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Upgrade or Build from Scratch

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September 10, 2010 6:47:24 PM

My current build that's 2-3 years old is:

CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 2.4 GHz LGA 775

Heat Sink: ZALMAN CNPS9500
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MB: ASUS P5N-E SLI LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 650i SLI ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU: EVGA 8800 GT

RAM: Crucial Ballistix 2 GB DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD: Western Digital VelociRaptor 150 GB

PSU: NZXT Precise PRC-650W-AP 650W ATX 12V V2.01 SLi Certified.

I'm trying to decide between upgrading what I currently have or scrapping it and starting from Scratch, ideally I'd like to upgrade in waves.

The new build I'd like to achieve is:

Case: Antec 1200
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

CPU: Intel Core i7-950 3.06GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

MB: GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD3R ATX Intel Mobo
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

PSU: ABS SL series SL1050 1050W Continuous @50°C ,80 PLUS SILVER
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
***Updated

HDD1: Western Digital VelociRaptor 600GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...
***Removed

HDD2: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

BluRay Drive: SAMSUNG Black Blu-ray Combo Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

Heat Sink: Prolimatech Megahalems Rev.B CPU Cooler
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

Heat Sink Fan: Scythe SY1225SL12SH "Slipstream" Case Fan
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

RAM: G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
***Updated: Thanks Twoboxer

GPU: EVGA 768-P3-1362-AR GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) Superclocked FTW 768MB 192-bit GDDR5
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
***Updated

Accesories & Misc:
MASSCOOL G751 Shin-Etsu Thermal Interface Material
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
***Updated

Logitech G15 2-Tone 104 Normal Keys USB Wired Standard Gaming Keyboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

Microsoft Office 2010 Home & Student 3-User
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
***Updated

Logitech Z-5500 505 Watts 5.1 Digital Speaker System
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

Parts: $1,635.89
Accessories: $641.96
Shipping: $23.74
Grand Total: $2,301.59

I have Dual Dell E207WFP Monitors but want room to upgrade to a 3rd higher resolution monitor the Dell U2711 is a future purchase possibility.
Max Resolution: 1680x1050

Budget: To stay around what I have or lower, ordering all together is a possibility but I prefer spreading it out.

I'm in need of Speakers, New OS, and Office 2010, the keyboard is up in the air.

I was reading that the Q6600 is a tier 3 Processor according to http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-gaming-cpu-cor....
Makes me wonder if I can keep it for the time being or atleast a month or two before swapping the CPU,Mobo, and RAM.

I'm pretty sure I'll need more RAM if I go with the waved approach. Any suggestions or critics would be greatly appreciated, I came up with the build from reading some of the builds others have made.

Thanks!

Edit: Added CPU I forgot, Current Gaming Resolution, and Budget

More about : upgrade build scratch

September 10, 2010 7:29:39 PM

I didn't see a cpu listed, so I'll assume i7 930. You don't mention a gaming resolution, so I'll assume 1920. You don't specifically mention cash is an issue, but using the "wave" approach indicates that it is. With those in mind, consider . . .

The 470 is high power, high heat, while the 460 is a different architecture that will provide a substantial upgrade in FPS immediately, as a first "wave". While I don't normally recommend SLI for a new build, the performance/efficiency of the 460 is so high, and the SLI scaling so great, you might consider even installing 2x460 in your current mobo . . . one at a time . . . as and if you need it.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-460-sli-geforce-gtx-480,2694.html

In any case, you do not need a 1000W psu unless you contemplate triple-SLI. A quality 650W or 750W is plenty for even 2x460s, as shown in the article above (2x460, 470W at the wall, gpu loaded, cpu not).

Your mobo choice is fine.

Your memory choice is wrong - you need 3 sticks, try these:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231223

You won't notice using anything faster or more expensive; however, if you plan on OCing, you may want to go one step up in speed which may help the process.

You apparently like the Velociraptors - I can understand that lol - but consider a 120GB SSD like OCZ Vertex 2, especially since you plan a secondary storage drive like the Black. Its quieter, cooler, and there's not much faster.
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September 10, 2010 7:38:04 PM

Apologies about forgetting the CPU, budget and Resolution. I edittd the message above.

I'd like to move up to SLi, I use to have dual 7900GTs but when I RMA'd one they sent me back the 8800GT.

