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Update to my existing homebuilt system

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a b B Homebuilt system
January 16, 2012 3:21:43 PM

Hi all.

I am looking to upgrade my current system, namely Mobo, CPU and RAM.

First, how it looks currently:

Mobo - Asus P5Qe
CPU - Intel Dual Core E5500 2.8Ghz
RAM - 4gb Kingston hyper X (2x2) 1066mhz
GPU - Radeon HD 4870
PSU - Do not recall at the moment, it is 600w, from my last discussion it had a fair output on the 12v rail.
HDD 1- Corsair 120GB Force 3 SSD 2.5" SATA-III (Primary)
HDD 2- An oldish seagate 500gb 7200rpm drive (storage)

Now the proposed:

Mobo - Asus P8Z68
CPU - Intel Core i3 2120
RAM - Corsair Vengeance performance memory - (2x4)

I can get those from ebuyer for £250. So my question to you is, is this a reasonable purchase, should i be getting something different for my money, is there similar that would work that could bring my cost down to £200? etc

Essentially, is this a good upgrade or would you do it differently, and if so, how?

Thanks in advance.
January 16, 2012 9:06:15 PM

Save up some extra cash and wait a couple months for ivy bridge. These upgrades would increase your performance, but they are already on their way out due to new hardware in the next couple months

If you need this stuff now, then yes it is a fairly good deal. you could go a bit cheaper on the mobo (asrock and gigabyte make good boards for around $130 USD) and the ram (pick out some 1600 ram instead of 1866, shave a few bucks off)
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a c 78 B Homebuilt system
January 16, 2012 9:54:58 PM

Not a big enough upgrade.

Wait for Ivy bridge in a few months if you can hold out that long.

If you want the greatest likelihood of this being a simple plug & play affair, choose a Gigabyte motherboard and RAM from Crucial.

Crucial has an online tool where you just enter your motherboard type and it will tell you many kinds of RAM that are tested to work correctly with it. You can use that to decide which kind to get.

There isn't much if any difference between 1333 RAM and 2133 RAM, so don't go crazy with increased RAM speeds.

Basically just adding a little to Cripple's response while seconding his thoughts.
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a c 92 B Homebuilt system
January 16, 2012 10:34:29 PM

Quote:
There isn't much if any difference between 1333 RAM and 2133 RAM, so don't go crazy with increased RAM speeds.


And some motherboards can't handle anything beyond 1600. Most only do so with overclocking and even then it's never a good idea to OC your RAM.

Quote:
Wait for Ivy bridge in a few months if you can hold out that long.


Am I really the only one here who doesn't think that Ivy Bridge is going to be a huge improvement? It's not going to use a new socket or chipsets, nor are they going to offer any really new features besides PCI-E x 3.0.

Quote:
If you want the greatest likelihood of this being a simple plug & play affair, choose a Gigabyte motherboard and RAM from Crucial.


I'll agree with this - I have two Gigabyte boards and both have been excellent so far. I have the i3-2120 and it's been a great CPU so far.
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January 16, 2012 10:59:35 PM

g-unit I support your thoughts about ivy bridge but regardless of performance increase, when they come out all other prices should drop at least a little. Ivy bridge will certainly be better but i don't believe the cost will warrant the performance gain compared to the k series. It's one of those things we have to wait for and see
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a c 78 B Homebuilt system
January 17, 2012 1:50:03 AM

It has been a while, but I thought I read some marketing materials from Intel that showed 10 - 25% improvement over the 2000-2700 series chips.
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a c 92 B Homebuilt system
January 17, 2012 1:57:43 AM

Cripple13 said:
g-unit I support your thoughts about ivy bridge but regardless of performance increase, when they come out all other prices should drop at least a little. Ivy bridge will certainly be better but i don't believe the cost will warrant the performance gain compared to the k series. It's one of those things we have to wait for and see


Well AMD totally destroyed any confidence I had about the "newer generation" being better than the current one with the FX-8100. I know there's still a lot of issues to iron out with these CPUs but once they do, is it really that much better?

Until I see some actual OC numbers I won't believe anything Intel or AMD say about the newer CPUs being better than the current ones.
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 18, 2012 12:36:49 PM

Ok guys thanks for all your replies. My comments would be as follow.

With regards to Ivy bridge coming soon, lets face it, this is the world of tech and theres always something new just around the corner every 6 months or so. Will the improvements be significantly worth it? I would imagine as a latest release that the processors will be expensive? I'm trying to keep the costs down at the moment.

With regards to the motherboard ill check out a gigabyte board, thats not too much hassle and doesnt affect much.

