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Upgrading PC - Need Advice Plz


SCO Spyder
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Ok, so I currently have a stone-age PC (which just crapped out on me as far as i can tell) and now have the money to upgrade. Heres what I have for a set-up thus far:

CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 Conroe 2.13GHz LGA 775 Processor Model

MotherBoard: MSI P965 Platinum LGA 775 Intel P965 Express ATX Intel Motherboard

Video Card: ATI Radeon X1950PRO 256MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Video Card

RAM: CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TWIN2X2048-6400

Power Supply: ENERMAX Liberty ELT500AWT ATX12V 500W Power Supply

Tower: RAIDMAX SMILODON ATX-612WBP Black SECC STEEL ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 500W Power Supply

Ok, so now for my questions:

CPU: I heard on other forums and from Toms Hardware guides, that the 6400 is better overall then the 6600 because it can OC to a faster speed on stock cooling. What are your takes on this, and is there any reason why I should deffinitly go for the 6600 instead?

Mother Board: Again, on Toms Hardware, they tested a variety of MoBos and the one I chose came out on top. Anyone use this board and can tell me why I should deffinitly get it, or why I should not? Also, anyone who wishes to tell me which board they use and why they think it's better then the one I have chosen, feel free to chime in.

Tower: I only chose this because someone recommended it to me from another site. Anyone know of any better towers that are around that same price range? I don't really need all the shiney o0o0's and ahh's. I just want a basic tower that has good ventilation and cooling. If the one I chose is decent, then i'll leave it there even though it probably costs more just because of its fancy LED lights and all that BS lol.

RAM: Again, only chose this because someone on another forum recommended it to me. 1 guy did mention a buddy of his went through 6 stix of this RAM with it being no good every time, so they ended up going down to the next lower speed or something. Anyone else have experience with this RAM? Anything better out there I should check into?

Thats about it.... normally i'd probably ask about the video card as well... but it always seems to end up being a "flip a coin" type thing. I am going with this card because I never used NVidia befor, and have always used ATI in the past. I also plan on upgrading to Windows Vista and a DX10 video card in the future. Thanks for all help that can be given to me. Also, remember to speak in PC Newb terms to me so I can understand what your saying lol. Thanks

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Anandtech is not happy with the overclocking abilities of the MSI board unless that new BIOS is out and working.

The biggest disappointment in the overclocking area was that of the MSI P965 Platinum. We expected a lot from this board in the overclocking arena and it did not deliver, not yet at least. The stock performance was superb and we did reach a 7x415 setting, but due to the memory strap change at 400FSB we found the performance in most instances did not improve upon our reported 7x375 scores. We have a new BIOS to try that should allow 450FSB overclocking and with a price tag of $135 or less, the MSI might yet be the board to have in this price range.

whole article:

http://www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.aspx?i=2914 and on the last page you can see the recommendations.

Totally different and unfortunately only one version on the market (Asus was said to bring one since last November but I haven't seen it yet) but a good oveclocker board:

http://www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.aspx?i=2891

RAM: best to check the mobo producer's site. Usually they mention recommended RAM.

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For the CPU, the difference between the 6400 and the 6600 is cache size, the 6400 have 2 MB cache size and the 6600 4 MB, I don't know what you read tha the 6400 can OC higher (I have seen people OC all of the C2Ds to about the same speed). If you want to save some money go with the 6300, it is the 6400 with lower clock speeds (which doesn't matter if you are going to OC) but I would suggest going with the 6600, because on average it can go a little higher than 6300/6400.

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I've been thinking of a similar upgrade later this spring.

A few things I have discovered:

CPU: Intel is scheduled to release the 6320 and 6420 at the start of Q2, these are just like the 6300 and 6400, but include 4MB of L2 cache. Price is supposed to be same as 6300 and 6400 currently are. It is probably worth waiting for this.

RAM: I've seen lots of early adopters report RAM problems with 965, 975, 65i and 680i motherboards. I think the best bet is to go with RAM that the motherboard manufacturer considers qualified.

Motherboard: I'm thinking an Asus P5B-E at this point. Personally, I find their documentation, support, and BIOS features better than MSI.

Edited by Buehgler_AS
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I've been thinking of a similar upgrade later this spring.

A few things I have discovered:

CPU: Intel is scheduled to release the 6320 and 6420 at the start of Q2, these are just like the 6300 and 6400, but include 4MB of L2 cache. Price is supposed to be same as 6300 and 6400 currently are. It is probably worth waiting for this.

RAM: I've seen lots of early adopters report RAM problems with 965, 975, 65i and 680i motherboards. I think the best bet is to go with RAM that the motherboard manufacturer considers qualified.

Motherboard: I'm thinking an Asus P5B-E at this point. Personally, I find their documentation, support, and BIOS features better than MSI.

P5B-E is a good board. it's what we use at work. But... the P4B is 30$ cheaper and the only difference is the brand of network card and firewire between them.

More cache is always better. The 6600 is great... or hold out for quad... but you will have to get a mainboard that supports it.

Nforce boards are the only one's doing SLI and are cheaper if you want to save a buck.

All the asus boards do pc800 no problem. (nforce and intel based) get the part #'s from crucial or kingson as they will have the memory that you can match up with your board. the ballistix by cruical rock and have heatsinks on them.

Here is some info of the pc's my guys built... most using the nforce because of future sli

http://www.attackforcez.com/index.php?name...639&start=0

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