How much of a difference is there between the 460 and 470 individually and SLi?
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September 10, 2010 7:41:29 PM



sli 470's just edge out the 5970
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September 10, 2010 7:45:19 PM

Out of curiousity, why do I need 3 sticks of ram vs the 2?
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September 10, 2010 7:45:59 PM

Also i see that you are using 6 megs of ram on win7 32 bit should go with win7 64 bit
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September 10, 2010 7:48:20 PM

intel 1366 socket cpu's have a 3 channel ram controller for you wouldn want to rob yourself of some performance now
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September 10, 2010 7:48:40 PM

That should have been win7 64 bit, I got the wrong one lol. Thanks for pointing that out.
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September 10, 2010 8:14:47 PM



Save money on the OS unless you need to remotely access the computer, the differences in the editions are minor. Win7 Home premium should do just fine.

Did I see you were interested in a student edition of MS Office? You can save a bunch of money on a student upgrade to Win 7 Professional

Oh, this thermal compund is better: MASSCOOL Shin-Etsu


It seems like the order of upgrades, then is the only other thing to consider.

If you go with a single GTX 460 to start, the PSU you currently have should do fine. That would be my first upgrade, were it my machine. You may even be able to run both GTX460 cards off that PSU, since they are low power consumers. If you go with the GTX 470, then upgrade power supply first, since they are hogs.

Do you need to get rid of your old velocirptor? Get an SSD and load your OS there. that leaves you with the HDD upgrade later.

You can do the cooler at any time, since it works on both old and new sockets. Case can be done at any time too.

The CPU, mobo and ram could come last, and need to come all at once. 6 GB of RAM is adequate. Maybe you should wait to see if your performance is improves enough with the other upgrades first. Here is a thought: if you have the slots to add 2 more GB of RAM now and wait until next year for the big three items. Upgrades are coming from intel, and it could be very interesting to wait and see what is released. Just a thought.




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September 10, 2010 8:19:49 PM

eloric said:
Save money on the OS unless you need to remotely access the computer, the differences in the editions are minor. Win7 Home premium should do just fine.

Did I see you were interested in a student edition of MS Office? You can save a bunch of money on a student upgrade to Win 7 Professional

Oh, this thermal compund is better: MASSCOOL Shin-Etsu


It seems like the order of upgrades, then is the only other thing to consider.

If you go with a single GTX 460 to start, the PSU you currently have should do fine. That would be my first upgrade, were it my machine. You may even be able to run both GTX460 cards off that PSU, since they are low power consumers. If you go with the GTX 470, then upgrade power supply first, since they are hogs.

Do you need to get rid of your old velocirptor? Get an SSD and load your OS there. that leaves you with the HDD upgrade later.

You can do the cooler at any time, since it works on both old and new sockets. Case can be done at any time too.

The CPU, mobo and ram could come last, and need to come all at once. 6 GB of RAM is adequate. Maybe you should wait to see if your performance is improves enough with the other upgrades first. Here is a thought: if you have the slots to add 2 more GB of RAM now and wait until next year for the big three items. Upgrades are coming from intel, and it could be very interesting to wait and see what is released. Just a thought.


not too much power needed
sli 460 650 watts < only supports 2 way sli
sli 470 750 watts
sli 480 950 watts but a good 850 can handle it if the cards are not overclocked
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September 10, 2010 8:24:03 PM

What are the big differences between Home, Professional, and Ultimate?

I do enjoy being able to remotely access my computer with my laptop when I'm out of town.

After looking at the cost of a GTX460, I think I'm going to go that route since once you SLi them it takes a lot more money to improve on performance beyond that. The cost vs performance goes out of my range.

What's the chance of bottlenecking if I upgrade to a single GTX460 at first with my current system and add another 2 GB of RAM?
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September 10, 2010 8:47:04 PM

You got the point quickly - the 460s are a happy anomaly in the vid card line-up. I'm going to suggest a "wave" path for you. Its based on the fact that I have a QX6700, 680i chipset, running at 3.2GHz with a 5870, Win XP, sitting next to am i5 750 running at 3.0GHz with a 5770. And the i5 gives a much higher frame rate in (eg) WoW at 1920 than the older quad/mobo despite the gpu differences.

