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Upgrade Time - Need some advice.

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January 1, 2011 11:30:57 PM

This is my old build which im looking to sell - about 2 years old (Soundcard/PSU is only 2 months old):

Board: Gigabyte GA-MA790GPT-UD3H Socket AM3 Motherboard

CPU: AMD Phenom II X3 720 (2.8Ghz) 6MB Cache *Triple Core* 5200Mhz Socket AM3 CPU + Fan Retail Boxed (HDX720WFGIBOX)

RAM: G.Skill F3-12800CL9D-4GBNQ Dual Channel kit 2x 2GB PC12800 DDR3 (1600Mhz) Memory CL9-9-9-24

PSU: Enermax Liberty ECO II ELT620AWT-ECO II 620W ATX Power Supply Unit

GPU: Gigabyte nVidia GeForce GTX275 GV-N275UD-896I 896MB PCI-Express Video Card *VGA *DVI *HDMI

CASE: Antec Nine Hundred Two (Black) Mid-Tower Case *Front Audio, USB & eSATA NO PSU

SoundCard: Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Pro Series - Sound card - 24-bit - 192 kHz - 109 dB SNR - 7.1 channel surround

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Looking to sell that PC and go the intel/ati route. AMD just gets too hot. Especially living in New Zealand - Even winter is warm. Never snows etc - atleast where i live - too close to the sea :( 

Budget is $1900 USD ( $2500 NZD )
Preferred site to buy from: pp.co.nz ( Ill be down there next week so i can pick it up in person )
GPU: Ati
CPU: Intel
Cooling: Water - My room gets dusty fast even vacuuming every second day - i live outside in the sleep out.

Things to exclude: Monitors, keyboard, mouse, headset, external hdds, internal hdds, speaker set.
Things to include: Mobo, CPU, Ram, GPU, Cooling, Soundcard, PSU, DVD drive

Preferences on the GPU: 2x HDMI slots and 1x vga at least. (40" LCD TV + my 22" Monitor are HDMI both are 1080p - Second monitor is a 19"W vga (1440x900))
If possible to have all 3 screens running at the same time.

Rig is aimed towards gaming, but i also watch HD movies via HDMI cable to the LCD TV.

Cheers guys!

More about : upgrade time advice

January 1, 2011 11:57:17 PM

Decent water cooling is pricey. It also requires maintenance, which takes time. Typically you'll spend a full day draining, inspecting, filling, and leak-testing - every 6 months or so.
Then, no matter how much you cool with water, you still need some air flowing through your case.

To cool a single CPU and a GPU here in the US is probably going to run at least $400.00. A good triple radiator +fans. A good pump. Tubing. Fittings. Reservoir. CPU and GPU blocks. If you think you can spend less that is probably true, but the result will be no better or worse than air cooling.

I don't disagree with using water cooling, but you need to understand up front how much it will eat into your budget and time, before we start looking at parts.
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January 2, 2011 12:07:31 AM

Proximon said:
Decent water cooling is pricey. It also requires maintenance, which takes time. Typically you'll spend a full day draining, inspecting, filling, and leak-testing - every 6 months or so.
Then, no matter how much you cool with water, you still need some air flowing through your case.

To cool a single CPU and a GPU here in the US is probably going to run at least $400.00. A good triple radiator +fans. A good pump. Tubing. Fittings. Reservoir. CPU and GPU blocks. If you think you can spend less that is probably true, but the result will be no better or worse than air cooling.

I don't disagree with using water cooling, but you need to understand up front how much it will eat into your budget and time, before we start looking at parts.


Mmm, is there any way with air cooling to keep the components cooled and reducing dust intake?

Atm my GPU (the 275) is sitting on 77C because of how hot and humid it is right now. All im doing is playing PWI
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January 2, 2011 1:38:21 AM

zz it wont let me edit my post but....

Just thought id add in a few other things:

Ill be Buying on the 9th/jan USA time (10th/Jan mine)

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Im guessing the intel/ati build will be alot cooler than AMD/GTX 275 so do you think air cooling will be enough? Any way to stop the dust?

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January 2, 2011 7:13:38 AM

You can certainly get a case that has built-in dust covers. The good kind can be removed very easily to be cleaned. Or you can stock up on canned air and blow the computer out regularly.

