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Want To Upgrade My Gamer

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April 15, 2009 9:20:56 PM

Hi All,
New to these forums. Just found yesterday, and impressed with the level of feedback on these type requests.

I have custom built gaming rig that is a little over 3 years old:

- AMD Athlon 64 FX-55 San Diego 2.6GHz Socket 939 Single-Core Processor Model ADAFX55BNBOX - Retail
- EVGA 256-P2-N529-AX GeForce 7800GTX 256MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
- ASUS A8N32-SLI Deluxe 939 NVIDIA nForce4 SLI X16 ATX AMD Motherboard
- CORSAIR XMS 4GB (4 x 1GB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200) TWINX2048-3200C2PT
- SILVERSTONE ZEUS ST65ZF 650W ATX 12V 2.0 & EPS 12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply
- Western Digital Raptor WD740GD 74GB 10000 RPM SATA 1.5Gb/s Hard Drive X 2 (Raid0)
- Creative Sound Blaster Audigy2 ZS GAMER Limited Edition 70SB035000013 7.1 Channels PCI Interface Sound Card


Housed in a:
- Thermaltake Armor VA8000SWA Silver Aluminum ATX Full Tower Computer Case

I made the mistake of buying the latest greatest Processor and GPU at the time and spent way too much money. Hence, due to severe wife backlash, I have been unable to upgrade until now. I have around $800 (1K if i get her a nice birthday gift) to spend on upgrading.

My dilemma is, given the above list of parts, are any worth keeping? Do I try to ebay all and start over? I don't really have the $$ to build the system that I'd like to (i7), but I know i can get considerable upgrade from what I currently have. I use the rig almost exclusively for gaming, mostly MMO, although I'd like to have a rig capable of Crysis type games.

Also, do you think the latest Mobos will fit into a case that old? Any issues with newer GPU cards fitting (given that they are lot bigger than Back Then)?

Thanks in advance for the help,
Jdog

P.S. Forgot to add that I already have a decent monitor, so the amount to spend need not include monitor.

More about : upgrade gamer

April 15, 2009 9:45:21 PM

None of the core components are worth keeping

The power supply , sound card , case and dvd drive probably are

Really powerful gaming pc's can be had at good prices


And AMD 720 be triple core + mb combo is around $210 on newegg

add 4 gigs of 1066 MHz RAM

a 640 gig WD black series hard drive

and a gfx card that suits your monitors resolution

Unless you have a 24 inch monitor you will have change from $800 [ and your wife will be happy ]
April 15, 2009 9:55:38 PM

If all you have is $800 bucks to spend.................. Bummer because that was a bitchin set up 4 years ago.

I have a similar 939 set up with a4800 dual core on it. It's now put away and rarely started. If you want to extend the life of your system buy a high end video card and that's about all you can do with it.... SLI-ing 2 cards is a waste for a now "low end" box. Save your money and until you can do a substantial upgrade.... I wouldn't do anything..... even if you could find a dual core proc for that I wouldn't do it. Your cards are holding you back big time here but the processing power won't let you take advantage with too big a card.....

Options are Intel quads..$200....... mobo..$1- $150.....memory DDR2 4gig $50/$75..... 1 high end card. .........or........ xfire or sli 2 high end cards.

PhenomII quad..... same as above............. your call. ..... or options for DDR3 usage.... new Phenoms due soon.

the i7's are good but hot and over priced. A few month's away will be the release of bargain i7's..... forget what they are called.

If you rape your old machine and only need a processor, mobo, video and memory you just might be able to score an i7 setup........ been a while since i priced one.

260mobo + 100 3gig tri-chan mem + 280chip + video.....what's left won't get you a high end video card but will certainly be better those 2 7800's.
Related resources
April 15, 2009 9:58:14 PM

The Raptors could be worth keeping as well, could use 1 (or 2 in RAID) as an OS drive. The 640GB will probably perform as well, but having a separate disk for OS could be good and it doesn't need to be huge.

