Need some urgent help.

Need some urgent help.

So after like 5 years my computer finally died. I need to replace it quickly so I don’t have much time to research parts and such so I’m turning to those more knowledgeable than me for a little guidance.
This is what I had:
AMD Athlon 64 3000+
Gigabyte motherboard (not exactly sure exactly which one, but it’s 4+ years old)
Nvidia 7600GS AGP
2gb pc3200 ram
And the rest, hardrives..ect..ect... but thats the stuff that really makes the difference.

So the CPU is what died, but I figured instead of just replacing it with one that works in that motherboard I might as well just step into the 21st century and replace the motherboard/cpu/ram to something better.
I’m not looking for top of the line, I use my desktop mainly to watch TV/Movies (my screen is a 32in LCD), play a few odd games (CS:S, command & conquer) nothing too intense, but with an upgrade in hardware I might venture into a few games that were previously unplayable and do browse the internet/do school work.
My brother has a computer built around the quad core 6600 and that performance i find amazing compared to what I got, but given he got that system a year ago I figure that today there are better out there.
For the Motherboard/Processor/Ram I would say my budget is about 400-500$, Whatever I can get the best for my money with out spending crazy amounts is what is perfect for me.
In terms of graphics card I think I’ll get a 4850 or 4870, just doing a little reading to see if the upgrade to the 4870 is worth the money + it will allow me to upgrade down the road for crossfire.
Appreciate any suggestions, thanks.
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  1. Since you're going with ATI video cards I would recommend an AMD system. Plus you get more for your money going that way. With the budget you suggested you can get a phenom II 940 for $225 (Quad Core 3.0ghz per core beats the Q6600), and pair it with a nice AM2+ motherboard with crossfire capability. Personally I like Asus boards, I am running the M4A79 as of last week (Upgraded from Asus M3A32, great board) and so far its been great. Cost of the board is $199. Add to that 4 gigs of DDR2 1066 Memory for around $50 and you are right at $475...or you can go a little over budget and get 8 gigs of ram (but this usually means going back to 800mhz ram speed for AMD builds)...

    Right now I'm running the above mentioned system (Phenom II 940, M4A79 Motherboard, 8 gigs of ram) with 2 4850's. As far as if the 4870 is worth it over the 4850 with the recent price drops you can get a 4870 for around $150 after mail in rebate so I would look for deals on them. Performance wise either card is great but the 4870 does have the advantage of being a dual slot design so it vents the hot air outside the case. Either card is capable of crossfire as long as your motherboard supports it.
  2. Seems odd to that a processor would just die.

    What kind of power do you have?

    Intel Quadcore setup q9400 @ $US 349.98
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.173015

    AMD Quadcore setup Phenom II 940 $US 313.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.165047

    4GB DDR2800 4-4-4-12 RAM: $US 49.99 (you can shave about $15 from this if you pick up lower end ram)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148212
  3. On the cheap it's hard to beat a q6600 even today. I'd first suggest focusing on just one video card. That will save you about a $100 on the motherboard. I'm thinkin Asus P5Q ($125 at mwave). CPU, maybe a q6700 for $240??. That won't be much better than the 6600, but at this point in time it's pretty acceptable to look at a 64 bit OS, so you can just overload on ram. The cheapest ram right now probably isn't the best performance for the q6700, but 8 GB of 667 mhz ram will do the job, and only cost about $80. Then hit up Tigerdirect for one of their Vista ultimate x64 + hard drive "bundles" (you'll need a sata hard drive anyway, and getting a nearly free 500Gigger will take the ache out of buying the OS).

    A little over budget, but on the plus side, you won't need a very good video card to get decent fps from that system. When you do go for hi end video card, just one really good one will do.

