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Need some help with upgrading my PC.Follow

#1 Sep 19 2010 at 12:13 AM Rating: Decent
3 posts
Hello,

Wondering if I could get some opinions on what to upgrade on my cpu to help performance. I plan on doing two upgrades (one now and one around Christmas). I'm not an expert and I am trying to figure out what I should replace first to have the most noticable improvements. My system specs are below with some questions afterwards - Taking this information off a benchmark application I ran:

System Information:

Windows Vista Home Edition (64-Bit)
EVGA nForce 680i SLI Motherboard (122-CK-NF68)
Power Supply: 750W

CPU Information:

Intel Core2 6600 @2.4 GHz

Memory Information:

Total Physical Memory (6141 MB RAM)
Available Physical Memory (4857 MB RAM)
OCZ Platinum 4 Gigabyte (667 MHz)
OCZ Gold 2 Gigabyte (667 MHz)
Virual Memory (6441 MB)

Video Adapters:

Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260
Memory: 896MB
Monitor 1: 1920x1200x32 (60Hz)


So there are my specs - High Resolution i get a score of 2291 Low Resolution I get 2656 on the FFXIV Benchmark video.

I am trying to figure out what needs to be changed here. I had some thoughts but I don't know what is the best thing to do. I was looking to spend no more than $500 at this portion of the upgrade.

I found a Motherboard/CPU bundle I liked:

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=5519&CatId=4139

This brings me right to $500. Could I use my existing memory here? It's DDR2 I'm not sure if I can put in 4 sticks 2x2GB and 1x2GB on a DDR3 Motherboard...

The other thought was just to upgrade my processor and memory to 8GB and 800Mhz (I think 667MHz is kinda slow)

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4621250&CatId=2758
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4631346&CatId=3412 - x2

I was also wondering if I should get Windows 7 or is Vista ok - does it make a difference?

I originally thought of getting a better video card, but I think at this point I've reached a bottleneck somewhere with my CPU or Memory Speeds? Any suggestions? Thanks!


Edited, Sep 19th 2010 2:15am by bruschijr

Edited, Sep 19th 2010 2:16am by bruschijr

Edited, Sep 19th 2010 2:25am by bruschijr
#2 Sep 19 2010 at 12:21 AM Rating: Decent
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94 posts
win 7 is ideal. that first bundle plus the xms is pretty amazing. If you need to wait to do it right then wait it out. Do it once and do it properly. But yea thats a fairly whoop bundle for the price


errr but get xms3

Edited, Sep 19th 2010 2:24am by KingRaul
#3 Sep 19 2010 at 12:46 AM Rating: Good
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205 posts
From initial looking I think you might be slow on your processor side. Your motherboard should be able to handle an E8400 Wolfdale 3.0 Ghz so I'd probably recommend that. From newegg it's like $170 or something. Also check what your ram frequency is. Is it 533/667/800 or...?? 800 would give you a bigger boost.

I've not seen such a strange video card before but from technical specs you should be above the requirements for FFXIV. I say strange because I've not seen a 448-bit card before.

My 15 3/4 cents on the matter. I'd get a second opinion though just to be cautious.
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#4 Sep 19 2010 at 1:00 AM Rating: Decent
Edited by bsphil
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21,739 posts
Should really rename the Computer Building Guide to include something about PC upgrading advice.
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#5 Sep 19 2010 at 7:38 AM Rating: Good
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723 posts
Your post says your resolution is 1920x1200, is that what you play FFXIV? That's a very high resolution for a lone GTX 260 to power. While the C2D 6600 is somewhat outdated now, it's actually not a bad CPU. I remember owning one awhile back, if you just buy a high end CPU fan and apply a good thermal grease like Arctic Silver on it you should be able to overclock it to 3+ GHz easily. The fan and such would only set you back about $40 depending what you buy. I think with the resolution you game on, you'd benefit more from a GPU upgrade.

Two GTX 260's in SLI are actually decently powerful. Though to be honest at your resolution I think I'd still want higher end GPUs. But buying a second one can be a smart upgrade depending on what your budget it. I wouldn't waste money upgrading CPUs or RAM or anything unless you plan on buying a new motherboard and you're getting the latest technology like an i5/7 processor and DDR3 RAM.

Edited, Sep 19th 2010 9:39am by Jeraziah
#6 Sep 19 2010 at 8:33 AM Rating: Decent
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771 posts
Quote:
This brings me right to $500. Could I use my existing memory here? It's DDR2 I'm not sure if I can put in 4 sticks 2x2GB and 1x2GB on a DDR3 Motherboard...


No you can't. RAM is not backwards compatible. However RAM could be the cheapest part of your upgrade. However if you still wanted to use that combo you could go with 4gb and only put your price up by $100:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231303


Edited, Sep 19th 2010 10:33am by BRizzl3
#7 Sep 19 2010 at 9:32 AM Rating: Good
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723 posts
BRizzl3 wrote:
Quote:
This brings me right to $500. Could I use my existing memory here? It's DDR2 I'm not sure if I can put in 4 sticks 2x2GB and 1x2GB on a DDR3 Motherboard...


No you can't. RAM is not backwards compatible. However RAM could be the cheapest part of your upgrade. However if you still wanted to use that combo you could go with 4gb and only put your price up by $100:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231303


Edited, Sep 19th 2010 10:33am by BRizzl3


I think he'd get more performance out of having 3 GB that ran in a triple channel configuration rather than 4 GB that ran in dual channel. Also, 3 GB is good enough for most people and is only another $60 is he wants to jump from 3 to 6 GB.

If you wanted to do a complete upgrade for a reasonable price this is what I would suggest...

Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130226

CPU
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115225

RAM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820134851

The motherboard is extremely nice and offers 3 way SLI or Crossfire, which is a good way to futureproof your PC. The CPU is extremely fast, i7-930, I have a i7-920 myself and it's a great CPU. It's actually better to disable hyper threading though and just overclock even further. You'll get much better results in nearly all games and programs since they can't make use of 8 threads. The RAM is pretty basic, but it's Kingston which is a good brand, should be stable and does what you need.

Those 3 items from NewEgg would cost about $540 with shipping included, there's no tax on NewEgg unless you live in one of 3 states I think.

Having said all of that. I think you'll still lag in FFXIV if you buy the CPU/Mobo/RAM combination, because of your GPU. Those parts would make for a great upgrade, but you're still going to need either a 2nd or 3rd GTX 260 or just a whole new video card to play at the resolution you've listed.
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