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Thread: Advice on a hardware upgrade needed please

  1. #1

    Default Advice on a hardware upgrade needed please

    I would like some advice on whether I can upgrade my pc and whether it is actually WORTH upgrading.

    Current HW:
    CPU: Core I3-2100 @ 3.10Ghz
    Motherboard: Foxconn H61MXT1/F2/-S/-V
    Chipset: H61
    RAM: Transcend 4mb DDR-133mhz (1 Dimm and space for another)
    GPU: Nvidia Geforce 7600 GT
    Power Supply: XGR ATX 450w

    SW:
    Window 7 Home Basic 32bit

    My questions are based on the current motherboard:
    1. Can I update to a core i5 and which particular model?
    2. Can I put two DIMMs in to make 8gb RAM
    3. Can I run faster RAM?
    4. What GPU (no more than R2000)
    5. What power supply based on the above.
    6. Upgrade worth it or buy new? (Budget for upgrade R4000-R5000)
    7. Will the upgrade have a noticeable performance increase for gaming? Right now struggling to play old games like War in the North and Stalker on more than minimum detail.

  2. #2

    Default

    1. It's a socket LGA 1155 board, so any LGA 1155 CPUs should work. These are the CPUs that start with the model number 2 or 3, for example i5 3470 and you have an i3 2100.
    2. Windows 32bit only see a maximum of 4gb system memory, so to utilize 8gb you'll need to switch to 64bit Windows. If you want to stick with Windows 32bit, it would be better if you can get 2x 2gb DIMMS to utilize the dual channel advantage.
    3. It will work, but it will run at 1,333Mhz unless you overclock. There are other, more substantial improvements to be made anyway (point 4), so forget about RAM speeds.
    4. 7600 GT. Well, there's your problem right there. This is the reason your games performance sucks, dude. There are a few options for under R2,000, but I recommend this: hd7790-1gb. You also get a free game of your choice.
    5. The one you've got will be fine.
    6. With that budget, rather upgrade.
    7. Huge.

    Just my opinion. Other guys would probably disagree on the finer points, but what I would do is:
    Get Windows 64bit and another 4gb DIMM.
    Keep the CPU you have. The i3 2100 is far from top range, but it is ok for gaming. If you feel you HAVE to change the CPU, given your budget, get an i3-3240. An i5-3470 would be nice, but that would leave too little of your budget for a GPU (where the real issue is).
    Use the money you have left for a better GPU. Maybe HD 7870 or 7950.
    Last edited by Mister 44; 04-09-2013 at 02:42 PM.
    One day, I'll grow up and become responsible.
    Probably not today.

  3. #3

    Default

    Like Mister 44 said, and just to recap.

    Get a 64-bit OS, an extra 4GB of ram will help, a better GPU will make a difference and if you still have money in the bank chuck in an i5.

    Just a question on your OS, do you have a retail copy or an OEM copy? The retail copy ships with a 32 and 64 bit disk, so it wont cost you a cent, however if you have an OEM copy you are stuck and will have to get Windows 8 unless you can dig up a 64-bit copy of 7

  4. #4

    Default

    Hi I have an OEM copy of Windows 7. Thanks for the valuable information gents

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by PsychoFish View Post
    however if you have an OEM copy you are stuck and will have to get Windows 8 unless you can dig up a 64-bit copy of 7
    OEM copies don't carry any restrictions beyond a few rules about how it may be sold. Moving from 32-bit to a 64-bit install is the same process as the retail license, only you may be required to phone the automated Microsoft activation hotline. If it was a DSP license, then that's a little different, but OEM and retail licenses aren't very different.

  6. #6

    Default

    GPU is your main bottleneck in your system. The CPU will do the job for gaming, unless you buy a very good GPU which will have a bottleneck then (That is out of your budget anyway). A power supply of about 500w will be good for your system and won't cost an arm and a leg. Some more RAM would be nice but is not your biggest problem at the moment (especially as you have a 32bit OS).

    With that motherboard you won't get any overclocking capabilities so stay away from high-end and "K" series CPUs. An 3rd gen i5 would be a nice upgrade, but you can do this in the near future.

    The upgrade will definitely be worth it

  7. #7

    Default

    My 2 cents... gonna deviate a bit from your question since everyone else already answered:

    Keep your operating system and ram as is... it's fine. I'm not sure if you're playing old games because that's all you can play or if you're doing it because it's what you enjoy it but running old games on 64 bit Windows 7 is a pain in the ass.

    These lists are a bit of an over simplification but they compare really old tech (like your graphics card) to new tech:

    Tomshardware CPU gaming comparison


    Tomshardware GPU comparison

    What I'd do: Get an i5 2300, a 7770/7790/gtx650, a sexy power supply (preferably modular... like a Corsair CX500M) and a nice windowed case with a black interior and space for cable management but that's just me.

    You'll probably have to buy the i5 second hand (not sure if it's sold anymore)

  8. #8

    Default

    When looking to upgrade I pretty much take what Tomshardware says as gold. They're really awesome and in depth

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