A slight upgrade or a full upgrade.... that is the question

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Hi guys my current spec is this....

Intel Core 2 DUO E6300 "LGA775 Allendale" 1.86GHz (1066FSB)
Gigabyte GA_965P_DS3 (Socket 775)
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 320GB ST3320620AS SATA-II 16MB Cache
NEC AD7170A 18x18 DVD±RW Dual Layer ReWriter (Black)
Sony Floppy Drive
Antec Sonata III Piano Black Quiet Case - Antec 500W Smart Power PSU
GeIL 3GB (3x1GB) PC6400 800MHz Ultra Low Latency DDR2 Dual Channel Kit (The other stick gave up on me and gave me blue screens)
Scythe Ninja Plus Rev.B Heatpipe CPU Cooler
HIS ATI Radeon X1900 XT ICEQ 3 SILENT Heatpipe 256MB

I built this 3 years ago now and its showing its age now, cant run the newer games now at the quality i want them to be played. And with the release of NFS shift, Call of duty coming out soon and windows 7 around the corner it needs an upgrade.

I would like to spend 350ish but am i in a positon just to upgrade a few bits and bobs and keep up with the new games for the next 2 years or do i just bite the bullet and go all out and buy what i need to run these games?

Out of that 350 i would like to buy a new faster HD and install windows 7 on that.

Whats your opinions guys have i got the base just to do a few upgrades?
 
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Have you clocked the CPU? If not then clock it, if youre not happy doing this it may be worth spending a little here, obviously for gaming gfx card will be biggest effect
E5300 £53 optional
4890 £127 essential
You may need a new PSU, depends on the connections, if so this 650W coolermaster is great value
F3 HDD at £42
 
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Thanks guys, how long till the DX11 cards are out?

I was thinking maybe this maybe i dont need to spend this much?....

XFX ATI Radeon HD 4890 XTX XXX Edition 1024MB GDDR5 PCI-Express Graphics Card (Includes Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X.) £152.98

Intel Core 2 Quad Q6700 LGA775 "Kentsfield" 2.66GHz (1066FSB) £129.98

SpinPoint F3 1TB SATA-II 32MB Cache - OEM (HD103SJ) £59.98

Corsair XMS2 2GB (2x1GB) DDR2 6400C4 TwinX Dual Channel £29.99

Total : £383.87

Mboard spec btw http://www.gigabyte.com.tw/Products...rboard&ProductID=2314&ProductName=GA-965P-DS3
 
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No i havent overclocked it, i had a go and the system just wasnt stable. So i gave up and put it back to stock lol
 
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You have a similar spec to me, I have:

E4300 1.8GHz @ 3GHz (+ Scythe Ninja Rev.B)
GA-P31-DS3L
HD 4890
2x2Gb OCZ GOLD PC2-8500 RAM
Maxtor 500Gb (Want to replace with a SSD, but money's tight)
2x320Gb WD HDDs in RAID 0 on a Silimage faux-raid card

I was after a boost in performance on GTA-IV, so I upgraded my 8600gt 256Mb for an HD Radeon 4890 (1Gb). Unfortunately, it turned out to be a CPU bottleneck :p.

The 4890 is an amazing card though, and even if you can't quite reach it price-wise I'd recommend a 4870 1Gb or even 512Mb just as highly.
If you're playing most games, 1.8GHz dual core is no longer enough (even my 66% OC won't run GTA IV above 10fps on lowest settings). That's why I'm saving for a Core 2 Quad (Q9550 specifically, although the Q9450 below is very cheap).

If you get a stable OC of 3GHz or above, then you can run most games on that - Even the recommended CPU for Shift is only(!) a 2.5GHz dual core. If you can't, spend the rest of your budget on an E8400 or go straight for quad (although E8400s are generally recommended because of their excellent OC capability (4GHz and more), so if your mobo won't OC it won't help much).

If you've got £350, that's £125 for an HD4890, leaving £225 for a quad - which will buy you (almost) any standard core 2 quad you like:
Here's OcUK's selection - Check out the Offer on the Q9450 this week! £130 for a 2.66GHz Core 2 Quad with 12Mb L2 cache?!? That's crazy (Being pushed down by i5)

EDIT:
Your motherboard doesn't support FSB 1333, so either you'd have to replace that (don't go for my one, it doesn't support more that 2 pieces of double-sided RAM at a time, which sucks) or get one of the Q6x00 series, which have the 1066FSB which your motherboard supports. The Q6700 on the above list is also £130, and offers the same speed as the Q9450. The only difference is that it has 2/3 the amount of cache. But seeing as you're upgrading from an E6xxx, it's not going to matter so much.

So that's this:
Powercolor ATI Radeon HD 4890 1024MB GDDR5 TV-Out/Dual DVI/HDMI (PCI-Express) - Retail £126.99 (£110.43)
Intel Core 2 Quad Q6700 LGA775 "Kentsfield" 2.66GHz (1066FSB) - OEM £129.98 (£113.03)

£256.97 - That leaves ~£95 to spend on a faster HDD/SSD:
Samsung SpinPoint F3 500GB SATA-II 16MB Cache - OEM (HD502HJ) £41.99 (£36.51)
(2x the above in RAID 0, which I believe your motherboard supports, if you're feeling adventurous)

Or the one below (as he put it):
would be v nice
- The one below is a lot better, but it's your decision whether you want that £50-£130 in the bank still. If you get the one below, you'll still have your current one which you could sell or find some use for. (The Scythe will fit either CPU/Socket (if you still have the alternative back-plates) so no worries there. Bear in mind that if you go for the option below - and use your Scythe on it - but still want to use your current rig as well, then you'll have to dig up an LGA775 cooler from somewhere)
 
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little bit over, but would be v nice

Powercolor ATI Radeon HD 4890 1024MB GDDR5 TV-Out/Dual DVI/HDMI (PCI-Express) - Retail £126.99 (£110.43)
AMD Phenom II X3 Tri Core 720 Black Edition 2.80GHz (Socket AM3) - Retail £97.99 (£85.21)
Asus M4A785D-M Pro AMD 785G (Socket AM3) PCI-Express DDR2 Motherboard £57.99 (£50.43)
Coolermaster eXtreme Power 650W Power Supply £43.99 (£38.25)
Samsung SpinPoint F3 500GB SATA-II 16MB Cache - OEM (HD502HJ) £41.99 (£36.51)
Total : £368.95

Edit: if the 350 is strict then drop gfx down to 1gig 4870
 
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Thats excellent guys, brilliant information. Going to look over some reviews now and decide on my options, tempted me now to change my motherboard now hehe!

BTW whats this raid 0 i keep hearing about with regards to the harddrive?
 
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