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PC is dead - Replacement parts advice please.

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December 17, 2012 11:03:12 AM

Hi guys,

My current system seems to have died (power supply I *think*) and whilst replacing the power supply I'm also considering upgrading the mother board, CPU and RAM.

My current rig:

QX6700 Extreme @ 2.6GHz (cooled with Zalman 9700)
680iSLI motherboard
4GB Corsair Dominator RAM
GTX 480
1000W Enermax Galaxy PSU
Silverstone TJ07 case
5 HDDs
30 inch Apple Cinema Display

The problem:

I came back to the comp (which had been left on but just displaying the desktop) to find it completely powered off. If I try to restart it all the case fans turn half a revolution and then nothing. The PSU beeps twice, pauses for a second and then beeps twice again. It will continue bleeping like this until power is switched off from the wall. Over the last six months I've had a few problems where the last HDD in the list would drop out. This would cause the comp to crash, and Windows would not load/hang on loading (and the HDD wasn't recognised in the boot list). Changing the socket that the HDD was plugged into seemed to fix this, but as it happened a couple more times I swapped out the HDD and cable for new ones. This worked fine for a while, but recently the new HDD also dropped out meaning that it's not a fault with the socket in the mb and not the HDD or the cable. Both these HDDs were connected via the same plug from the PSU though...

So I figure I either have a PSU problem, motherboard problem or both.

I'm considering updating the core of my machine anyway as am hitting my head on 4GB of RAM (and it being the old type upgrading that alone isn't really an option now - £140 for 4GB...). This is both my work and gaming machine - I work in games as an artist so it sees *very* heavy Photoshop and 3ds Max work (with 8K and 16K textures open in both progs you can see why I'm not having much fun with only 4GB right now...).

Here's what I'm thinking of replacing:

CPU:i73930K
CPU cooler:Noctua NH-D14 *2011* Dual Radiator CPU Cooler
or Corsair H80 High Performance Liquid CPU Cooler (I hope either of these will be quieter than my Zalman which despite claiming to be quiet is LOUD)
mb: Asus P9X79 Pro
RAM: Corsair XMS3 32GB (4x8GB) DDR3 PC3-12800 C11 1600MHz Dual Channel Kit (they are sold out of quad channel, unless I go for G.Skill RipjawsZ 32GB (8x4GB) DDR3 PC3-12800 C9 1600Mhz Quad Channel Kit - but I'd rather have 4x8GB)
PSU: Corsair Professional Series HX1050 - 1050 Watt 80 PLUS® Gold Power Supply
or OCZ ZX Series 1250W 80PLUS® Gold Power Supply

I'd be very grateful to hear what you guys think of this. I know that 6 cores might seem overkill, but people said that when I went quad core with the QX6700 and in my line of work + given the fact that I tend to hold onto/keep using parts for a *long* time it has proven very useful to me.

I would be getting Novatech (http://www.novatech.co.uk/) to fit the lot at a cost of just over £1,000 for parts and labour.

Another option would be to just replace the PSU (assuming the mb is ok...) and then replace the other bits sometime next year as 1: I don't really want to spend £1,000 right now (but if I'm going to replace core parts I want to have top components that will last me) and 2: I'm worried that now might not be the best time: The guy at Novatech said that Intel are due to replace the entire 2011 socket lineup, including probably the 6 core chip, meaning that a much better processor may well be availible in Jan/Feb... I'd hate to upgrade just before a tech jump. The reason why the QX6700 has lasted me so well was due to my waiting for it rather than buying the 'old' Core 1 Dual core tech.

Finally, I take it I should expect to see a rather large jump in performance in games and 3D in general with this setup (I know that 32 GB RAM will make Max and PS *far* better), but will the i7 3930K far outshine the QX6700 Extreme?

Sorry for the long post - Any thoughts very much appreciated!


