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$350 upgrade

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July 17, 2010 2:41:45 AM

Hey guys, back in July of 07 I put together a rig and it's been serving me well but I think now would be a good time to toss a few new components in for an upgrade.

The setup I got now is:

C2D E4300 1.8GHz OC to 3.0ghz on a Zalman 9500 in a MSI P6N SLI Platinum 650i powered by a Thermaltake 430W and a EVGA 256mb 8600GT with 2GB of GSKILL DDR2 6400 inside a Cooler Master Centurion 5 with Windows 7 64 bit.


The pieces I want to upgrade would be to the following:

Athlon II X3 440
BIOSTAR TA890GXB
G.SKILL 4GB DDR3 1333
Radeon HD 4670 1GB

Total is $340 shipped, not bad for a few key pieces, I am under the assumption that my PSU should be able to support the new upgrades and as far as the CPU, well it's the best bang for the buck gaming upgrade withing the budget. It puts me at my current speed stock leaving room for OC if I choose to go that route later with a better fan. The board gives me a new chipset to work with and options for future upgrades as well. The ram should be a huge boost from 2 to 4 including the speed itself and the Video Card would be a small boost I would assume around 20% better than what I currently have.

My question is, do all the potential new parts seem pretty solid and show to provide a decent boost/upgrade option for the under $350 budget and have any of you chosen these parts (any or all) and have any pros/cons to add?

I was sure to check the Tom's hierarchy list for CPU/VC and make sure I was on the right track as well as reading reviews and spending months researching for parts.

As far as computer use, I surf the web heavily, and view movies on a old 19" LCD with max res of 1440x900.
A few of the most commonly used progs/games are as follows:


Adobe Photoshop/Premier Elements
Office 2010
Itunes
Ventrillo
Rosetta Stone

Battlefield BC
Bioshock 2
Blur
Command and Conquer
Dragon Age Origins
Mass Effect 2
Prince of Persia
League of Legends

and that's about it. We have a 12mb line with Uverse and I do DL heavily as well.

Thanks in advance for any positive/constructive input or advice. Feel free to reco any other parts you feel might be a good fit for my uses that still fall within the $350 max budget.

More about : 350 upgrade

July 17, 2010 5:24:22 AM

Ouch that Thermaltake TR2 W0070RUC 430W blows and Hardwaresecrets has done a review on the TR2 line and i would set a distance of a 10 foot pole between myself and these PSUs :p  Therefore am suggesting a PSU investment for running modern gaming class GPUs (and peace of mind)
http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Thermaltake-TR2-...
Quote:
Conclusions
Thermaltake TR2 RX 750 W is, according to our methodology, a flawed product that must be avoided at all costs. It can’t deliver its labeled wattage at high temperatures, but this is not the worst of it: ripple and noise level are way above the maximum allowed when you pull 80% or more from the unit’s labeled capacity (i.e. 600 W and above), overloading your components (especially electrolytic capacitors from the motherboard and video cards), which can cause your PC to present an erratic behavior (crashes and random resets) and, under extreme conditions, damage components.

Suggested hardware @ $348AR:
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July 17, 2010 7:02:40 AM

Agreed about the power supply... especially if you do get a new video card. I dont think you really need one tho playing at such low resolution.

*I want to point out that motherboard is a micro-ATX. Not sure why you're putting a micro in a mid-sized case... sure you can and it will work. But generally a regular ATX sized motherbaord will have lots more slots and give your video card some room to breathe.

I'd reccomendd upgrading monitor first. I saw on logicbuy.com today a 24" 1080p monitor for $160bucks with coupon code and free shipping. I'd reccomend doign that and running dual monitors. Nobody should be forced to use just one monitor :0
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July 17, 2010 8:18:11 AM

batuchka said:
Ouch that Thermaltake TR2 W0070RUC 430W blows and Hardwaresecrets has done a review on the TR2 line and i would set a distance of a 10 foot pole between myself and these PSUs :p  Therefore am suggesting a PSU investment for running modern gaming class GPUs (and peace of mind)
http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Thermaltake-TR2-...
Quote:
Conclusions
Thermaltake TR2 RX 750 W is, according to our methodology, a flawed product that must be avoided at all costs. It can’t deliver its labeled wattage at high temperatures, but this is not the worst of it: ripple and noise level are way above the maximum allowed when you pull 80% or more from the unit’s labeled capacity (i.e. 600 W and above), overloading your components (especially electrolytic capacitors from the motherboard and video cards), which can cause your PC to present an erratic behavior (crashes and random resets) and, under extreme conditions, damage components.

Suggested hardware @ $348AR:
http://i137.photobucket.com/albums/q205/batuchka/Untitled-746.jpg




Yeah I have heard some bad things about that power supply, of course none of them prior to when I purchased it were out yet. So far it's done me well, either I've been lucky or it's going to crap out anyday now. Really no way of knowing. It's powering aside from all I listed 5 hard drives for about 3 years now so I can see how a new one couldn't hurt. Eventually I'd like to swap out all the small drives for a 1 TB SATA 6.0Gb/s which I'm sure would help with all the noise and vibration as well as the massive heat problem I have in my room. I must say the suggestion with the ram/psu combo is very nice. I hadn't considered the combo deals so thanks for pointing that out. Seems that's really the only good deal with that combination of pieces. Obviously the ram is not supported by the CPU, therefore I would be bringing it down to 1333, no biggie.
Another plus is the additional power supply connectors giving me more upgrade options working in combination your great idea to get a ATX board instead of mATX which is now giving me double of all the slots and actually saving me money! Thanks!!

