upgrade recommendations

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upgrade recommendations

Postposted on Mon Mar 05, 2012 9:38 am

Hey All,
I built a system a few years ago and now I'm ready to upgrade some pieces for some better performance. Any recommendations on which parts to upgrade first or which ones would show the biggest improvements? I was thinking video card but then when I started looking at it I thought maybe I should get a new motherboard, ram, .... Then I justthought I'd ask you all. Here's my build:

ABIT IP35 Pro LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Intel Motherboard
Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz LGA 775 Processor
2 Patriot Extreme Performance 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)
Western Digital Caviar Black WD2001FASS 2TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD7500AAKS 750GB 7200 RPM
Crucial C300 128GB 2.5 SATA Solid State Drive
EVGA 640-P2-N825-AR GeForce 8800GTS 640MB 320-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card
CORSAIR CMPSU-520HX ATX12V v2.2 and EPS12V 2.91 520W Power Supply
Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer 7.1 Channels PCI Interface Sound Card
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 32BIT
SAMSUNG 20X DVD±R DVD Burner Black SATA Model

Thanks a bunch!
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Re: upgrade recommendations

Postposted on Mon Mar 05, 2012 10:24 am

Ivybridge and Kepler are meant to be < 6 weeks away.........

Soo..... we can suggest a build now. But you might be dissapointed that in 6 weeks something better / better prices are available.
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Re: upgrade recommendations

Postposted on Mon Mar 05, 2012 10:36 am

Prices wont go down immediately. Q6600 still a capable CPU. However, I switched to i5-2500k after 3+ with Q6600 and there is really huge difference between 2 architecture. The difference is really there but,
If you want a future proof system, yogi got a point; kepler&Ivy is the next big thing. You better wait for it. If you want immediate upgrade and you want to see noticeable difference, start with swapping your Main HDD with SSD drive. Caviar black is a very fast mechanical drive but still the difference will be like night&day.
Last edited by allreadydead on Mon Mar 05, 2012 10:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: upgrade recommendations

Postposted on Mon Mar 05, 2012 10:37 am

Do you think they are worth waiting for even if I'm not going to buy the very top of the line of whichever component?
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Re: upgrade recommendations

Postposted on Mon Mar 05, 2012 10:39 am

I have my OS on a Crucial SSD already. It has been pretty nice. Couldn't I upgrade some componenets and still wait on Ivy and Kepler for others? Or should I wait on it all?
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Re: upgrade recommendations

Postposted on Mon Mar 05, 2012 10:53 am

francois wrote:Do you think they are worth waiting for even if I'm not going to buy the very top of the line of whichever component?

Ofcourse. Just because new high-end parts will make other older parts prices to go down.
Also, if you dont want to get older parts, you can still go for new gen middle ware GPU products (read, AMD 7850&7870 or NVIDIA Kepler GPUs). Their prices will be ok at launch and will go down marginally quick. Maybe not immediately but the prices will be yummy in short term for GPU parts as there is still a competition going on there.
I really doubt same goes for CPU&Mainboard prices just because AMD is not competitive enough against Intel atm.
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Re: upgrade recommendations

Postposted on Mon Mar 05, 2012 10:58 am

Sure. So I should wait until they release. Hmm. Don't really feel like waiting but I guess I will. My wife will like that
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Re: upgrade recommendations

Postposted on Mon Mar 05, 2012 11:21 am

francois wrote:Sure. So I should wait until they release. Hmm. Don't really feel like waiting but I guess I will. My wife will like that

If boss likes it, go for it :D

You can still get an SSD. HDD is actually the slowest component in PC systems and swapping it with faster SSD will make very big difference that one could notice while doing daily things.
I couldn't notice any worthy difference after swapping my Q6600 with i5-2500k until I played games (Battlefield 3, RAGE, Metro 2033).

edit: just noticed you have crucial SSD :D so need to upgrade imho :)
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Re: upgrade recommendations

Postposted on Mon Mar 05, 2012 12:19 pm

From the looks of it, the only thing you could upgrade that would be useable in a new system that you'd build in the next say... year would be a video card. But as everyone has said, Kepler will release here shortly, and if nothing else it should lower the prices of the current and previous generation AMD/Nvidia cards. You could get so much more from something beyond that 8800. Any video card you get is going to be PCI-E obviously, so you can carry it over to a new rig without worry. Your 520w shouldn't have too much issue running something like a 6950 with the rest of your gear, but id check to make sure that with all of the drives that its within the PSU's specs.