Step 1: Install a 460.
Step 2: Replace cpu, mobo, and OS next. If (cash) necessary, use your old psu. Use your old HD, but get enough disk space to clone a copy of your entire C drive. This may give you the FPS you need without going SLI.
Step 3: If necessary, add a second 460 and replace your psu at the same time.
Step 4: Drop in the SSD (cloning back your OS build) and your HDs at your convenience.

Ed: 5770, not 5750
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September 10, 2010 8:58:40 PM

I don't know much about SSD, are there any that are worth the money right now? They still seem very expensive.

Any literature on how to clone a C drive? Last time I tried I screwed it up when I tried to clone my C drive.
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September 10, 2010 9:48:01 PM

I use Acronis TruImage Home 2010, and it makes backups easy.

The SSD was a suggestion in lieu of the Velociraptor you had originally spec'd. If you're not replaing the hard drive, forget the SSD. Neither the SSD nor the Raptor will improve your gaming experience other than initial loads and zone times. They are kinda fun, though, when you boot up so quick.
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September 10, 2010 11:40:28 PM

Think I'll take advantage of the current 150 GB raptor I have for my c, maybe upgrade to the 600 GB or a SSD down the road. Hopefully SSDs drop in price sooner than later.
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September 11, 2010 1:31:18 AM

Haha, that was the PSU I had originally. What's the difference to make one better than the other?
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September 11, 2010 7:21:43 AM

Any one of the EVGA cards is a good choice. They have slightly different clock speeds, and both of the ones you linked will exhaust air out the back. EVGA also has a reputation for excellent support.

The $239 Palit has gotten great performance reviews, becuase of its overclock and price, but it is a bit noisier and will put a bit more hot air in the case.

I'm not sure which I'd buy, leaning slightly to the EVGA, but liking the overclock, but hating noise lol.

Your call.
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September 11, 2010 4:39:33 PM

Here is a card for you: MSI GTX 460 for $205 after rebate.

Here are the differences in Win7 versions. Basically, the more expensive versions will get you Remote Desktop (allow access to your PC from another pc), multiple languages, Windows XP mode if you have business software that is not compatible with Win 7, some encryption routines and virtual desktops.

Here is what you need to estimate your power. Plugging figures in, a single GTX460 would require only 450 watts, with a second card, about 525 watts. Your 650 W PSU you now have would work fine for the first upgrade, and probably work as well for the second. Remember that as capacitors age they lose efficiency. The estimates above include a 20% aging factor, but if you have run your machine 24X7 the loss reduction could be higher.

Unless you go with the GTX470 or GTX 480, you won't need a 1000W power supply. Recommended for GTX 470 in SLI is 750 W and for GTX480 in SLI, 880 Watts.




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September 14, 2010 5:43:02 PM

I'm starting to consider putting in an SSD for my primary drive. Does anyone have any experience or suggestions about SSD?

Is it better to wait until next year for the new stuff?

This is one the one I'm considering:

OCZ Vertex Series OCZSSD2-1VTX120G 2.5" 120GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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September 14, 2010 7:52:16 PM

If you are going to feel bad because the week after you purchase there is a better deal, then wait about 5 years. Prices are falling and speeds are rising. To best insulate you from wasting your money is to buy the smallest possible drive that is still useful Mine is 80 GB, and I wish I had bought smaller. 60 to 64 GB is large enough to hold your OS and several games/applications.

OCZs are fast. Here is a 60 GB even faster than the one you found. It is $127 after rebate, and there are several combos to lower your price even more.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This Kingston SSD 64 GB is slower, but at $99 is a nice price:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...




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September 14, 2010 10:07:20 PM

How fast is the technology changing? I have a raptor I can use to wait until the next generation comes out if it's worth the wait. I know win7 pro 64bit takes up 20 gigs, so I'm guessing 40 GB of leftover would be enough to hold 3-4 games?
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September 15, 2010 1:06:33 AM

Technology is changing fast - every third week or so a new set of products comes out that is faster. Here is Intel and Micron pushing the envelope with better tech by the end of the year. http://www.tomshardware.com/news/nand-flash-ssd-tlc-3bp...

I bought an INTEL SSDSA2M080G2GC on March 1st for $260. It is selling now, 6 months later, for $214. It was ranked 5th in Passmark's rankings at that point. It is now 14th.

I have few regrets, and love my SSD every time I boot or change applications. It it the only sticker on the outside of my case. I am looking for the price to drop below $100 so I can buy a second and put them in RAID 0.

Get it if you want it and have the money to spend.
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