Need Some Computer Advice (Contemplating Upgrades)

So I’ve been contemplating some much needed computer upgrades to my system and then I thought hey, my readers are some pretty smart and opinionated people, I’ll make a blog post! It also helps me to write stuff like this down (err, well, so to speak, I assure you there was no pen to paper in the making of this post). So here’s my current desktop more or less

  • Q6700 Quad Core Processor @2.67Ghz
  • Asus P5QL Pro (Motherboard)
  • 8GB DDR2 @800MHz
  • GeForce GTX 560 Ti with a slight factory overclock
  • 4x 750 GB HDD in RAID 10 (7200 RPM each)

As you can tell my processor is getting a bit…old. There I said it, it’s old! The damn thing must be 4 years old by now, if not more (might be as much as 6, I can’t remember). This processor has seen 3 graphics cards come and go, it’s gotten to the point where it can’t handle being overclocked anymore, the system simply won’t take it.

So it’s time for an upgrade, problem is the Q6700 still uses a 775 socket which pretty much isn’t used anymore, which means I need a new motherboard. As luck would have it DDR2 has pretty much been phased out so that means I’d need to replace my memory at the same time. Don’t get me wrong the mobo and the RAM needs to get replaced as well, it’s just a pain in the wallet to have to do it in one fell swoop.

The processors I’m looking at right now are

Now normally the i7 would be a tad out of my price range but it’s on sale right now from Tiger Direct for $294.97 while the i5 is on sale for $229.97. I figure with how long my old processor lasted me I’ll have to get many years out of this new one so I might as well chip in a few extra dollars to get it to stretch all that more further.

I’d also have to buy a new mobo, and since each processor uses a different socket which motherboard I get will depend on what processor I ultimately chose. The likely candidates are

Ouch, and those are the cheapest options available too. The upside of the 151-SE-E777-K2 is that it has all the bells and whistles, everything from USB 3.0 to SLI $ CrossfireX capabilities (not that I’d ever see myself needing more than one video card).

Finally, lets look at the memory. Luckily the memory is pretty standard and should work with any motherboard I buy, but some options are

The GA-H55M-S2V can only handle up to 1600 MHz RAM while the 151-SE-E777-K2 can handle all the way up to 2133 MHz so I picked out two examples from each category. Luckily there isn’t a huge price discrepancy for my target of 8GB of RAM (which I currently have now and is doing me quite nicely).

So lets break it down to basically what I have illustrated as two example

i5-3570K, Z68A-G43, DDR3-1866MHz $475.96 retail, $359.92 sale
i7-3820, 151-SE-E777-K2, DDR3-2133 MHz $693.97 retail, on sale for $568.95

Yikes, so it looks like I’m not going to be going with the i7-3820, there’s just no way I can justify spending that much money. Even the i5-3570K package I’ve picked out is fairly expensive.

Maybe I can find some middle ground here…

About the author

Eric Dekker

Gamer. Student. Nerd. Author of The Golden Crusade. Find him on + and Twitter.


  1. farli

    i5 2500k is $220 (but it is 2 years old in January ) the i5-3570k is a very small upgrade on it in games like wow (cant find a graph but think its a 4-5 fps difference)



    I’d go for i5 and a decent motherboard because this gives you the option of getting a higher stable overclock which will further extend the life of your CPU. I run mine at 4.5ghz on a budget cooler (hyper 212 = £20)

    i use an Asrock extreme 4 Gen 3 mobo get 1333 or1600mhz ram you wont notice faster ram while gaming. Also i think significantly faster RAM might limit your overclock potential unless you do some major fiddling not worth hassle imo.

    1. Eric Dekker

      Hmmm was reading those threads and apparently they recommend the 2500k for gaming over the 3570k because it has better overclocking abilities. Grr there’s just way to many options for CPUs they need to simplify these things :P

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