You've only got 2 gigs of ram, but considering its only DDR2, I wouldn't upgrade it since your new system will be DDR3 anyhow. Plus your only rocking a 32bit version of windows, ouch. If you were to run a Win 7 Pro 64bit you'd notice a difference alone with your current system.

If you want to get some more life out of that CPU (performance), I'd overclock it. That particular chip can hit 3.0 without looking back.

Other than that, there isn't much more you can do with what you have without buying into a completely new system. I personally went to an I5-2500k a week ago, but I was running on a 5 year old laptop so I had an immediate need. If I was on a Q6600 I would probably have not done it until I saw what Ivybridge brought to the table or the price cuts it sent amongst the lower ranks.
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Re: upgrade recommendations

Postposted on Tue Mar 06, 2012 3:10 am

francois wrote:ABIT IP35 Pro LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Intel Motherboard
Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz LGA 775 Processor
2 Patriot Extreme Performance 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)
More memory would help significantly, but there's no point in buying DDR2 now if you're about to upgrade all three of these components to a new system with DDR3.

francois wrote: Crucial C300 128GB 2.5 SATA Solid State Drive
Western Digital Caviar Black WD2001FASS 2TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD7500AAKS 750GB 7200 RPM
SAMSUNG 20X DVD±R DVD Burner Black SATA Model
Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer 7.1 Channels PCI Interface Sound Card
CORSAIR CMPSU-520HX ATX12V v2.2 and EPS12V 2.91 520W Power Supply
These are good and should carry over to your new build. You may want to add a Blu-ray player for $50.

francois wrote:EVGA 640-P2-N825-AR GeForce 8800GTS 640MB 320-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 32BIT
You need a 64-bit operating system and a new graphics card.
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Re: upgrade recommendations

Postposted on Tue Mar 06, 2012 4:23 am

So based on what you guys are saying I should wait until the release but I could go ahead and upgrade to windows 7 64 bit and that would show some improvement in itself. And overclock my cpu. I was definitely thinking video card but if the prices are about to go down on those I'll wait on that as well. I'd slowly like to upgrade the whole system but sounds like I should wait on most of the components until Ivy Bridge comes along. Any other components you think I could/should go ahead and get right away?
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Re: upgrade recommendations

Postposted on Tue Mar 06, 2012 4:56 am

i7-4770K, H70, Gryphon Z87, 16 GiB, R9-290, SSD, 2 HD, Blu-ray, SB ZX, TJ08-E, SS-660XP², 3007WFP+2001FP, RK-9000BR, MX518
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Re: upgrade recommendations

Postposted on Tue Mar 06, 2012 5:13 am

Like many have said I would wait on CPU,MB, and graphics. See what IVY and Kelper bring to the table.If kelper is not as good as they say it is going to be, the new 7870 sips wattage and is way more powerful then a 6950,heck overclocked it hangs with the 7950.
What you can do is look for a deal on a 64 bit version of win 7 and get 8-16gb of some good ddr3 memory.I did read prices were going to start to go up a bit but not much.
Ohh get a good cpu heatsink too.this way you can overclock the heck outta that 6600. If you already have one make sure you have the hardware to swap it to new build.
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Re: upgrade recommendations

Postposted on Tue Mar 06, 2012 7:44 am

I guess I'll look for a deal on Win7 64-bit and maybe go ahead and get some RAM. When Ivy gets out I'll probably bump this back up again and see what you recommend buying based on the impact it had. Thanks for all the great advice!
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Re: upgrade recommendations

Postposted on Tue Mar 06, 2012 8:43 am

If you already have Windows7 32-bit (retail) you may be entitled to download the 64-bit ISO from Microsoft and use your key again.
I bought retail Windows7 so that I'd have the flexibility of changing hardware, and noticed that the license key was valid for both 32 and 64-bit version, both versions came in the DVD box.
I'm pretty sure if you bought an OEM license that you're stuffed. OEM licenses are worthless, and never worth the 20% saving you make.

Like others have said, I'd upgrade the RAM and OS immediately. Buying an SSD at the same time is a good investment.
My Q9550 with an SSD is noticeably slower at loading things than the i5-2500K with a similar SSD. I'm not sure if that's the difference the processor makes in decompressing things on the fly, or whether the 775 board's 3GB/s SATA ports are noticeably slower than the 1155 board's 6GB/s ports.

