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
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.
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 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.