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Time to Upgrade

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November 15, 2009 6:59:14 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: In the next few days

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Surfing the internet, general usage. NOT a gamer.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Reusing old Antec Sonata case but will upgrade PSU

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg

PARTS PREFERENCES: Have been using AMD but will try Intel this time.

OVERCLOCKING: NO

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1680x1050 Dell 2208WFP (from current configuration).

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Not a gamer and don't typically watch movies on the PC. General use machine. Just looking to expand storage capacity, increase speed and upgrade from XP to Win 7. I'm a novice builder. I built the machine I'm using now but I did so by following online guides.

Current configuration is an ASRock 939Dual-SATA2, AMD Athlon 64 3800+, 160 HD and 1 GB RAM





Here's what I plan to do:

MB = Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3P

CPU = Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale

CPU Cooler = ZALMAN CNPS9500 AT 2 Ball CPU Cooling Fan/Heatsink

OS
= Windows 7 Professional 64 Bit

RAM = G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500). I think I'd like to run 6GB though. Do I use 2 x 2 GB and then 2 x 1GB???

Video Card
= Asus EN8400GS. I know this is a dated, older card, but for what I do, I don't see a need to upgrade at this time.

HD = Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA

DVD
= Sony Optiarc Black 24X DVD+R ... with LightScribe LightScribe Support - OEM

PSU = Antec EarthWatts EA650 650W Continuous Power ATX12V Ver.2.2

Card Reader
= Rosewill RCR-IC001 40-in-1 USB 2.0 3.5" Internal Card Reader

More about : time upgrade

November 15, 2009 7:22:51 PM

well it looks ok but if you look at the amd side of life you could get better

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 790x

or some onboard graphics which would be a bit bettter then an 8400gs but losing crossfire ability

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

as you can see there aint much in pricing between ddr2 an ddr3

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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November 15, 2009 7:39:06 PM

Thanks for the reply. I don't have any idea what crossfire ability is???

Is there much of a real world difference between ddr2 and ddr3 for my usage/needs?

Tipsy
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November 15, 2009 7:43:44 PM

Thanks Sonic....just added it to my wishlist.

Never used a Samsung HD. I guess it's a decent drive or you wouldn't be recommending it??? ;) 

Tipsy
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November 15, 2009 7:48:50 PM

Yes, that HDD is great.
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November 15, 2009 7:50:15 PM

Sounds good obsidian86. I've used AMD in the past. Might as well stick with it! For the money, I see no reason to commit to older ddr2 when the Asus board you recommend will accommodate ddr3.

I can still use my existing video card with the Asus board, correct?

And is the stock cooler adequate for the AMD CPU?

Tipsy
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November 15, 2009 7:53:18 PM

yeah you can use your card with either board

the stock cooler would be fine unless overclocking but i dont think you will wanna do that right away
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November 15, 2009 7:56:07 PM

No overclocking for me! I'm a K.I.S.S kind of guy (Keep It Simple Stupid)!

Tipsy
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November 15, 2009 8:04:53 PM
November 15, 2009 8:42:29 PM

looks good, but I would buy a 4670, just because it's better.
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November 15, 2009 8:46:19 PM

A quick Google search reveals that a 4670 is a video card???

I think I'm okay with what I've got for now (EN8400GS). I can always upgrade later. Like I said, at most I'll watch some YouTube...I don't watch movies on the PC. Can't really see a reason to upgrade at the moment.

Tipsy
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November 15, 2009 9:29:54 PM

Quote:
alright, you probably dont need a phenom II 955, you be perfectly fine with
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] -_-Product

and this mobo http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6813131398


Impaledmango, thanks for your input.

It looks like the 955 and the M4A79XTD are only about $60 more than what you suggest (when purchased as a combo). I agree I probably don't need that much power for what I'm doing at the moment, but I don't mind spending a few extra bucks now to give me some flexibility in the future.

