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How should I upgrade?

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July 22, 2010 6:10:58 AM

Hi this is my first time here at tom's hardware so bear with me...

I know some things about computers and I bought a barebones kit from Tigerdirect and After a year I'm looking to upgrade which I havent done besides changing a hard drive that failed on me and getting a new graphics card after my old broke. Here are my system specs...

Motherboard:
Asus M3N72-D nForce 750a SLI AM2+ Motherboard
Link:
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

CPU:
AMD Phenom X4 9600 4MB 95W Socket AM2 CPU
Link:
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

RAM:
OCZ SLI 4096MB PC6400 DDR2 800MHz (2x2048MB)
Link:
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

HDD:
Seagate ST31000528AS Barracuda 7200.12 Hard Drive - 1TB, 7200 rpm, 32MB, SATA-3G, OEM
Link:
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Power Supply:
Ultra LSP650 650w Power Supply
Link:
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Case:
Ultra X-Blaster Black ATX Mid-Tower Case with Front USB, FireWire and Audio Ports
Link:
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

GPU:
EVGA GeForce GTS 250 Video Card - 1024MB DDR3, PCI Express 2.0, (2) Dual Link DVI, SLI Ready
Link:
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Monitor:
Gateway 19" lcd Monitor
Link:
I dont have one...

And thats it...So I've been searching around TigerDirect for a week trying to find upgrades, I want to basicly upgrade everything in the computer (not the HDD since I just upgraded it) I mostly just don't know what to start with since I wont be upgrading it all at one time With my budget I'll have to upgrade over around 6 months. The main use of this computer will be for hardcore gaming with some multimedia mixed in.

My budget Right now is: $300

Over 6 months though it will be around $700 or $800

Thanks for you help! :hello: 

More about : upgrade

July 22, 2010 6:36:00 AM

Your rig still looks pretty solid except for the video card. I would go for a 5850. You could almost double your graphics performance with that upgrade.
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July 22, 2010 7:04:27 AM

I've been considering switching to ATI as per your suggestion, but i feel like maybe my current setup wouldnt be able to fully utilize a graphics card that high end right now. Do you have any experience with this happening?
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a c 82 B Homebuilt system
July 22, 2010 7:15:22 AM

You should look at newegg first. They generally have the best prices unless tiger is having a sale.


Stay away from Ultra brand power supplies. Corsair is much better.

Even their cases though while they are decent they are not even close to someone like a quality brand like Antec.


This is a MUCH better case

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


Same GTS250 ( I agree you can do better ) is $10 cheaper there.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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July 22, 2010 7:25:07 AM

"costs less, performs better. less power, heat and noise"

Do you have a clue what you are talking about? That is a 5700 series card, how in any way do you think it ourperforms a 5850? Get your facts straight.
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 22, 2010 7:31:59 AM

rawoysters said:
"costs less, performs better. less power, heat and noise"

Do you have a clue what you are talking about? That is a 5700 series card, how in any way do you think it ourperforms a 5850? Get your facts straight.


compared to a GTS250 you 'tard.

instead of coming in here recommending a much more expensive GPU that would be bottlencked by the OPs processor, i am offering a solution that "costs less, performs better. less power, heat and noise"

get the point?

try learning how a computer works before giving bad info, and try reading people posts before flaming them.
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July 22, 2010 10:24:55 AM

Might be wrong but isnt the 1st gen phenoms quite crappy for what they were? Would possibly be better with a phenom 2 x3 or an athlon II x4. I personally went for the athlon II x3 and got lucky in that I could unlock the 4th core and it still overclocks like a peach.
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 22, 2010 10:28:38 AM

yes, first gen Phenoms were not very good CPUs. from the sounds of it, the OP already has most of these components though.

a phenom II would certainly do better, he says he bought a barebones kit which i assume included that processor.
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July 22, 2010 10:48:49 AM

Ah I thought he was upgrading away from the barebones that he bought last year and just wants to know which would be best to upgrade. If he gets any sort of decent graphics card then its going to be restricted by that processor to some extent.
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 22, 2010 10:50:38 AM

yeah, im not entirely sure what he wants to replace first.

you are right though, and a decent CPU will be needed eventually. not sure if that mobo will support anything decent though...

