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"Upgrade" i5, intel board, G.SKILL RAM; sanity check

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January 20, 2012 5:26:02 PM

I've read some of the threads on these forums about this but thought I'd ask directly about my setup. My system is quite stable and has done well, but it's several years old now and it's having trouble running WoW on the lowest settings. I'm looking to upgrade it, but in my opinion, replacing the motherboard and processor practically constitutes a new machine, just with some used parts; that's why the word upgrade is in quotes in the title.

Current system:
Pentium D 3.20GHz
Gigabyte GA-8I845P-G
2GB RAM
NVidia GeForce GTS450
Windows XP SP3
ThermalTake TR2-500PP

These are the upgrades I'm looking at:
i5-2500 Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz w/Intel HD Graphics 2000
Intel BOXDZ68BC
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1600
Windows 7 64-bit Home Premium

I'll be using the SATA HD and the NVidia card I'm using now, along with the PS.

First question is, is the ThermalTake PS above going to work with the proposed upgrades? PCI Express power, 20+4 connector, SATA connectors... But enough power?

Second, an extension to the first, should the set-up work? I don't see any reason it shouldn't.

Third about the processor. I was originally looking at the i7s, but was told that unless I was doing video processing (which I'm not), it wasn't worth the $100 extra. I will primarily be playing WoW, perhaps Skyrim in the future.

Fourth, also concerning the processor, do I care about the Intel HD Graphics? There's a $20 difference between the 2000 and 3000 Graphics chips. Since I will be using a video card and not the onboard video, does that even matter?

Finally, I read a thread about their i5-2500 overheating. I don't plan to do any overclocking and I like to think I have a good case. It has four high-rpm 80mm fans, two in, two out. I haven't had problems with overheating, I blow the dust out now and then, and the most strenuous thing I'll be doing is playing WoW.

Thanks for reading. I hope in the future to further upgrade the system, perhaps replacing the PS and adding a second video card for SLI/Crossfire or whatever, maybe doubling the RAM, and setting up a RAID.

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a b B Homebuilt system
January 20, 2012 6:10:43 PM
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First, your power supply only has a 4 pin 12v motherboard connector, and your new motherboard requires an 8 pin.

Since budget appears to be a concern, and you do not plan on overclock, I would suggest a Core i5-2400 which is only 10% slower at stock speed. Or you could drop even further to a i3-2100 which is a dual core that acts like a quad core due to multi-threading. It is plenty fast for the games you mention.

Secondly, I would opt for an H61 motherboard similar to this one, unless you need the extra features of the z68. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... .

For the ram, you could shave even a few more dollars off with one of these sets. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...|20-231-424^20-231-424-TS%2C20-231-422^20-231-422-TS%2C20-231-426^20-231-426-TS . I have DDR3 1600 in my rig due to an amazing deal I got, but I can tell you on a stock speed system, it offers little to no benefit.

You could also bump up the video card, but any meaningful upgrade would require a new PSU as yours is borderline for such an upgrade due to the 12v rail setup.
a c 91 B Homebuilt system
January 20, 2012 6:31:19 PM

Quote:
First question is, is the ThermalTake PS above going to work with the proposed upgrades? PCI Express power, 20+4 connector, SATA connectors... But enough power?


That depends on a number of factors but the main thing you want to consider is what video card you want to run. Certain GPUs have certain power requirements (for instance 550W is minimum for a Radeon 6850 or a GTX 560).

Quote:
Second, an extension to the first, should the set-up work? I don't see any reason it shouldn't.


Yes but I don't like Intel boards because they lack heavily in the features department (slow RAM speeds, no SSD caching, no strong SLI or Crossfire features). Go with Gigabyte, Asus, or Asrock.

Quote:
Third about the processor. I was originally looking at the i7s, but was told that unless I was doing video processing (which I'm not), it wasn't worth the $100 extra. I will primarily be playing WoW, perhaps Skyrim in the future.


No it really isn't. Especially when having +-.2GHz won't make that much of a difference in how your games will run anyways.
I'd actually really second the recommendation of the i5-2400 if you're not going to be doing any overclocking. I use the i3-2120 and it's a really good CPU but most games these days require quad core CPUs and having a dual core is considered the bare minimum.

Quote:
Fourth, also concerning the processor, do I care about the Intel HD Graphics? There's a $20 difference between the 2000 and 3000 Graphics chips. Since I will be using a video card and not the onboard video, does that even matter?


If you're going to be using a GPU you'll be disabling that anyways. So the only time you'd use it would be to perform CPU diagnostics.

Quote:
Finally, I read a thread about their i5-2500 overheating. I don't plan to do any overclocking and I like to think I have a good case. It has four high-rpm 80mm fans, two in, two out. I haven't had problems with overheating, I blow the dust out now and then, and the most strenuous thing I'll be doing is playing WoW.