Good water cooling will result in a CPU temp at idle that is around +10C. Good air will result in a CPU temp (idle) around +15. While large overclocks might be out of the question for you, I doubt very much if you will have issues in a well cooled case with good parts. Your usual max must be about 30C. That's not really very different from much of the USA.

Here's a very good air cooler that I found in stock at your site. Most of the best are out of stock there:
http://www.pp.co.nz/products.php?pp_id=AA12863

Does NZ get new CPUs quickly? Intel will release Sandy Bridge on the 5th or 6th, so if it arrives there that early you will probably want to go with that. Give Paradigm a call and see if they have a date yet.... but of course you'll need an adapter for the air cooler if you go that route.


Subject to change
i5 760
http://www.pp.co.nz/products.php?pp_id=AA24455

Gigabyte UD4 board
http://www.pp.co.nz/products.php?pp_id=AA25664

4GB DDR3 1600 CL8
http://www.pp.co.nz/products.php?pp_id=AA17987

Parts you can plan on
NZXT tempest case
http://www.pp.co.nz/products.php?pp_id=AA06214

Antec TP-750 PSU
http://www.pp.co.nz/products.php?pp_id=AA12738

Seagate 1TB HD
http://www.pp.co.nz/products.php?pp_id=AA14120

Asus optical drive
http://www.pp.co.nz/products.php?pp_id=AA24456

Two 6850s because they are well cooled
http://www.pp.co.nz/products.php?pp_id=AA26283

Windows 7 Premium 64-bit for OEMs
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January 2, 2011 2:55:01 PM

1) Sandy bridge 32nm cpu's will launch Jan 5, and be on sale Jan 9. Some asian sites already have the motherboards on sale. I strongly urge you to look into it. Read this preview:
http://www.anandtech.com/show/3871

2) I have found that you can get more by sellng your old pc in parts vs. the complete package.
In your case, you could reuse the case which has intake dust filters, the psu, os, dvd, ram...etc.

3) Water cooling is really air cooling. Only the location of the heat transfer is changed. If you have a decent cooling case(the 902 is a great cooling case) and a good cooler, you will get about the same level of cpu cooling. If you will be using dual cards(which I would avoid if possible), then liquid cooling for the graphics cards might be necessary. My top pick for a air cooler would be the prolimatech megahalems rev. b. Many others are not far behind.

You will find that the sandy bridge processors are 95w chips which run cooler for several reasons.

4) A sound card is not necessary in my opinion. If you have found a benefit with yours, keep it. Otherwise sell it.

5) If you have the funds, get a good sandforce based SSD for the os and some apps. Everything will feel so much faster.

6) Plan on a great graphics card like the 6950 for gaming, and get a cheap secondary card for the static stuff on the other two monitors.
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January 2, 2011 7:35:29 PM

I completely forgot to mention pp.co.nz doesn't actually carry stock so they order things in.

You can include stuff that is out of stock and ill check with mark (the owner) if he can get it. I've been buying from them for years.

Or you can check: http://pbtech.co.nz/ they are very close to where im staying so i wouldn't mind buying from them.

@Geofelt

I play a lot of competitive CS 1.6, our team is currently ranked 2nd in new zealand. So the soundcard is needed.

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Is 2 cards really needed for 3 monitors? Is it recommended? What about cooling issues?
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January 2, 2011 9:32:02 PM

The Gigabyte board I recommended has extra space in between the PCI-E slots, which would improve cooling.

I really just made the list as a starting point. Your prices are very different over there, even after adjusting for the exchange rate. Makes it hard for me to just assemble a list off the cuff.

You might want to look at a single 6950. The more monitor space you have to scan the slower your response times will become, but if you are just gaming on the one display it would be OK. CS is not so demanding.

A Solid State Drive (SSD) might give you a nice edge.
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January 2, 2011 10:34:47 PM

Proximon said:
The Gigabyte board I recommended has extra space in between the PCI-E slots, which would improve cooling.

I really just made the list as a starting point. Your prices are very different over there, even after adjusting for the exchange rate. Makes it hard for me to just assemble a list off the cuff.

You might want to look at a single 6950. The more monitor space you have to scan the slower your response times will become, but if you are just gaming on the one display it would be OK. CS is not so demanding.

A Solid State Drive (SSD) might give you a nice edge.



