It's about time for a computer upgrade

I find myself on the receiving end of a "new" computer from work and thought I'd ask the tech savy folk here at GWJ for their opinions on upgrades etc. My current home PC is barely acceptable as a computer and is really only viable for emailing/internet and games from 2004 and earlier (Yes, I'm still playing Sim City 4 & X-Com). While I'm not shooting for high end performance I'd like to be able to use this new machine to get back into PC gaming and play all the games I've purchased on Steam and haven't been able to run :(. While not a professional, I feel I'm tech savy enough that I'll be making any upgrades myself.

In the next week or so I should be getting a old Dell XPS 600:
3.2 GHz Pentium D
Nvidia GeForce 7800GTX (x2)
DVD R/W drive
CD R/W drive
230 GB HD

Should I be making any upgrades to this? The one that jumps out at me would be upgrading to Win 7 and upgrading to the 8 GB max ram supported as mentioned in the manual.

I had been planning on actually building a PC from scratch, but I think I'll take this opportunity to save money while still upgrading. Questions/Thoughts?


And the first thing I'd look at upgrading on that would be the base CPU+motherboard+RAM. I still think a decent Core2 Duo/Quad is perfectly fine for 99% of games out there today. The graphics cards are not too shabby, but there's a nice upgrade in the ATI 48xx series for current gaming, or keep your eye on the 5xxx card prices or the next nvidia card when it comes out over the next few months.

Scratched wrote:


First topic fail... oh the shame. I'll copy over to there, and thanks for the input.

Well, that's not a terribly fast computer, but it's not a terribly slow one, either. The Pentium Ds are hot and relatively inefficient compared with the Core2 line, but that's clocked fast enough that it'll probably work okay for most stuff.

Most likely, if you put a new graphic card in it (an ATI 5850 would probably be a good choice), 8 gigs, and Win7, you'd be pretty happy with it for quite awhile. The SLIed 7800s were seriously hot stuff at one time, but I think a fairly inexpensive 5850 should pretty much stomp on them.

Typically, you can't replace motherboards on Dells with aftermarket products, although I haven't worked on one in a long time. They always used to use nonstandard screw hole mounts, so that you had to use Dell boards in their cases. If you decide you do want to upgrade CPU, then you'll have to replace board + CPU + RAM. At that point, you're replacing so much stuff that I'd suggest reconsidering the build-from-scratch idea.