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What should I do? Upgrade, scrap or fix?

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March 5, 2009 4:14:29 AM

Hey guys i'm new to these forums but I've been reading them for a while now. My problem is that my first home build has recently crapped out. I can't figure out what's wrong with it and i didn't see a help forum so i didn't post my problem (is there one? If so I'll post my problem maybe you guys can crack it). Anyways I've been thinking of building a new one as prices seem to have plummeted since i built this one about 4 years ago. I'd like to know if there is anything on this current system that i can salvage and use for the new build, thus cutting my costs down as i don't really want to spend a huge amount. I know i obviously need a new mobo and cpu (old ones are a Asus A8n-E and a 939 AMD64). I'm just a bit confused as far as the psu, gpu, and memory are concerned. Here are what i think are salvageable parts and my concerns/questions.

PSU: Smart power 500w
-Is this going to be enough to power a newer mobo+CPU and or the possibility of two gpu's if i use crossfire? It's a great psu, really stable and has worked beautifully. From all i've read it seems like everyone goes with a 750 so maybe i need to upgrade.

GPU: EVGA GeForce 7800gt
-Card has worked great for everything i've used it for but i think an upgrade may be in order. I originally had thought that this had died on me and was the reason my system stopped working. So since its a 1.0 i ordered a replacement card for it for like 50 bucks (an EVGA 8600GTS). Of course it didn't fix the problem so now i have two outdated GFX cards. I can still return the 8600 to newegg so that's not really a problem. My question concerning this is can i plug a 1.0 PCI-E cards into 2.0 ports? I can't find a straightforward answer to this. I read somewhere that you can but its not fast? Also can i put these two cards into a newer mobo to save money for the time being or would it just be better to return it and put the money toward a 2.0 card?

As for the rest of the stuff I have a pretty good tower even though the 939 mobo is a tad cramped. Are newer ones bigger? Mouse, keyboard, sound card, and speakers are all fine.


Now that I've written all this out and its all in front of me it seems like my best bet would be to just fix it somehow and use it as a backup system and just buy all new stuff. The only problem with this is that i suspect the problem is with my mobo, in which case everything on it is useless. Which is why im trying to save anything i can. It sucks cause this system really does everything i want it to do. It would be nice to play newer games but honestly it's not a priority. I only really play games like TF2 or similar graphics wise, which would probably change with a more powerful system. Maybe i ought to just buy a new, slightly upgraded system. See what i mean when i say i don't know what to do? I'm just confused as to what all my options are here.

I was thinking about building one around an

Intel E8500
]http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115036]

And a GIGABYTE GA-EP45-DS4P
]http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128346]


What do you guys think? I know its a lot of info but these forums have helped me countess times but now i need some personal help. Thanks in advance for any comments!



More about : upgrade scrap fix

March 6, 2009 4:02:47 AM

hmm well man i am basically in the exact same boat as you, and i dont have much of a budget to work with to upgrade, so im salvaging my old psu, gfx card which is pci 1.0 which btw works perfectly fine in 2.0 slots withouth much (or any) performance loss might i add. and i decided to muster up 400 to upgrade my core components, heres what i came up with actually,
Related resources
March 6, 2009 7:53:57 AM

Hubbz said:
Hey guys i'm new to these forums but I've been reading them for a while now. My problem is that my first home build has recently crapped out. I can't figure out what's wrong with it and i didn't see a help forum so i didn't post my problem (is there one? If so I'll post my problem maybe you guys can crack it). Anyways I've been thinking of building a new one as prices seem to have plummeted since i built this one about 4 years ago. I'd like to know if there is anything on this current system that i can salvage and use for the new build, thus cutting my costs down as i don't really want to spend a huge amount. I know i obviously need a new mobo and cpu (old ones are a Asus A8n-E and a 939 AMD64). I'm just a bit confused as far as the psu, gpu, and memory are concerned. Here are what i think are salvageable parts and my concerns/questions.

PSU: Smart power 500w
-Is this going to be enough to power a newer mobo+CPU and or the possibility of two gpu's if i use crossfire? It's a great psu, really stable and has worked beautifully. From all i've read it seems like everyone goes with a 750 so maybe i need to upgrade.

GPU: EVGA GeForce 7800gt
-Card has worked great for everything i've used it for but i think an upgrade may be in order. I originally had thought that this had died on me and was the reason my system stopped working. So since its a 1.0 i ordered a replacement card for it for like 50 bucks (an EVGA 8600GTS). Of course it didn't fix the problem so now i have two outdated GFX cards. I can still return the 8600 to newegg so that's not really a problem. My question concerning this is can i plug a 1.0 PCI-E cards into 2.0 ports? I can't find a straightforward answer to this. I read somewhere that you can but its not fast? Also can i put these two cards into a newer mobo to save money for the time being or would it just be better to return it and put the money toward a 2.0 card?

