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Fencefry

~$400 Cpu-centered Upgrade

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Excuse me for the badly arranged post, but I don't quite have time to write an essay atm. I've posted this on another forum, but would also like to hear from my own lovely community :grindteeth:

 

About two years ago I put together a nice build with help from another forum. Long story short, my 4gb ram got cut to 2gb and I got stuck with a shoddy intel mobo.

My next problem was being not too intelligent :madsing: I was encoding 1080p mkv movies to my PS3 in a more friendly format on the fly--and in the process practically killed my CPU. It now rums for about an hour until it gets too stressed, and then shuts down. On boot, it tells me it detected a CPU thermal trip.

 

Anyway, I'm taking advantage of this situation to do a major revamp.

Specs: 400W Seasonic, 500GB HDD, Antec 300, 22" Asus lcd, windows license, mouse and keyboard, DVD RW drive, and these http://valid.canardpc.com/show_oc.php?id=543246543246.png (And sorry about ugly links, the bbcode is being strange)

So first of all, I will be doing little to no gaming on this (just maybe a little portal or hl2 once in a while). I want this computer to be fast, mainly a downloading/media hub, with a big job on encoding/converting media asap. From my basic knowledge I assume my current graphics card will be able to handle my needs pretty well, and I'll be looking at a cpu/ram upgrade, which I assume will be greatly benefitted by a new mobo. I was also considering running my OS (and applications?) off of a small SSD, and taking advantage of my 1TB external drive.

 

btw, I'm in the US and would prefer Newegg. Thanks you very much in advance!

 

Also, anyone want to just take a wild guess at how much it would be to run 3D to my HDTV? I've been told my tv is compatible with some computer 3D solution.

 

Oh! And one last bit, of info! A family member is paying for have of the CPU, so go all out on that.

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If it's shutting down because it's overheating, there are two main causes. The first and most likely is that the CPU's heatsink is mounted incorrectly. The second is that you don't have much (if any) airflow going (ie: the fans are blocked by your stuff, perhaps as a result of poor tower placement). Remount and make sure you use a decent TIM; Arctic Cooling MX-2 is good, Arctic Silver Ceramique is good, and there are a bunch of other random stuff that'll all be better than running without TIM.

 

My opinion is you or someone else fudgeed up when mounting that heatsink.

Edited by Bob-sama

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If you're guess is correct I'll be so embarrassed... I have.some artic silver applied and a ton of fans, so :grindteeth:

 

But regardless of it's current condition, where would $400 be best invested at the moment?

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If you're guess is correct I'll be so embarrassed... I have.some artic silver applied and a ton of fans, so :grindteeth:

 

But regardless of it's current condition, where would $400 be best invested at the moment?

As you're using DDR2, there's really not that much that'd be worthwhile. You could afford a Core i5-750, 2x2GB DDR3, and an i55 board. You could afford a Phenom II X6 1055T, 2x2GB DDR3, and an AMD 870 board. The AMD route would be the same price and would perform better, though the hex-core can be a bit finicky when overclocking (at least for relative newbies). Otherwise, a Wolfdale's still the best bang-for-your-gaming-buck, at least for upgrades.

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I'd like to stay on the safe side as much as possible side with OCing, since this will become the family computer which needs to be dependable 99% of the time.

Also, would a SSD be a practical investment if I were able to add to the budget a bit?

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I'd like to stay on the safe side as much as possible side with OCing, since this will become the family computer which needs to be dependable 99% of the time.

Also, would a SSD be a practical investment if I were able to add to the budget a bit?

No not really. You can get decent models for <$200, but it's less of an improvement than a 3GHz Wolfdale will be when gaming (and yes, a Wolfdale will work in any i40-series LGA775 motherboard). More RAM is a better route than an SSD, IMHO. It'll take longer to boot your PC, but, if you're like me, it's not like your PC is ever shut-down. My last shut-down was last night (had severe t'storms) but prior it was running for about 2 weeks and I've had it running 24/7 at 100% for upwards of a month.

Edited by Bob-sama

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First of all, sorry for the late reply-- I was away for the week. Picking up from where we were, I looked around at the stuff you mentioned and decided on the AMD setup (USB 3.0 support was a big bonus for me). But you did leave some cautionary advice about the processor, so I was wondering that if the AMD ended up being too "finicky" at 3Ghz could I just clock it down a bit and and have an easier time until I get better?

 

Oh, and my purchase atm:

MSI 870 Mobo - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...0-275-_-Product - $90 (Free shipping)

G.SKILL 2x2GB SDRAM - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16820231277 - $90 (Free shipping)

Phenom II X6 1055T - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...3-851-_-Product - $200 (Free shipping)

Any problems/room for improvement? And if I had about another $50 to spare should I go for another 2GB stick?

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What? What do you mean by finicky at 3GHz? The 1055T is a stock 2.8GHz processor, but I'm just saying that $200 would be better spent buying a low-end Wolfdale & more RAM than buying a SSD. Load times will be longer but NT6.x prefetchers make up for it when you have more RAM.

 

Anyways, that list looks fine to me.

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I understood the RAM/CPU > SSD upgrade, but I got the impression from an earlier post that you were saying the Phenom II was harder to overclock around 3Ghz, but may have misinterpretted. And I mentioned it earlier, but would going up to 6GB be the next small upgrade?

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I understood the RAM/CPU > SSD upgrade, but I got the impression from an earlier post that you were saying the Phenom II was harder to overclock around 3Ghz, but may have misinterpretted. And I mentioned it earlier, but would going up to 6GB be the next small upgrade?

With an AM3 system, you can't use DDR2 RAM. So, a 2x2GB kit would be good initially. I'd actually suggest a 2x4GB kit, down the road, as a RAM upgrade. But that's just me--I've been using the greater part of 6GB for well over a year now.