Robert

(EDIT: Forgot to mention, I won't be overclocking anything - one; I wouldn't know what to do, and two; I need a very stable system).
December 17, 2012 2:09:24 PM

R_G_S said:
Hi guys,

My current system seems to have died (power supply I *think*) and whilst replacing the power supply I'm also considering upgrading the mother board, CPU and RAM.

My current rig:

QX6700 Extreme @ 2.6GHz (cooled with Zalman 9700)
680iSLI motherboard
4GB Corsair Dominator RAM
GTX 480
1000W Enermax Galaxy PSU
Silverstone TJ07 case
5 HDDs
30 inch Apple Cinema Display

The problem:

I came back to the comp (which had been left on but just displaying the desktop) to find it completely powered off. If I try to restart it all the case fans turn half a revolution and then nothing. The PSU beeps twice, pauses for a second and then beeps twice again. It will continue bleeping like this until power is switched off from the wall. Over the last six months I've had a few problems where the last HDD in the list would drop out. This would cause the comp to crash, and Windows would not load/hang on loading (and the HDD wasn't recognised in the boot list). Changing the socket that the HDD was plugged into seemed to fix this, but as it happened a couple more times I swapped out the HDD and cable for new ones. This worked fine for a while, but recently the new HDD also dropped out meaning that it's not a fault with the socket in the mb and not the HDD or the cable. Both these HDDs were connected via the same plug from the PSU though...

So I figure I either have a PSU problem, motherboard problem or both.

I'm considering updating the core of my machine anyway as am hitting my head on 4GB of RAM (and it being the old type upgrading that alone isn't really an option now - £140 for 4GB...). This is both my work and gaming machine - I work in games as an artist so it sees *very* heavy Photoshop and 3ds Max work (with 8K and 16K textures open in both progs you can see why I'm not having much fun with only 4GB right now...).

Here's what I'm thinking of replacing:

CPU:i73930K
CPU cooler:Noctua NH-D14 *2011* Dual Radiator CPU Cooler
or Corsair H80 High Performance Liquid CPU Cooler (I hope either of these will be quieter than my Zalman which despite claiming to be quiet is LOUD)
mb: Asus P9X79 Pro
RAM: Corsair XMS3 32GB (4x8GB) DDR3 PC3-12800 C11 1600MHz Dual Channel Kit (they are sold out of quad channel, unless I go for G.Skill RipjawsZ 32GB (8x4GB) DDR3 PC3-12800 C9 1600Mhz Quad Channel Kit - but I'd rather have 4x8GB)
PSU: Corsair Professional Series HX1050 - 1050 Watt 80 PLUS® Gold Power Supply
or OCZ ZX Series 1250W 80PLUS® Gold Power Supply

I'd be very grateful to hear what you guys think of this. I know that 6 cores might seem overkill, but people said that when I went quad core with the QX6700 and in my line of work + given the fact that I tend to hold onto/keep using parts for a *long* time it has proven very useful to me.

I would be getting Novatech (http://www.novatech.co.uk/) to fit the lot at a cost of just over £1,000 for parts and labour.

Another option would be to just replace the PSU (assuming the mb is ok...) and then replace the other bits sometime next year as 1: I don't really want to spend £1,000 right now (but if I'm going to replace core parts I want to have top components that will last me) and 2: I'm worried that now might not be the best time: The guy at Novatech said that Intel are due to replace the entire 2011 socket lineup, including probably the 6 core chip, meaning that a much better processor may well be availible in Jan/Feb... I'd hate to upgrade just before a tech jump. The reason why the QX6700 has lasted me so well was due to my waiting for it rather than buying the 'old' Core 1 Dual core tech.

Finally, I take it I should expect to see a rather large jump in performance in games and 3D in general with this setup (I know that 32 GB RAM will make Max and PS *far* better), but will the i7 3930K far outshine the QX6700 Extreme?

Sorry for the long post - Any thoughts very much appreciated!


Robert

(EDIT: Forgot to mention, I won't be overclocking anything - one; I wouldn't know what to do, and two; I need a very stable system).