EDIT: okay, i get whats going on now. was confused because he had described a barebones system (which this is obviously not). and thought these were mostly parts he had selected to replace parts of his system, not the system itself.

anyways, starting again: you'll want a decent PSU and motherboard, followed by a CPU and GPU upgrade.

Grab a corsair vx450, and a decent Gigabyte mobo (plus some decent DDR3 ram, such as G skill ripjaws). then a Phenom II 955 or athlon II 635 (depending on what you want to spend), and then a GTX 460.

the problem is, if you aren't buying all at once, prices will vary. this gives you a rough outline, but you will need to look at whats available when you buy.
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July 22, 2010 11:16:30 AM

HAHA just looked at the mobo. Its the baldest thing ive seen in a long time. So much patches of nothing.

Another long shot if your not looking at spending too much and an entire new setup would be to check with the mobos latest updates and bios etc because some am2+ boards *can* support am3 chipsets if support for the board continued that far but its a very long shot but could be worth looking into.
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July 22, 2010 10:16:36 PM

Edit: okay so im torn between the AMD Phenom II x4 955 and the AMD Phenom II x4 965 I dont know if the $20 extra will give me much of a difference but if it might last me longer before i have to upgrade.

The rest of my upgrades are still undecided but in the future I would want to Add 2 GPU's and make it either 2 way SLI or 2 way Crossfire, I would only be doing 2 way cause ive heard it doesnt make much of a difference from 2 to 3 way SLI/Crossfire.

That would make the PSU have to be a bit stronger aswell. I still dont know what to choose for the Motherboard. And for the Case I'm looking for a full tower that will give me lots of room to add new Hardware but not one that will have to be upgraded quickly (or ever if i could)

Sorry for the delayed response I was traveling.
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Best solution

a b B Homebuilt system
July 22, 2010 11:58:06 PM

I would go for the 965 just because its a small ammount of cash, and generally they overclock a little further.

PSU wise, grab a corsair tx650. motherboard, any decent gigabyte will do. i would suggest the ga0ma790xt-ud4p. good price/performance.

then GPU, GTX460 sli offers the best scaling and value. so id go that route.
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a c 82 B Homebuilt system
July 23, 2010 4:13:59 AM

Quote:
GTX260 sli offers the best scaling and value. so id go that route.


I think you mean the GTX460 ;) 

Eveything else I agree with. Gigabyte MB, Corsair PSU , and I would add this memory:

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

About as good as you can get for the price. Put it all in an Antec 300 Illusion case and add a Hyper 212 for overclocking and you have a great gaming PC for a great price.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 23, 2010 4:21:19 AM

anort, i somehow have made that same mistake 3 times now. my brain jsut refuses to learn...

yes i meant 460, sorry for the confusion.
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a c 82 B Homebuilt system
July 23, 2010 4:25:25 AM

Maybe I just have them on the brain. As soon as EVGA will get some 1GB models available here in the US I am getting one. Hopefully Monday....I could perorder from EVGA direct but if I wait on newegg I get 2 free games not just 1. Might as well get Cryostasis and Just Cause 2 for free but this waiting sux. :fou: 
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 23, 2010 4:26:22 AM

Uhm, don't get me wrong. Corsair makes a good PSU no doubt. However, the PSU he has is a 650 watt Ultra LSP correct? It may not have 80% efficiency, but it is 38 amps on the 12v+ rail. Thus making it a little stronger than the corsair. I have one of those Ultras. So I know the rating. Also, if he registered it, it's got a lifetime warranty, meaning it breaks down, he calls them and gets a new one. PSU I would NOT upgrade that first. Btw, yes I'm aware it's not on the same tier as the corsair, but I would consider that a secondary upgrade, almost downgrading. If you are gonna upgrade that, need to be going to something more like this one at least. Otherwise, I can't honestly say I consider that PSU a worthy upgrade. I've used Ultras for years and have worked on computers professionally for 2.5 years, and as a hobby for 10 years. I can say I've almost never had a major issue with an ultra.

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

Op...check out a newer chip. Maybe a Phenom 2 or even Athlon 2 x3 or x4...be sure the board supports it first though. Next thing after that would be the video card. Then if the power supply is not up to the job, grab a new one. But I would go a couple of steps up from that 450 watt corsair before considering that a worthy upgrade suggestion. Again, I have been running one of those Ultras..exact model for more than a year and it's been a good PSU.

