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Upgrading my PC.

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October 8, 2012 5:37:19 AM

Hey guys,

I'm looking to buy a new PC because mine is very old and barely performs the tasks I need done. Please note that I don't have a ton of money for even i3 computers at the moment. My current computer specs are(don't laugh please):

(Custom Built)
Pentium Dual Core E2180 @2.00Ghz
4GB DDR2 Memory
ATI Radeon 4550 HD Graphics 512MB-1Gb(Max)
MSI P45 Neo-3 Motherboard
70GB Hard Drive WD Raptor 10000 RPM (I don't need much space)
Windows XP Pro SP3 (Don't worry I will be upgrading to windows 7 very shortly)

Now, this PC handled video editing in 480p (encoding) well and acceptable at 720p and sluggish at 1080p (about 3 and a half hours for a 8 minute video). It can play games like Skyrim at low settings without much lag and is okay for screen recording. If I do buy a new (used) PC would this be much better than my current configuration?:

(Pre-Built)
Dell Optiplex 745
Core 2 Duo E6400 2.13Ghz
4GB DDR2 Memory
(Same Graphics Card)
80GB SATA Drive 7200RPM
Windows XP Pro SP?
(Plus the default motherboard for the Dell Optiplex 745)

I will be putting my old hard drive into the new PC so I don't really care about the new one (probably keep as backup or storage drive). I just need the computer to run about 20% faster than my old one.

The reason I'm asking is because I don't wanna buy a pc that's actually worse than my current one. Once again I am very poor so I can't afford anything more than a Core 2 Duo or maybe a Core 2 Quad which is really breaking the bank. Please help!

Thanks,
IamJJJ

More about : upgrading

October 8, 2012 5:57:36 AM

Don't get that prebuilt - DDR2 memory performs a LOT slower than DDR3.

Honestly, if you can afford the $400, build a computer around AMD's trinity or amd llano APUs. They're going to give you a LOT more performance for a lot cheaper.
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October 8, 2012 6:13:39 AM

APEX TX-381-C Black Steel Micro ATX Tower Computer Case
Item #: N82E16811154094
$22.99

GIGABYTE GA-A55M-DS2 FM1 AMD A55 (Hudson D2) Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
Item #: N82E16813128530
$64.99

ASUS Black SATA DVD-ROM Drive Model DVD-E818A7T/BLK/B/GEN - OEM
Item #: N82E16827135224
$18.99

Diablotek PHD Series PHD380M 380W Micro ATX Power Supply
Item #: N82E16817822001
$32.99

G.SKILL Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2133 (PC3 17000) Desktop Memory Model F3-2133C11D-8GAO
Item #: N82E16820231552
$49.99

AMD A8-3870K Unlocked Llano 3.0GHz Socket FM1 100W Quad-Core Desktop APU (CPU + GPU) with DirectX 11 Graphic AMD Radeon HD ...
Item #: N82E16819106001
$109.99

Crucial V4 CT128V4SSD2BAA 2.5" 128GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) with Easy Desktop Install Kit
Item #: N82E16820148587
$84.99

Subtotal: $384.93

There you go, that build will blow yours out of the water, and it manages to fit in an SSD - which for your purposes will be extremely helpful.
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October 8, 2012 4:02:25 PM

Thanks so much man, you just made my day. I doubted I could ever get a quad core pc for so little. Its still breaking the bank, but not so much that I may be able to make it work.

I have an Antec SLK3700AMB Full Size tower ATX form that supports Micro-ATX. Its an old case but very well built and since I have it it will save me 23 dollars from buying a case. I really wish I could afford a SSD but at the current moment, i can't. So I will have to hold off on that. I already have a 545W Power Supply in my closet I can use. I believe it should work.

