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Switching from AMD to Intel

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June 12, 2012 2:46:49 PM

Hi, after reading up on what people have been saying, I've decided to build an intel PC with the budget of $1,000 (Monitor/Mouse/Keyboard Excluded). Here are my specs on my AMD Build, any parts I can save?

http://i47.tinypic.com/34gvjfk.png

What should I know before moving over to Intel?

New Build will have this case and PSU:

CASE: Rosewill THOR V2 Gaming ATX Full Tower Computer Case

PSU: SeaSonic M12II 620 Bronze 620W

I think the only thing I can take from my old build is the RAM so I'll include the RAM;

RAM: Crucial Ballistix sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600)

More about : switching amd intel

a c 118 B Homebuilt system
June 12, 2012 3:17:37 PM

I'd start by asking why you need to? Its not like you have a 5 year old system, thats a 1090 Thuban. I'd upgrade the video card and maybe the power supply, maybe a better mothboard so you can overclock the 1090 and call it a day.

Heres what I would do on your budget keeping the CPU, but its entirely up to you:

Motherboard upgrade: $145
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU cooler 212 evo- $35
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Video card: Radeon 7870 Factory oc'd $360
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power: $90
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Overclock the 1090T and you have yourself a powerful system once again.
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June 12, 2012 3:28:03 PM

What motherboard do you suggest?
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a c 78 B Homebuilt system
June 12, 2012 3:29:59 PM

I don't see why you can't use the old hard drive, video card, and CD drive.

I would, however, echo nekulturny's sentiments that it might not be a cost effective upgrade.
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a c 118 B Homebuilt system
June 12, 2012 3:31:06 PM

I edited my post to give you a full upgrade path. I see you already had a case upgrade,, so I'll pull my link
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June 12, 2012 3:43:36 PM

Yea that makes sense, I just keep hearing (reading) all this bad rep about AMD and how Intel is better. I figured it didn't matter as much, I don't want the best I just want a future proof PC (easy upgrades in the future if necessary).

Does the 350w PSU I have now, affect the performance of my GPU and CPU? As in they can't reach it's full potential?
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Best solution

a c 118 B Homebuilt system
June 12, 2012 3:48:35 PM

Well, future proofing is really a term that should be forgotten. For the most part its an exercise in futility. As far as AMD vs Intel, yes Intel in general makes stronger CPUs than AMD, what really is in dispute as far as I'm concerned is how much better they are. Simply put, they aren't especially when you're talking gaming, as most games are limited by the video card, not the processor. the 1090T is a damn good processor, and when paired with a powerful graphics card such as a 7870 can run with the best of em.

Keep in mind as far as reading things, that when you only have 2 companies making CPUs it human-nature I think for us to look at one guy as the white hat, and the other as the black hat (good vs evil). The benchmarks that I've seen simply don't support the over-dramatization I've seen them paired with on various tech sites.

The power supply you have now really doesn't affect your system per se. But it does limit your upgrade potential. Most likely being that its a pre-built HP computer, the motherboard doesn't give you the ability to overclock (despite the fact that 1090Ts are unlocked CPUs. Also 350 watt is not sufficient for overclocking, nor is it sufficient for a much more powerful graphics card than the one you have. I definitely wouldn't try to run a 7870 with that PSU.

Back to the thing about future proofing, pretty much the only things truly "future proof" in a computer would be your case, a power supply, optical drive, and to some extent your hard drive. Faster hard drives may come out, but you can always run your older hard drive as a secondary drive.
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June 12, 2012 3:53:03 PM

Best answer selected by Infumed.
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June 12, 2012 3:57:24 PM

No one really explained it to me like you have, straight forward. I appreciate it. I'm going to go with the motherboard, psu and case once I get the money. After that, I'll just save some money for the GPU.

I guess the cooler and the upgraded GPU along with some better-than-stock fans for my case will be the final upgrades. Thanks for helping me a ton. (Trying to squeeze in these upgrades while saving up for a car, money gets really tight lol.)
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a c 118 B Homebuilt system
June 12, 2012 4:03:31 PM

No problem, glad I can help. Yes I understand, I'm a college student myself, so I know what its like to live on a tight budget.

