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Upgrading existing pc (Pentium 4 to Phenom II quad- YES Pentium 4.)

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March 28, 2012 5:03:27 AM

Alright, well, this will be the first time i ever almost fully upgrade a computer. I'm 18 so i guess that's average. Currently i have an Intel Pentium 4 530 3.0 Ghz. in cpu z it says my model of my mobo is Grouper with the chipset i915P/i915G and Socket 775 LGA, i was planning to upgrade to Intel Core 2 Quad that was compatible with socket but found out it wasn't compatible with the mobo (sad face).

So i went on newegg.com to look for some fairly cheap parts to upgrade this pc because i have no job, i'm still in highschool in my senior year pulling those A's in likeaboss. The question is, i'd just like to know if the parts i'm buying are compatible with each other and with what i already have in my pc.

So let me list the parts i plan on currently buying which are the following:
1.) ASRock 760GM-GS3 AM3 AMD 760G Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
2.) LOGISYS Computer PS575XBK 575W ATX12V SLI Ready Power Supply
3.) Kingston HyperX Blu 2GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model KHX1600C9AD3B1/2G

and the big daddy..
4.) AMD Phenom II X4 970 Deneb 3.5GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Desktop Processor HDZ970FBK4DGM - OEM

and at the end of the processor title up there^ it says " OEM ". Does that mean it can't be overclocked? In the motherboard features it says it has a software program for overclocking that i can get so please help me on this part.

Do i need to buy a new cooling system or can i use the current one i have right now?
Can i use the same hard drive?

I have a XFX Radeon HD 5550 so i'm pretty sure i'm covered there correct?

Please let me know if there are other parts i need to buy as well, or if something isn't compatible, i want to buy these parts this week hopefully so all help is greatly appreciated. :D 
a c 118 B Homebuilt system
March 28, 2012 6:15:50 AM

If you wish to join the Phenom II club, I'll be glad to help you out. You wouldn't have wanted to upgrade to a Core 2 Quad anyway, they're yesterday's news. What kind of budget do you have?

Yes all of these parts are compatible.. However, I'd like to know what kind of computer case you have. If you're planning on using an old case it may not be appropriate for a modern system.

OEM on the processor doesn't mean it can't be overclocked, what it means is it doesn't come with a heatsink fan assembly and it only has a 30 day warranty. I wouldn't advise buying it.

This is what I would get, keep in mind, AMD has discontinued the Phenom II line, so you may want to get this soon while they're still around http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Be advised however, that the fan that comes with the Phenom II is barely up to task of keeping the CPU cool enough at stock speeds, its also obnoxiously loud under heavy load, I put up with it for about a week.... if you wish to overclock a better heatsink/fan assembly is a MUST.


As far as your motherboard, I would advise getting a 990FX chipset board with an AM3+ socket. The reason for this is because AMD had to break backwards compatibility for the new FX processor line. Meaning, there are no "upgrade" options left for an AM3 board since Phenom II's are being axed. This way if you decide down the road to upgrade the Phenom II, you can do so without buying another motherboard.


For RAM, on a budget, ideally I would get at minimum 2 sticks of 4GB DDR3 1600mhz= 8GB RAM

Yes your Radeon HD 5550 video card will work, however its a dinosaur, if you're a gamer, you're going to want to upgrade that too.

Yes, you can use your old hard drive, although you're going to want to back up all of your data and do a clean install of Windows on it for best results.

My current overclock is stock voltages, 220mhz on the reference clock x default multiplier (18 respectively). Its just a hair under 4.0ghz (3960mhz)
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March 28, 2012 11:11:34 PM

My budget is $250, i don't know what the system chassis (case) is called but thank you for clarifying the oem processor :p 

It says here on the bottom of the chases in the front: HP pavilion a730n

and alright, i'm deciding between the 3.6ghz quad that you showed me and the 3.4ghz phenom II x4

According to someone, if i buy it as 3.6ghz, it would simply be buying the 3.4ghz just with overclocked settings. Is that true? If it is then i can save $10 and just overclock it myself and spend that $10 on another stick of ram to total to 4gb.

and yes i already know about the fx processors, i'm not planning on upgrading this pc after i get these parts, i will just buy a whole new one from ibuypower.com when i get a job in a year or 2, so the mobo i picked is good enough for me.

Also there is a cooling fan in my pc, can i use the stock fan with this fan, or do i take out the current fan and place the stock fan in?

