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Nice little AM3 update to dying rig

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Last response: in Systems
November 26, 2010 6:10:00 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: Today

Budget Range: $300-400

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, movies, development

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, psu, hdd, case

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg

Country of Origin: usa

Parts Preferences: amd

Overclocking: maybe

SLI or Crossfire: no

Monitor Resolution: 1440x900

Additional Comments: Looking to get a nice upgrade with some newegg deals to hold me over til the spring (bulldozer, etc)

What I have:
CPU: Athlon 64 X2 3600+
Mobo: Biostar N68SA-M2T (Socket AM2 )
RAM: Crucial 2.0GB Dual-Channel DDR2 @ 316MHz (5-5-5-15)
GPU: 896MB GeForce GTX 260 (EVGA)
Monitor: Samsung SyncMaster 941bw
HDD: Hitachi 7200rpm 500gb
Case: Antec 300
Heatsink: Hyper 212+
PSU: OCZ ModXStream-Pro 500w

What I'm considering buying:
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) - $49.99

MSI 770-G45 AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard - $49.99

AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz - $144.99

Seems like a pretty nice upgrade for ~$250. I think the hyper 212+ and ocz psu will be fine to handle this? I want to upgrade my monitor and get an SSD, but I'm willing to wait for better deals than the disappointing ones of this black Friday.

My concerns: PSU powerful enough? Best bang for the buck?

If anyone has any alternate suggestions for hardware they will be much appreciated! I mainly play WoW, League of Legends, and Bad company 2. I might want to play medal of honor and COD: black ops....

More about : nice am3 update dying rig

a b B Homebuilt system
November 26, 2010 8:07:48 PM

take Mosox advice. Also Muskhin's similar DDR3-1333 is also $49.99, but with a $10 rebate!

With the extra moneyreplace the 260 with a GTX 460
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 26, 2010 8:15:08 PM

Ok, a) excellent user name; b) I think the advice above is good, but you might get more gaming benefit out of going with a new graphics card and maybe a monitor as well.

1920x1080 Acer monitor $130 + free shipping
Asus 6870 - $260 + $8 shipping

Sure, your processor will still be outdated, but it seems a shame to upgrade now and then upgrade with Bulldozer as well. That being said, upgrading CPU/mobo/RAM is a fine idea, but it may not be a huge boost in gaming performance.

What's your performance like right now? Dalaran at primetime vs. running around in Northrend or wherever?
November 26, 2010 8:27:28 PM

Thanks for the responses everyone.

Mosox: great find. I wanted to go quad core but for the price and my plans to upgrade later this is perfect.

ScrewySqrl: My plan exactly :D  I'm just willing to wait for a screaming 460 deal, I'm pretty happy with this 260

coldsleep: thanks - I have been eyeing that monitor and the 25" hanns-g. Really want IPS over TFT but that is a pretty nice deal. Unfortunately that Asus 6870 is out of stock. I'm also a nvidia fanboy ;] I just started playing wow again to gear up for cata, but the performance is pretty bad. I need to reformat, but I have to turn settings down pretty low. When I was raiding ICC I remember having to turn everything all the way down.

Edit: Forgot to mention - I will probably sell this rig when I upgrade to a bulldozer. I just moved to Minnesota and I won't be doing anything but gaming probably for the next 4 months with me not being used to such cold weather. So an upgrade is wanted :) 
a b B Homebuilt system
November 26, 2010 8:50:48 PM

Well, GTX 470s are about the same price at 6870s. :)  WoW can make good use of both CPU and GPU upgrades, so either way you go will probably help out. I'd lean towards GPU first, since you could move that to your next build, but you certainly don't have to.

I'm with you on IPS. I see that there's a sale on the Dell U2410 today, $479, though that's a bit above your price range.

Having lived in Minnesota, I understand. Just know that you haven't even begun to be cold yet. ;) 
November 26, 2010 10:59:30 PM

swifty_morgan said:
MOSOX............. I think that processor only supports DDR2 memory..... not DDR3.

I really hope your not correct on this... I just bought this processor with an AM3 DDR3 board and some DDR3 memory for a build that i am putting together for my son.

I'm not an expert on this stuff but i have built quite a few systems. I always understood that memory compatibility was based on the motherboard and that if the motherboard accepted DDR3 memory , and it was speced to accept the CPU then it would properly use the memory.

Please tell me this is the case....

a b B Homebuilt system
November 26, 2010 11:38:10 PM

I think I'm right. There was a 740 and a 745. The 745 had a DDR2 and DDR3 memory controller. I think the 740 only supported DDR2 ram. Check AMD's site for info.
November 26, 2010 11:45:21 PM

Not to worry, I verified:

"Heka" (C2, 45 nm, triple-core)

* Heka triple-cores are based on Deneb quad-cores with one core disabled.
* All models support: MMX, SSE, SSE2, SSE3, SSE4a, Enhanced 3DNow!, NX bit, AMD64, Cool'n'Quiet, AMD-V
* Memory support: DDR2 SDRAM up to PC2-8500, DDR3 SDRAM up to PC3-10600 (Socket AM3 only)

Edit: ordered the heka, msi board, and the gskill ripjaws... thanks everyone for your help. (I hope the RAM will work ok, considering what I just pasted above)
December 6, 2010 1:03:54 PM

Perhaps you should worry. Got everything built over the weekend and couldn't get anything on the monitor.

CPU LEDs are fine, vid card fans are spinning up. Swapped RAM DIMMS, went to 1 of each stick in DIMM1, tried different video cards, reset CMOS (battery and jumper method), resat mobo, etc etc...

Nothing. Now I'm attempting to verify compatibility. And ordering some PC3-10600 RAM ;x
December 6, 2010 6:38:30 PM

I preassembled everything for my son's build and had no problems getting into bios, (where it did verify that there was 4gb of ram)

i did not go any further than that, as i then disassembled everything since my son and I will be building the pc together.

build consists of the following.

and a HIS 5670 vid card. all newegg black friday specials.... like i said it didn't cause any problems getting into bios and recognizing the ram. I was thinking that it was just running the ram at lower speeds... hope you resolve the issue soon.

ps plz keep us informed.
December 7, 2010 11:58:23 AM

Ran system on cardboard with nothing but power, cpu, heatsink, ram, and video card connected. Still can't get anything to display. Hard to say whether it's a DOA mobo or RAM, but I'm leaning towards mobo.

Getting new mobo and ram ordered today, and then I'll determine what really is the culprit.

Edit: Ordered some more stuff, including another (Biostar) mobo and some more ram. I'm going to determine what went wrong and then I'll update this post. Should be a couple of days.