1. #1

    Upgrading for Cata

    My system will be about 2 years old by the time we see Cata (note: WoW is the only thing I do on this computer), so I'm thinking about upgrading a bit. Here's what I have so far:

    - RAIDMAX SMILODON Extreme Black ATX-612WEBP 1.0mm SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Foldout MB Computer Case With 500W Power Supply
    - GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3R LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard
    - ASUS EAH4850 TOP/HTDI/512M Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
    - Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor BX80570E8400
    - G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-8500CL5D-4GBPK
    - Seagate SV35.3 ST3500320SV 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive -Bare Drive
    - SAMSUNG 22X DVD Burner Black SATA Model SH-S223F - OEM
    - Microsoft Windows XP Home SP3 for System Builders - OEM

    This was the first computer I ever built myself and I just had a friend suggest parts for me, so I really had little involvement in choosing specs and whatnot. I'm still not well versed, but from reading up a bit, I think I can safely upgrade what I currently have rather than starting from scratch (correct me if that's not the case here).

    From what I've been reading, it sounds like WoW tends to bottleneck on the processor, so I'm guessing that would be the first place to look, but I don't know if a new one would be compatible with the mobo I have. Seems like I could upgrade the GPU for a quick boost as well (seen lots of good things about gtx 460, so thinking that's a good bet). I'm worried about the 500W power supply though, and whether or not I can upgrade that without getting a new case since the one I have came with the case. And speaking of the case, is it a piece of crap? It's nothing pretty to look at with the green lighting, but I could care less about looks as long as I'm getting the cooling I need.

    I don't need a super-duper amazing setup, just something that is comfortable near the top end of the spectrum and so I can enjoy all the cool new graphics features in Cata. I could dump $5-700 or more into it if it needs that much work, but of course the less I spend, the better. Ideally I'd drop ~$500 to say upgrade the processor, GPU, and maybe the power supply, but again, I don't know if that's realistic.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

  2. #2
    Any significant upgrade is going to require almost a complete overhaul, you could stick with the 4850, but switching to a DX11 capable video card may be worth it for Cataclysm. To move to LGA1156 you'll need a new motherboard, CPU, and memory, and you'll likely want a better power supply to go along with it. You'll also want to consider going to Windows 7 pretty soon. Without Windows and a video card I'd say that would approach $500 USD, with a video card you would probably be pushing the high end of your budget of $700.

    The other option would be an AMD upgrade, it would most likely cut about $50 from the total.
    Errors using inadequate data are much less than those using no data at all. - Charles Babbage

  3. #3
    Saving $50 isn't going to do much for me; my budget isn't that tight, just more of a ballpark. What is "LGA1156"?

  4. #4
    LGA 1156 is Intel's 'i' series mainstream socket name.
    Errors using inadequate data are much less than those using no data at all. - Charles Babbage

  5. #5
    Ah, I see. So basically I'd have to start fresh to get any significant performance improvements over what I have now?

    Also, if I just wanted to upgrade to Win7, which version should I get?

  6. #6
    Moderator Cilraaz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaimelannister View Post
    Ah, I see. So basically I'd have to start fresh to get any significant performance improvements over what I have now?

    Also, if I just wanted to upgrade to Win7, which version should I get?
    Pretty much. You have an LGA775 socket. There aren't really any CPUs for that socket that would bring your system "current". If you're sticking with Intel, you'd be looking at either an LGA1156 system (i5, i7 8xx) or LGA 1366 (i7 9xx). The LGA1366 will be a bit more expensive and (for WoW purposes) not be much of a performance gain.

    For Win7, I believe Home Premium is the version of choice for gamers. Ultimate has a bunch of junk that you don't really need on a gaming computer (like disk encryption, etc).

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by jaimelannister View Post
    Ah, I see. So basically I'd have to start fresh to get any significant performance improvements over what I have now?
    That's pretty much it. But as I said, you could keep the 4850 for now and wait until we see whether or not there's any major difference using a DX11 capable card vs a DX10 capable card, as far as I know they're focusing on performance increases using Shader Model 4.0/5.0 while trying to make it look identical on DX9 as on DX11.
    Errors using inadequate data are much less than those using no data at all. - Charles Babbage

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