Hi, I am currently using this system of 3 years.
- AMD AM2 X2 4200+ Dual Core
- XFX 7950GT
- x2 1GB Kingston HyperX DDR2 RAM
- Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Fatal1ty
- Hitachi SATA2 160GB
- Cooler Master 450W PSU
- LG L1953 LCD
Recently, I have encountered a PSU-GPU related problem. My question is, should I build a new system and discard this old one or just replace the faulty parts?
I'm afraid of replacing the faulty parts and the system breaks down again in a few months. I have recently replaced the stock CPU fan with a Cooler Master Hyper 101 to rectify the fan problem, but in just 2 days, the system just auto-shutdowns and cease to power up again. The system is able to power up ONLY if I remove the 6-pin wire from the GPU, otherwise it's a no-go. So I'm not really sure if it's a PSU or GPU problem at the moment. (I don’t have any extra PSU or GPU to isolate the problem)
I appreciate any answers/suggestions/advices. I'll like to add I use this mainly for weekend gaming and watching videos.
Buy a quality PSU that you would buy if you were doing a new build. Install it. If it solves the problem, you can stop there. And you still have a PSU that will work in your new build, whenever.
If that doesn't resolve the problem, next step would be the graphics card. Take the same approach - buy the card you would use in the new build. You already have a new psu to power it. If you are satisfied, fine. If not, continue as need and money allow.
The key is start with the psu, the likely problem, and do NOT just replace part for part. Buy the part you would use in the next build.
Good advice from Twoboxer. You may very well want to replace your rig, but if you do it his way, you may still get enough use out of the one you have to wait for Sandy Bridge and/or Bulldozer in a few months.
If your 7950GT is performing satisfactorily, even a $70 GT220 or $75 HD5570 beats it; for modern games though, you'll probably prefer a HD5750 ($120), HD5770 ($140), or even a GTX460 ($170 or $220).
So a 550+ W PSU is sufficient for a non-SLI/CF configuration, is that correct? But won't the current CPU bottleneck the performance of the newer graphics card, and the improved performance will be minimal?
Yes, a 550W PSU is sufficient for any single card (with the possible exception of a GTX480, but space heaters don't belong in computers).
Oh, your CPU will be a horrid bottleneck for a high-end card, especially at lower resolutions, but if/when you rebuild, you'll already have a decent GPU to use.
In any case, replacing your PSU is the first order of business; your existing GPU may still be working. If you want to replace your GPU with something similar (but a little better), get a DDR3 version of a HD4650 or GT220.
Remember your original question: Am I wasting money repairing, should I build new?
We're trying to show you a way to repair WITHOUT wasting money.
The psu will most likely fix your problem. If not, the gpu may fix your problem. If not, you've certainly gotten your answer - its not worth repairing, build a new one. And use your new psu and gpu in that build.