Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Sub $400 new build/upgrade advice and help

Last response: in Systems
Share
November 10, 2009 4:18:00 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: (1 month) BUDGET RANGE: ($400) Before Rebates

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: (I use my home pc mostly for web browsing, Office suite, Photoshop/Premier Elements, Illustrator and Indesign occasionally, AVG, Skype and of course World of Warcraft. )

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: (keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, case, OS though i might soon get Win7) **Thermaltake TR2** currently, will use again if i can get away with. Same for my video card GeForce 8600 GT 256MB

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: (Newegg.com) COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: (USA)

PARTS PREFERENCES: (AMD)

OVERCLOCKING: Yes, but not immediatly SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION: (1440x900)

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: (I have had my current setup since 7/6/2007 and it’s served me well thus far, however I would like to upgrade due to recent obvious system performance lag. I would like faster response when loading programs and when multitasking as well as during game play. There isn’t a virus or need for system maintenance as I know since I’m on top of it at all times, it’s just that since I first got it, my use of many different programs at the same time went up. Before all I did was browse and now I multitask and use more memory intensive apps. )








A few key areas I wanted to address were that my current Intel Core 2 Duo E4300 Allendale 1.8GHz 65W is Over clocked to 3.0Ghz at 333FSB rated FSB 1333 on this MSI P6N SLI Platinum board and generates quite a bit of heat even with ZALMAN 9500A in my small room 10x10 room or so it feels like it. Current temp readings are GPU 60c, CPU 40c/30c, HDx3 38,37,35. My guess it’s just the video card and multiple drives. I wanted to go cooler TDP but my problem might get solved with a better VC. It's all cable managed in a COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 CAC-T05 I have screenshots of the CPUZ running for better details of the 1:1 on ram as well


I know I would like to get Windows 7, perhaps not at first, but for sure once I have everything up and running with XP I’ll toss in the upgrade. I would be needing to upgrade CPU, RAM, Board, PS, and I wouldn’t mind getting a Western Digital VelociRaptor drive but it might not be in the books for a while.

I have been using the Thermaltake TR2 with the +18A 12v rail and it’s been powering everything fine with no hiccups, but I’m okay with eventually buying the CORSAIR 400CX at $30 after MIR because of it’s solid reviews and +30A 12v rail coupled with 80 PLUS Certified and 99% APFC.

I had my eyes on the G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) for $99 FS with the CL 5-5-5-15 standard timings and having used G.SKILL in the past I was sure it would be fine.


When I researched the sticky and went through the recommended CPU’s I managed to narrow it down to AMD Athlon II 250 ($76 FS) , 550 ($102 FS) , 720 ($119 FS). These prices were within my budget per item and within TDP 65, 80, 95W respectively. I didn’t see the Athlon II X4 620 in there currently for $99 FS, but I’m guessing it’s because It might not be geared towards gaming. I like having the 720’s 3 cores since they would all be used by WOW and I really don’t think I would benefit much from 4cores yet until I sink my teeth into Windows 7 and play around with it and get more 64 bit programs. If I get lucky and unlock a 4th core, great, if not then at least I have the minimum 3 I wanted. However the other two do look nice in price.


When it came down to boards I had 2 in mind. GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-UD4P for $109 plus shipping and the GIGABYTE GA-MA790XT. $124 then $109 after MIR. So basically same price, and I gain DDR3 support which will let me use G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) for the same price as the DDR2 but with CL 8-8-8-21 so I’m determining the pros still. 8+2 phase over 4+1 phase is nice too.

I’ll never go crossfire/SLI so for now I’ll continue to use my same Video Card until I can afford another one.

So if anybody has been in the same boat and considered these parts or purchased these for similar upgrades with good or bad feedback let me know before I purchase. I did as much research as I could, now just looking for other real stories and insight that might lean me one way or the other on the cpu/board/ram.
November 10, 2009 5:01:58 PM

bump, now with links and fully edited
m
0
l
November 13, 2009 1:21:14 PM

to the top
m
0
l
Related resources
November 13, 2009 3:41:13 PM
November 13, 2009 6:06:23 PM

ok, I like a few things,

1. The Cpu/Mem combo is nice. I didn't know there was one, so for sure it's worth looking at because $15 is $15 in savings.
However is the $94.98 price of it compared to $99 free shipping really worth it in terms of speed? Because I really wouldn't know how real time the difference between PC3 10600 and PC3 10666 is.