The heatsink upgrade is worthwhile as the one that comes with Phenom IIs in my opinion are barely adequate for stock speeds, you don't want to overclock very much with them if at all. The fans that come with the case you're looking at are probably sufficient, I wouldn't worry about them. But definitely snatch up one of those 212 evo cpu coolers, but don't worry about your case fans unless you're planning to get into running more than one video card (a crossfire 7870 for example might be a good idea to get some decent case fan upgrades with the Rosewill Thor. Another case you might consider in that same range is an NZXT Phantom, I have one for my computer and I love it.



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a c 78 B Homebuilt system
June 12, 2012 4:04:22 PM

I agree with Nekulturny, there is no such thing as future proofing. Processor makers radically change their designs every few years so new processors often don't work with old motherboards.

Even if you buy the newest thing on the market right now, for instance, a 1155 slot Z77, it probably won't work with the next Intel processor that comes out. AFAIK, the next two are a second one that fits slot 2011 and a new slot 1150.

Intel certainly does make better gaming processors, I am not even going to argue that. AMD gives you more cores that individually perform worse and games tend do want less cores that individually perform better. There is a basic incompatibility there as if AMD wasn't even designing their chips to be used for gaming in the first place.

More cores are great to have for business purposes because usually it is more the business programs that can use the extra cores, but a lot of home users like to do audio and video editing which does use the extra cores too so there is some usefulness for home users to have AMD processors.

However, the difference in per core performance isn't usually so bad as to make AMD chips suck at gaming. The AMD user may sacrifice some 10 - 20% FPS as compared to the Intel user, but if you are getting "enough" FPS anyway then it really doesn't matter.

I switched from an AMD Quad (840) to an Intel Quad (3570k) and the differential is noticeable, but to be honest I really had no problems gaming on the 840. It just happened to be my oldest part and I had some money to spare. Gaming wise it might have been hard to justify it as a cost effective upgrade.

Ebaying my video card and putting the same money + ebay money into a better video card would have done more for my gaming FPS.

I would, however, suggest getting a different PSU. I don't know the maker of the 350w, but I would rather not see most people using 350w PSUs to power gaming PCs. I like to see XFX 450ws and 550ws much more. The 350w may work, but it just begs for stability problems, especially if it isn't a really good brand.
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a c 118 B Homebuilt system
June 12, 2012 9:08:59 PM

I do have a thought on the gaming thing as far as them using less cores. Now, these are just the brain farts of someone who just completed their 1st year of tech major, so stop me if I go too crazy, but here goes:

My theory is that eventually a "technological wall", will be hit. Right now BF3 set the standard for games that can make use of more than 2 cores, and I think eventually it will be found just like years ago we found that we couldn't get much more out of single core CPUs, Intel and AMD came out with Dual cores, 32bit architecture hit a wall and we went to 64 bit as the standard. I believe at some point (dunno when however) we'll find that more games will start coming out like BF3 that will favor multi-core CPUs.

But then again, the "wall" doesn't seem that hard if a lot of software is still 32 bit (including Google Chrome, and Firefox browsers). Who knows?
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a c 78 B Homebuilt system
June 12, 2012 9:45:23 PM

The problem is just that games have to be specifically designed to use more cores.

Games like BF3 still use basic C programming, like not even a whole lot of C++. Not to mention not any C#.

Technology wise, games are kinda still in the stone age as far as the back end stuff goes. The front end gets prettier and prettier, but the back end doesn't advance nearly as quickly.

The people who program the games like BF3, they are used to programming in C which they did 15 years ago the same back when processors only ever had 1 core.

The source code of a recent ID software engine was recently released. You might be able to search it up and look into it if you are interested. There have been interviews with the head programmer of ID software about how things are designed and stuff too.

You might be able to find one where he was talking about teaching ID games to use multiple cores.

