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Upgrading/building new system

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Last response: in Systems
November 12, 2012 7:35:15 PM


So recently I was looking to upgrade my graphics card but after some discussion on another thread I decided to upgrade my whole computer cause the card I ordered would bottleneck my computer the way it is now. So here is what I have now:

Win 7 Pro (64bit)
Gigabyte Mother EP45-UD3P
Intel Core 2 Duo at 3.00Ghz
OCV 700W power
4 GB of RAM
ATI Radeon 4800 series with 512MB GDDR3 (PCI 2.0 x16)
2 TB Hard Drive -
Cooler Master Case -

Here is what someone (user: ipwn3r456) suggested I get:

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($169.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($148.98 @ Amazon)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($33.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 830 Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($89.88 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card ($279.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $802.82
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-11-09 22:12 EST-0500)

ipwn3r456 also suggested that I "keep the power supply, case, optical drive, your OS, monitor, and maybe your hard drive".

Do you guys agree with the above set up or have any other recommendations?
Is 700 W enough for the new set up? What if I end up getting dual cards?
I wonder if the 2 TB drive I have is good/fast enough?
Also, the case that I have now is good but when I had two cards set up they would overheat so maybe I should get a different case? Do you have any recommendation?
I appreciate all suggestions/thoughts/questions!


- Henry

More about : upgrading building system

November 12, 2012 8:17:46 PM

Hi Henry,

I too recently decided to upgrade my entire system from the Core 2 Duo. But my reasons were based on the need for an up-to-date processor for a processor intensive gaming.

So the question for you is what do you want to do (all possibilities now and in the near future) with your new build? What's your budget look like?
November 12, 2012 10:28:52 PM


MY computer is mainly used for gaming and music making. I dont play as much as I used to but I would like to enjoy it when I do. With minimal glitches and close to ultimate settings. I hope to spend less than 800 bucks, that;s what the above mentioned parts come out to. I mean I was not planning on this so I am spending money that I shouldn't be spending. But once I got the idea of it rolling in my head I just couldnt stop drooling over the thought of a new system and new games...
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November 12, 2012 11:30:31 PM

Yep... You're exactly like me... I ended up spending about $1200 after it was all done.

Here's is what I had before:
Intel Core 2 Duo 1.8 GHz (even worse than you had, overclocked to 2.3)
Gigabyte Motherboard EP45-UD3P (same as you)
8 Gigs DDR2-800
500 GB 7200 RPM SATA II Western Digital Caviar Black (Windows Vista)
1TB 7200 RPM SATA II Seagate Barracuda
1TB 7200 RPM SATA II Seagate Barracuda (wasn't connected to the system, was still in the box saving it for some reason)
NVidia 1GB GTS 250
XFX Pro 750W PSU
DVD +/- RW Drive
Windows Vista Ultimate x64
And a pitiful Rosewill case that was cheap...

I was walking into CompUSA when I saw a Core i7-3770K for sale for $259 (normally $100 more) so I figured, well let's go for it...

Here's what I came up with prices:
Intel Core I7-3770K @ 3.5 GHz (overclocked to 4.5) [$259]
ASUS P8Z77-V [$120]
Corsair Vengeance 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory [$100]
MSI Radeon HD 6950 2 GB GDDR5 TWIN FROZR III PE OC [$200]
Blu-ray Reader/Writer [$70]
Windows 7 Pro x64 (in my estimate, Ultimate was unnecessary) [$139]
Ultra 4 1200W PSU (about 300W more than I would probably ever need, but it had a $50 rebate] [$160]
Cooler Master HAF XM [$107]

I also added on the following:
Cooler Master Hyper N520 CPU cooler [$35]
128GB OCZ Vertex 4 SATAIII (for O/S) [$99]
128GB OCZ Vertex 4 SATAIII (for program files) [$99]
1TB 7200 RPM SATA II Seagate Barracuda (I bought an extra one for the 2 I already had and turned it into a RAID 5 configuration) [$100]
5x120mm Case Fans [$60]

I then decided to go nuts I spent a bunch more and replaced the CPU fan cooler with a custom liquid cooling system with a fan/temperature control.

Personally, I'd see if you can find a deal for an Core i7 and the 3GB on the GPU is overkill for me. But do some more research on each item before you commit. You may find that a older, cheaper piece of hardware perform better than the newer fancier stuff out they say, don't believe the hype.

I think you'd be fine based on those selections and your budget. As far as PSU is concerned, you should be okay too. I usually use the following page to do wattage calcuations:

The suggestions about the power supply, case, optical drive, your OS, monitor I would agree with.

I don't care for the Western Digital Greens. I lean toward the Seagates now or even the Western Digital Blacks. But if it works, you should be fine. Just keep the O/S on your SSD.

November 13, 2012 12:46:25 AM

So you think I should keep the case I have now? Or would you recommend the one you got? Was the liquid cooling system hard to install?

Can you back up SSD onto a regular external drives? I use WD external books to do automatic back ups. Would those work for SSD as well?
November 13, 2012 1:21:56 PM

Your case is just fine. I got mine solely because I wanted to install my liquid cooling system and needed the extra space. You can get the Corsair H100 which is one of the easiest pre-built systems to install. The installation wasn't as difficult as the research that went into it. So many choices, so many opinions. In a custom built system, you'll have a radiator, pump, reservoir, water block for CPU, water block for GPU(s), extra fans for the radiator, and of course the tubes. So there's a lot of junk thrown into a cramp measurements are key.

It took me a few years to get the courage to finally do it. A lot of folks love the liquid cooling in regards to their GPU, especially in SLI configuration, since for me the GPU runs much hotter than the CPU under normal operation. If you intend to overlock the CPU and/or GPU, liquid cooling should always be on the table for upgrades. Naturally, I went nuts on mine...spent about $500 after all was said and done. There are lot of self-help guides and videos to help with the actual installation. Since again, this was a first time for me, I needed it. If you can live with your PC being down for a couple of days or so, you can do a thorough job of testing it (for leaks and functionality) and properly installing it.

Data transfer on an SSD isn't any different than on the HDD, just a helluva lot faster. You can definitely back up your SSD to your external drive or even take an image of it and back that up. Of course, I preferred to keep my O/S only on the SSD, because if it fails for any reason I can re-install Windows pretty quickly. You can also change your users folder (i.e. My Documents, My Music, etc.) to point to your 2TB HDD as I did. Incidentally, on my OCZ Vertex 4, I was able to a clean full install of Windows 7 Pro x64 in about 10 minutes from popping in the DVD to popping it out.