6 years since last upgrade and need advice

Hi guys

I haven’t upgraded in about 6 years (running a E2160 at the moment, I have a floppy drive but disconnected it :D ) and now I’m trying to build a PC which will last for the next 6 if that’s possible. Importing into Africa is a nightmare so the pricing is too skewed for any “get this rather part its 10$ cheaper” advice but I would really appreciate any help because as I said I’ll probably have this PC for another 6 years and being a student I don’t have money to waste.

Approximate Purchase Date: 2 weeks from now

Budget Range: around 700$ at newegg prices I think, before rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, surfing web, movies

Parts not required: keyboard, mouse, hardrive, speakers, monitor, OS and case

Preferred Website for Parts: http://www.comx.co.za/pdf_files/comx-computers-price-list.pdf the exchange rate is R6.71 to the dollar but like I said it won’t be much use.

Country of Origin: South Africa

Parts Preferences: The best value for money

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution 1920x1080

Where I have given more than one option is where I’m undecided between the two. I’m giving prices converted to dollars with my choices so that you guys can compare the cost vs. performance increase and hopefully advise which choice I should take. If there is another part which you think I should consider please let me know and I’ll check the catalogue to see if it’s available and at what price.

Current Build:

i5 2500K 291$
i5 2500 278$

Club 3D 6790 203$
Saphire 5850 314$
Asus 5870 2gb 399$

Intel blkdh67gdb3 135$
MSI P67A-c43b3 179$

Kingston 8gb 2x4gb ddr3 1333 cl9 130$

Coolermaster GX 550w 90$

Additional Comments:

I’m interested in overclocking purely from a value point of view. If paying 5% more for the 2500K will let me increase the value of part by more than 5% than I’ll take it otherwise not. If I am going to overclock I’ll get better cooling at a later stage.

With the motherboards its either Intel or more expensive MSI.

The graphics card section is where I’m hoping for the most advice. For me it’s a matter of cost vs. longevity and I was hoping that you guys would be able to provide the answer for me.

The RAM choices are pretty limited so this is about as good as I’m going to get.

I’m not 100% sure about the power supply, I just choose the cheapest 80+ 500W or greater PSU I could find. The brands I can get are Coolmaster, Corsair, Proline, Universal, Antec, MUKii asroc, Vantec, Zalman, Raptor, Silverstone and Thermaltake. There are cheaper power supplies which I would like to get so I would appreciate it if you guys could eliminate the brands which are bad/don’t recognise.

You guys have a great community here. Thanks in advance for the help
12 answers Last reply
More about years upgrade advice
  1. 2500K so that you can over clock.

    Change the RAM to this down below...

    996770 R 814 Quote required Mushkin 1333MHz DDR3 8GB Silverline Low-Voltage Dual Channel 2x4GB Memory Kit - CL 9-9-9-24, 1.5 Volts,
    Stiletto Heatsink, Lifetime Warranty
  2. Thanks will do
  3. Here's my advice for best bang for the buck for a gaming build:

    1) Get the best graphics card you can afford. How much can you get a 6950 for? It will perform similar to a 5870 and a lot of people have been able to unlock them to 6970s. If you do this make sure you get a reference 6950 with 2GB RAM and dual bios
    2) If you want to overclock your CPU the 2500K is superb and not expensive
    3) Don't skimp on the PSU - buy cheap, and you'll buy twice. That Coolermaster looks fine
    4) Buy plenty of RAM (8GB is nice). Stick to value memory unless you can afford better as you won't see much performance gain
  4. I'd only buy an Antec, Corsair, Seasonic, or XFX without a stellar review. I don't trust Coolermaster.

    The 6950 2GB is pretty much the most bang for your buck. I saw one for 2,800 ($417) on your website. Unlock it to the unlocked 6950 2GB bios when it's peformance isn't enough for you and add a second down the line. But this comes out to more than $700 total.

    How much does it cost to mail stuff there? If you could ship it to the U.S. for $275, then you could probably get it shipped out there for another $50.
  5. I didn't expect you guys to check the website thanks for the time and effort.

    The problem with mailing is getting it through customs which are notorius for things "going missing" and the duties on graphics cards are crazy because they are considered "luxury items". The supplier I'm getting from is the cheapest I can find.

