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Need Advice for PC Upgrade

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January 6, 2010 2:34:46 PM

I'm interested in upgrading my PC, although there are certain items on it that I don't need to change. One minor goal in this operation, is to be able to play Battlefield Bad Company 2 without experiencing any video issues. Basically, I'd like to avoid upgrading for a couple years after this. Thanks for any help offered! I'll list my current system and fill out the new system build just to give an idea.

MOBO: ASUS P5B LGA 775 Intel P965 Express ATX Intel Motherboard (assuming I'll need an upgrade here)
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 Conroe 2.66GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80557E6750 (assuming I'll need an upgrade here)
Power Supply: Antec earthwatts EA500 500W Continuous Power ATX12V v2.0 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC (if necessary, will upgrade)
Graphics Card: Geforce 8800 GTS (definitely upgrading)
Monitor: 21 inch Samsung LCD (not interested in upgrading)
HD: I have 2 Western Digital 160GB HD's and an external 500GB seagate.
RAM: 2GB Corsair ram (I imagine I'll have to update here as well)
Case: SILVERSTONE Kublai Series KL02-B Black Aluminum front panel, SECC body ATX Mid Tower Computer Case (not interested in upgrading)

I know there will be space constraints for keeping the same case, but that is really the primary necessity (please take that into account when considering Mobo/CPU/Video Card sizes!)

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: This month
BUDGET RANGE: Since I'm not planning on upgrading EVERYTHING, i'd like to keep it around $500
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, movies, general usage (internet, word processing, web development)

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Monitor, Hard drives, Case, CD-ROM, Mouse, Keyboard

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg/Amazon if possible

PARTS PREFERENCES: I have liked using ASUS mobos, but I'm open to whatever is worth it.

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe
SLI OR CROSSFIRE:Maybe

MONITOR RESOLUTION:1440x900+

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I've heard really good things about "bang for buck" with the Radeon 4890, but I'm not sure which brand to get (they're all within 20 bucks of each other on Newegg) - nor am I 100% sure it will fit OK into my case as the 8800GTS barely fits.

Thanks again!

Jason

More about : advice upgrade

January 6, 2010 2:42:49 PM

Here's a good upgrade for $521.

CPU: Phenom II X4 955 BE $166

Mobo: Asus M4A79XTD EVO $110 after rebate

RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws 2x2 GB 1333 mhz CAS Latency 7 $100

GPU: Radeon HD 5770 $145. Manufacturers mean very little.

The reason I went this route is that you're not going to get a true future proof upgrade for $500. This is as close as I can get you. The AMD switch was a price determination, coupled with the AM3 socket being the main one for the next several years. In addition, this board is very good, cheap, and excellent for Crossfiring in the future, if/when you upgrade your monitor. The HD 5770 is a little weak for gaming, but the budget wouldn't allow a $300 HD 5850. Also, due to the lower resolution, you won't need something ultra powerful. It also has DirectX 11 support and Crossfires very well, making it more future proof. In addition, it doesn't require a whole lot of power, allow the PSU you already have to be used.

I would have liked an Intel upgrade, but 60% of the budget would be spent on the CPU and RAM alone, not leaving a whole lot for the GPU.
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January 6, 2010 3:21:13 PM

Thanks for your help - Will there be any issue with my smaller case with these upgrades? I'm not sure about the size of the motherboard or the video card - I just want to ensure everything fits.

Another question - I had heard a lot about the Radeon 4890 and was considering that as well - is the 5770 a better value or were you just trying to keep it closer to 500? Thanks again for your time.

-Jason
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January 6, 2010 10:22:44 PM

maybe I should rephrase - is the difference in CAS latency important? (If I found the RAM I posted very cheaply in a local store, would I be silly to purchase it over the RAM you posted?)

Thanks
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January 6, 2010 11:07:58 PM

CAS Latency is the most important aspect of the current RAM. Testing and benchmarks show that there is not a noticeable difference between 1333 mhz sticks and 1600 mhz ones. I would stick with the CL 7 sticks unless you found the ones you posted for quite a bit less. Like $20 or more.
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January 11, 2010 3:51:14 PM

Thanks for your help! I've been reading a lot and am almost ready to purchase, just a few more questions if you don't mind!

I've been considering getting the Phenom ii x4 955 c3 instead of c2, what are your thoughts on this?

I also have been thinking about buying a lesser mobo, but I'm in limbo right now (I have read elsewhere that I might be paying for more than stuff I'm actually using). I don't plan on using SATA Raid, nor care about onboard graphics (as I'm excited about your suggestion of a 5770 after reading a ton on it) - Do you think this is a good/bad idea? If you think I might have found a way to save a few more bucks, do you have any suggestions on a mobo? If not, I understand as i might default back to your original suggestions.

