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£500 to upgrade a C2D system, totally unfamiliar with new tech

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by Participant, 11 May 2010.

  1. Participant

    Caporegime

    Joined: 13 May 2003

    Posts: 32,074

    Location: Warwickshire

    Hi all

    I currently have an E2100 C2D @ 3GHz, 8800GT, 4GB of PC3200 (I think) RAM, a Gigabyte P35C-DS3R mobo, a BenQ 24" TFT, a Corsair HX520W PSU, and storage consisting of two fairly fast (can't remember model names but they're only about a year old) 250GB Western Digital drives in RAID 0 and another 500GB drive for storage.

    Problems with my current setup:

    - Games like Just Cause 2 and Metro 2033 are starting to chug a bit with the extra resolution of the new monitor.
    - I find myself multi-tasking more now that I have two monitors, so watching HD material, using PS, browsing, torrents etc. all open at the same time. Sometimes I notice the system slowing down as a result.
    - With HD material becoming more commonplace and me starting to rip my Blu-ray discs etc., I need some serious storage on top of my current drives for backups and HD material.

    Comments / other info:

    - I do not need any peripherals or a new monitor.
    - Please can you comment on whether or not my current PSU be able to handle whatever you recommend?
    - If I can get good results by keeping the fundamentals of my current rig and getting socket 775 kit then that'd be fine. What I'm saying is that if I don't have to spend £500, I won't.
    - OS is Windows HP x64.

    Many thanks for any help you can offer :).
     
  2. Redmint

    Mobster

    Joined: 28 Jan 2010

    Posts: 3,190

    Location: Guildford

    You've got a pretty nice motherboard there, I doubt it's PC3200 RAM though as that would be DDR1.

    My suggestions:

    2nd hand Q6600 G0 (~£80)
    ATI HD 5850 (~£250)
    Samsung SpinPoint F3 1TB (~£58 on offer 'til weds, order quickly)

    What's your current cooling? I assume it's an aftermarket cooler if you're running an e2100 series CPU at 3GHz (although I have OCed those quite a bit on the stock cooler before).

    Edit: your current PSU should be fine.
     
    Last edited: 11 May 2010
  3. Participant

    Caporegime

    Joined: 13 May 2003

    Posts: 32,074

    Location: Warwickshire

    Thanks Redmint. You're right about the memory...it's some Corsair stuff was that considered fairly fast at the time so obviously I am mistaken in saying it's PC3200 RAM.

    Regarding cooling, it's running on the stock cooler but does get fairly toasty. No hangs or reboots though so it's stable for my purposes.

    Thanks for the suggestions and it's good to know my current PSU should still suit.

    Regarding the Q6600 path, would it be fair to say that a Q6600 could last me for another two years gaming-wise? Because if not, I might be tempted to upgrade platforms.

    I'll look into the GPU and HDD you mention.
     
  4. Redmint

    Mobster

    Joined: 28 Jan 2010

    Posts: 3,190

    Location: Guildford

    If you can pick up a decent cooler (Titan Fenrir or something like) and find a Q6600 that'll overclock to 3.4GHz+ it should keep you happy for at least 18-24 months unless games get massively more cpu intensive in that time.

    Other options would be going down the AM3 route, you could look at a 955 BE cpu, 800 series motherboard and try and overclock to ~4GHz, but you'd be spending a lot more for probably 20% better performance.

    i7 option couldn't really be done with your budget if you want a decent graphics card too.

    There's the i5 750 (slightly better performance wise than the 955 BE) but then you'd be buying into a socket which will be retired early next year.
     
  5. Cycrow

    Mobster

    Joined: 11 Nov 2003

    Posts: 2,961

    Location: London

    with a decent gpu, the Q6600 should last you awhile.

    most games dont require the most powerful cpu to function, they rely alot more on the GPU, and the Q6600 should be fast enough for the 5850 which would give u a massive boost in games.

    if you look at getting a new cpu, u'll need a mobo and memory to go with it as well, which could take a large chunk of your budget, forcing you to get a lower gpu.

    you might as well get the best gpu you can get now that will last a while, then try to save up for the rest later on as the current system with a decent gpu will still be good enough.

    the PSU should run all single gpu's without a problem. Its only when trying crossfire/sli on the latest ones will it struggle
     
  6. danewesley

    Mobster

    Joined: 19 Jan 2010

    Posts: 3,296

    Location: Merseyside

    what about something like this?

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Redmint

    Mobster

    Joined: 28 Jan 2010

    Posts: 3,190

    Location: Guildford

    £130 for that cpu is a joke. :p Q6600s have a bigger cache and overclock more easily thanks to the lower FSB.
     
  8. danewesley

    Mobster

    Joined: 19 Jan 2010

    Posts: 3,296

    Location: Merseyside

    aaah, i dont do intel =p ive only ever had amd setups, i tried making one but thats was around £500 but without a cpu cooler
     
  9. danewesley

    Mobster

    Joined: 19 Jan 2010

    Posts: 3,296

    Location: Merseyside

    this then lol, no aftermarket cpu cooler and no extra storage.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. danewesley

    Mobster

    Joined: 19 Jan 2010

    Posts: 3,296

    Location: Merseyside

    or to bring it 7 under budget you can get two xfx 4850's for crossfire
     
  11. Redmint

    Mobster

    Joined: 28 Jan 2010

    Posts: 3,190

    Location: Guildford

    The above spec with the 5830 won't be any better than the Q6600 + 5850 really, as Cycrow said most games depend more on the graphics card than the CPU.
     
  12. Participant

    Caporegime

    Joined: 13 May 2003

    Posts: 32,074

    Location: Warwickshire

    Ok thanks all. The hunt for a Q6600 begins then I think!
     
  13. Redmint

    Mobster

    Joined: 28 Jan 2010

    Posts: 3,190

    Location: Guildford

    Most on the bay are still going for £75-90, they pop up in the MM often enough too though.
     
  14. Participant

    Caporegime

    Joined: 13 May 2003

    Posts: 32,074

    Location: Warwickshire

    Just had a look in MM...you certainly have to be quick :p! Some were going for £70, some for £100. I'll look at the bay as I'm fairly keen to upgrade soon.
     
  15. Redmint

    Mobster

    Joined: 28 Jan 2010

    Posts: 3,190

    Location: Guildford

    Yep, seen some of the MM bargains sell in about 1 minute. :D
     
  16. artaxerxes

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 23 Oct 2002

    Posts: 1,676

    Location: Moseley

    No one suggesting an SSD? Madness!
     
  17. Participant

    Caporegime

    Joined: 13 May 2003

    Posts: 32,074

    Location: Warwickshire

    I think that's because I stated large storage and game frame rates as concerns, rather than OS speed and loading times.
     
  18. Cookeh

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 21 Jan 2010

    Posts: 8,379

    Location: Ceredigion

    Not really.
    Over priced and fairly useless for gaming if he's already running RAID0
     
  19. Lleot

    Gangster

    Joined: 19 Dec 2009

    Posts: 110

    ATI 5850 + q6600