With regards to the RAM, i thought that faster would be better but is the general consensus that i dont need to push past 1333? or maybe 1600?

Thanks again for everything so far.
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a c 78 B Homebuilt system
January 18, 2012 1:45:30 PM

A lot of people use 1600 RAM as the rule of thumb for Intel 1155 chips and 1333 for AMD chips.

I am not sure where this rule of thumb comes from, but to my knowledge it isn't supported by benchmarking. Most people's computers are not even close to using the maximum RAM bandwidth.

Pretend you are talking about car engines. They produce X amount of smoke per minute. If you are able to exhaust all of that with a small diameter exhaust, then increasing the size of the exhaust pipe wouldn't help you to exhaust more since more isn't being created by the engine when you increase the size of the exhaust.

Some people buy the bigger exhaust pipe anyway because it makes more noise and that is "cool", which kinda mirrors how cool people are when they get 2133 RAM or whatever else.

If you just care about data in and data out, you most likely aren't getting too much benefit from faster RAM. Indeed, many people find that running RAM at faster speeds causes it to break or break more quickly so it could be actively harmful.

In the car engine world, increasing the size of the exhaust pipe is also actively harmful, for that matter. There is something called back pressure which is good and you have less of it when you have fatter exhaust pipes.

Anyway, you can follow the rules of thumb from I don't know where if you want, but I think you would be fine with 1333 either way and wouldn't notice a difference between that and 1600 or any number higher than that.

In other news, the release of Ivy Bridge should push prices down for older processors so it is likely that even if you DO want to go for an older processor that it would be better to wait and take advantage of that.

In any event, I just want to see you avoid shelling out tons of money for a small upgrade. You aren't doing too bad as it is, so you probably wouldn't be getting a huge bang for your upgrade buck if you went to Sandy Bridge.

BTW, I just had a thought about where the above rule of thumb might come from. I think that there were some specifications for RAM were based around a theoretical 1600. I suppose that 1600 RAM might be the closest to the originally laid out specifications if that were true.

That wouldn't necessarily make it "better" in any sense, but it might play some role in the creation of the mentioned rule of thumb.
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January 18, 2012 1:59:11 PM

I would say wait for the i5 2550k, which is going to be very similar to the 2500k, but without IGP video, so it might actually be cheaper than the 2500k. They are supposed to be released feb 6th, with 2 more igp less chips(2450p, 2380p)
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 18, 2012 2:40:11 PM

Thanks for the very detailed response raidinn. Good analogy with the car exhaust. and a good point on waiting for ivy bridge to see lower prices on existing.
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a c 78 B Homebuilt system
January 18, 2012 3:42:50 PM

It is a bad idea to opt against built in video, either on the motherboard or on the processor.

Build in video is a good thing for narrowing down the cause of a lot of hardware issues and certainly better than not having it, especially for people who are doing their first build and won't have spare video cards laying around from old PCs.

In this case, it may not matter too much, but in other cases it matters a lot. Many people come in here every day with graphics problems and a lack of built in video.
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 19, 2012 1:45:03 PM

Ok, how about looking at the question in a different way.

Here is the current set up:

Mobo - Asus P5Qe
CPU - Intel Dual Core E5500 2.8Ghz
RAM - 4gb Kingston hyper X (2x2) 1066mhz
GPU - Radeon HD 4870
PSU - Do not recall at the moment, it is 600w, from my last discussion it had a fair output on the 12v rail.
HDD 1- Corsair 120GB Force 3 SSD 2.5" SATA-III (Primary)
HDD 2- An oldish seagate 500gb 7200rpm drive (storage)

Budget is £250, preferred shop is ebuyer.com.

How would you upgrade this system?
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 19, 2012 3:40:50 PM

Raiddinn, thanks again. Thats nigh on what i had in my basket at the moment except i had the i5 2500k and was sitting a little over budget.
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a c 78 B Homebuilt system
January 19, 2012 3:44:16 PM

The 2400 is mostly the same except you can't OC it.

I would have rather put the 2500k then you would have been 30 GBP over. I thought it would be better to stick with 1 GBP over and disallow OCing.

Anyway, those parts are all from the best brands. I wouldn't change them out for cheaper alternatives if I were you.
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 19, 2012 3:49:37 PM

Its around budget and its good parts so no worries about dropping out for something less. I think ill go for it.

Thanks for great clear concise answers and help raiddinn.
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 30, 2012 1:18:24 PM

Best answer selected by mikerockett.
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January 30, 2012 4:58:17 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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