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I will be building a new PC soon. Can I salvage these parts from my current one?

Tags:
  • New Mobo
  • Custom Build
  • Salvaging
  • Dell Studio Xps
  • Systems
  • New Case
  • Prebuilt Systems
  • Reusing
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June 19, 2014 11:06:24 PM

I currently have a Dell XPS 8300 which I bought a few years back because it fit my uses at the time, and over time I have upgraded some parts to better suit my needs. I'm going to buy a new case and motherboard and I am wondering what parts I can use from my prebuilt dell and upgrade later. I will obviosuly use the parts I have already upgraded.

The parts in question are:


    Intel i7 2600 - I want to use this, but I don't know if it is removable. Otherwise compatible with new mobo. The biggest thing is if I can remove it or not.

    4x2GB RAM - from Dell. I will try to use these as they are compatible with the mobo I want.

I want to upgrade these but not at the moment. I hope I can use these both for now as they work fine.

The full parts list after I build the PC will be:


    NZXT Phantom 630 (Black) - Will buy
    Asus P8Z77-V - Will buy
    Intel i7 2600 - Will try to salvage
    4x2GB RAM - Will try to salvage (this one I'm pretty sure about)
    Corsair CX750 - Will definitely salvage because it is a replacement
    Geforce GTX 770 - Will definitely salvage because it is a replacement
    Dell HDD - Will salvage
    Standard optical drive - I don't see why this can't be salvaged
    Blu-Ray drive - Will definitely salvage because it is a replacement

What do you think?

More about : building salvage parts current

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June 19, 2014 11:24:27 PM

So if I understand you correctly, all you actually want to change is the case? You don't really gain anything by upgrading the Motherboard unless you're wanting to add a second video card or something?
Plus, with a Mobo change, you'll need a new copy of Windows.

If it's the case you're most interested in changing, according to this thread here: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/341842-28-will-dell-8...
you can actually transplant the entire machine into a new case. Initially in the thread people were dubious, but it looks like a bunch of people tried it out and posted diagrams and photos of their success. Worth checking out anyway as it could get you want you want (if it's the case you want) while saving you a new copy of Windows, a motherboard and a full a OS reinstall.
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June 19, 2014 11:27:49 PM

rhysiam said:
So if I understand you correctly, all you actually want to change is the case? You don't really gain anything by upgrading the Motherboard unless you're wanting to add a second video card or something?
Plus, with a Mobo change, you'll need a new copy of Windows.

If it's the case you're most interested in changing, according to this thread here: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/341842-28-will-dell-8...
you can actually transplant the entire machine into a new case. Initially in the thread people were dubious, but it looks like a bunch of people tried it out and posted diagrams and photos of their success. Worth checking out anyway as it could get you want you want (if it's the case you want) while saving you a new copy of Windows, a motherboard and a full a OS reinstall.

Thank you. Out of curiosity, why does the OS need reinstalling? I thought it was all on the HDD.
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June 19, 2014 11:43:39 PM

The OS is stored on the HDD, but its licence is linked to the motherboard. With a normal retail installation of Windows this would mean the OS needed to be reactivated but OEM versions of Windows (7 and earlier) are licenced only for use with the original motherboard. So you would need a new retail copy of Windows.

As already stated, there is little point in changing just the motherboard unless it provides facilities that the original one doesn't. USB 3 ports would be one example, but in this case it would be cheaper to buy an expansion card.
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June 19, 2014 11:45:31 PM

It is on the HDD, but when you install the OS it configures a whole set of drivers to interact with your system. If you just up and switch the motherboard, those drivers won't work and things go bad. I've read a few posts of people who managed to boot into safe mode and painstakingly find the right drivers, but it's not advisable.
In terms of purchasing a new copy of Windows, the OEM copy which is distributed with prebuilt machines like Dells is licensed for that computer only, which basically means it's tied to the motherboard. If you attempt to run that copy of windows, or use the key to install windows no a computer with a different motherboard you'll be in breach of your licence agreement and will have an illegitimate copy of windows. Windows usually recognises this and throws up all the warnings.
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June 19, 2014 11:47:51 PM

More t the point, pluggin t HD loaded wit Windows into t new system simply won't work ie it's unlikely to load, as Windows installs itself with reference to the hardware it finds itself on
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June 19, 2014 11:56:08 PM

Ijack said:
The OS is stored on the HDD, but its licence is linked to the motherboard. With a normal retail installation of Windows this would mean the OS needed to be reactivated but OEM versions of Windows (7 and earlier) are licenced only for use with the original motherboard. So you would need a new retail copy of Windows.

As already stated, there is little point in changing just the motherboard unless it provides facilities that the original one doesn't. USB 3 ports would be one example, but in this case it would be cheaper to buy an expansion card.