Thanks again
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January 11, 2010 3:58:46 PM

Just a couple of quick notes, I'm sure MadAdmiral will respond with fuller details.

Getting an extra core is never a bad thing. I'd go with 3 cores instead of 2 if it doesn't change the build otherwise (such as needing a different motherboard or putting you over your price range).

Onboard graphics can be handy, like helping you diagnose your system when there are problems with your actual graphics card. Most people can do without RAID, though...it frequently causes more problems than it's worth.
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January 11, 2010 5:50:48 PM

That GB mobo doesn't support ddr3, so it would change the type of ram you would be buying. Also, that north bridge heatsink is pretty crappy, I just build a system with almost the exact same board, except it supports ddr3 and the NB runs at about 80C constantly. RMA'd and had the same problem. The system seems stable and fast though, with a 9800gt in it.

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

thats the mobo I used, and it won customer choice awards 2 times so the heat thing is probably not a real problem. supports ddr3 and doesn't waste on an on-board graphics chip.
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January 11, 2010 6:01:43 PM

Excellent, that is what I was looking for. Would there be any issue with the whole 955 c3 instead of c2 thing?
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January 11, 2010 6:09:02 PM

jasgiv1122 said:
Thanks for your help! I've been reading a lot and am almost ready to purchase, just a few more questions if you don't mind!

I've been considering getting the Phenom ii x4 955 c3 instead of c2, what are your thoughts on this?

I also have been thinking about buying a lesser mobo, but I'm in limbo right now (I have read elsewhere that I might be paying for more than stuff I'm actually using). I don't plan on using SATA Raid, nor care about onboard graphics (as I'm excited about your suggestion of a 5770 after reading a ton on it) - Do you think this is a good/bad idea? If you think I might have found a way to save a few more bucks, do you have any suggestions on a mobo? If not, I understand as i might default back to your original suggestions.

Thanks again


THe reason I'd stick with the original MOBO madadmiral suggested is mainly it has a better chipset than some of the cheaper boards - the one you listed does not support DDR3 so is out - the one suggested by JewFro297 does support DDR3 but IMO you lose a few things with it -

1st off it has the older 770\710 chipset which does not perform as well as the newer 790\750 chipset

2nd and most important is the lack of a 2nd PCI-e slot (if you go with the 5770 there may come a time where you want even more GPU performance (ie. if you get a larger monitor and want to use higher resolutions) and with the original board you can easily buy a 2nd 5770 and run them in crossfire where if you swap out to another MOBO that has only 1 PCI-e slot you will need to resell your 5770 and buy a new single card or buy another MOBO and a 2nd 5770.
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January 11, 2010 6:13:27 PM

nope, using c3 instead of c2 is probably a better choice since it's not much more money, but unless you overclock you wont see much of a difference. But i'm assuming since your ordering black edition you are overclocking?


also to what he said I would prefer the ASUS motherboard myself, but thats mostly because I'm a die hard ASUS fan. Though it all depends if you think its worth spending the extra cash, I didn't when i was building that system for my friend and they love it, but when it's your own system and you like to upgrade thats a different story. If it were me I would just get the GB one because of the better price and the fact that you don't really need crossfire or an integrated video controller or the better chipset. Chipsets usually aren't a huge factor in performance, but i haven't researched the 770/710 vs 790/750 yet so maybe there was a faster ram controller put in or somethin
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January 11, 2010 8:11:03 PM

I'd really like to see some research from the 770/790x comparison if anyone has it... I've been doing some on my own and have found that it appears they really aren't that different, and the 710 SB is pretty comparable to the 750 SB. Please correct this if I'm wrong, I really want to make sure I'm making sound purchases.

Change of pace: A RAM question! How does the first ripjaws (cas7) that Madmiral posted compare to this: http://www.ocztechnology.com/products/memory/ocz_ddr3_p...

purely based on performance, not on price - I'm trying to get a handle for what really matters in memory. I really do appreciate all the input!
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January 11, 2010 8:41:51 PM

jasgiv1122 said:
I'd really like to see some research from the 770/790x comparison if anyone has it... I've been doing some on my own and have found that it appears they really aren't that different, and the 710 SB is pretty comparable to the 750 SB. Please correct this if I'm wrong, I really want to make sure I'm making sound purchases.

Change of pace: A RAM question! How does the first ripjaws (cas7) that Madmiral posted compare to this: http://www.ocztechnology.com/products/memory/ocz_ddr3_p...

purely based on performance, not on price - I'm trying to get a handle for what really matters in memory. I really do appreciate all the input!


