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Upgrading computer need input please.

Last response: in Systems
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March 10, 2010 5:31:43 PM

Okay here is the deal. I am upgrading a computer I have piece meal. I will list what I started with, what I know have, and what I would like to get. I would like some input and recommendations if possible please.

Started with

Cooler Master 310 elite
420 watt PS
2x2gb DDR2 800 MHz Ram
9500GT 1gb Video Card
500 GB 7200 RPM hard drive
m37a78-cm MOBO (am2/am2+)
Athlon ii x2 245 (2.9GHz)

Now I have swapped:
420 watt for a 750 watt PS
9500 for a ATI 5850 (saphire)
Athlon 245 for phenom ii x4 955 (3.2)


I want to get a new MOBO and a set of 4 GBs of DDR3 (2x2gb) a new case (Full tower not mid tower) and a new hard drive(So I can reassemble the old computer in whole). Looking to spend between 3-4 hundred on these parts in total, and want the mobo to be crossfire ready so when the 5850s hit around 200 I can add a second.

thoughts. Is dual 16x versus dual 8x pci-e worth it? Is it worth going big on the HD and getting a 32gb SDD or a 10000 RPM drive for booting and using my virtually empty 320 GB portable for data? I don't have much video or photo so not worried about space very much. Or should I just get another 7200 RPM 500 GB like I have now? And advise on cooling? I have seen several full towers for around 80-120 on new egg.... I have to get back to work so I don't have time to post what parts I have looked at. Please give some input based on my price range... Willing to go up to 450 IF SSD worth using as a boot drive versus a standard 500 (seems to be about a 50-70 dollar difference with mail in rebates right now)

Best solution

a c 84 B Homebuilt system
March 10, 2010 6:02:11 PM

Mobo: Gigabyte GA-890GPA-UD3H ($140 if you can find it in stock) or the Gigabyte GA-790XTA-UD4 ($125 after rebates)
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws 2x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 $115
HDD: Seagate 7200.12 500 GB $55. Fastest non-SSD out there. It's faster than the 10K RPM VelociRaptors.
Case: HAF 922 $90. It may say mid-tower, but it's bigger than many full towers. It is possibly the best case out there. Spending more than this is not going to be worth it.

Total: $400 w/ 890GPA, $385 w/ 790XTA.

And on your other thoughts:

A SSD in a useful size is not possible on your budget. Or at least not a useful sized, quality one. They are a magnitude faster than standard HDDs, but they have a lot of quirks (such as they don't like to constantly write data and need to have at least 20% free space). However, the cheapest useful ones (80 GB) run about $300 each.

Dual 16x/16x isn't really worth it. It only gives a 4% performance gain, which is only noticeable with the 5970.

A VelociRaptor is the worst buy in components right now. The newer 500 GB platter drives (Samsung Spinpoint F3 500 GB and 1 TB, Seagate 7200.12 500 GB and 1 TB, and WD Caviar Black 1 TB (6 GBps model) and 2 TB) are faster, cheaper, quieter and run cooler.

500 GB drives are not the same as you have now. They now use huge platters making them a lot faster.
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March 10, 2010 11:20:17 PM

Thanks mad. I checked out what you posted. I was already considering the HDD you linked. Thanks for the SDD input too. The case looks pretty good. Good reviews, nice fans it looks like. Found the mobo on ewiz.com (the 890) Gonan order this stuff up I think. The RAM seems solid, wasn't sure what to do that route, so I will follow your advice.
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March 13, 2010 11:03:53 PM

Best answer selected by mmiller73.
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