I have windows 8.1 installed instead of the stock windows 7. Does this mean all I need to do is reactivate it? And the mobo in question comes with PCI-Express 3.0 and my current only has 2.0. The GTX 770 is supposed to use 3.0 but is currently in a 2.0 because of backwards compatibility. Also this motherboard is supposed to boot fast while mine takes a few minutes to start booting up, beep a few times, then proceed to boot up. I have run diagnostics and have no clue what could be causing the beep code (IIRC the Dell website said it might mean mobo failure) so I think it would be good to get a new motherboard.

Also it has more PCI slots for later expansion if I would want to. My current mobo only has 3 and my GPU takes up 2 slots.

Another reason is because overclocking. Apparently the Asus P8Z77-V comes with easy overclocking abilities for noobs like me. All in all I feel like getting a new one is far better than keeping my current one.

EDIT: After reading the comments that came in while I was typing this, another question came to mind; Could I just repair the windows installation? Could I use the windows 8.1 refresh option? I just don't want to install windows 8, wait for the windows 8.1 update, install all programs, and copy all my files. I will if I have to I just want to know if there's anoth way.
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June 19, 2014 11:56:13 PM

Actually, modern versions of Windows are very good at adapting to different hardware, particularly if the correct perparation is done. I have successfully moved Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8 to completely different hardware on a number of occasions

The big problem with a pre-installed version of Windows is the activation issue.
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June 20, 2014 12:01:52 AM

Ijack said:
Actually, modern versions of Windows are very good at adapting to different hardware, particularly if the correct perparation is done. I have successfully moved Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8 to completely different hardware on a number of occasions

The big problem with a pre-installed version of Windows is the activation issue.


So you're saying I would be fine since I'm using a copy of 8.1 which was updated from a copy of 8 I picked up at Best Buy. Is there an easy way to uninstall the old drivers and reinstall the new ones? I think I read that windows has a tool for this.
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June 20, 2014 12:26:43 AM

My experience with windows, both 7 and XP, I've never really had to change much transferring around hardware including the motherboard. The only problem were drivers and what not. It's all up to you to try it if you want. I have no experience with a pre-installed windows on a pre-built system though.

There isn't much of a difference in the 3.0 slot vs the 2.0 pcie slot as far as i know right now. Most graphics cards don't fully saturate it. Unless you're running something like a TitanZ or r9 295x2 or something massive, you should be fine with a 2.0 slot.

In regards to overclocking, i don't think your cpu can overclock because it's a non-k series chip. If you want to overclock, you'd probably want to replace the CPU with a k series chip, which you might as well go with a haswell-r chip or something.
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June 20, 2014 12:33:50 AM

Calnin said:
My experience with windows, both 7 and XP, I've never really had to change much transferring around hardware including the motherboard. The only problem were drivers and what not. It's all up to you to try it if you want. I have no experience with a pre-installed windows on a pre-built system though.

There isn't much of a difference in the 3.0 slot vs the 2.0 pcie slot as far as i know right now. Most graphics cards don't fully saturate it. Unless you're running something like a TitanZ or r9 295x2 or something massive, you should be fine with a 2.0 slot.

In regards to overclocking, i don't think your cpu can overclock because it's a non-k series chip. If you want to overclock, you'd probably want to replace the CPU with a k series chip, which you might as well go with a haswell-r chip or something.


Thank you. The thing is, once I do upgrade my cpu, I will want a motherboard which supports overclocking. Also, I don't want to have to unplug everything and replace the mobo later on, I would like to just set that up with my new case.
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June 20, 2014 12:41:31 AM

If that's the case, I'd just buy the cpu, motherboard, and case new later on, when you're ready to upgrade everything. Your i7 still is a good cpu and can handle everything just fine. It's probably easier that way also. Then you don't have to deal with moving everything in and out of the box.
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June 20, 2014 3:31:15 AM

I'd agree with Cainin. Currently all you are really replacing is the case. Is it worth the expense? If you wait until you can afford to replace the important components then they will be cheaper, and better, than they are now. Unless having a different case is really important to you, save up and you'll get a better deal in the long run.
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June 20, 2014 4:25:06 AM

You can't overclock that 2600 (anything beyond 100mhz or so) unless it's a unlocked "K" version. I'd be surprised if an OEM like Dell shipped a K model CPU. So benefit switching out mobo on that account.

As others have said, a full 16 PCIe 2.0 lanes is more than enough for a single graphics card. No need to upgrade there.

Still, if you wanna change out the Mobo go for it, I'm just not convinced you'll see the benefits!
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June 20, 2014 10:14:11 AM

Ok thank you everybody for your suggestions! I will probably wait a while to upgrade.
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June 20, 2014 10:43:58 AM

Another thing to consider: If you are interested in overclocking then you will want to upgrade the cooler as well. no doubt the stock cooler that came with a Dell machine is rather lack luster. I would suggest the Cooler Master 212 EVO. its an excellent air cooler but it is HUGE so you will want to make sure your new case can support it. Typically cases that are about 8" wide should handle it. if the specs on the case list internal clearance then you want something with at least 160mm clearance.

