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Major upgrade in the works.....need some guidance!

Last response: in Systems
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November 21, 2006 1:46:24 AM

ok, this will be my 3rd homebuilt once I am done with it. 1 and 2 were from scratch - new case, hdd etc. - everything - so this is my first real upgrade on one of my own systems.

System now:
MSI K8N Patinum
AMD 64 3500+
2 x 1gb XMS3200
74 Gig Raptor - primary
200 Gig SATA 7200 - storage
Geforce 7800 GSOC AGP
Antec Sonata Piano Case (original - not the Sonata II)
2 dvd - rw

New system - I will upgrading to the following:
Asus P5N32-SLI Premium NForce 590sli
Intel Pentium E6700
2 x 1gb XMS6400
Geforce 8800GTX

My first concern is the power supply. the Sonata I only came with a 360 watt supply. What do I need to upgrade to?

Second concern is the actual upgrade of the other components. will it be as easy as taking the old stuff out and putting the new stuff in?

I DO NOT want to have to reformat my HDD as I just did this a few months ago with a fresh windows install.

The computer as it is has been the most reliable I have ever had. Its showing its age performance wise after 2 years - and some minor upgrades along the way.

Im just want this to be a smooth transition!!

thanks for your help!!

More about : major upgrade works guidance

November 21, 2006 2:29:14 AM

For your PS something around 650-700 w should take care of your present and future needs.

You won't have much choice formating you HDD, with all the new stuff you're putting in, It's pretty much a must. I highly recommand it. There might be ways around a reformate but I know too little to tell.

If you have already done so, taking parts in and out is usually not too complicated. It takes a bit of patience and planning but nothing I am sure you can't handle
November 21, 2006 5:54:29 AM

hes going from AMD to Intel.. reformat is inevitible.. if he chooses the ways around it.. he will run into problem :) 
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November 21, 2006 6:19:29 AM

For the type of upgrade you are proposing (new mobo type), you will need to reformat.

Due to the system you have there, you not wanting to format, and the high price of new ram these days, I would strongly suggest keeping your mobo & ram, and upgrading the CPU to a strong dual core (4600,4800,5000). Additional HD's are always nice for storage & can be setup for raid right now since these would not be your boot disks.

I'm not that knowlegable on vid cards, but I would think you should wait on the DX10 cards till you NEED one for your fav game. They are priced high now for not much extra DX9 performance + the next set of cards to come out could likely fix many issues that come up in these. There are many instances of electronics in 1st editions that are too quickly made obsolete.

Jo
November 21, 2006 1:24:46 PM

well, the list of upgrades that I listed are already purchased and on their way to me. so theres no turning back now. my system just can not hack it anymore. I am a huge user of Flight Sim and the new FSX makes my system look like a 486!! The biggest issue, in my view, is that AGP is a thing of the past and the vid card that I have is about as good as it gets for whats out there. so this size of an upgrade is necessary in my view.

so now that I am looking at a format, should I look at new hdd's? another raptor and put it into Raid 0?

any other advice? this little upgrade is turning into a complete rebuild!

Thanks!!
November 21, 2006 1:29:52 PM

RAID 0 sure is nice. I now use 0+1 but I wouldn't with those expensive raptors. The best thing may be to have a raid 0 set of raptors for the OS & programs & a raid 1 / 0+1 set of standard sata's for storage.
Jo
November 21, 2006 11:53:35 PM

another question would be, am I going to have any issues with the DDR800 PC6400 Ram? I misread that the motherboard runs to 667, but will run in 800 if the fsb matches (or something like that) please correct me if I am wrong.

thanks!
November 22, 2006 12:48:48 AM

Quote:
74 Gig Raptor - primary
200 Gig SATA 7200 - storage

My first concern is the power supply. the Sonata I only came with a 360 watt supply. What do I need to upgrade to?

Second concern is the actual upgrade of the other components. will it be as easy as taking the old stuff out and putting the new stuff in?

I DO NOT want to have to reformat my HDD as I just did this a few months ago with a fresh windows install.

The computer as it is has been the most reliable I have ever had. Its showing its age performance wise after 2 years - and some minor upgrades along the way.

Im just want this to be a smooth transition!!

thanks for your help!!


You don't mention your 200 GB make... You might consider one of the newer Seagate 7200.10 drives.

As to going raid with your raptor, I'd personally not do it. The thought of two raptors howling away would be enough to put me off...

