PDA

View Full Version : Piece that needs the upgrade the most?


WarGhSt
10-17-09, 12:15 AM
Been using the same pieces for about 3 years now and as much as I'd like to overhaul the entire computer I just can't afford it right now. So I'm going to lay out what my system looks like and I'd love it if I could get some feedback on which piece might be bottle necking me the most!

Motherboard: ASUS P5B-Deluxe Revision 1.10G. This is the only piece I will not be replacing so upgrades must be compatible.

Power Supply: Raidmax 500w PSU. RX-500S (KY-600ATX) Raidmax died. NEW PSU as of 10/26/09: It's a 650w Corsair TX650W Model#: CMPSU-650TX

CPU: Intel Core2Duo e6300 Conroe @ 1.86GHz, non overclocked and I don't think I want to get back into that arena with the bad luck I've had before, plus I live in Arizona so without the AC running full time CPU temps get pretty high even at stock.

Video Card: (One) EVGA e-GeForce 7950 GT KO also not overclocked.

HDD1: Maxtor 6 y120p0. Non-sata drive, when building a computer the last thing I generally look into is the harddrive and maybe that's something I've been taking for granted. Anyways this drive is only 120gigs but I have a back up worth of 40. Generally only like to keep 1-3 games installed on my main drive so I usually use about half of it's maximum capacity.

HDD2: Samsung SV24002H. It's a backup storage device, enough said.

Memory: 2 Gigs of some stuff and junk that I had to use when my g.skill died. CPU-Z says it's running at 5-5-5-15 with a command rate of 2T. Going to open up the case tonight and see what this actually is and I will edit that in later. EDIT: Ram is Kingston KVR667D2, ugh at 667 but like I mentioned before it's just been replacement memory after my awesome stick of G.skill died and I've never picked up new stuff.

Sound: Motherboard.

Games I enjoy playing or am looking foward to playing include World of Warcraft, The Witcher, Fallout 3, Risen, Diablo III and Starcraft II, Edit: And of course Dragon Age!

Keep in mind I'd like to keep the same motherboard so any replacements would obviously have to be compatible with the P5B-Deluxe.

methimpikehoses
10-17-09, 12:24 AM
You said you don't want to OC but the first bottleneck is going to be that 1.86ghz. Just get a cheapish after-market cooler and OC that beyatch.

Either that or toss a faster chip in there, prolly a 775 quad of some sort, they should be pretty cheap now.

WarGhSt
10-17-09, 12:47 AM
Not going to lie about it, I'm pretty damn afraid of OC'ing. I've read at least one guide a year thinking that this would be the time I'd give it a shot and I'm still intimidated by increasing ram voltages and FSBs and all the other crap that is involved with OC'ing my CPU.

methimpikehoses
10-17-09, 01:24 AM
Well if you decide to get a new chip, might as well OC the current one since it's next to worthless anyway. That way, you may get a decent OC and end up not needing a new CPU, yeah?

WarGhSt
10-17-09, 02:17 AM
Suppose that's a swell idea you sneaky little devil.

If the general consensus is the CPU I'll think about trying to OC the thing before I buy a new one.

Also something I'm pretty curious about, what's the relative gain from switching out ancient, we're talking IDE, harddrives for newer SATA cabled ones? Anything performance-wise?

CaptNKILL
10-17-09, 03:35 AM
A $30 cooler that allowed you to push that thing to 2.8Ghz would make a huge difference.

As long as your memory is at least DDR2-800 (PC2-6400) you should have no problem achieving this with the proper cooling. Set the FSB to 400Mhz, set the memory to 1:1 (2:2, 2.0, 2x, 1x... whatever your bios calls it), leave the multiplier at 7 and bump the voltage up until its stable.

4Gb of memory (DDR2-800) would also be a great upgrade.

A graphics card upgrade would give you an insanely huge improvement in the newer games if you're willing to spend around $100 on one.

XDanger
10-17-09, 04:22 AM
If you decide to OC you will need to peel off the gold sticker (with ASUS written on it) on the northbridge heatsink then add a 40mm fan to it.

OCZ Platinum rev.2 ram is very good.

Bman212121
10-17-09, 10:48 AM
Suppose that's a swell idea you sneaky little devil.

If the general consensus is the CPU I'll think about trying to OC the thing before I buy a new one.

Also something I'm pretty curious about, what's the relative gain from switching out ancient, we're talking IDE, harddrives for newer SATA cabled ones? Anything performance-wise?