2. I notice the GIGABYTE GA-MA785G-UD3H on neweggs website lists

Chipsets - North Bridge AMD 785G - South Bridge AMD SB710


but yet on the Gigabyte website it shows


North Bridge: AMD 790GX and South Bridge: AMD SB750

so really which is right? and this is the chipset set I want correct to be able to possibly unlock the four cores if I update the Bios?






3. The onboard video is a great thing to have just in case my video card does die, however I have to ask is the # Built-in 128MB DDR3 1333MHz SidePort Memory ATI Radeon HD 3300 graphics with (DirectX10) better than my GeForce 8600 GT 256MB? Is Directx10 really that much better than 9.0c?






4. It's interesting that you bring up the Hard Drive. I currently have 4 drives and they are as follows:
1. My main drive-160Gb-With O/S and programs I am at 61.6Gb free of 160Gb total.
2. My music drive 2.07Gb free of 80Gb total.
3. My program drive 3.81Gb free of 10Gb total (mostly because it's so small I can't keep anything on it, it was just
a small free drive I had laying around).
4. My video drive 4.53Gb free of 160Gb total (again have to delete when gets too full)

So basically I wouldn't mind having a new drive, but I wonder what I should use it for? Should I just keep
everything on 1 physical drive or just put O/S and pics on this one and continue to keep other the same? Also does
the 8mb to 16mb cache really make a real time difference?





5. Interesting enough I do need a DVD burner because I loaned mine to a family member and never got it back.
So because this one seems pretty good and decent rated, though I've always used Samsung, I'll give this
one a try.




6. I had completely forgot that my old Zalman fan wouldn't work with these new procs since the socket is all completely
all wrong anyway. So if this is better and cheaper than a comparable Zalman then I'll get this one. It is right?





7. In regards to the Processor and the specific programs and game I play. Will the faster dual core even I don't get to
unlock the other two cores be vastly superior in terms of raw overall speed vs the triple core stock of the 720BE
since WOW uses up to 3 cores? Granted I am currently 1.8Ghz stock overclocked to 3.0Ghz I can see how the
stock 3.1ghz which can overclock to 3.4ghz can be alot faster!





8. Also what about the MB 4+1 to 8+1 phase difference? Will that matter come overclock time and longevity? Also
are there any other differences in the MB I should be aware of?





9. Otherwise I should be considering the overall value of the items you suggested, but the cpu fan does seem to have
overall bad reviews and I don't want to struggle, I prefer clean installs.





10. My monitor doesn't even have an HDMI port but in the future I would either buy an HDMI monitor or just buy an
HDMI capable monitor big enough or TV to put in my room and watch movies/TV with if I get a TVTuner card.


11. Regardless of the onboard video and chipset of this Motherboard because it has a PCI Express 2.0 x16 slot will my GeForce 8600 GT 256MB still work ok or maybe better even though it's a PCI Express x16 card? Either way, which should I use? Onboard or Card?





Get back to me if you can, anybody. Thanks in advance
m
0
l
November 13, 2009 6:27:48 PM

skunkone said:
ok, I like a few things,

1. The Cpu/Mem combo is nice. I didn't know there was one, so for sure it's worth looking at because $15 is $15 in savings.
However is the $94.98 price of it compared to $99 free shipping really worth it in terms of speed? Because I really wouldn't know how real time the difference between PC3 10600 and PC3 10666 is.

am3 cpus max speed is 1333 (10600)m higher clock will be limited to 1333.
that is my recommendation, that cpu is a great oc cpu.

skunkone said:
2. I notice the GIGABYTE GA-MA785G-UD3H on neweggs website lists

Chipsets - North Bridge AMD 785G - South Bridge AMD SB710


but yet on the Gigabyte website it shows


North Bridge: AMD 790GX and South Bridge: AMD SB750

so really which is right? and this is the chipset set I want correct to be able to possibly unlock the four cores if I update the Bios?

strangely, it seems that the 3300 is better than 4200, you've asked for a 790, so I provided, I think the GX is better for cf and overclock.

