To Sell or Upgrade?

System is a prebuilt from the bay, gotten at the end of 2008:

ASrock p43Twins1600
Raidmax KATANA Case
4 gigs crucial 800 mhz ddr2
ati radeon 4850 512 (unknown if EVGA, Galaxy, ect)
320 gb 7200 sata
powersupply is a decent 550 reliable installed after removal of stock raidmax garbage.
(bought off slickdeal in early 2009 after I couldn't get an xbox 360 controller powered ; 0 )

I'm a total PC noob and building or hardware, and I need to either upgrade this cpu or build a new one for under 600 bucks preferable, but I can go a little over. I just want to be competitive at running battlefield 3, diablo 3, guildwars 2, and games to come in the next 2-3 years... whatever is rational. So GAMING

I'm guessing you guys are going to recommend I can the system. So does that mean I can keep some of the components and just buy a new motherboard/cpu and gpu? I was also thinking of buying a S.S.D to accompany the aging disc drive (and install O.S and programs for a faster load time.)

I'm an avid slickdealer and there's some current deals on 2x NVIDEA gpus, a gaming case, and some hard-drives.


I'm supposing buying this type of gear wouldn't befit my aging rig, and that I'm better off buying a new motherboard/ cpu combination. In the case that you recommend I upgrade, what should I get? S.S.D, ddr 3, new gpu? I know my processor is the bottleneck and cannot really be upgraded...

Anyhoo I appreciate any thoughts or opinions, and wish you all the best. I hope this hasn't been to much of a face-palm, or W.O.T. I look forward to learning from you all as I look to build a gaming cpu. Thanks
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  1. also as far as capabilities that I am experiencing. It runs starcraft 2 rather well on medium setting, and it runs bf bc 2 on decent frames also on medium settings.
  2. well that is a pretty sweet deal for the 570. Not 100% sure about galaxy as a company though. I've listed a pretty standard build below. It will be over your budget but I would recommend waiting till you can afford the build. The build will last you a long time and will be more then sufficient at running any recent game

    cpu: 2500k
    gpu: 560 / 560ti / your slickdeals gtx 570 (what ever you can afford. all good cards)
    motherboard: Asrock z68 extreme3
    Ram: Gskill/Corsair 1600 MHz 8gb dual channel ram
    powersupply: Corsair 550+ Watt power supply. higher if you ever plan on buying a second gtx 570 (atleast 750 watt)

    I don't really have any preferences on ssds that will fit in your budget. Sorry mate.

    Good luck with it all.
  3. appreciate the support. I'm suprised about the asrock board, just looked it up and it seems very popular. I think ASrock was somewhat new when I got my rig from ebay. I think what I'll find after reading some guides on how to build, is that I can keep my case, hard-drive, cdrom drive, and coolmaster. Appreciate your recommendations, and when I am ready to build (after I get a clue, and maybe sell some stuff, such as the old mobo and gpu) will utilize your suggestions if the time hasn't shifted to much. TKS
  4. Hi, Guess I'm blind. That's a core 2 board. What CPU do you have in it ? sorry if it says above.

    If you have one of the faster core2 cpus then you can just upgrade your video and game on. The hd4850 was a great choice in its time, but. The faster core 2's can keep up with a strong video card. Later you can transfer the card to a new build, like the i5-2500k build above.

    I would skip the first generation GF100 fermi, but can see why you'd be interested at $210. It runs really hot for it's performance, 250 watts before OC. If you get this card make sure you have space in your case for the length/width of the card and for the fans you will need.. It's a beast with huge performance, noise, heat. Video card prices should get interesting over the next few days as both the AMD/ATI cards 7 generation complete shipping (7850, 7870) and the new nvidia cards roll out. Already nvidia prices have fallen a bit on old generation parts. I'd jump on teh 570 instead, should run with your current power supply if it's a quality one.

    edit: on your new build there was a disk drive "SAMSUNG EcoGreen F4". I bought some WD green drives thinking to save the world for whales. Stupidest past decision ever. The slow disks really hurt boot time, load time, general feel of system. They are now replaced with 2 fast drives in RAID 0 and I am much happier. I would not get an 'eco' or 'green' drive. Aside: Hard drive prices will fall sharply over the next 6 months. The drives I bought (1.5TB WD Blacks) were $90 each when i bought them before the Thailand flooding killed HD production (google it). Then they went to $240 each. Now they are back down to $150. They should hit $90 or lower as production returns and eats up the backlog.
  5. So I do have a two core board, I have the e8400 installed which is one of the faster CPUs, however there are faster, I believe the 9100 along others (or maybe that's a quad)
    Anyway I don't really want to do a new build, would you consider the 8400 sufficient to run and take advantage of a gpu upgrade like the 570? I also wanna get another 4 gigs of either DDR 2 or eight of DDR 3. Also wanna start by throwing a solid state in there as well. From what I remember the power supply has a lot of connectors, its def quality. Te case is very roomy, so a full size cars won't be a problem, sounds like the 480 is even bigger though? Anyhow thanks for the time, cheers!
  6. E8400 is a strong performer. Check the hierarchy table here. It's not a monster, but its very competent.,3106-5.html