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Sweet, just did some math and my budget is now $500! It looks like that gives me enough room for those 2x4 sticks, so do you still recommend that as the best value?

And I was looking at the main other option for the the motherboard which is a bit more expensive, but looking at comments seemed worth it. How does it compare? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16813131647

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Sweet, just did some math and my budget is now $500! It looks like that gives me enough room for those 2x4 sticks, so do you still recommend that as the best value?

And I was looking at the main other option for the the motherboard which is a bit more expensive, but looking at comments seemed worth it. How does it compare? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16813131647

Stick with MSI or Gigabyte.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16813130275

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16813128443

I've heard a lot more good stuff about Biostar's mid-range boards, too, though they typically don't have USB 3.0.

 

 

EDIT: New list!

 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDet...st=Combo.445120 or http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDet...st=Combo.436785

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16820231311

Edited by Bob-sama

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Okay, I'll go for that MSI board combo.

Now, a couple (Hopefully) final questions:

 

- Are you sure my PSU can handle it all?

- Is the stock heatsink good enough?

- With this setup and my half decent gfx card, any guess what the best gaming performance I can get is?

 

Thanks!

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At stock clocks, yes that Seasonic will handle it just fine. I've seen a few guys using similar or even smaller Seasonic-built units to power 12C/24T & 24C systems with ease.

 

The stock heatsink will be fine, at least for stock clocks. You can probably add 200-400MHz on top without breaking a sweat, but that chip is plenty fast on its own.

 

What card do you have exactly? HD 3850, 3870, or 3870 X2? Any of them will do decent settings--I've an HD3850-256 and play at 1920x1080. Graphics settings probably won't be raised much if at all, but it should be much smoother and, for example, minimum frame rates should raise drastically.

 

EDIT: 3900th post, and apparent I'm now Maple Logs. Awesome. :huh:

Edited by Bob-sama

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I have an 3850-512, so how would things run (low, med, high) on specific games/generations? i.e. HL2, COD4, Fallout 3, Crysis

 

Edit: And so you're saying leave the clocks alone until I can invest some money in a better psu and heatsink?

Edited by Fencefry

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I have an 3850-512, so how would things run (low, med, high) on specific games/generations? i.e. HL2, COD4, Fallout 3, Crysis

 

Edit: And so you're saying leave the clocks alone until I can invest some money in a better psu and heatsink?

YMMV..

 

HL2: Max all @ 1080P

Portal: Max all @ 1080P

Team Fortress 2: Max all @ 1080P

MW2: Medium @ 1080P

Fallout 3: Medium-High @ 1080P

Crysis: Notta clue; probably medium/medium-high @ 1080P

Mount&Blade Warband: Max @ 1080P

L4D: Max all @ 1080P

L4D2: High @ 1080P

Civ4: Max @ 1080P

GTA4: Medium-Low @ 1080P (Rockstar's fault--they did a poor port though the game itself is still good)

STALKER: Medium/Medium-High @ 1080P

FSX: Max, high-traffic, medium weather visuals @ 1080P

The Sims 2/3: Max @ 1080P

 

Don't ask me about racing games or the like; I don't have any at all.

 

 

Stick to stock clocks for CPU. Set the CPU:RAM multiplier so that the RAM will run at the full rated speed (3.33:1).

 

Next upgrade I'd recommend would be a better graphics card and perhaps new power supply. I'd personally get the other system up & running as well, though that's a bit of personal preference so that I might have a pure multimedia PC.

Edited by Bob-sama

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Bob's mad because he doesn't have an ssd :huh:.

 

If you're just playing video games stick with troll-samas advice. I've only found ssd's a viable upgrade for laptops but then I don't have $200-300 to blow on storage.

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Bob's mad because he doesn't have an ssd :huh:.

 

If you're just playing video games stick with troll-samas advice. I've only found ssd's a viable upgrade for laptops but then I don't have $200-300 to blow on storage.

Didn't stop you from trolling buying a 30GB "drive" and then whining about how crappy it is. I was disappointed with my EeePC's crappy SSD and low-end SSD's just don't do it for me. The only advantage for low-end SSD v. mechanical HDD is access times (a fraction of a millisecond versus a mechanical drive's 8-16ms) but they fail in almost every other regard. Besides, my main Win7 partition is using about 200GB of 300GB total.

 

Anyways, more RAM makes a SSD irrelevant. So long as you don't fudge around with NT6.x's prefetchers, the entire advantage of SSDs is rendered moot as RAM will always be accessed faster and transfer much faster than a SSD. A RAM disk is a good choice, too, for fast but volitile storage. For example, running Firefox and temporary internet files from a virtual RAM drive is very nice and useful.

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It may be 30gb but it's a vertex and packs a punch! Shutting down the laptop is usual for me and booting up in under 5 seconds is brilliant. I don't want your dirty Win7 prefetches :unsure: Ramdisk + instant load of all my programs is good enough for me :huh:. Plus it's only windows programs that are extreme bloat and take up 200gb for one program

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It may be 30gb but it's a vertex and packs a punch! Shutting down the laptop is usual for me and booting up in under 5 seconds is brilliant. I don't want your dirty Win7 prefetches :unsure: Ramdisk + instant load of all my programs is good enough for me :huh:. Plus it's only windows programs that are extreme bloat and take up 200gb for one program

Damn, I wish there was a private "comment" bit here! Anyways, disregard the trolleh. He's just sad that any milk he drinks sours the moment it hits his tongue.

 

185GB of 298GB used on C:\

 

15GB = C:\WIndows\

2.68GB = C:\Program Files\

111GB = C:\Program FIles (x86)\

44.5GB = C:\Users\

Edited by Bob-sama

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