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Old 12-08-2007, 10:39 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default PC Upgrade

I'm looking to extend the life of my system a bit longer, so I need some help deciding between a few parts.

First up... the processor. I have a socket 939 system with an Athlon 64 3000+ (1.8Ghz) Venice core processor. I really want to go dual core, so I've narrowed it down to two processors:

Newegg.com - AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ Toledo 2.0GHz 2 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket 939 Processor - OEM

Newegg.com - AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ Manchester 2.2GHz 2 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket 939 Processor - OEM

I've done overclocking in the past, but have no desire to do so with the new processor. I'd rather just put it in and forget about it. That being said... is the $10 extra for the second processor worth it for a Manchester core and .2 extra Ghz?

Next... the video card. I'd like to keep the price of a new video card under $150, so I went looking and found one that I thought would do the trick:

Newegg.com - PNY VCG86512GXPB-OC GeForce 8600GT 512MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail

I haven't looked too hard for a new video card because the 6600GT I have now is sufficient for the games I currently play (pretty much only Guild Wars). However, I have noticed a few times while playing where the frame rate will drop because there's too much stuff going on. Also, having a DirectX 10 card will come in handy in the future I'm sure. My motherboard only has one PCI-E x16 slot, so SLI is not an option either.

Last... the RAM. I have four slots in my motherboard, two of which are occupied by this:

Newegg.com - OCZ Performance Series 1GB (2 x 512MB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail

My question is, do I buy another 2 x 512MB kit so I can run it in dual channel, or do I just buy a 1GB stick so I can later upgrade to 3GB of RAM?

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Old 12-08-2007, 10:49 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: PC Upgrade

2 x 512MB kit since by the time you'd want another upgrade
you probably want a whole new build anyway

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Old 12-08-2007, 10:58 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Maybe I wasn't clear enough in my description... I currently have a 512MB stick in one slot, and another 512MB stick in another slot running in dual channel. I want to either...

a.) buy another two 512MB sticks to fill the two remaining slots, keeping the dual channel configuration or...

b.) buy a 1GB stick to put in the third slot, and forget about dual channel while leaving the fourth slot open for a possible future expansion to 3GB of RAM.

The 1GB stick is actually cheaper than the 2 x 512MB kit, but what I'm really trying to figure out is whether or not dual channel is worth it.
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Old 12-09-2007, 01:11 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: PC Upgrade

just get the 2x512, you won't need 3gb of ram unless you use vista, and like fat clown said, by that time you might want to buy a whole new system.
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Old 12-09-2007, 05:33 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: PC Upgrade

im doing exactly what your doing my freind, im only 15 and dont have money for a new system, i already have a 8600GT and a 3800+ X2, its the way forward (well its not) but if you cant spend money on a new system then CPU, RAM and GPU upgrades are good
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Old 12-13-2007, 10:50 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Does anybody else have any advice about something other than my RAM or some real experiences with dual channel vs. non dual channel?
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Old 12-13-2007, 11:01 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: PC Upgrade

Forget the 8600. Go for a 7900 or a 19xx instead. If you aren't running Vista you won't need DX10.

Another 2 X 512 will do you good, unless you go with 2 X 1 gig and sell the 2 X 512.

The 4200 is worth the extra $10.

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Old 12-13-2007, 11:44 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Newegg.com - SAPPHIRE 100213 Radeon HD 2900GT 256MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - OEM

This video card should perform better than an 8600 but I was not able to find any benchmarks for it.
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Old 12-13-2007, 12:25 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Another thing that I probably should've mentioned about my video card is that I would really prefer to use a card that only requires one slot. The actual slot that's next to my video card isn't occupied, but my fan controller (I have five case fans) slides into the slot where the little blanking plate thingy (or whatever they're called) would go. In order for me to install that 2900GT I would have to remove the fan controller, which isn't a HUGE issue I guess because I don't really use it, but I'd just prefer not to do it. I'm lazy like that I guess.
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Old 12-13-2007, 01:35 PM   #10 (permalink)
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If you want a single slot card I would recomend this video card instead of the 8600.

Newegg.com - HIS Hightech H260XTF512DDN-R Radeon HD 2600XT 512MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail

My brother has this card in his pc and I was supried how well it performs. It can handle Crysis on all medium settings at 1440x 900 dx9.

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