Overheating is only an issue if you plan to overclock. However you will want to keep cool air circulating throughout your PC and that's where having a good aftermarket fan comes in handy.

Quote:
You could also bump up the video card, but any meaningful upgrade would require a new PSU as yours is borderline for such an upgrade due to the 12v rail setup.


I'd wait until after the OP gets the board before upgrading the GPU because you could have a 590 or a 7970 and it would still be a bottleneck to run it on a C2D.

Quote:
Secondly, I would opt for an H61 motherboard similar to this one, unless you need the extra features of the z68. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6813128527 .


H61 motherboards are the bare bones end of the SB line - they're really stripped down and lack tons of features that Z68 has. In fact you can get a full featured Z68 board for that price and it would be better than the Intel - this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Related resources
January 20, 2012 6:49:19 PM

The only way you are going to have heating problems with the Intel® Core™ i5-2500 or for that matter any of the 2nd generation Intel Core processors is if your HSF (heatsink/fan) not installed correctly (which can easly be done) or you have poor ventilation for your chassis. Any of these 2nd generation Intel Core processors are going to run a great deal cooler than your Intel Pentium® D processor.

I personally would stay away from the H61 boards and would second g-unit on the ASRock Z68 Extreme3 as a very nice board for the money. The Intel Desktop board DZ68BC is a nice board but when you are trying to save by stepping down from the Intel Core i5-2500K to the Intel Core i5-2500 you should find a board that will fit your needs better.

Christian Wood
Intel Enthusiast Team
January 20, 2012 7:06:14 PM

I'm not overly concerned about the cost, I just didn't see any point in paying for features I wouldn't use or need anyway.

The power supply was something I was going to upgrade later if needed, but yes, no it looks like there is a problem. I didn't see the specs mention the 8 pin CPU power, but I see it in the image. Crud.
January 20, 2012 7:44:08 PM

So that's more board than I need? The best reviewed ASRock board is ASRock Fatal1ty P67 Performance and it looks like it's 8-pin too, so the money saved from going to that from the Intel board could go to the PS it looks like I'll have to buy anyway.

My problem with the ASRock is the single 16x PCIE slot. If you do SLI, does it not matter if the second card is in a 1x?

As for the PS, the best reviewed is SeaSonic M12II 520 Bronze 520W but I'd never heard of that brand. Keep in mind that I'm not SLIing as of yet. If I do so in the future, I'll upgrade the PSU as needed, but for now I just need something with the 8 pin CPU connector.

The spec for my video card (EVGA GTS450) says it requires a minimum of 400W.

I hate trying to choose a PSU. It always seems like the chanciest decision.

Here's another PS. Rosewill CAPSTONE Series CAPSTONE-550 550W

Although I ready that you shouldn't scrimp on the PSU and go with a good brand... ThermalTake? What's a good brand?
January 20, 2012 8:18:04 PM

Looked in the PSU section of these forums... Just need to take a moment to say this is a great site. :) 

From the recommended PSUs in the 500-550 range...
500-550W
Proximon said:

Corsair CX500 V2
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6817139027
CWT made. 34 amps of 12V power. $60 before rebate. 3 year warranty
The Rosewill Capstone 450W delivers more actual 12V power.

Rosewill RG530 S12
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6817182199
ATNG made. 41 amps 12V. $55 and 2 year warranty.

Antec Neo Eco 520C
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6817371030
Seasonic made. 40 amps 12V power. $60 and 3 yr warranty

Seasonic 520W S12II
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6817151094
Seasonic. 40A. $60 5 year warranty


The only names I recognize are the Corsair and Antec. They all have four star reviews on Newegg. I'm assuming I'm looking for EPS12V? Many list it as 4+4-Pin ATX12V/EPS12V but the Seasonic doesn't mention any pins and only says EPS12V. That's the 8-pin I'm assuming?

Glancing at the feedback on Newegg, it looks like the Rosewill may be a poor bet and the Antec or Corsair my best bets. Leaning toward Antec.

And again, this is just for i5-2500 + Intel BOXDZ68BC + evga GTS 450. No SLI/Crossfire at this time. I think I'm going to stick with the Intel, looking down the road, unless someone makes a good case for another board.
January 20, 2012 8:30:25 PM

IntelEnthusiast said:
The only way you are going to have heating problems with the Intel® Core™ i5-2500 or for that matter any of the 2nd generation Intel Core processors is if your HSF (heatsink/fan) not installed correctly (which can easly be done) or you have poor ventilation for your chassis. Any of these 2nd generation Intel Core processors are going to run a great deal cooler than your Intel Pentium® D processor.