So after all that stuff taken away the price would be about $250 which is workable. Oh and I also already have a SATA DVD-RW drive so the price would be about $231

I also went searching around for cheaper mobos and I found:
MSI A55M-P33 FM1 AMD A55 (Hudson D2)

It's 20 dollars cheaper and seems to have similar specs. Will it work too?
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Best solution

October 8, 2012 4:06:57 PM

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/jIlh That be my recommend total costs to build? $487.65 the a10-5800k is comparable with an i3 cpu in speed and performance But it also has a built in HD 7660D video card that will suit your needs and allow for gaming plus it is a quad core cpu. So you are getting a 3.8ghz quad core and a HD 7660D video card for about $130 dollars so not bad for the $130 price tag. Plus you can later get a newer better cpu as it uses the new FM2 socket. If you can swing it that be my suggestion for a build under $500. Plus you can move it around a bit here and there to make it cheaper if you need to.
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October 8, 2012 4:12:35 PM

A note if you reuse your case you are talking about plus the cd rom drive plus the psu plus the hdd you can drop the price down a bit by about $354.06. A note about the a10-5800k is that the faster the memory you use with it the better performance it puts out. You could get 8 gig of memory that is a lower speed and later upgrade it if you wish. But i would highly recommend the a10-5800k in any low budget build.
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October 8, 2012 4:29:45 PM

zolton33 said:
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/jIlh That be my recommend total costs to build? $487.65 the a10-5800k is comparable with an i3 cpu in speed and performance But it also has a built in HD 7660D video card that will suit your needs and allow for gaming plus it is a quad core cpu. So you are getting a 3.8ghz quad core and a HD 7660D video card for about $130 dollars so not bad for the $130 price tag. Plus you can later get a newer better cpu as it uses the new FM2 socket. If you can swing it that be my suggestion for a build under $500. Plus you can move it around a bit here and there to make it cheaper if you need to.


That's still 250$ which is kinda high. I wont be getting a new pc for about 5 years anyway (unless it breaks)
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October 8, 2012 4:37:31 PM

Using the cheaper motherboard should work just fine. One note though - are you comfortable messing around in the BIOS? Neither motherboard will run that RAM at stock speed - it'll downclock it. That's fine, you can just clock it back up, but I highly recommend doing that - apus benefit HUGELY from having faster RAM.
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October 8, 2012 4:38:00 PM

IamJJJ said:
That's still 250$ which is kinda high. I wont be getting a new pc for about 5 years anyway (unless it breaks)



The build i suggested is much more future proof. Here is why.

1.It uses the new fm2 socket so it allows for a newer cpu later down the road.

2.It allows for crossfire to help squeeze out more use

3.It allows for over clocking to help squeeze out a bit more performance when needed.

4.It is almost as good as an i3 cpu build in pure performance (very few amd cpus cansay that)

5.The motherboard i suggested utilizes a 3.0 usb (so a bitmore life as usb uses more 3.0 then 2.0)

6.It will game circles around the 3870k and has a newer igp

And so on and so on. It will cost you a bit more now but will last you longer in performance then the 3870k
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October 8, 2012 4:44:45 PM

Zolton, I honestly don't think future proof matters here. (Even if there was such a thing as future proof.)

He's probably not going to be upgrading for a long time, and is looking for a dirt cheap rig to get by on. If he weren't, I'd have gone with an A10 build too - but it's considerably more expensive.
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October 8, 2012 4:49:54 PM

I edited the parts list and got the price down to $240 by going with cheaper Corsair memory (still 8GB). Still after everything, using the Cheaper corsair memory, and the cheaper mobo the A8-3870k is only around $190. 50 bucks difference is a lot...

Edited version of build:
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/jIA3

@DarkSable : Yes I'm comfortable working in the BIOS. I'm not a noob at computers or nothing. It's just I don't know much about the products in the market today and I don't feel like doing a ton of research.
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October 8, 2012 4:59:41 PM

IamJJJ said:
I edited the parts list and got the price down to $240 by going with cheaper Corsair memory (still 8GB). Still after everything, using the Cheaper corsair memory, and the cheaper mobo the A8-3870k is only around $190. 50 bucks difference is a lot...


Here's the problem with that. That memory is about half as fast as what I chose for you. On an intel rig, that would be fine, but an APU's performance scales ridiculously much with RAM clock speed. ('Cuz it's got decent integrated graphics, but not integrated Vram.)
So by going with the cheaper ram, you'd be taking a rather large performance hit, both in computing and in gaming.
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October 8, 2012 5:00:41 PM

DarkSable said:
Zolton, I honestly don't think future proof matters here. (Even if there was such a thing as future proof.)

He's probably not going to be upgrading for a long time, and is looking for a dirt cheap rig to get by on. If he weren't, I'd have gone with an A10 build too - but it's considerably more expensive.