The one I read there was not even any mention of using a 3rd or 4th core for any purpose, he just talked about how to load balance across 2 cores.

Anyway, when you are talking about stuff like C programming, its very low level. The operating system itself can't manage resources. It isn't like a game can ask windows "do this" and windows and decide which core is least used and then assign the task to that core.

Instead, the maker of the game has to manually detect how many cores the processor has and then manually assign each task to a specific core.

At that low level of control, it is hard to say "if you have 3+ cores do THIS else do THAT" for every single programming task that has to happen. They would lose track of how their code even works if they tried such things.

Also, game makers don't want to lose sales to everyone that has 2 cores. That is why BF3 single player only uses 2 cores. If a game isn't playable on 2 cores then the huge swath of gamers that have 2 cores can't play it.

It was just last year that 51 percent of gamers were using 4 cores. To a game maker that means they might as well cut their sales figures in half if they put 4 cores as a solid requirement.

When quad core adoption rate is at something like 80% then is when you will see game makers moving en masse to take advantage of the extra processing power.

That is still some ways off.

Threads don't really help overly much either. It would be nice if everyone had at least an i3-2120 with HT, but its not a real core and can't be treated like one easily by such a low level programming language.
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June 13, 2012 7:38:35 AM

I love the conversation you guys are having, I'm only 18 and have a ton more to learn. What exactly IS a core in a CPU? (I could google it but I want to hear it from you guys.)
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a c 118 B Homebuilt system
June 13, 2012 12:16:34 PM

Hell I'm learning too. I haven't decided on whether to go for a 2 year or a 4 year degree yet. I'm 27 and I got laid off from a bunch of warehouse type jobs (love that kind of work actually) but in this economy, I really need a degree to fall back on.

As to what a core is. The simplest answer is, as far as your computer is concerned if you have a 6 core CPU, your computer sees that as you having 6 processors. They can (assuming the software is programmed to do so) divide the work load and get it done faster.

Raiddin understands the software side of it better than I do, thats why I picked his brain for that answer myself. The most in-depth thing I've ever done as far as programming was design a very simple mini "op system", in Bourne shell for a Linux class.
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a c 78 B Homebuilt system
June 13, 2012 1:10:58 PM

I have done a pretty good amount of programming in Flash and a little bit in C#, but not much in low level languages. I had some classes like Pascal in school too but I can't say I took very much forward from those.

Pascal isn't even structured with function calls and object orientation or any of that. If I never saw another line of code in that language I would be fine.

Anyway, it would be nice if programmers could get off of straight up C and move to a more modern programming language which can utilize the basic windows subsystem more and just let windows manage core usage, then the game could work without any additional programming for any number of cores.

However, that just adds a lot of overhead to everything. As long as people demand state of the art graphics the game programmers can't really afford to waste, say, 30% of the entire capability of your computer through inefficiency.

A toned down version of Unreal Engine 4 was recently demonstrated and that was capable of "getting by" on a GTX 680. The non-toned-down version requires much more power than a 680 can provide.

Basically that means in the forseeable future we are sticking with C and manual distribution across cores. Unless video card makers start putting out cards soon that make the GTX 680 look like baby stuff, that is (which is exactly what the makers of the Unreal Engine want, btw).

The rush is going to stay on graphics pretty much to the point that it really can't get any better. Only then will there really be no good reason to do more and only then will power be so plentiful that inefficiency is even a question.

Until then, we are stuck in a world where the game programmers actually have to work with actual memory address space directly.

It is kinda hard to believe in 2012 that game making isn't abstracted to the point where the actual physical location of 1s and 0s on a RAM chip is unimportant, but it really is still important.

If you look at C code you will see a lot of things like *variable. The * means pointer and the whole thing means the pointer to where the variable is stored at on the RAM.

It is all pretty interesting stuff, at least for me anyway, although I think I would rather rip out my fingernails than program in such a language.

Anyway, a lot of things need to change before we can start seeing a lot of games with 4 cores and a lot more things need to change before we can start seeing a lot of games that will use every core someone happens to have (and thread). I just touched on some of it.


nekulturny said:
Hell I'm learning too. I haven't decided on whether to go for a 2 year or a 4 year degree yet.


