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Upgrade advice

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  • Components
Last response: in Components
February 10, 2013 12:12:53 PM

I'm looking to upgrade my desktop and I would really like to get some advice before doing so.

Current system:
AMD Athlon II X4 640
ASUS M4A785TD-M EVO
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB

SAPPHIRE 100296HDMI Radeon HD 4670 1GB
Western Digital WD Blue WD3200AAKS 320GB
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3250410AS 250GB
Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower
Power supply unknown (500+ W)

Upgraded components:
AMD FX 8350
Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3
G.SKILL Sniper 8GB DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900)

Everything not upgraded will remain the same (for now). The computer will be a general purpose/development workstation running both Linux and Windows (7 or 8). The development work I do includes numerical work in Octave and Python as well as a broad range of C and C++ stuff. The primary tools I use are the terminal, JEdit, Code::Blocks, Notepad++, and Visual C++ Express. I really don't do anything with graphics nor do I play games.

Do the upgrades I've listed look reasonable? Are there better options available (Intel i7)? I really want something quite too, so if anyone can suggest fan and/or cooling solutions, that would be great!

More about : upgrade advice

February 10, 2013 8:56:29 PM

Thanks for the reply.

The only thing I'm concerned about is the power draw of the 8350. I've been reading that it runs higher than comparable Intel chips. I was planning on using the stock heat sink and fan that come with the 8350 if I end up getting it. Will it's higher power require non-stock cooling options? If so, can you suggest some good, quite options?

Also, the Intel alternative I am considering is an i7-3770 (maybe K). Is this chip easier to keep quite because of less cooling?

I need to do some research on SSDs first. I've been considering them for awhile now, but I've read about failure problems with certain brands, so I'm cautious about getting one.
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February 10, 2013 9:03:58 PM

Stock heat sinks are sufficient to cool their matching CPUs at default speeds, by definition. Note that since AMD chips put out much more heat at stock than Intel chips, their stock heat sinks are much beefier than their Intel counterparts.

In short, you need an aftermarket cooler ONLY if were you to O/C your CPU.
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February 10, 2013 9:44:11 PM

tlawren300 said:

I need to do some research on SSDs first. I've been considering them for awhile now, but I've read about failure problems with certain brands, so I'm cautious about getting one.


Crucial, Samsung and Intel SSD are pretty reputable. When you compare the failure rate of the average SSD to the average HDD you realize that worrying about it is a useless. The performance and convenience of an SSD far outweigh it's (already superior) reliability.
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February 11, 2013 12:14:01 PM

Thanks for the replies. I'm strongly leaning towards the parts I listed in my original post (the 8350). And, due to the SSD suggestion, I'm also highly considering including an SSD drive as part of my upgrades. Given that an AMD based upgrade will be 100-150 bucks cheaper than a comparable Intel based upgrade, including an SSD is almost like a bonus.
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