Now on to the bad, the board you reco'd is older tech, I know it's cheap, but I want to step forward not back, it's not even SB750 at minimum, but I was looking to get into the 8 series because having the safety net onboard video was something I was willing to pay for to have, but I settled for not getting it at the cost of going full ATX and saving a few bucks to offset the cost of the PSU. There really is no way to get everything I need under my projected $340-$350 budget.


This puts the new total at $383.66 shipped, about $44 over budget which would basically be the PSU, still a great upgrade at a great price. Here it is, reworked.

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July 17, 2010 8:27:34 AM

lowriderflow said:
Agreed about the power supply... especially if you do get a new video card. I dont think you really need one tho playing at such low resolution.

*I want to point out that motherboard is a micro-ATX. Not sure why you're putting a micro in a mid-sized case... sure you can and it will work. But generally a regular ATX sized motherbaord will have lots more slots and give your video card some room to breathe.

I'd reccomendd upgrading monitor first. I saw on logicbuy.com today a 24" 1080p monitor for $160bucks with coupon code and free shipping. I'd reccomend doign that and running dual monitors. Nobody should be forced to use just one monitor :0




Correction, you reco'd the Full ATX and that was really a great idea that saved me some money and gave me alot better options, thanks. I totally agree with you that having a new monitor would rock. anything bigger than a 19" would be great as I would use it as my TV in fact, since I basically just sold my 42" plasma I would be needing a replacement. It's not in the books right now of course, but I feel the 1440x900 is perfect as far as desktop space/browser space/video quality. Anything smaller and I probably wouldn't like it, but for gaming I could see the benefits surely. I had been looking at this 21" Acer for a while, but I'll be sure to check out your link as well. It wouldn't be for a while till I could save up enough to buy the monitor, but I'm sure I'll do that eventually.
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July 17, 2010 9:26:41 AM

skunkone said:


Eventually I'd like to swap out all the small drives for a 1 TB SATA 6.0Gb/s which I'm sure would help with all the noise and vibration as well as the massive heat problem I have in my room.

Now on to the bad, the board you reco'd is older tech, I know it's cheap, but I want to step forward not back, it's not even SB750 at minimum, but I was looking to get into the 8 series because having the safety net onboard video was something I was willing to pay for to have, but I settled for not getting it at the cost of going full ATX and saving a few bucks to offset the cost of the PSU. There really is no way to get everything I need under my projected $340-$350 budget.


This puts the new total at $383.66 shipped, about $44 over budget which would basically be the PSU, still a great upgrade at a great price. Here it is, reworked.

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/ii81/fabiangomez357/newlist.jpg


1. Err 6GB/s for SSDs : not worth it for mechanical drives and nothing to do with heat/noise generation vs a 1TB SATA 3GB/s drive @@
2. SB 710 vs SB750 diff: RAID options alone Look to hit SB850 if u really want all the goodies :D  Not at the expense of gaming performance as per budget of course ^^
3. The difference in gaming performance going down from HD 4850 to HD 4670 isn't worth it Since 1440 x 900 is approximately 1280 x 1024 some games may be too taxing for the HD 4670 Eg: Call Of Juarez/Lost Planet AA/AF and Crysis high

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July 17, 2010 1:37:07 PM

batuchka said:
1. Err 6GB/s for SSDs : not worth it for mechanical drives and nothing to do with heat/noise generation vs a 1TB SATA 3GB/s drive @@
2. SB 710 vs SB750 diff: RAID options alone Look to hit SB850 if u really want all the goodies :D  Not at the expense of gaming performance as per budget of course ^^
3. The difference in gaming performance going down from HD 4850 to HD 4670 isn't worth it Since 1440 x 900 is approximately 1280 x 1024 some games may be too taxing for the HD 4670 Eg: Call Of Juarez/Lost Planet AA/AF and Crysis high
http://i137.photobucket.com/albums/q205/batuchka/lpec10_4x.gif
http://i137.photobucket.com/albums/q205/batuchka/img10.gif




1. Right, I read through some of the reviews and being able to eventually boot the computer in seconds and utilize Sequential Access - Read 355MB/sec (SATA 6Gb/s), Sequential Access - Write 70MB/sec (SATA 6Gb/s) is amazing with the Crucial C300. You wouldn't agree that sending all my data to 1 big drive instead of 5 individual HD's would help with heat/sound at all? Seems like it would lead to 4 power plugs I could unplug and 4 less drives spinning up and staying on all day everyday. I opted for the 1TB as 6 vs 3 just because of the price, for $5 more you get 64mb cache to 32 and 6/gb buffer = 126mB/s vs 3/gb buffer= 106mB/s, nothing major here right? I just figured having the option for tech that might benefit me one day and hopefully the price going down on it would be nice to have as a possibility rather than not at all.

2. Yeah I really wanted the SB850 as again it's step forward, but if I go SSD wouldn't that benefit the gaming performance equaling a good trade off down the line?

3. I would agree the HD 4850 to HD 4670 is better with 256 bit to 128, what exactly do you mean 1440 x 900 is approximately 1280 x 1024? And I don't and will never play those games, only the games/progs I listed.

4. If I had to trim the fat yet again, I might opt for another ASRock board to save me $10 and thus only spending $30 over budget. If anything, I'm sure I could get away with running my current card in the new build till I got enough dough for the card on another paycheck.
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July 17, 2010 6:18:00 PM

1. Have a look @ Samsung F3 1TB
2. In general for budget systems where gaming is on the table: get the best frames your $$ can nab u 1st (priority) Else u have a sluggish performer
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