I personally would stay away from the H61 boards and would second g-unit on the ASRock Z68 Extreme3 as a very nice board for the money. The Intel Desktop board DZ68BC is a nice board but when you are trying to save by stepping down from the Intel Core i5-2500K to the Intel Core i5-2500 you should find a board that will fit your needs better.

Christian Wood
Intel Enthusiast Team


This board? ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 I'm not pleased with some of the reviews for that.

And again, I wasn't so much trying to save money by going from the 2500K to the 2500, but was trying to not pay for a feature I wasn't going to use. (Intel Graphics)
a b B Homebuilt system
January 20, 2012 8:46:09 PM

I apologize as I missed the SLi/Crossfire reference. The H61 I linked to is perfectly fine, but for single card rigs. The Asrock boards have a lot of followers but I am not one of them. I only recommend ASUS or Gigabyte as they are the quality leaders. You could look for dual card boards in the $120-$130 range which will be fine, especially since you do not plan an overclock. Both ASUS and Gigabyte offer dual card uATX boards these days. This saves a few bucks by eliminating unneeded features such as extra USB, SATA, PCI, etc. The quality is just as good as the slightly more expensive ATX. The high dollar boards are built more for extreme overclocking with extra heavy duty capacitors and voltage regulators, triple video card slots, high end audio, and other features you may not need or want.

Yes you do want EPS for 8 pin. Good brands of PSU are Antec, Corsair(low end builder series can be iffy), Silverstone(old and trusted brand), XFX(agressively priced currently to build the name), and Seasonic(the quality standard). For dual card rigs, a Bronze certified or higher is preferred. The 500-550w will be fine for a single card, but you need at least 650-850 for dual cards depending on the card selected. The highest end dual card can go 1000w+.

If you are sticking with the Intel board, get Kingston DDR3 1333 ram. Gskill is excellent stuff, but Intel boards are picky. Kingston is what they recommend usually. http://www.intel.com/support/motherboards/desktop/dz68b...
January 20, 2012 9:08:08 PM

geez buy a 2500k you never know when you will need another gpu maybe your 450 will die/sell/upgrade tomorow and you have to wait to buy another one .
I understand people ho cannot afford it but going for the non k version when you say you have the money it's a mistake.
Reasons to buy it:
very easy Oc i know you sayd you don't Oc but think of the future maybe next year you want 4.5 ghz.
Let's say you buy a 7gen Radeon card rumor is you can just turn of the card 0 W.
Lets say you will be using lucidlogix and when your runing wow you will use your discrete card but let's say most of the time your just browsing listening to music watching a movie intel 3000 can do the job with very little power.
Turning of your gpu let's say power from 100 w to 250w you are saving.
What do you do with the money saved buy doing this in 1 year
buy another card crossfire
buy a better cooler oc
buy a better cpu maybe after some time
save the enviroment

January 21, 2012 8:28:06 PM

Okay, so this is where I'm at. Since no one spoke up, I ordered the Antec PSU mentioned a couple posts back. Decent reviews; complaints seemed to be mostly about noise which I don't care about.

I'm going to stick with the Intel board, but I'm going to switch to Kingston HyperX memory; it's listed on the tested-memory chart for the Intel board.

I probably won't have all the parts until the end of next week, so I'll let you know then how it goes.

Thanks.
January 29, 2012 5:33:22 PM

System is up and running without any problems. It looked like it was running hot to me, but I gave it a couple days to settle and it's cooler; at any rate, it never got so hot as to trip any warnings.

I'm going to choose tlmck's post as the best because he was the first and only to point out that I would need a new PSU as well, but thank you all for your responses.

Final:
i5 2500
Intel BOXDZ68BC
Kingston HyperX (2 x 4) 1600
Antec Neo Eco 520C
January 29, 2012 5:33:44 PM

Best answer selected by depauwler.
March 10, 2012 8:38:15 PM

IntelEnthusiast said:
The only way you are going to have heating problems with the Intel® Core™ i5-2500 or for that matter any of the 2nd generation Intel Core processors is if your HSF (heatsink/fan) not installed correctly (which can easly be done) or you have poor ventilation for your chassis. Any of these 2nd generation Intel Core processors are going to run a great deal cooler than your Intel Pentium® D processor.

I personally would stay away from the H61 boards and would second g-unit on the ASRock Z68 Extreme3 as a very nice board for the money. The Intel Desktop board DZ68BC is a nice board but when you are trying to save by stepping down from the Intel Core i5-2500K to the Intel Core i5-2500 you should find a board that will fit your needs better.

Christian Wood
Intel Enthusiast Team


Christian: the last several reviews of the Z68BC board have been negative. Do you have any perspective on them?
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