So, my old system died a spectacular death. I don't know if it was the motherboard or PSU, but the secondary hard drive (I have no idea what happened to it, but the BIOS won't even see it) and CPU cooler are totally wrecked (stupid push-pins), and the motherboard and primary hard drive show signs of progressive failure and must be replaced. I also lean toward replacing the PSU (which I simply don't trust at this point) and case.
So I either need to do repairs (a new case, PSU, hard drive, and motherboard at a minimum) or just recore the entire system. I'm kind of leaning toward that because spending a $400 on making a e6600 work again seems less compelling than spending $1000-$1500 or so on a major upgrade.
Assuming I do recore, what should the new system build be? Components I will be keeping:
e6600 (with a replacement CPU cooler)
2x2g DDR2, 800 ghz 4-4-4-12, 2x1g DDR2, 800 ghz 4-4-4-12
Usage will be fairly heavy gaming, mostly at 1900x1200. Overclockability is good.
Other things I want to keep in mind in this build:
I won't ever use SLI or crossfire.
No components from MSI (not after the wretched, buggy 975x), and I generally don't really like gigabyte either.
Working in Linux is good, but not totally 100% mandatory
So, here's what I'm considering so far:
CPU - i7 920. I can't really see any other logical choice here, anything better is far over budget, anything less barely qualifies as an upgrade. I'm hoping on getting a fairly solid overclock out of it. Oh, and any good suggestions on a cooler for it?
RAM - OCZ 6gb platinum kit is looking good - seems to have good timings (7-7-7-24) and sufficient speed (1600). But I don't know much about RAM so any suggestings are welcome.
Motherboard - EVGA 132-BL-E758-A1 LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard. Seems to look good, but I wonder if I couldn't get away with anything cheaper since as I mentioned I won't ever use SLI or Crossfire. I do want 6 ram slots in case of future upgrade, which rules out the cheapest board, and I want something solid, not buggy, and overclockability.
Power Supply - I really have no idea what to get here. I have the Corsair CMPSU-750TX down as a good choice so far, but I don't know enough to really choose. This is one of the areas I'm really hoping for help in.
Case - Another area in which I'm at a complete loss. I generally want a mid tower, and decent quality, while being relatively cheap. I really hate external lights too.
Hard drive - This is a real area of contention. I generally preferred Seagate in the past, but with all of their problems lately, I just don't know. The 7200.11 1.5 tb is cheap, and I could just flash the firmware right away... but does anyone have any other suggestions? I'm just gonna get one hard drive, not try RAID or anything.
Thanks for any help! I'm hoping to send off the order soon so I can get a new hard drive in to back this one up on before it totally goes.
First you need to decide if you want to a new system or to rebuild the old one. From the looks of it all you need are a mother board, PSU and hard drive and that would only cost you around $200-250.
If you are going to go for a new i7 system you should probably really replace that video card as well because it'll bottleneck the i7 a lot in gaming. An HD4870 or GTX 260+ are good choices for the money.
Here's an interesting article at theguruof3d while it specifically is about Corsair 2x3GB DDR3 1866 RAM it has some very interesting benchmarks about using 1x3GB or even 2x2GB RAM of 1333 RAM in the X58/1366 platform.
As far as X58 motherboards go, i'd probably stick with Asus as they still seem to have the most mature BIOS. The Coolermaster CM690 is a very nice case, good cooling and decent room for about $80. Power supply is really dependent on what graphic card you're running. If it's a HD4870, GTX260/280 then a good supply like the P C Power and Cooling 610watts is fine for about $60 after rebate right now. If you're going with a HD4870X2 or the GTX295, then the 750w Corsair is a good choice.
I recommend the pc power and cooling 750w ps for $69.99 after rebate at newegg. I would also go for a samsung or western digital hardrive, though I use maxtor. Newegg has a samsung 750gb for $79.99 with free shipping. If you decide to sell the e6600, let me know and I'll make you an offer. I'm just waiting to do my taxes.
+1 to thinking about if you are going to rebuild or build new.
That GPU will not be worth saving with an i7 system. In fact, nothing you have will be able to be used.
I would say go P45, keep the Q6600, upgrade that GPU, get a PC Power and Cooling PSU - maybe 610 or so, keep the RAM, and get something like the Antec 300 - excellent midtower for a good price (only $39.99 at microcenter right now).
If you decide to go i7 - you're looking at at least $1500 or more (probably a decent amount more).
If you want an upgrade and build new. Sell your old parts to raise funds.
For gaming, look for a good jump in vga card capability. GTX260 or better.
Here is my configuration:
I7 920 @3.3
Thermalright ultra 120 extreme with 1366 kit
6GB patriot DDR3 1600
Asus P6T Deluxe
EVGA GTX260-216 sc
PC P&C silencer610
I can recommend the Antec 300 as a great cooling simple case that is low cost.
The velociraptor is a bit pricey, but it DOES make a difference. There is nothing better if you can afford it.
The pcp&c 750w is also a great deal for $10 more than the 610.
The P6T(non deluxe) does not have a SAS controller and costs less.
I'd say get a decent p45 board for the q6600.
Get a good case(the Antec 300 at that price is a great deal) and a nice PSU, a new hard drive and an HD4850 or 4870. This should all be about $500.
The case, psu, hard drive and video card can all be put into the i7 build when you have the money for it. All you'll need to buy later is the cpu/mb/ram.
I ultimately decided to upgrade. While not necessarily strictly necessary, I was already getting dissatisfied with the performance of the computer. This way, I'm sure that I'll be happy with the performance of the machine that I end up with. I was pretty worried that if I replaced the motherboard, I could end up with something that still wasn't fast enough, and I'd just end up upgrading it anyway (eating the cost of the extra motherboard.) I was already getting dissatisfied with the system before, and that was with a solid overclock of the e6600 to 3 ghz. You can never totally guarantee a new board will let you overclock significantly.
The video card probably is insufficient, and I'll upgrade it as soon as the performance of the system as a whole bothers me. I'm pretty sure the processor was the ultimate source of my poor performance, because when my problems began and I lost my overclock my framerates completely fell apart.
I have to say, I'm really looking forward to this new system. The sheer bugginess of this motherboard (MSI 975x), over the years, has just been such an incredible drag.