    Whatever you decide, good luck!
  4. Given the fact that you have a 32" LCD monitor, I would get the more powerful ATI 4870 video card. For the board I would chose a P45 chipset (Intel based) paired with a Q9300 or E8600 processor. And, add in 4 GB of DDR2 RAM that keeps this system in your budget range.
  5. Gigabyte UD4H 790GX + AMD Phenom II X3 720 $240.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.165024

    OCZ Reaper 2X2 Gigs $43.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227284

    Sapphire 4870 1 GB $189.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102801

    total $474.97 and the gig of memory on the graphics card will handle really well on that 32"
  6. Be careful about some of the cheap package deals. The motherboards listed in several of them are not listed as being crossfire compatible. You will want a crossfire capable motherboard to give yourself flexibility to upgrade in the future.
  7. Ok, here's my suggestions:

    GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3P/Sapphire 4870 combo - $280
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.173192
    E8500 - $190
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115036
    RAM - $27
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227267

    The total comes to $497 and it includes the video card. The problem is, with the upgraded hardware (specially the video card), you need to upgrade your psu as well. This psu would be a good choice:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139005
  8. here are some benchmarks of left 4 dead from anandtech.com


    the 720 triple core competes quite fiercely with the quads and is a great overclocker. most people get it to 3.17 ghz on air with no voltage increases on the stock cooler by changing the multiplier from 14 to 16
    and gigabyte is a well known top tier trusted motherboard brand so for a $45 savings by getting that motherboard and cpu in combo id say that is an excellent deal and would more then suit your needs. and with the new radeon cards coming next month and the new phenom II quads prices will be dropping more then likely, and the price of a second 4870 would go down a pretty good amount.
  9. Some really good advice here, I appreciate it. After a little bit of research I think I'm going to go with the Phenom II 940. Right now I found it with 80$ off & free shipping, so it seems like a good deal.

    What would a good motherboard with this processor be how ever? I've been looking around and most of them seem to offer the same features for around the same price. Is there any recommendations for this?

    Thanks.
  10. I've heard good things about Gigabyte and Asus.
  11. aford10 said:
    I'd go with something like this Gigabyte
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128378


    Would that motherboard require me to use ddr3 ram?
  12. yes. If you don't want to, this board will work
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128387
  13. aford10 said:
    yes. If you don't want to, this board will work
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128387


    Hmmm I like that one, Gigabyte is a good name as well non?
  14. Gigabyte is the best brand IMO.
  15. How does this set up sound to you?

    GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-UD4P
    SAPPHIRE 100259-1GL Radeon HD 4870 1GB
    CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V
    G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500)
    AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core
  16. Looks like a sick setup.
    750W may be overkill tho, but if you're planning on CFing in the future make sure the PSU is CF-able.
  17. The Third Level said:
    Looks like a sick setup.
    750W may be overkill tho, but if you're planning on CFing in the future make sure the PSU is CF-able.


    It is, it's also 129.99 with a 100$ instant rebate and a 20$ mail in rebate so for 100$ it seemed like a good powersupply with plenty of room for an extra video-card in the future.
  18. If you plan to add the 2nd card, it's a good idea. However, if you don't think you will go xfire in the future, it's definitely overkill. Something like the antec 450w earthwatt psu can power that single card.

    It looks like a good list though. What are your main uses?
  19. aford10 said:
    If you plan to add the 2nd card, it's a good idea. However, if you don't think you will go xfire in the future, it's definitely overkill. Something like the antec 450w earthwatt psu can power that single card.

    It looks like a good list though. What are your main uses?


    Yea I'm defiantly going to be going with a 2nd video card, most likely after the summer. I have a 32in HDTV as my screen so the extra power will come in handy when playing games on that resolution.

    Main uses are I use it to watch tv/movies in my room, play games, do a little video & music editing and about it. My last system has only seen one upgrade in the past 4 years (went from a Radeon 9800xt to a nividia 7600gs) so this system won't put me at the top end of current offerings, but for 1000$ will let me play all the games that are currently out that I haven't been able to play on my old system. As well as just offer a good preformance boost, after 4 years my other system got a little slugish and compared to what is out there now was pretty slow. It will be nice to actually be able to alt+tab out of programs with out everything freezing.
  20. That's a good setup for what you are looking to do.
  21. Yea I'm looking forward to it,

    I'm also going to add

    Western Digital Raptor WD740ADFD 74GB 10000 RPM SATA 1.5Gb/s - for my boot drive and apps
    Western Digital Caviar GP WD7500AACS 750GB 5400 to 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s - for my data & music

    and get the

    COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 CAC-T05-UW Black Aluminum Bezel , SECC Chassis ATX Mid Tower

    as my case.