I just recently bought a 1080p LCD TV, so I might try to output some video from the computer to the TV at a later time (I know I'll need to upgrade the GPU at that point).

Tipsy

EDIT:
Updated PSU info. Thanks.
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November 16, 2009 12:42:44 AM

Why get a Phenom II x4 955 if all you do is web surfing and general usage? You can save some cash by dropping down to an Athlon II x2 or x4.

You should get RAM in multiples of 2 (since the AMD processors do not support memory in a Triple Channel configuration); so get either 2x2GB or 4x2GB. Also, don't confuse yourself and think there is such a thing as Dual and Triple Channel memory; it's all the same, just sold as Dual/Triple Channel kits.
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November 16, 2009 12:43:51 AM

TipsyMcStagger said:
Thanks for the reply. I don't have any idea what crossfire ability is???

Is there much of a real world difference between ddr2 and ddr3 for my usage/needs?

Tipsy



Not much difference if you are not going to overclock or use ram/resource intensive programs like Autocad, 3ds max, or games like Crysis or GTA4.... DDR2 however is the only RAM you can use with that motherboard of yours. Just use at least 3gig so you wont have to upgrade since you are still planning on sunning XP. Are you planning on getting XP Pro 64 bit? Then get at least 4 Gigs of RAM.
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November 16, 2009 12:58:59 AM

Quote:
Not much difference if you are not going to overclock or use ram/resource intensive programs like Autocad, 3ds max, or games like Crysis or GTA4.... DDR2 however is the only RAM you can use with that motherboard of yours. Just use at least 3gig so you wont have to upgrade since you are still planning on sunning XP. Are you planning on getting XP Pro 64 bit? Then get at least 4 Gigs of RAM.

Actually, I'm not going to run XP. I'm going to use Win 7 Pro 64bit, but I'm aware that the Gigabyte board is only DDR2 capable.

I'll continue to do some more reading. Thanks for all of the great info.


Quote:
You should get RAM in multiples of 2 (since the AMD processors do not support memory in a Triple Channel configuration); so get either 2x2GB or 4x2GB. Also, don't confuse yourself and think there is such a thing as Dual and Triple Channel memory; it's all the same, just sold as Dual/Triple Channel kits.


Understood. Thanks for the clarification.

Tipsy
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November 16, 2009 1:09:27 PM

i only suggested the 955 since it was so close in price to the e8400 you originally chose and a 955 will walk over an e8400

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November 16, 2009 1:24:19 PM

Is your 939pin Athlon3800+ a single core or is it the Dual Core ??

If the Athlon3800 is a dual, I strongly recommend adding up to 2 gigs of ram, adding a 500gig harddrive and reinstalling Windows with Windows 7.


If the 3800 is a single core or perhaps it is needed as a second computer, AMD is the way to go for a new build as Intel is only a great new build for high end computers.

Anything I would recommend will already be posted.

Actually, I recommend an MSI Radeon 4650, those have an HDMI output that works great with new TV's... the onboard could probably do the same tho I haven't really tested it.

Good luck with your build.


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November 16, 2009 1:31:10 PM

Quote:
Is your 939pin Athlon3800+ a single core or is it the Dual Core ??

If the Athlon3800 is a dual, I strongly recommend adding up to 2 gigs of ram, adding a 500gig harddrive and reinstalling Windows with Windows 7.


If the 3800 is a single core or perhaps it is needed as a second computer, AMD is the way to go for a new build as Intel is only a great new build for high end computers.

I'm 99.9% sure it's a single core. I've actually got the box here in my hand and it doesn't say anything about Dual Core...it's several years old. It just says "AMD Socket 939 3800+ Athlon 64 Processor."

Tipsy

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November 16, 2009 7:02:13 PM

check with cpu-z to be sure
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November 16, 2009 7:13:11 PM

Quote:
check with cpu-z to be sure


This is what I've got.

