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Upgrading/building new system, desperate for advice!

Last response: in Systems
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November 1, 2012 2:15:23 PM

Like many people, I only usually get the chance to upgrade every couple years, but I must confess.. this time it's been quite a bit longer.. Let me give you my current specs first

Athlon64 X2 5200+
EVGA nForce 590 SLI Socket AM2
G.SKILL 4GB DDR2-800 (2x2GB)
XFX Radeon HD 6870 900M 1GB DDR5 (bought about 1.5-2 years ago)
WD Black 160GB 7200rpm SATA
ThermalTake TR2-550 Power Supply
in a AeroCool ZeroDegree case

As you can see it's been a few years hehe :D 

I've been playing Rift, and while my gfx card plays it on higher res/detail, my computer and ram choke out if there is more than a handful of people around me. To get it to run smoothly, I've been using 2x Flash drives (well one flash and one microSD in reader) as 4gb each ReadyBoost, and it takes the edge off. With the new expansion a few weeks away, and Christmas around the corner, I will be upgrading in 2 weeks come this Monday and must admit, my knowledge of the latest tech is severely lacking.

I'm looking to replace as few things as possible and get the best bang AND future-proofing as I can for my money. I Love my case.. unless there is something that came out that wont fit it, I'll be keeping it. The videocard isnt too old, so unless there is a seriously better card for amazing deal, I'd like to keep it, though I'm not upset if I replace it.. I can always toss it in my kids machine :D  I lost track of Vid card generations, so dont know exactly how far behind it is.

I know I'll need a new CPU/Mobo/Ram combo since ALL are too outdated to salvage. For hdd, I have a FreeAgent GoFlex Desk 3TB I use for storage, plus this slow 160gb 7200 SATA, so I'd like to get a SSD for my main drive/programs.

I've read through the recommended CPU articles and pretty sure I've settled on the i5-3570K, though I dont Overclock regularily, If I'm trying to get the extra juice out of it as it gets older, I'll definitely go that route when it's needed. They seem to be the best bang and will last me the longest. Ram is pretty easy, just want a good brand that wont crap out and will handle gaming, recommendations for a good 16GB kit?

Motherboards are where I get COMPLETELY lost lol I've read through the whole set of the last "Build" roundup, and am still overloaded. I want something that will obviously handle the parts I'm going to throw at it, but would like room for possible CPU upgrade down the road (if at all possible) and decent overclocking capabilities. I wont be running a multi-card setup for video, so I dont need all the extra PCIe at whateverX speeds. I use onboard sound, but only have the Logitech Z-2300 speakers(and LOVE THEM), so dont need 6CH/optical/digital connectors. Want USB3.0 but dont need a ton of them cause I only have a few items that are plugged in constantly. Not sure about ThunderBolt, but the article said if you are gonna build new, get it, so if that can be included as well, itd be bonus, but dont wanna pay an extra $100 just to get it. All the articles raved on the Z77 Express chipset, so unless there is better, Id like that, but I dont understand the differences between the different options.

My powersupply, I havent a foggiest. Before there were recommended PSU/mobo right on the chipmakers site, but I guess they stopped doing it, cause I couldnt find anything LOL. From what I read, the 550 might power it, but I dont think it has the right connectors. It does have a 20+4 and PCIe connectors, but saw something about a new 8pin as well, which I dont think mine has.

I'm not looking for someone to hand me a shopping list.. I want suggestions or a conversation to help me better make the choices myself. Also if there is anything I may have not considered or conflicts.. If someone here knows Rift specifically, that would help alot.. I know the game can be finnicky with some hardware in the past :( 


TL:D R; Play Rift, Current Specs up top, want i5-3570k, need mobo/ram/system ssd/psu, keeping gfx/case/old HD for storage..

GO!