I am glad to see you decided to wait and do it all at once. moving CPUs can be tricky if you are inexperienced. especially when dealing with something factory installed. I have seen more then case where the factory installed the Heat sink using adhesive instead of regular thermal paste. ie. it was super glued to the CPU so when the heat sink was removed... *POP* out came the CPU in all its ripping and tearing glory complete with bent pins.

Build new and transplant the pieces you upgraded, then E-bay the old machine :) 

To moving windows: it should work but be prepared for the occasion where it does not. When I build new workstations at my job I try to clone windows over to the new station then type in the new activation code from a fresh copy of windows. when it works it is much faster then loading from scratch. However it only works 50% of the time. the other half of the time the new machine refuses to boot unless I re-install.
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June 20, 2014 11:07:28 AM

DHFF said:
Another thing to consider: If you are interested in overclocking then you will want to upgrade the cooler as well. no doubt the stock cooler that came with a Dell machine is rather lack luster. I would suggest the Cooler Master 212 EVO. its an excellent air cooler but it is HUGE so you will want to make sure your new case can support it. Typically cases that are about 8" wide should handle it. if the specs on the case list internal clearance then you want something with at least 160mm clearance.

I am glad to see you decided to wait and do it all at once. moving CPUs can be tricky if you are inexperienced. especially when dealing with something factory installed. I have seen more then case where the factory installed the Heat sink using adhesive instead of regular thermal paste. ie. it was super glued to the CPU so when the heat sink was removed... *POP* out came the CPU in all its ripping and tearing glory complete with bent pins.

Build new and transplant the pieces you upgraded, then E-bay the old machine :) 

To moving windows: it should work but be prepared for the occasion where it does not. When I build new workstations at my job I try to clone windows over to the new station then type in the new activation code from a fresh copy of windows. when it works it is much faster then loading from scratch. However it only works 50% of the time. the other half of the time the new machine refuses to boot unless I re-install.


Thank you for your opinion! How much do you think the original without an HDD would go for on Ebay? Even if it's not that much it could possibly cover a new processor, right? What about if the ram is taken out? Would it make more sense to sell it with the ram included and buy more for the new build?

As for the size, NZXT says the phantom 630 is 245mm wide, which is 9.6 inches. It should be fine.

EDIT: Just checked Ebay. A Dell XPS 8300 is in the $400-$600 range and mine would probably be at the higher value. If I were to put it up I should probably do it with the HDD in it,so that would eliminate the motherboard problem we discussed earlier.
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June 20, 2014 11:41:18 AM

Ah the Phanton 630, I missed that in your Original post. yes thats a great case, lots of cooling room.
as for reselling your old computer. I did a quick search for it and it looks like they are selling used on Amazon for $850 so use that as a base point. Taking out the hard drive and RAM, I would imagine might take about $200 off the price. It might also make it harder to move but it cant hurt to try. if you put it up for say $400 and it sells well there is your new CPU and some change.

for a new CPU you might look at the Xeon E3-1230V3. its very similar to the i7 and its only about $250. it just doesn't have integrated graphics.
the Core i5 is also a good selection. its about $185-$250 depending on the model but its an excellent chip and very good for games.
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June 20, 2014 11:52:59 AM

DHFF said:
Ah the Phanton 630, I missed that in your Original post. yes thats a great case, lots of cooling room.
as for reselling your old computer. I did a quick search for it and it looks like they are selling used on Amazon for $850 so use that as a base point. Taking out the hard drive and RAM, I would imagine might take about $200 off the price. It might also make it harder to move but it cant hurt to try. if you put it up for say $400 and it sells well there is your new CPU and some change.

for a new CPU you might look at the Xeon E3-1230V3. its very similar to the i7 and its only about $250. it just doesn't have integrated graphics.
the Core i5 is also a good selection. its about $185-$250 depending on the model but its an excellent chip and very good for games.


Thank you for finding that! Is that specific cpu compatible with the motherboard I chose? Is there some sort of graph comparing each Xeon version to it's i7 counterpart? What version of the i7 would the Xeon E3-1230V3 compare to?
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June 20, 2014 12:14:28 PM

to match your motherboards with CPUs you want to look at the socket. For Intel its usually going to be something like LGA ####. In your case the motherboard you picked is LGA1155, also known as the Ivy Bridge platform. This is the chip you want for that socket: Xeon E3-1230V2. Or any Intel CPU with the LGA1155 designation.
Just so you know the LGA1155 is yesteryear's platform. the currently platform is LGA1150 or Haswell, yes I know its a lower number but a newer design, thats intel for you.
If you want to stay open for future upgrades then you might think about getting a board that is LGA1150. If you dont plan to upgrade for the next 5 or 10 years then dont worry about it as no matter what platform you get will be obsolete by the time you upgrade.
If you are going with AMD chips then the platforms will usually be AM3+ . Just make sure the chip and motherboard both have the same platform and you will not have any problems.