I'm not trying to run my games at max either, i plan on keeping settings at low, i just want max performance so i don't lag ;) 
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a c 118 B Homebuilt system
March 29, 2012 12:18:30 AM

Zakxxx said:
My budget is $250, i don't know what the system chassis (case) is called but thank you for clarifying the oem processor :p 

It says here on the bottom of the chases in the front: HP pavilion a730n

and alright, i'm deciding between the 3.6ghz quad that you showed me and the 3.4ghz phenom II x4

According to someone, if i buy it as 3.6ghz, it would simply be buying the 3.4ghz just with overclocked settings. Is that true? If it is then i can save $10 and just overclock it myself and spend that $10 on another stick of ram to total to 4gb.

and yes i already know about the fx processors, i'm not planning on upgrading this pc after i get these parts, i will just buy a whole new one from ibuypower.com when i get a job in a year or 2, so the mobo i picked is good enough for me.

Also there is a cooling fan in my pc, can i use the stock fan with this fan, or do i take out the current fan and place the stock fan in?

I'm not trying to run my games at max either, i plan on keeping settings at low, i just want max performance so i don't lag ;) 


It is technically true that the 3.6ghz is just a clocked up 3.4. HOWEVER, with the later 3.6 AMD guarantees 3.6ghz speed. And you can rely on it under warranty to perform that well. Overclocking one of the better ones is the best choice simply because you're not having to push it as far beyond its stock speed to get the same result. Technically overclocking a processor voids the warranty, however short of serious physical burns on the chip is not going to be easy for AMD to prove if by pure Murphy's Law, you did manage to kill the chip. At least, I don't think.

I don't know why you'd want to eventually buy a PC from ibuypower, sure they have nice cases, but you can build your own for a better price anyway.

For example:
Chimera 4-E1
$899
• Intel Sandy Bridge Core™ i5-2500K
• FREE Liquid CPU Cooling
• 4GB DDR3 1600 Memory
• NVIDIA GeForce GT 520 1GB
• 60GB ADATA S511 SSD
• 24X Double Layer DVD+/-RW

-----

Great processor, whats the problem here? GT520 card? an absolutely worthless waste of plastic, and an insult to Sandy Bridge to be paired with a 2500k. You could build a far better computer with more RAM, a better video card for less than that. But thats your call to make down the road.


As far as your chasis, I can't really speak for whether or not it will work.. Its an HP Pavilion, which is a pre-built.. some of those companies get funny with their parts. There are "Standards" that most computer component manufacturers agree to meet, for example motherboards. Doesn't matter if its an Intel motherboard or an AMD motherboard, they're both the same, they will both fit into the same types or cases, they will work with the same power supplies. However, some of the pre-built companies do little stupid annoying things so you can't use other parts in them. Its like car makers that make parts in a certain way that you have to buy a special (and often expensive) tool in order to work on a certain part. (Dell is famous for it) but I can't vouch for an HP case. You should be able to get a dirt cheap case for less than 40 bucks though worst case scenario.

Realistically you'll probably want to spend a bit more than 250. I'm not sure your computer is worth really upgrading at all if you don't do something about the video card. Essentially, the old video card is going to drag the Phenom II down, and I just don't think you're going to be really happy with the performance gain.

The Phenom II (non-OEM) will come with its own fan. I'm assuming the CPU fan already in there is the original fan that came with your Intel processor, no you do not want to use that. You can get a fan like I have Coolermaster HyperN520. I got it on sale for 30 bucks from tigerdirect. I can vouch that the temperatures under load are within acceptable limits at a 4.0GHZ overclock. Its not that best fan on the market, but its not horrible either.

As far as your ram, your current build uses DDR2 RAM, you're going to need DDR3 with an AM3 or AM3+ motherboard.
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a c 118 B Homebuilt system
March 29, 2012 1:49:37 AM

I'm also going to ask.. what is it that you would like a Phenom II to do that you can't do (or where you think you can do better) than your current CPU?

I don't want to shoot down your desire for a better system, but I just don't think you're going to see much of an improvement on a 250 budget without a serious system overhaul.

What if I told you for 600 dollars we could find you a build that would be good enough that you wouldn't have to settle for low settings, you could play high detail in almost every game and have a good 2 or 3 years of relatively similar performance?

In my opinion, you could put a 300 dollar i7 in that computer and with that video card, you're still going to be lagging in a lot of new games. Theres only so much the CPU can do for you. The video card actually matters a lot more than a CPU.

If you're budget is really that tight, you might be better off buying a better video card. GTX 550TIs like mine are around $120ish, they do pretty well. And a $100 FX-4100 with a cheap AM3+ board. Although, you're still going to need DDR3 RAM, so even thats going to break your 250 budget.
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April 1, 2012 11:27:40 AM

Well, i managed to get a buyer for my runescape account, he plans on buying it for $300 USD, so my new budget will be basically around $500 but mine $60 for Battlefield 3.

