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Girlfriend forcing me to upgrade gaming computer. Plz Help.

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Last response: in Systems
February 17, 2012 4:33:51 AM

Girlfriend and her parents got me 2 SSD Drives for Christmas, and my old computer doesnt even have sataIII. So time to upgrade. Everytime I go over her parents house they ask me how the new hard drives are and i keep telling them I havent installed them yet I feel horrible since they spent all that money. All help is greatly appreciated, I only upgrade every 4-5 years and I'm so far out of the game its sad.

Current setup (How much is this worth if i sell it?):
Shuttle SP35p2pro (has motherboard, power supply)
Intel Quad Q6600
4 gb ram
WD 3 mb sec/ 640 GB hard drive
Nvidia GTX470

Approximate Purchase Date: ASAP

Budget Range: $700-800

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming

Parts Not Required: I have 2 OCZ Vertex 3 SSDs 120GB. I also have a Nvidia GTX 470 which is good enough to take with me into new build?

Preferred Website(s) for Parts:

Country: U S of A

Parts Preferences: by brand or type: Would like an ASUS Motherboard (this is where i have no freaking clue what to get).

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: I would like the option later since I will probably have to upgarde the graphics card in a few years.

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1200 is whats currently saying in windows.

Additional Comments: Should i Raid 0 the 2 SSD drives? I have 2 of them might as well?
So I need:

Case - ?
CPU - I want an i7 not sure which one
Motherboard - I want an ASUS, no CLUE which one
Ram - I heard getting 3 sticks of ram is best with i7? so maybe 3 4gb sticks (12gb total) which i know is probably overkill
Power Supply - ?

More about : girlfriend forcing upgrade gaming computer plz

February 17, 2012 5:47:59 AM

Ask your girlfriend's parents if they want to adopt a middle aged poor son. :lol: 

For gaming, there is really no advantage to the Core i7, and sinceyou do not plan on overclock, a Core i5-2400 will be fine.

Get an ASUS z68 motherboard. Just pick the one that has the features you want. All are good. Also keep in mind that even the uATX boards will do dual vid cards these days.

The vid card is indeed good enough for now. You would need to jump up to a GTX 590 or a AMD 6990 to see significant improvement.

8gb DDR3 1600 is also good enough for gaming.

If you are happy with your current Shuttle setup, you could actually stop here if you wanted.

If you did want a new case and PSU, then these are some popular models. I sized the PSU for eventual dual cards. No harm running only one card as the new certified units are efficient at all load levels.

As far as cases go, knock yourself out.

edit: I have not studied up on the value of raid zero and SSD's, so I will leave that up to others.
February 17, 2012 7:50:32 AM

RAID is not recommended on SSD's and can actually hinder performance I seem to remember reading somewhere. Not all that clued up on them myself :( 

Your budget is good though, especially as you don't need a graphics card.

My recommendation however would still be stick with the i5-2500k > i5-2400, over-clocking or not. The price difference is minor and if you would like to keep the build for a number of years, your going to want to make use of that over-clocking feature eventually.

Z68 motherboard - ASUS P8Z68-v/GEN3 is my favourite. Or the -v PRO if you really wanted. Something "GEN3" would be recommended, and certainly stick to a Z68 chipset.

8GB DDR3 (2x4GB sticks) - make sure its 1.5v @ 1600MHz. Kingston RAM tends NOT to be, look into Corsair Vengeance or G.Skill RAM.

Any of the PSU's tlmck linked to should be plenty :)  Corsair or XFX would be recommended. XFX also do a really nice 750w Silver Rated PSU that's not on that list, modular cables ect and usually well priced. Its called the XFX XXX PRO 750w or similar.
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February 17, 2012 8:38:39 AM

Why do you need to upgrade? The SSDs would work on SATA 2 connection, it just would be limited by the speed.

It is not recommended to RAID SSDs though because you will lose TRIM support (Google it)
February 17, 2012 10:19:22 AM

Gamer-girl said:
Why do you need to upgrade? The SSDs would work on SATA 2 connection, it just would be limited by the speed.

True :)  I presumed the OP had an IDE system since he said "old". SATA II probably wouldn't even limit those SSD's. I doubt there would be much notice performance difference, if any, between using SATA II or SATA III.
February 17, 2012 11:52:36 AM

There is not a big performance diff for a SATA III SSD on Sata II vs SATA III ports.

The Big diff is in Sequencial Read/writes. This would be limited on the SATA II ports: However, that is not a big issue with a OS + Program drive as Sequencial read/writes are the least imp[ortant matrix. - It's the Rand 4 K that is import and these do not hit the limit of Sata II.

Bottom Line: Use them in your current system. If you are set on upgrading the system as others pointed out, an I aggree - I5-2500k w/Z68 MB.
February 17, 2012 12:12:19 PM

Good mobo with user friendly bios:

verry good PSU:

Now you can show your inlaws the gifts....

As for your CPU, either the I5 2400 or I5 2500.