If you don't want them, I'll take them :p .
April 15, 2009 10:01:06 PM

Thought I'd post some prices and links :) 
If you keep the case, dvd drive, and power supply:

GIGABYTE GA-MA790XT-UD4P + AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8ghz BE combo deal
$255 ($240 after MIR)

G.Skill DDR3-1333 4gb
$60

WD Black 640gb
$75

Xigmatek Dark Knight Heatsink
$40

Sapphire Radeon 4870 1gb
$190

Total: $620 ($605 after MIR) before shipping

Edit: It will play crysis, and I'd be suprised if your full tower case didn't have enough room for all this.

Or, if you wanted to keep the old pc intact, you could add

Cooler Master RC-690 Case
$75

Corsair 650W PSU
$95 ($75 after MIR)

Samsung DVD Burner
$26

Total: $819 ($784 after MIR) before shipping
April 15, 2009 11:44:46 PM

Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
Item #: N82E16822136319
-$5.00 Instant
$79.99
$74.99
. .
BIOSTAR TFORCE TA790GX 128M AM2+/AM2 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
Item #: N82E16813138130
-$5.00 Instant

$10.00 Mail-in Rebate $109.99
$104.99
. .
HIS Hightech H487FN512P Radeon HD 4870 512MB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
Item #: N82E16814161268
-$5.00 Instant
-$4.99 Saving

$15.00 Mail-in Rebate $170.99
$161.00
1 HIS S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky Game DVD Gift - Retail
Item #: N82E16800997041
Return Policy: Limited Non-Refundable 30-Day Return Policy $4.99
. .
Antec EA650 650W Continuous Power ATX12V Ver.2.2 / EPS12V version 2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
Item #: N82E16817371015
Return Policy: 30 Day Return Policy
Protect Your Investment (expand for options17-371-015|hide options17-371-015)
Service Net Replacement Extended Warranty Plan
The product will be replaced and shipped directly to you at no charge(more info17-371-015.0.18)

1 year: $14.99
2 year: $19.99
-$20.00 Instant
$99.99
$79.99
. .
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-8500CL5D-4GBPK - Retail
Item #: N82E16820231166
Return Policy: Limited Non-Refundable 30-Day Return Policy -$10.00 Instant
$64.99
$54.99
. .
AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Black Processor Model HDZ720WFGIBOX - Retail
Item #: N82E16819103649
Return Policy: Processors (CPUs) Return Policy
Protect Your Investment (expand for options19-103-649|hide options19-103-649)
Service Net Replacement Extended Warranty Plan
The product will be replaced and shipped directly to you at no charge(more info19-103-649.0.18)

1 year: $24.99
2 year: $39.99
$134.99
Subtotal: $615.94
Calculate Shipping
Zip Code: . FedEx 3Day Express Saver -- $43.52FedEx 2Day -- $61.46FedEx Standard Overnight -- $71.70UPS Guaranteed 3 Day Service -- $0.00UPS 2nd Day -- $38.61UPS Next Day Saver -- $46.78 GO Shipping: $0.00

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(Grand Total: $615.94
April 16, 2009 2:34:55 AM

Reuse the case, the Raptor HDD's (keep in raid 0 for system drive), DVD drive, PSU, maybe the sound card (although onboard sound will likely be just as good).

Replace the OS, MB, CPU, Ram, GPU, and get a backup HDD for storage.

OS: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
MB/CPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
Ram: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Backup HDD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$788. Next upgrade is a Better PSU and a another 4890.
April 16, 2009 4:25:37 AM

Thanks guys! Here's what I'm thinking about so far based on suggestions and some research on NewEgg



Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive

SAPPHIRE 100259-1GL Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL8D-4GBHK

XIGMATEK Dark Knight-S1283V 120mm Long Life Bearing CPU Cooler

GIGABYTE GA-MA790XT-UD4P AM3 DDR3 AMD 790X ATX AMD Motherboard

AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Black Processor Model HDZ720WFGIBOX

Comes to a little over 600 bucks.

I'm thinking I will probably add in a case and PSU for all the new parts(Refurb coolermaster case and PSU combo - (http://cmstore.coolermaster-usa.com/product_info.php?pr...). Throw in a DVD burner and I can just use the current computer as a backup (expensive web surfer!)

I still would have 200 bucks or so to play around with. See any parts I might want to upgrade?

