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Build Advice Some questions on a system upgrade

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by ou7blaze, 10 Jun 2009.

  1. ou7blaze

    ou7blaze sensational.

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    So here comes the time of the year again (courtesy of that pay cheque) to upgrade my PC, specifically my graphics card. Please note my budget isn't much more than the graphics card.

    This is the system I am currently running -

    Intel Core2 Duo E6300 1.8GHz OC'ed to 2.1GHz
    ASUS P5N32-E SLI
    Inno3d 7900GS (with Artic cooler)
    2x 1GB DDR2 Corsair RAM @ 450MHz


    • So my first question is - Where is the bottle neck in my current system - Is it my CPU? or Ram or both?
    • Am I right to upgrade my Graphics card first then deal with my CPU/RAM later probably with overclocks or a faster Core2Duo CPU?
    • And if I do decide to upgrade my Graphics card is this a good choice?
      Hexus call it "the budget high end card".

      http://www.hexus.net/content/item.php?item=18418&page=10

      I was first thinking of the 8800 or the 9800 (which is practically the same, depending on the model). But I realised an upgrade is pointless if it isn't really the latest technology so I looked for something more recent the 260's.

      Is it just me but this seems like the best buy, going together with the Radeon 4870?

      According to the link the card fared very well and it arrives not overclocked so with a custom cooler you're able push out at least 10 more FPS, sounds like great value to me.
     
    Last edited: 10 Jun 2009
  2. TobyKing1982

    TobyKing1982 Member

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    Your bottleneck will be the 1gb of ram you have installed. I think that should be your first port of call. It hould be relatively cheap to max out your memory (get as much as your board supports).

    The Radeon 4870 for about 100 quid is an ideal choice. Anything faster and you may be slowed down by your processor which I would upgrade last.
     
  3. ou7blaze

    ou7blaze sensational.

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    I've actually got 2GB of RAM. I put the X2 at the end of the list so maybe you didn't see it.

    But even with 2GB of RAM some have suggested me to upgrade my graphics card and add 2 more GB to my RAM.

    So any other suggestions?
     
  4. bagman

    bagman Well-Known Member

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  5. ou7blaze

    ou7blaze sensational.

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    Why are you suggesting that I upgrade to that motherboard? I have a perfectly fine mother board don't I?

    The RAM upgrade looks nice and cheap though, if it's that cheap I might aswell get a 6GB kit if those things even exist.

    Why that GPU?

    I appreciate your input but you've just listed a few items without explaining yourself and I'm left a bit confused.
     
  6. bagman

    bagman Well-Known Member

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    i have had no experence with that mobo but it looks like you could do with a upgrade as it is not a very good overclocker, it rates ram at only 450mhz when the new mobos go for 1200 with ddr2 and that board is getting on a bit now, and it is holding back your e6300

    that gpu as it is very good fast very overclockable and that is a very good price on that card
     
  7. adam_bagpuss

    adam_bagpuss Have you tried turning it off/on ?

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    450mhz is the actual frequency of the RAM but because its Double Data Rate you x2

    900mhz so you have overlcock your DDR800 id guess
     
  8. ou7blaze

    ou7blaze sensational.

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    Any more suggestions? Maybe focusing on my more specific questions in the bullet points ... -_-

    Thanks
     
  9. rickysio

    rickysio N900 | HJE900

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    What resolution are you gaming at? For 1280X1024 a GTS250/9800GTX+ is perfectly fine.
     
  10. adam_bagpuss

    adam_bagpuss Have you tried turning it off/on ?

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    your bottleneck is your RAM first followed by the GPU then CPU.

    1GB is a low amount of RAM and many games will happily chew 2GB+ so its optimal to have around 4GB of RAM now to allow for apps and smooth windows running.

    The 4870 now its dropped in price is a very good bargin as is the 260(216core). Both can be had for around £130 or less. personally i dont rate overclocking GPUs too much as they dont provide a big boost unless your scraping playable 25ish. Best to get a GPU that does the job as stnadard. both the 4870 and 260 are more than enough for 1680x1050 and handle almost all games at 1920x1200 too.

    Id upgrade your RAM first because even with a good GPU your RAM will kill FPS.

    your CPU is ok if you overclock higher. That E6300 should reach 3Ghz+ easily enough and then wont be a bottleneck anymore.
     
  11. rickysio

    rickysio N900 | HJE900

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    Please read the thread again, he has 2gb of ram...
     
  12. adam_bagpuss

    adam_bagpuss Have you tried turning it off/on ?

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    ok sorry. 2GB is still a bottleneck though as you get considerable performance boosts from 2GB to 4GB.

    although with 2GB and a well kept XP machine you could opt to upgrade the GPU first
     
  13. ou7blaze

    ou7blaze sensational.

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    So adam you really think my RAM is the biggest bottleneck? I definitely experience jerks in high demanding games like Project Reality when there are a lot of players on a server. So that might be it, always wondered what it was lol.

    So is the card that I've listed a good choice ?

    What kind of RAM is good. I haven't been in the market for those for ages and I've just lost any idea I once had. As I'm currently running my 2 sticks in dual channel mode will I have to scrap them and get 2 sticks of 2GB instead? Or can I just add them to the other slots and not run em on dual channel. :/
     
  14. hotnikkelz

    hotnikkelz New Member

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    OCZ, Mushkin, G Skill are all great brands for ram ;)
     
  15. erratum1

    erratum1 New Member

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    2 years ago i replaced a 7900gs with a 8800gts 640mb, it was about twice as fast in benches.

    Overclocked it can still keep its head above water.

    You should see a huge improvement going from a 7900 to a gtx 260 !

    Dual core at 2.1 might be a bit slow, i have a e6600 which runs at 2.4 stock.

    You could overclock it more or get one of the newer dual cores, a £100 would get a E7** at 2.8 and would probably overclock to at least 3.2.

    1.8 to 2.1 is that without altering the cpu voltage ? Does it go higher with a bit more juice ?
     
    Last edited: 11 Jun 2009
  16. adam_bagpuss

    adam_bagpuss Have you tried turning it off/on ?

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    The RAM bottleneck is dependant on the game really. I used to have 2GB in my old machine. COD4 was quite happy with 2GB and only got a small boost to 4. however used to play hellgate london and that was a massive difference. i think i saw about 10-15FPS added to my minimum.

    hmm if your running XP 2GB is doable and would say get the GPU first. if your on vista though defo get the RAM first.

    most if not all big brands are good. ive used patriot, OCZ, Corsair, G.skill, muskin. There all pretty much the same.

    if you really wanna push your E6300 to the limit (most likely around 3.2-3.4Ghz) then get 2x2GB of DDR1066.

    or a cheaper option is to just get another 2x1GB of Corsair DDR800 and add them to your board. They should run in dual channel still as it will have 2 memory channels.

    only note of caution is that 4x1GB can be hit and miss for stability when overclocking which is completely dependant on your board and usually 2x2GB will offer the best stability and higher overclock.

    in the long run if your gunna upgrade most of your components id go with DDR1066 2x2GB get a 260(216core), upgrade the mobo to the biostar HP45 then stick either a quad core in it or a E7x00 or E8x00 dual core in it and overclock the nuts off it when funds permit.
     
  17. ou7blaze

    ou7blaze sensational.

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    I'm very sure it can go faster.

    But I haven't tried or dared with a stock Intel cooler. Especially where I live in Hong Kong without the A/C on in my room it's 30C+ :jawdrop:
     
  18. bagman

    bagman Well-Known Member

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    get a new cooler something like the thermalright true or the titan fenrir
     

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