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Upgrading a very old pre-built, unsure about what to salvage vs. repla

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December 30, 2012 3:46:30 AM

I hope everyone is enjoying the winter holiday season!

My beloved spouse has bestowed a gift of $1000 for me to upgrade my prebuilt. Problem: my pre-built is almost 6 years old, while I’d like to salvage whatever parts I can, realistically I’m probably going to have to replace most of the components. It’s been a very long time since I built my own system. I’m also considering saving the old components to build my mom a computer for farting around on the web.

Approximate Purchase Date: 2 to 3 weeks from now (mid to late January)
Budget Range: $1000

System Usage from Most to Least Important:
Computer graphics and web development, gaming, 3d applications (maya, zbrush)

Are you buying a monitor: No

Parts to Upgrade: CPU, MOBO, RAM, hard drive, CPU cooler

Do you need to buy OS: Yes

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg, amazon, tigerdirect, - open to others as well

Location: Dallas Fort Worth, Texas

Parts Preferences: Intel, Asus mobo (loyal), Hitachi deskstar HD

Overclocking:
Maybe

SLI or Crossfire:
No

Your Monitor Resolution:
1680 x 1050

Additional Comments:
I run a lot of graphics and web development programs simultaneously. I also do some light 3d modeling with maya and Zbrush (hobby). I’d like to be able to run 3d games at high resolution without running into major framerate issues. However, I would be willing to get a cheap video card for the interim until I can buy a better card that will do the new build justice. I‘d like to cannibalize whatever parts I can from my old pre-built.

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading:
My prebuilt is almost 6 years old, while she’s a battle-axe and I love her to death it’s time to upgrade.


Here are the specs for my 6 year old pre-built from Velocity Micro:

• Asus® P5N-E SLI nForce 650i SLI, Socket 775, PCI-E, DDR2
• 500 Watt Velocity Micro® Power Supply
• 400GB Hitachi Desktar 7200rpm 16MB Cache SATA 300
• Intel® Core 2 Duo E6750, dual 2.66GHz cores, 1333MHz FSB, 4MB L2 Cache
• Arctic Cooling® Freezer 7 Pro Heatsink
• 320MB EVGA GeForce 8800GTS DDR3 PCI-E
• 4096MB Corsair DDR2 PC6400 DDR2-800 (4x1024)
• 20x Lite On® DVD+/-RW/CD-RW Dual Layer
• 16x DVD/48x CD-RW Lite On® Combo Drive

Here’s what I have in mind as far as upgrades and salvaging goes:

Upgrade OS: Windows 8
Upgrade mobo to: Asus P8Z77-V PRO ATX LGA1155 Motherboard (note: I’m loyal to Asus mobos, owned 3 with no problems)
Upgrade CPU to: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor
Upgrade CPU cooler to: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO
Upgrading to 32gb ram: 4 G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory
Video Card: Not sure whether to keep the old GeForce 8800GTS and hope it works with windows 8 or get a cheap HIS Radeon HD 6670 2GB. I plan on getting a better card a year or so down the line, but right now I don’t think I possess enough money to “have it all”.
Debating between keeping hard drive or upgrade to 1TB deskstar? I’m worried about age-related failure of the drive even though there’s no sign of anything wrong.
Debating keeping current PSU or buying a new one (unsure on which brand)?
Keeping both DVD/CD drives
Wondering if it would be prudent to replace the old case fans or re-use the old ones (set up for positive air flow)?

Which parts are safe to re-use from my 6+ year old pre-built this far out? I have had ZERO problems with her but I’m worried about inevitable breakdown due to age. For most of my pre-built’s life the poor thing lived in a un-airconditioned apartment with wicked dust issues (thank goodness for fan filters). I am both shocked and pleased that my system has lived so damn long, I think it’s kind of endearing. Any old parts I swap out I’m going to keep and build my mom a system for general farting around- it would be nice to see the old girl live on in some way (not to mention my mom doesn’t own a computer and she’d appreciate one).

In terms of near-future upgrades I’d eventually like to get a better video card, but willing to use a cheap one in the meantime until more funds are available. A second monitor is a definite yes in 4-6 months, and I might get an SSD down the line.

It has been a very long time since I built my own system, so any advice would be much appreciated.

Thanks!
January 1, 2013 9:59:21 PM

No responses yet.. Doh.. :( 

Anyway I've done a little more thinking/reading/tinkering with the upgrade. I decided to include an ssd for the OS and program files while keeping my 6 year-old deskstar for documents/music/videos, and I'm looking at a radeon 7770 card to hold me for a couple of years.

So here are some updates on the upgrade of the old prebuilt; if I'm on the wrong track with any of this, or if I'm an idiot for using parts that are 6 years old I'd love to hear any feedback.

New parts in red, old parts from the pre-built are in blue (these are 6 years old).

Velocity micro 500w PSU (6 years old)
Aluminum ATX case with fans (6 years old)

Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor
Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO
Asus P8Z77-V PRO ATX LGA1155 Motherboard
G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory
Asus Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition 1GB Video Card
Samsung 840 Pro Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk

400GB Hitachi 7200rpm 16MB Cache SATA 300 w/NCQ (6 years old)
22" Widescreen LCD 1680 x 1050 (6 years old)

LG 22.0" 1920 x 1080 Monitor
20x Lite On® DVD+/-RW/CD-RW Dual Layer (6 years old)
16x DVD/48x CD-RW Lite On® Combo Drive (6 years old)


the ballpark for the new parts is a little over $1k but only by a few dollars ( http://pcpartpicker.com/p/vmqH)

The parts I'm most worried about due to age are the PSU and the hard drive. I'm still not sure if I'd be better off replacing them, but if I should I'd need to look for ways to change the build so I can afford to include them in the budget.
!