As to which model the Xeon1230v2 matches up with? I believe it is comparable with the i7 2600, they are similar in frequency and specs. One important note: If you still have your heart set on overclocking then I actually DONT recommend the Xeon. its a server grade chip and does not overclock. If overclocking is part of your future plans then stick with the I5 or i7 chips and get one with a number ending in K.
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June 20, 2014 12:20:42 PM

DHFF said:
to match your motherboards with CPUs you want to look at the socket. For Intel its usually going to be something like LGA ####. In your case the motherboard you picked is LGA1155, also known as the Ivy Bridge platform. This is the chip you want for that socket: Xeon E3-1230V2. Or any Intel CPU with the LGA1155 designation.
Just so you know the LGA1155 is yesteryear's platform. the currently platform is LGA1150 or Haswell, yes I know its a lower number but a newer design, thats intel for you.
If you want to stay open for future upgrades then you might think about getting a board that is LGA1150. If you dont plan to upgrade for the next 5 or 10 years then dont worry about it as no matter what platform you get will be obsolete by the time you upgrade.
If you are going with AMD chips then the platforms will usually be AM3+ . Just make sure the chip and motherboard both have the same platform and you will not have any problems.


As to which model the Xeon1230v2 matches up with? I believe it is comparable with the i7 2600, they are similar in frequency and specs. One important note: If you still have your heart set on overclocking then I actually DONT recommend the Xeon. its a server grade chip and does not overclock. If overclocking is part of your future plans then stick with the I5 or i7 chips and get one with a number ending in K.


Maybe I'll just skip the overclocking and go with a good chip. I will search for a motherboard with an LGA1150. Thank you! Which Xeon would be comparable to the i7 4470? I've heard good stuff about that one.

EDIT: All of the Asus Z87 LGA1150s are yellow... Which would be the absolute best Xeon I could get with the LGA1155?
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June 20, 2014 12:37:54 PM

I believe the E-31280v2 is the best chip currently available for the LGA1155. Though I have never used one myself so I cant speak to its performance. Specs wise its only a fraction faster in clock speed and its about triple the price of the 1230v2 so in all honestly I would stick with the 1230v2 if you are going to get an LGA1155 board.
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June 20, 2014 1:16:22 PM

DHFF said:
I believe the E-31280v2 is the best chip currently available for the LGA1155. Though I have never used one myself so I cant speak to its performance. Specs wise its only a fraction faster in clock speed and its about triple the price of the 1230v2 so in all honestly I would stick with the 1230v2 if you are going to get an LGA1155 board.


Ok. Are there any blue or black LGA1150 boards that you would recommend?
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June 20, 2014 1:40:13 PM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Its an MSI Z87 board. MSI makes good stuff, in fact this board and the E3-1230V3 is the combo I have used for the last several Windows Servers I have built at work.

Edit: There is also this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Its also the Z87 chipset but it has more expansion slots. which I remembered is one of the things you were looking for in your original post.
The primary color scheme is black and red.
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June 20, 2014 2:07:09 PM

DHFF said:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Its an MSI Z87 board. MSI makes good stuff, in fact this board and the E3-1230V3 is the combo I have used for the last several Windows Servers I have built at work.


Thank you! It seems like a great board! Im love how they left a space after the PCI-e 3 slot so the GPU doesn't waste a slot. My only cocern is the fact that it doesn;t support SLI, but I don't think that will be an issue because I don't plan on buying a new GPU to SLI. I also like the blue color better than the Asus one and it's cheaper than that one. I'm pretty sure I'm going for this one now.

That said, what processor do you recommend now? Xeons, being so similar to i7's, are fine for gaming, right? There isn't much of a price difference between something like the Xeon E3-1245 V3 and the i7-4470k. Would it be worth it then to get the i7? Sorry for asking so much I want to be 100% sure before I purchase anything.

Edit: I like the other one too, I just don't like the red. My color scheme for the PC I'm trying to build is going to be black and blue, red kinda throws it off. Thanks for all the help, btw.
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June 20, 2014 3:15:52 PM

Well the Xenon is a great multi Tasking chip, it was designed for servers because they have to deal with lots of opperations all at once. It has hyper threaing. this allows it to act as if it has 8 cores instead of 4. AMD tried to answer this aproach by making a chip that actually has 8 cores but Intel's design has proven to work much better.

That being said. If gaming is your primary design I would go with an i5, it has 4 cores but it does not have hyperthreaing. it does however handle single threaded programs like games very efficiently. in just about every gaming benchmark I have seen, The i5 is almost always at the top of the list.
The i5-4670k is a very hansom chip coming in at about $240. but really the i5-4430 is $189 an still handles games like a beast. but if budget is flui for you then go with the 4670k for gaming.
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June 20, 2014 3:31:26 PM

DHFF said:
Well the Xenon is a great multi Tasking chip, it was designed for servers because they have to deal with lots of opperations all at once. It has hyper threaing. this allows it to act as if it has 8 cores instead of 4. AMD tried to answer this aproach by making a chip that actually has 8 cores but Intel's design has proven to work much better.

That being said. If gaming is your primary design I would go with an i5, it has 4 cores but it does not have hyperthreaing. it does however handle single threaded programs like games very efficiently. in just about every gaming benchmark I have seen, The i5 is almost always at the top of the list.
The i5-4670k is a very hansom chip coming in at about $240. but really the i5-4430 is $189 an still handles games like a beast. but if budget is flui for you then go with the 4670k for gaming.


