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Salvaging parts from a 6yr old custom PC for a new gaming rig

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August 17, 2009 3:29:08 AM

I have this:

Lian Li PC-90 Silver
ASUS A7N8X v1 Mobo
AMD Athlon XP 2500+ (Barton) CPU
Corsair XMS512-3200C2PT Memory
Corsair VS512MB400 x2
ATi Radion 9800 Pro AGP Video Card
US Robotics PN USR5640B PCI Modem (LOL)
LeadTek PCI WinFastTV2000XP NTSC TV Tuner
Audigy2 PCI Sound Card model SB0240
Seagate 120GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache IDE HD x2
Lite-On 16x DVD-ROM Drive
Lite-On 52x25x52 CD-RW Drive
Enermax EG4659-VE 460W Power Supply

I already have:

22" Samsung 2243SWX 21.5-inch Widescreen Black LCD Monitor (1920x1080) $135
- http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/PopupProductDetail.a...

ZEROtherm FZ120 ZEN HS+Fan $20 AMIR
http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product...

Samsung HD103SI 1 TB 5200 RPM HD $80 (w/free ext. docking station)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I'm looking to upgrade using mainstream level parts on a budget of $500 USD or less. Dual core and single GPU is good enough for me and I plan on following overclocking guides. I want the desktop to be noticeably faster than my Gateway P-6831 FX laptop (w/T9300 CPU upgrade). I'm looking to play SupCom multiplayer (up to 4v4) and possibly be ready for Diablo 3 and SupCom2.

I'm going to be basically getting things as they come on sale with rebates as I currently game "ok" on my laptop. My main question is if I can reuse things such as the power supply and whether the Audigy2 is garbage compared to current onboard from Intel/AMD? Is going the AMD route with a Phenom X3 really a bad investment than going Intel with an E5200? How much of a role does high end memory and a quality mobo play in gaming in terms of how much I get for my money compared to GPU and CPU? I want this system to last at least another 2 years before I upgrade mobo+CPU at least one year before GPU.

I buy a lot from newegg.com, but typically buy from whoever is cheapest, such as ZipZoomFly.
August 17, 2009 3:40:03 AM

In order of upgrades, i would start with that PSU, depending on where you are you should be able to find some nice motherboard/CPU combos with the 720 or atleast the 710 from AMD both of which will out perform an e5200 even at stock speeds. Whats the total budget you are willing to spend on upgrades?

Toms recently did a comparison, the difference between DDR3 1066MHz and DDR3 1600MHz is at the most 2%, but in general tight timings make more of a difference than faster speeds.

Depending on the sound blaster and the motherboard it may be better than onboard but it may not be. Easiest way to tell, when you build the system, try it out and see if you notice a difference.

Also modern motherboards only support 2 IDE devices so if both of those optical drives are IDE you will either have to ditch them, or 1 ODD and 1 HDD, or just use that as a nice excuse to pick yourself up a new SATA HDD.
August 17, 2009 4:02:09 AM

May I ask why the PSU isn't up to par or why it wouldn't work with the modest parts I'm seeking? I remember shelling out $100 for it when I bought the case. It was the one thing I was hoping was salvageable besides the case since it was a big sticker item. The TV Tuner, sound card, optical drives, and hard drives I don't really care about... I'm actually worried that if I plug them into a new mobo, the system can be damaged (paranoid I'm guess), though I'm curious as to what's on the hard drives. One's actually a 80 GB Seagate and one's actually not hooked up since the mobo doesn't detect it.
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August 17, 2009 4:12:40 AM

Took the tv tuner from the p4 i gave to my dad a couple weeks ago, plug it into my new system, windows found it drives and im watching house with it via WMC right now, so dont worry about it, the old cards wont damage anything.

This appears the be the PSU you have
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?item=N82E168...
It doesnt have active power factor correction which means that the power will be a bit dirtier and your components will experience a bit more strain. Suprisingly it seems to have enough PCI-E connectors but it doesnt provide enough power for anything more than a 4670, which isnt going to be able to handle medium settings above 1280x1024, you can keep it for a while as long as you dont upgrade the GPU too far but i do suggest replacing it if you are going to put in a graphics cards that will put a decent load on it.