If you could repair your current system and wait for new Intel Haswell to come out next year.
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December 17, 2012 2:32:49 PM

I think just replacing the power supply is a good way to go for now. You'd be buying one for a new system anyway, so even if it doesn't fix the problem you just use it as the first part for the new build.

December 17, 2012 2:33:01 PM

Hi Loresr97,

Thanks for the reply. I thought that Haswell would only be availible towards the end of 2013 and would not bring a 6-core chip anyway, only quad?

Regarding my system: I've made a bit of a discovery... If I remove my graphics card (GTX 480) the system appears to boot. I can't see what's happening unfortunately as without the card I have no display... I fear that it may have died and possibly taken the OS drive with it (this happened with my 8800 GTX in June 2010). Reason why I suspect that the OS drive may have gone too is that pressng the power button instanty shuts down the PC, where as had Windows loaded I'd have to hold it down.

I think the Zotac warranty might still have the card covered, time to dig out the paperwork.

Off to do some more tests, back soon. Please let me know if you have any further thoughts.
December 17, 2012 2:42:44 PM

I don't see how a failing GPU could take out a hard drive. There just isn't really a possible path for that to happen. What can happen is a bad power supply giving a dirty power signal or a line surge that kills multiple components in the system. If it happened in 2010, you may have had power problems for longer than you think.

GTX480 is a power hungry card. If it works without it, it could just be that the PSU can't give enough watts to power it on anymore.
December 17, 2012 2:43:58 PM

" If I try to restart it all the case fans turn half a revolution and then nothing"

PSU is dead. Enermax is no good sorry ;p

"If I remove my graphics card (GTX 480) the system appears to boot."

Probably because of lower power current needed to start the pc. Still its faulty PSU. Happens sometimes.
December 17, 2012 2:59:47 PM

Thanks a lot for the replies guys - Very much appreciated!

Yes, I've not really trusted the PSU from the start. When I first received the system years ago I returned it due the the PSU beeping when running 3d apps/games and had a replacement fitted. It's obviously lasted quite a while (2006) but has often given the odd beep, seemingly for no good reason...

As to the failing card taking out the HDD - That's what the tech guy who fixed the system back in 2010 told me. Maybe he was wrong?

So, you think the best way to proceed would be to just replace the PSU and press on with the current system (and only 4GB RAM) for the time being?
December 17, 2012 3:02:02 PM

Response to Haswell comment: The fellow below said to wait for Haswell but you have to understand that the OP is looking for a processor with lots of cores and performance, which Haswell will not likely provide in the initial release. (i.e Ivy Bridge-E has not even been released yet, because Intel doesn't want to kill off Sandy Bridge-E yet). Early Haswell units will probably be aimed at mobile devices, and low power desktops, and will most likely not provide the raw processing power that the OP is looking for. Haswell aims at optimizing the core architecture to take full advantage of the 22nm processor fabrication.

OP -
I think that this would be an ideal situation (or excuse) to redo your entire system. I can see why your PSU failed it is because you are running fairly old hardware that drew in much more power because they were much less optimized in terms of core architecture and fabrication -- that stresses your PSU, which in itself was fairly low quality.

If you want consisten performance over the next few years then I would only advise to get a new build.

CPU - I'd say a 3930k would be a very good starting point if you are doing things like 3D rendering.

Cooler - I'd personally go with the H80, but you would be going will a quality choice. Noctua fans tend to be extremely quite so if you are looking for silent operation then that would be a good choice.

mB - Asus Pro is good. Newegg lists it with 8 SATA ports in all so you should be fine.

RAM - I would personally say go for Samsung 30nm Ram as it is some of the best on the market and it consumes very little power.

PSU - Unless you are buying a GTX 680 or HD 7970 or something, I' d say the HX 850w PSU would be enough. It is will known for being able to stabilize systems pulling well over 850W due to the Gold certification so you should be good there. I would much rather trust Corsair than OCZ.

GPU - I am suprised that you are running a 2560x1440 Cinema display with only a GTX 480. I'd say upgrade that to something like an ASUS 670, or maybe a 7950 or 7970.