Overall performance is very negligible between hard drives. While they might be able to load slightly faster I really wouldn't expect anything too noticeable from a hard drive upgrade.


I'd have to agree the CPU is a great place to start. WoW is very cpu dependant, so either replacing the cpu or OC'ing it will be a great idea. What cooler are you using on the processor right now?

The next most obvious would be the graphics card. While it is a decent card for it's time you can pick up a newer card for under $100 that will be at least 2x as fast. For WoW I don't think you'll even need to worry about a new GPU just yet, for some of the unreleased titles we won't know until they come out.

Your 500W PSU should be good enough to run what you want. Even a small CPU or GPU upgrade and I think you'll still be okay with that PSU.


EDIT: Here would be my top 3 picks for CPU replacements if you didn't want to OC.

$120 E7500 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115056
Cheap dual core with high speed. Not only does it run at almost 3ghz, it also has 3MB L2 cache which should also make it faster clock for clock than the E6300. This might double your cpu speed given those factors.

$168 E8400 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115037
Very good price / performance dual core. It has a full 6MB L2 cache which can mean a few hundred more mhz. Honestly though now that I'm thinking about it I don't think it's worth the extra $50 over that E7500.

$220 Q9550 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115041
One of the best price / performance quads. Fast speeds and lots of L2 cache. I wouldn't suggest a lower end quad like a Q8400 in your case as not only is is slower, it also has 1/3 the cache. Both of those are going to make it much slower than this processor.


For games a higher clocked dual is going to beat out a slower clocked quad. Most people buy quads and OC them. If that's not your thing than it is much cheaper to just get a dual core.

All 3 of those are on the supported CPU list. You will probably need a BIOS upgrade to run them though. http://www.asus.com/product.aspx?P_ID=o7He8KHagWiFxHRw&content=specifications


EDIT2: Actually here is another thought that I'd consider. Disciple Doc wants a GTX 285 and wants to get rid of a Q9550, 4GB good ram, and an Asus P5Q board. Tornadog wants to sell of his GTX 285 for $235 shipped. You could buy the GTX 285, have him ship it to Doc, then have Doc ship you his old rig. Take the parts you want and sell one of the boards and ram. You could do the whole deal for under $200 if you sold the board for $40 - 50 and the old ram for $10 - 20. The end result would be a shiny new quad and 4GB of ram.

DD's thread: http://nvnews.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=140141
Tornadog's thread: http://nvnews.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=139944

Both of those guys are long time members and have made many transactions in the F/S Thread. I'm sure they would be able to work something out.

methimpikehoses
10-17-09, 02:35 PM
That e8400 is great if you don't want to OC a quad.

CaptNKILL
10-17-09, 02:49 PM
Just make sure any CPU you get is compatible with your motherboard.

I think you need a later revision of the P5B for it to be compatible with 1333Mhz FSB CPUs. I have one and it isn't compatible with my E6750, let alone an E8400 or Q9550.

snowmanwithahat
10-17-09, 03:40 PM
I'd really have to recommend the video card... everyone else is correct in saying the cpu is limiting but some of the newer games you're mentioning the video card will be much worse.

a GTX 250 / 9800 GTX / GTX 260 would all be worthwhile and meaningful upgrades... I'd recommend either an e-bay GTX 260 if price is a concern ($110 or so) or get one from newegg new for about $150... great card for the price.

Realistically though it's all about on-par and all going to be an issue very soon. Probably your best course of action would be a video card first, a quad core (Q8300 or so) and then go ahead and upgrade the memory to any generic 4gb set and you'd be in great shape for a long time.

MustangSVT
10-17-09, 03:50 PM
Just make sure any CPU you get is compatible with your motherboard.

I think you need a later revision of the P5B for it to be compatible with 1333Mhz FSB CPUs. I have one and it isn't compatible with my E6750, let alone an E8400 or Q9550.
This is very important. I have an older Gigabyte motherboard with the P965 chipset and it's Rev1.0, and it doesn't work with an E8400 or Q95xx. I don't even think it works with an E7500. Make sure the revision you have actually works with an E8400 (or whatever CPU you want to buy) before buying the CPU.

Really, the only thing I'd recommend for you is this:

- get an aftermarket heatsink for your CPU and OC it to like 3.0 GHz. The E6400 I used to have in my board went all the way to 3.4 GHz.

- get something like a GTX 260 216SP for vid card upgrade

Those two things would probably net you the most performance increase in terms of value for your money.

