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Old 12-22-2010, 12:02 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Upgrading computer - suggestions?

Hey all, first time poster here.

I built my computer about a year and a half ago and I'm looking to upgrade. Its been a long time since I've looked into whats new out there, and quite frankly, I cant tell whats good and what works with what. I'm a digital artist, so most of the work I do is very processor and memory intensive.
Heres my current setup:
Asus M3N78 Pro (hybrid SLI) motherboard with built in GeForce 8300
GeForce 9800GT
AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+
8 GB of OCZ SLI PC6400 DDR2 Ram (I think its 2 4GB sticks, out of 4 available slots)

Can I just add another stick or does it need to be matched/paired memory?
I'm looking to upgrade from 8 GB to maybe 16 GB.
If anyone has any suggestions, tips or ideas, it would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance!
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Old 12-22-2010, 01:22 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upgrading computer - suggestions?

You are in need of a Processor upgrade more than ram. A quad core upgrade would be my suggestion. Got a budget for this upgrade?

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EDIT: Sorry should have answered your question. You want to buy ram in pairs to keep dual channel compatibility.
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Old 12-22-2010, 02:33 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upgrading computer - suggestions?

Thanks for the response. I plan on saving up for this upgrade so I'd like to know what a good or ideal setup would be I also have the Max Orb cooling fan/heat sink. It works very well so a more beefy processor should be cooled nicely.
Whats the benefits of DDR3 to DDR2?..other than a hefty price difference.
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Old 12-22-2010, 02:37 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upgrading computer - suggestions?

8GB is plenty, even if it is DDR2.

With a BIOS flash you can use up through an Athlon II x4 640 or a Phenom II x4 965. Sorry, no hex cores and I guess they haven't tested a Phenom II x4 970 yet. Like Abstract said, a quad CPU upgrade would be your best upgrade right now.

Second would be a GFX card upgrade. A 9800GT is equal to a GT250 nowadays. A 460 GTX (Fermi) would be a nice drop-in if you want to stay with Nvidia, or a 4850/5770/4870/5830/5850/6850 if you are willing to switch to the red team.
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Old 12-22-2010, 02:46 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upgrading computer - suggestions?

There is a small to large jump in bus speeds between the 2 which you may or may not notice. In your case you could upgrade to a Phenom II x4 with a new motherboard and ram and see a significant difference.

Newegg.com - Computer Parts, PC Components, Laptop Computers, LED LCD TV, Digital Cameras and more!

Newegg.com - G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL

$345.98 free shipping.


EDIT: NINJA'D and Trotter did his research like always.
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Old 12-22-2010, 03:06 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upgrading computer - suggestions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Abstract Hero View Post
There is a small to large jump in bus speeds between the 2 which you may or may not notice. In your case you could upgrade to a Phenom II x4 with a new motherboard and ram and see a significant difference.

Newegg.com - Computer Parts, PC Components, Laptop Computers, LED LCD TV, Digital Cameras and more!

Newegg.com - G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL

$345.98 free shipping.


EDIT: NINJA'D and Trotter did his research like always.
What can I say? Google and I are old friends, and a lot of it is just floating around in my head anyway.
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Old 12-22-2010, 03:26 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upgrading computer - suggestions?

Lesson learned today: Don't forget the possibility of BIOS updates.
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Old 12-22-2010, 12:38 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upgrading computer - suggestions?

Listen and learn, padawan. The first step is to search for the board itself, then jump to the manufacturer's site and look for the CPU compatibility list. Scan the list for the top-most PCUs it can run and look at what BIOS it lists.
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Old 01-07-2011, 11:21 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upgrading computer - suggestions?

Thank you for all the replies! I thought I had a quad core, its always said four threads in various programs and shows four cpus in the performance tab in windows task manager.
Which cpu would be better between the Athlon II x4 640 or the Phenom II x4 965? My current setup has problems paging and switching from one program to the next, often which crashes the program. Given the work I do on my computer, I have to have multiple programs open at once that eat up a bit of ram.
Also, I have the Max Orb (I believe its called) heat sink/cpu fan and atleast two 120mm tower fans..is that enough to support a more powerful processor?
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