Recommendations for Build/upgrade

Hello from a long time reader, first time poster at this site. Now that I've bothered to register I'm sure I will be a little more active around here.

I have a 3 1/2 year old Desktop that I am looking to upgrade. It has a good case, BR/DVD drives, PSU, and HD. I'm just looking at the core MB, CPU, and Memory.

The old system is Core 2 Duo E7300 Wolfdale. Truthfully for most of what I do it still gets me by. However, the most intensive processing this machine does is for ripping / converting movies and videos. Ripping isn't too bad and really driven by optical drive speed, but if I ever try to actually change video formats, like convert to H264 or something similar it can literally take the better part of a day (no kidding) for an HD video. I'm also going to start doing some editing of family videos and wanting somethign that will handle that better. I am not a big gamer, but there is a little of that thrown in as well. So for that reason and the $300 gift certificate I have to burn :) I'm looking at upgrading now... I know I have to throw in a $$ to get there.

So Here are my questions and what I was looking at so far.

I was looking at:
Asus P8Z77 V or V Pro (can't quite find out what the difference is between these two).
Intel i5 3550 or 3450
16 GB - Corsair Vengeance DDR3 PC12800

I was hoping to stay below $500 for the upgrade and if I could, keep it far enough below to include a 100 GB SSD for the OS.

1. Should I go with AMD or Intel. (as if that hasn't been asked before :) ). I am historically an Intel buyer, but I know AMD is supposed to be more cost effective. I dont know much about AMD's chips, models, setup etc.. so I just used the benchmark page on this site as a guideline and did some checking on pricing. The intel chips I'm loooking at are all in the 190-220 range and price tends to follow performance with a few small anomolies. However, when you go to AMD it seems to be a little less linear. The ones that stuck out at me to consider were the FX-8120 at $159 to save some money. It seems to perform about the same level as the 3450. Or the FX 8150 which outperforms the 3550 for the same price. Based on my usage, what would you recommend.

2. I have a GeForce 9800 GTX+ Video card with 512 MB. How does this compare to the built in GPU's that come on processors these days? I really don't have a good reference for when you need to go to a seperate card for video. For what I'm doing the video performance of the current card is OK. If I ever needed more I would buy it later. However, if the GPU built in is better, than why use this one.

3. The board I've chosen was based around a mid level board that worked with an Ivy Bridge processor and preferred an Intel LAN chip. I dont have to do the Intel LAN, but that is a preference. I was having some LAN speed issues in the past and installed a $20 Intel PCI NIC in liue of the on board Realtec, and it got better. AS Rocks uses Broadcom at that level board, and that would be preferable to the Realtec.
- If I stay with the Intel chip do you know what the difference between the V and the V Pro board is? i can't find anythign in the specs that looks different.
- If I go with an AMD board, any recommendations? I haven't shopped this at all yet and dont know the options or ratings.

4. I chose the RAM because it was on sale on a good deal ($50 for 2 - 4 GB chips so $100 for 16 GB). Where ist he breakpoint in memory where you are buying diminishing returns? what is the best value and how much difference is faster RAM making on my useage?

Thanks for any advise you all may have.
9 answers Last reply
More about recommendations build upgrade
  1. This topic has been moved from the section CPU & Components to section Systems by Mousemonkey
  2. Instead of buying an Asus board (they are expensive as all hell)
    Buy a AS Rock Z77 Extreme4 for 114.99 off newegg
    knock down your ram to 8gb ram
    As For SSD i would get a Crucial M4 128GB
  3. ^^
    I looked at the AS Rock Z77 Extreme6, largely based on a review at Tom's Hardware. Performance and cost was very close to the P877 V Pro. I went with the ASUS due to the Intel LAN. However, if I remember correctly AS Rock had Broadcom so will look at the Extreme4. If the performance is substantially the same thats a pretty good chunk towards the SSD.

    Any thoughts out there on the other questions?

    AMD good or bad? Video Card question? RAM speed worthwhile?
  4. Ram speed should be 1600Mhz at 9-9-9-24 timings,
    And for the Video Card, normally people upgrade that. Depending on Budget you can get a better one between 100-250
  5. ^^
    That RAM speed is what I had picked out.

    The video card question was whether the on board GPU was better / worse than the 3.5 Yr old 9800 GTX that I had. Right now I dont need more than the 9800 that I've got but was curious whether it was worth installing the older card in favor of the GPU that comes in an i5.

    Thanks again.
  6. I stopped using Integrated Graphics when I moved from my Athlon xp 64 bit. So i wouldnt know the spec on integrated. Im sure its probs better then the 9800 but that was a solid card for its time
  7. Resurrecting this one to see if anyone has thoughts on the still open questions or if there are any thoughts in general.

    1. AMD / Intel dilema, between the chips I mentioned.
    2. The Memory speed questions.
    3. Will my older 9800 GTX+ card be bettter or worse than the integrated GPU?
  8. Go with Intel for the Video Encoding, Ram Speed is fine, and the Onboard Graphics might be better for you
  9. ^^^^ Thanks
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