Best way to give PC an new lease of life?


Distinguished Member
Looking to give my 4 year old PC a spec boost and wondering what would be a good bang for my buck.

Current spec is...

Win 7 x64
CPU - Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 @ 2.4ghz
RAM - 4 GB Dual channel DDR2 @ 533mhz
MOBO - Gigabyte Technology EP43-DS3L (socket 775)
Graphics - ATI Radeon HD 4600 (with a Dell U2410 @ 1920x1200) unsure of the ram on board - poss 512mb
HDD - Seagate ST3500320AS (8mb cache, 7200rpm)

I mainly use it for web surfing, iTunes/iPhone, Photoshop and CAD and it's the latter that could do with a good kick - my understanding is that AutoCAD prefer's nVidia cards but for some reason I also feel that my MS intellimouse explorer 3 mouse also makes it feel a little disjointed...

Current thinking is to bump the RAM up to 8GB by swapping my current DIMM's for 2x 4gb - although am I limited to DDR2 (supported by the Mobo) or can I get DDR3? (which is a hell of a lot cheaper!)

I don't want to started swapping the Mobo / CPU.

Also thinking of getting a BR drive and a 2nd large HDD as the current drive is getting on a bit.

Any suggestions welcome.

Greg Hook

Moderator & Reviewer
According to Gigabyte's website, your motherboard will only support DDR2 up to 1200Mhz.

Upgrading the graphics card and the RAM is about the best you can do with that spec, without resorting to a complete system change.


Distinguished Member
Cheers for the input - I was kinda hoping the RAM was backwards compatible - eventually I will get around to upgrading the CPU/Mobo and thought I'd be able to carry the new RAM over...

Greg Hook

Moderator & Reviewer
Not likely. If you go the new CPU/Mobo route the RAM will be DDR3. So it would be new CPU/Mobo/RAM upgrade.


Distinguished Member
The first thing I would change would be to install an SSD - it will make everything quicker. If you want to upgrade the ram it might be cheaper to get a newer 775 motherboard plus 8GB DDR3 and sell your old ram.


Distinguished Member
Install a ssd as above. Get the max ram you can. Swap your graphics for a quadro card, or if 2 pcie lanes then just add a quadro card . These are designed for cad to be more efficient.


Active Member
agreed on the ssd comments but seriously dude the non overclocked q6600 was a dog, very slow fsb swap it out for a q8 or 9 series (available cheapish sh ) and it will feel like a whole new machine
oh and fit a decent gpu


Active Member
You can pick up a Socket 775 motherboard that supports DDR3 off ebay then stick in 8GB of DDR3 RAM :)

SSDs to look at are the Crucial M4 and Samsung 840/840 Pro

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