Yes but the $20 price difference between the a8 you chose and the 5800k is a huge difference in performance. Add that the mobo is only $10 more then the one you chose the costs over what you suggested and i suggested is around $30. Butwith my suggestion they can thenlater upgrade to a newer cpu if they need to. So $30 more for a more future proof system that out performs the other? To me i believe it is worth that extra $30 now over having to buy a new mobo as well as new cpu later to upgrade which will cost a lot more in the long run.
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October 8, 2012 5:12:10 PM

Alright guys, I'm close to making a decision... I'm thinking, I can meet in the middle on the memory and get Corsair Vengeance's 2 x 4GB for $45. I really want to get the A10-5800k for $130 and I want the PC to last long and perform well. By the way, how overclockable are the 2 processors? Though to use the A10-5800k I would have to get a very expensive FM2 Mobo. There wouldn't happen to be any cheaper would there?
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October 8, 2012 5:22:40 PM

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/a10-5800k-trinity-e...

Toms got it to oc stable at about 4.4 so i would guess you can get close to that or maybe over it pretty easily depending on your setup.

The cost of the fm2 socket boards is high right now as the 5800k just released last week along with the fm2 boards. Plus they have a lot more bells and whistles (some you may need and use and some you won't). In a few months there will probably be some released cheaper. But sadly right now the mobos all seem to be a bit pricey. But compare its features to that of some 1155 boards and their prices and you can see they do have a lot of bang for their buck (some 1155 boards with comparable features are well over the $100 mark).
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October 8, 2012 5:25:00 PM

zolton33 said:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/a10-5800k-trinity-e...

Toms got it to oc stable at about 4.4 so i would guess you can get close to that or maybe over it pretty easily depending on your setup.

The cost of the fm2 socket boards is high right now as the 5800k just released last week along with the fm2 boards. Plus they have a lot more bells and whistles (some you may need and use and some you won't). In a few months there will probably be some released cheaper. But sadly right now the mobos all seem to be a bit pricey. But compare its features to that of some 1155 boards and their prices and you can see they do have a lot of bang for their buck (some 1155 boards with comparable features are well over the $100 mark).


Would a MSI FM2-A55M-E33 Mobo work? Its FM2 socket that supports DDR3-1866 for $50 which would bring my price to 220$
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October 8, 2012 5:29:33 PM

Your max ram you can put in would be dropped to 16 gigs (from 32 gigs) and you would also lose 3.0 usb and crossfire capabilities. But if you do not mind that then it could work.
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October 8, 2012 7:03:39 PM

I won't go over 16GB RAM trust me, crossfire I'm not too familiar with so I'm not even sure if I'd want it, and if I ever needed USB 3.0 I could buy a PCI-E card with USB 3.0 ports.
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October 8, 2012 7:14:29 PM

True so if that is a path you do not mind then that mobo should be fine. It will still allow you to get a newer cpu with a better igp later on if you wish as well as it has a pci slot for a discrete gpu if that is some thing you want to do later. Highest ram it has is 1866 over the capability of the other one to have 2133/2400/2600 ram but 1866 should do you nicely.
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October 8, 2012 7:28:50 PM

zolton33 said:
True so if that is a path you do not mind then that mobo should be fine. It will still allow you to get a newer cpu with a better igp later on if you wish as well as it has a pci slot for a discrete gpu if that is some thing you want to do later. Highest ram it has is 1866 over the capability of the other one to have 2133/2400/2600 ram but 1866 should do you nicely.


Alright man, thanks a bunch. You too DarkSable. I'll go ahead and buy the A10-5800k with the MSI motherboard and Corsair Vengeance RAM! One last thing though, is the stock CPU cooler good enough for the A10-5800k? Or will I need to buy one or use my old one?
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October 8, 2012 7:40:40 PM

The stock cooler should be fine unless you go to oc then i would suggest a better cooler. You may be able to oc a small bit on the stock cooler but i wouldn't expect real high clocks from the stock fan. And good luck with the build. I myself am considering upgrading my old cpu and thinking of using the 5800k as well. So i would not suggest a build i would not use myself :p 
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October 8, 2012 8:11:23 PM

Best answer selected by IamJJJ.
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October 9, 2012 11:06:32 PM

Purchased the A10-5800k with ASRock FM2A55M-DGS Micro ATX FM2 Motherboard mobo and G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory

Thanks so much !
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