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Old 03-17-2008, 09:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Smile Help me decide what to do

My Intel 925 motherboard died on my Coolermaster Stacker, and I need to decide what to do by tomorrow.
My cpu was disappointing me, a 775 pin 3.2 with 1 MB L2 cache running XP Pro and Office.
I want to upgrade as cheaply as possible, but the tech guy says reprogramming and everything will cost an extra $230 whichever way I decide to go.
To just replace the MB will be $250 to $350 depending on the board, and then the cpu stays the same.
He said he would install a 3.0 core 2 cpu & MB for $600, but won't say which cpu/MB. But I figure it's the 65 nm cpu. But I only have 1 Gig of original 5300 DDR2.
He told me he will install whatever I want to purchase myself, but won't give me any help with my selection.
I like the E8400 cpu, but I'm not sure it's the right one. And if it is available, which motherboard to get. I'm not a gamer, and don't know if I will need new memory to take advantage of the increased FSB speed. Also, the motherboard choice is limited by memory type somewhat, especially if I try to limit the cost to around $200 for the motherboard. Some boards will accept DDR2 or DDR3 for future needs.
What should I do and buy? I really should decide by tomorrow.
I've searched and read Newegg and Tiger Direct for reviews, and if the E8400 is available should I order that or the Quad 2.40, or the 3.0 dual core (65nm I guess?).
What's the 3 best choices for motherboard for running cool, ease of installation and best performance/reliability?
It's puzzling which one to get, in addition to the questions about which cpu and whether to get new memory now or not.
How important is upgrading the memory to getting the higher performance of the increased FSB potential?
My tech guy won't discuss it. He is actually trying to disuade me from upgrading anything but the motherboard, but the labor cost is about the same. I have 2 optical drives, a floppy, a video card, and quite a few USB's and a couple of firewires. He said that a cheap motherboard replacement is the way to go, but I will lose USB's and still won't have satisfactory performance unless I upgrade the board for a total of about $350.
I had an Intel Extreme Edition board that died after 3 years and he said that maybe it wasn't set up right, but it was slower than my cheaper Gateway with a 3.0 cpu and 2 MB L2 cache.
That's why I want to upgrade for the cheapest bang for the buck. But I'm not sure about the cpu, board or memory.
I like the 45 nm because it's supposed to run cooler, but does the memory speed really matter? What FSB performance can I get with adding another Gig of 533 DDR@, or should I just get new memory?
Also, I want a cool running motherboard, not one that is too going to break down anytime soon. Some of the cheaper ones seem to be rated highly, while some of the better brands have comments that they are junk.
Which brand is the sleeper with better features for the lower price, that will help me go forward and buy better memory if I need it?
If Newegg doesn't have the E8400 in stock, where can I buy these items for a cheaper price?
I need to decide and act soon. Should I just go with what my tech guy recommends (a core 2 3.0 cpu?), or should I order my own cpu/motherboard and which one? He won't even tell me which he would install. It's sad when a customer wants info., and he act like he's too busy, but he does offer to install whatever I want to purchase, because he says he doesn't have it in stock or because there are too many products on the market.
I would even consider a middle road option, but he won't spend the time to give me one. I can understand that actually, a 3.0 core 2 and MB for $600, but is there a cheaper satisfactory option?
I like my custom computer, but spending more money than a new computer would cost is the point where I start to shy away from the whole project.
I have college age kids in the house that rely on using the computer too, so I want to have something useful for the future, and also want to keep the computer running as quiet, fast and trouble free as possible for the money spent. A few bucks more is okay, but I don't want to exceed $650 or so. I don't want to lose all of the XP programs that I bought when I still prefer it over the new Vista.
Thanks for any help and advice. I'm not sure why, but the 45 nm cpu seems to be cooler and therefore quieter, am I wrong to think that's the better chip for a non-gamer? What about the other 3.0 cpu that the tech. guy offered? How can I go with it if I don't even know which motherboard or memory is best to go with it? :freak:
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Old 03-17-2008, 10:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help me decide what to do

Ok you're gonna have to break it down, like this:


1. What you already have

2. What you intend to use it for

3. What you want to upgrade

4. How much in total do you want to spend
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Old 03-17-2008, 10:25 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help me decide what to do

it sounds like you have a shady tech guy...

if you don't mind spending couple hours reading tutorials / installing the parts yourself, you'd definitely save some money

and since you don't game, any core 2 duo chip would be fine imho
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Old 03-17-2008, 10:28 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help me decide what to do

That's my point for asking, the MB's run from $100 to $300. What are some of the best moderately priced boards? Is there a sleeper brand that has a lot of value?
The ASRock and DFI MB's seem to have potential, but I'm not sure. Also, the less expensive versions of some of the name brands may work okay too. That's why I asked for specific suggestions about the MB & memory type.
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Old 03-17-2008, 10:45 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help me decide what to do

the new DFI LANPARTYs come highly recommended around here
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MB - DFI LP DK P35-T2RS
CPU - Q6600 @ 3.0 atm
HSF - Lapped TRUE + Scythe
RAM - 2x 1G Ballisitx Tracers
GPU - EVGA 9800 GTX
HD - 500G Barracuda + 320G Ext
PSU - PC P&C Silencer 610
OS - Windows XP 32-bit SP2 OEM
Case - Gigabyte 3D Aurora 570
Monitor - Hanns-G 19" Widescreen LCD
Headset - Sennheiser PC151
3DMark06 - 14186 (3.0 / stock gpu)

You must try some of my purple berries...
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Old 03-17-2008, 11:18 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help me decide what to do

He probably doesnt need a Lanparty board for what he does.

Take a look at the Gigabyte P35 boards on newegg and pair it with a q6600.
Total cost shouldn't be more than 350 or so.
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