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Upgrade advice

By JohnD212
Jul 22, 2010
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  1. Sorry if this is in the wrong spot...here is the system I currently have:

    Alienware
    Intel QuadCore QX9770 CPU 3.20
    Nvidia 790I Ultra SLI Motherboard
    2 GB DDR3 1333MHZ RAM
    Nvidia GTX280 video card
    Windows 7 Home
    750W PSU

    Besides buying a whole new computer...is there anything in particular I can upgrade that will give me a boost?

    Can I upgrade this set up to the Intel Core i7?

    I have always just bought a new computer but figured I might want to consider upgrading first before spending all that money.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 12,166   +37

    Is your OS 32-bit?
     
  3. JMMD

    JMMD TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,177

    You could add some more ram (2GB) or add another video card/new video card. The socket type for i7 and i5/i3 processors would not be compatible with your motherboard.

    Where are you seeing slow down? I assume it's in games but which games and what resolution do you play at?
     
  4. JohnD212

    JohnD212 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I'm running 32bit. I actually have 4GB of RAM (knowing a portion isn't being recognized under the 32bit OS). I'm not really seeing any major slow down but looking towards the future of some games (such as Final Fantasy XIV) I see it calling for Core i7 etc...so I started wondering about upgrading parts of my system. I paid a premium for this system so it would stay functional longer and for the most part it is.

    Can anyone suggest a good video card upgrade? I'm thinking of jumping ship and going from Nividia to the Radeon cards...say the 5850 or 5870. If I currently have the GTX280 will that give me a good pump in graphics power?
     
  5. Xecutor

    Xecutor TS Rookie Posts: 141

    You could always switch just the mobo and cpu, and maybe get the cheaper P55 mobos, and still be able to re-use everything else. You'll still be able to get a core i7 on an 1156 socket, and still use the same RAM-Kit. Also, DO upgrade to Win 7-64 bit plz. World of difference in performance.
    But if you're thinking of getting a core i7 920+ you will need an X58 mobo that supports the LGA1366 socket, and you may need to change the RAM.

    The GPU is ok I think, personally, but if you feel like upgrading it, then your choice of a 5850 or 5870 is great, but consider getting a GTX 470/480 if you can afford it.

    Also, what is your intended budget for an upgrade, and what resolution do you game at?
     
  6. JohnD212

    JohnD212 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Well my budget for a Video card upgrade would be around $500. I currently game on a 22inch wide screen monitor at 1680X1050. I realize that these cards really cut loose when they run at higher resolutions but space constraints keep me from going to anything much bigger. I think at this point it wouldn't make much sense to change everything in my system just to upgrade to Core i7. I like the 470/480 cards but my impression of them is that they aren't much better than the 5870 but run much hotter, consume a lot more power and create a lot more noise.
     
  7. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,906   +90

    A pair of GTX 460's beat up good on a GTX 480, and for $100 less. you could add a third on that board in the future as well. I believe your board only supports SLI, not crossfire (confirm that)
    That would run anything at high res/high detail. I would also switch over to the 64 bit version of 7 as well so you can add RAM.
    This of course is based on you getting a bigger monitor. A single GTX 460 at 1680 x 1050 will suffice if you are after DX11.
     
  8. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,900   +711

    I wouldn't be considering a whole system upgrade with your setup unless you are looking at resale value of the main system components you have.
    A QX9770+ 790i U would have cost you an arm and a leg not so long ago (having owned an EVGA 790i U I can say it's probably the most expensive board I've ever owned) and the combination will still provide a pretty potent performance level.
    At 1680x1050, as red has mentioned, the GTX 460 1Gb makes a compelling argument for DX11 gaming, sound levels and thermals -this last parameter probably reasonably important since (if your using stock 790i U cooling) the chipset fan will be taking air directly off the back of the card. A HD 5850 won't give you much more performance at your resolution (nor 1920x1080 if you decide to change monitor in the 22-24" category)
    A 64 bit Win 7 to make maximum use of your RAM (and maybe consider an SSD as your OS/program drive) and then you're probably good to go.
    My $0.02. Good luck with the upgrade.
     
  9. JohnD212

    JohnD212 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for all the advice...I think for now I'll look to purchase the GTX460 which should give me a little punch the games I'm playing. I might also look into a SSD in the near future. The system did cost me a lot and I plan to get at least another year out of it.
     


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