Why not a 22 or 24 inch monitor and new CPU instead?
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 23, 2010 4:28:51 AM

yeah, but if it breaks down and takes out his motherboard, they won't cover it.

its not just about what its capable of supplying, its about quality. you should never skimp on a PSU. corsair PSUs are some of the best on the market, and i have no doubt that its a better choice than an ultra.
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a c 82 B Homebuilt system
July 23, 2010 4:34:43 AM

Umm a Corsair 650TX has a single 52 amp 12v rail. Ultra is not crap but maybe only a small one step up. They make you think they put out a quality product with advertising and links to review sites that take it out of the box and say "oh boy it works" but read a real review site. Hell for years Ultra would not even list amps. ....only decent Ultra PSU was the X3 1000w model. Everything else is Tier 4 or 5......basically do not buy. Corsair units are made by either Channel Well or Seasonic and are all Tier 2.....top quality.
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 23, 2010 4:36:29 AM

Oh no doubt, but the same is true with a cosair if it goes as well. I've personally been using my ultra for a year and a half. No issues so far. Nor with the 400 watt one I used in my old build that was in it for about 3-4 years.

To anort3, I'm not saying that Corsair does not make a great PSU. We all know that. But what I am saying, is in this case, I do not think that the 450 watt unit is a worthy upgrade from what he already has. If we were looking Corsair's 550 watt or 650 watt, no problem. But the proposed 450 watt upgrade.....I think the op could spend his money better elsewhere. That's my point.
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 23, 2010 4:39:08 AM

And i frequently eat without washing my hands. doesn't mean you should recommend it.
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a c 82 B Homebuilt system
July 23, 2010 4:41:46 AM

Look at the reviews.......alot of noise and unstable voltages. Basically waiting to kill your computer if you start overclocking. It's like drinking and driving....you may get away with it hundreds of times but that does not make it a good idea :kaola: 

And no that "lifetime warranty" does not cover the motherboard that the PSU takes with it when it dies.
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 23, 2010 4:43:12 AM

Quote:
It's like drinking and driving....you may get away with it hundreds of times but that does not make it a good idea


a much better analogy than mine i think...

:lol: 
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a c 82 B Homebuilt system
July 23, 2010 4:44:33 AM

Lol :sol: 
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 23, 2010 4:48:18 AM

Either way, I'm not gonna argue. Lol. As I said, we all know corsair makes a good power supply. We all agree. Like I said, I'm only saying that it would not be my first upgrade.
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July 23, 2010 6:35:39 AM

compared to a GTS250 you 'tard.

instead of coming in here recommending a much more expensive GPU that would be bottlencked by the OPs processor, i am offering a solution that "costs less, performs better. less power, heat and noise"

The 5750 is nothing more than a sideways move. It barely outperforms the 250 by a few frames. He came here with $300 looking for an UPGRADE. Recommending a 5750 is a not going to be helpful to him. Maybe you should take some of your own advice.
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 23, 2010 7:54:23 AM

rawoysters said:
compared to a GTS250 you 'tard.

instead of coming in here recommending a much more expensive GPU that would be bottlencked by the OPs processor, i am offering a solution that "costs less, performs better. less power, heat and noise"

The 5750 is nothing more than a sideways move. It barely outperforms the 250 by a few frames. He came here with $300 looking for an UPGRADE. Recommending a 5750 is a not going to be helpful to him. Maybe you should take some of your own advice.


read the thread. i have already acknowledged that mistake, when the OP mentioned a barebones system, i assumed he was then listing new parts for it (since this is not a barebones system)

i was saying the ati card would be a replacement purchase.

we have already given the op a good upgrade path.
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July 23, 2010 8:12:36 AM

Thanks for all the info guys definetly going to come here for all my Computer needs I think as for the PSU which has caused debating I'm going to go for corsair 650w PSU, I wont upgrade it now it will probably be the last thing i upgrade and i wont be overclocking until i get it

the CPU im getting is the 965

The video card will be a gtx 460 or possibly a 5850

i havent decided what mobo specificly but im probably gonna get a gigabyte one

and the case i still havent decided on either but thats not as hard to decide

Thanks very much!!!
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July 23, 2010 8:13:56 AM

Best answer selected by darkspark713.
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