Eliminator
10-17-09, 04:27 PM
the P5B deluxe will support all Core 2 cpus with the latest bios regardless of pcb revision (except the QX9770 and QX9775)... so flash to the the latest bios (1238) and then check this list to double check that the cpu is supported http://support.asus.com/cpusupport/cpusupport.aspx?SLanguage=en-us&model=P5B%20Deluxe/WiFi-AP&product=1&os=25

personally i would just overclock that cpu of yours... the arctic freezer 7 pro is a great cooler and you can find it for ~$20-25 in most places... get 2gb more ram (you need a 64bit OS dont forget)... and get a new video card... the new HD5770 looks like a good deal for $160 US on newegg...

WarGhSt
10-17-09, 08:26 PM
Really appreciate the help guys.

I think the first thing for me is to potentially pick up some new DDR800 and that Artic Cooling Freezer Pro and see what I can do with this CPU even a boost of 0.2 GHz is something. On another curious note, with my DDR667 about how much would one think I could squeeze out of my CPU?

Bman212121
10-18-09, 12:05 AM
Really appreciate the help guys.

I think the first thing for me is to potentially pick up some new DDR800 and that Artic Cooling Freezer Pro and see what I can do with this CPU even a boost of 0.2 GHz is something. On another curious note, with my DDR667 about how much would one think I could squeeze out of my CPU?

I'd think you could run a 1:1 multiplier on the ram. (FSB / DDR) That would put you at 333 fsb and 333 x 2 = 667 effective rate of your memory. That in turn would bump the cpu from 1.86ghz to 2.33ghz. (266 x 7 -> 333 x 7)

Would be the best performance overall and you can probably do it without even having to change voltages. Basically go into your bios and bump the fsb up a little at a time until you reach your goal. To do this enter the BIOS.

Goto the advanced tab, then open up jumpfree configuration. Change the AI tuning setting to manual. Then the CPU frequency should appear. It should start at 266. Slowly bump it up to something like 280. Change the DRAM Frequency from auto to DDR2-667. (I think, the manual isn't very descriptive) Change the PCI-Express Frequency from auto to 100. Change the PCI clock to 33.33mhz. Change Spread Spectrum from auto to disabled.

Then goto back out to the Advanced tab again. Choose the CPU configuration option. In here Disable C1E Support and Intel Speedstep Tech. (C1E is advanced halt states to help cool the processor. It is useful for lower power consumption but might interfere with overclocking. Speedstep will mess with your multipliers and will also make overclocking not work correctly. It might be possible to turn C1E support back on after you test your final OC.)

Once the changes are made save the settings and reboot the pc. If it posts you can go back into the bios. Then goto the Advanced tab, and Jumperfree configuration. Take and give the CPU frequency another bump from 280 to 290. Save and try to boot the pc again. If it works boot into windows and maybe run a quick test of Prime95. If it doesn't work some pcs will simply revert back to stock settings, others may require you to clear the CMOS somehow. I'm not 100% sure how Asus handles this. Worst case just pull the CMOS battery and unplug the system. This should clear it. Then you can give it another go.

Keep repeating this process until you reach 333 mhz CPU frequency. Once you get there then you can do a final Prime95 test for a longer period of time to make sure everything is running okay. All of the voltages are set to auto, so even if you need a slight voltage increase the board should be able to do it automatically. Normally people would set voltages themselves, but since this is a more mild OC I find it much easier to simply let the board figure it out. My Q6600 I just left set to auto to go from 2.4 to 3.0ghz, and it changes everything as needed.

Good luck and happy OCing. If you need any clarification or any additional help just post and someone should be able to advise.

EDIT: I was thinking about this and just to give you some piece of mind the OC I suggested really isn't overclocking anything. The ram is going to be running at stock clocks, and should give best performance when running at a 1:1 ratio like it would be. DDR2-800 isn't even necessary to hit the numbers I suggested. The next thing is that your board supports processors with a 1333 fsb. So even though we are moving the Front Side Bus from 1066 to 1333 (266 x 4 -> 333 x 4), it not going past the advertised specs of the motherboard. The CPU is getting a healthy 25% increase, but here's the thing. CPUs are just binned based on certain traits. Your CPU is basically the same thing as an E6600 that runs at 2.4ghz stock. Chances are part of the L2 cache on the CPU was bad so instead of being used as an E6600 it was used as an E6300 instead. It can 24/7 at the higher speeds, but they didn't need the higher clocked part so they just slowed it down. I'd still suggest getting a better cooler like CaptNKill suggested, but you might not even need it just to get your cpu up to the target speed.