    Any advice on the motherboard? I havn't seen many people going for intel moterboards but is it worth the extra cost?
    EDIT: The motherboards say direct X 10 compatable, does that mean I can't get direct X 11 on the graphics card?
  6. Well, we have a black president and Microsoft doesn't support Windows 98 anymore. Oh, and now CELL PHONES ARE MORE POWERFUL THAN YOUR OLD COMPUTER! :kaola:

    Sorry, I should have read the post first. I suspected you weren't in the US.

    What about a laptop? If you know someone in the US that is coming to your area you could have them buy it in the US or somewhere else and bring it in out of the package and "forget" it at your house. There are some pretty powerful laptops out there now.

    In a desktop I would suggest designing a system now a little below your budget that can be upgraded every couple of years as you save money. Put your money into the power supply, case, RAM and motherboard with an eye toward putting in a new CPU and graphic cards in a couple of years. Spending most of your budget on a graphics cards now doesn't make sense, they are outdated within a few months.

    Since getting parts into the country is a pain then I would try to build redundancy into the system Use 3 or 4 sticks of RAM so if one goes out you can still operate. Buy two graphics cards now for the same reason. While it sounds like you take care of your equipment and your electricity is clean, having built-in redundancy might be worth considering. So what about a RAID? If you don't need TBs of storage you could easily pick up a couple of medium size drives for a RAID. Or if storage capacity isn't an issue you could get a SSD which may or may not add to reliability.

    You have a 6 year old system but want a high end gaming card. That seems to be a contradiction in intent. Can your monitor handle it? Will your operating system take advantage of it?

    Have you checked out the $500 gaming systems that Tom's builds regularly? They may offer a better starting point than what you've come up with.

    While you want the system to last 6 years are you going to be happy playing the same game for the next 6 years while not being able to take advantage of all the cool new features that will be available in 3 years?

    I'm a frugal computer. The best value for the money is usually the second best of the last generation. Or you can look for parts that are in the "sweet spot" of pricing. Look at new computers and see what low and mid -range retail builders are putting in their systems in South Africa. You may even want to consider buying a $400 or $500 system and then adding in the graphics cards. That way the retailer has already taken care of most of the importing and you just need to get a part or two.

    Or maybe you could finish your education faster if you concentrated on school instead of gaming and then got a job. Or you could start a business with the money you have. Then you would have a bigger budget. :non: Sorry, that's my age and parent coming out.

    Hope these ideas give you food for thought and direction.
  7. Funny you should mention your black president, my black president has 4 wives and dances to gain support at rallys (its not as bad as it sounds). It was quite a shock seeing that the CPU I'm getting has intergrated graphics about as good as my current graphics card.

    I have a 19" LG L192WS moniter at the moment with Windows 7 32bit and will proberly be getting a 23" LG Ee2340T and windows 7 64bit.

    I think I will get a mid range graphics card and upgrade it periodically. I would just like someone to clear up the motherboard thing for me MSI or intel and it says "IGP supports direct X 10.1" is this the intergrated graphics or will it affect my graphics card?

    Thanks for the help
  8. That's just the integrated. So long as you have Windows 7, you can run DX11 if your graphics card supports it.

    A 5850 is probably the best bang for your buck right now and will do wonders if you crossfire a second down the road.

    I'd go for an i3-2100 and an H61 motherboard w/ 2 PCI-e if you want to save money. I love the i5-2500K w/ P67 though.
  9. i don't know why you are thinking intel right now, the only area where i think intel is better than AMD is their i7extreme range. i suggest looking at the AMD Phenom 975 if you don't want to overclock and the 955 if you do
  10. wenqi said:
    i don't know why you are thinking intel right now, the only area where i think intel is better than AMD is their i7extreme range. i suggest looking at the AMD Phenom 975 if you don't want to overclock and the 955 if you do
    You clearly have no idea what you are talking about.
  11. @wenqi--Please bring some benchmarks to support your claims. Here's one that shows you're entirely wrong: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-gaming-cpu-core-i3-2100-phenom-ii-x6-1075t,2859-10.html
  12. zooted said:
    You clearly have no idea what you are talking about.

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