Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

New Build with old parts - what should I upgrade?

Last response: in Systems
Share
August 16, 2012 6:35:06 PM

So - I'll start off by saying a friend had an HP with a hardware failure (I believe it was the PSU) and he did not want to invest any money into fixing the thing (he says he sick of his PCs getting viruses so hes going to buy Apple from now - he also blames the nonexistent virus on the demise of the computer) so he gave it to me. I have now purchased a number of new components with really only the Motherboard and CPU to upgrade at this point. I used a couple of SSDs and Hdds I had laying around to cut down on expenditure.

Approximate Purchase Date: e.g.: Sooner or later depending on my upgrade path

Budget Range: $400-$700

System Usage from Most to Least Important: I am an IT professional and I would like to use the rig for a variety of things including (but not limited to); photoshop, sql server, Running Multiple VMs, Gaming at highest settings. I am currently able to max out Batman Arkham City, Crysis 2 and Witcher 2 (minus Ubersampling) with pretty good framerates.

Are you buying a monitor: In the future



Parts to Upgrade: CPU, mobo & probably RAM

Do you need to buy OS: No - Have windows 7 Ultimate

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: I buy most of my parts from Newegg or Amazon or wherever has the good deal

Location: Chicago

Parts Preferences: I prefer to stick with Intel motherboard/CPU

Overclocking: Yes

SLI or Crossfire: Yes but not right now

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920 x 1080 X2 at the moment but planning on a third soon


Rosewill THOR V2-White Edition
Pegatron IPISB-CU Motherboard HP Carmel2 1155 H61*
Pentium G620*
8 GB Crucial Ballistix 1333
GIGABYTE Geforce GTX 670 Windforce OC 2GB
Antec NEO ECO 620W
OCZ Agility 4 128GB
OCZ Agility 4 256GB
Seagate Momentus 500GB 2.5

(items marked with an asterix are original components from the HP desktop I was given)

Excluding the items I had laying around (2 SSDs, 1 Hdd, Mobo, CPU), I have a pretty decent build for a little less than $600.

At this point I am on fence of whether or not to upgrade the mobo and cpu to a Z77 & Ivybridge i5 or i7 K or wait until Haswell comes out next year. Additionally, I am considering purchasing a sandybridge i5 or i7 and keeping the motheboard until Haswell. Hoping to get some opinions on if it would be worthwhile to upgrade to a sandybridge core processor from the current Pentium G620 on the same (admittedly crappy) mobo. I don't really want to shell out the money to go with a 2011 socket so I have been primarily looking at the 1155 Z77 mobos.

Another option I am considering is getting just a mobo for now and transplanting the G620. I would upgrade the RAM (only paid like $35 for the 8GB of RAM I threw in so I'm not concerned). I would like to have a Mobo with dual x16/x16 pcie 3.0 for future sli of the 670's. Is the G620 going to be a bad bottleneck? Where should I go from here? Any mobo suggestions? The case can accommodate full size/extended ATX so if it gets me more ports and expandability, all the better.


1. Upgrade CPU to core i5 or i7 sandybridge only (keep crappy mobo)
2. Upgrade Motherboard and keep crappy Pentium G620
3. Do nothing and wait of Haswell
4. Any other ideas?

More about : build parts upgrade

August 16, 2012 10:14:17 PM

Quote:

1. Upgrade CPU to core i5 or i7 sandybridge only (keep crappy mobo)
2. Upgrade Motherboard and keep crappy Pentium G620
3. Do nothing and wait of Haswell


It's going to be at least a year before we see anything related to Haswell but that sounds like the best option of the three.

Quote:
4. Any other ideas?


I don't get that storage solution - two sub par SSDs and a laptop hybrid drive? What's the purpose of those? :heink: 
August 16, 2012 10:21:16 PM

Man your friend gave you quite a nice computer. I would just stick with the G620 if you were considering waiting for the Haswell chips.

The HP desktop didnt have a HDD? You didnt have it listed. It probably is about 1tb, so you could use it for storage.

Looks solid to me.
Related resources
August 16, 2012 11:33:19 PM

Your graphics is about as god as it gets so long as you stick to single monitor gaming.

I think a change of the G620 to a quad core of some sort would be appropriate. Perhaps a ivy bridge i5-2320 or i5-3550.
Verify that your motherboard can support such a cpu with a bios update.