As for the rest of the stuff I have a pretty good tower even though the 939 mobo is a tad cramped. Are newer ones bigger? Mouse, keyboard, sound card, and speakers are all fine.


Now that I've written all this out and its all in front of me it seems like my best bet would be to just fix it somehow and use it as a backup system and just buy all new stuff. The only problem with this is that i suspect the problem is with my mobo, in which case everything on it is useless. Which is why im trying to save anything i can. It sucks cause this system really does everything i want it to do. It would be nice to play newer games but honestly it's not a priority. I only really play games like TF2 or similar graphics wise, which would probably change with a more powerful system. Maybe i ought to just buy a new, slightly upgraded system. See what i mean when i say i don't know what to do? I'm just confused as to what all my options are here.

I was thinking about building one around an

Intel E8500
]http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115036]

And a GIGABYTE GA-EP45-DS4P
]http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128346]


What do you guys think? I know its a lot of info but these forums have helped me countess times but now i need some personal help. Thanks in advance for any comments!



What kind of budget are you looking at to build a new pc ?
a b B Homebuilt system
March 6, 2009 1:53:11 PM

For $95: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
MSI R4830-T2D512 Radeon HD 4830 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card. You may or may not get the $15 MIR.

For $145: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
SAPPHIRE 100245L Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card. There's a $10 MIR on this one. Be advised that a lot of people seem to think its fan is loud.

That's the highest-powered GPU you are likely to safely run on your older 500W PSU. You might manage a 4870, but since a failure would require you to replace the PSU anyway, I wouldn't recommend this.

If your budget is really tight, you might consider a HD4650. This card is four tiers higher than your old 7800GT on Cleeve's chart, and is around $60. The Apollo model is cheapest, but only has 256MB of RAM; the others have 512MB, for maybe $5 or $10 more.
a b B Homebuilt system
March 6, 2009 2:11:46 PM

On the CPU and mobo, those are excellent choices, but again if the budget is tight, even an E5200 ($73) will outperform your old S939 CPU.
March 6, 2009 7:01:55 PM

Thanks for the responses guys. As for my budget i was thinking somewhere in the range of 500-600? Maybe a little more. I just dont know if that will be enough as i need a new monitor too. I think if i downgrade the E8500 i could save some money. And ya it makes sense to return the 8600gts and get a 2.0 card like the 4650. Especially if its the same price. I definitely think i need a new psu cause im gonna have two hard drives and if i get a cheaper card i would buy two and run crossfire.
March 6, 2009 7:24:57 PM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $39.99
COOLER MASTER Elite 330 RC-330-KKN1-GP Black SECC ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $59.99
OCZ Fatal1ty OCZ400FTY 400W ATX12V / EPS12V Active PFC Power Supply - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $79.99
GIGABYTE GA-EP43-UD3L LGA 775 Intel P43 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail / Product of preference with 2 Oz Copper PCB & DualBIOS

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $72.99 Free Shipping*
Intel Pentium E5200 Wolfdale 2.5GHz 2MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $44.99 Free Shipping*
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... $39.99 Free Shipping*
Western Digital Caviar RE WD2500YD 250GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $22.99 Free Shipping*
LG Black 22X (CAV) DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 22X (CAV) DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 22X DVD±R DVD Burner - OEM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $99.99 ($84.99 after $15.00 Mail-In Rebate) Free Shipping*
SAPPHIRE 100265HDMI Radeon HD 4830 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail

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

Total: $560.91 (not including shipping and rebates)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $169.99 ($149.99 after $20.00 Mail-In Rebate) Free Shipping*
ASUS VW224U Black 22" 2ms(GTG) Widescreen LCD Monitor w/ HDCP Support 300 cd/m2 1000:1 (ASCR 5000:1) Built in Speakers - Retail
March 6, 2009 7:40:41 PM

Wow that's a good price. But wont i need more power for two hard drives and two gpu's?
March 6, 2009 9:08:57 PM

Hubbz said:
Wow that's a good price. But wont i need more power for two hard drives and two gpu's?