Gaming is not my primary use. I game a lot, but I also use photoshop/after effects/premiere a lot. I do both an equal amount (maybe a little more gaming). I'm willing to spend the extra money to buy something like the i7-4770k though. It turns out my exact version of the XPS 8300 sells for $1,500 on Amazon and is on sale for $1,200 right now. I could probably sell mine easily for $900, plus I have money already that I can spend.

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June 20, 2014 3:54:40 PM

There's really very little difference between a 4770, the equivalent Xeon and your current 2600. I get that you have the upgrade itch, but seriously you're going to hand over a large amount of money for maybe 15% difference at most. That's a really solid platform you have already.
Obviously it's your money, so do what you like with it, but if I were in your shoes and had an upgrade itch, I'd be looking at a nice monitor (or two), a nice keyboard, mouse or headset, something like that. Rather than chuck the money into an upgrade that you'd only really notice if you had the computers side by side with a stopwatch.
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June 20, 2014 4:11:53 PM

@OP, Fixed the solution thing.
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June 20, 2014 5:03:25 PM

rhysiam said:
There's really very little difference between a 4770, the equivalent Xeon and your current 2600. I get that you have the upgrade itch, but seriously you're going to hand over a large amount of money for maybe 15% difference at most. That's a really solid platform you have already.
Obviously it's your money, so do what you like with it, but if I were in your shoes and had an upgrade itch, I'd be looking at a nice monitor (or two), a nice keyboard, mouse or headset, something like that. Rather than chuck the money into an upgrade that you'd only really notice if you had the computers side by side with a stopwatch.


I see why you don't want me to upgrade now, but even if it won't do me too much more good I still think it would be worth it personally. My current PC gets really hot when gaming because the airflow sucks, and with GPU boost 2.0 I have it set to not go over a certain temperature - therefore the hotter my PC gets the worse performance I get , which is noticable after a long period of gaming. Also, I really want to build my own PC. I regret no doing so a few years back and I've never built an entire PC from scratch, which I want to do. I would reuse the current mobo, processor, and ram if I wasn't able to sell my current PC with it's stock parts for more than it would cost to upgrade everything I haven't upgraded already - so it seems worth it to me. It also allows for better upgrades in the future, like more ram and more card slots.

I don't know... Part of me says upgrade right now and it'll be worth it and another part of me says stay with what I have until I absolutely NEED to upgrade.

Out of curiosity, which Xeon is equivalent to the 4770k? I think it might be best to go with one of those since they're fine for gaming and great for workstation related things like video editing which I do a lot. That might make it worth the switch.

Calnin said:
@OP, Fixed the solution thing.


Thank you. I will pick the post that best answers the question soon.
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June 20, 2014 5:44:55 PM

I think I'll just wait a month or two to upgrade. By then if I still think it's worth it I'll do it.
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June 20, 2014 6:41:07 PM

Please don't let me talk you out of it if you're keen. If you've got heat issues then moving to a new case certainly makes sense, but, as you say, if you can actually sell your existing machine as-is and start over for more or less the same price as migrating to a new case, then obviously that's a good option. I'm not convinced you'll be able to do that without putting a significant amount of extra funds, but I do hope I'm wrong and you can get a good price (it's certainly a capable machine).

It's your money, you decide of course! It's just that I see a lot of people on the forums with the upgrade itch, we're so deeply ingrained with the 'newer is better' mentality. In reality with the snail-pace progress in high end desktop CPUs at the moment, I think a lot of people spend a lot of money on upgrades only to be disappointed when the tangible difference is basically nil. That's why I was suggesting monitor/keyboard/mouse or headset, something you actually interact with and appreciate. But, as you say, if you can pull of an upgrade by selling your current gear, go for it and have fun!

Re i7 vs Xeon, the equivalent to a 4770 is an E3-1245V3 (includes integrated graphics) or E3-1241V3 (no integrated graphics, 100Mhz higher base clock and maybe $5 cheaper).
Just bear in mind that if you're going Xeon, there's no point paying up for a Z97 mobo (which you only need for OCing), H97 would be fine, or even a cheaper solution if you don't want the option of dual graphics cards.
ALSO, an overclocked 4770K WOULD be a step up from your current 2600, while a locked 4770 or Xeon has basically identical clock speeds, and is only slower clock for clock by 10-20%, so it's not really an upgrade. Of course, we've been over that ground so I'm not trying to rehash it.
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June 20, 2014 6:57:20 PM

rhysiam said:
Please don't let me talk you out of it if you're keen. If you've got heat issues then moving to a new case certainly makes sense, but, as you say, if you can actually sell your existing machine as-is and start over for more or less the same price as migrating to a new case, then obviously that's a good option. I'm not convinced you'll be able to do that without putting a significant amount of extra funds, but I do hope I'm wrong and you can get a good price (it's certainly a capable machine).

