£350 Upgrade. Some advice please.

Associate
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25 Sep 2010
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Okay I've had my current pc for about 2 and a half years and its now in need of an upgrade. Unfortunately I only have £350 to spend so I'm hoping I can just add to some of the parts I've already got.

My current specs are -

Midi-Tower ATX Case +550W PSU
PCI Express SLI nForce 650i SLI(C55) - Intel Core 2 Duo/Quad-Core - ATX
Q6600 Quad Core Processor(2.4GHz,8MB Cache,1066MHz)
3GB DDR2 667MHz Memory (2x 1GB)
768MB nVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTX - Dual DVI, HDTV, TV-Out
160gb hard drive with windows 7 installed

My current 500gb barracuda 7200 hard drive with windows vista is buggered so I'll be replacing it with the 160gb one so a new hard drive is a must.

Wishlist -

1TB hard drive
new case
4gb to 6gb ram / I'm wondering if my motherboard supports ddr3 ?
fan for my cpu so i can overclock it, ive heard the Q6600 is very overclockable but recent attempts with current fan make it far too hot
Graphics card if my budget allows.

Any help and/or advice would be much appreciated.
 
Associate
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22 Sep 2010
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The question is, what do you do with your PC most?

That would depend what you want to spend your money on.

Also, what Windows 7 do you have 32 or 64? You are limited to 4gb with 32bit OSs.
 
Soldato
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No, your board don't use DDR3 RAMs.

Something like this may be?
q6600upgradeparts.jpg

The PSU upgrade is assuming you are using a crap generic PSU, but if you are using a decent branded PSU, then you don't have to. If you don't have to upgrade PSU because it is a decent branded 550W, then you can use the money to get the 1GB HDD+case.

As for overclocking the Q6600, you won't overclock it further than 3.15GHz stable because of chipset limitation of your board (my own motherboard got the same chipset), so the Cooler Master 212 is more than enough and not needing high end cooler.
 
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Associate
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Thanks for the response.

My current PSU is a hec 550 TD PTE. I think it is just a generic one so probably will have to replace it.

So you think thats about the best i can buy for the budget ?

I would really like a new case aswell. I like the look of this one -

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=CA-212-CM&groupid=701&catid=7&subcat=

Will all the components fit ok in that case, also how hard is the motherboard to fit and is the card a big improvement on the 8800 gtx ?
 
Associate
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Good case, will fit all your stuff.
4850 to GTX 460 was a great improvement, so a GTX 460 would be awesome for you.
 
Soldato
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What res do you game at? If you are gaming at 1680x1050 or lower, then you can cut back from the Gigabyte GTX460 1GB down to a MSI Cyclone GTX460 768MB (£129.99) and save yourself £35. Even the GTX460 768MB should be around 80~100% faster than your 8800GTX, and that's not even counting you can overclock the GTX460 like mad.

There's no data for the 8800GTX on AnandTech, but I can tell you that 8800GTX is slightly slower than a HD4850, and here's a comparison betweem 4850 and a GTX460 768MB:
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/177?vs=156

Also, the PSU not neccessarily need to be that high in watts, a decent 500W~600W also would do. Such as this:
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=CA-037-OC&groupid=701&catid=123&subcat=1098
 
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Associate
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yeah my current moniter only supports 1680 x 1050

did you mean this card -

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=GX-238-AS

and if I did get that one I could downgrade to this PSU -

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showpr...23&subcat=1098

upgrade would be -

Asus GeForce GTX 460 Direct CU TOP 768MB GDDR5 PCI-Express Graphics Card
Kingston HyperX 4GB (2x2GB) DDR2 8500C5 1066MHz Dual Channel (KHX8500D2K2/4G)
Coolermaster CM-690 II Lite Dominator Case - Black
Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus (Socket AM2/AM2+/AM3/775/1156/1366)
OCZ ModXStream Pro 500w Silent SLI Certified Modular Power Supply

Total - £348.27
 
Soldato
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Asus GeForce GTX 460 Direct CU TOP 768MB GDDR5 PCI-Express Graphics Card
Kingston HyperX 4GB (2x2GB) DDR2 8500C5 1066MHz Dual Channel (KHX8500D2K2/4G)
Coolermaster CM-690 II Lite Dominator Case - Black
Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus (Socket AM2/AM2+/AM3/775/1156/1366)
OCZ ModXStream Pro 500w Silent SLI Certified Modular Power Supply

Total - £348.27
Looks good. As for the GTX460 768MB between the Asus DirectCU and MSI Cyclone:
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=GX-238-AS&groupid=701&catid=56&subcat=1830
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=GX-093-MS&groupid=701&catid=56&subcat=1830

Asus's offer 3 years warranty and cost £5 less, but the MSI Cyclone offer better and quieter cooler at the cost of £5 more and 1 less year warranty. So it's up to you to decide which one you prefer ;)
 
Soldato
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Forgot to mention. Just use the new Kingston 4GB memory you are getting. Sell off your old 667MHz rams (or give to family member or friends who need it) and DO NOT try to use it with the new RAMs.
 
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