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Building a new pc; what can I reuse from the old one?

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November 29, 2012 2:10:33 AM

Hi, I've recently decided to build my first ever gaming PC (and PC in general, although I've installed graphics cards and PSUs and such to stock PCs). I'm going to be asking a lot of questions so I'll number them. Also, not all of the questions may fall within this forum category, but I hope a good majority will. Thanks!

1. Can I reuse the CPU? It's an AMD Quad-Core. Not sure of exact specs but it works fine on my current computer and I don't see the point in shelling out more cash for another possibly similar quad-core (no need for 6+).

2. What about the motherboard? I really don't plan on it, but I'm just curious. Going back to 1., how would I go about removing the CPU from the motherboard?

3. How do I go about keeping my data? I'm definitely going to reuse the HDDs, as they aren't too old, but I'm planning on buying an SSD. Can I transfer Windows 8 (please, no jabs as to how much you may think it sucks) over to the SSD from the HDD? Is there a specific process for that, or would I just plug everything in correctly on the new PC and have it work fine? Or, more terribly, would I have to buy a new copy of Windows? As far as I know, the OS is stored completely on the HDD. Hopefully I'm right.

4. A bit unrelated, but can I use two different brands of GPUs? different model and everything. I remember hearing that it wasn't possible, but it couldn't hurt to throw in my old one to compliment the new one for the new PC.

5. How big of a role does cooling play? I know it's essential to keep safe the components of the computer, but a lot of people complain about fan noise. Is that simply a bad fan, or is the fan working too hard? In the latter case, is it working too hard because there isn't enough cooling, or is it just not capable of cooling enough?

Thanks a lot for your answers! Any recommended parts would be awesome (I am on a budget, ~$500 depending on how many things I can reuse. (won't be buying mouse/keyboard/monitors/wireless adapter etc. as I already have them.) I'm shooting for a quad core processor (already have one, will reuse if I can), 128GB SSD, I don't even know what a good motherboard is these days, lots of USB 3.0 ports are good though :D , 700-800W PSU, and for video cards I was looking at GTX 570s, tell me otherwise if there's a better deal. --The PC will be used for gaming, as I stated before, and I want to run things at as close to maxed settings as possible. Games like Planetside 2 and BF3 are pretty demanding.

More about : building reuse

November 29, 2012 8:38:36 AM

Oe I love it when people post in numbers, makes a reply very easy.

1. Find out exactly what CPU you have, it would be pointless to upgrade if its sufficient, but I doubt it is.

2. Once again we really need your full system specs. If your board does not have Sata 6Gbps then you would be wasting the capabilities of an SSD. You would need to purchase a new board. If this is the case you might as well get a better CPU too since I am sure your is out of date.

3. If you can bring the data down on the HDD to smaller than the SSD then you can use one of the many programs available to migrate your current windows install from the HDD to the SSD. You will not need a new Windows if yours is a retail version.

4. You can not add 2 graphics cards of different ranges and performance in a system unless one is used for a dedicated Nvdia PhysX card. But the gains are minimal as very few games use PhysX anyway. You would be better of recycling the card to family r HTPC or whatever.

5. Cooling is important, but it really depends from system to system that you are building. If you are overclocking the more fans the better. If you want many fans, get a quality chassis to minimize vibration and noise.

Now to your main question. WHAT ARE YOUR FULL SPECS!? PSU, Mobo, RAM, etc, we cant know what you can recycle if we dont know what you have.
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November 29, 2012 1:29:13 PM

Novuake said:
Oe I love it when people post in numbers, makes a reply very easy.

1. Find out exactly what CPU you have, it would be pointless to upgrade if its sufficient, but I doubt it is.

2. Once again we really need your full system specs. If your board does not have Sata 6Gbps then you would be wasting the capabilities of an SSD. You would need to purchase a new board. If this is the case you might as well get a better CPU too since I am sure your is out of date.