It's your money, you decide of course! It's just that I see a lot of people on the forums with the upgrade itch, we're so deeply ingrained with the 'newer is better' mentality. In reality with the snail-pace progress in high end desktop CPUs at the moment, I think a lot of people spend a lot of money on upgrades only to be disappointed when the tangible difference is basically nil. That's why I was suggesting monitor/keyboard/mouse or headset, something you actually interact with and appreciate. But, as you say, if you can pull of an upgrade by selling your current gear, go for it and have fun!

Re i7 vs Xeon, the equivalent to a 4770 is an E3-1245V3 (includes integrated graphics) or E3-1241V3 (no integrated graphics, 100Mhz higher base clock and maybe $5 cheaper).
Just bear in mind that if you're going Xeon, there's no point paying up for a Z97 mobo (which you only need for OCing), H97 would be fine, or even a cheaper solution if you don't want the option of dual graphics cards.
ALSO, an overclocked 4770K WOULD be a step up from your current 2600, while a locked 4770 or Xeon has basically identical clock speeds, and is only slower clock for clock by 10-20%, so it's not really an upgrade. Of course, we've been over that ground so I'm not trying to rehash it.


If an overclocked 4770k would be a step up, then it would definitely make it worthwhile to upgrade it. I have a lot of money saved up with no goal for spending it (besides this, obviously), and as long as I can sell my XPS it really doesn't matter how much I pay for the parts. That being said, the Intel Core i7-4790K isn't too much more expensive as the 4770k and its clock speed is higher. This would be a big step up, would it not?
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June 20, 2014 7:08:16 PM

Yeah, if you're going all the way to a 4770K, the extra $$s for the 4790K are a no brainer IMHO, especially if you're nervous about OCing, as it effectively arrives OC'd for you.

If you can get the CPU to hold 4.6Ghz clock speeds, you're probably looking at more like 30-40% faster than your current CPU, so things like rendering a video will finish a bit quicker. If you consider that performance increase justifies the investment, then go for it. I still don't think there will be any tangible difference while video editing, etc, though cases (like encoding a video) which are CPU bound will go that little bit faster. So you're back to a Z97 mobo with a decent aftermarket CPU cooler.
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June 20, 2014 7:13:42 PM

rhysiam said:
Yeah, if you're going all the way to a 4770K, the extra $$s for the 4790K are a no brainer IMHO, especially if you're nervous about OCing, as it effectively arrives OC'd for you.

If you can get the CPU to hold 4.6Ghz clock speeds, you're probably looking at more like 30-40% faster than your current CPU, so things like rendering a video will finish a bit quicker. If you consider that performance increase justifies the investment, then go for it. I still don't think there will be any tangible difference while video editing, etc, though cases (like encoding a video) which are CPU bound will go that little bit faster. So you're back to a Z97 mobo with a decent aftermarket CPU cooler.


Thanks! Someone above recommended the Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO. It would no doubt fit in the case. Is there one you would recommend?
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June 20, 2014 7:21:06 PM

Yup, that Hyper 212 EVO is good performer for the price. When I grabbed a cooler a while back I ended up paying the extra $$s for a Noctua D14 (now replaced by the D15). It'll keep things even cooler and quieter, but it's really big and probably overkill (it was definitely overkill for me, but I had the budget and saw it as a long term investment).
The Hyper 212 EVO is the smart choice... but you're going big already! If you move your computer around a lot (LAN parties, etc), then big air coolers are not the best idea, they put a lot of weight on the MB. In that case a closed loop water cooler is probably a better pick, maybe something like a Corsair H60 would be better. Air coolers are better price/performance if you don't have concerns for MB stress.
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June 20, 2014 7:32:03 PM

rhysiam said:
Yup, that Hyper 212 EVO is good performer for the price. When I grabbed a cooler a while back I ended up paying the extra $$s for a Noctua D14 (now replaced by the D15). It'll keep things even cooler and quieter, but it's really big and probably overkill (it was definitely overkill for me, but I had the budget and saw it as a long term investment).
The Hyper 212 EVO is the smart choice... but you're going big already! If you move your computer around a lot (LAN parties, etc), then big air coolers are not the best idea, they put a lot of weight on the MB. In that case a closed loop water cooler is probably a better pick, maybe something like a Corsair H60 would be better. Air coolers are better price/performance if you don't have concerns for MB stress.


I won't be moving it around too much. Liquid cooling would be great but I'm not at all familiar with how it works. I figure I could upgrade to liquid cooling in the future as it seems a little overkill at the moment for me.

Also, are the cpu coolers shaped like the Hyper 212 generally better than the ones with the fans directly on top of the cpu? Also, the 4790k says it comes with cpu cooling. Will I have to remove that or is it just extra?

Edit: On a separate note, would getting the MSI Z97 PC Mate instead of the Z87 be worth the extra $20? I assume this makes it more future-proof.
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June 20, 2014 7:57:40 PM

Custom cooling loops are quite a project, but those Closed Loop systems are no more complicated to install than an air cooler.