If you're gaming, leave the GPU alone until you decide it's too slow. There is ALWAYS a faster, cheaper GPU "around the corner". At the moment, there's a shortage of games that really need that much graphics horsepower.
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Re: upgrade recommendations

Postposted on Tue Mar 06, 2012 9:38 am

Chrispy_ wrote:My Q9550 with an SSD is noticeably slower at loading things than the i5-2500K with a similar SSD. I'm not sure if that's the difference the processor makes in decompressing things on the fly, or whether the 775 board's 3GB/s SATA ports are noticeably slower than the 1155 board's 6GB/s ports.


It's the difference between the sata ports. It's quite significant when you plug it into the wrong one.
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Re: upgrade recommendations

Postposted on Tue Mar 06, 2012 10:27 am

IF you are gonna keep your system, I won't bring new things to the table but support what was said;
  • Get RAM. 2x2 DDR2-800 will make a very noticeable difference on daily use. Espacially switching between open windows will be faster and smoother. Don't pay too much on that, because you won't be able to use them in your future system
  • Overclock your CPU. If you still have stock cooling I'd say get your FSB to 400 MHz, leave FSB:RAM multiplier on 1:2 (will end up with 800 MHz RAM speed which is supported by your current RAM modules) and CPU multiplier at 8x. You will end up with 3.2 GHz and if you are using a G0 Q6600 it wouldnt be too much trouble for stock cooling. Don't forget to check temps with RealTemp and/or HWMonitor. If it hits north of 70 under load, it's no good. PC Wizard gives detailed info about hardware. You can check which gen is your Q6600 with it.
  • With Extra RAM, you will need 64 bit OS to use all of the available memory.
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Re: upgrade recommendations

Postposted on Tue Mar 06, 2012 10:41 am

If I just go ahead and get ddr3 memory so I can use it in the future can I use it with the setup I have? I know I wil have to get win7 64 bit... I was planning on ordering both the ram and win7 64 bit here pretty soon.
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Re: upgrade recommendations

Postposted on Tue Mar 06, 2012 10:59 am

No, your board is a DDR2 board and will not accept DDR3. I wouldnt recommend buying DDR3 in advance for a new system either. Prices on ram recently went up but we are talking a few dollars... its a joke.

If you want to install 64 bit windows 7 and tweak your existing system... or perhaps still try to gave it running as a secondary and build an entire new system shortly then you could buy 2 x 4 gb ram kits fairly inexpensive. While 4gb is decent it is easily overwhelmed by some half decent gaming and other tasks at the same time these days.

How much cash are you able/willing to spend on a new system. What is your time frame to do it? What exact games or programs are you hoping to use and at what performance level (60+ FPS?) and would you have use for a secondary computer i to your house?
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Re: upgrade recommendations

Postposted on Tue Mar 06, 2012 11:05 am

If you do have the retail version of Windows 7 and you can get the 64-bit disc from Microsoft for $13 or so, that would be a very worthwhile upgrade. If you're stuck with a 32-bit OS, you can't use more than 4 GiB of memory (and it's usually closer to 3 GiB if you have a graphics card installed).

Adding 2x2 GiB of PC2-6400 ("DDR2-800") memory for about $50 to your existing system would bring you up to 6 GiB total and would provide a noticeable performance improvement.

Those upgrades plus a new graphics card might be enough to tide you over for another six months to a year. Otherwise, wait for Ivy Bridge to appear in about a month and a half.
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Re: upgrade recommendations

Postposted on Tue Mar 06, 2012 11:21 am

Couple of points to make here, as a fellow IP35 Pro holdout.

Memory must be able to run at 1.8v at its SPD-spec speed, otherwise you'll never get to the BIOS to change memory voltage.

Max RAM is 8GB (4x2GB).

The board is almost 5 years old yet nothing out there today has the granularity and flexibility for BIOS-level fan speed control. I'm keeping mine for a while longer.
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Re: upgrade recommendations

Postposted on Wed Mar 07, 2012 3:49 am

Ok, well thanks for all the advice. Obviously, I'm not that knowledgeable about this stuff. Thats why I came to you guys!