After doing a little reading - I was confusing the SB700 with the SB710 - the SB700 lacked ACC support and also lacked S.M.A.R.T support for the HDDs under windows as well as some other enhancements - the 770 chipset with the SB710 is actually fairly similar to the 790x\sb750 - the main differences are the lack of crossfire support and the lack of RAID support for the 770\710 (which is why the Gigabyte MOBO has just the single PCI-e slot) - So if you do not plan on using a Raid array for your HDDs or a second 5770 in crossfire eventually the Gigabyte board is a good choice. (Personally I have the Gigabyte GA-MA790GPT-UD3H board - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... which has the 790GX chipset so has the onboard video) - I bought it mainly to have the 2nd PCI-e slot when I can afford a 2nd 5770 (plus they had a $193 combo with it and the phenom II X3 720 CPU when I bought them !) but if you think the single video card is all you need then getting the cheaper card would work !

As for the RAM they are pretty much similar both having similar latencies but the Gskill is slightly lower voltage so will leave a bit more room for Overclocking so if the price is the same I'd go with them but either is a great choice.

EDIT : ONe more thing if you might want the 2nd PCI-e slot Newegg does currently have this combo with the 955Be and the Asus 790x AM3 MOBO for $270.98 or a $25 savings - ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... )
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January 11, 2010 8:53:07 PM

MadAdmiral said:
Here's a good upgrade for $521.

CPU: Phenom II X4 955 BE $166

Mobo: Asus M4A79XTD EVO $110 after rebate

RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws 2x2 GB 1333 mhz CAS Latency 7 $100

GPU: Radeon HD 5770 $145. Manufacturers mean very little.

The reason I went this route is that you're not going to get a true future proof upgrade for $500. This is as close as I can get you. The AMD switch was a price determination, coupled with the AM3 socket being the main one for the next several years. In addition, this board is very good, cheap, and excellent for Crossfiring in the future, if/when you upgrade your monitor. The HD 5770 is a little weak for gaming, but the budget wouldn't allow a $300 HD 5850. Also, due to the lower resolution, you won't need something ultra powerful. It also has DirectX 11 support and Crossfires very well, making it more future proof. In addition, it doesn't require a whole lot of power, allow the PSU you already have to be used.

I would have liked an Intel upgrade, but 60% of the budget would be spent on the CPU and RAM alone, not leaving a whole lot for the GPU.


go with this setup. i almost bought the EXACT same setup based on suggestions and i too upgraded primarily for BFBC2.
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January 11, 2010 9:16:01 PM

I like the ram you chose cuz its made specifically for AMD. Not that there is much of a difference, but I mean it can't hurt. It isnt amazingly better though, so if price is way higher don't bother.
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January 18, 2010 9:04:17 PM

Ok, like I said when I initially made this post, I am taking my time with these decisions...

A deal popped up (to my knowledge) today and I wanted to see what you guys thought of it.


AMD Phenom II X4 Processor 955 (3.2GHz) AM3, Retail

ECS A785GM-M (V1.0) Socket AM3/ AMD 785G/ A&V&GbE/ MATX Motherboard
MB-A785GMM

$257.99
-$25.00CR (combo)
-$20.00IR (instant)
-$12.00MIR (mail in)
-$11.00BCB (bing cashback)
Estimated Total
$189.99

I'm leaning towards the Sapphire Radeon 5770 100283VXL ($154 on newegg right now) and OCZ DDR3 Ram, though I'm not positive yet.

Any opinions or suggestions (I know ECS isn't Asus or Gigabyte, hence my hesitation)? Thanks
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January 18, 2010 9:21:28 PM

I'd avoid ECS (but then I've had a couple of their boards with problems in the past so am a bit tainted) - also keep in mind that that MOBO only has a single PCI-e slot so any option of adding another 5770 later is gone
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January 25, 2010 2:58:30 AM

Alrighty, after much deliberation - I made my purchases today.

ewiz came out with a deal that included the Phenom ii x4 965 125w & Asus M4A79XTD EVO for $245 for this weekend only. I jumped on that and in a separate order, snagged the Sapphire 5770 Vapor-X model for $154. I received $25 back with bing cashback for these purchases, then went on the hunt for RAM. After reading all of the advice in here and other sites, I went with G.skill ddr3 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I just wanted to thank everyone for their input and please let me know if you have any additional comments or concerns about this build. Thanks!
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January 25, 2010 9:02:52 AM

Good luck with the build, let us know how it goes
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!