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also id like to know if i would be able to replace my CPU with an i7 or if id need a new motherboard or not my specs are: alienware Area-51 7500 R6 Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Quad CPU Q9400 @ 2.66GHz (4 CPUs), ~2.7GHz 4gig DDR2 ram dual Nvidia geforce 250 gts BIOS: Phoenix - AwardBIOS v6.00PG(not sure if this is my motherboard or not)
also open to any suggestions. im also running beta on high settings with SLi active
That's a pretty good processor already. You need windows 7 too, if you're on vista if you want more ram. IMO, buying a good processor cooler, overclocking your current processor to 3ghz or so, then getting a gtx460 would be your easiest and cheapest way to upgrade your system.
I don't know what bios you have, but some Alienware PCs have the option available right in their advanced settings of bios. You hit delete during the boot process(just keep hitting it after you turn it on, before windows starts loading.) Then, you go to advanced, navigate to the overclock option and choose enable. Then let it boot up and see what that does for starters. I never use prebuilt PCs so my knowledge/experience is very limited beyond that. I've seen that option before on Alienware PCs though.