I would get a Masters if I were you. Bachelor's degrees are getting so common these days they might as well be high school diplomas. Bachelor's degrees might as well qualify people to get coffee these days. I am pretty sure nobody is impressed with my Bachelor's degree, but people do seem to respect my wife's Master's at least a little.
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a c 118 B Homebuilt system
June 13, 2012 1:54:06 PM

Yea, I have to think on the Master's Degree. I know you're right, problem is I think Pell Grants only cover up to Bachelor's, not sure if I have the finances to go much further, at least not full time. I don't really have my foot in the door in the tech industry yet, I could probably pass my A Certs now, but I was thinking about hitting that up this fall or spring just to be sure. I know A+ certs are pretty well meaningless too, but they can't hurt.

Honestly, I'd be more than content going back to warehouse work, but they're all staffing agencies populating the warehouses and they lay you off at the drop of a hat, companies just don't care about people any more. I know, one could make a good argument to say they never did, but hell at least 40 years ago people would have one job their whole life. I was born in the wrong generation lol.

I did Autozone , I was a Senior Sales Associate for about 8 months, it was a fun job but it didn't pay very well at all. They wanted to promote me to Part Sales Manager, but the pay raise was only 6 percent on top of 8.00 an hour. Which.. removed the mystery to me of why none of the "Red shirts" respected the "Grey shirts" who were supposed to be in charge. Left that job and took my first warehouse job at Ross Clothing stores distro center. That was in 2007 when the economy really started to take a bad turn. Was pulling in about $13 an hour there (base pay was 10.25, the rest was all productivity bonus)

I actually had a pretty decent job a couple years back, was really lucky to get it without any formal education. Operations Manager for a freight contractor, they hired me as a temp to perm assistant to the then op manager (basically 3rd party logistics company running the company's operations for Pennsylvania), guy I was working for ironically got busted for having a bunch of pot plants in his house, so by default I had to take over. Pay wasn't super great, but I was good at it, did that for about a year sadly the company lost the contract. And there went my true "career". $35k to start I didn't think was bad considering it was salaried (including full medical benefits I didn't have to contribute to other than co-pay) and realistically in terms of actual "work", I was maybe putting in 20 hours a week on average and sitting on my ass for the other 20. Although I was mainly paid to be there, busy days would more than make up for that sitting on my ass time.

Ironically, if I had stuck with Autozone, I'd probably still be working. Hindsight is always 20/20

Sorry, I know I'm droning on and on. All I can say is if you made it this far thanks for listening lol.
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a c 78 B Homebuilt system
June 13, 2012 3:29:14 PM

Things go that way for a lot of people, as sad as it is.
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June 13, 2012 4:05:41 PM

I read everything both of you said lol. Atleast you got some education, better than none like me.
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a c 118 B Homebuilt system
June 13, 2012 4:16:00 PM

Sad thing is, education isn't enough to get you by in a lot of situations. I applied at a job a couple months ago, office assistant the job qualifications were knowledge of microsoft office, and being able to type at least 50 words a minute. I type about 70-80 on a good day, I made Dean's List both semesters I've taken this past Fall and Spring (I also went to college briefly when I was 18, didn't finish at the time I majored in Political Science). All the employer was concerned with was my lack of recent work history.

Lady on the phone more or less told me don't bother applying here, you don't have a chance. Even after I offered to show her my college transcript showing I got A's in Microsoft Access, Excel and Word classes.

Not much different in the warehouse industry either. I have a Forklift Operators license, but being an OP manager I rarely had the occasion to actually drive a forklift, I've been turned down for positions in that due to lack of "experience".