April 16, 2009 4:35:12 AM

Well, you could always get 4 or 5 new pc games with it :) 

I forgot to ask, does your current psu have the 2x PCI-E 6-pin connectors needed for the 4870?

Well the ram is fast, the graphics card is great, and the processor looks good. You could opt for a quad core, but almost no games benefit from the 4th core. If you ever go for 4870s in SLI, though, you'll need a more powerful psu.
April 16, 2009 4:39:06 AM

jdog66 said:
Thanks guys! Here's what I'm thinking about so far based on suggestions and some research on NewEgg



Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive

SAPPHIRE 100259-1GL Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL8D-4GBHK

XIGMATEK Dark Knight-S1283V 120mm Long Life Bearing CPU Cooler

GIGABYTE GA-MA790XT-UD4P AM3 DDR3 AMD 790X ATX AMD Motherboard

AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Black Processor Model HDZ720WFGIBOX

Comes to a little over 600 bucks.

I'm thinking I will probably add in a case and PSU for all the new parts(Refurb coolermaster case and PSU combo - (http://cmstore.coolermaster-usa.com/product_info.php?pr...). Throw in a DVD burner and I can just use the current computer as a backup (expensive web surfer!)

I still would have 200 bucks or so to play around with. See any parts I might want to upgrade?



might as well change the gfx card to a 4890
April 16, 2009 4:49:31 AM

Yup irkjab, the PSU has 2 6pins. The PSU has always performed admirably (even /w processor and card OCed) but it's not really name brand is it .. or is SilverStone ok?

(SILVERSTONE ZEUS ST65ZF 650W ATX 12V 2.0 & EPS 12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply )

Wondering if I should trust my new investments with it?

Thanks outlander! Looking at the costs of the 4890 now.
April 16, 2009 4:52:57 AM

Silverstone is a perfectly fine brand as far as I know. You could certainly do a lot worse.

I am wondering though whether the 4890 gives enough performance over the 4870 to justify the difference in price
April 16, 2009 6:16:12 AM

Silverstone is a very high end brand and if you can get up to $1000 I have seen $1000 i7 builds. It's more future proof and will perform much better than all the amd systems listed.


CPU: Intel Core i7 920 ($289)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard: MSI X58 Pro ($200)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Memory: Kingston 3 x 1GB ($52)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Video Card: EVGA 9800 GTX+ ($135)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hard Disk: Western Digital Caviar Black 640GB ($75)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power Supply: CORSAIR 650W ($100)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Optical Drive: LG DVD-Writer ($25)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case: Antec 300 Case ($55)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total: $931
April 16, 2009 7:29:37 PM

One problem:
I'm building a system for a friend. At first I recommended going AM3/DDR3. However, all the AM3 motherboards so far are Crossfire. No SLI.

However, NVidia is the only Physics option and it does may a big difference in many games.

In the end, I'm recommending the AM3/DDR3 solution and use a single high-end NVidia GPU and leave the 2nd graphics slot open. It may even be possible to drop a "Larrabee" board in the 2nd slot in a couple years for a boost.

My two cents:
- motherboard: asus M4A78T-E
- cpu: amd am3 Phenom II x4 940
- a better CPU HSF
- Patriot Viper Dual Channel 4096MB PC10600 DDR3 1333MHz
- NVidia GTX 275 896MB
- PSU (PC Power & Silencer 750 or CorsairTX 750W)
- DVD burner - LG GH22LS30 Black 22X SATA Lightscribe DVDRW OEM

I also think it might be best to build a system like this and use your existing graphics card and wait for a DirectX 11 card.

I'd also wait until getting a copy of Windows 7 RC for free (soonish) then buy an OEM copy when it retails.
April 16, 2009 9:25:25 PM

Curious, what are the many games that nvidia physx makes a big difference in?
April 16, 2009 9:53:02 PM

ATI has Havok, which is a physics accelerator just like Physx.
April 17, 2009 4:19:46 AM

About ready to pull the trigger!! After reading the link outlander posted, couldn't I just buy the 4870 and OC it up to 4890 speeds?

