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Latest Pics on minor upgrade!

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a b B Homebuilt system
June 24, 2011 7:35:49 AM

Here's some pics on my latest minor upgrade.

Specs:
* Intel e6700 @ stock settings 2.66 gHz (has Zalman cooler, not sure the model at this time)
* MSI p965 Platinum mobo (s775)
* 4 x 1 gb's of Adata RAM (2 different sets - just upgraded from 2 x 1 gb set)
* XFX AMD 6850 1 gb ddr5 GPU (was using a x1800xt 256 mb from 2005 era)
* 250 gb Sata II Seagate HD
* 2 DVD drives (1 DVDRW and other is DVD ROM - good for easy burning of original)
* Antec 380w Earthwatts PSU
* Cooler Master HAF 912 (upgraded from Antec NSK 3480)
* Windows 7 Ultimate (had XP)

Here's the pictures:


Picture below has the x1800xt 256 mb GPU from 2005, which has served me well :) 




If you have any questions, please let me know. I'm really enjoying the setup at the moment, but haven't had enough time to see what I can do I also have some cable management to finish, but I tried to maximize the air flow from the front fan (it's positioned about mid height) :) 
a b B Homebuilt system
June 24, 2011 8:15:14 AM

Few queries:

1) Is the hard drive really meant to be mounted with the connectors at the back? I'd expect to be able to see the connectors on this side of the case?

2) You say you have the fan in the middle. I'm not sure of it's size but are you sure there is going to be enough air flowing past the HDD where you've mounted it?

3) It looks like you've locked your graphics card in with cables!
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a c 91 B Homebuilt system
June 24, 2011 8:36:28 AM

Hmm.... I think you should've gotten Win7 Home or Professional and saved some bucks. That money could be saved for a CPU+MB upgrade (You would've saved about 90$)
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 24, 2011 9:38:06 AM

To (Rusting in Peace):
1) yes I have the HD mounted below so I can get good airflow to the GPU. I might move it up, but need to test it further.

2) Fan size is 120mm (stock) and seems to move the airflow pretty good.

3) I wanted to get the rear fan hooked up to one of the mobo control ports and that was the closest one that I could use. I could find an extender cable, but I currently don't have one, so I'm making do with it. Also the CPU power cable isn't long enough for me to re-rout it anywhere else, so it's where it's going to be for now, until I get an extender cable for it too.

To (aznshinobi):
I didn't have to pay for Windows 7 Ultimate (gift) so there was no associated costs with it :) 

I couldn't get a mobo/cpu combo that would really beat the e6700 right now. The e6800 now is the king of s775 at the lower end (as Tom's has said in their "Best Gaming CPU's for under $110). I just need to OC the e6700 over 3 gHz and I'll be close to that speed.

I was trying to get a decent graphics upgrade and to have at least 4 gb's of RAM, so this is what I came up with for the least amount of $.

I could have went with an AMD Phenom II x3 for about $70-80, mobo about $50-75, RAM for about $40, & whatever GPU I could afford after that. This would've cost about $160 + the GPU, which I only spent about $150 for the GPU and about $30 for the added RAM. I couldn't spend more than that combined and I wanted to be ready for some newer games coming out in the next 6 months or so. Oh I forgot to mention the Cooler Master case was a gift from my son, so it didn't cost me anything either. I still could have fit all of the parts into the Antec NSK case (and I did). After fitting all of the parts into the Antec case, I stress tested the RAM and the GPU to make things were okay, before transferring all of the parts over to the new case.

My other thought was to buy an AM2+/AM3 based mobo (with DDR2 RAM slots) and use my current RAM for it, thus dropping the initial upgrade costs, but I still would've been spending about $120-140 + whatever GPU I could afford after that. Which I couldn't afford more than $180 w/the 2gb's of RAM included into that price.

I feel that I got the best bang for my buck with the upgrades that I had a budget for. What do you think?
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 24, 2011 9:43:19 AM

Oh and forgot to mention that I have a friend who is going to give me a q6600 in the near future, so I thought that staying with this setup would be more beneficial, at least until I can save up for a Bulldozer or possibly a Sandy Bridge system in the next 12-18 months or so. Than I can just move over the HD/GPU/DVD drive/Case and possibly the PSU, although the PSU is starting to get dated and I need to upgrade it in the near future.
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a c 84 B Homebuilt system
June 24, 2011 2:45:18 PM

Nice pics. Good job.

I think you did an appropriate and economical upgrade.

I would not count on a Q6600 doing anything for your gaming.
In most games, two higher clocked cores will beat a slower quad.
I suggest you test it first, then sell it on ebay if you don't get more performance.


No need to change the psu until your next graphics upgrade.

