PC Upgrade

Hey guys, looking for a help/advice/comments on a setup I'm looking at. Haven't upgraded my system in a long while and performance is really starting to annoy.

Current system:
Replacing:
Intel p4 2.4ghz
Radeon 9800 Pro
Asus p4pe
1 gig ram
350w Antec

Keeping:
Optical drives, Audigy 2 ZS.

Looking to move up to:

Antec TruePower 2.0 TP2-550 550W Power Supply - 99.99
- Mainly chosen from recommendations from friends. Not too sure if it's overkill and would like some suggestions here.

ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe - 157.99
- Chosen because of SLI/X2 upgradeability. But open to other suggestions.

AMD Athlon 64 3700+ San Diego - 228.00
- Wanted a decent midrange using 939.

CORSAIR XMS 2GB (2 x 1GB) DDR 400 Dual Channel - 238.00
- Most likely overkill. No real plans to overclock, but same as other choices, wanted something that could last/upgrade. Not too sure if just a 2x512 is good enough, but questioning any performance hit(if any) for using 4x512 as opposed to a 2x1gb. Open to suggestions.

Western Digital Raptor 74GB 10,000 RPM Serial ATA150 - 156.00
- OS/games drive

Western Digital Caviar SE16 320GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s - 155.50
- File storage

XFX PVT42GUAD7 Geforce 6800GS 256MB GDDR3 - 205.00
- Chose this based on the THGC buyer's guide. Wanted an affordable midrange that does well.

One issue I'm questioning is whether the need for SLI capability should exist or not since I really don't like upgrading unless it's absolutely necessary, at which time there will most likely be another generation of architecture available. I used a TNT2(p3 800mhz) -> GF3(p4 2.4ghz) -> Radeon 9800 Pro(p4 2.4ghz) only replacing when I couldn't limp any longer.

Thanks for reading.
4 answers Last reply
More about upgrade
  1. Antec TP2-550: A bit of overkill, but a good choice. Since you're not OCing you could go as low as about 400w, but stick with quality brands - Fortron has a 450w that's half this price at newegg and it will work well in your system.

    Why SLI? Almost any socket 939 board can upgrade to X2, so... (Good board however). If you're looking to save some money look at ABit or Epox boards as well, but stick with the nForce4 or ATI's chipset. If it has the features you need at a good price, its a good board for you. :)

    CPU: Good choice. Could drop to as low as the 3200+ and still have a good gamer today, although I like the idea of the faster CPU for longevity. You'll probably appreciate it in a couple years.

    RAM: Definitely overkill if you're not overclocking. Grab the value ram to save a few $ if you want, and stick to 2 sticks. There is a performance hit (small, but still...) for 4 dimms. The jury's still out for 1gig vs 2gig today, but since you don't upgrade for long periods, get 2gig as it will be more useful in the future.

    Good choice on the video card. If your budget allows, get a 7800GT, that'll give you more performance for a longer lasting system. If you saved some with a non-sli mobo and less expensive RAM, put it here.

    I don't consider SLI an option unless you're buying 2 top end cards right at the outset, for the very reason you gave. In a year I expect nVidia to have a new card out that performs better than 2 7800's in SLI, for the same price as a single card today.

    Mike.
  2. Thanks for the input. I've been reviewing and researching further on some of the things you pointed out and think I've figured out pretty much what to get.

    ASUS A8N-E Socket 939 NVIDIA nForce4 Ultra - 109.99
    - Ditched the SLI option, but stuck with Asus even though there are slightly cheaper options. This is just a brand preference since all my previous/current systems have been with Asus boards.

    XFX PVT70GUDF7 Geforce 7800GT 256MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 - 299.00
    - This is more of a redestribution vs savings from other spots, but it's better video that should keep me happy for a little longer than the 6800 GS.

    FSP Group (Fortron Source) AX450-PN ATX12V 450W Power Supply - 49.99
    - Based on your recommendation & reading through the power supply forum section, I decided to try this psu out.

    CORSAIR ValueSelect 2GB (2 x 1GB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200) Unbuffered System Memory VS2GBKIT400C3 - 168.00
    - Going with the Value Select over the XMS series since there are no plans to overclock, but still sticking with the 2 sticks vs 4 route.

    AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ Manchester 1GHz FSB Socket 939 Dual Core Processor - 322.00
    - Here's the kicker. When I first started out looking at upgrade options, I was looking at big budget socket 754 3000+ option. Then I decided to go socket 939 for upgradability and picked the 3500+ venice. I then realised that I'd probably be even better off adding a little and going for the 3700+ sandy. Now with the redistribution of funds across the board, I'm looking at the 3800+ manchester for even better longevity.

    Overall, I'll end up spending about 30 bucks more in this configuration than the previous one, but I end up with a better proc/graphics that should last me till my next upgrade many years from now (hopefully). Any comments/critiques on selection/compatability is very welcome.
  3. I would get myself

    ASUS A8V-E deluxe
    Athlon 64 3500+
    1024 Ram
    Good graphics card 7800 or x1800 (or preferably x1900)

    The reason being

    The motherboard is getting cheap but it is still very fast

    The 3500+ is hardly slower than the 3700+ but it is quite a lot cheaper
    CPU speed is not so important anymore if you are going for gaming, esp. if you don't have a graphics card that is good enough for your cpu.

    I would just like to point out that in a 10 minute benchmark like 3dmark 2005 a score difference of about 700 is only slighly more than one frame per second, so take a look at all those tables, ignore the dual core stuff, (there are few games that will even use dual processors yet) and look at the top single processor stuff and then see how many frames per
    second slower than the top pc's you are willing to go, being about 5 fps slower than the top stuff will still leave you with a kickass pc for (sometimes) less than half the price.

    Also, sli and crossfire usually tend to be 5fps slower than single cards at the moment, so instead of buying 2 cards get yourself the best one and more ram and you can laugh at those rich kiddies with their sli and throw the fact that your single processor pc is faster than their dual setup in their faces. And with the left over money you can buy FEAR and hire someone to stop Peter Moleneux from making ANOTHER game that lacks an adequet control system.

    I SWEAR IF YOU USE THIS ADVICE TO PLAY BLACK AND WHITE...

    Computers are not built for longevity so don't go for the max cpu if it will kill you finacially.

    I could have sworn that my 4 sticks of ram work just as well as 2 did.

    2 Gig ram is a good idea and whatever you do DONT MIX RAM TYPES, NEVER EVER EVER!

    And if you have a good enough motherboard dont worry about getting 'Good' ram get something normal, unless it is COMPLETELY broken even rather poor ram wont give too many problems, i'm using Kingmax , never heard of that have you? But if you can afford it go for the good stuff, just don't do something dumb like getting the one with the lights on it, and get ram with a heatsink on it, so you can overclock.

    Also if you can, get yourself some creative sound, it can remove some of the drag on your cpu from the onboard option.
  4. If you have no plans for OCing, VS RAM is way to go. Tests show not much peformance hit at all, wont notice. Now if do OC, you'll not want VS... and 2 gigs if dont upgrade a lot, and if play massive mult online games, definitely notice difference.

    And agree with CPU. If don't OC, 3700 will last longer imo. Dont get just because Dual Core. A year from now prices go down and 4400 be looking nice (i hope =) and computer can last long... 3 years is long for me =) Great thing about making own rig, can decide how upgrade later if have a great case thats easy to do so. Usually may just need more RAM or a new CPU, or latest GPU.

    My computer lasted over 3 years, nonupgradable at all anymore reason I am making custom rig finally.
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