The main reason to upgrade the motherboard will be to support 16gb of ram which would be very good for your apps.
You should be able to find a Z77 M-atx motherboard for $100 or so. If you go the z77 route, buy a "K" suffix quad and give it a mild overclock.

I would not plan on sli as a graphics upgrade.
If you need to, sell the GTX670 and replace it with a GTX690. Or, more likely, a stronger kepler card will arrive and be more affordable.

When haswell shows up, it should be about a 10% boost in per clock performance and sell at current prices. Nice, but perhaps not worth waiting for. The big thing with haswell will be the much improved graphics performance. Not much use if you are a gamer with a discrete graphics card.
August 17, 2012 12:37:53 AM

g-unit1111 said:
Quote:

1. Upgrade CPU to core i5 or i7 sandybridge only (keep crappy mobo)
2. Upgrade Motherboard and keep crappy Pentium G620
3. Do nothing and wait of Haswell


It's going to be at least a year before we see anything related to Haswell but that sounds like the best option of the three.

Quote:
4. Any other ideas?


I don't get that storage solution - two sub par SSDs and a laptop hybrid drive? What's the purpose of those? :heink: 




I thought I read sometime around June/July 13' for Haswell and I have a desire to wait it out because the current setup seems "ok"; at least for gaming. To use it for work though, I'm going to need more memory and the current mobo does not seem to support anything greater than 8GB (2 dimm/4GB in single channel cannel config(I believe at 1066 too...).

Mobo specs: http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/Docume...

As for the storage solution - I got both of the SSD's a month or two ago for $200 and just figured why not; I'll find a use for them. He was using them in his macbook pro and upgraded to dual 512 Crucial M4's and wanted to subsidize some of the cost. Also, the Seagate Momentus is not of the XT variety - its simply a 7200 rpm 2.5 inch drive which originally came with my laptop (I now run a Crucial M4/1TB in optical bay combo). Anyways, I don't view the storage solution as permanent but it certainly is much better than using any number of the numerous regular platter drives I have laying around (all 2.5 inch and smaller than 500GB). I am thinking of going with two or four 3-4TB drives in RAID but current in the future but I might wait until the market recovers from the floods or at least until I find a good deal. Any suggestions on a more permanent SSD perhaps of the 512GB variety? I do like my 256GB Crucial M4...
August 17, 2012 12:44:02 AM

Deemo13 said:
Man your friend gave you quite a nice computer. I would just stick with the G620 if you were considering waiting for the Haswell chips.

The HP desktop didnt have a HDD? You didnt have it listed. It probably is about 1tb, so you could use it for storage.

Looks solid to me.


Well, the sandybridge G620 seems to be pretty decent but the motherboard is pretty bad (mini ATX) and just looks silly in such a large case.

I am not currently using the 500GB hdd which came with the mobo because its partition is marked as active and when I plugged it in, my computer would not boot. I think I just need to boot up a linux live cd and format it and all should be well (that or something is wrong with the hdd but I have yet to troubleshoot it). Unfortunately, my mobo only has 4 SATA 2 ports. I am using two for the two SSDs, 1 for the 2.5 500GB and the last for an esata port on the case so I'm tapped out there. Was considering a RAID card but they look pricey so I was also just looking at sata III expansion cards...
August 17, 2012 12:56:06 AM

geofelt said:
Your graphics is about as god as it gets so long as you stick to single monitor gaming.

I think a change of the G620 to a quad core of some sort would be appropriate. Perhaps a ivy bridge i5-2320 or i5-3550.
Verify that your motherboard can support such a cpu with a bios update.

The main reason to upgrade the motherboard will be to support 16gb of ram which would be very good for your apps.
You should be able to find a Z77 M-atx motherboard for $100 or so. If you go the z77 route, buy a "K" suffix quad and give it a mild overclock.

I would not plan on sli as a graphics upgrade.
If you need to, sell the GTX670 and replace it with a GTX690. Or, more likely, a stronger kepler card will arrive and be more affordable.

When haswell shows up, it should be about a 10% boost in per clock performance and sell at current prices. Nice, but perhaps not worth waiting for. The big thing with haswell will be the much improved graphics performance. Not much use if you are a gamer with a discrete graphics card.



