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Need upgrading/ OCing advice!

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March 21, 2010 7:51:54 AM

Hey guys, I'm looking for some advice on upgrading my rig and overclocking my processor. For your convenience, here's a list of the parts in my current system:

Core 2 Duo e8400
ASUS P5Q SE PLUS Motherboard
Corsair 400W PSU
4 GB DDR2 RAM (2 1GB Kingston 667 MHz sticks, 2 1 GB Offbrand 800 MHz sticks)
PNY 9800GT (I also use a PCI 9500 GT to run my two peripheral monitors)
Antec 300 Case
Running Windows 7 x64

I have around $400 to spend, and I would like to make the most of it in terms of getting the best performance increase I can. I plan on overclocking the e8400, although as of right now it is NOT OC'd (Yes, I know, there's probably a pile of dead kittens lying around somewhere), as I am a little worried that my current RAM situation isn't really capable of supporting much in the overclocking department. First and foremost, what direction should I take on the RAM? My motherboard supports 1066 MHz and 1200 OC'd. I currently use the stock cooler for my CPU, although the air flow inside the case is great thanks to the 5 case fans. I would guess that it is worth investing in a new cooler, so my second question is what would you recommend?

In the graphics area, I feel like my 9800 is starting to show it's age. I have already more or less decided that I want to replace it with a 260 GTX, but it requires a 500W PSU, whereas mine is only 400W. Because of this, I plan on upgrading the PSU also. My third question is how high should I go in terms of wattage? Right now I see the 550, 650, and 750 on Newegg for $80, $100, and $110 (respectively). I ask because I do have 5 case fans, and I plan on adding multiple hard drives soon.

Thanks ahead of time for your help and suggestions!

More about : upgrading ocing advice

a c 197 K Overclocking
March 21, 2010 8:44:14 AM

Case fans pull little power. 4 case fans will pull about 1 amp max at 12 volts. You will need a basketful of fans to make a significant difference in power consumption.

Hard drives? Figure about 20 watts (1 amp @ 5 volts, 1 amp@ 12volts) per drive.

Something like this should be more than adequate:
Corsair 550VX (41 amp 12 volt rail)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you want some more reserve capacity:
Corsair 650TX (52 amp 12 volt rail)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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a b K Overclocking
March 21, 2010 8:46:51 AM

have a look at these combo deals

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
or
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
or
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

and then some memory : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


then if u can manage to sell your current stuff (cpu, motherboard, ram, 9800) you can buy a 5770 and then add another one later on. : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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a b K Overclocking
March 21, 2010 8:47:55 AM

oops, i forgot about PSU :( 

although a 5770 should work on a 400w PSU??? im not too sure though
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March 22, 2010 2:05:04 AM

jsc said:
Case fans pull little power. 4 case fans will pull about 1 amp max at 12 volts. You will need a basketful of fans to make a significant difference in power consumption.

Hard drives? Figure about 20 watts (1 amp @ 5 volts, 1 amp@ 12volts) per drive.

Something like this should be more than adequate:
Corsair 550VX (41 amp 12 volt rail)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you want some more reserve capacity:
Corsair 650TX (52 amp 12 volt rail)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


I was actually thinking about going for the 750W since it's the same price as the 650W with the rebate.

cromedome said:
have a look at these combo deals

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
or
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
or
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

and then some memory : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


then if u can manage to sell your current stuff (cpu, motherboard, ram, 9800) you can buy a 5770 and then add another one later on. : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Thanks for showing me this. Although I wasn't really planning on replacing my motherboard, the Phenom II X4 965 blows my e8400 out of the water. Any ideas on how heavily I would be able to overclock it with air cooling? Also, I was actually looking at that exact RAM before, but I'm a little hesitant with all of the negative reviews.

My little brother is actually looking to have me build him a computer, so I might just sell him my current one and build a new one using these suggestions...
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March 22, 2010 4:26:55 AM

Just a little update, I'm probably going to be building a new computer from scratch as soon as I save up a little more cash. I'm thinking about going with the first combo cromedome listed, along with a 5770, a 750W Corsair PSU, another Antec 300 case, and this cooler. Like I said, I'm a little hesitant on the OCZ RAM because of all of the negative reviews. Does anyone have any other suggestions for RAM, or is it worth going with the OCZ stuff? By the way, thanks again for all of the help!
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March 23, 2010 8:26:24 AM

I'm going to be ordering everything pretty soon, so I'd just like to see if anyone sees any outstanding compatibility issues or has any other suggestions beforehand. I did decide to build a new computer from scratch and I'll be selling my old one to my little brother to cover the extra costs.

