 CPUs. I added anoth 4GB to my system not long ago and it's made everything much smoother, so I reccomend that as a start. A 5870 was also a great improvement over my 4870. Plus a new PSU and WC to cut the noise.

    The only thing I'm looking at now is an SSD :)
     
  14. robfosters

    robfosters New Member

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    If I get 64bit win 7, will I have to get the retail version rather than OEM if I wish to use it on a different mobo?

    I have heard this before, but my OEM Vista worked fine when I switched boards.
     
  15. Bloody_Pete

    Bloody_Pete Technophile

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    Ditto, not tried with 7 though.
     
  16. Dae314

    Dae314 New Member

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    You can just call microsoft and convince them to let you validate windows on new hardware if you just lie a little bit. A better idea is to use the upgrade disc and do a clean install since you already have vista on the machine.
     
  17. alleyne

    alleyne New Member

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    Last edited: 25 Mar 2011

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