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Old 12-16-2012, 05:29 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default GPU and CPU upgrade on a 775 mobo

I'm planning on upgrading the GPU and CPU on my HTPC so I can use it for gaming on a 1080p plasma TV. Here are the current specs:

CPU: Pentium Dual-Core E5200 2.50GHz LGA775
CPU Cooler: Stock cooler
Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-EP43-UD3L LGA775
Graphics Card: SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 4670 GDDR4 512MB
HDD: Western Digital WD6400AAKS 640GB SATA 3.0Gbps
Memory: A-DATA 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model ADQVE1B16K
PSU: Corsair VX450W CMPSU-450VX 450W
Case: SilverStone Lascala LC17 SST-LC17B ATX
Optical drive: LG Black Blu-ray/HD DVD-ROM & 16X DVDĪR DVD Burner
OS: Windows 7 RC

My plan is to get a HD 7850 2GB and replace the E5200 with a Q8300. I realize the quad processor and 7850 (rather than 650 Ti) is a bit overkill, but I want this system to last me at least another 2 years, preferably longer.

My main questions are about the CPU. I'm wondering if that's the right one to go with and whether I can get by with the stock cooler if I don't plan on overclocking. I'm assuming my 450W power supply can handle this upgrade, but wanted to confirm that.

My budget is $250. I posted here about a month ago about my upgrade plans and got great advice, but now that I'm about to buy the parts I wanted to make sure these parts will work with my setup.
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Old 12-16-2012, 05:49 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: GPU and CPU upgrade on a 775 mobo

If you could find a cheap one I would try getting a Q9550 or something closer to that than the 8300. The Q8300 is still decent (my fiance has the 8200) but if you want it to last longer I highly recommend my previous suggestion as it's pretty close to i5 status.

You will need a 500w PSU for the 7850, but if you sprung a tad more for the GTX 660 you could run it on your current PSU. It is better performance wise anyways. The stock cooler will be fine for any of the CPUs mentioned.
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Old 12-16-2012, 07:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: GPU and CPU upgrade on a 775 mobo

I didn't realize the 775 platform could actually handle a GTX 660. I'd be willing to up my budget a bit for more future-proofing, which the 660 would definitely bring. If I go with the Q9550/GTX 660 combo, would it make sense to get some slightly faster DDR2 (i.e. switch from 800Mhz to 1066Mhz)? Also, would I be able to benefit from the 3GB 660 when games start using more vram, or would it be indistinguishable from the 2GB version on my system?
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Old 12-16-2012, 07:34 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: GPU and CPU upgrade on a 775 mobo

You can put any PCI-E card on any PCI-E system really. If you can get the 9550 cheap, and I stress that, then yes go with that and a 660. I would not bother with the 3GB card for that particular GPU honestly.

I would keep your 800MHz DDR2. WIth how much you're getting right now it would almost make more sense to simply upgrade everything.
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Old 12-16-2012, 08:13 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: GPU and CPU upgrade on a 775 mobo

I realize that about the PCI-E compatibility, I just thought that the CPU limitations of my mobo would put the full performance of the GTX 660 out of reach. I didn't realize the Q9550 was in a league with the i5. Opting for the Q9550 does bring the cost to a point where it almost makes sense to upgrade everything, but that's just not an option right now. The reason I was considering a Q8300 is because that upgrade would only cost me about $30 (I can get $25 for my E5200 on eBay). The Q9550 is selling in the $120-130 range, so I hesitate to sink that much into a dead platform. But with that CPU and the GTX 660, I probably wouldn't need to upgrade anything for well over 2 years (as long as the DDR2 RAM wouldn't be a huge bottleneck).

Would the Q8300 significantly hold back the GTX 660, compared to the Q9550?
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Old 12-16-2012, 08:32 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: GPU and CPU upgrade on a 775 mobo

No not really, the 9550 is just about 7% faster despite clock speed increase. Gotta ask, if you have a main gaming rig then why not just hook that up to your TV? I'm assuming you have one since this is your HTPC.
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Old 12-16-2012, 08:43 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: GPU and CPU upgrade on a 775 mobo

I don't have a gaming rig, just the HTPC and my laptop. I'm new to gaming so I want to make my HTPC (which til now I've just used for movies) capable of playing some of the more demanding games.

If it's just a 7% difference between the Q8300 and the Q9550, I'll probably go with the 8300 and the GTX 660. That way when I do change platforms, I only spent a few bucks on upgrading the CPU and the GPU will work with the new hardware.
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Old 12-16-2012, 08:52 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: GPU and CPU upgrade on a 775 mobo

One thing to remember with gaming is they are more GPU demanding than CPU. Any decent dual or quad core will do the job and anything better than that increases FPS 1-2 depending on the CPU in question. The 8200 with the 660 should be pretty perfect until you want to start ramping up settings real high.
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Old 12-16-2012, 10:06 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: GPU and CPU upgrade on a 775 mobo

Then I'll go with the 8300 and the GTX 660 (the prices on the 8200 and 8300 are identical right now on eBay). Thanks for the advice, and for your contributions to the forum. I've learned a lot from reading your posts around here.
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