If you put down the budget you are willing to spend on upgrades for it i will make you up a parts list before i go to bed.
August 17, 2009 4:22:43 AM

My budget is $500 or less for just the parts that go into the case. Software and interface taken care of. Basically a little more than what my laptop is worth if I sold it.
August 17, 2009 6:24:02 AM

I'm skeptical of the mobo and DDR3 choice. The higher bandwidth, slightly better latency and energy efficiency of DDR3 can't be worth the cost difference of a AM2+ vs AM3 and DDR2 vs DDR3 and I don't plan on upgrading CPU until new a couple generations of platforms have come and gone. The mobo has on board video as well, which I assume I'm also paying extra for, when I don't need it. If the memory was only $60 for 4 GB, I'd be more willing.

I'm pretty sure a newer generation of hard drives with higher data density would benefit more. Faster booting and loading of various things and not to mention more storage.

Here's my spin:

OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ500MXSP 500W ATX12V V2.2 / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC ... - Retail $60 -$20 MIR ($40)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GIGABYTE GA-MA770-UD3 AM2+/AM2 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail $75 -$10 MIR ($65) + $8 S/H
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Combo deal for above -$10
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

XFX HD-487A-ZHFC Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail $145
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Black Processor Model HDZ720WFGIBOX - Retail $120
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Combo deal for above 2 -$10
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

OCZ Reaper HPC 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model OCZ2RPR10664GK - Retail $68 -$25 MIR ($43)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


$455 shipped before MIR. $400 AMIR.


I would consider upgrading the GPU to this for $65 (or $45 AMIR) more, but it seems like a rather a costly upgrade for faster clocks which I wonder about OCing myself:

MSI R4890-T2D1G OC Radeon HD 4890 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - OC Edition - Retail $200 -$20 MIR ($180)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
August 17, 2009 3:21:35 PM

If you dont intend to upgrade for a couple of generations then DDR2 is better for you. The main reason for paying the price for DDR3 now for most people is so that if they upgrade their motherboard in a few years they will still be able to use their ram.

For an AM2+ setup that is quite good, good quality parts and well within budget.
August 17, 2009 11:04:59 PM

Interesting thing about the DDR3... I winded up waiting too long and rebates expired, so I switched it up and went with this for $500 up front with 20 back after rebates:


MSI 770-C45 AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
Item #: N82E16813130228 $79.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

XFX HD-487A-ZHFC Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
Item #: N82E16814150394 $144.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ500MXSP 500W ATX12V V2.2 / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC ... - Retail
Item #: N82E16817341016
$20.00 Mail-in Rebate Card17-341-016 $59.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Black Processor Model HDZ720WFGIBOX - Retail
Item #: N82E16819103649 $119.00
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OCZ Platinum 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Voltage Desktop Memory Model OCZ3P1600LV6GK - Retail
Item #: N82E16820227381 $114.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Shipping Method: $0.00

DISCOUNT FOR COMBO #237068 -$10.00
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

DISCOUNT FOR COMBO #237091 -$10.00
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Subtotal $498.96
Tax $0.00
Shipping $0.00
Order Total $498.96

Won't be able to take advantage of triple channel memory. Most likely will try and sell off a stick for $30-40.
August 18, 2009 1:53:12 AM

I mentioned that I was just going to do dual channel and sell one off for $30-40. What's bad about that idea?
August 18, 2009 1:55:30 AM

The triple channel ram is set to different standards than everything else, and i dont know anyone who would buy a single stick of ram for 30 from a third party when you can get it new for as much. Its a $30 price difference so unless you are sure you are going to get $30 from some sucker on ebay i would go for the dual channel kit.
August 18, 2009 3:01:07 AM

Canceled my order and I'm going to reorder with the new RAM. Thanks for the advice.
!