skunkone said:
3. The onboard video is a great thing to have just in case my video card does die, however I have to ask is the # Built-in 128MB DDR3 1333MHz SidePort Memory ATI Radeon HD 3300 graphics with (DirectX10) better than my GeForce 8600 GT 256MB? Is Directx10 really that much better than 9.0c?

your nvidia gpu is better than the ob one. afaik, dx10 has better graphics then dx9.0c but not take my word on the latter cause I don't use windows.

skunkone said:
4. It's interesting that you bring up the Hard Drive. I currently have 4 drives and they are as follows:
1. My main drive-160Gb-With O/S and programs I am at 61.6Gb free of 160Gb total.
2. My music drive 2.07Gb free of 80Gb total.
3. My program drive 3.81Gb free of 10Gb total (mostly because it's so small I can't keep anything on it, it was just
a small free drive I had laying around).
4. My video drive 4.53Gb free of 160Gb total (again have to delete when gets too full)

So basically I wouldn't mind having a new drive, but I wonder what I should use it for? Should I just keep
everything on 1 physical drive or just put O/S and pics on this one and continue to keep other the same? Also does
the 8mb to 16mb cache really make a real time difference?

actually, I've added the hd because it wasn't listed in the unneeded parts, if you don't need it, then you might be able to get a gpu that will smash your current one.
about the 8 to 16 diff, yes, bigger buffer mean faster copy time and better performance.

skunkone said:
5. Interesting enough I do need a DVD burner because I loaned mine to a family member and never got it back.
So because this one seems pretty good and decent rated, though I've always used Samsung, I'll give this
one a try.

like in the hd, you didn't mentioned it in the unneeded parts section, I have the 55 lg and it is a great drive.

skunkone said:
6. I had completely forgot that my old Zalman fan wouldn't work with these new procs since the socket is all completely
all wrong anyway. So if this is better and cheaper than a comparable Zalman then I'll get this one. It is right?

from what I know, that is a good fan that allows you good oc capability

skunkone said:
7. In regards to the Processor and the specific programs and game I play. Will the faster dual core even I don't get to
unlock the other two cores be vastly superior in terms of raw overall speed vs the triple core stock of the 720BE
since WOW uses up to 3 cores? Granted I am currently 1.8Ghz stock overclocked to 3.0Ghz I can see how the
stock 3.1ghz which can overclock to 3.4ghz can be alot faster!

don't know, refer to the wow forums and ask there, remember that the tech on that new cpu is newer and smaller, which means less power usage and heat consumption.

skunkone said:
8. Also what about the MB 4+1 to 8+1 phase difference? Will that matter come overclock time and longevity? Also
are there any other differences in the MB I should be aware of?






skunkone said:
9. Otherwise I should be considering the overall value of the items you suggested, but the cpu fan does seem to have
overall bad reviews and I don't want to struggle, I prefer clean installs.

huh?

skunkone said:
10. My monitor doesn't even have an HDMI port but in the future I would either buy an HDMI monitor or just buy an
HDMI capable monitor big enough or TV to put in my room and watch movies/TV with if I get a TVTuner card.

so us the dvi output...

skunkone said:
11. Regardless of the onboard video and chipset of this Motherboard because it has a PCI Express 2.0 x16 slot will my GeForce 8600 GT 256MB still work ok or maybe better even though it's a PCI Express x16 card? Either way, which should I use? Onboard or Card?

I don't see a reason it wont work.

skunkone said:

Get back to me if you can, anybody. Thanks in advance

sure, np, good luck
m
0
l
November 13, 2009 6:31:06 PM

oops, the huh was or #8
for #9, I don't oc but I've hear good reviews on that fan, if you've been able to plug the intel fan then you can plug this too imho... the intel p4 and 775 socket fan are a pain in the ass to attach
m
0
l
November 14, 2009 12:06:07 PM

bump to the top, still welcoming more advice/opinions
m
0
l
November 22, 2009 12:35:00 PM

bump
m
0
l
November 22, 2009 1:02:51 PM

Well an 80+ certified rock solid PSU would be the foundation of any new gaming rig so with that emphasis, a black edition chip and a known budget OC/unlock mobo i suggest:


http://forums.vr-zone.com/overclocking-bazaar/466518-am...

Use that 8600GT before pulling the trigger on the HD 5K series as per your budget/gaming needs
m
0
l
!