    I'm not looking to overclock to start off with so I'm going to just go with the stock CPU cooler, let this all settle then in summer when the cash is flowing again look to maybe tweak with a few upgrades here and there.
  22. FrenchAffair said:
    Yea I'm defiantly going to be going with a 2nd video card, most likely after the summer. I have a 32in HDTV as my screen so the extra power will come in handy when playing games on that resolution.

    Main uses are I use it to watch tv/movies in my room, play games, do a little video & music editing and about it. My last system has only seen one upgrade in the past 4 years (went from a Radeon 9800xt to a nividia 7600gs) so this system won't put me at the top end of current offerings, but for 1000$ will let me play all the games that are currently out that I haven't been able to play on my old system. As well as just offer a good preformance boost, after 4 years my other system got a little slugish and compared to what is out there now was pretty slow. It will be nice to actually be able to alt+tab out of programs with out everything freezing.


    What resolution does your TV support? HD can mean 720P (1366 x 768 pixels native resolution) or 1080P (1920 x 1080 pixels native). Usually for 37" and smaller TVs, 720P is the norm esp. if the price was cheap. Remember, TVs are meant to be viewed from a distance such as 8 or more feet, whereas a PC monitor is meant to be viewed within 2-3 feet.
  23. fazers_on_stun said:
    What resolution does your TV support? HD can mean 720P (1366 x 768 pixels native resolution) or 1080P (1920 x 1080 pixels native). Usually for 37" and smaller TVs, 720P is the norm esp. if the price was cheap. Remember, TVs are meant to be viewed from a distance such as 8 or more feet, whereas a PC monitor is meant to be viewed within 2-3 feet.



    It's 1080p, i run it at 1920x1080. It's a good tv that works perfectly as a computer screen, i don't notice any difference in viewing it close or far away.
  24. FrenchAffair said:
    Yea I'm looking forward to it,

    I'm also going to add

    Western Digital Raptor WD740ADFD 74GB 10000 RPM SATA 1.5Gb/s - for my boot drive and apps
    Western Digital Caviar GP WD7500AACS 750GB 5400 to 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s - for my data & music

    and get the

    COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 CAC-T05-UW Black Aluminum Bezel , SECC Chassis ATX Mid Tower

    as my case.

    I'm not looking to overclock to start off with so I'm going to just go with the stock CPU cooler, let this all settle then in summer when the cash is flowing again look to maybe tweak with a few upgrades here and there.


    Oo, old school Raptor = MegaFail.

    Find yourself a 320GB AAKS or AALS Western Digital drive, it will run just as fast and have way more space for less money.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136074 <- nice 320GB, or for a few bucks more...

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136218 640GB of loving. I own 3 of these and may well end up with more. As I said, as fast or faster than first gen Raptors.
  25. I like B-Unit's suggestion for the 7200rpm drives over the raptor. This is the best price/performance drive available.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136319

    It's about the same price as the one listed above, but double the cache.
  26. I question the psu suggestion.

    http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp

    pretty sure your new rig will exceed that envelope

    I got over 400 with a minimum and no fans @ 20% caps aging. Personally my minimum is 30% for long life through several generations of builds. The more over what you need the longer life. But one shouldnt overdo it.

    matching use with 2nd or 3rd tier psu makes is detrimental. Its one thing to match use with say pcpower and cooling. but doing so with a rosewill is foolish.
  27. verndewd said:
    I question the psu suggestion.

    http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp

    pretty sure your new rig will exceed that envelope

    I got over 400 with a minimum and no fans @ 20% caps aging. Personally my minimum is 30% for long life through several generations of builds. The more over what you need the longer life. But one shouldnt overdo it.

    matching use with 2nd or 3rd tier psu makes is detrimental. Its one thing to match use with say pcpower and cooling. but doing so with a rosewill is foolish.


    Who was talking about a rosewill psu?
  28. verndewd said:
    I question the psu suggestion.

    http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp

    pretty sure your new rig will exceed that envelope

    I got over 400 with a minimum and no fans @ 20% caps aging. Personally my minimum is 30% for long life through several generations of builds. The more over what you need the longer life. But one shouldnt overdo it.

    matching use with 2nd or 3rd tier psu makes is detrimental. Its one thing to match use with say pcpower and cooling. but doing so with a rosewill is foolish.


    You don't think I have enough power?