I also made sure you can run SLI later on down the road by recommending that mobo.
You can find another GTX 470 on ebay for hmm say 100$ or less
February 17, 2012 1:02:27 PM

Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 3000 BX80623I52500K $299 free shipping
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL7D-8GBRH $49.99 free shipping
ASUS P8Z68-V LX LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS $124.99 $7.56 shipping
If you plan to overclock over 4.0 GHz you need a heat sink/fan: add $30
If you don't care to overclock, EVER, get a
Intel Core i5-2400 Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz (3.4GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 2000 BX80623I52400
Combo savings w/ DVD burner, ends 2/29 $189.99 free shipping
...and you won't need the cooler.
Total: $442.54 if you want to overclock
less $60.oo if you don't clock $382.54
Chances are, you'll need a copy of Win 7 64bit Home P OEM, add $99.00
I even checked to see if the memory was MB compatible...
The GTX is a perfectly good card but the idea if finding another one for $100 on E-Bay and SLI'ing it would be a good idea if you need a noisy space heater, otherwise I couldn't recommend it.
With your budget you could get a MB capable of SLI, a nice new 80 certified or better PSU upgrade, a fancy case.......a little something for your girlfriend......
February 17, 2012 1:21:43 PM

That you guys for the replys.

I know that the new SSD drives will work on sataII, i just thought they would be half the speed since connecting them to a SataII 3mb/sec connection instead of sataIII 6mb/sex connection.

Am I going to notice a huge increase in performance by just adding one of the new SataIII SSD drives into the SataII connection? If that is the case maybe I do not need to upgrade yet?

Currently I play Starcraft2 (master league <3), full ultra graphics, but when playing custom games that have tons of units and action going on , my computer cant seem to fully handle it. It starts to get choppy and has a hard time processing it until a fight scene is over. Would adding a SSD drive help this at all? or does the problem lie with my graphics card or processor?

Also everyone seems to recommend the i5 over the i7. Isnt the i7 a better/faster processor overall? I'm ok with the additional $100 for it. Especially since maybe in 3-4 years the i7 will be more needed over the i5 in terms of gaming and other things?

Everyone is suggesting 8gb ram (2 4gb sticks). I read ton of reviews that these new i7 processors work better with 3 channels (3 sticks of ram) over 2. Anyone familiar with that?

Thank you!
February 17, 2012 1:41:09 PM

it is true thats it only run in half performance, but believe me, it useless if you upgrade you computer but you didn't use it...
I sugest you to give your computer a chance to prove that you didn't need to upgrade..
Give him more chance by installing OS on your SSD and your fave game, if it didnt match the performance that you need and then you can continue to upgrade your computer..

Why i say this?
SSD only fast for the first time run on each bit of memory after that, your SSD only run on half performance...
And that more than enough for any SSD on the market...
You can see toms chart to compare the performance that will you get..
Before and after you upgrade but belive me it is useles for you to upgrade now :) 

It is I5 2500 and upper : is better than 2400 in gaming performance the answer is no (only slightly difrent) unless you use it to render or edit an video on the fly..
February 17, 2012 2:02:07 PM

gotacamaro said:
That you guys for the replys.

Everyone is suggesting 8gb ram (2 4gb sticks). I read ton of reviews that these new i7 processors work better with 3 channels (3 sticks of ram) over 2. Anyone familiar with that?

Thank you!

The I7-2600k and the I5-2500k are only dual Channels and you would have to upgrad to socket 2011 to run Tripple channel. Also a I7 on a 2011 socket will be almost your whole budget. I would go with the I7-2600k or I7-2700k because windows 8 is around the corner and like you said you upgrade every 5 years so go with the I7 over the I5 for more cores even though the I7 just has more cores from HT.
February 17, 2012 2:19:01 PM

I upgraded from a Q6600 / DDR2 667Mhz 4GB machine to i5 2400 / DDR3 1333MHz 8 GB, when the former went down again after I repaired it twice in a year. I could have fixed it once again, probably with new PSU, but it seemed that the motherboard needed to be replaced anyway, and why should I be stuck with the old 1156?

Probably many original Q6600 systems are outdated anyway in terms of memory support, ports, etc. So I think it is a good idea to upgrade from it. And like many people said here, i5 2500K is better choice than 2400, if you go for i5 instead of i7. I got 2400 because of my misunderstanding of whole Sandy Bridge schemes. Although I am satisfied with my current system, I would have chosen i5 2500K with Z board if I had known what I was doing. Back then, there were only H and P boards, and I wanted to use onboard graphics, which led me to get H67, and 2400, believing erroneously that -K version CPU's onboard graphics was disabled. With 2500K & Z, you have room to overclock, access to better onboard graphics with quick sync, and better SSD support. Onboard graphic is useful for me, when I am playing game while my wife is watching video on the 2nd display. The graphics card is dedicated to gaming, while the onboard graphics process the video play.
February 17, 2012 2:21:22 PM

This is a nice "quality" problem. Must have made some points with the in-laws, gj!

