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Should I upgrade or should i build a new system?

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June 16, 2009 5:56:06 AM

Current system Specs:

CPU: Intel C2D E8400 @ 3Ghz (I dont overclock)
MB: Asus P5N-D 750i chipset
Ram:4gb KINGSTON hyper x KHX6400D2LLK2/2G (was supposed to be DDR2 800, but the MB only saw it as DDR2 667 had to force it to 800mhz)
Gfx: XFX 8800 GT (G92) 512mb
HDs: WD 640 blue and 1Tb green

Im really debating on building a new system. I would like to build a HTPC or turn this one into a HTPC and replace the Gfx card with a fanless gfx option. I do game and I own a Samsung SyncMaster 2433bw monitor (1920X1200). The HTPC will be connecting to a 42" 1080p LCD tv. I know my current system is nothing to sneeze at and will play every game that I currently own. (DoW II, Company of Heroes, World in Conflict, Supreme Commander)

For my main PC im planing on going dual moniters, Ill either replace my 24" with a comparable 1080p monitor and a 1080p HDTV for my bedroom. (I like to watch netflix and hulu.) Im not tied to any maker atm, I used to be AMD only untill C2D was beating Phenom hands down. Now that Phenom II is out and is compareable to C2Quad it makes no differance. I would like to have something that I can upgrade later on. My budget is going to be 1000 to 1200. Im using Win7 64 atm, but I do own Vista Home Prem 64.

So what say you, upgrade, ie replace the mb with a p45, and get a better gfx card, and build a new HTPC or reuse as my htpc with a quieter gfx card, and build a new main pc? Ive priced both Phenom II 955 and Ci7 920 systems, they are within 150 of each other. So whats your suggestions, or should I wait and see what comes out in sept?

More about : upgrade build system

June 16, 2009 6:11:54 AM

Do what you want man. Im partial to the AMD line. But the core i7 is one hell of a Platform. Right now the 965 Extreme is on top Even over most 8 core machines (xeon) in most programs. other setups the xeon kills it. Then there is AMD! The underdog..... Personally this is all I use, I get more for MY money (Execpt a couple of rigs-Special) The Phenom II 940 BE Easily kills Q6600-Q9750And if OC'd better it will go further I would Put a masivly oc'd PII 955 against an i7 920-hehe
June 16, 2009 6:17:18 AM

I am the type of person that trys to get the best bang for his buck(I got burned in getting my XFX 8800 GT 275 Feb 08 and now its not even listed for sale anymore)

I just wanted to get a few suggestions from people that maybe own either cpus or that have built rigs with either, and hear their thoughts.
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June 16, 2009 7:12:07 AM

^ Waiting till september would totally make sense as your PC can easily hold up till then...
New CPUs, lower price for current line-ups,...
June 16, 2009 7:18:04 AM

Aye shes holding up good for me, just I do plan on building a new computer to connect to the living room HDTV so I can watch my blu-ray movies, netflix online and hulu. It might also pull duty as the media server for the house but im not sure yet, I may use something else for that.
June 16, 2009 7:25:49 AM

^ Then your idea of converting this PC as a HTPC and server would be good...
June 16, 2009 7:33:51 AM

Yes because for your budget, you can get an i7 build now itself and obviously you wouldnt need such a PC as the HTPC...
June 16, 2009 7:39:37 AM

well the htpc will be in the living room, while my gaming rig will be in my bedroom. I kind of want the HTPC to also serve as the Media storage for my home network, So all my media files are in a central location.

I plan on putting a WD 500gb and the 1Tb in with the HTPC, and keeping the WD 640 for the new rig in my bedroom. Ive just been trying to decide if i should spend the extra 150 on Core i7 or save it and build a Phenom II.
June 16, 2009 8:31:31 AM

^ Both the i7 and P II are excellent CPUs...But if you are primarily planning for a gaming PC for the bedroom, then get the PII as i7 doesn't offer much better performance than the PII...But the i7 would perform very well in tasks such as video editing and other CPU intensive tasks...
June 16, 2009 8:33:24 AM

And am sure you can save more on a PII 955 build(maybe more than $150)
June 16, 2009 9:02:31 AM

Here is a list of common items between the builds I plan on using:

PSU: PC Power & Cooling S61EPS 610W Continuous @ 40°C EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power ... - Retail
Model #:S61EPS
Item #:N82E16817703005

Blu-Ray Drive : LG Black LG Blu-ray/HD DVD-ROM & 16X DVD±R DVD Burner SATA Model GGC-H20L - OEM
Model #:GGC-H20L OEM
Item #:N82E16827136154

Gfx Card :SAPPHIRE 100259-1GL Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
Model #:100259-1GL
Item #:N82E16814102801

And now the Items that depend on if I go AMD or Intel.

