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Old 08-31-2007, 02:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default What are my best upgrade options?

I'm just now starting to think about upgrading my rig and am having trouble deciding what to do. I don't have a lot of money, and I don't have to have bleeding edge technology, but I want the best I can get. I'm upgrading from a single core athlon64 3400 - ancient by today's standards, but I haven't really been all the impressed by any games lately so I had no need to update just to word process. Crysis changed that. So I'm looking for a dual core processor and MB and a DX10 card. I'm looking at the AMD x2 6000, which seems to hold it's own in gaming against the core 2 - but I want to be sure I'm making a good decision. I can get a x2 6000 with a MB, case, PSU, etc.. for around $250, or would I be better off with a slower processor and a better graphics card? I'm just not sure what to do yet. Any ideas?
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Old 08-31-2007, 02:53 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: What are my best upgrade options?

The AMD 6000+ is a great CPU but if you can get a C2D and overclock you will have a faster setup.

Also if you can get a CPU, MB, case and PSU for 250 then that means your skimping on the PSU which is a HUGE no-no!

The case is your choice but here are some recommendations for the basic hardware if you overclock, if not then the 6000+ setup is probably a better choice:

Newegg.com - Intel Core 2 Duo E4300 Allendale 1.8GHz 2M shared L2 Cache LGA 775 Processor - Retail
121.99

Newegg.com - MSI P6N SLI-FI LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 650i SLI ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
106.99

Newegg.com - Rosewill RD500-2SB 500W,ATX12V v2.2 Power Supply 115/230V FCC, UL - Retail
53.99

Newegg.com - Crucial Ballistix 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail
69.99 after 40 MIB

Newegg.com - EVGA 320-P2-N811-AR GeForce 8800GTS 320MB 320-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
289.99
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Old 08-31-2007, 02:58 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: What are my best upgrade options?

There is no reason to get E4300 because E4400 is only $4 more
Newegg.com - Intel Core 2 Duo E4400 Allendale 2.0GHz 2M shared L2 Cache LGA 775 Processor - Retail

.............................

At stock speed C2D E6550 is on par with 6000+ according to this review
Welcome to AnandTech.com [ Article: Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6850 and Massive Price Cuts]

But E6550 overclocks better

And E6550 is only $176 in newegg
Newegg.com - Intel Core 2 Duo E6550 Conroe 2.33GHz 4M shared L2 Cache LGA 775 Processor - Retail
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Old 08-31-2007, 03:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: What are my best upgrade options?

yeah I meant to link it to the e4400 actually :| my bad

btw that crucial ballistix is quite a deal. 70 dollars after MIB is a steal.
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Old 08-31-2007, 03:21 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: What are my best upgrade options?

Thanks for the help - fortunately I've got a pretty nice PSU in my system now, so I'll just swap that out. So I'm leaning towards the 6000. Can an overclocked e4400 really hang with the 6000? If so, I guess that may be the better route to go. I was thinking I'd have to get like a e6300 at least to compete with the x2. I guess Intel is a lot more "overclockable" now than what I remember.
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Old 08-31-2007, 03:34 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: What are my best upgrade options?

Yes, overclocked E4400 beats 6000+
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Old 08-31-2007, 03:53 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: What are my best upgrade options?

The Intel Core 2 cpu's out right now are all wise choices. I guess it all depends on what you wanna do with the cpu. If you have AMD mobo already than maybe you wanna stick with that but if you want to try intel and get a decent little overclocking mobo than I am sure you can save some money and have just as good or better of a computer.
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Old 08-31-2007, 05:10 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: What are my best upgrade options?

If you aren't going the SLI route you may want to consider the Gigabyte p35- DS3R motherboard instead... It has support for a lot of the newest CPU's in lga775. not to mentiont the new fsb.

8800gts 320mb is a great choice for dx10..

crucial ballistix is also a great buy.
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Old 08-31-2007, 09:14 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: What are my best upgrade options?

Thanks, you guys have been very helpful! I guess I'll plan on going the e4400 route, after looking around at some benchmarks it seems like a good choice (and it's cheaper!) I know the 8800 gts 320 is a sweet card, but I can't decide whether I should sink that much into a video card (yeah, I know it's chicken feed when you've got guys spending $600 a card, but hey, I'm poor...) Is the 8600 gt 512 any good? It's a LOT cheaper at around $120 (cheaper usually isn't good in the world of GPU's I know!) What do you think? Is it worth it? Does ATI have anything to offer competitively at this point? Thanks again, you guys have been so helpful in making decisions.
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Old 08-31-2007, 09:22 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: What are my best upgrade options?

At about the same price, is the 7900GS, which is much better than the 8600GT.

Newegg.com - PNY VCG7900SXPB GeForce 7900GS 256MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
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