With that build you would be golden.
December 17, 2012 3:04:40 PM

It was luck that this psu lastet that long. Yeah replace it but buy some PSU not form no-name company and thing about future upgrade. Also if those are DDR3 ram then simply buy more. You can buy faster ram then your mobo can handle because it will work and after upgrade you can save money on ram and psu.
December 17, 2012 3:10:00 PM

Put in a cheap nvidia card like a gt610 and see if it boots to desktop...
That's what I did when my GTX285 went south on me...
That beeping from the psu was most likely warning you of a short circuit in the system.
And your hdds will not do anything with out the video card in the system...
Hope this helps..JQ
December 17, 2012 3:43:57 PM

Thanks very much for the replies again guys.

@bctande1

The GTX 480 runs the display just fine at 2560x1600 (as did the 8800GTX before it, for it's time anyway). I can run most games nearly maxxed out, always at native res, SSAO's the killer though.

I'd likely go with the Noctua cooling-wise as I think it'll be the quieter option (and as I'm not OCing should do the job well, right?). The guy at Novatech said the fan on the watercooler might be a bit on the loud side.

Also, I might not need a 1000W PSU but I'd like to get that to give me freedom to stick in whatever I like in future.

I didn't realise that Enermax wasn't a good company, back when I got the PC money wasn't an object for the build (unlike now unforunately!!) and it seemed to review the best.

If I do stick with the mb I have for the timebeing, I don't think it will support any newer RAM, 8GB is it's max limit anyway + I'm not sure if that might make it unstable.

If I go with a new setup, do I need quad channel RAM? Reason I specifically ask is that it seems quite hard to find 32GB in 4 sticks from Corsair. Is there any you would recommend from the Novatech site (though I guess I could get the RAM from elsewhere and fit it myself)?

So, am I correct in saying that we're not about to see the i73930K replaced with a better 6-core chip any time soon?

Finally... Do you think my current mb might have any issues, I'm referring to the HDDs dropping out as described in the origial post?

Thanks again,

Robert


EDIT: RAM-Wise, SCAN seem to have a good selection of Corsair stock with good pricing to match:

http://www.scan.co.uk/shop/computer-hardware/all/memory...

The follwing in particular caught my eye (threw in a 64GB set as price is tempting):

http://www.scan.co.uk/products/64gb-(8x8gb)-corsair-ddr3-xms3-pc3-10666-(1333mhz)-non-ecc-unbuffered-cas-9-9-9-24-15v
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/32gb-(4x8gb)-corsair-ddr3-vengeance-lp-jet-black-pc3-12800-(1600)-non-ecc-unbuffered-cas-10-10-10-27
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/32gb-(4x8gb)-corsair-ddr3-vengeance-jet-black-pc3-12800-(1600)-non-ecc-unbuffered-cas-10-10-10-27-xm
December 18, 2012 12:41:26 AM

GTX 480 - I know that you can run 2560x1440 on that haha, I meant to say that I'm surprised that you can run any GPU stressing games that utilize effects like SSAO or HBAO at the resolution of that caliber without being dissatisfied. If you are convinced that you will not be urged to pick up a copy of any visual intensive Triple-A title then I guess it would be fine to keep the 480.

Noctua - Yes Noctua would certainly be the better choice in terms of acoustics, and the cooling performance is splendid. I recently got an Antec Kuhler 620, and the cooling is great, but set up was somewhat tedious, and the fans are kinda loud-ish.

Well 1000W PSUs are usually only warranted by Dual GPU setups, which isn't the case here. 850W would run a build like this very efficiently and if you work within the mind-set that future upgrades will most likely be parts fabricated on a lower manufacturing process, then I think you can come to accept the HX850W. It is your choice, however -- I guess you can just go for the lower costing PSU.

LGA 2011 boards already run Quad-Channel memory, and RAM does not require the use of a certain type of memory channel as far as I know, unless you are running it on a really old MOBO that may only support DDR2.