Amd

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor Model HDZ955FBGIBOX - Retail
Model #:HDZ955FBGIBOX
Item #:N82E16819103674

RAM:G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL8D-4GBHK - Retail
Model #:F3-10666CL8D-4GBHK
Item #:N82E16820231189

MB: ECS BLACK SERIES A790GXM-AD3 AM3 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
Model #:A790GXM-AD3
Item #:N82E16813135236

Intel

CPU: Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601920 - Retail
Model #:BX80601920
Item #:N82E16819115202

RAM: G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9T-6GBNQ - Retail
Model #:F3-12800CL9T-6GBNQ
Item #:N82E16820231225

MB: MSI X58 Pro LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
Model #:X58 Pro
Item #:N82E16813130221

After Taxes but not including rebates, the price differance between the two builds is about 153 bucks for me. I may buy the PSU and Blu-Ray drive earlier. But these are the Parts im thinking about using. For me I mostly game, and web surf. I do very little transcoding as most shows are already coded for me. But I am thinking about backing up my dvd libary into digital format. Not sure how much space im going to need for that as I own over 150 dvds currently.

Thanks for the input so far, its really helping me to get my thoughts straight on how to come at this build.
June 16, 2009 9:16:11 AM

Are you planning for adding one more 4870 later in crossfire?
June 16, 2009 9:30:04 AM

If you are planning to add one more crossfire later, then you would have to get a good quality 700W PSU...
If you dont plan on getting the second one, then you can save some cash by going with this mobo...It has sufficinet options for a good overclock too...
GIGABYTE GA-MA770T-UD3P

And a good 4870 1GB for about $150...
XFX HD-487A-ZDFC Radeon HD 4870 1GB

But if you are planning for adding one more 4870 the stick wiht that mobo but get this PSU for about $110...
PC Power & Cooling S75QB 750W
June 16, 2009 9:49:34 AM

But if there are any Microcenter stores nearby, then go with the i7 as they have i7 for $230 for in-store pick-up, which would bring down the margin by about $50...
June 16, 2009 5:11:49 PM

Shoot, all you need to do with your system is upgrade your GPU. You've got a decent gaming setup as it is. I don't see a whole lot of reason to do a full update right now.

If you are going to upgrade from your E8400, I wouldn't do anything less than the i7 920. Otherwise, what's the improvement? That being said, I'd stick with what you've got. Put a better GPU in there, and you should be gaming perfectly fine for a while still.
June 16, 2009 5:17:41 PM

Ok so update the gfx card, and wait to see whats coming down the pipe?

And I guess I could build a htpc from scratch thats alot cheeper than doing a total main rig update.

Thanks for the suggestion.
June 16, 2009 5:53:32 PM

Ok heres a thought, for the HTPC that I want, I want to use hdmi for video and sound, do the new 780gx motherboards allow lpcm for surround sound? Or should I look for a intel 775 mb and add a ati gfx card with hdmi out to get the multi-channel lpcm?
June 17, 2009 4:16:38 AM

@tigerwraith seems you have made up your mind to wait...So I would still suggest you to wait till September and convert that E8400 setup into HTPC because anyways there wont be newer CPUs for the LGA 775 socket as intel has already stopped releasing new CPUs for that socket and instead of getting rid of that E8400, convert it into an HTPC and like I said before, you can get better CPUs for less when new CPUs release during September...
June 17, 2009 5:27:24 AM

oks, question then, would getting a ATI gfx card with HDMI out allow me to have multi-channel lpcm passthrough on my Asus P5N-D motherboard?
June 17, 2009 11:23:38 AM

Yes the ATI 4xxx series videocard (4550 passive is a good choice) These video cards have on-board multichannel PCM sound-devices (independent of motherboard or other sound cards).
June 17, 2009 7:03:25 PM

Ok thanks again for the advice.
!