And i need the Phenom II for that game, however i've been wondering, is the i7 or i5 any faster than Phenom II quad? I'm also going to buy XFX's Radeon HD 7770 with the extra cash, and a new chassis like you've mentioned.

Just one problem, the mobo i listed earlier is only PCI Express 2.0, the gpu is pci-e 3.0. Newegg doesn't have an option for 3.0 pci-e slots as far as i can see so how do i obtain a good one? One that doesn't cost too much and nah, ram is cheap, that's not too hard to get, i'm just focusing on the high priced objects mostly ( cpu and gpu )

Hmm... i wonder if i can sell my League of Legends account... Lol! that's a good idea actually...
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April 1, 2012 11:44:34 AM

Actually i think i'll back away from Intel there on that one... Those are some pricey cpu's! there's an i7 for $1000+ !!! lol dang that's insane..
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April 1, 2012 12:08:05 PM

Alright so i read on forums that the pci-e 3.0 wont matter, i can use that video card in the current mobo i have selected to buy. I think i'm going to lower that 7770 i have selected to a cheaper one, i have a feeling that it's just oc'ed to trick me into buying it lol.
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April 1, 2012 12:37:27 PM

Alright, here is my new list of what i'm buying with the Grand Total of $443.27 and $45 off instantly :

1.) HEC 6C28BBX585 Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 585W Power Supply

2.) ASRock 760GM-GS3 AM3 AMD 760G Micro ATX AMD Motherboard

3.) XFX HD-677X-ZNLC Radeon HD 6770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card

4.) Kingston HyperX Blu 2GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model KHX1600C9AD3B1/2G (Buying 2 of these for 4gb)

5.) AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor HDZ965FBGMBOX

6.) COOLER MASTER V6 GT RR-V6GT-22PK-R1 120mm DynaLoop CPU Cooler w/ Universal bracket & Dual Fan

Please note that the power supply comes with the case, it was 10 watts higher than the previous, so heck why not? :p 

I might buy a different video card however, but i need a website that sells the 7000 series with more variety than newegg's for those cards, their lowest price is $159 i think, i rather something more along the line of $129-139, but this list is pretty good for me right now, i can live with this :D 
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a b B Homebuilt system
April 1, 2012 1:31:52 PM

That powersupply is a paper weight, look in to get a decent one from a reliable brand(corsair, antec, seasonic, xfx...etc.) Buy a power supply and case separately .
Also the video card is a great starting point, however it will struggle tremendously with bf3 if that is the intention of this build. As far as cpu coolers go I would look at the hyper 212+, good cooling for the price.
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a c 118 B Homebuilt system
April 1, 2012 6:36:47 PM

Zakxxx said:
Well, i managed to get a buyer for my runescape account, he plans on buying it for $300 USD, so my new budget will be basically around $500 but mine $60 for Battlefield 3.

And i need the Phenom II for that game, however i've been wondering, is the i7 or i5 any faster than Phenom II quad? I'm also going to buy XFX's Radeon HD 7770 with the extra cash, and a new chassis like you've mentioned.

Just one problem, the mobo i listed earlier is only PCI Express 2.0, the gpu is pci-e 3.0. Newegg doesn't have an option for 3.0 pci-e slots as far as i can see so how do i obtain a good one? One that doesn't cost too much and nah, ram is cheap, that's not too hard to get, i'm just focusing on the high priced objects mostly ( cpu and gpu )

Hmm... i wonder if i can sell my League of Legends account... Lol! that's a good idea actually...



As a 11 year veteran of Runescape with a significant other of 3 years who also is a multi-year veteran of the game, I'm not going to help you any more. Botting, and RWTing is what is destroying that game, and you're contributing. Good luck with your build.

-I M B4U and Oste send.
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a b B Homebuilt system
April 1, 2012 8:31:10 PM

I stopped playing runescape long ago ahahaha,

well yes an i5 or i7 2nd gen is much faster than phenoms but their price tag is also up there in heaven.

I would suggest a 6850 gpu at newegg some for 139.99 to 124.99$ after rebate it's a great deal and with that you can even play at high settings on bf3.

yes it's suggested to get a psu from these guys

seasonic,corsair or some of those antec earthwatts or something

buy a cheap case those at 20-40$ target.

cooler master hyper 212 PLUS (Not evo) it's a few bucks cheaper if your into going for cheap
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April 1, 2012 8:33:53 PM

zooted said:
That powersupply is a paper weight, look in to get a decent one from a reliable brand(corsair, antec, seasonic, xfx...etc.) Buy a power supply and case separately .
Also the video card is a great starting point, however it will struggle tremendously with bf3 if that is the intention of this build. As far as cpu coolers go I would look at the hyper 212+, good cooling for the price.



