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  1. #1
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    Is it time for a computer upgrade?

    Currently I run:

    2GB DDR2 RAM.
    Asus M2A-VM Motherboard
    Athlon X64 5200+ CPU
    160GB ATA Hard Drive
    Some asus DVDROM (not burner).
    Asus GTX 460 video card (brand new)
    Silent aftermarket CPU cooler.
    All inside of a Cooler Master Cavalier 3 case.

    The above setup has been with me for about 4 years and has served me really well.
    What I've learned with computer upgrades is that it's easy to think you don't "need" something when what you have works, then when you eventually do, you wonder how you could have gone so long without.
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  2. #2
    Chepooka StupidlyBrave's Avatar
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    Yes, absolutely. I need two myself.

  3. #3
    Chepooka StupidlyBrave's Avatar
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    Yes, RAM is much like life insurance: No matter what you have, you don't have enough

  4. #4
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    I have a GTX 460, and a dual core Intel.

    I'd have trouble running Crysis 2 with the eye candy turned on.

    You can get a terabyte HD for $100 or less.

    How can you say no to that?

    Ram is cheap this summer. It's actually a very good time
    to upgrade. Get 8 gigs.


    So.... here's your cpu at 1,423 My E8500 was awarded 2,416 and is slow by today's standards.

    http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu_look...l+Core+5200%2B

    http://www.cpubenchmark.net/high_end_cpus.html

    Start at the top and go down and you will quickly notice the i5-2500K at 7,233.
    That is the top bang for buck that I know of, but granted, it's still not cheap.

    This is a little cheaper, breaks 5,000 and is AMD
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-849-_-Product

    If you have to go cheaper than that, I'd wait.

    http://techreport.com/articles.x/21164/4

    If you want to stay AMD, they have new stuff coming out soon.
    I'd wait for it.
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  5. #5
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    the only time i see myself upgrading is only in two situations:

    1. When the computer is too slow (after upgrades are done.)

    2. when it is unrepairable when it breaks down.

  6. #6
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnj2803 View Post
    the only time i see myself upgrading is only in two situations:

    1. When the computer is too slow (after upgrades are done.)

    2. when it is unrepairable when it breaks down.
    If you play video games..... you have to replace the video card every couple years.
    And the mobo/cpu after 3 or 4.

    One reviewer started reviewing Crysis 2 on a 560 Nvidia.. On his 30 inch monitor, it didn't
    look good.

    So he put in one o the best video cards you can get, a 590. And it was still too slow with all the eye candy turned on.
    That's a $700 video card.

    It's a crazy old world. But if you don't let it get to you... it can still be fun.
    We are as gods, we might as well get good at it.
    Stewart Brand

  7. #7
    derailleurs are overrated bigbenaugust's Avatar
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    How much RAM does that motherboard take? Max it out. If you have a 64-bit OS (or a PAE-aware OS), 4G+ is the way to go.

    And my HD at home is only a 120, but that's because I have a 1.5TB NAS for file storage. So you may or may not want a bigger drive depending on your situation. At least think about switching to a SATA drive if you have a SATA controller.
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  8. #8
    Fax Transport Specialist black_box's Avatar
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    that's a useful link for showing me how crappy my stuff has become E8400 / 8800GTS / raptor 74gb. I need a laptop before a gaming computer at this point

  9. #9
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by black_box View Post
    that's a useful link for showing me how crappy my stuff has become E8400 / 8800GTS / raptor 74gb. I need a laptop before a gaming computer at this point
    I have an E8500....

    They are practically giving away hard drives and ram this summer.
    2Tb for 80 bucks...
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822152245


    And I went from 8800GTS to GTX 260 to GTX 460.

    Get the GTX 560 or the Radeon equivalent. Just watch the cooling,
    a lot of Radeons have crap cooling. And my MSI 460 looks cool,
    but it doesn't actually cool the card well in the summer, and it overheats.

    You want something that shoots the heat out of the back of the computer.

    Anyway, a 460 or 6850 would be a huge improvement over your 8800.
    We are as gods, we might as well get good at it.
    Stewart Brand

  10. #10
    Old Fogy
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    My friend who ran the computer store always said: "If it doesn't work, fix it, if it works, upgrade it!"

  11. #11
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    Upgrade it when it doesn't do what you want it to do.

