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PC upgrades

  Boxster S
I've decieded that it's time to upgrade the PC and I'm looking for the following:

What's the best CPU going at the moment? I've got between £400-£500 to spend on the lot, and I've read a lot of good things about the Intel 2 Core CPU. I'm not really looking for gaming performance but stuff like Photoshop, 3d Max and After Effects performance.

I want it to have a 10/100/1000 LAN on board, PCi Express (Do I need PCI Express x16 for the best performance with graphics cards)

I've seen these deals, but I'm not sure what sort of motherboard it is.

Cheers in advance!
Firstly decide on a CPU before anything else. Conroe Core Duo is owning AMD at the moment but with your price range I would choose an AMD X2 in socket 939. The 939 pin X2s are going for silly cheap prices just now, and are still a fantastic CPU.

Decide on a CPU first, then a mobo to accept it, then the graphics. If you wont be playing games then your budget should swing in favour of a a better CPU. Alaso take into account your existing memory. You dont want to be buying an AM2 DDR2 board if the memory you want to use is DDR. Another reason to go Socket 939.

OCUK are selling the X2 4800+ (939) for £200 this week only. That would be a good CPU for you, leaving c. £300 for a good mobo and good gfx.

EDIT: Just realised you want RAM too. Those Intel packages look like good value :)
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  Boxster S
Don't really need the GFX card, should be able to pick one up from work. So I'm think those intel combos do llok like good value.
  ex Clio 172 owner :(
Do what I'm gonna do:

I've currently got an Athlon 3000XP chip, with MSI KT6V-L mobo with 2x512mb ram, ATI 9800 Pro gfx card...

You can get mobo's with AGP AND PCI express slots, such as the ASRock one (bottom one on this page) £40

Then get a AMD Dual Core 64bit chip 4600 from ebuyer for £157.

You may be able to use your existing ram depending on what you have but you'll defo be able to use your existing graphics card. With the mobo being agp & pci-e you can always upgrade the graphics at a later date.
Thats why I recommended the 4800+ as it's on special offer at OCUK and also has the 1mb L2 cache.

However, in Penfolds case, and with his graphic needs, ie. he doesnt really need a very good one within his budget, I'd definitely say he's better off going for the mid range Conroe setup. He can also add a better gfx card at a later date and he's got a kick ass Conroe gaming setup.
Core Duo E6600 and above is the Conroe core. Below the 6600 is the Allendale core. It's the Conroe doing maximum ownage. It has a 4mb L2 as opposed to 2mb (Allendale) and faster clocks.
  Boxster S
Darren S said:
If you're into doing graphics, I'd suggest to keep an eye out on the nVidia Quadro cards. Unlike the other nVidia cards that are focused on games - these are aimed at CAD and animation work.

Horrendously expensive from new, but you maybe able to pick up a 2nd hand one of FleaBay for a fair bit less?


I might be able to put my hands on a Quadro 4000 which is going spare at work at the moment :D
  Monaro VXR
ATI cards you used to be able to soft mod into fire cards (basically like nvidias quadro) so worth looking out for them as well.