3. If you can bring the data down on the HDD to smaller than the SSD then you can use one of the many programs available to migrate your current windows install from the HDD to the SSD. You will not need a new Windows if yours is a retail version.

4. You can not add 2 graphics cards of different ranges and performance in a system unless one is used for a dedicated Nvdia PhysX card. But the gains are minimal as very few games use PhysX anyway. You would be better of recycling the card to family r HTPC or whatever.

5. Cooling is important, but it really depends from system to system that you are building. If you are overclocking the more fans the better. If you want many fans, get a quality chassis to minimize vibration and noise.

Now to your main question. WHAT ARE YOUR FULL SPECS!? PSU, Mobo, RAM, etc, we cant know what you can recycle if we dont know what you have.


Sorry about that haha, I thought it was more of a conceptual question but I suppose it is better to provide some more precise info.

I have an HP-p6736f-b (bought it used from eBay for cheap, works like a charm for everyday things and light gaming). It's got 8gb of ram, running Windows 8 64-Bit. My CPU is an AMD Athlon II x4 640 at 3.00ghz. The motherboard is probably old and incompatible with an ssd, as this computer was made a long time ago. My PSU is an Antec GreenWatts 380W (I know I'll need an upgrade for this). So, just to clarify, I CAN keep the CPU without saving the motherboard? It's worked for me well so far, but I'm seeing 8-cores from AMD on newegg and even 4.3ghz 4-cores for around $120 so would it be worth it for my gaming/light video editing experience to upgrade? (sort of looking to future proof my computer as much as I can, or at least have the option to cheaply.

Thanks!
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November 29, 2012 3:24:36 PM

Hotwire58 said:
Sorry about that haha, I thought it was more of a conceptual question but I suppose it is better to provide some more precise info.

I have an HP-p6736f-b (bought it used from eBay for cheap, works like a charm for everyday things and light gaming). It's got 8gb of ram, running Windows 8 64-Bit. My CPU is an AMD Athlon II x4 640 at 3.00ghz. The motherboard is probably old and incompatible with an ssd, as this computer was made a long time ago. My PSU is an Antec GreenWatts 380W (I know I'll need an upgrade for this). So, just to clarify, I CAN keep the CPU without saving the motherboard? It's worked for me well so far, but I'm seeing 8-cores from AMD on newegg and even 4.3ghz 4-cores for around $120 so would it be worth it for my gaming/light video editing experience to upgrade? (sort of looking to future proof my computer as much as I can, or at least have the option to cheaply.

Thanks!


If you upgrade everything and not the CPU, you will sit with a CPU that is bottlenecking your system, unfortunately the Athlons are very outdated.

FORGET ABOUT AMD. If your budget allows, get an I5. If not,save up for one.

You are gonna have to upgrade everything excet maybe the HDD...
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November 29, 2012 4:19:34 PM

Well first I am going to disagree with the statement about forgetting AMD. You are on a budget and AMD could be a viable option for you.

I will also say that you can probably keep your HDD and your PSU, antec is a decent brand and for $500 I don't think you will be building a computer that blows through power.

Here see if any of these CPUs look good.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Also TH will be rolling out their best build for the money articles in December. They will be a good reference for you in picking parts.
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November 29, 2012 5:06:57 PM

j2j663 said:
Well first I am going to disagree with the statement about forgetting AMD. You are on a budget and AMD could be a viable option for you.

I will also say that you can probably keep your HDD and your PSU, antec is a decent brand and for $500 I don't think you will be building a computer that blows through power.

Here see if any of these CPUs look good.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Also TH will be rolling out their best build for the money articles in December. They will be a good reference for you in picking parts.


You do realize "upgrading" from a 3GHz Athlon to a phenom 2 will give him very little benefit??? If he was on a duel core then yes. But since he is on a quad. Suggesting a slightly faster quad would be pointless.
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November 29, 2012 7:49:33 PM

Personally I don't see much point in getting a Pentium, to each their own. But all three CPUs are good ~$100 choices which is on par with his budget.

