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Time for an upgrade need help please

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February 22, 2011 4:14:05 AM

Hello and thanks for helping out, my current system is about 4 years old and getting some quirks to it so I am looking to upgrade some parts, so I would like to get some suggestions from ppl who have done more of this than me <first time doing major upgrades>

First, my current system:
Intel E6750 cpu
P5N-E SLI mobo
evga gts 450 gpu
3GB mushkin ddr2 ram
600w PSU (unsure the brand, original to the system built by cyberpower 4 years ago) still runs stable np
300GB HDD (again unsure brand, works fine)

Ok, I will be keeping the PSU, GPU, HDD, and optical drive, and the case <full tower apevia (sp?)>
I am getting windows 7 home premium 64 bit <has vista 64 currently> so I will be getting an external HDD to save my files and programs then doing a wipe clean install.

new mobo I was looking at:
MSI 870A-G54 AM3 AMD 870 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard

CPU:
AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor HDZ955FBGMBOX

Ram:
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL8D-4GBRM

My budget is about $450-460 shipped including buying the 500GB external drive and windows 7 OS
looking for your thoughts as to this setup and or suggestions for better bang for the buck and compatability, the external hdd is about $60 and the win 7 OS is $95.

The computer is used mostly for games, mmo's ect ect and web surfing with it being normal to have a game running with 4-5 internet pages open in the background while downloads of other programs are going.

Thanks for your help and sorry for the long nature of this post

More about : time upgrade

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a c 90 B Homebuilt system
February 22, 2011 5:21:28 AM

Hello jim45682;

Is that 300GB HDD a Western Digital VelociRaptor 10K rpm drive?

X4 955 / MSI 870A-G54 /G.SKILL 4GB RAM is all compatible.
It's a good bang for the buck core upgrade. Thats a lot of power for about ~$287.



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a c 90 B Homebuilt system
February 22, 2011 5:22:36 AM

One thing you can check on the PSU.

Does it have just a 4pin CPU aux power connector or does it also have the 8pin CPU aux power connector?
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February 22, 2011 6:00:03 AM

The hdd that is in it is a WD not sure the model only part of the label I can see says wd3200aja or somthing close, as for the PSU it looks to have both, I see an 8 pin connector that isnt hooked up but has 4 wires comming back out of it to a 4 pin square connector thats plugged into my current mobo near the upper left corner.

The external hdd I am looking at is:
A-DATA Nobility Series 500GB Portable External Hard Drive ANH01-500GU3-CBK

I have a few games on this system that are digital download only and are about 20GB each with the patches so you can imagine I dont relish the thought of redownloading them so I figure to copy them to the external drive then wipe the internal and install win7 and copy them back, then I will have the external to keep music and pics and such on, having never had any system with more than 1 hdd will this work?

thanks for your input, I researched the parts as much as I could for a week before asking here as to not sound like a total pleb :sweat: 
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a c 90 B Homebuilt system
February 22, 2011 6:08:46 AM

Nice USB 3.0 external drive.

You could just install a less expensive ($40) 2nd 500GB 7200rpm HDD into the system and load Win7 on that.
You'd end up with a dual boot system with a choice of Vista or Win7 at bootup.
Dual Boot Installation with Windows 7 and Vista
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a c 90 B Homebuilt system
February 22, 2011 6:10:30 AM

jim45682 said:
, I see an 8 pin connector that isnt hooked up but has 4 wires comming back out of it to a 4 pin square connector thats plugged into my current mobo near the upper left corner.
Sure, that's the 4pin ATX and 8pin EPS aux CPU power lead. You're covered there with that PSU.
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February 22, 2011 4:25:11 PM

WR2 said:
Nice USB 3.0 external drive.

You could just install a less expensive ($40) 2nd 500GB 7200rpm HDD into the system and load Win7 on that.
You'd end up with a dual boot system with a choice of Vista or Win7 at bootup.
Dual Boot Installation with Windows 7 and Vista


yea internal would be cheaper but the external will allow me to put all my music and my GF's pics on it so she can access them from the laptop and leave me gaming in peace, and should allow for me to put WoW on it so she can play it from the laptop so I dont have to give up my computer when she wants to play ;) 
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a c 90 B Homebuilt system
February 22, 2011 4:54:52 PM

And you can use the external to do regular backups of the desktop AND laptop as well.
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February 22, 2011 5:29:46 PM

I have the "recovery" disk given with the cyberpower desktop and the activation key for vista from it, could I use that to install vista on the external drive to keep as an emergency boot device to boot either the laptop or desktop in the case of a hdd fail or corruption?
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a c 90 B Homebuilt system
February 22, 2011 5:38:50 PM

Be careful of those recovery disks.
A lot of the time they're just bootable CDs that allow you to access a hidden partition on the HDD to do a re-install on the same HDD. It probably isn't (but could be) a full install version of Vista. You might have the recovery utility program you can run without the CD too.

