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Older build, am I due for an upgrade?

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September 27, 2012 6:38:17 PM

This was built in like late 08 or early 09 or somewhere around there, and I'm wondering if it's still got some life in it or if I should be looking to upgrade? I'm just feeling like building a new computer I guess, but I really haven't had many problems with it. Just wondering how much time you think it has left or when it is going to start showing age or anything like that?

Sometimes I'm worried because my CPU idles around ~50-55c and my video cards are usually idling around 55-60c.
This seems extremely hot, but these are older parts so maybe this is normal for them?

Also wondering if newer parts would be quieter/draw less power and do you think I'd save much on an electricity bill with an upgrade?

Thanks for looking this over!


Sound: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Optical Drive: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
HDD: 2x http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Graphics: 2x http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Mobo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
RAM: 2x http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
September 27, 2012 6:48:11 PM

depends on you, it looks fine to me. if your not happy with the performance then upgrade. and if you just feel like building a new one and have the money then build a new pc.
September 27, 2012 6:49:24 PM

and those temps look pretty normal for under load, but not idle. you might save a bit on your electricity bill but it depends
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September 27, 2012 7:33:22 PM

On quiet:
new build can definitely be quieter - but you need to consciously pick quieter parts.
that being said, your old build could have been quiet too, if you picked quiet parts.

On electricity
Electricity bill is not a good reason, a computer turned off uses no electricty. If you turn off or switch your lightbulbs that will save you more electricity.
Don't use this as a justification.
The energy to manufacture a New thing will far exceed the energy savings in it's lifetime. Along the same lines, your cost to buy a new computer will never be made up by electrical savings.


Bottom line, if you WANT a new computer, get it for that reason.
If there is a particular game you want or some other improvement you want, get it for that.
If you can play all your games or do everything you need with your computer then you are fine. The space shuttle ran on a 386 processor.

If you want something quiet, pick your parts carefully for quiet.
September 27, 2012 8:32:59 PM

if the computer does as you wish, as you like, there is no reason to upgrade.

On balance, the 280 SLI is reasonably powerful,
By the numbers, one on one, a GTX 560 Ti is 10-40% "better" than one GTX 280, using about a 100 watts less power at full load.

A GTX 660 Ti is about 40% beter than a GTX 560 Ti using about 20 watts less power.

This gets tricky however if applications are bandwidth dependent. The GTX 660 Ti is a reduced bandwdth GTX 670. If you do not need the bandwidth (depends on resolution, settings, and game) GTX 660 Ti and or SLI promises a lot.

At the moment HD 7950 is priced well in a price/performance sense.

Whether at that point you would bottle neck your new card(s) I do not know.
4 GB of RAM, DDR2 800 should be adequate.

A new motherboard would mean buying DDR3 RAM, though prices are reasonable.

Like to overclock?
AMD atm does not offer the best gaming but a FX-4170 or 8120/8150 do somewhere beween non overclocked I3 to I5 Intel.

Sandy Bridge I5 2500K or Ivy Bridge I5 3570K are the current gaming sweet spot, around $220-230.

You could add an SSD to your rig, though you won't have SATA6 on that board.

That should cover the high points.

Anandtech bench comparisons: Phenom X4 9950 vs I3 2100 (not overclocked)
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/21?vs=289

Phenom X4 9950 vs I5 2400
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/21?vs=363

Phenom X4 9950 vs I5 2500K
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/21?vs=288

Phenom X4 9950 vs FX-8150
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/21?vs=434

Phenom X4 9950 vs Phenom II 980
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/21?vs=362

Enough to be thoroughly confusing, I think. Enjoy.

Start with articles on Tom's concerning the various "bits"?





a b B Homebuilt system
September 27, 2012 9:02:37 PM

Iirc, the old Phenoms run pretty hot.
I agree that from a personal cost-saving perspective, building a new rig to save a couple hundred watts is most likely being penny wise and pound foolish.
If noise reduction is all you want, then I'd say replace your pair of graphics cards/howlers with a single HD7850 or GTX570. I don't feel comfortable recommending GTX6xx-series cards because their compute performance is crippled. That doesn't matter in today's games, but looks like a butt-bite waiting to happen. There's also the bandwidth issue, although a GTX670 doesn't have that problem.
What you do might depend a lot on your budget. Less power means less heat, and less heat means less fan noise.
The best thing you can do for noise reduction would be to replace that pair of graphics cards with something that has a nice cooler. MSI and XFX have some quiet ones.
Are you using an aftermarket CPU cooler? The stock AMD coolers are noisy. A $30 Xigmatek Gaia would cool much better and run a lot quieter (6db quieter than the Crappermaster Hyper212+ per Frostytech).
If your board supports it, a 965BE is $100; even overclocked it ought to stay a lot cooler, and even at stock it will be faster, than your 9950BE.
!