    Adding a 570 class GPU should give you another year+ out of that system. Then you bring the 570 onto your next PC.

    googling " GTX 570 and E8400 " found a bunch of reviews, forum appends and youtube videos.

    re: "Also wanna start by throwing a solid state in there as well." cool. Why? Boot time? Something else? Are you going to store game files on the SSD? I have an SSD in my laptop, but not in my gaming system.
  7. I was thinking it would increase my boot times if I stored windows 8 + game files on there, use the old 320 for everything else, e.g movies, music, ect.

    Probably not worth it, I'm also thinking of getting a better cpu fan and installing it for O.C potential. Some cheapish 3rd party cpu fan that is, thinking my third party fan is dated. Last time I tried to O.C the cpu (not messing with voltage) it can't really be stable, ofc I didn't do anything to the memory, and I'm pretty sure your supposed to increase its mhz to match the new fsb.

    I think I want to just O.C the 8400 to at least 3.6 stable, and I think I need a new cpu fan to do it, or then again maybe not (just need to read about correctly O.C) but it couldn't hurt and I'm fairly certain 3rd party cpu coolers run cheap?

    Do you have any recommendation on buying about 8 gigs of ddr3 (1333 I believe my mobo supports?) I have to buy it it to fit 2 slots, so 4gig sticks.

    I'm really only gearing up to play diablo 3 on medium at at least 60 fps, so it's not to much of a stretch for my system as far as I know. I think I just want to spend a hundred or two making it a better or more stable performer for the next 2 years.
  8. "on buying about 8 gigs of ddr3 " it's cheap, but you won't really see a difference. 4gb plenty for gaming. But it's cheap. So you choose. DDR3 should last another 2-3 years before DDR4 replaces it, so you should be able to carry 4GB DDR3 dimms to your next system.

    "just O.C the 8400 to at least 3.6 stable" There are a bunch of overclocking guides out there. Google "overclock e8400 guide". Read a few, not just one. They will conflict. Not all E8400s will hit 3.6 stable. But you are not apt to hurt the cpu if you stay in safe voltage range. You really want to stay in safe voltage range. (Safe range will be in the guides). A mild overclock (+10%) might be enough for play w/o worry about temps.

    Better Heatsink/fan will help you overclock, and will cost $30-$40 min. Read reviews. Some are much better than others. Installing can force you to remove motherboard so be prepared for that (although you might not need to). Opening the case and blowing a fan at the CPU can emulate a better HSF temporarily if you want to see if cooling helps the OC.
  9. For the ddr3 I see that the best is a 1600 mhz, while my board only supports 1333. If I buy 1600, can it run on my board but just be clocked at 1333 or whatever, or do I NEED to make sure I buy 1333 mhz ram?

    also I picked up a Hyper 212 Evo for a new cpu fan, hopefully that is a good buy, I did a little research before buying it at the bay.

    now I hope the memory I purchase will be ok. So if a buy 1600 it will auto-work at 1333? I buy 1600 cause when I upgrade my mobo/case/ possibly PS in like a year I'll have the top tier ddr3 atm. Sounds plausible? I'll play the ram order later on, need to do some more research on if that'll work. There's a 35 dollar deal on

    Patriot Gamer 2 Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model PGD38G1600ELK

    and there is also a deal for 50 which is

    CORSAIR XMS3 8GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 Desktop Memory

    I'm gonna hold on for now on purchasing anything but the cooler, but I'm wondering if the 1600 will hold up, or do i need to buy the 1333. The pin must refer to if it's for a laptop or a desktop I'm guessing.

    Hopefully the new fan/heatsink combo I purchased comes with some thermal. I get to reseat and rethermal my cpu, pretty happy about that, should be fun! Wish me luck.

    Thanks again for the replies btw chief.
  10. P.S

    I was looking at the SSD deals, such as for the m4 or this:

    Corsair Force Series GT CSSD-F120GBGT-BK 2.5" 120GB SATA III Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

    there are deals on both.

