Upgrading ASUS Essentio CG5270

Hey guys, I have a ASUS CG5270_BP003 that is about 3 years old now. It has been a great computer for that entire time. This morning I went to go play one of the games i so dearly love and experienced a problem. The game would freeze and run and freeze and run at no regular interval. This was accompanied by a click and whining from the case. I powered off and opened her up and checked all the connections(recently moved 2 days ago) then powered it back on and tried to run the game again. Same thing!
It appears that the HDD is the culprit here, but it only makes the clicking and whining type sounds when i try to run a game. As i sit here typing i have been surfing the net for an hour and have heard not a peep from it, but as soon as i start to try and play anything it goes to being crazy again.

Long story short, before the HDD goes bad i want to make some upgrades to the box.

New HDD would be #1 on the list
#2 would be a new graphics card, the GT220 has been ok thus far but i'd like something better
#3 would be a new power supply

PROBLEM: I have no idea what products would actually work in my system
there use to be utilities that would tell you what you could run in your box, but there doesn't seem to be any avail for this computer.

so could i just replace what i have with THIS NEW HARDWARE?

#1 new HDD (Seagate - Barracuda 1TB Internal Serial ATA Hard Drive)
#2 new GPU (PNY - GeForce GTX 550Ti 1GB GDDR5 PCI Express Graphics Card)
#3 new PSU (Thermaltake - TR2-600NL2NC ATX12V & EPS12V Power Supply)
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  1. The OEM power supply in your PC may be better quality than the replacement. Ski[ upgrading the power supply.

    The GT220 you have is a home theater card, not a gaming card so you are in for a treat when you get even a low end gaming card. Use this ref to look at video cards. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-card-review,3107.html

    The $100 GT 640 is not a bad choice, however the closely priced HD7750 kills it.

    I'd spend $130 for video and get an HD7770 or HD6850 and keep it a few years. (( ANY of these cards will be a HUGE improvement on the GT220. )) The reference above with recommended cards for prices will help you choose what you'd do.

    Specs that I saw are:
    Intel® Core 2 Quad/Core2 Duo (not clear which one, most all will game OK)
    Power Supply Peak 400 W (ton of power)

    HDD I'd get is one of the fast 7200 models. The seagate drive you picked should be a good one, however there are many different drives by that name. Skip the green drives. Make sure the drive you are getting is a performance drive. The helps boot times and game load times.
  2. Forgot:

    Easy way to replace hard drive.
    0. Download and install the drive cloning software from your new disk's manufacture web site. Or download a trial version of Acronis True Image. (WD ships an OEM version of it for HP drives)
    1. Unplug PC
    2. Open case
    3. Steal signal cable and power cable from your DVD drive, attach to new drive. The new drive and hang in the air or rest on the ground -- all of the electrical connections including ground are thru the pwoer cable and signal cables.
    4. Leave side open with drive ahnging out. Plug in PC, power up, boot to windows.
    5. Clone your old drive to the new drive using the drive cloning softare. Takes a while.
    6. Shutdown windows
    7. Unplug
    8. Remove old drive (directions in your manual, usually there's a cage with hidden catches that sides out the front of the PC or the drive is clearly removable with a few screws)
    9.Remove the new drive, plug power and signal back into teh cdrom drive.
    10. Install new disk where old disk used to live & Plug power and signal from old disk into new disk (some PCs its easier to plug wires before installing, others its easier to do afterwards. Think then install)
    11. Plug in power, boot, see it all works
    12. Close up case.

    NOTE - Nagging advice: proper ESD control. Touch the side of the power supply before touching anything else in the case. Touch the power supply any time you walk away from the PC (especially over carpet). Touch the power supply after you pick up a drive before plugging in connectors. This is actually an easy task, and very rewarding if you get a fast drive.

    Save the old drive as an emergency backup. Store it in the same container the new one came in -- the new one was in an ESD bag or plastic blister.

    Think about a backup strategy and burn your recovery media. An inexpensive USB external drive and windows built-in backup make a good backup strategy.
  3. ok the HDD is a 7200rpm model with 32MB cache buffer. that good?

    so even with a new GPU you don think i will need a better PSU? (Label on the PSU says DELTA Electronics Inc) also says (Continuous USE 400W)

    also i would love to used the 7770 but i dont think my MOBO is PCI 3.0 compatible.
    how about the GeForce GTX 550Ti 1GB GDDR5 PCI Express Graphics Card?
  4. " 7200rpm model with 32MB cache buffer" You got it, thats good! Google the model number for a review for confirm. Should be a little under $100.