To answer some of your questions, I would like to eventually build a new system, but maybe not an entire one. I'd like to hang on to as many pieces of the one I have now, because I like them, and to save money. I'd like to keep using my enclosure, my hard drives, power supply, but I'd be willing to replace just about everything else over time. Seems like I should wait on most of it though until the release, so I guess I'm just interested in getting pieces I can eventually use later in a new build, on a new motherboard etc... Which means I'll probably just get Win7-64 and a upgrade of my RAM MAYBE.

And as to what programs I am using, I use photoshop quite a bit and some other photo editing software, and other than that just itunes and your basic household stuff. Really not that into games much anymore. Honestly, photoshop and itunes seem to slow it down the most, thats why I was thinking new graphics card...
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Re: upgrade recommendations

Postposted on Wed Mar 07, 2012 4:12 am

Photoshop alone costs up to $700. If you're willing to spend that much on your software, you shouldn't be afraid to spend $50 on some memory to make it run satisfactorily.
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Re: upgrade recommendations

Postposted on Wed Mar 07, 2012 5:28 am

Look if you built something tomorrow (because literally the world was about to end and you couldn't wait 5 weeks)..

It'd be...

Z68 chipset mobo
Core i5 2500k OR Core i7 2600k (depending on applications and relevancy to using a quad core or not)
16GB DDR3
whatever video card floats your boat. (6950 vs. 560ti at value point, 7850 vs. 6?? series card at price/performance max point without being a lunatic, if you just want vid accell then the 7770 is fine, though a 6770 is just as good. And if you are completely broke and have no requirement for a GPU then I'd just reuse your existing one)
PSU (if only 1 x GPU, then a good seasonic/corsair 650W is MORE than enough [even a 500W platinum rated one would suffice])
DVDRW drive (unless you really want blu-ray)
Keep all your harddrives and SSD. (confirm your current ssd is sata III (6Gbps) compatible, else consider upgrading for increased speeeeeed!)

If you wait till Ivybridge then it'll be Z77 and Core i7 3770k or whatever. (but wait till Techreport's review is out so we can confirm that it's any good... the performance increase might not be amazing and you might get a Core i5 2500k on the cheap! Though I doubt that will be the case, the price however might be terrible as they have minimal competition at this price point)
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Re: upgrade recommendations

Postposted on Wed Mar 07, 2012 5:30 am

Well, my work paid for the photoshop, but I wouldn't be against spending $1000 or so on a new system. Or $50 on some new RAM
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Re: upgrade recommendations

Postposted on Wed Mar 07, 2012 6:43 am

should I get 4 sticks of this for now?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6820231122

(G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL5D-4GBPQ
)
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Re: upgrade recommendations

Postposted on Wed Mar 07, 2012 7:08 am

Read this article:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/5626/ivy- ... e-i7-3770k

Satisfy your upgrade hunger for a few more weeks... you can hold on!
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Re: upgrade recommendations

Postposted on Wed Mar 07, 2012 1:25 pm

francois wrote:should I get 4 sticks of this for now?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6820231122

(G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL5D-4GBPQ
)

4 of those ? you mean 2 pairs of what you linked ? Imho, only get 1 pair, 2x2 GB. As many have said, you won't be able to use your whole 6 GB RAM with 32 bit OS. So, try to get 64 bit OS from Microsoft after learning which version you currently have.
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Re: upgrade recommendations

Postposted on Thu Mar 08, 2012 2:11 am

Yeah, I was going to get 64 bit as well, sorry, should have mentioned that again. Then I could take advantage of that RAM and use the 64 bit in my next build. Too bad the RAM won't carry over. Maybe just having 64 bit and more RAM will satisfy me for a while. Doubt it.
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Re: upgrade recommendations

Postposted on Thu Mar 08, 2012 9:47 am

I just came here to gloat :lol:

I currently have the very same mobo and CPU (I will always love that trusty Q6600, running at 3GHz for 4.5+ years!)
as the OP, but considering that I built the system in 2007, the time has come for an upgrade, so here we go:

Asus P9X79 PRO
Corsair Vengeance DIMM 16 GB DDR3-1600 Quad-Kit
Intel Core™ i7-3820
Corsair Hydro Series H80

Thanks to Techreport's awesome March 2012 system Guide I found the perfect mix of components which will hopefully last
me 4+ years again.

Just ordered the components, and they should be arriving just in time for my birthday tomorrow :D

The only annoying question now is what do to with the components left over from my old system, since I will be reusing PSU, case, and GPU for the
new system.

Anyway, I am so happy, cannot wait to build the new system :D :D :D
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