Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

$400 partial upgrade, advice needed.

Last response: in Systems
Share
October 23, 2009 3:07:36 AM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Next 7 days

BUDGET RANGE: $250-$400 Before Rebates

Looking to upgrade my friends computer with Motherboard, Ram, Processor, and HDD. He has a OCZ 700W StealthXStream an old 8800GTS 320 and a case.

Newegg preferred.

Vendor agnostic, but I have heard AMD kills in the low end so my two possibilities are AMD. If you have an Intel build with same-ish performance at a similar price please post. (I didn't even spec out intel)

Purpose is gaming. No overclocking, crossfire / sli may be considered at a future date.

Needs to support 1920x1080 at some point in the future, new monitor + video card will happen in a few months.

My suggestions to him:

First one newegg wishlist: ($368)
https://secure.newegg.com/WishList/MySavedWishDetail.as...

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9D-4GBNQ - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

AMD Phenom II X4 945 Deneb 3.0GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Processor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Western Digital Caviar Black WD5001AALS 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GIGABYTE GA-MA785GMT-UD2H AM3 AMD 785G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Second suggestion: ($363)
https://secure.newegg.com/WishList/MySavedWishDetail.as...

ASUS M4A79XTD EVO AM3 AMD 790X ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9D-4GBNQ - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Black Processor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Western Digital Caviar Black WD5001AALS 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Questions for the forum;

Do you suggest I make any changes?
Which build do you suggest?
Am I missing anything with either of the two builds?
Any incompatibilities you can spot?
Any room for improvement?

Thanks a bunch in advance

Edit: Changed things per masterasia's advice
Edit2: Continued changes, Looks like its really a choice between processors and mobos then.
October 23, 2009 3:59:31 AM

There's a problem with the second option. DDR3 Ram is not compatible with the MB.

If you were gonna get a Phenom II X4 940, why not get the
Phenom II X4 945 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (only 95W TDP vs 125W TDP for X4 940)
and a good
AM3 Motherboard http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

For hard drives this WD Black is better http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
It has 32MB of cache which will help with performance.

I would avoid any DDR2 motherboards. DDR3 and AM3 is where you wanna be.
October 23, 2009 4:20:28 AM

Thanks for the catches masterasia. HDD Proc and mobo changed.

Wow I am an idiot, looks like the 945 is an AM3 part as well.
Related resources
October 23, 2009 5:02:09 AM

That gigabyte board you have for the first choice, you said you might want crossfire , that board is a micro ATX board so it only has one PCI-E slot.
If you do go multi-GPU, ATI is the only way you can go with AMD chipset boards.

If you want SLI you'll need to choose a different board with nvidia chipset like this MSI board http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

AMD motherboards are not like Intel where you can choose between SLI or CrossfireX. If you're unsure, get an Intel i5 750 or i7 860 with a P55 board that supports both SLI and CrossfireX. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MSI also has something coming called "Big Bang" where you can use both ATI and nVidia cards in multi-GPU setups. So far it's looks like it's only
for the P55(Intel) chipset.
October 23, 2009 8:20:49 PM

I am mostly trying to stay under $400 and closer to $300 is better. If the budget changes I am certainly open to an upgrade to a nicer board.
October 23, 2009 8:37:19 PM

Here's what I think you should get then

CPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($122 + free shipping)

Ram: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (78.99 + free shipping)

HDD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (59.99 + free shipping)

MB: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (119.99 + shipping + $10 Rebate)

Total: $370.97 + shipping (which might be like $10) After $10 Rebate

But I would really recommend you spend the extra money
and get the Phenom II X4 945. The X4 955 BE is even better.
October 23, 2009 9:59:43 PM

I'm not sure why the WD 500GB drive is being recommended. It uses two 250GB platters and is considerably slower than the current single 500GB platter drives. The current drives are also cheaper.

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive $54.99

If you go with the CPU and motherboard recommended above, don't forget to use the combo deal to save $27.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
October 24, 2009 2:59:50 AM

shortstuff_mt said:
I'm not sure why the WD 500GB drive is being recommended. It uses two 250GB platters and is considerably slower than the current single 500GB platter drives. The current drives are also cheaper.

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive $54.99

If you go with the CPU and motherboard recommended above, don't forget to use the combo deal to save $27.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...


Recommended for performance and warranty. It's only a couple bucks more than the Samsung.
October 24, 2009 6:56:44 PM

Yes, it's more expensive and slower. There's no reason to get a two platter 500GB drive anymore. The single platter drives are quite a bit faster. The 5 year warranty is the only good thing about it. If the OP wants to get a WD drive he should at least get a 640GB drive since it's performance is considerably higher than the WD 500GB drive due to higher data density.
!