August 11, 2011
OK...first the disclaimer: I am not a hardware guy. I'm good at troubleshooting broken hardware, but I'm not one of those who sits down with a calculator to figure out if he has a big enough power supply. If something doesn't work, I buy a bigger one. The shiny boxes help too.
That said --
I don't know what card you have now, so comparisons are difficult. Looking at your mobo / processor combination though, I'm inclined to think your money would be better spent on replacing your processor. The Gigabyte board will support a Dual Core Pentium. Essentially, this will allow your Graphics intensive software to run on one core, and your Windows 'stuff' to be relegated to the other (in theory, of course).
My other thought is, that without knowing what software you're running and what limitations you're seeing, it's hard to guess whether this card would fix that problem.
It looks like a nice card. more than I would spend on a card, but the most taxing thing I do on mine is watch youtube.
The best answer is [i:1ziet9na]it depends[/i:1ziet9na]. That's a lot of help, isn't it?
Graphics cards make huge improvements in games at high resolutions, difficult lighting effects, high definition playback, and some video transcoding. The CPU can make huge improvements in everything else, and video playback in many games. If your CPU is running over 50% during any of these games, or activities, then a new CPU will help. It will run quieter and cooler and have more reserve for the tasks that are running in the background or multitasking. This is true of any computer.
That said, there are other factors that play into this. Are you running a 32bit OS? A 32bit OS can only address 4GB of memory and that includes hardware, so a 1GB video card will reduce your total available RAM for other tasks. This means that adding a 1GB video card may reduce your 4GB of available RAM to 3GB. Another issue is whether the video card (either the new one or old one) uses shared RAM. Cards with higher onboard RAM usually use less, or none, of the RAM on your computer. If it does (you can usually control this through the cards software) then you are losing the RAM available do to the amount shared with the video card AND the 4GB address limit.
If I were you, I would get the fastest dual core the motherboard will take (and you can afford) and the new graphics card. The new card will reduce the total available RAM on your system, but the improved video ability will help with games, and (hopefully) not make a huge difference in other computing needs. Most people can handle a slightly slower computer on non game tasks(less RAM), as long as their games play well(better video, less stuttering during rendering).
If you still want more speed I would look into changing to a 64bit OS (NOT XP) and go to 6GB or 8GB of RAM - it's cheap. Of course you will want to verify that your games will run on 64bit, and I believe most will now.
That's my .02
August 11, 2011
Hey Madala - First off you must make sure exactly what level of CPU technology your motherboard supports. I looked up the specs for your motherboard on the net but couldn't find an exact match for the model number you posted; you posted: Gigabyte GA-35C-DS3R Motherboard------Closest match was: GA-[b:j8rnhk25]P[/b:j8rnhk25]35C-DS3R (note the 'P' which was missing from your description).
If that is your motherboard the specs suggest it definitely supports quad core technology....you can view the full spec sheet here:
http://www.ciao.co.uk/Gigabyte_GA_P35C_ ... ductdetail
Either of those processors will do a very good job for you. You can go to this site to view all the specs for the entire range of Intel Core 2 processors:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_In ... processors
It's difficult to make a definitive recommendation because we are unsure of exactly what it is you are hoping to achieve or how much influence pricing may have on your decision. You will see from that site, the Q8200 costs around $40.00us more than the E8400. If you can afford it, I would probably suggest going for the Q8200 but please make absolutely sure it is compatible with your motherboard first.
At the same time, you may also want to look into upgrading your RAM. The specs for the GA-P35C-DS3R mobo suggest it will be backwards compatible with your existing RAM but the whole setup will be more efficient with a RAM upgrade to match/suit the new CPU.
Just in case you haven't done this yet...
You may want to go to the Motherboard manufacturer's site and download/install the latest BIOS before you change the CPU. Sometimes the mobo ships with a BIOS that supports the CPUs available at the time of design, but not CPU's released after. Doing this before you upgrade ensures you have a working computer to perform the update on!
Hey Madala - That's some pretty good advice from Dave....I hadn't considered that one but it is a very good thought.
Your mobo definitely supports quad core and DDR3 RAM also....check it out here:
http://www.gigabyte.com.tw/Products/Mot ... uctID=2740
Your friend is correct, the E8400 is the faster of the two but the quad core processors are generally better for multi-tasking. From what you have now said I too think the E8400 will do you nicely.
Also, before jumping off the 32bit platform I suggest you do some research. Yes 64bit allows for more RAM and has other advantages but it also comes with one big disadvantage....limited availability of supported software!
That situation is improving but still better to make sure your favourite programs and especially the games will work in a 64bit system [i:3f7d7hhz]before[/i:3f7d7hhz] you make the transition.
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