I'll be going with:

750W Corsair PSU
The first combo cromedome suggested (AMD Phenom II X4 965 3.4GHz + GIGABYTE GA-790XTA-UD4)
The ATI HD5770 (I remembered Eyefinity, which pretty much sealed the deal for me since I use triple monitors :)  )
This RAM
This CPU Heatsink
Another Antec 300 case

The only thing I have yet to pick is the main hard drive.

WD Caviar Black - $70
WD Caviar Blue - $56
Seagate Barracuda - $55

I'm tempted to drop the extra $15 on the Caviar Black, anyone have any other suggestions? I have another 1TB Caviar Green that I'll be putting in for media storage, so I don't need anything bigger for the main drive.
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March 23, 2010 6:34:17 PM

To be honest, if you are planning on OCing your CPU, I would just go with the 955 if you can find a similar combo deal for less. It is clocked at 3.2 instead of 3.4, but this difference will be negated by your overclock. I have a 955, and I overclocked it to 3.8 on air with stock voltages, so it has quite a bit of OC potential. I have the Sunbeam Core Contact Freezer, but the cooler that you picked out is one of the top air coolers at that price from what I have read. I would go for the Caviar Black. I have the 1tb one and it definitely performs better than the other hard drives you have listed. The Spinpoint F3 is a better drive for less, although it isn't in stock on Newegg at the moment (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...). And yes, Eyefinity is awesome. I have a 5850 right now, and it blows through almost any game at 1920x1080, although I haven't saved up enough money for the second and third monitor yet. If you are planning on gaming with Eyefinity, that might not be enough graphics horsepower, but then again you could always add a second 5770 later. I have the UD5 mobo (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...) and I absolutely love it. It OC's well, and has Sata 6 gb/s as well as USB 3. You picked the exact ram I was going to reccomend actually :D  . i have the 750 watt Corsair (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...) and this is one of the top power supplies you can get, aside from PC Power & Cooling and a few others.
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March 23, 2010 7:47:45 PM

westerbamos said:
To be honest, if you are planning on OCing your CPU, I would just go with the 955 if you can find a similar combo deal for less. It is clocked at 3.2 instead of 3.4, but this difference will be negated by your overclock. I have a 955, and I overclocked it to 3.8 on air with stock voltages, so it has quite a bit of OC potential. I have the Sunbeam Core Contact Freezer, but the cooler that you picked out is one of the top air coolers at that price from what I have read. I would go for the Caviar Black. I have the 1tb one and it definitely performs better than the other hard drives you have listed. The Spinpoint F3 is a better drive for less, although it isn't in stock on Newegg at the moment (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...). And yes, Eyefinity is awesome. I have a 5850 right now, and it blows through almost any game at 1920x1080, although I haven't saved up enough money for the second and third monitor yet. If you are planning on gaming with Eyefinity, that might not be enough graphics horsepower, but then again you could always add a second 5770 later. I have the UD5 mobo (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...) and I absolutely love it. It OC's well, and has Sata 6 gb/s as well as USB 3. You picked the exact ram I was going to reccomend actually :D  . i have the 750 watt Corsair (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...) and this is one of the top power supplies you can get, aside from PC Power & Cooling and a few others.


Even though I'd definitely have to drop down the graphics settings (at least initially :)  ) to use Eyefinity for gaming, I DO plan on adding a second 5770 somewhere down the road. The biggest advantage for me right now with it is actually being able to use a horizontal span setup instead of three separate displays. Right now I use a PCI 9400GT to drive the two peripheral monitors, and although it works fine for playing SD videos and having Firefox on them, I get MASSIVE lag when I span 1080p videos across (my guess is that it's because of the speed difference between the PCI-e bus on the 9800 and the PCI bus on the 9400).

I think I'm still gonna go with the combo deal, it's only $20 more than buying the 955 and the GIGABYTE GA-790XTA-UD4 separately. That'll give me a slightly higher ceiling for OCing anyway. I also think I'll still go with the Caviar Black unless the Spinpoint comes in stock before I order.
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