The two harddrives aren't a problem with that psu, and with your budget...the last thing I would worry about is running two gpu's. Alot of peeps on here spend close to your budget just on a vid card, let alone an entire system.
March 6, 2009 9:19:31 PM

So then if thats the case cant i just use my 500w psu from my first build?
March 6, 2009 9:22:11 PM

And will i need to upgrade the psu if i decide to run two gpu's in the future? Like if i get a crossfire mobo and just one gfx card for now, and decide to get another one later, will 5oow be enough?
March 6, 2009 9:34:53 PM

Hubbz said:
And will i need to upgrade the psu if i decide to run two gpu's in the future? Like if i get a crossfire mobo and just one gfx card for now, and decide to get another one later, will 5oow be enough?


That mobo is set up for Crossfire, the case has plenty of room and decent cooling for Crossfire, and the psu will run dual vids.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $134.99 ($114.99 after $20.00 Mail-In Rebate)
GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3P LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $89.99
COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $109.99 ($99.99 after $10.00 Mail-In Rebate) Free Shipping*
PC Power & Cooling S75CF 750W EPS12V SLI NVIDIA SLI Certified (Dual 8800 GTX and below) CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
March 6, 2009 10:37:47 PM

I think you're right about the two gpu's with my budget. Just does'nt make sense and i can always just upgrade my one card. I think im gonna use my 500w psu and my old case which would save almost 200 bucks.

I have an older Antec SP500 PSU. Will this be good enough even though it's old?

And i have this case:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119077

I figure i could use the money saved here to put towards other non essentials like a cpu fan and stuff.

The E5200 you recommended seems like a great deal and seems easily OC'd.

I'm also looking at this board
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128372

But i don't really see what the difference is between this one and the first gigabyte board you recommended.
March 6, 2009 10:47:08 PM

Hubbz said:
I think you're right about the two gpu's with my budget. Just does'nt make sense and i can always just upgrade my one card. I think im gonna use my 500w psu and my old case which would save almost 200 bucks.

I have an older Antec SP500 PSU. Will this be good enough even though it's old?

And i have this case:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119077

I figure i could use the money saved here to put towards other non essentials like a cpu fan and stuff.

The E5200 you recommended seems like a great deal and seems easily OC'd.

I'm also looking at this board
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128372

But i don't really see what the difference is between this one and the first gigabyte board you recommended.


One board...the P45 board lets you clock up to 1600 fsb the other board (P43) goes up to 1333 fsb, but after looking at the specs on it, it says it goes up to 1600 fsb also. On another note, if your running a cpu like the one you have posted, or the one I posted your not going to push it past a 1066 fsb anyways...those chips won't handle it.

Personally I like the P43 board $79 set up with the E5200 cpu ($74). That cpu has more enough cache that it easily overclocks to 3.3GHz @ 1066 FSB.
March 10, 2009 5:24:11 PM

Ok so ive decided to get the 5200 and the ep43. Im just torn as far as the PSU is concerned. Im not sure if it has the right amont of amps to power everything. It says on one 12 volt rail the max amps are 19 and the other says 17. I dont even know what that means im just worried it wont be enough to power newer components. I'd hate to just scrap it cause its been a stable psu. But maybe my new hardware needs a new power supply? What do you guys think?
a b B Homebuilt system
March 10, 2009 9:52:36 PM

I read a comment in another thread suggesting the old Smart Power PSUs do not age well due to capacitors that fail at high temperatures (such as those found in a PSU that is outputting 80% or more of its rating). As old as yours is, it is probably safest to replace it.
For a single HD4830 a quality 380W-450W should be sufficient.
March 11, 2009 12:00:59 AM

Hmm ya thats what i've been thinking all day. Well i'm gonna order the stuff tonight. Heres what i'm going for:

Intel Pentium E5200 Wolfdale 2.5GHz

GIGABYTE GA-EP43-UD3L

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500)

SAMSUNG 2243BWX High Gloss Piano Black 22" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor

HIS Hightech H485FN512P Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3

Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST3160813AS 160GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive

Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders - OEM

And i'm thinking this PSU:
Rosewill RP550V2-D-SL 550W ATX12V v2.01 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Power Supply

Just under $800 shipped. Would be way less if i didn't need a new monitor. What do you guys think?
a b B Homebuilt system
March 11, 2009 12:45:29 AM

Rosewill has a poor reputation. I would not take the gamble on that particular model. It does not have Active PFC, nor is it 80+ certified at any level. It is likely an older, inefficient design. Check out Antec Earthwatts. THG used a 380W model to power a 4850, although I'd likely choose at least the 430W model. OCZ also has some relatively inexpensive 80+ certified PSUs that are worth a look.
March 11, 2009 12:52:11 AM

Ahh oh ya the certified ones i forgot about that. Ya and the 500w certified antec is only 10 bucks more.
!