Maybe I'm just sour from my experiences, but I just don't get it. Companies demand college degrees, and on top of it they want experience, well where the hell do you get experience? LOL.
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a c 78 B Homebuilt system
June 13, 2012 7:04:19 PM

Every employer expects that every candidate be absolutely perfect before they will even consider them these days. It is a pretty sad thing for America too. At present you can't make people coffee unless you have 10 years of relevant work experience.
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June 13, 2012 8:09:03 PM

I agree, I just wish companies would stop being power hungry and bring factories back to America (Factories and Workshops outside of america cost a ton less). More money the company makes, the more advantages they get over their competition.

Btw, my definition of 'Future Proof' is mainly, be prepared for upgrades. Like having a better PSU helps be Future Proof in my opinion, because a year or so down the road, you never know if you feel the need for a better GPU or CPU. Or even if you want to use TB x41s that require some wattage.


Anyway, I plugged in my TB receiver and my computer shut down lmao. Sooo I can't wait to get paid lmao. I could buy it now, but I'd rather not, not until I get the case.


EDIT: instead of using Future Proof we should start saying 3Y Proof or 5Y Proof. <<< Just thought of it. Original, yea I know... (Y = Year)

Cause it's impossible to be future proof because you never know what they are planning to do next, but we can atleast be 4Y Proof. I think.
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a c 78 B Homebuilt system
June 13, 2012 8:16:15 PM

It isn't that companies are power hungry and that is why they move manufacturing overseas. It is because they don't think they can sell anything at all if they keep their manufacturing at home. They are afraid their product will cost too much when compared to foreign competitors and nobody will buy it.

Then the whole company including all the American workers it does have will all be out of jobs.
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a c 118 B Homebuilt system
June 13, 2012 8:18:05 PM

I don't understand the overseas thing either. I'm not particularly educated on the intricacies of economics, but even I understand the concept of: If all the jobs go overseas, nobody has a job, then it doesn't really matter how cheaply companies can produce products for American consumers.

I think the solution needs to be hit from both ends to really work. The Unions in general are more a parasite on the economy today. In the beginning yes they were necessary to combat unfair wages and unsafe working conditions, but now they've run a muck like the mafia. Detroit went in the crapper because UAW workers when you figure in all the benefits the union got them, they were making over $100 bucks an hour to build cars, if I were GM or Ford, I'd pack up and go to Canada and Mexico too.

The unions need to be busted down a peg and businesses need to either given tax breaks, or have taxes assessed for importing products, whichever is more effective. Of course it seems like none of our congressmen on the Republican or Democrat side really have the stones to deal with this.

As far as future proofing with power supplies, the SeaSonic you were looking at will do the trick, or Corsair TX v2 series like I have in my sig, which are made by SeaSonic anyway. Although honestly the TX750 like I have is more than you'd need a TX650 would do the trick too, but its not modular like the one you're looking at.
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June 13, 2012 9:31:34 PM

Lmao, I'm wondering if someone can learn everything they need to know about computers watching videos like this.

Anyway, so, back to the topic at hand.

I figured the Seasonic will be good enough to last me a good while. Is it that hard to wire a new computer build? I bought this one already wired. I was able to install the GPU (At first I think I plugged it into a plug labeled p6, when it didn't work, I plugged it into p2 and it worked.

I'm just a little worried I might mess it up, I try to find a video on how someone does the wiring and everything on youtube, but they always skip the installation process (the wiring part atleast) and it's kind of a bugger. Cause I probably won't buy the mobo you suggested until 2 paychecks from now.

I mainly want to get new parts on everything, so I can just sell off the spare parts in the old case and label it as a Gaming Desktop PC, and make some money off of someone who doesn't really know that much. (not that it'll be THAT bad anyway to where it would be a complete rip off.
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a c 78 B Homebuilt system
June 13, 2012 9:56:41 PM

Indeed, it is possible to learn everything you need to know about computers from videos pretty much.

I don't watch such videos, but I probably should. I just worked in the IT field long enough to have a good idea of what is what. That and the fastest way to learn something is to try to teach it. I learn stuff all the time on here just from trying to help people fix their computers.

It is not hard to wire a new computer build. It is actually pretty simple. The PSU twice to the motherboard and once to everything else. Everything else connected once to the motherboard.

That just about covers everything.