In 12 months, ivy bridge should be here. As good as sandy bridge is, ivy bridge is supposed to be another 20-30% better.

If you have the funds, look into a SSD for the OS and apps. It will transform your everyday usage.

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a c 91 B Homebuilt system
June 24, 2011 7:02:10 PM

Nice, well since Ult. was free. Then defiantly an economical upgrade. I think it was good choices.
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 25, 2011 4:41:26 AM

Thanks for the advice. I think I did pretty good with the budget and items that I got. I don't know if the q6600 is going to make much of a difference, but I know APB reloaded requires a quad core CPU and 4 gb's of RAM and a decent GPU (older one at that), so I'm going to try it with the e6700 and see what happens. If I get the q6600 anytime soon, than I'll try that and see if it really makes that much of a difference. I think an e6700 OC'd to about 3 gHz is going to be better than the q6600 at 2.4 gHz or there about. I don't want to OC much, because I bought the mobo used and don't want to push it into early retirement (at least not yet). It has been a good build for quite some time and I've more than got my monies worth out of it. I've been very lucky with my builds (maybe because of good research and such). I've learned a lot about computer building since I started doing them in 2001-ish. My main focus has always been trying to get a balanced system, but mostly geared towards getting the most gaming bang for the buck!
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a c 136 B Homebuilt system
June 25, 2011 6:01:25 AM

I know MSI can be weird ... but is the RAM in the right slots?
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 25, 2011 7:34:33 AM

All four slots are full so I reckon its fine :p 
Nice job Op, although as you say theres a little more you could do on C.m., its looking good enough :) 
Moto
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 25, 2011 10:03:15 PM

RAM is doing just fine and is in the right slots. I have some little tweaks to do to try and minimize the cable clutter, but I have been too busy to address them at this time. :) 
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 25, 2011 11:13:51 PM

Love your post!

Congrats on your Machine! That XFX HD6850 looks awesome!

Some suggestions for cable management:

For $4.99 you may want to consider getting an 8 pin cable extender. This will allow you to fish that cable that is currently going over the HD6850 to go behind the motherboard instead. Just bring it up through that hole at the top of the motherboard and drop it down.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I would do likewise find an extender for the rear 120 mm fan 3 pin cable and the 24 pin main power connector. Newegg has several cables however other sites like frozencpu.com or xoxide.com may have a wider selection.


Then if you want to get really fancy covering up all the cables you can try something like this :D 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LHbwW10kowc&feature=chan...

(Admittedly this is a bit beyond my skill level but it would be fun to try)



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a b B Homebuilt system
June 26, 2011 3:06:44 AM

Thank you to all of you that replied! I was thinking that I made some pretty good minor upgrades, with the $ that I had available. I thought that I should share them and hopefully give some people some insight to what kind of upgrades one can consider, if you have an older system. Although my home PC (this one I take to work for those quiet times) has had a few upgrades since I built it in 2005-ish. It has:
* AMD Athlon x2 s939 (I think its a 2.2 gHz one, not sure. It was just a single core before - I think 3000+ model)
* 2 gb's DDR 400 mHz (yes DDR)
* 80 gb WD HD (SATA I of coarse)
* Apevia Case w/PSU (originally, but upgraded to Antec 350w)
* 2 x DVD's (1 ROM and other DVDRW, both IDE) <---- Burnt over 500 DVD's or more with these LiteOn drives, I lost count too long ago :) 
* Asus s939 Dual SLI mobo (forgot model #, but was nVidia based chipset - when nVidia was doing well with AMD mobo's)
* ATI x1800xt (moved this over to the son's build and then back to the current build above). Now it has a nVidia 7900 gs, I think it's 256 mb too.

This build has also been a very stable one too, so I've been pretty lucky and/or have made some good decisioins too. I really liked where s939 was going and than the whole AM2 socket came along and things went sideways from there (about the time Core 2 Duo's came out).

I do like how AMD tends to keep upgrade paths open with their mobo's. I can't count how many different chipsets that Intel used duiring the s775 days (way too many, IMHO).

