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New System for Windows 7

Last response: in Systems
July 17, 2009 9:01:34 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: August to September 2009

BUDGET RANGE: Approximately $500 but flexible

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: surfing the internet, playing the occasional game (mainly command and conquer), watching videos, watching TV

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS, hard drives





Additional Comments:
Hello. I’m about to build a new system for Windows 7 (last system built for Windows Vista) and would like some feedback and advice.
Current system:
ECS KN Lite with a AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 4200+ (Manchester)
2 gigs of dual channel ram using all 4 banks.
ATI Radeon 1600 PCIE video card with 512 megs of memory.
FusionHDTV5 RT Gold (TV Tuner)
530 Watt CompUSA power supply (purchased in 2006 and possibly beginning to
C drive – Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 500 GB
D drive – Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 160 GB
DVD RAM and DVDRW drives
LS120 floppy

Proposed System:

Quad core system – probably AMD Phenom II 940 (but open to Intel).

For motherboard I am leaning towards the ASUS M4N72-E (I’m leaning towards an ASUS model because I’m interested in the “Express Gate” instant on feature).

4 gigs of dual channel memory – probably DDR2 as I’ve read there’s no real benefit to
DDR3 for the price increase.

For video I’m looking at the ASUS EAH4670 - 1 gig model (in part for hopefully better compatibility with the ASUS motherboard).

600 watt power supply

I plan on keeping the case, TV tuner and my hard drives. But replacing the DVDRW
with a blu-ray/HDDVD combo drive.

I’ll be looking for a bare bones system/kit that I can order online like the above combo offer from Newegg or a more complete system from a pricewatch vendor.

Thank in advance

More about : system windows

July 17, 2009 9:43:27 PM

Since you're not planning to purchase for a few weeks, I'll talk fundamentals instead of specific parts. Combos and prices will change.

Amd is a great value for the budget you're in so I'd stick with that. From what you're using the computer for, an Phenom II x3 would be more than enough for you and save you some money. If you have the budget for a quad, go for it.

Read some reviews on express gate. I bought an Asus for the same reason and don't end up using it. Plugins and java didn't seem to work with it if I remember correctly.

As for the mobo, you really can pick anyone you want since you're not going to OC or crossfire. So picking one based on lowest price along with the features you need can save some money too. And you don't have to match the GPU manufacturer with the mobo. Mix and match is fine.

While DDR3 might not provide any noticable performance issues, it is going to get cheaper. DDR2 has already hit its production high and the prices are climbing. From what you list your uses are, 4 gigs of ram should be enough for the life of the system so upgrading later probably won't be nessessary. If you do upgrade though, DDR2 will be more expensive than DDR3. That and a DDR3 system will be better set for any upgrades you may make later too. The price difference is about $20 for DDR3 ram.

For your system, 600w is way overkill. You will be fine with an Antec Earthwatts 380. Really, you could go lower, but the reputable manufactures don't go any lower. Entry level PSU from Corsair, Antec, PC Power and Cooling are all good choices. Acceptable choices would include OCZ.

Might be worth reposting with specifics a few days out from purchase so we can help find the best combos out there.
July 17, 2009 9:45:51 PM
Better processor better board, $30 more, or if money is tight, you probably dont need a quad for C&C so go for this one

Both of those are DDR3 boards so you can use either
Depends how much you are willing to spend on it.

The benefit to DDR3 is that the prices are dropping while DDR2 is rising, and by getting DDR3 now you wont have to replace the board and the ram if you want to upgrade the processor.
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July 17, 2009 11:48:11 PM

Just my two cents:

I'd say your current motherboard/cpu combo is plenty for Windows 7. Swap out the memory for 4 GB (2x2GB). Go with your HD4670 graphics card upgrade, and probably swap out the power supply.

I'm currently running Windows 7 on my old gaming rig without issue, though I will admit, it took a couple hours to find drivers for the older motherboard.

ASRock 939Dual-SATAII motherboard
AMD Athlon X2-4800+ CPU
2GB (2x1GB) DDR-400 RAM
Sapphire HD4650 PCI-Ex16 graphics card
Antec Earthwatts 500 PSU

If your current system can run C&C without issue under Vista, it can certainly run C&C under Windows 7 with the upgrades listed.

Again, just my two cents.

-Wolf sends
July 18, 2009 1:24:25 AM

Thanks for the replies. I have thought about just upgrading the memory, video and power supply (if needed). But I also love the idea of a quad core system and my current system is sluggish and buggy. I'm not sure how many of the bugs are Vista and how many are hardware issues. Plus if I don't upgrade the motherboard for a PCI-E 2.0 card then won't there be a serious bottleneck if I install the 4670?
July 18, 2009 2:05:08 AM

No, the 4670 won't push the bandwith envelope of the pcie x16. But because the power is less than the 2.0 slot, it may need an additional feed directly from the PSU. I don't have one, so check a manufactures web site to see what the manual says about it if you are going to keep the mobo/cpu.