Everything pretty much can only go in one slot and only fit one way within that slot.

The only complicated thing is really the art aspect of it where you try to optimize the cabling to maximize airflow. Computers really don't need that, but it will buy you cooler components and therefore components with a longer lifespan.
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a c 118 B Homebuilt system
June 13, 2012 10:14:58 PM

Quote:
I figured the Seasonic will be good enough to last me a good while. Is it that hard to wire a new computer build? I bought this one already wired. I was able to install the GPU (At first I think I plugged it into a plug labeled p6, when it didn't work, I plugged it into p2 and it worked.


Nah I wouldn't worry about it, its not that difficult at all. I helped a guy on the forum a few weeks ago via skype, he initially asked for build advice and then it turned into me basically walking him thru the whole process. I didn't ask, but he ended up paypaling me 100 bucks for the help, which was a nice help considering my current financial situation. He loves the computer, he did a Phenom II build with a 6870 video card. Not a super aggressive gaming computer, but definitely perfect for what he was looking for. So if you've already figured out how to swap a video card, you should be golden. Just take your time with it and if you get stuck don't be afraid to ask.

Tell you what though, if you decide to get rid of that 1090T I'd love to take it off your hands. :lol:  They're out of production (as all Phenom IIs are currently), I've seem 1090Ts and 1100Ts going for insane prices on Ebay btw.
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June 14, 2012 11:10:37 AM

Holy hell you aint lying, I did NOT know I had a $200 processor in my hands, I thought it was actually bottom line. And I was the idiot trying to get rid of it.

Yea I figured wiring the PC will be pretty straight forward. I intend a few months (maybe 3) to install a liquid cooling system into my build. I think the case I'm getting is perfect for it.

I Don't think I need to REALLY upgrade the GPU, (I will just not too soon seeing as I just got it) Because I'm playing diablo 3 on max with fraps running (720p) at 60fps. Without fraps its 110-120 fps. I've been using speed fan to monitor my computer's temperature. I Don't like the way it looks, but I do hope in the new case temps will be down. (the 6850 idle heat is too high for my taste really).

I've been putting off getting a car, so after this case and psu, I'm going to calm down on buying stuff, once I get my car, I can unleash the endless possibilities of upgrades. :) .


EDIT: Fraps runs 60 FPS max anyway.
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a c 118 B Homebuilt system
June 14, 2012 1:49:02 PM

Honestly, you don't need a liquid cooler for a Phenom II, they tend to top out at around 4.2 to 4.4GHZ, which is before they get hot enough for extreme cooling measures become a necessity. a CoolerMaster 212 evo should be all you need. Even for Intel Sandy/Ivy bridge unless you're going extreme overclocking (I'd consider 5.0GHZ to be "Extreme" on a Sandy Bridge) with them, a CM evo will suffice for that as well.

If you have the money to spare, I suppose you could go liquid cooling, but its purely a luxury item. I'd be looking at something like a Corsair H100, at least you can use it again for a future build.

Speedfan really is not a great program in my experience to monitor temps, I'd suggest Hwmonitor. As far as video card temps, its normal for vid cards to run hot. They can take the abuse. The 6850 isn't a bad video card, really if you didn't want to junk it, you could just get a 2nd 6850 and run them in Crossfire.

As far as Diablo 3, any Blizzard product this far has never been particularly demanding on systems. World of Warcraft ironically has way better graphics than my beloved Runescape, and yet the system requirements for WoW is actually lower than the requirements for Runescape High Detail. Go figure... (I know why this is, RS uses Java, which is a resource hog, its still ironic to point out)
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June 19, 2012 11:11:25 AM

Okay, so I'm getting the case and the PSU, but I decided that WIFI would really help to get away from my grandfather who won't stop talking. what WIFI card should I get under $50?.
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a c 78 B Homebuilt system
June 19, 2012 1:38:53 PM

I am using the Netgear N600, you can probably get that for $50.
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June 20, 2012 5:44:17 AM

I apologize, I guess I should of said Wifi Adapter, I have a router already.
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