Id just install them now. It might not be sata 3 but it will still blow your mind on start times although the SSDs will not help your Starcraft fps. I think thats a processor issue.

If u want to do a new build Id wait until Ivy bridge, Pitcairn, and the new mother boards "Z77" are out. Say 2 months maybe as late as 6 months depending how greedy Intel wants to be...
February 17, 2012 2:25:10 PM

you could get a gen3 z68 and a pentium g620(cheapest lga 1155 cpu, still shouldn't be so terrible in gaming as long as you're playing sc2) and then upgrade to ivy bridge when it comes out
February 17, 2012 3:07:01 PM

First decide if Z68 does anything for ya besides letting you sleep better at night knowing ya have the latest and greatest. Read the article below to see if anything pops out at ya. Nothing there in reality affects the great majority of THG's audience, but only you can make that decision.

Launched 5 months after the P67 and H67 chipset the Z68 chipset combines the advantages of the H67 and P67 Chipset so that overclocking, dual dedicated graphics cards and use of the integrated CPU graphics is available. Whilst on the surface it would seem that this would be the chipset to go for, how many users that have 2 dedicated graphics cards will actually want to use the onboard graphics when they already have 2 more powerful graphics cards in their system anyway?

The only real advantage is for users that wish to access the HD graphics features such as quick sync, but considering it’s only supported by very few transcoding programs and there are not many people out there that need or will want to transcode, it makes it almost pointless to choose Z68 over a P67 chipset.

Same applies to users that want to overclock the CPU but use the onboard graphics card; it’s a very limited market.

Finally, another feature of a Z68 chipset is known as SSD caching which is where it allows the use of a small (say 10 or 20 GB) Solid state hard drive to act as a cache for a larger ‘traditional’ hard disk. If you are already planning the use of a Solid State drive this feature is redundant.

If you can’t afford a decent size SSD (40GB+) then there are more cost effective ways around using a small SSD and SSD cashing like spending less on a motherboard, (H67 chipset or even a P67 chipset) and putting the saved money into a decent size SSD.

So if ya decide ya don't need Z68, ya can save $50 or so on a quality board.

$375 for the combo with the Asus P867 Pro and the Intel 2500k (after MIR)

$50 for Corsair 2x4GB and no not tri channel, dual channel (I'd get the white to match the case)|20-233-196^20-233-196-TS%2C20-233-186^20-233-186-TS%2C20-233-199^20-233-199-TS

$125 for Corsair 500R case

$100 for XFX Core Edition 850, $125 for TX850 V2 or $165 HX550

Total $650 ....

Add a cooler and TIM .... and ya at $705


Going Z68 adds $60 ... still well within ya budget.


RAID is great for ragging rights in synthetic benchmarks but it's long been shown not to be the holy grail its oft made out to be. Unless you doing large databases, 3D spreadsheets, video editing, 3D rendering and the like, it has no real world impact.

As far as not doing RAID because of lack of TRIM support, this will soon come to an end

As for GFX, consider grabbing a 2nd 470 and SLI'ing it.....or wait for the new cards to get past "Revision A" hardware and gran one of the latest Gen cards come June and keep the 470 for PhysX. The PSU above can handle two of any single GPU card from the AMD 6xx series or 7xx series as well as anything from nVidia except for twin 580's
February 17, 2012 6:24:32 PM

@ mildsend - you said "it is true thats it only run in half performance" this is not true. Sata II may have 1/2 the bandwith of SATA III, Both that does NOT mean that the SSD will run at half the speed. It just means as an example, if your SSD top sequencial is say 500 Mb/s then it will top out at say 3 mb/s. BUT that is only one of the parameters. Random 4 k read/writes do NOT max out a sata II port. nor will sata III improve access time. This is the reason that there is NOT a big performance difference operating a SATA III on Sata II vs operating it on SATA III.

@ Jack. I agree with much of what you said, but there is one advantage (and the primary one for which I recommend the Z68) and that is the use of the iGP. With the initial build you leave out the dedicated GPU - If a problem you have already ruled out the GPU rather than finding a 2nd GPU to try. If downstream the GPU fails you can still use the compute (abiet no gaming) while you obtain a new GPU or have to wait on the replacement (RMA).
February 17, 2012 6:36:13 PM

HD 2000 (i5 2400) is quite capable of playing MW2. HD 3000 (i5 2500K) must be even better. If you have to RMA your card, at least still you can play some game in mid setting, or low. Better than no playing.
February 17, 2012 6:53:42 PM

Thank you guys for all the responses. This board is very friendly.

I think based on the responses I think I should try just installing one of the SSD drives and see how it goes. I will just sell the other drive and not run them in Raid0 Since everyone says that doesnt seem to be a good idea.

Currently I am mainly just playing starcraft 2 and only running into a little trouble with choppyness on ultra graphics. Spending $800 to upgrade everything just to make the hard drive run at 6gb/sec sounds like it might be a stupid idea.

Also sounds like there are some new CPUs coming out in the next 2-6 months? Which will drive prices down. I guess I will wait until I get addicted to a new game to upgrade everything.