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Old school PC hobbyist looking for some new school help

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November 26, 2012 2:24:29 PM

Hey all,

I hope black Friday and cyber Monday are treating you well :)  I used to build my own computers about 10-15 years ago, but find myself well out of date on some of the current tech. In 2009 I had a computer built for me, and have upgraded some of the core components (GPU, Powersupply, Soundcard) but my mobo, CPU, and RAM are struggling to keep up these days. Setting a strict budget at 1000USD or less, I could use some advice either upgrading key components, or if I should just buy a cheap pre-built rig.

The non-performance enhancing components of the computer are all great (cooling, powersupply, case, HDD, soundcard), so I really do not need a completely new computer, unless a brand new computer is the absolute win in the scenario.

Here's my current build:

Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Extreme CPU X9650 @ 3.00GHz (4 CPUs), ~3.0GHz
Motherboard: nVidia 780i Core 2 Quad (nForce 780i SLI)
Memory: 4GB DDR2 Corsair at 1066MHz Dominator
Video Card: AMD Radeon HD 6800 Series
Sound Card: Creative SB X-Fi
HDD: 500GB Western Digital (16mb cache) (7200RPM) (SATA)
Power Supply: 1000 Watts

In this case, I'd like to replace the motherboard, GPU, and RAM. I may upgrade the HDD later on, but I don't find it as a big bottleneck and I'm not hurting for disk space.

Ultimately, I'm hoping for parts geared at gaming performance on current gen games (end of year 2012) and will help me maintain high graphic settings/performance as I continue to upgrade the GPU and other components down the road into 2013-2014.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions you might have!

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November 27, 2012 2:06:23 AM
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Power Supply: 1000 Watts

In this case, I'd like to replace the motherboard, GPU, and RAM. I may upgrade the HDD later on, but I don't find it as a big bottleneck and I'm not hurting for disk space.

Ultimately, I'm hoping for parts geared at gaming performance on current gen games (end of year 2012) and will help me maintain high graphic settings/performance as I continue to upgrade the GPU and other components down the road into 2013-2014.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions you might have!


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The GPU seems fine, it should be adequate for anoter few years, I would focus on the motherboard and CPU, and because DDR2 is last gen you will need new RAM.

I would recommend an I7 3770k as it is nearly top of the line, then I would say any DDR3 RAM that is 1600 Mhz in speed, has CL9 timmings, and can be configured in dual channel (2 moduled) preferably 8 GB in two 4GB modules. RAM is so cheap now that 8GB is only 50 bucks or so, and an i7 3770K is about 280 to 340 depending on sales and so on. The motherboard must be a socket LGA 1155 motherboard. I would personally recommend one of these boards:

http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item...

http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item...

These are solid boards, with crossfire and SLI capabilities and all the modern expansions you will need. One thing to bear in mind is that intel motherboards are generally more expensive and come with less than AMD but I feel as though the i7 3770k will serve you better in the future as it is great for other high performance apps that are not gaming. I would recommend the ASUS board personally as I use ASUS for my boards and I have not had a single issue with them, I even overclocked very well on one o their budget boards. One other thing I would recommend is a Seagate Momentus XT 750GB drive for a ton of storage but also it is a hybrid drive with 8GB of smart SSD, files are moved there that are used mos often like boot files, some game loading files, aps, etc for an amazing SSD like performance and it also has double the cache of your other HDD, I would put you old HDD in your new build as storage.

http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item...

This will use about 650 to 700 dollars of your budget. I would further say that you should get a Noctua NDH-14, a custom cooler or your CPU. With this CPU cooler you can easily run the i7 at 4.2 Ghz stable, and have a huge boost for the future. This will be about 100 dollars.

http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item...

This brings you to about 800

If you want, you could also get a new case to cool everything ALOT better so you can overclock components and they will last. This way you could overclock your graphics card for a bit of a boost, and the CPU. I would look at a case like this:

http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item...

The cougar case is amazing value, it if full tower, has great features and works well for gaming builds

http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item...

The coolermaster HAF 932 can fit ANY components in them so compatibility for size will never be an issue in the future, as well as it has the best cooling performance I have seen to date for air cooling

http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item...

This case was build by coolermaster to house any high end gaming components while remaining cheap, and in a smaller form. It cools well too.

http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item...

Finally, this case is old, I own one and can say it is a modders dream. it supports two 240mm radiator for water cooling, the hard drive cages are removable for high end graphics cards, it is one of the biggest mid tower cases, it can hold 10 fans for outstanding air flow for cooling, and it is generally the most flexible case in any aspect.

If you don't want to overclock, keep your current case, use the stock cooler on the Intel CPU (maybe get some aftermarket thermal paste for it for 4 to 5 degrees Celsius cooler operation) and get an AMD Radeon HD 7870 for about 220 to 280 (depending on sales, brands and looks) it is the highest of the 7800 series and if you have an HD 6870 the you are getting about a 45 percent performance increase. I a not running an hd set up (1366 X 768 for me) and I can run every game maxed out on this card, so in HD it should run every game on high to maxed out (im using an old CPU yours is newer, you should get more performance). Those are pretty much your options. I hoped that this helped out :) 

November 27, 2012 5:02:17 PM

This is so fantastic, thank you! :sol: 


EDIT: Went with this RAM here: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...



Below is what I originally was thinking. Tyvm again :)  Happy holidays!

-------------------------------------------------------------

Do you think this ram will go with the ASUS motherboard? Its 1866MHZ and it looks like the Asus supports up to 2400 overclocked, so I'm sure it will. But figured I'd doublecheck in case im off base.

Ram:

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

The motherboard is the Asus you supplied above, but here is the link for ease:

http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item...

Thanks again!
November 27, 2012 5:02:19 PM

Best answer selected by HydraulicYeti.
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