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Partial upgrade Intel or AMD - 450.00 budget

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February 26, 2009 2:44:40 AM

I need to upgrade my current computer but I want to keep some of my current components. My question is whether or not this is a good idea or not. I'm not partial to AMD or Intel and think maybe I could get a low high end Intel CPU that might outperform a higher end AMD chip.

Current System:
Antec TruePower 430W (26A on the +12V) (not sure if I can still use)
Seagate Barracuda 80G SATA HD (SATA 1)
Seagate Barracuda 160G SATA HD (SATA 2)
Nvidia Geforce 5700FX video card (looking for new onboard video)
Corsair TWINX 3200C2PT 256x2
LiteOn CD-R, CD-RW IDE
LiteOn DVD-RW/CD-RW Combo
AMD 64 3500+ CPU
Mitsumi FDD

I'm not sure if I can use my current Antec True Power 430W or not. It doesn't have a PCIe power connection. It's a 20 pin main connection with a 4 pin MoBoard connection that's separate.

One of my HDD is SATA 1, one is SATA 2 (Does this matter?)

Looking for an AMD or Intel CPU and MOboard with good on board video and an option to install a good video card later.

I'm sure I'll probably need to upgrade the memory as well.

I thank you in advance.

John
February 26, 2009 4:06:43 AM

Do you need the most processing power or gaming power?

If this is just s general system, I say: go with an Intel E5200, ATI 4830 video card, Gigabyte UD3 P45 type motherboard, and a Kingston 2x2gb DDR2 memory kit. This setup will let you keep your power supply and still offer pretty dern good graphics capability for games.

Most E5200 CPU's will allow a small bump-up on the FSB and get close to (if not at) 3.0ghz with no change in voltage and a small increase in heat, so you don't need to change the stock cooler; though I would still recommend getting a better cooler than the stock, it really sucks.

This will allow you to reuse all yur stuff. and it will come in well under $450.

SATA1 or 2 doesn't matter.

If you want max performance now with very little worry about video processing power then my recommendation will be different.
February 26, 2009 11:59:39 AM

$450 budget you say?

GIGABYTE GA-EP45-DS3L: $84.99 after $15 MIR
E5400: $95.99
Sunbeam Core Contact Freezer: $29.99 after $10 MIR
4Gb DDR2 800: $33.99 after $20 MIR
4850: $129.99 after $10 MIR
PCP&C 500w PSU: $59.99 after $25 MIR

Total: $434.94 after MIRs

This will give you a powerful, highly overclockable, system that can last you some time.
Of course you must spend an extra $65 above your budget before the MIRs as it is now.
If that is an issue, there are several areas in which costs can be cut.
Namely the CPU => E5200, Motherboard => cheaper alternative and GPU => 4670.

just my 2¢
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February 26, 2009 1:54:26 PM

Thanks so much for the information. I don't play games. I used to quite a lot, so maybe occasionally I might play one of my old games. I will be doing some video processing - mostly home movies. What I primarily use the computer for is Web development, with several apps open at once and a web server (apache) and database (mysql) running as services. Typically I may be in and out of Photoshop, Dreamweaver, a text editor, and the web browser in any given computer session when I'm developing websites.

I'm leaning towards the Intel systems you've mentioned. Is there an Intel based motherboard with onboard video? I've also been looking at an AMD system. The MSI DKA790GX motherboard has a good onboard video and I can add a video card later if need be. The CPU I was thinking of is the Phenom 8650.
February 26, 2009 2:47:49 PM

For video processing you'll want a quad core, or at least a tri-core.

You could go for an AMD 710 X3 for a bit over your budget but you'd also get a cf mobo.
a b B Homebuilt system
February 26, 2009 3:08:41 PM

This build would offer good performance for less than your budget:

AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Black Processor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $144.99

GIGABYTE GA-MA790GP-UD4H AM2+/AM2 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $138.99

G.SKILL PI Black 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $49.99

Total - $333.97

That actually leaves you some room to upgrade to 64-bit Vista so you can use all your RAM.

Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $99.99

If you don't want to upgrade the OS, I'd pick up a new hard drive. The newer drives are quite a bit faster than they were just a couple years ago. The 640GB drives offer amazing performance for the price.

Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $79.99
February 26, 2009 4:24:47 PM

AMD Quad Core Build

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$453
$11 shipping

This is a new and very good power supply, Antec Earthwatts 500w
New Phenom II X4 810
New Kingston 2x2gb 800mhz Memory
Gigabye UD3 motherboard
ATI 4830 Video card

In my opinion this build offers the best of all worlds at your price-point and you wont have to deal with crappy onboard video.

I could have picked a cheaper motherboard with onboard video but really it's not worth it in my opinion. Gigabyte offers a VERY solid and stable motherboard and you will not have to worry about voltage requirements for the CPU. Two things I NEVER cheap out on... motherboard and power supply. (unless something dire happens and I have very little cash)
February 26, 2009 4:45:46 PM

For Intel

Change Motherboard to
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Change CPU to
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Again This is a Gigabyte UD3 Motherboard
Intel Quad core

$452
$7 shipping

http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=351...

Shows the PhenomII 810 beating the Q8200 by a small margin. So if you aren't overclocking the PhenomII 810 is the better buy.

Small note: both processors can easily overlcock but I think that the Phenom would hold the upper hand here as well. Without adding undo stress and alot of extra voltage you would probably get more of an overclock out of the Phenom.
a b B Homebuilt system
February 26, 2009 7:18:17 PM

The RAM you linked to is DDR3. None of the builds to this point support DDR3.

DDR2 800 is fine for Intel builds unless you're planning an extreme overclock. DDR2 1066 works best on recent AMD chips.
February 26, 2009 8:38:13 PM

Unless you are going to be running a 24/7 number cruncher, you likely will not notice much of a difference between 800mhz and 1066mhz RAM.

My recommendation stands, the memory I have shown will work and with 100% compatibility. If you don't think compatibility is an issue, just ask a few people that have had problems.

If performance is a real concern, go with Kingston HyperX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Personally I do not feel the cost premium will be worth it for you. Either way I am fairly certain that you will not be disappointed with performance. You are looking at getting a nice Quad core after all..
February 26, 2009 8:59:44 PM

ir_efrem said:
AMD Quad Core Build

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$453
$11 shipping

This is a new and very good power supply, Antec Earthwatts 500w
New Phenom II X4 810
New Kingston 2x2gb 800mhz Memory
Gigabye UD3 motherboard
ATI 4830 Video card

In my opinion this build offers the best of all worlds at your price-point and you wont have to deal with crappy onboard video.

I could have picked a cheaper motherboard with onboard video but really it's not worth it in my opinion. Gigabyte offers a VERY solid and stable motherboard and you will not have to worry about voltage requirements for the CPU. Two things I NEVER cheap out on... motherboard and power supply. (unless something dire happens and I have very little cash)


This is a great $453 machine. I place my vote here.

Also the 800mhz ram is sufficient, unless you were to overclock.
February 27, 2009 1:40:02 AM

Do you guys think I could get by with the AMD Phenom II X3 720 instead of the X4 810?
February 28, 2009 5:38:17 AM

You are upgrading from a 3500+ single core. You will notice a fairly substantial difference buying just a dual core. When it comes to encoding times anyway.

If you just want to *get by* buy a low end Core2 like the E5200, this will offer much better encode times compared what you have now. It's a great *get me by for now* CPU, then upgrade to an Intel Quad down the road. The AMD 6000+ fits in this category as well, if you are looking at the AMD side of life.

It doesn't make sense to me, if you want to get by with an X3 when a quad is barely more cash. Getting by involves way less cash and this is where the e5200 or 6000+ fits in. They both leave an upgrade path to a quad later.

If you will be doing a lot of encoding you will quickly appreciate a Quad core..

My 3800+ (dual core) used to take more than an hour to transcode a movie, my Q6600 gets it encoded and burned to CD is less than half that time.

Your mileage will vary, depending on software and such but if you be selective you can seriously reduce encode times.

Given the fact that you will having apache and SQL running and you want to do some movie and photo editing. I cannot vouch for how heavy the traffic will be to your apache server or exactly what you are doing, but a dual core or triple core will probably be enough.

If you are getting constant hits/traffic to your apache/sql server and you still want to be able to do the other work at decent speeds, get the quad.
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