Looking to upgrade, and was wondering if I could get some advice

I've finally gotten myself to the point where i need to upgrade my system (the cpu is 4 years old this summer) and I was wondering if you guys could give me a bit of input on a couple of questions. I'd like to say that it's likely that I won't be upgrading in the near future, and I'm hoping that i can hold onto most of this system for at least 3 years. I mostly game on my system, and i doubt I'll be doing much else with it. I'm planning on some simple overclocking also, but nothing too serious.

I'm going to be getting a Phenom II 720 BE, and a motherboard and RAM to match. I also have an 8600gt that I'm probably going to hang onto for at least a little while, an old IDE 200GB Seagate hard drive (about 4 years old) and 2 80GB SATA drives, which i believe are also Seagates. I currently have my system hooking up to a 500W Cool Master power supply, which i believe has 2 12V rails, each putting out 16 Amps.

First, I was wondering if my current power supply will be enough to power the new system.

Second, I was wondering what people's opinions on DDR 3 vs DDR 2. Will I see much necessity for it, now or in the future?

I have no clue about the power supply, but as far as I can tell, I won't see that much of a performance gain using DDR3 vs DDR 2, but wanting this system to last is making me lean toward DDR3.


P.S. I wasn't sure which section to post this in because it really covers a couple of area, if i need to, i will break it down, and post in each section, but my main question is the power supply.
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  1. Power supply is still enough for your proposed upgrade. I would go with DDR3 only because soon DDR2 will be phased out much like DDR1 was. Performance between the two is not really all that much iirc. So with the length of time you plan on keeping your hardware, DDR3 is the better choice by far. Only reason I have a DDR2 Ph II rig was I already had the 8gb ram and got a really good deal on the CPU and Motherboard.
  2. ^agree. Your power supply will be fine until/unless you upgrade your graphic card to a more powerful one. DDR2 prices will continue to rise over time as DDR3 prices continue to drop, it's better to go AMD3/DDR3 if possible. In some cases you can't since there's only 1 micro ATX DDR3 board available right now.
  3. How much can the PSU output COMBINED on the 12V rails? (hint: its probably not 32A) Also, from what line is this PSU? CM made some good ones, and some not so good ones.

    You want to game for the next 3 years with the 8600GT? Game meaning play solitare? Or do you enjoy playing at 640x480? There are many cards out right now that cost less then $100 and will be MUCH faster then that 8600GT. They have a much better chance of gaming 3 years from now.
  4. Your PSU will be Fine for now, but you may need to thing about an upgrade if you ever throw any heavy duty graphics Cards at your rig in the future, and yes, ddr3 is the new kind of cheese, but then, do you really need it, now or in three years time when who knows, ddr4/5 may be mainstream and we are all talking about the latest technology being dead in the water again, If you want superior performance for superior needs ddr3 will let you teweak till your hearts content but your system sounds like a med use system so the cheaper ddr2 (it is still far cheaper now) will probably be adequate for the next three years.
  5. Edit: if its budget you are looking at, save money on ddr3 mobo and ram and spend that money upgrading the 8600, a 9600gt or 4670 will see you gaming into gaming nirvana compared to the 8600 and far more performance jump than ddr3 will ever be even in 3 years time
  6. Dual Channel DDR3 kits are not really all that higher than their DDR2 counterparts anymore. Since the OP does not sound like someone that would be doing CF or SLI later on I would go with this:
  7. @4745454b: this is my power supply: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817171018 I bought it around last January. I'm sorry, but I actually know very little about power supplies, so thanks for input.

    Yeah, I'm not all too interesting in CF or SLI due to the cost. I don't plan on making the 8600gt last any real length of time. Most likely, I'll be upgrading it well before 6 months are up. Actually, I've been eying the ATI 4770 as a good upgrade, but that won't be for a little while at least. The only reason I'm not going to upgrade it right now is that I'm almost positive that my CPU is bottle necking me, and I wanted to see what my GPU can do. Also, my monitor is only 1200 x 1024, so I wanted to see how that would play out.
  8. Yuck. I'm not 100% sure, but that PSU looks like junk. 500W, but only a single PCIe 6 pin plug. (my 500W at home has 2) No PFC, active or passive, only 70% efficient, and the graph on the side of the casing is to chicken to include total 12V rail figures. I hope you didn't spend much on it.

    If your going to stay with that PSU, your limited to all cards that have a single 6pin plug. I'm not sure I'd go any higher then an 8800GT, as other cards would draw to much power. If your curious as to how well that 8600GT can work, by all means keep using it. But you'll want that 4770 sooner or later depending on the games you play. (I'd also upgrade the PSU ASAP, I don't like the look of it.)
  9. Coolermaster makes fairly decent PSU's. The OP is obviously not a major power user so does not need more than what that PSU provides in wattage or connections. Not the greatest PSU but plenty for his intended upgrade. 4770's are not that bad on power and @ his res, plenty powerful enough of a graphics card to play pretty much anything.
  10. That PSU, while it may be fine, specs out as a pretty low-end unit.
    It may work well enough, but if you have any issues booting, Windows freezing, anything out of the ordinary with your new build, I would definetly be tossing it out and buying something better before you start RMA motherboards, memory, video cards, etc. In other words....any future problems, I would highly suspect the PSU first.
  11. The PSU was only $10 after a 40 or $50 rebate I think, so no I didn't spend too much on it, don't worry.

    Thanks for the heads up about buggyness and the PSU jitpublisher, I don't think I would have thought of that.

    I also wanted to say thanks you guys, you all really helped out a lot. I'll post on how it turns out in a week or so when I finally get the parts.
  12. So what did you get?
  13. Sorry about that, I thought I had mentioned it. I actually just ordered a few hours ago though.

    I got a Phenom II X3 720 BE, and these:




    I'm going to see how my current PSU, video card and hard drives are with it before I upgrade them. I chose the 720 because it seems like a good balance of price and power, plus I've heard it's a good overclocker. Same with the motherboard. Since I've never really seen ram as a big player, I went for the cheapest 4 gig kit. Interestingly enough, the cheapest one had heat spreaders, but I get the feeling it isn't high quality ram, but I don't mind. I think it's supposed to come on friday. man I can't wait!
  14. Sorry for the semi-thread necro, but dangit, I said I'd say how it went!

    Everything went well for the most part, the new comp runs well, but my old power supply didn't have an 8 pin 12V connector for the motherboard, only a 4 pin. I ended up getting an adapter for it. Otherwise, it went well, and I'll be gaming on it for a while hopefully. Once again, thanks you guys for the input.
  15. Thanks for the feedback! Best of gaming to you. I just finished a build with an Asrock board and am very happy with it.
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