    Strongly believe that you will not need a new power supply with less than 175W video card. To confirm take the processor name you have (e.g. q6600) and google it with TDP. This gives you max power for processor (roughly). Then do the same for the video card you are considering (e.g. HD7770 and TDP). For the example 7770 = 80W and Q6600 = 105W. An HD7770 + Q6600 PC would max about 200 to 250W. A 400W power supply would be far more than adequate. An hd6850 with TDP = 127W TDP would add another 50w, still well within the limits of a 400W PSU.

    Aside2. My HP refurb came with 125W TDP i7-920, power hungry X58 chipset and 200W TDP GTX260 card and a factory installed 460W psu. I have it attached to a UPS that shows power draw. The system gaming barely hits 300W. The factory had no concerns with the 460W PSU. You should be fine with 400W unit.

    More proof: Here is an HD6850 in a high power system (Core i7 965 overclocked to 3.75 GHz.) maxing under full GPU load at 278W for total system. http://www.guru3d.com/article/radeon-hd-6850-6870-review/10/
  5. BXRandall said:
    also i would love to used the 7770 but i dont think my MOBO is PCI 3.0 compatible.
    how about the GeForce GTX 550Ti 1GB GDDR5 PCI Express Graphics Card?

    PCIe is forward and backward compatible. All of the MBs out there are PCI 2.0 or 2.1. All of the HD7770 benchmarks are done on PCIe 2.1 board.

    GeForce GTX 550Ti is a nice card. It will work too.

    The last page of this article lets you look at tiers to see how cards perform. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-card-review,3107-7.html As you can see the 7770 and GeForce GTX 550Ti perform roughly the same. Both would be excellent. (Both are nine (!!) tiers above where you are now gt220. You love it if you game, you won't notice it for web surfing)
  6. sweet thanks! that sounds great. i will go get the new GPU and HDD and follow those instructions you posted above. thanks a ton for your help!
  7. ok so just a little bit of feedback before i got buy stuff. and some new info. my wife mentioned that a couple of weeks ago she thought she heard some beeping from the case as well. just a single beep every now and then.

    so i just opened the case, to see what i could hear while i ran a couple of different programs. like i said it before it runs fine when the internet is up.

    i can access all my files quickly
    i can watch video
    i can surf the net for days with no problems


    as soon as i start a game i get funny noises

    as a matter of fact i just tried to run one and it was up maybe about 1.5mins
    the funny "sumping" sound was present and a few "light cliking" sounds
    then the whole computer cut off and it went into the restart cycle
    it came up fine, and is working like normal, as long as i don't try to run a game
    could it be the PSU that is causing this type of problem? or the GPU maybe going bad causing a fault or something?
    it worked fine this AM then i left came back and woke it from sleep mode and all the glitchy stuff started

    i recently added 2 extra USB devices, could that extra draw during long gaming sessions have pushed the PSU to start degrading or maybe the GPU is just bad?

    i dont just seems funny i have no problems with the computer until i start gaming
  8. USB devices have no real power draw (2 1/2 watt = 5000mA at 5v max ).

    Check the TEMP while gaming. A monitor like HWMONITOR from cpuid (google it) records max temps nicely. Computer will shutdown/reboot under high temps caused by dust blocking the CPU heatsink or covering the MB.

    This could be a software problem or a hardware problem. Do you get hit on all games or just one? One game is software. Your video card is low end enough its unlikely it is thermally challenged unless the heat sink fan failed (if it has a fan).

    Can you open the case as listen to the power supply as the system games? (edit don't touch failing power supply!) Are the noises (clicks, etc) coming from the power supply?

    This is a bummer. If it is hardware then it's probably a part you were planning to reuse.
  9. yea i opened the case. when i start ANY game it makes a funny noise and then it continues to make a funny noise intermittently...as long as the game is running. if i shut the game down before the computer shuts itself of then it works normally in windows and for surfing the net and watching vidoes.

    i cannot nail down if the noise is coming from the hard drive or the GPU, it does have a fan on it...kinda sounds like the fan is out of whack and is speeding up and slowing down intermittently.

    think it could be the graphics card? computer functions fine other than when trying to game
  10. well it was either the PSU or the GPU. i replaced both and the problem went away.
    thanks for the help and input!
  11. lol, the shotgun approach kills another problem. Glad you fixed it. Hope you got a card you liked.
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