I'm not certain if you could install Vista on a removable USB drive. It wouldn't hurt to try. Just be SURE not to tag your internal HDD by mistake.
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February 22, 2011 5:48:40 PM

but if it worked I could boot a computer from the usb external drive? also is there a way I can see if the disk contains a full install of vista or just a recovery without just trying to install?
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February 22, 2011 8:01:21 PM

well i got a little extra cash together and upgraded to 8gb (2 4gb sticks) of the ripjaws ddr3 ram and ordered the whole thing hopefully all goes well and this time next week I will be upgraded and running smooth, just hope my inexperience doesnt screw anything up
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February 22, 2011 8:05:57 PM

Best answer selected by jim45682.
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a c 90 B Homebuilt system
February 22, 2011 8:34:55 PM

Let us know how things go.

Here is a Step-by-Step Guide to Building a PC

Look over the forum's "System won't boot" checklist to see some of the common build errors and how to avoid them.

-> The usual advice; read the manual / install guide; look at the parts, read the manual again and if everything makes sense and looks right - then go ahead with the install.

While you're waiting you can download the online version of the motherboard manual and start getting familiar with it.
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February 26, 2011 8:44:44 PM

As an update, I got everything in yesterday, took about an hour to install everything, the dang hsf clip lockdown system gave me fits, would get one side hooked but no matter how much force I pushed with the other side wouldnt go down far enough to clip in, heh still no idea how I finally got it.

But i finally got it all in and hooked up, power on and it flashed by the "press del to enter setup" screen so fast I didnt even see it heh, so it all works great, I didnt screw it up and as a burn in test I played rift for about 8 hours straight without so much as a hiccup, core temp reported idle temps of 27c and max of 46c during gaming, though for some reason it said it went up to 51c at some time during the night when I wasnt on it
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a c 90 B Homebuilt system
February 26, 2011 11:23:00 PM

jim45682 said:
as a burn in test I played rift for about 8 hours straight without so much as a hiccup, core temp reported idle temps of 27c and max of 46c during gaming
Good job.
Thanks for the after action report.
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February 28, 2011 3:34:56 PM

WR2 said:
Good job.
Thanks for the after action report.

any tips or tricks to that HSF clip system? the fan is loud so I was thinking of getting an upgraded HSF but the clip was such a nightmare to get on the thought of doing it again just makes me wanna :cry: 
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a c 90 B Homebuilt system
February 28, 2011 4:31:48 PM

Is that fan loud when the system is sitting at idle? Or only loud while gaming?
What are the CPU fans speeds just after bootup, after 10 mins of running idle and during a game?
Your idle and load temps tell me it's probably installed correctly.
The stock HSFs are known to be relatively loud, I'm guessing you have your case fairly close to you?

A lot of the aftermarket coolers use a slightly different clip in system that can be easier to work with.


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March 1, 2011 1:45:34 AM

WR2 said:
Is that fan loud when the system is sitting at idle? Or only loud while gaming?
What are the CPU fans speeds just after bootup, after 10 mins of running idle and during a game?
Your idle and load temps tell me it's probably installed correctly.
The stock HSFs are known to be relatively loud, I'm guessing you have your case fairly close to you?

A lot of the aftermarket coolers use a slightly different clip in system that can be easier to work with.

Its just loud when gaming, at idle its not bad, and yes my case sits right next to my head and the side panel with the vent opening is at ear level about 12 inches away, its not unbearable, just louder than my old cpu fan
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a c 90 B Homebuilt system
March 1, 2011 2:20:17 AM

That does sound annoying. Even the 'not bad' at idle doesnt sound good to me.
Before you think about the aftermarket cooler option you can work with the fan speed options in BIOS to slow the fan down till it hits a higher temp.
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March 1, 2011 1:15:27 PM

WR2 said:
That does sound annoying. Even the 'not bad' at idle doesnt sound good to me.
Before you think about the aftermarket cooler option you can work with the fan speed options in BIOS to slow the fan down till it hits a higher temp.

I tried enabling the smart fan target and playing with the combinations of settings, max I hit was 55c under gaming load but having just sunk a chunk of change into this upgrade I am skittish about taking things off auto and leaving them, better to have to turn up the music a notch to drown out the fan noise than to have to go back to my old system cause I burned this one out.

My new PSU (corsair CX600) came in today I had noticed yesterday the fan on the old one was only running intermittent and studdering, perhaps that was causing higher heat issues in turn causing louder fans, switched it out and now seeing 4-6c lower temps at idle, the old ultra might have been on its last gasp, not providing stable enough power making things have to work harder, not bad nearly 5 years out of it though.
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a c 90 B Homebuilt system
March 1, 2011 1:20:36 PM

jim45682 said:
switched it out and now seeing 4-6c lower temps at idle
Thats really a huge change considering it's at idle. And just from changing out the PSU - putting out idle power.
How will the new PSU handle a heavy load? Any temp changes there?
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March 2, 2011 4:36:06 AM

WR2 said:
Thats really a huge change considering it's at idle. And just from changing out the PSU - putting out idle power.
How will the new PSU handle a heavy load? Any temp changes there?

under full gaming load I still cap out around 50c, down from 52c though, fan doesnt sound like a turbo anymore though :D 
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a c 90 B Homebuilt system
March 2, 2011 4:38:08 AM

Progress. It's all good news.
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!