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November 29, 2012 9:25:39 PM

j2j663 said:
Personally I don't see much point in getting a Pentium, to each their own. But all three CPUs are good ~$100 choices which is on par with his budget.

What about this one? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... I'm not sure how huge a role the CPU plays in gaming anyway.

My main goal is to improve from my old PC by a lot, but with a minimum cost.

Also, to all of you, why should I shy away from AMD? I've had no problems with my current AMD in terms of reliability. It's done everything I would expect a stock CPU to do. Plus AMD will probably be lowering prices significantly now as they're not doing too well financially.
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November 29, 2012 11:29:30 PM

The Phenom will beat the 4170 chip in almost everything. Check out this discussion
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/331596-28-4170-phenom

Windows 8 helps but the 4170 isn't a true quad core and there are very few applications that are designed to feed it what it wants to go fast.

If you want to stick with AMD and have any sort of future with your chip I would recommend the 6300, if you really want to cut some corners the 4300 is $10 cheaper. Check out the build in this thread about half way down.

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/352230-28-phenom-4300...

I would use the money you are going to save by reusing parts and bump the GPU if you want to be able to turn on some of the higher graphics settings in games.
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November 30, 2012 6:07:49 AM

j2j663 said:
The Phenom will beat the 4170 chip in almost everything. Check out this discussion
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/331596-28-4170-phenom

Windows 8 helps but the 4170 isn't a true quad core and there are very few applications that are designed to feed it what it wants to go fast.

If you want to stick with AMD and have any sort of future with your chip I would recommend the 6300, if you really want to cut some corners the 4300 is $10 cheaper. Check out the build in this thread about half way down.

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/352230-28-phenom-4300...

I would use the money you are going to save by reusing parts and bump the GPU if you want to be able to turn on some of the higher graphics settings in games.

I'm liking this build. I took out the optical drive, RAM, HDD, and the video card (haven't really decided on one yet). Any recommendations? ideally, I would be able to play bf3 on near-max settings at ~50-60fps. Planetside 2 is another story. I would really like to play that game on max, but I've heard that the current software only allows it to utilize 20% CPU power, so I don't know if even the best video card will achieve that. Again, I'm looking for value, so if a GPU's fan isn't all too great but it works amazingly, I'd be fine with buying an aftermarket fan.
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November 30, 2012 9:39:26 AM

Hotwire58 said:
I'm liking this build. I took out the optical drive, RAM, HDD, and the video card (haven't really decided on one yet). Any recommendations? ideally, I would be able to play bf3 on near-max settings at ~50-60fps. Planetside 2 is another story. I would really like to play that game on max, but I've heard that the current software only allows it to utilize 20% CPU power, so I don't know if even the best video card will achieve that. Again, I'm looking for value, so if a GPU's fan isn't all too great but it works amazingly, I'd be fine with buying an aftermarket fan.

You will need get that kind of fps in a large battlefield 3 map on ANY current Amd at stock.
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November 30, 2012 9:41:58 AM

Not... Not need. Lol on my phone...
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November 30, 2012 1:14:27 PM

Novuake said:
You will need get that kind of fps in a large battlefield 3 map on ANY current Amd at stock.


Sorry but that is simply not true. I am currently playing BF3 online with ultra settings with my phenom x6 oced to 4G and an unlocked 6950. Which means grab a 7850 or up and pair it with any of AMDs 43xx chips or higher and you should have a rig that does just fine on high if not ultra settings, even in the multiplayer.

The bottom line is that if you want to run games at a high level then getting something like a 7770 is going to bottleneck your system a lot more than an AMD processor is.

I think now is a very good time to invest in a GPU. They have quite a bit more performance than the previous generation and they use less power to do it. A GPU is also a part that can move from build to build so with all of that money saved I would definitely look for a GPU around the $200-$250 mark.

That should land you somewhere around a 660 or a 660ti from Nvidia or a 7850 or a 7870 from AMD.
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November 30, 2012 11:49:28 PM

Best answer selected by Hotwire58.
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