I've been out of the loop for a couple years and now I'm kinda lost. Have built my all own computers after my first 286, till I bought this last one in which I had it built online at buyxg.com. Unfortunately it has finally gone belly up and I'm in no position anymore to buy something so ambitious again. I can't find my receipt to post all the exact details but I know most of it by heart.
What I'm looking for help on is doing a bare minimum fixup to get going again without too much of a compromise as I am a power user that does a lot of video editing & playback in HD, heavy graphics editing, vitualization, (Virtual Machines via Virtualbox) and gaming. In that order. (Not so much gaming anymore, but would like to again when I can afford to.) I was "OK" with the performance of this rig even before it went down 5 years after I built it as I went high end when I bought it. That said, I am fine with little to no performance increase, but would want to keep all the functionality.
From memory: Asus NVIDIA nForce 590 SLI / ATX / Socket AM2 (The original Crosshair) AMD Athlon 64 FX (2) Cooler Master Aquagate mini (CPU cooler) Corsair CM2X1024-6400 2GB(2x1GB) DDR2 800MHZ (Pulled to check this) Thermaltake Toughpower 750Watt
2x EVGA 7950GT 512mb (Pulled one last year as it was running way hot) WD Raptor 74 GB (10,000 rpm for OS) WD1600JD 160GB (data) Asus Vento 3600 case (listed for kicks)
So right now the MB, both HDDs, and 1 GPU are pretty much toast. The CPU was running hotter than it should, as well as the still installed GPU. (Though not as hot as the one I pulled.) This rig has basically been turned on since I bought it, but I have been pretty good about tearing it down and thoroughly cleaning it inside and out at least once a year. (Including fans and PSU)
My thoughts are this for repairing / upgrading.
New motherboard, CPU, memory, and OS HDD. I have 6 USB ext drives for data for now. I figure I can ride my GPU and PSU until they die, hoping for the best. I do need to replace a couple of noisy fans as well as I'm sure they are on the way out, so I have to consider those in the budget as well as they are not exactly cheap. If I scratch and claw, I can maybe muster up to $500 to try and make this happen. I would really like to use another Asus MB as my last 2 computers have used them and have little to no complaints. Unless of course there is something that is just superior in price, performance, and durability. A small but fast HDD is something else I'd like to fit in if possible. Completely open to CPU and memory suggestions as I haven't the foggiest who's winning the war these days.
My goal is to just get up and running again with a solid core that I can use to replace the stuff around it as it goes bad, even with aging tech if need be. I'm certainly not looking to go bleeding edge here, but more like something full featured that was last years news, (or later) and be had at a bargain today. If there is some fundamental flaws in my plan I'm open to suggestions and would really appreciate any guidance as I can't afford to get this very wrong.
I'm starting to realize that I may be borked after I looked at your suggestions. Right off the bat I noticed that the MB you suggested is missing SLI, firewire, digital coax, esata, and probably more. All of which I use. I was really hoping to find something that was a couple years old and full featured, but discounted due to newer technology. Unfortunately this doesn't seem to be the case. After searching prices for a 1 to 1 swap out of my existing MB, the best I found was $200 - $365, assuming someone has it in stock.
I was planing to keep my PSU as it has never faltered so far and is something I could fix as long as it didn't go supernova and completely exploded. Unfortunately this only frees up around $70 from your suggestion. Trying not to go backwards I would also just get an exact replacement for the raptor as they are available for around $65 now as the 150GB model is the latest and greatest. It really is a noticeable difference and I have 6 external USB/ESATA drives ranging from 80GB to 2TB for data.
Well at least this helps put things in to perspective. I would be happy to just replace the broken items with exact replacements, but paying $200+ for a 5yo MB is just silly. I wonder if I can find a decent MB that would support my still working CPU and memory that isn't so old and only have to buy that and another HDD. Minus around $50 for some fans, this would allow me to spend in the $250+ range for the board, and have some left in anticipation of a CPU/GPU failure.
Either way, I appreciate your suggestions. I'll try to dig a little deeper now that I have a direction and hope I find a silver bullet. If anyone has anything to add, please feel free, I'm certainly still open to ideas.
Now that looks like something that would indeed do the trick. Does the CPU and Ram you suggested still apply, or would I be able to to use my existing? Either way this looks like something I can build around and you have my thanks.