Yeah typically i play CS on my 19"w as i find it the best reso for me. And have msn/irc/vent open on the other monitor.

If you compile a list off pbtech.co.nz that would be awesome.

Budget is $2500 NZD (What is shown on the site).

NOTE: When looking at pbtech be sure to hit the "Include GST" on the right hand side so the prices are shown correctly.
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January 2, 2011 10:46:13 PM

LiQuidAce said:
I completely forgot to mention pp.co.nz doesn't actually carry stock so they order things in.

You can include stuff that is out of stock and ill check with mark (the owner) if he can get it. I've been buying from them for years.

Or you can check: http://pbtech.co.nz/ they are very close to where im staying so i wouldn't mind buying from them.

@Geofelt

I play a lot of competitive CS 1.6, our team is currently ranked 2nd in new zealand. So the soundcard is needed.

--

Is 2 cards really needed for 3 monitors? Is it recommended? What about cooling issues?


Can you educate me? What is there about a discrete sound card that current HD sound chips can't do? In the past a sound card saved some cpu cycles, but today that is no factor.

Most graphics cards will have more ports than they can support . Nvidia can only use two at a time. ATI can use more with eyefinity, but there are limitations on what type of adapters it can support. Best to read up on that carefully.
Are you trying to set up a three monitor 3D setup? If so, you will need dual cards for the performance if nothing else, and identical monitors. For gaming, I suggest dedicating all the resources of your best graphics card to the gaming monitor. Get a cheap card from the same (ati or nvidia) maker so you can use the same driver. Pur your static aux monitors on that. A small second graphics card poses no cooling problem. If you go crossfire or sli with two powerful cards, the top card will cave some cooling issues because it will not get as much cooling air.
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January 2, 2011 11:16:29 PM

geofelt said:
Can you educate me? What is there about a discrete sound card that current HD sound chips can't do? In the past a sound card saved some cpu cycles, but today that is no factor.

Most graphics cards will have more ports than they can support . Nvidia can only use two at a time. ATI can use more with eyefinity, but there are limitations on what type of adapters it can support. Best to read up on that carefully.
Are you trying to set up a three monitor 3D setup? If so, you will need dual cards for the performance if nothing else, and identical monitors. For gaming, I suggest dedicating all the resources of your best graphics card to the gaming monitor. Get a cheap card from the same (ati or nvidia) maker so you can use the same driver. Pur your static aux monitors on that. A small second graphics card poses no cooling problem. If you go crossfire or sli with two powerful cards, the top card will cave some cooling issues because it will not get as much cooling air.


I'm not sure how to explain it but in game you notice HUGE differences from my current mobo's sound and the soundcard.

Especially with reaction sensitive things like gun shots and foot steps.

Hearing the footsteps 20 footsteps away apposed to 18 with the mobo sound means the difference between reacting and shooting, or dying.

At 99% of the time i have 2 monitors running - Game on 1, music/vent/etc on the other.

Sometimes i use my 40" LCD to watch HD movies etc and it would be great not to have to unplug my current HDMI monitor and plug in the TV.
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January 3, 2011 1:01:40 AM


I'm not sure how to explain it but in game you notice HUGE differences from my current mobo's sound and the soundcard.

Especially with reaction sensitive things like gun shots and foot steps.

Hearing the footsteps 20 footsteps away apposed to 18 with the mobo sound means the difference between reacting and shooting, or dying

Thanks for the explanation. Makes sense to me now.

For movies and other stuff, put those two monitors on a separate cheap graphics card. I did that, and it works well. Perhaps it might give you an added edge by using fewer resources on the gaming monitor.
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January 3, 2011 1:09:47 AM

geofelt said:
I'm not sure how to explain it but in game you notice HUGE differences from my current mobo's sound and the soundcard.

Especially with reaction sensitive things like gun shots and foot steps.

Hearing the footsteps 20 footsteps away apposed to 18 with the mobo sound means the difference between reacting and shooting, or dying

Thanks for the explanation. Makes sense to me now.

For movies and other stuff, put those two monitors on a separate cheap graphics card. I did that, and it works well. Perhaps it might give you an added edge by using fewer resources on the gaming monitor.


Typically i turn off the second monitor and go back to single monitor mode instead of extend if im playing a ranked or competitive match.
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