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Time for an upgrade - How does this look?

Last response: in Systems
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December 22, 2008 6:44:48 PM

Hey everyone! I'm a long time lurker, but this is my first post. It's about time for an upgrade as my system components are starting to show some age. The upgraded system will be primarily used for higher end gaming and now that my wife got me an Xbox 360 for Christmas I also want to start streaming media to my HDTV.

I'll start off with a list of what I have now so you can see where I'm at:

Case - Old Antec case.
I can't find the model, but I did a little digging online and I think it might be part of the old Dragon series. It has 4 80mm fans, 2 in, 2 out. I want to replace it because I can't fit 120mm fans in the case. With so many fans in the case, it's rather loud.

Motherboard - Asus P5K. I bought this about a year ago as a little upgrade, but I want to upgrade to P45 chipset so that I can add a second GPU in the future.

CPU - E8400 C0 stepping. I'm going to reuse this

CPU Fan - Zalman CNPS9700 LED. I've been reading that this Zalman is outdated and that better CPU fans are out, Xigmatek HDT-S1283 is what I'm considering.

PSU - Corsair 520HX. I don't think I'll be replacing this just yet.

Memory - G.Skill DDR2 800, 5-5-5-15, 1.8v. I also bought this last year when I did a small upgrade. I like the DDR 800 PI Black but will I see any noticeable increase in performance?

GPU - nVidia 8800GTS 320MB. I want to replace this with an HD4870 1GB

Optical Drive - Pioneer IDE - This needs an upgrade to SATA

HDD - 2 160GB Barracuda 7200.7 (SATA I, not in RAID) and a 150GB WD Raptor X. I need more space.


This is what I'm looking to upgrade to:

Case - CM 690, and 2 extra 120mm case fans

Motherboard - Asus P5Q-E. Now, I know many of you recommend the P5Q Pro, but I think I like the -E a bit better than the Pro.

CPU - I will keep my E8400 C0

CPU Fan - Xigmatek HDT-S1283 and 17751 Retention bracket. Is replacing my Zalman with this fan going to be worth it?

PSU - I will keep my Corsair 520HX for now

Memory - I'm considering G.Skill PI Black for lower timings, but if I won't see much performance improvement, I might as well just keep what I have. What do you think?

GPU - SAPPHIRE 100259-1GL Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail This card will be sufficient for my 22in monitor for now. When I upgrade again in the future, I'll be able to add another one of these.

Optical Drive - Samsung 22x DVD burner w/Lightscribe. Removing the IDE cable from my case is a huge upgrade in and of itself.

HDD - 640GB WD Caviar Black. I need more space! I haven't decided if I'll run the OS from this drive, or use it as a media storage drive. What do you think?

I figured I'd mention that I'm running a 22in Samsung 226BW 1680x1050 that I'll continue to use for the time being. My next upgrade will probably be PSU, additional GPU and Monitor.

The upgraded components will run about $710 + Shipping not including any MIRs. Looking at what I have and what I plan to upgrade to, do you think the performance increase warrants the price tag? Thanks in advance for your replies!

-Robert

EDIT: Corekt Speeling and gramer iss godd

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December 22, 2008 6:50:51 PM

Those are all great choices. I own the P5Q -E and it's excellent. Consider the Gigabyte UD3P as well.

You don't really need to upgrade memory, unless you want to push the FSB past 400Mhz.
December 22, 2008 6:54:51 PM

Looks good, I'd re-use the raptor for the OS, and games. Then use the 640 for storage (I use a Velociraptor for OS/games, and 2x 750's for storage now).
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December 22, 2008 7:00:12 PM

The two components I can be persuaded to not upgrade are the memory and CPU Fan. I have one comment about the memory, but what do you guys think about the Zalman -> Xigmatek upgrade? Is it worth it?

Proximon - My FSB is currently sitting at 434MHz putting the ram at 868MHz and it's running fine. With that in mind, should I upgrade to the PI Black or stick with what I have?
!