Tipsy

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November 16, 2009 7:17:09 PM

yea, so it's only one core, may as well just scrap the system, sell it if possible or keep as back up pc.
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November 16, 2009 7:26:11 PM

Quote:
yea, so it's only one core, may as well just scrap the system, sell it if possible or keep as back up pc.
I'm going to reuse the Sonata case (with a new PSU), the video card (for now) and the DVD drive.

The board, RAM and CPU will be shelved and probably tossed, eventually. Do they actually have any value???

Tipsy
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November 18, 2009 8:11:20 PM

Just placed the order. Thought about what you guys said and decided I don't need the 955. I'll take the money I saved and buy another 4GB of RAM when the price drops a bit.

Here's what I went with:


MB = ASUS M4A79XTD EVO AM3 AMD 790X ATX AMD Motherboard $104.99

CPU = AMD Athlon II X4 620 Propus 2.6GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Processor $99.99

RAM = G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) F3-12800CL9D-4GBNQ - Retail $95.99

HD = SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Bare Drive $84.99

PSU = OCZ Fatal1ty OCZ550FTY 550W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Modular Active PFC - Retaill $64.99

DVD = Sony Optiarc Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X...SATA DVD Burner LightScribe OEM $33.99

Card Reader = Rosewill RCR-IC001 40-in-1 USB 2.0 3.5" Internal Card Reader w/ USB port - Retail $14.99

HD Enclosure (to transfer existing data) = Rosewill RX35-AT-IU SLV Aluminum 3.5" Silver USB 2.0 External Enclosure - Retail $19.99

1 x DISCOUNT FOR COMBO #293456
$-15.00


Subtotal: $503.93
Shipping and Handling: $13.99
Total Amount: $517.92
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November 18, 2009 9:04:38 PM

alright! that'll be a nice little PC.
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January 20, 2010 2:50:20 PM

I've had all of these parts sitting in a box for too long. Need to try to get this thing built this week.

Is there a guide somewhere I can follow to make sure I get all of the settings correct (BIOS and other) with the new M4A79XTD board?

TIA.

Tipsy
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January 20, 2010 10:44:39 PM

TipsyMcStagger said:
I've had all of these parts sitting in a box for too long. Need to try to get this thing built this week.

Is there a guide somewhere I can follow to make sure I get all of the settings correct (BIOS and other) with the new M4A79XTD board?

TIA.

Tipsy

Here is a guide to put a PC together... http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/274745-31-step-step-g...

I didn't include specifics on BIOS settings since they are different by MOBO manufacturer's. If there are specifics, I would look in the MOBO's manual, which normally do a good job of BIOS walkthroughs. If not, you can post a new thread or PM on of the Vets or anyone whom has been helpful to you and "we" should be able to walk you through what is needed to be done.
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February 28, 2010 2:45:23 PM

Hey guys...I'm finally assembling this new machine.

I didn't realize the X4 620 comes with thermal paste preapplied to the heatsink. Should I just use this and install the heatsink or should I remove the factory paste and apply some Ceramique by Arctic Silver (that I have left over from the previous build) directly to the CPU?

TIA.

Tipsy
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February 28, 2010 2:50:39 PM

either should be fine do whats easist
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February 28, 2010 2:55:26 PM

Okay... thanks. I just tried some of the Ceramique (which is quite old) and it seems a bit thick...as if it's started to dry up??? So I chickened out, removed it and and just went with the preapplied stuff.

Thanks for the quick reply!

Tipsy
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March 1, 2010 4:15:44 AM

Sytem is built. Works great! Went together without any problems at all. Soooo much faster than my old system.

My old Sony DRU-710A DVD drive won't read any discs though...but that's no big deal. It's more than seven years old. For $30, I'm just going to buy another Optiarc.

Once the old Sony DVD drive is replaced, I won't have any IDE devices installed...everything will be SATA. I guess that's the standard these days but everything in my previous build was IDE.

Is there any reason not to use a Molex to SATA power adapter?

Thanks very much for helping me get my new system spec'd and built!

Tipsy
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!