3930k - I can guarantee that you will most likely not see a Haswell 6-core soon(A few articles I read state that Intel is not set to release 6-Core Haswell AT ALL) , but other articles I've read say that Ivy Bridge-E, which is set to feature a 6-Core is preparing for launch in Q'2013. It's pretty impossible to guess the performance increase we would see from the 22nm process, and a few added features that are exclusive to IVB at the moment. If I were to call this I'd say that if your desperate then opt for 3930k SB-E -- you will certainly be satisfied with the performance. But if you are patient, then sit this out and wait for IVB-E.

HDDs - I'd say the PSU must be the stem of the problem at this moment. It may be possible that the SATA power plug coming from your PSU is somehow dysfunctional, which once again leads to a possible surge. I'd say try to connect the HDD to another computer in the house and see how it is working?



December 18, 2012 11:50:43 AM

@bctande1
The fact that most Triple-A title are multiplatform means that running them isn't an issue. Only thing is sometimes some features (SSAO as mentioned) are too much. Generally I can max everything including AA at x2 or x4 but disable SSAO and still get 45+ FPS, which is fine by me. My monitor res is 2560x1600 (16:10).

@Everyone - Regarding the build:

For now I’ve just asked Novatech to get the ‘Corsair Professional Series HX1050 - 1050 Watt 80 PLUS® Gold Power Supply ‘ for £165. The only difference I can see with this compared to the AX850 (same price) is that the 850 is ‘fully modular’ whereas the HX is listed as having ‘modular cabling.’ I have no idea what this means and I don’t imagine it’s something I need to worry about?
This way they can get the machine up and running *before* Christmas, if I go for the full rebuild I might not get it done in time (bearing in mind I need this for work!). I may well opt to replace the rest very shortly after Christmas, especially if any of the drives continue to drop out (FYI - it can’t be a fault with the drives as I’ve tried two separate ones, with different cabling too, so it’s either the PSU or the mb).

EDIT: Would you recommend this: 'Corsair Professional Series AX860 - 860 Watt 80PLUS® Platinum Power Supply' over the HX1050 in terms of being a better built or neater/less cables unit? I'd like to power 5-6 fast HDDs and one high end video card. I don't ever want to have to worry about the power rating being high enough, hence my choice of the 1050, but I also want to get the better made piece of kit. The HX1050 seems to be pretty decent, but I've not been looking long as you know.

This would be my upgrade:

CPU: i73930K
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 *2011* Dual Radiator CPU Cooler
Motherboard: Asus P9X79 Pro
RAM: 32GB Corsair, 8GB DIMMs, quad channel. Possibly 64GB as linked to in my post above (Corsair XMS3 64GB DDR3 1333 MHz CAS 9-9-9-24 - £220). Need to do some more research into what’s best.
PSU: Corsair Professional Series HX1050 - 1050 Watt 80 PLUS® Gold Power Supply


That’s my plan then and it’s based on the following assumptions:

1. i73930K will not be replaced any time soon. Its replacement will come towards the end of 2013 probably with Ivy Bridge-E (http://www.brightsideofnews.com/news/2012/9/11/intel-de...). Haswell will be unlikely to offer a 6-core CPU next year. Even when Ivy-Bridge-E does make an appearance it’s not likely to be a ground breaking power increase over Sandy-E (if it is a real monster - Ivy-E will also use 2011 at least).

2. i73930K + 32/64GB RAM will make a *massive* difference over my QX6700 + 4GB, both productivity-wise (3ds Max, Photoshop) and games performance (even single threaded titles: I develop aircraft for MS Flight Simulator X professionally and I’d *really* like to see a performance boost in this heavily CPU bound title). I would hope for more of a difference than just what’s indicated by the clock speed?

3. Though the GTX 480 isn’t a new card, it’s still reasonably powerful and this setup should allow it to perform better. This rig would also get the most out of future hardware, such as a GTX780 when I do upgrade.

4. General speed improvements all round, including my Caviar Black SATA drives running at 6GB/sec (currently limited to 3 via jumpers).

