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$200 upgrade

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March 17, 2010 4:00:36 AM

I'm about to get my tax return back and I'm planning on using approximately $200 of it to upgrade my PC. Problem is, I can't decide what to invest in. Here are a few ideas I had, but I'm open to suggestions. I use my computer mostly as a TV DVR and FPS gaming (with some rts on the side : P).

-2tb HDD. (my current 1.5TB is about half full) I would use this mostly for TV recordings.
-SSD for boot and games (need suggestions)
-Water cooling for a bit of OC action on the CPU (temp usually runs around 42C idle and up to 51C gaming)
-New PSU (modular cabling and higher wattage -- currently Raidmax 630w)
-USB 3.0/SATA III controller ($30) on Newegg.

Thanks in advance for the suggestions.

Phenom II x4 955
Asus M4A99T-Delux
6 GB OCZ DDR3-1600 (oc)
XFX Radeon HD 4890
Seagate Barracuda 1.5TB HDD
Thermaltake Spin Q cooler
Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-2250
Raidmax 630w PSU
Win7 Home Premium

More about : 200 upgrade

March 17, 2010 5:21:37 AM

Thats not much of an upgrade. His 4890 would perform better then the 5770. I'd do that if he was also buying the extra monitors for Eyefinity, but that would be more then $200.

This is a tough. The biggest problems you listed is the PSU (Raidmax?) and your harddrive. If 1.5TB isn't enough, then buying another is a good idea. So is the PSU. Buying a modular PSU that has a better efficiency is a good idea. So those are my votes.

Seeing as your rig overall is rather good, consider some of the "rich man" upgrades. New performance keyboard/mouse? Higher end monitor? 5.1/7.1 speakers? Chair? Desk? Look at the rest of your setup and see what else you could use.
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March 17, 2010 5:30:11 AM

I personally would go with a SSD. But 200$ is kinda not very much to upgrade hardware. maybe better sound system? or really sick headphones.
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March 17, 2010 5:39:56 AM

Id go with another 1.5tb HDD in raid 0 for starters, instead of the 2tb drive.
Other than that, perhaps PSU or a SSD
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March 17, 2010 5:41:11 AM

AID0 isn't a bad idea, but I'd never suggest it for an OS drive. SSD would be a better idea.
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March 17, 2010 5:41:30 AM

4745454b - I know. The high end video cards are more than $200.00.

Upgrading to a high quality power supply sounds good. I'd recommend either the Seasonic X650 Gold or X750 Gold. Both are brand new designs that very very quiet, modular, and gold certified for energy efficiency.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

Here are links to technical reviews:

http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...

http://www.silentpcreview.com/Seasonic_X650

http://www.hardocp.com/article/2009/09/25/seasonic_x_se...

http://www.bjorn3d.com/read.php?cID=1755

I've got the X650 Gold. It's definitely quiet and the voltages are rock steady.


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March 17, 2010 5:58:10 AM

Yeah, those are nice PSUs. Better then raidmax, and gold certified. Those should put out less heat and use less electricity then most other PSU. Meaning that PSU could actually pay for itself over time.
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March 17, 2010 6:35:26 AM

how about a second 4890?

would make for some nice gaming performance.
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March 17, 2010 8:54:23 AM

Hmm... the new PSU seems to be the prevailing opinion and I'm okay with that. I mean, who doesn't want modular cabling? Oh and the Raidmax PSU came with the case (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...). I like the idea of that... saving for a new 4890 during the summer and maybe someone will spot me a new HDD for my birthday in Aug : D. I only use my DVR during school -- free cable records much better than no cable (Satellite at home).
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March 17, 2010 1:28:12 PM

Don't hope to find a 4890 come the summer, they're getting pretty scarce as it is!
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March 17, 2010 4:13:17 PM

Hmm... very true. Newegg only carries one now. I hadn't thought about that. This may be a stupid question, but I don't feel like looking up the answer -- can you run a 5000 series card with the 4890 and have the work together in crossfire?
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March 18, 2010 2:00:43 AM

no, only same-series cards.
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March 18, 2010 2:17:18 AM

I'd personally grab that 4890 now while you can, then get a new power supply in the summer so you can install it. I don't trust the raidmax. It has less Amps on the +12V than a 500W OCZ modxstream.

Each 4890 will draw 190W max.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-4890,2262...

A 700W OCZ modxsteam should work for you. Or a quality 750W corsair. I know the 700W OCZ can have 550W total drawn from the +12V rails.
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