Upgrade Advice/Suggestions


I'm thinking about some upgrades - I think it'll end up an entirely new system

I'm currently using my HTPC for all PC tasks which consists of

Wolfdale E8400 C2D @ 3ghz

I've brought my old PC from my old home finally, but it's knackered...

Orignal Coolermaster CMSTACKER case.
1000w Enermax Galaxy PSU
Thermalright XP-120 Extreme

That's probably all that i'll be keeping from it.

I play games like Mass Effect, just started on Skyrim and still play CNC3 - Kane's Wrath. I'm always open to new titles - but that HTPC spec seems to play them all fine on my Dell 24" @ 1920x1200 (16:10 FTW)

The HTPC needs to back in my AV unit, but I seem pretty happy with the spec considering it plays the stuff I want to play at decent quality. I want my new computer in the CMSTACKER case to be able to play any/all games at max detail at 1920x1200 while encoding blurays into mkvs at the same time - I don't want the machine tied up encoding all the time. I dont care how long it takes to encode... I assume a 4 core cpu will be needed. I don't know about GPU encoding so maybe someone can enlighten me if that is a better option?

The most important thing will be that this system needs to be whisper quiet. I've done watercooling in the past and i'm not interested in it, I don't overclock either. But I able to install gpu heatsinks for whatever card if it means silent/cool operation.

Budget - well, mobos and ram are cheap at the moment, ideally around the £300 mark for a cpu and g/card, I can budget for the mobo and ram seperately.

thanks! and sorry for length
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More about upgrade advice suggestions
  1. This should be pretty quiet. You could also get an SSD instead of the HDD. While the PSU may have slightly degraded caps it is overkill enough to be ok.
    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i5-3550 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor (£149.99 @ Overclockers.co.uk)
    Motherboard: MSI Z77A-G41 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard (£64.52 @ Scan.co.uk)
    Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£30.90 @ CCL Computers)
    Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£49.98 @ Ebuyer)
    Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7870 2GB Video Card (£183.34 @ Scan.co.uk)
    Optical Drive: Samsung SH-222BB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer (£11.96 @ Scan.co.uk)
    Total: £490.69
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
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