5. Finally, any parts that may have been on their way out simply from age or just constant use aren’t going to suddenly break on me causing more downtime (mb, RAM, CPU etc.)


Does that all makes sense/sound like a good plan guys?

Really sorry about the long post…


Robert
December 18, 2012 3:39:37 PM

R_G_S said:
@bctande1
The fact that most Triple-A title are multiplatform means that running them isn't an issue. Only thing is sometimes some features (SSAO as mentioned) are too much. Generally I can max everything including AA at x2 or x4 but disable SSAO and still get 45+ FPS, which is fine by me. My monitor res is 2560x1600 (16:10).

@Everyone - Regarding the build:

For now I’ve just asked Novatech to get the ‘Corsair Professional Series HX1050 - 1050 Watt 80 PLUS® Gold Power Supply ‘ for £165. The only difference I can see with this compared to the AX850 (same price) is that the 850 is ‘fully modular’ whereas the HX is listed as having ‘modular cabling.’ I have no idea what this means and I don’t imagine it’s something I need to worry about?
This way they can get the machine up and running *before* Christmas, if I go for the full rebuild I might not get it done in time (bearing in mind I need this for work!). I may well opt to replace the rest very shortly after Christmas, especially if any of the drives continue to drop out (FYI - it can’t be a fault with the drives as I’ve tried two separate ones, with different cabling too, so it’s either the PSU or the mb).

EDIT: Would you recommend this: 'Corsair Professional Series AX860 - 860 Watt 80PLUS® Platinum Power Supply' over the HX1050 in terms of being a better built or neater/less cables unit? I'd like to power 5-6 fast HDDs and one high end video card. I don't ever want to have to worry about the power rating being high enough, hence my choice of the 1050, but I also want to get the better made piece of kit. The HX1050 seems to be pretty decent, but I've not been looking long as you know.

This would be my upgrade:

CPU: i73930K
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 *2011* Dual Radiator CPU Cooler
Motherboard: Asus P9X79 Pro
RAM: 32GB Corsair, 8GB DIMMs, quad channel. Possibly 64GB as linked to in my post above (Corsair XMS3 64GB DDR3 1333 MHz CAS 9-9-9-24 - £220). Need to do some more research into what’s best.
PSU: Corsair Professional Series HX1050 - 1050 Watt 80 PLUS® Gold Power Supply


That’s my plan then and it’s based on the following assumptions:

1. i73930K will not be replaced any time soon. Its replacement will come towards the end of 2013 probably with Ivy Bridge-E (http://www.brightsideofnews.com/news/2012/9/11/intel-de...). Haswell will be unlikely to offer a 6-core CPU next year. Even when Ivy-Bridge-E does make an appearance it’s not likely to be a ground breaking power increase over Sandy-E (if it is a real monster - Ivy-E will also use 2011 at least).

2. i73930K + 32/64GB RAM will make a *massive* difference over my QX6700 + 4GB, both productivity-wise (3ds Max, Photoshop) and games performance (even single threaded titles: I develop aircraft for MS Flight Simulator X professionally and I’d *really* like to see a performance boost in this heavily CPU bound title). I would hope for more of a difference than just what’s indicated by the clock speed?

3. Though the GTX 480 isn’t a new card, it’s still reasonably powerful and this setup should allow it to perform better. This rig would also get the most out of future hardware, such as a GTX780 when I do upgrade.

4. General speed improvements all round, including my Caviar Black SATA drives running at 6GB/sec (currently limited to 3 via jumpers).

5. Finally, any parts that may have been on their way out simply from age or just constant use aren’t going to suddenly break on me causing more downtime (mb, RAM, CPU etc.)


Does that all makes sense/sound like a good plan guys?