May you please explain why the powersupply is bad if it comes with the case? And alright about the vid card, i'll see if i can get a 7000 series one from another shop online for around the same price :D 
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April 1, 2012 8:35:34 PM

Tavo_Nova said:
I stopped playing runescape long ago ahahaha,

well yes an i5 or i7 2nd gen is much faster than phenoms but their price tag is also up there in heaven.

I would suggest a 6850 gpu at newegg some for 139.99 to 124.99$ after rebate it's a great deal and with that you can even play at high settings on bf3.

yes it's suggested to get a psu from these guys

seasonic,corsair or some of those antec earthwatts or something

buy a cheap case those at 20-40$ target.

cooler master hyper 212 PLUS (Not evo) it's a few bucks cheaper if your into going for cheap

Thank you! i'll get on this right now bro :bounce: 
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a b B Homebuilt system
April 1, 2012 8:42:47 PM

btw you can also hold off on buying a cpu cooler if you don't plan to overclock your cpu which safes you like 20-30bucks

btw i heard in microcenter it's much cheaper this cooler master hyper 212 plus or evo. well if you live near it.

btw about the power supply i'll give an example.


Generic PSU 500W
this one is not exactly 500W due to quality (reason why they are cheaper)
this one at most would give 200-280W only and would not be sufficient for your build. but if you were to buy PSU on these company

Seasonic (who makes them even and are really high quality)
corsair (who gets some from seasonic and other company and plant their sticker on it as they only get from those who have awesome quality as corsair is a waling high quality level company)
antec eartwatts (only had experience with these and after opening them up, they are quality PSU)

another example.

seasonic x850 850W 80PLUS Gold this psu although it says 850W it can pull over 900-960W of power and it is more efficient with the 80PLUS Gold rating (less electricity bills)

but in your case you are better off with a seasonic 520W 80PLUS Bronze

or the Corsair CX500W/or 600W builder series or the antec earthwatts 500/600 watts. these are cheaper but great in quality
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April 1, 2012 9:06:07 PM

Nevermind. That THING has awful reviews... lol. I'll just get the CORSAIR Builder Series CX500 V2 500W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply. Can i overclock my cpu to 4.0Ghz with this psu?
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a b B Homebuilt system
April 1, 2012 9:17:00 PM

corsair builder series cx500w is an awesome psu but if you overclock I would say a seasonic 520 80plus bronze

but the corsair cx500w should be enough (for single card) oh btw if your planning on getting a gtx680 7850/7870 7970/7950

I suggest getting a corsair TX 650W (V2) 80PLUS Bronze as a PSU
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April 1, 2012 9:17:18 PM

Alright, I've modified the list and here are the parts i shall buy with your recommendations:

1.) Rosewill FBM-01 Dual Fans MicroATX Mini Tower Computer Case

2.) ASRock 760GM-GS3 AM3 AMD 760G Micro ATX AMD Motherboard

2.) XFX Double D FX-777A-ZDF4 Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card

3.) CORSAIR Builder Series CX500 V2 500W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply

4.) Kingston HyperX Blu 2GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model KHX1600C9AD3B1/2G

5.) AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor HDZ965FBGMBOX

6.) COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1 "Heatpipe Direct Contact" Long Life Sleeve 120mm CPU Cooler Compatible Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7
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Best solution

a b B Homebuilt system
April 1, 2012 10:00:34 PM

btw if you really want to go 7770 it's good too but I do recommend the 6850 as it should be same price if not just a little bit higher at 124$ after rebate.

if you like numbers then this should give you some answers
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/536?vs=539

besides that everything else is sweet. I do suggest g.skill ripjaws x/ares for the 8gb 2x4gb 1600mhz ram but kingston ain't so bad aswell
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a b B Homebuilt system
April 1, 2012 10:01:12 PM

^Like this one much better.
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April 1, 2012 10:06:43 PM

Tavo_Nova said:
btw if you really want to go 7770 it's good too but I do recommend the 6850 as it should be same price if not just a little bit higher at 124$ after rebate.

if you like numbers then this should give you some answers
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/536?vs=539

besides that everything else is sweet. I do suggest g.skill ripjaws x/ares for the 8gb 2x4gb 1600mhz ram but kingston ain't so bad aswell

Thanks! I'll keep this in mind for now, really good suggestion. Actually, heck why not, i'll just do it right now and switch the 7770 to 6850 lol. :D 
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April 8, 2012 7:27:01 AM

Best answer selected by Zakxxx.
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