    I was going to scrap the 750w, get this case which I like (have had it before) and use the Antec 500w PSU that comes with it.

    http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129024

    For what I'm getting I think 500w is more than enough personally.
  29. It should be enough power. I don't usually recommend using psu's that come with the case. However, antec is a good brand.
  30. aford10 said:
    It should be enough power. I don't usually recommend using psu's that come with the case. However, antec is a good brand.


    Yea, I had that case before and ANtec is a good name. Save 100$ on a psu and get a better case and a psu that will do me in till i up grade to a 2nd video card.
  31. If you plan on a 10% or less. cap age get a pc power and cooling psu.
  32. verndewd said:
    If you plan on a 10% or less. cap age get a pc power and cooling psu.



    Whats that mean?
  33. It means he doesn't think the psu has enough extra to efficiently run your system. Without knowing the exact specs of that psu, it's hard to say. However, considering antec's quality, the 500w should be enough.

    At peak load, the 4870 should use ~460w. However, most of the time it will require closer to 200w.

    Here are some specs from one user with that card:
    http://forums.anandtech.com/messageview.aspx?catid=31&threadid=2283255
    -CPU (0.912v--967MHz **idle** ), GPU (1.08v--550/400 **idle** ) --> 175w
    -CPU (0.912v--967MHz **load** ), GPU (1.08v--550/400 **idle** ) --> 191w
    -CPU (0.912v--967MHz **idle** ), GPU (1.08v--550/400 **load** ) --> 207w
    -CPU (0.912v--967MHz **idle** ), GPU (0.925v--550/400 **idle** ) --> 175w
    -CPU (1.35v--3010MHz **idle** ), GPU (1.08v--550/400 **idle** ) --> 191w
    -CPU (1.35v--3010MHz **load** ), GPU (1.08v--550/400 **idle** ) --> 320w
    -CPU (1.35v--3010MHz **idle** ), GPU (1.26v--800/1000 **load** ) --> 335w
    -CPU (1.35v--3010MHz **load** ), GPU (1.26v--800/1000 **load** ) --> 460w

    simply switching to pc power & cooling isn't going to change anything. It is a good brand, but so is antec. It's probably a brand preference by the verndewd.
  34. Everything else looks good, quick question though. Does XP compatible with duel channel memory?
  35. Yessir, but remember it cant go over 3.5gb on a 32-bit OS. Get XP 64-bit if u are running more than that.
  36. I'd stay away from xp64. Microsoft never put much effort into it, and it's a little buggy. If you really want a 64 bit os, go with vista or wait until windows7 comes out.
  37. ^^ Agreed. Go Vista 64 or accept the fact that your 2x2gb dual channel is not going to perform at its best on XP.
  38. i dont buy antec
  39. verndewd said:
    i dont buy antec


    Not real sure why. They make decent cases and very good psu's. But, to each their own.
  40. Thermaltake is as low as I comfortably go.

    450w Us what you suggested while you pointed out that

    -CPU (1.35v--3010MHz **load** ), GPU (1.26v--800/1000 **load** ) --> 460w

    granted its over clocking but with your envelope his psu dies in around 2 yrs if its not flawed. I really like upgrading pc's through the life of a psu that can live as many as 5-7 yrs because of my caps aging preference.

    currently on the third build in 3 years on the same psu. TT purepower 650.
  41. Are you trying to say that thermaltake makes better psu's than antec?

    psu's can't be reliably rated simply by the wattage. There are very misleading ratings on psu's.
  42. uhm yeah I am saying that when I bought this, I do believe it was rated as a better unit than any antec in its price range. and it was on sale with free shipping.
  43. Wow. You should post that comment in the psu section. I think most everyone would disagree with you. Check out hardwaresecrets.com.
  44. I dont know what current psu ratings are, but I do know that the psu I bought had better ratings than antec at the time. thats just the way it was man.

    I generally dont buy anything without doing the research especially psu's.
  45. I agree with Vern.

    I have not burned a TT PSU yet - possibly because I blow mine out regularly with an aircompressor though ... preventative maintenance helps obviously.

    I've gone through heaps of the cheap PSU's that come with the vanilla cases ... whatever brand.
  46. My previous computer had an antec power supply and it lasted me 4 years, in fact it still works. As well majority of the people/reviews i've read give Antec a good name.
  47. the highest quality psu's are made by corsair, pc power & cooling, seasonic, antec, and ocz.
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