The Intel CPU will come with it's own small cooler which you will have to mount yourself (with little push-pins). If you're using an aftermarket cooler instead, you just don't mount the intel cooler and follow the instructions to mount the alternative cooler. It should all come with instructions, and if you choose a common one like the Hyper or the Noctua that have been suggested, there are no doubt a bunch of youtube videos you can watch to get a sense of how it's done if you're at all nervous about it.
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June 20, 2014 8:08:57 PM

rhysiam said:
Custom cooling loops are quite a project, but those Closed Loop systems are no more complicated to install than an air cooler.

The Intel CPU will come with it's own small cooler which you will have to mount yourself (with little push-pins). If you're using an aftermarket cooler instead, you just don't mount the intel cooler and follow the instructions to mount the alternative cooler. It should all come with instructions, and if you choose a common one like the Hyper or the Noctua that have been suggested, there are no doubt a bunch of youtube videos you can watch to get a sense of how it's done if you're at all nervous about it.


Thanks for all the help. I edited my last post asking if getting the MSI Z97 PC Mate instead of the Z87 be worth the little bit of extra money, as I assume this makes the build more future-proof.
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June 20, 2014 8:26:09 PM

If you're going a new build and that decision is made, then definitely go Z97 over 87. I'm not sure which specific MSI Z97 you're looking at. If you're looking for this build to last a while (which you should be), I'd be getting one with an M.2 slot, that seems to be the future of ultra-fast storage. The ASRock Extreme 6 is unique in that it has a 4 PCIe lanes to the M.2 slot. If the MSI you're looking at is similarly priced, I'd be going the ASRock. Alternatively, if you're looking at cheaper motherboards (which isn't a bad idea), just get a Z97 board that gives you 2 PCIe 3.0 slots at x8 x8, (with 3 spaces between them), and an M.2 slot. That'd be my advice.
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June 20, 2014 8:36:22 PM

I was under the impression the point of your new build was to have the experience of building your own while selling the old machine to recoup your costs. This is why I was recommending parts equivalent to what you have rather then a major upgrade. Where the 1230v3 costs $250, you can easily spend $1000 or more on a new intel chip. If I was mistaken and you were trying to go for a major step up then I apologise for misunderstanding and spinning you in circles.

Like Rhysiam said. if you can get a good price on your old system and rebuild for little or less out of pocket, I think building a new machine for the first time is a great experience. even if it is no faster then the old one. it will be to your exact specifications.

To that end, since this is your first time I would invite you to check out this channel, he does a very good job of going step by step and he is fairly entertaining to listen to.
https://www.youtube.com/user/LinusTechTips/playlists
in the top row of the play lists you will see one on cooling and one on build & buyers guides. These will directly pertain to the information you want.
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June 20, 2014 8:56:21 PM

rhysiam said:
If you're going a new build and that decision is made, then definitely go Z97 over 87. I'm not sure which specific MSI Z97 you're looking at. If you're looking for this build to last a while (which you should be), I'd be getting one with an M.2 slot, that seems to be the future of ultra-fast storage. The ASRock Extreme 6 is unique in that it has a 4 PCIe lanes to the M.2 slot. If the MSI you're looking at is similarly priced, I'd be going the ASRock. Alternatively, if you're looking at cheaper motherboards (which isn't a bad idea), just get a Z97 board that gives you 2 PCIe 3.0 slots at x8 x8, (with 3 spaces between them), and an M.2 slot. That'd be my advice.


What exactly would be the benefit of the M.2? The ASRock one looks like it has better features than the MSI Z97 PC Mate, which might be worth the extra $60. It has 2 PCI-e 3.0 which would be good future-proof for SLI since it supports it (I probably won't ever SLI, but who knows). Still not 100% about what the M.2 does but it seems like it'd be great to have it. I'll consider.

DHFF said:
I was under the impression the point of your new build was to have the experience of building your own while selling the old machine to recoup your costs. This is why I was recommending parts equivalent to what you have rather then a major upgrade. Where the 1230v3 costs $250, you can easily spend $1000 or more on a new intel chip. If I was mistaken and you were trying to go for a major step up then I apologise for misunderstanding and spinning you in circles.

Like Rhysiam said. if you can get a good price on your old system and rebuild for little or less out of pocket, I think building a new machine for the first time is a great experience. even if it is no faster then the old one. it will be to your exact specifications.

To that end, since this is your first time I would invite you to check out this channel, he does a very good job of going step by step and he is fairly entertaining to listen to.
https://www.youtube.com/user/LinusTechTips/playlists
in the top row of the play lists you will see one on cooling and one on build & buyers guides. These will directly pertain to the information you want.


My original intention was to have the same performance, yes, but after a little bit of talk I figured it would be worth the extra money to upgrade everything. I figured why spend money on a CPU of the same performance without the ability to upgrade in the future when I could go all out right now and get a future-proof mobo and a factory-overclocked CPU.

I like LinusTechTips. I watched his videos when looking for a GPU and when (recently) researching cases. I did not know he did playlists on buyers guides and cooling, however, so thanks for pointing that out. I will watch them.

