View Full Version : Upgrade Dilemma
06-28-07, 03:41 AM
I am thinking of upgrading my computer, but am unsure of what would be best. Intended use: Gaming computer, mostly Oblivion and Lord of the Rings Online, though I plan to get Starcraft 2 when it comes out. My current AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+/nVidia 7800GT computer isn't bad per-se, but is lagging somewhat in LOTRO at 1680x1050, and I have to turn the settings way down in Oblivion. I'm in no huge rush to upgrade though, and my main concern is bang for buck.
If I purchase soon, I am thinking of getting the Gigabyte GA-P35C-DS3R motherboard, but am open to suggestions if you don't think it's best. If not, then I'll wait for whatever's the best mobo at the time. I'll also probably upgrade to a nVidia 8800 GTS 640 MB, which is impossible for me now as I can only use single-slot graphics cards on my current mobo (long story).
My options are:
(a) Wait until August and buy a Q6600 with DDR2 RAM
(b) Wait until August and buy a E6850 with DDR2 RAM
(c) Get the mobo and DDR2 now while it's cheap, get the cheapest S775 I can find, then upgrade to Penryn when it comes out
(d) Tough it out and wait until late 2008 (when I origionally planned to upgrade, before DDR2 was dirt-cheap) and get Nehalem or whatever AMD has at the time, with DDR3 RAM
Given that it's to be a gaming computer and my main concern is best bang-per-buck, what do you think?
06-28-07, 07:57 AM
I dont play LOTRO but I did play and 100% Oblivion
I also have AMD X2 3800+ and Geforce 7800GT
I dont remember the EXACT settings, but i ran it with close to max
and incredibly smooth playable framerate. and I run at 1600x1200 resolution
I think you potentially need to look at tweaking your system or something.
not all mods are ingame changing for houses/weapons. there are some Perforamnce related mods, such as 1/2 height grass mod that makes grass look BETTER and increases performance a lot.
I think you need to isolate what hurts your frames and what doesnt.
I think you should
(a) Wait until August and buy a Q6600 with DDR2 RAM
or late july, after july 22nd
or option (z) wait closer to november/dec time because there is usually some blackfriday/thanksgiving/christmas sales and rebates.
since i have the SAME system as you, essentially. we are in similiar boat!
I want to get the Q6600 and whatnot. However I think i am going to hold off and hope they release Geforce 9(2?) series in september! if not, well i will maybe get geforce 8950GX2 or whatever its called
dont wait on DDR3 for 2 reasons. It is Really expensive right now. AND there is always stuff better coming out. You can ALWAYS wait, but that wait will be neverending. If you get Q6600 and 8800GTX ultra, i am sure you will 2x your performance at least!
My n00bish advice:
I don't really know much about AMD CPU's, but if you have a mobo that can accept a higher ghz CPU, and DDR2, then I'd upgrade the CPU to like 5200+ and RAM to 2 gigs (you didn't mention your RAM). No need for DDR3 yet or penryn support - by the time they come down in price, are more widespread,e tc., better mobo's will be out, especially the X38.
If your mobo doesn't have DDR2, then yes upgrade the mobo, and of course, to Intel!
CPU E6850. Again, IMO and from what I've researched, Q6600 OC'd to 3ghz+ is going to run HOTTER than an OC'd E6850. Besides, that's more for heavy multitasking. For gaming, I'd say E6850.
Or you could save $ and get the E6420 and OC it to 3/3.2ghz. Games won't really need anything faster because they mostly rely on your GPU which brings us to:
Video card: consider the 8800 GTX to play at your resolution with max settings. Otherwise, the 8800 GTS 640 and you might have to lower res/settings but not much. Thought I can't say this 100% as my 8800 640 hasn't shown up yet to be played on my 1440x900 lcd.
06-28-07, 09:00 AM
Thanks for everybody's advice so far. :)
Nasgul: As I said before, I can't use dual-slot video cards on my current motherboard. So any sort of 8800 is out at this time, unless I wanted to swap out the heatsink; I'm not much of a modder though, and I don't know of any single-slot coolers good enough for a 8800. In fact, my inability to upgrade to a 8800 on my current mobo is one of my primary imputeses to upgrading my mobo/memory/CPU, the other being the dirt-cheap DDR2 prices at the moment.
Movak: I should have specified that it's a Socket 939 X2 3800+, which uses plain vanille DDR, not DDR2. Socket 939 upgrades really aren't a good use of money at this time; the cheapest Core 2 Duo would be better than the best Socket 939 processor. For future reference, anybody with both a X2 3800+ and a 7800 GT is likely to be on plain DDR, as those were both in the best bang-for-the-buck category in late 2005, which is when I (and probably namrog) bought my computer.
Lower power consumption does sound like a good reason to go with the E6850, though I'd want to OC that too (one of the benefits of going with Conroe :D ); would a E6850 OC'ed to, say, 3.4-3.6GHz still be lower power consumption than a Q6600 OC'ed to 3.0GHz?
Last, but definately not least, namrog84: Thanks for all your tips on making the best of my current system. :) And everybody, also feel free to suggest something not on my list! Black Friday isn't a half bad idea; even if DDR2 does go up again now, the sales will probably bring it back down for the day at least. And I get the benefit of having everything else on sale too!
I really wish nVidia would release a single-slot 8900 or the like; then I could just upgrade my video card and be done with it. Albeit Oblivion is one of the few CPU-bound as well as GPU-bound games, so an upgrade in processor could certainly help that regardless.
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