    My CAD workstation at work is a dual core E8500 at 3.8GHz, my home computer is a quad core Q9400 at 3.4GHz. Both of these are about 2.5 years old. My home computer is still running fine and plenty fast for what I need. My CAD workstation is having a hard time keeping up with our new apps so I'll want to upgrade it soon. The latest Intel chips are right at double the power of my E8500, partly due to faster clock speeds and partly due to more efficient internal architecture.

    I have 2 laptops and my wife has 1, I need to put SSD's in all 3 of them.

  12. #12
    Senior Member tizeye's Avatar
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    My dual core E6500 (not overclocked but at base 1.8GHz) has served me well, but time is taking it's toll. While already at the MB's max ram, I could crank up performance with overclocking, and even insert the maximum cpu...but still stuck with a machine designed in a pre-64 bit world with a motherboard memory limited. Not a gamer, but need a gaming spec machine. Expanding my photography to DSLR video, and rendering is downright painful - both jagged when editing the storyline (a video card issue) as well as final output, come back in 30+ minutes as it renders a 3 minute video. I also noticed it last night as was doing some HDR and photo fusion processing in photoshop. Not as extreme, but watcing the hourglass for 30 seconds with each photo drove home the point.

    What I am looking at? After reviewing Adobe Premiere Pro (I use Elements) forums on hardware builds...
    Processor: While AMD makes some great processors, unfortunately for my wallet Intel's I7's rule for video processing. I thought AMD's new one might...but no.
    MB: obviously a new one to accept the I7-2600. Save money with no on-board video that will be disabled anyway.
    Ram: can't re-cycle my existing 4 GB DDR2, already bought 8GB (2x4) DDR3, and will probably max out at 16GB, but start with 8.
    Video: GTX 460. That is a 'minimal' level card as GTX has the CUDA cores Adobe designed their software to specifically use, and specs on the GTX 560 doesn't really support the price premium.

    Unfortunately, just as with Ram, the video card will force 2 other upgrades.
    Power Supply: The card alone requires a 400 watt power supply, which is my current power supply. Looking at 750 watts minimum
    Monitor: None of the GTX cards have VGA output so I need a new monitor for DVI output. May as well go high end with an ISP monitor such as Dell's "Ultra" series.

    Granted, using Elements I don't need the extremes - and won't overclock like some do. AMD or even an I5 would do, however, the capabilities set me up for the future.

    About the only thing I don't need is a case and keyboard. However, wondering if can trick Microsoft with a new bootable harddrive prior to the upgrade, then reassemble the old computer with the old harddrive.
    Last edited by tizeye; 07-16-11 at 06:20 AM.

  13. #13
    2 Fat 2 Furious contango's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phantomcow2 View Post
    Currently I run:

    2GB DDR2 RAM.
    Asus M2A-VM Motherboard
    Athlon X64 5200+ CPU
    160GB ATA Hard Drive
    Some asus DVDROM (not burner).
    Asus GTX 460 video card (brand new)
    Silent aftermarket CPU cooler.
    All inside of a Cooler Master Cavalier 3 case.

    The above setup has been with me for about 4 years and has served me really well.
    What I've learned with computer upgrades is that it's easy to think you don't "need" something when what you have works, then when you eventually do, you wonder how you could have gone so long without.

    If there's something you want to do that your computer won't do, then you need to look at an upgrade.

    If there isn't anything you want to do that your computer won't do then you don't need an upgrade.

    If you've got cash burning a hole in your pocket and want to upgrade anyway, that's your call. Or you could send the money to me instead

    Assuming your motherboard can take more memory you could upgrade that quite cheaply. You could put a much bigger hard drive in for next to nothing (I've got drives bigger than yours that are too small to be any use to me). A DVD burner costs next to nothing.

    It's easy to get used to putting up with crap, at the same time it's easy to spend a lot of money on new stuff that doesn't give you any advantage over the old stuff that worked just fine. I only recently decommissioned a Windows 2000 machine from my collection and even that was only because I upgraded my PC so my wife had my old one and her Win2000 machine became surplus to requirements. It still did everything she needed and wanted it to do.

  14. #14
    AEO
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    I think your computer is just fine.
    I'm still using a first gen C2D, E6400, with i975X chipset mobo and 4GB of ram.
    The most recent upgrade I've done to it is replace the 7900GS with an HD5770 and my 2007WFP with a U2311H.
    And this will run Shogun 2 on high settings quite well.