According to the motherboard specs, only Sandybridge is supported. Thus - do I shell out like $200 on a i5 2500 and keep rockin' the mini atx HP mobo, upgrade to an ivybridge cpu and mobo now or wait it out with current config and grab a new haswell mobo/cpu next spring/summer? In the interim if I keep the current config, I would probably invest in a RAID controller and maybe two or four 3-4TB drives for all of my media (2TB Movies, 500GB Music, etc...).

Mobo Specs: http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/Docume...


$1000 on a GPU is a tough pill to swallow @ GTX 690 suggestion. Do you mean to tell me the $400 GPU I just purchases


I suppose I wonder if the G620 is bottlenecking me at this point and if I would see improved gaming performance if I were to upgrade to a faster sandybridge while I wait for Haswell. The current setup isn't really any less suited for work than my current laptop (Y560 i7 720qm, 8GB, 256 Crucial M4, 1 TB hdd) but my issue is I have a server at work running vmware vsphere where I am able to easily access multiple platforms. 8 GB simply isn't enough for adequate performance while running multiple VMs so my lappy only can run 1 when I work from home and I'm sick of switching between them. I'd rather just throw 32GB in and fire 'em all up at once.
August 17, 2012 1:34:44 AM

I agree, that 8gb is probably your worst problem.

That gets fixed with a modern motherboard.

If you have the need now, fix it now. When we wait for the next best thing, we will wait forever.



Your GTX670 is very good, and I don't see that as a limitation. I think it is the best value high end card out there today. My only point was that a M-ATX motherboard is really not suited for sli, even if it is sli capable because of cooling issues. I have one such. But there will always be an upgrade path for the single graphics card user.
Today, you can sli two GTX670 or GTX680 cards for $800-$1000. The same price as the equivalent GTX690.
But, more than likely, the future will bring GTX690 class cards for much less.

Most games only use two or perhaps three cores, so your dual core is not at a big disadvantage.

To help clarify your options, run these two tests:

a) Run your games, but lower your resolution and eye candy.
If your FPS increases, it indicates that your cpu is strong enough to drive a better graphics configuration.

b) Limit your cpu, either by reducing the OC, or, in windows power management, limit the maximum cpu% to something like 50%.

Go to control panel/power options/change plan settings/change advanced power settings/processor power management/maximum processor state/
set to 50% and see how you do.


If your FPS drops significantly, it is an indicator that your cpu is the limiting factor, and a cpu upgrade is in order.

It is possible that both tests are positive, indicating that you have a well balanced system, and both cpu and gpu need to be upgraded to get better gaming FPS.

As to the SSD,I happen to think that Intel and samsung are most likely to be trouble free. They make their own nand chips, and have the resources to do a better job of validation.
Intel 520 or Samsung 830 would be my picks.
Do not be swayed by most performance benchmarks which are done with apps that do not reflect what we really do. In reality all modern ssd's perform about the same, and that is very fast.

August 17, 2012 2:12:15 AM

I agree M-ATX is not well suited for SLI and my particular motherboard does not accommodate it anyways so the sli config wouldn't be until after I do the mobo/cpu upgrade. The Thor V2 case I am using is capable of accommodating E-ATX motherboards which is the direction I would like to take I think in order to try and maximize expandibility and future sli plans.

I will have to try out the two tests over the weekend and see where I stand.

I do like the Samsung 830. I guess I've always thought the intel ssds are nice but it seems like they always fetch a premium for not that much performance gain. Once these Agility 4s start to feel long in the tooth, I'm sure I'll upgrade especially with the SSD prices falling as they are (I paid somewhere around $400 for my 256GB Crucial M4 around the beginning of the year and I have seen it available for under $200 lately). As it is, I boot up in under 30 seconds and I'm only on SATA II so I feel the Agilitys have some room to grow therefore I'm satisfied with them for now. Not ruling out putting two in RAID for improved performance either as I'm sure that would yield better performance than a single Intel or Samsung drive.
August 17, 2012 3:53:25 AM

On the ssd, I have tried raid-0. Synthetic benchmarks looked good, but the reality was that I could detect no difference. When I eventually went to a single drive, I thought things were slightly better. In the end, the key to good SSD performance is to not overfill them. Plenty of free space(perhaps 30%) makes updates happen faster.
Previously raid-0 of SSD's lost you the "trim" support. But, good news, there is now a driver update that allows trim to be passed along if the chipset is a 7 series.
August 17, 2012 3:56:51 AM

dademurphy said:
I thought I read sometime around June/July 13' for Haswell and I have a desire to wait it out because the current setup seems "ok"; at least for gaming. To use it for work though, I'm going to need more memory and the current mobo does not seem to support anything greater than 8GB (2 dimm/4GB in single channel cannel config(I believe at 1066 too...).