Also, do you think that ASRock Rhysiam mentioned above is better than the one you suggested (or its Z97 version)?


Everyone has been a big help so far! Thank you!
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June 20, 2014 9:05:37 PM

I think Asrocks are great boards. I tend to go with the MSI ones for work but I have used Asrock boards for personal builds. they have excellent quality an usually are fairly feature rich. I didn't mention it earlier because you had a specific color scheme in mind and Asrocks tend to have lots of greens and yellows in them.

Here is a Linus Tech Tips specifically on building a $1500 gaming system. it sounds similar to what you are aiming for and it will give you a good platform of knowledge when building for the first time. He also covers liquid coolers int his video if you are interested. Personally I stick with air coolers because i watched a friend's hose burst once and spray his motherboard with coolant. Those images still wake me at night some times.However my paranoia aside, Thousands of builders use Liquid coolers without issue so feel free to consider it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=roFb3TNePIg&list=PL8mG-...
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June 20, 2014 10:11:10 PM

DHFF said:
I think Asrocks are great boards. I tend to go with the MSI ones for work but I have used Asrock boards for personal builds. they have excellent quality an usually are fairly feature rich. I didn't mention it earlier because you had a specific color scheme in mind and Asrocks tend to have lots of greens and yellows in them.

Here is a Linus Tech Tips specifically on building a $1500 gaming system. it sounds similar to what you are aiming for and it will give you a good platform of knowledge when building for the first time. He also covers liquid coolers int his video if you are interested. Personally I stick with air coolers because i watched a friend's hose burst once and spray his motherboard with coolant. Those images still wake me at night some times.However my paranoia aside, Thousands of builders use Liquid coolers without issue so feel free to consider it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=roFb3TNePIg&list=PL8mG-...


Thank you. I will watch it now. The ASRock mentioned is blue and black and seems to have more features which is why I am considering it, however I am still unsure.
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June 21, 2014 6:56:28 AM

Its a beautiful board. it is however almost double of what you were originally looking at. Now if that doesn't bother you then really an Extreme 6 is a gorgeous piece of equipment. it will give you plenty of room for expansion.
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June 22, 2014 4:44:45 PM

DHFF said:
Its a beautiful board. it is however almost double of what you were originally looking at. Now if that doesn't bother you then really an Extreme 6 is a gorgeous piece of equipment. it will give you plenty of room for expansion.


I did a little more research and I think the ASRock Z97 Extreme4 would be better than the 6. I decided to ditch thinking about the MSi PC Mate and start thinking about the MSI Z97-G55 SLI. It is the same color as the PC mate and has most of the features the Extreme4 has, including an M.2 slot.

What would your opinion be? The MSi board is $20 cheaper and offers pretty much the same features. What do yout think? It really comes down to included software and smaller motherboard features which I don't know about. Which BIOS would you say is better?
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June 22, 2014 9:00:56 PM

Both companies make good boards and I think its a matter of preference at this point. you have two solid choices. Both have great Bios interfaces. I guess I am slightly more preferential to MSI but the Extreme 4 is still a soild choice. Do a search here on Toms and see what reviews are available for both boards. you might find more in depth information that helps you decide.
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June 24, 2014 8:34:11 PM

Joeman592 said:
I currently have a Dell XPS 8300 which I bought a few years back because it fit my uses at the time, and over time I have upgraded some parts to better suit my needs. I'm going to buy a new case and motherboard and I am wondering what parts I can use from my prebuilt dell and upgrade later. I will obviosuly use the parts I have already upgraded.

The parts in question are:


    Intel i7 2600 - I want to use this, but I don't know if it is removable. Otherwise compatible with new mobo. The biggest thing is if I can remove it or not.

    4x2GB RAM - from Dell. I will try to use these as they are compatible with the mobo I want.

I want to upgrade these but not at the moment. I hope I can use these both for now as they work fine.

The full parts list after I build the PC will be:


    NZXT Phantom 630 (Black) - Will buy
    Asus P8Z77-V - Will buy
    Intel i7 2600 - Will try to salvage
    4x2GB RAM - Will try to salvage (this one I'm pretty sure about)
    Corsair CX750 - Will definitely salvage because it is a replacement
    Geforce GTX 770 - Will definitely salvage because it is a replacement
    Dell HDD - Will salvage
    Standard optical drive - I don't see why this can't be salvaged
    Blu-Ray drive - Will definitely salvage because it is a replacement

What do you think?


One thing you can do is ask Dell for a copy of Windows. I purchased a Dell XPS 8500 and did exactly what you are doing (ended up just building a new PC because I needed a new mobo and PSU for SLI). I figured I'd run into a problem with needing a new copy of Windows so I asked Dell for a copy of windows and they sent me a thumb drive with windows on it for free. It worked perfect in my new PC and I didn't even need a disc drive to install windows. It was windows 7 but I don't see why they wouldn't do the same for 8.

Just thought you should know, good luck on new build.
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