Affinity- going the i7 option really causes me to scrimp on the rest. I think I'll hold off on that. I dont mind buying products that are not in the latest greatest generation. That's what happened to me with my current build, and that's why I haven't been able to upgrade until now. I actually spent 3K on my current rig. :fou: 
April 17, 2009 4:32:13 AM

jdog66 said:
About ready to pull the trigger!! After reading the link outlander posted, couldn't I just buy the 4870 and OC it up to 4890 speeds?

Affinity- going the i7 option really causes me to scrimp on the rest. I think I'll hold off on that. I dont mind buying products that are not in the latest greatest generation. That's what happened to me with my current build, and that's why I haven't been able to upgrade until now. I actually spent 3K on my current rig. :fou: 



And wait until you see how that $800 box is going to make that $3k build look. Terrible how much that stuff cost back then.
April 17, 2009 4:42:35 AM

Well the difference is that the 775 socket is out the door. So any systems built on that are going to be dated very quickly. The 1366 socket will be around for a while, so upgrading down the road is easily possible without breaking the bank. It's also much more powerful and will give you a longer shelf life.

The AMD sockets will be supported longer than the 775, but they just don't have the performance the i7 does. Performance/cost, the i7 is the best bet. If you can afford it , that's the way to go.
April 17, 2009 4:48:30 AM

affinitydesigns said:
The AMD sockets will be supported longer than the 775, but they just don't have the performance the i7 does. Performance/cost, the i7 is the best bet. If you can afford it , that's the way to go.


Uhh the i7 has the worst cost/performance ratio of any platform, unless you are doing some very specific tasks. If you want a gaming rig Phenom II has the best cost/performance ratio.
April 17, 2009 4:51:03 AM

I own an i7 920, phenom II 940 and 920 rig and my i7 definitely gets a better performance to cost ratio....
April 17, 2009 5:11:10 AM

The phenom II + 4870 will handle your MMOs without breaking a sweat, and pull respectable framerates in crysis.
Why pay more for extra performance you won't use? The money you'll save over the i7 rig will buy you a graphics card upgrade in a couple of years, or whenever you feel you need one. Thats my opinion anyway.

April 17, 2009 1:54:22 PM

affinitydesigns said:
I own an i7 920, phenom II 940 and 920 rig and my i7 definitely gets a better performance to cost ratio....


Bulls**t
April 17, 2009 7:16:17 PM

affinitydesigns said:
I own an i7 920, phenom II 940 and 920 rig and my i7 definitely gets a better performance to cost ratio....

I bet you would like to think that it does. The top end components always get the worst price/performance ratio, you have to pay the premium of having the latest and greatest. Midrange is almost always the best bet for cost/performance ratio.
April 17, 2009 7:20:41 PM

xthekidx said:
ATI has Havok, which is a physics accelerator just like Physx.


But would it be enabled in games like Mirrors edge and Empire total war?
April 17, 2009 7:38:54 PM

xthekidx said:
I bet you would like to think that it does. The top end components always get the worst price/performance ratio, you have to pay the premium of having the latest and greatest. Midrange is almost always the best bet for cost/performance ratio.


Depends what you are doing with your PC, if you're just gaming the i7 has a rubbish bang for buck, if you use it for pretty much everything then it has the best bang for buck ratio you can get these days.
April 17, 2009 8:22:53 PM

Helloworld_98 said:
Depends what you are doing with your PC, if you're just gaming the i7 has a rubbish bang for buck, if you use it for pretty much everything then it has the best bang for buck ratio you can get these days.

The only things that make the i7 worth it is video/photo editing, media file conversion and stuff like that, hardly the average user's apps. Microsoft word and Firefox run just as well on Phenom II as they do on i7. The Phenom II 940 performs better in many games than the i7 does.
April 18, 2009 12:09:43 PM

Helloworld_98 said:
Depends what you are doing with your PC, if you're just gaming the i7 has a rubbish bang for buck, if you use it for pretty much everything then it has the best bang for buck ratio you can get these days.


An i7, although it is a great processor and king of the hill right now, is in no way shape or form is worth the price you pay for it.
Period.
If you have the cash, and want the very best no matter the cost, buy it.
If you have any sense of value, and prefer not to throw money down the drain, look somewhere else.
You can get 90% of the performance across the board for half the price.
And in games, yes you can get equal performance for half the price.
!