Reformating and reinstalling OS... Sorry, that's the way it is. You can mitigate some of the pain by backing up whatever's not part of the OS, then restoring it after the deed is done, but if it's a program, you just might as well re-install it. Data should be OK, but you'll probably have to re-link all of it.

My 2p worth... Good luck.
November 22, 2006 3:06:42 AM

Quote:
another question would be, am I going to have any issues with the DDR800 PC6400 Ram? I misread that the motherboard runs to 667, but will run in 800 if the fsb matches (or something like that) please correct me if I am wrong.


That board will do 533/667/800/1066 FSB, so PC2-6400 is fine. You can run that 800MHZ anywhere below 800 though. The C2D E6700 runs at 266MHz external clock making DDR2-533 the natural speed for it, so your mobo will by default set the ram to 533MHz. Setting it to 667 won't help even though it is faster due to asynchronous speed overhead (memory data coming through off-sync with the FSB. Setting it to 800MHz will net some gains even though it is asynchronous purely due to the much higher speed.

In short, PC2-6400 will work good, but if PC2-4200 is much cheaper & you don't want overclock nor upgrade room, get it.

Jo
November 22, 2006 6:46:02 AM

Quote:
That board will do 533/667/800/1066 FSB, so PC2-6400 is fine. You can run that 800MHZ anywhere below 800 though. The C2D E6700 runs at 266MHz external clock making DDR2-533 the natural speed for it, so your mobo will by default set the ram to 533MHz. Setting it to 667 won't help even though it is faster due to asynchronous speed overhead (memory data coming through off-sync with the FSB. Setting it to 800MHz will net some gains even though it is asynchronous purely due to the much higher speed.


I am under the impression that the bus runs at 266MHz as you say, but does it not mean that due to these c2d chips being quad-pumped you can run at speeds up to 1064MHz which would easily allow him to reach speeds at 800? I am probably wrong though, I just can’t see why at the moment. I don’t see where you derived the 533, or is this simply a property of the chip?
November 22, 2006 2:29:49 PM

There is much more extensive explanations in other threads of this forum, but the jist of it is:

C2D sees FSB of 1066 MHz.
C2D is quad-pumped, getting its FSB from a system FSB of 266MHz
The memory external clock is double for DDR (both 1 & 2) i.e. 533MHz in this case. The difference between DDR 1 & 2 is that the memory chips can run slower internally (133 here with 266 external (due to it being DDR2 instead of DDR1) & 533 effective (due to it being DDR rather than regular SD). The reason they do this is that the mem chips are limited in speed, so by getting internal chips to 200MHz in SD gives 200, & 400 in DDR & 800 in DDR2; even getting to 133 in DDR2 gives 533. (see http://shsc.info/DDR2)

Jo
November 22, 2006 3:40:56 PM

Quote:
I DO NOT want to have to reformat my HDD as I just did this a few months ago with a fresh windows install.

I only skimmed through the previous posts, but the gist I got from them was that everyone is telling you to reformat and reinstall. Certainly that route works. But my guess is that Microsoft (you are using some flavor of Win XP, right?) would disagree that it is the only way to go.

I sure as hell do not intend to reformat my OS partition when I eventually upgrade to a C2D motherboard sometime in the sunny future. Rather, what I expect to do is to boot from the Windows install CD and perform a so-called repair install of XP. This should completely reinstall windows and the windows drivers for the new motherboard and components. It should also leave your windows settings and installed programs intact.

Of course, this being Windows, there is always the chance that your OS will F itself up in some subtle yet insufferable ways. My take on this is that you can always take the ultimate douche install route as a last resort. But I don't see any reason to start there. Consider trying a repair/reinstall of Windows first and only do a complete/clean windows install if the repair install results in a problems.

But even if you do a clean install of Windows, I don't see why on earth you'd need to reformat the drive/partition. You can usually just delete the Windows folder and then install it again from scratch.

The only thing that I would say you should NEVER do is try to boot your new system from your old Window's installation. Don't know what would happen if you tried that. Best case scenario is it just doesn't work. Worst case ... I don't know. Bad stuff. Just don't do it. Don't even think about doing it. :wink:

Remember the prudent to always do is to backup your data before mucking around with any of the upgrade stuff. That has to always be said.

OK, I'm said my piece. Now let the flames of scorn and derision descend upon me.

-john, the lazy & redundant legacy dinosaur
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