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Upgrade advice please?

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August 9, 2011 5:49:36 PM

Hello,
I'm thinking of upgrading my older system... mainly for gaming.
Case: Antec 900
PSU: Antec 550w or 650w... not sure?
Mainboard: EVGA 680SLI
CPU: Core2Duo E6400 (@3200 w/Zalman 9500 cooler)
GPU: Radeon HD4870 512MB
Drives: WD Caviar 2x 320GB in Raid 0 (for games/data)
and another for OS.
I'm thinking if I get a new motherboard,CPU and 8GB RAM and keep the case,drives,CPU cooler etc I can afford
a decent videocard...Nvidia GTX-560 looks nice?
Appreciate any advice,thanks.

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a c 91 B Homebuilt system
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August 9, 2011 5:52:32 PM

It'd help if you told us your budget, find out the wattage. Specifically, that or tell us the model of the PSU. There is no barrier for us to help you without knowing the budget.
August 9, 2011 6:02:07 PM

What is you're budget?

For a new mid-top range:
Core i7 2500K (if overclocking or save cash on cheaper quad if not)
p67 or Z68 mobo
GTX 560 or AMD 6870
8 gb 1333 or 1600 mhz ram (no need to spend alot unless everything else is maxed already)
40-60 gb ssd for booting your OS, believe me you will notice the difference!
Case and PSU should be fine depending on model of PSU, but wattage would be fine unless you want SLI/CF in future

Cheap but potent upgrade:
Buy used but good q9000 series Core 2 quad CPU as this will fit you socket 775 MOBO. The q9550 for example is as good clock for clock as an AMD phenom II quad.
Spend $100 on this max
Then spend the rest on a new GPU (GTX560TI or AMD 6950 is the best bang for your buck) and an SSD boot drive for you windows/linux. Now windows will take only 10-15 seconds to load and you can play Crysis 2 on max setting for only $300-400 instead of the $600-800 dollars you would be spending on the above...
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August 9, 2011 6:06:52 PM

aznshinobi said:
It'd help if you told us your budget, find out the wattage. Specifically, that or tell us the model of the PSU. There is no barrier for us to help you without knowing the budget.


$500?
Unless spending a little more will get me something THAT much better... and unless spending a bit more will get me something THAT much better than THAT... unless...etc
Is that how it still works? :-)
I'm really not sure what that will get me as a worthwhile upgrade though..
Hoping you folks know.
Sorry,I can't find my power supply model without taking it out.
August 9, 2011 6:15:16 PM

nerrawg said:
What is you're budget?

For a new mid-top range:
Core i7 2500K (if overclocking or save cash on cheaper quad if not)
p67 or Z68 mobo
GTX 560 or AMD 6870
8 gb 1333 or 1600 mhz ram (no need to spend alot unless everything else is maxed already)
40-60 gb ssd for booting your OS, believe me you will notice the difference!
Case and PSU should be fine depending on model of PSU, but wattage would be fine unless you want SLI/CF in future

Cheap but potent upgrade:
Buy used but good q9000 series Core 2 quad CPU as this will fit you socket 775 MOBO. The q9550 for example is as good clock for clock as an AMD phenom II quad.
Spend $100 on this max
Then spend the rest on a new GPU (GTX560TI or AMD 6950 is the best bang for your buck) and an SSD boot drive for you windows/linux. Now windows will take only 10-15 seconds to load and you can play Crysis 2 on max setting for only $300-400 instead of the $600-800 dollars you would be spending on the above...


Ok, I think if I'm going to upgrade at all I should get a decent CPU,right?
I'm ok with OC'ing it a little.
How RELIABLE are SS drives? Hadn't really considered that.
Not interested in SLI... I know it's a big performance leap but I'd rather have one good (ish) card with less heat,noise bulk and power needed
August 9, 2011 6:42:17 PM

aznshinobi said:
Well going off a guess and hope that the Antec is a decent Antec, not the crap ones.

i5 2400 $190
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Asrock H61-VS $60
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Crucial Ballistix DDR3 1333 4GB $25
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Palit 560 Ti $220
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Total: $495


Thanks aznshinobi,
looking into this now, but I may spend a little more after all (HAH!) just to make ripping into my computer a little more worthwhile.
I am intrigued by the SSD suggestion now though.
How RELIABLE are they though?
Oh and my Antec case is NOT crap,so there! http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
August 9, 2011 7:27:29 PM

He was not talking about the case I don't think, we all know the 900 is great! He meant the PSU as Antec have made both good and bad models. As for a new system this is my advice:

If you are upgrading mainly for gaming then consider how much do you really need to spend. If you bought a second hand q9000 series core 2 quad your CPU will be fast enough to run any game out now. The i5 2500K is considerably faster in apps, but for games it will hardly make a difference compared to a q9550 until you spend at least $500 on a new GPU (or SLI/CF setup). You could however definately use a new GPU set up. Since you have a 680 SLI mobo I would suggest the following for a gaming slayer of a machine:

single 560TI or 2 x GTX 560s in SLI (will blast all games at 1920 x1080 - however if you plan on multi monitor then don't buy this as you could need more vram) $220-300
A used socket 775 CPU, either an oc'ed q8400 or a stock q9550/9650 - $75
60gb SSD - $100
Can all be had for a total of less than $400 and will play any game you want, also no load time!

As for SSD reliability - its not bad, but also it will only have your OS on it, you save or back up all important files on your HDD. Honestly running Raid 0 on 3 drives is much more risky than 1 SSD. I would get rid of the raid and use the SSD to boot your OS - you will thank me
August 9, 2011 7:38:41 PM

nerrawg said:
He was not talking about the case I don't think, we all know the 900 is great! He meant the PSU as Antec have made both good and bad models. As for a new system this is my advice:

If you are upgrading mainly for gaming then consider how much do you really need to spend. If you bought a second hand q9000 series core 2 quad your CPU will be fast enough to run any game out now. The i5 2500K is considerably faster in apps, but for games it will hardly make a difference compared to a q9550 until you spend at least $500 on a new GPU (or SLI/CF setup). You could however definately use a new GPU set up. Since you have a 680 SLI mobo I would suggest the following for a gaming slayer of a machine:

single 560TI or 2 x GTX 560s in SLI (will blast all games at 1920 x1080 - however if you plan on multi monitor then don't buy this as you could need more vram) $220-300
A used socket 775 CPU, either an oc'ed q8400 or a stock q9550/9650 - $75
60gb SSD - $100
Can all be had for a total of less than $400 and will play any game you want, also no load time!

As for SSD reliability - its not bad, but also it will only have your OS on it, you save or back up all important files on your HDD. Honestly running Raid 0 on 3 drives is much more risky than 1 SSD. I would get rid of the raid and use the SSD to boot your OS - you will thank me

All right, I'll start shopping then.
Thanks for the replies folks.
August 9, 2011 11:57:12 PM

Had fun shopping around and this is what I've come up with so far,for more money than I planned but.....
Anyway, be glad of some opinions on this?

Motherboard: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
RAM: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I'll also be replacing my 4-year old creaky case fans.
Edit: Also,I found out my PSU is an "Antec True-Power Trio".... 650w, 3x 12v rails... should be fine :) 
!