Edit: Few more details.. I'm Canadian (so cant shop US site or get there deals), I have about $1200 total to spend if need be, though I would like to keep it as low as possible. Have my own monitor, buying new mouse/kb though those arent included here, own windows 7 64bit (multiple copies) and as stated above, I play Rift, surf and watch ALOT of videos, both streamed and owned.
November 1, 2012 3:24:19 PM

Certainly go with i5-3570K. The best gaming processor around. If you are heavilly into photo/video work, it may be worth considering i7-3770K. Otherwise, the i5 is just as good.
If you are thinking, of Thunderbolt, the best board, with that capability is Asus P8Z77-V Pro. You can either get that WITH Thunderbolt, or Thunderbolt ready. Unless you have an immediate need for Thunderbolt, the plain TB ready is possibly best. You just add an expansion, as and when. It also happens to be one of the best performance boards available, and excellent quality, if a bit pricey.
For SSD, possibly the best is OCZ Vertex4 (not any other OCZ). Samsung 830s also very good.
You don't need 16GB of RAM, unless doing high-end design, or photo work. 8GB is plenty. Get 1600MHz C9 DDR3, from GSKill Ares, Crucial Ballistix Sport, or Corsair CML. Get 2x4GB set. If you do want 16GB, get it as 2x8GB, not 4x4GB, with Z77 board. You may find 8GB sticks, difficult to find in C9, but C10 is OK.
As you are not on tight budget, worth getting good SATAlll HDD, as well as SSD. Western Digital Caviar Black are very good, though not the cheapest.
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November 1, 2012 6:45:23 PM

malbluff said:
Certainly go with i5-3570K. The best gaming processor around. If you are heavilly into photo/video work, it may be worth considering i7-3770K. Otherwise, the i5 is just as good.
If you are thinking, of Thunderbolt, the best board, with that capability is Asus P8Z77-V Pro. You can either get that WITH Thunderbolt, or Thunderbolt ready. Unless you have an immediate need for Thunderbolt, the plain TB ready is possibly best. You just add an expansion, as and when. It also happens to be one of the best performance boards available, and excellent quality, if a bit pricey.
For SSD, possibly the best is OCZ Vertex4 (not any other OCZ). Samsung 830s also very good.
You don't need 16GB of RAM, unless doing high-end design, or photo work. 8GB is plenty. Get 1600MHz C9 DDR3, from GSKill Ares, Crucial Ballistix Sport, or Corsair CML. Get 2x4GB set. If you do want 16GB, get it as 2x8GB, not 4x4GB, with Z77 board. You may find 8GB sticks, difficult to find in C9, but C10 is OK.
As you are not on tight budget, worth getting good SATAlll HDD, as well as SSD. Western Digital Caviar Black are very good, though not the cheapest.


Thanks for your response :)  I was looking at 16gig, cause Im famous for having a bunch of chrome tabs and the like open in the background, figured the extra 8gig would help with minimizing the impact on my system, and help for down the road since I wont be updating again anytime soon. I planned on the 2x8gb route, as I didnt want to fill up all my slots right of the start. The samsung drive looks nice, but I can only get it in 64gb, dont think that'll be enough space with win 7, plus Rift and the stuff I use, unless you meant using it as a cache drive for the SATA3 you suggested, and Im even more confused about how you setup that LOL. I was originally looking at something in the 100-128gb range, or am I doing it wrong? Consumer SSD didnt even exist last time I built I dont think heh

The motherboard does look very promising, but its over $50 more for the thunderbolt equipped version, so I'll probably hold off on that for now. Still looking for more opinions/suggestions one way or another as that one still has alot more slots/features than I need, and if I can shave off a few bucks here and there, without sacrificing anything I really want, itd be great.

What about the PSU? will the tt550 be strong enough to work? the suggested mobo has both 24 & 8 pin power connectors, do you use both, or one or the other?
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November 1, 2012 7:47:45 PM

Nothing wrong with plenty of RAM (except cost). Like I said, if you just get the ordinary V PRO, it's Thunderbolt ready, so it's just a case of an expansion card, when you've actually got the need.
Samsung 830 is normally available in 128GB, perhaps not on all sites. OCZ Vertex 4 is good. Crucial M4, not quite the performance, but still pretty good.
Different mobos/ graphics cards etc have different power connections (the V Pro is 24+8). You do tend to get more options, than you, need, that's why it's handy to have modular power supplies. You can store the spare cables in a drawer, rather than a corner of your case.
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