My ultimate goal is to move the 6850 onto a Bulldozer/Ivy Bridge/Sandy Bridge based system (whatever is most cost effective). I usually spend about $300-$400 on upgrades and re-use some parts from the previous build. This way I get a bitchin' system for little $ (since I don't have any $ growing on trees :)  ).
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 30, 2011 10:24:26 AM

Very interesting. Nice job. Time for work, but I need to revisit this...
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 30, 2011 11:42:01 PM

I have been passing my older systems along to family and friends, but my Omega build I expect to keep for a long time, so I hope I can do as good a job when the time comes for any upgrades to it.
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 7, 2011 10:11:18 AM

*** Update ***
I just finished Dirt3 (came with XFX 6850) on easy settings! No issues whatsoever with the configuration. Of coarse I was only playing at 1280 x 1024, but that is what the max resolution of the monitor is (older Panasonic 17" LCD - not mine). Also had to play some CSS and TF2 for the fun of it, which neither game would stress out the system. I will try and get some better tests on the system, but for now things are going well. Can't wait for Diablo III to come out (maybe by 2013 at the rate things are going). I might try some other games out too, to see how things are, but for now things seem to be just fine!
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 7, 2011 2:27:45 PM

How do you like Dirt 3? That game looks freakin' awesome! I want to get it.

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a b B Homebuilt system
July 7, 2011 4:07:29 PM

Cool, glad your enjoying the extra graphics power man :) 
Moto
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 8, 2011 6:20:10 AM

rwayne said:
How do you like Dirt 3? That game looks freakin' awesome! I want to get it.

Dirt3 is pretty cool! It has pretty neat graphics and looks almost life like. I'd recommend a wheel or analog controller though. I used just the arrow keys and the space bar, but I was on easy and wouldn't survive if I had to actually control the gas/brake. It was pretty fun and if you like rally type games, it's probably the best I've seen (mind you I haven't played too many, so take my comments with a grain of salt).

For me, I wouldn't pay $50 for it, but I only played the single player side of things. The multi-player I haven't messed with.
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July 8, 2011 6:13:24 PM

@geofelt "I would not count on a Q6600 doing anything for your gaming. "

I'll second that. I've got 2 systems sitting side-by-side, one with a q6600 and one with an e6750. If I chose one to game on, it would be the e6750 due to higher FSB. The clock speeds are about the same once OC's (3.2GHz, nothing too major) and the RAM is identical in the 2 now. My OTHER computer is by far the gaming choice but, that one isn't to be mentioned.

I actually use my e6750 machine at university for ALL my school work and leave the q6600 and other machines at home (60miles away. I go home once or twice a month)

Anyway, nice, modest upgrades to your rig! My only concern is your PSU, I'd look into a new one if you're concerned with air flow and aesthetics. I've got a Corsair PSU and I highly recommend their upper end PSU's. (Avoid the system builder PSU's) I have been corrected. Apparently the budget Corsair units have fared better for other forum members than myself. I shall give them another go.
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 8, 2011 9:39:00 PM

Puttsy, the Corsair "Builder" series have been favorably reviewed; they're fine, as is the 380W Antec Earthwatts, truly an excellent economical PSU. It is unfortunate that it seems to be getting phased out, as it has been my standard for years in all but high-end builds. None have ever failed or given the slightest hint of trouble. Lunyone's build probably doesn't pull 300W from the wall.
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 8, 2011 10:07:41 PM

^Same as, I used and recommended the cx500 in a few builds and no callbacks on the psu side
Moto
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July 8, 2011 10:28:39 PM

I'm just going with what I heard. If you have first-hand experience with good units, great. I RMA'd 2, which my have been a fluke but I use Thermaltakes (TR2's) in my low-end builds now. I will not discourage the purchase of them in the future however, I will recommend a top end Corsair first.

Apologies for stating otherwise.
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 9, 2011 8:40:00 AM

No, not having a go or rubbishing you man,
I'd rather hear about the ones that do go pop, at least I get to hear that some have failed
and you did state you like the high end corsairs anyhow, same as me, but if people are going low budget on psu I like to give them one I know is reliable, saves them hassle and me time/reputation
Moto
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a c 91 B Homebuilt system
July 9, 2011 7:25:49 PM

I wouldn't recommend Corsair unless it took over the world. Corsair overprices their PSUs, Antec is what I would recommend, then XFX. Usually both companies offer similar performance and reliability for a much lower price.
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 10, 2011 2:21:13 AM

I like Corsair, when they are on sale. They tend to be a bit spendy for the most part, but have heard/read good reviews on them. I do like/prefer Antec PSU's in general. I have had very good experience with the RMA process 2x, so I'm pretty familiar with what would happen if I had to return a PSU to Antec.
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 12, 2011 11:59:40 AM

*** Update ***
I just tried playing Call of Duty 4 the other day and ran into some issues. I found out that CoD4 has some issues with some onboard sound configurations. Mine happens to have issues with CoD4 for multiplayer. I installed the latest patch (v1.7 from what I can tell) and I was having issues running the game. I also found out that if I just plugged in a mic (along with the headphones) that it would run just fine. Thought I'd mention this for those that might be in the same situation. There are about 5 other options to get it to work, but I ended up using the last option to get it to work.
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