Mobo specs: http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/Docume...

As for the storage solution - I got both of the SSD's a month or two ago for $200 and just figured why not; I'll find a use for them. He was using them in his macbook pro and upgraded to dual 512 Crucial M4's and wanted to subsidize some of the cost. Also, the Seagate Momentus is not of the XT variety - its simply a 7200 rpm 2.5 inch drive which originally came with my laptop (I now run a Crucial M4/1TB in optical bay combo). Anyways, I don't view the storage solution as permanent but it certainly is much better than using any number of the numerous regular platter drives I have laying around (all 2.5 inch and smaller than 500GB). I am thinking of going with two or four 3-4TB drives in RAID but current in the future but I might wait until the market recovers from the floods or at least until I find a good deal. Any suggestions on a more permanent SSD perhaps of the 512GB variety? I do like my 256GB Crucial M4...


Yeah the M4 is awesome - I have the M4 in my work PC, and on my gaming system I have a Samsung 830 that I bought a couple of weeks ago.

If you ask me - the extremely high cost per GB of 512GB SSDs isn't worth it in my opinion. It's better to have a small-ish SSD and then a 1 - 2 TB hard drive to supplement that.
August 17, 2012 2:26:53 PM

geofelt said:
On the ssd, I have tried raid-0. Synthetic benchmarks looked good, but the reality was that I could detect no difference. When I eventually went to a single drive, I thought things were slightly better. In the end, the key to good SSD performance is to not overfill them. Plenty of free space(perhaps 30%) makes updates happen faster.
Previously raid-0 of SSD's lost you the "trim" support. But, good news, there is now a driver update that allows trim to be passed along if the chipset is a 7 series.



Forgot about the loss of TRIM for RAID. I hadn't heard about a driver update which allows trim - Are you referring to a mobo driver which enables it or SSD drivers? Do most high end boards have RAID support or is it better to go with a pci raid controller card? Even if I don't do the SSD, I might be inclined to do it with my mass storage solution in the future thus my interest.
August 17, 2012 2:32:35 PM

g-unit1111 said:
Yeah the M4 is awesome - I have the M4 in my work PC, and on my gaming system I have a Samsung 830 that I bought a couple of weeks ago.

If you ask me - the extremely high cost per GB of 512GB SSDs isn't worth it in my opinion. It's better to have a small-ish SSD and then a 1 - 2 TB hard drive to supplement that.



The prices are just falling so rapidly for SSDs (including the 512GB variety), I think they will be worth it pretty soon if not already. The Crucial M4 512GB now costs as much as I paid for my 256GB M4.

The 512GB Crucial M4 has been priced as low as $369.99 in recent months which is even less than I paid for my 256GB - http://screencast.com/t/MfuA3w2kmBZ
August 17, 2012 2:47:13 PM

There has been much confusion on the issue of trim support for raid-0 previously.
The net was that there was no trim support for a ssd attached to a raid-0 array.
That is now changed for 7 series motherboards.
While the value of raid-0 for SSD's may still be debated, one of the negatives has been removed:
http://www.anandtech.com/show/6161/intel-brings-trim-to...
August 17, 2012 4:58:47 PM

dademurphy said:
The prices are just falling so rapidly for SSDs (including the 512GB variety), I think they will be worth it pretty soon if not already. The Crucial M4 512GB now costs as much as I paid for my 256GB M4.

The 512GB Crucial M4 has been priced as low as $369.99 in recent months which is even less than I paid for my 256GB - http://screencast.com/t/MfuA3w2kmBZ


If a 512GB SSD were the same cost as a 256GB then I'd say it would absolutely be worth it. I'd even buy one for my laptop at that price. But I'd still go with the small SSD - large HD combo.
August 17, 2012 6:24:54 PM

Yeah, because its the SSD my pc deserves but not the one it needs right now. I am more just saying since I was willing to pay around $400 for the 256GB drive, there shouldn't be much too deter me from paying the same amount for a 512GB drive (other than the fact that its unneccessary).
!