Really sorry about the long post…


Robert


Hmmm I'm not exactly sure what your "multi-platform" comment means(console?), or how that would affect PC performance. When I speak of Triple-A titles I am talking of truly intensive games like Battlefield 3 or Crysis 2/3. I'm sorry but its simply impossible that you could run those games at the highest settings@2560x1440 and maintain 45FPS on a GTX 480. I mentioned SSAO because I was referring to the VRAM bottleneck, amongst others, that would hinder performance when gaming at 2560x1440. Maybe I'm missing something but I guess the point here is not to argue that.

I would assume that the difference "Fully Modular" vs "Modular Cabling" would be the addition of a few potentially non-essential cables on the 1050.
PSU Modularity refers to the ability to connect cables by the desire of the user. Most PSUs come with all the cables coming out from a hole in the chasis that connects directly to the internal PSU components, and therefore cannot be removed, only dealt with. Modular PSUs allow the user to add/remove traditional PSU cables via connectors on the face of the chasis. This means you only add the cables you want, therefore granting the ability to swap out a potentially faulty cable, and cable manage more efficiently. There are, however, a few cables that come permanently connected to the internals regardless of the PSU type, such as the 24-Pin Power connector, and the Dual 8-Pins, amongnst others, which are necessities.


The AX860 would be a very good option too, but it costs more, and I'm not sure if you absolutely need the 80+ Platinum certification -- like I said before unless you plan to run some sort of SLI/CrossFireX build then 80+ Gold will be sufficient. HDDs only take in a few watts, yours will take no more than 30 watts.

Your general plan sounds pretty good but HDDs don't really see a speed boost going from 3GB/s to 6GB/s, because their peak read or writes will never fully saturate either of them. That is, unless the actual quality of the SATA controller (Intel is the best) is at question. And with no offense intended, I wouldn't really call the 480 a "high end" video card by today's standards, but more of a power-consuming one.

Other than that, you seem pretty solid.
December 18, 2012 4:54:53 PM

Hey bctande1,

Thanks for the reply. Yeah, I mean many of the so called AAA games have to run on consoles so are somewhat scaleable/not truley pushing what the PC is capable of. I've not tried Crysis 2 or BF3 (though the Crysis 2 MP demo ran at around 35FPS without AA and SSAO as I recall), but many games such as Max Payne 3, Rage, Total War:Shogun 2, Natural Selection 2 etc. all run well provided I can live without SSAO, which I can.

I know the 480's no longer a high end card, no offense taken! :p  But, I don't think it's a bad card and I imagine would run better with a more powerful processor. Either way I'm not looking to update it right now as don't have the cash to spare ATM. Will likely update with a GTX780 or possibly even the next series after that depending on how things are running.

I hope this upgrade (if I do go the whole hog) will give me a pretty decent gaming boost now, and a great one when I do drop in a new GPU in say six months/one years time. Not to mention a giant productivity boost instantly.

Thanks very much for all the info, been very useful indeed. I'll be getting the PSU tonight as Novatech couldn't get any of the ones I was after in time so got to find one elsewhere fast. Will be either the AX860, AX860i, HX1050, AX1200 or AX1200i - All are no doubt overkill, but as said previously I like to know I have a huge safety margin/very stable setup and hold on the unit for a good while :) .

Thanks again man ;) .
December 19, 2012 2:21:44 AM

No problem =) Try and reward best answer
December 22, 2012 8:45:50 AM

Hi guys,

Just a quick update. Got the PSU fitted (AX860 Platinum), but that wasn't the problem: The GPU was dead!

Just fitted an msi GTX680 Lightning (@bctande - this is what I call a high end card :p ). Card build quality seems great, not really had the chance to test it yet though. Would you expect to see a big improvement over the GTX480, or not so much due to the rest of my current system being out of date (and the mb only being PCIe 1.1)?

I'd like to upgrade the rest ASAP really (to specs above), but needing a new GPU had tipped the budget somewhat so upgrade might have to be delayed a bit...

Finally, the 8800GTX also died in June 2010 (HDD at the same time). Is there something in my system that's not as it should be, the PSU maybe (now replaced at least!), or have I just been a bit unlucky?

Cheers,


Robert
!