    There's really no need for more than 4GB or RAM with all games. Some memory intensive programs, like photoshop will benefit, but the single, biggest limiting piece for games is the CPU.
    Yep, it's not the RAM, HDD or chipset anymore. It's the CPU, and it's been that way for a long time now.

    Hands down, the best and fastest CPU offered right now are the core i7 from intel which use triple channel mem, so plug 3x2GB of ram into that. Add a SATA3 capable SSD with whichever fastest AMD or nVidia video card and you are set. If you really want to, use 3 nVidia videocards for SLI and physX, but do note that the CPU is still limiting you the most.


    Since you are a student, you should be able to get a cheap copy of win7 in 64bit flavor.


    Honestly, even if you are gaming, a console does offer quite a lot for the money.
    Last edited by AEO; 07-16-11 at 06:47 AM.
    Food for thought: if you aren't dead by 2050, you and your entire family will be within a few years from starvation. Now that is a cruel gift to leave for your offspring. ;)
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  15. #15
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    Great replies, thanks! After some thought I've decided to invest in something that'll last me another 4+ years. That means buying mid tier parts.

    I think I'm buying the AMD Phenom II X4 955. Quad core seems like a great investment, and I'm sure software will be developed to take full advantage of it.
    I'll couple it with 8GB of Corsair RAM and a 1.5TB hard drive.

    That leaves me needing a motherboard. I don't want to spend money on a motherboard with good onboard graphics and sound, because I have cards to handle that stuff.
    C://dos
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  16. #16
    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
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    I wouldn't upgrade that system yet.

  17. #17
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Is there some software that you want to run that can't run at all on your current system?
    Is there some software that's running that takes a certain amount of time and you would like to reduce that?
    Last edited by DannoXYZ; 07-18-11 at 05:36 AM.

  18. #18
    Senior Member tizeye's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=phantomcow2;12937014]
    I think I'm buying the AMD Phenom II X4 955. Quad core seems like a great investment, and I'm sure software will be developed to take full advantage of it.
    I'll couple it with 8GB of Corsair RAM and a 1.5TB hard drive.

    That leaves me needing a motherboard.QUOTE]

    While the AMD Phenom II X4 955 is a good CPU and one of the top AM3+ Socket CPU's, it is questionalble how much software is going to be developed to take advantage of the aging line. Just last month, AMD released their desktop version A-Series that won't fit AM3+ socket motherboards but requires the new FM1 socket motherboards. It combiines CPU and GPU (Graphical processing unit) INSIDE the chip - not to be confused with 'on-board video.' Unfortunately, that is probably the future where software will be written to take advantage of. It enhances the HD video and simulates with one card a crossfire effect when used with a Radeon 6000 series card, of which the GPU is based. Not stated in any reviews is how it would interact with your Nvidea GTX460, or even AMD cards below the 6000 series.

  19. #19
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    Your computer is fine. Most people don't need half the RAM that all the propaganda convinces them they need.

  20. #20
    AEO
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    [QUOTE=tizeye;12944328]
    Quote Originally Posted by phantomcow2 View Post
    I think I'm buying the AMD Phenom II X4 955. Quad core seems like a great investment, and I'm sure software will be developed to take full advantage of it.
    I'll couple it with 8GB of Corsair RAM and a 1.5TB hard drive.

    That leaves me needing a motherboard.QUOTE]

    While the AMD Phenom II X4 955 is a good CPU and one of the top AM3+ Socket CPU's, it is questionalble how much software is going to be developed to take advantage of the aging line. Just last month, AMD released their desktop version A-Series that won't fit AM3+ socket motherboards but requires the new FM1 socket motherboards. It combiines CPU and GPU (Graphical processing unit) INSIDE the chip - not to be confused with 'on-board video.' Unfortunately, that is probably the future where software will be written to take advantage of. It enhances the HD video and simulates with one card a crossfire effect when used with a Radeon 6000 series card, of which the GPU is based. Not stated in any reviews is how it would interact with your Nvidea GTX460, or even AMD cards below the 6000 series.
    the APU is slower, just FYI.

    The advantage the APU has over CPU+GPU is that it's more power efficient and can run cooler.
    It's wonderful as a SFF, nettop or other similar small device, but it's definitely not going to replace a full sized desktop computer.
    Food for thought: if you aren't dead by 2050, you and your entire family will be within a few years from starvation. Now that is a cruel gift to leave for your offspring. ;)
    http://sanfrancisco.ibtimes.com/arti...ger-photos.htm

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