    Will these work with my motherboard? Says I've got:

    6 x SATA2 3.0 Gb/s connectors, support NCQ, AHCI and Hot Plug functions
    1 x eSATA2 3.0 Gb/s connector

    says these ssd's are sata III so I should be fine, though some are 6.0 gb/s connectors... will those not work since its a new interface?
  11. "If I buy 1600, can it run on my board but just be clocked at 1333 or whatever, or do I NEED to make sure I buy 1333 mhz ram? " You can use DDR3 1600 RAM. The 1600 will run at 1333 or whatever the MB auto-defaults to. You should check both voltage and timings that your MB sets against the specs on your DIMM. Normally the MB defaults to something conservative. There are typically 4 JEDEC values on the dimm and sometime XMP. JEDEC looks like this: (EDIT: these are from my system from a Sisoftware Sandra Lite report -- google it, your faster memory will have different timings. Make sure you have most current MB bios.)

    JEDEC timings table CL-tRCD-tRP-tRAS-tRC @ frequency
    JEDEC #1 6.0-6-6-17-23 @ 457 MHz
    JEDEC #2 7.0-7-7-20-27 @ 533 MHz
    JEDEC #3 8.0-8-8-22-30 @ 609 MHz
    JEDEC #4 9.0-9-9-25-34 @ 685 MHz

    You can manually force any jedec timing in your BIOS.

    From reviews, that's a solid Heat sink fan.

    SSDs have enough issues that Intel's value prop is "We took a standard Sandforce 3 SSD and tested it and got the bugs out of the firmware. Pay more for our SF3 at the same performance because ours works." Check up on the SSD you see with deals on Newegg. Look at the reviews at Newegg. Make sure more than 100 reviews. If 1/3 the reviews are bad, then skip. Some SSDs are more trouble then they are worth. That said, YES you can run an SSD on you MB. Suggest you get a 2.5" drive with a 3.5" bracket adapter to install in your case. This lets you later use the SSD in a laptop (where they really shine) if you decide 120 GB is too small for the main drive in a gaming build. Your PSU should have a free Sata power adapter, if not a molex to sara power adapter is a few bucks at newegg . You'll need to buy a standard sata signal cable -- usually straight is easier than right angle, but look in your case and see where you will install, you might want a straight into the board and a right angle into the SSD. 2.5" Sata and 3.5" sata use the same connectors. IF you get a boxed SSD it may come with bracket, screws and sata signal cable. Bare drive doesn't.

    You can plug a 6Gbit drive into a 3Gbit port, it auto-negotiates. And you won't lose much performance at all. The huge value of SSDs is in the very fast random access performance, not in sequential fetch above the 300MB/sec that 3Gbit sata gives you. Boot time will be the same for a 6Gbit drive whether it's in a 3Gbit port or a 6Gbit port.
  12. i bought a boxed m4 (150 dollar - 10 visa deal at tigerdirect right now) its a 128 gig.

    I have 3 3.5 bays and 9 5.25 or whatever external bays. I will hope that the ssd comes with the sata adapters, the 3.5 bracket. Glad to hear about the ram, but I think that is what i'll have the most issue with. I was never able to flash a new bios onto my mobo (I think that is) I don't have the desktop computer on me right now but I'll make sure I do that first. I think there is something like I have to take out the video card to reach the battery on the mobo and pull that out in order to flash correctly?

    Your talk of JEDEC timing tables and so on confuses me, I'm not sure what the 4 #'s for yourDIMM equates to, are these four possible clock speeds that each dimm will cycle through? What about voltage of the ram? Are the JEDEC values the timing cycles? Anyhoo apparently I need to do some research on this. I'd heard that if I want to get a decent overlock on the processor I may need to mess with the processor voltage, and the speed of the ram fsb or whatever must match the fsb on the newly O.C processor?

    "You should check both voltage and timings that your MB sets against the specs on your DIMM"

    These specs will be freely broadcasted and available online before so I can check before purchase I'm guessing. So I update my bios and then see what my motherboard defaults at, and I should then buy dd3 1600 that fits these voltage and timing numbers.

    I also have a 180 mm fan coming which I"m going to finally fit in the back of the case (along with some molex to 4 pin adapters so I can mess with the rpm of the case fans) Do these cheap fans normally come with brackets?

    Oh so much to learn. Thanks for the heads up about the issues I might have with the ram. Gonna hold off on buying it until I get that figured out. For now I got the cpu cooler, new case fan / connectors, and the ssd to keep me busy.
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