Been a long time since I upgraded

Got a shopping cart of parts that you want opinions on? Get advice from members on your planned or existing system (or upgrade).

Moderators: NeilBlanchard, Ralf Hutter, sthayashi, Lawrence Lee

Post Reply
jozi
Posts: 94
Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2004 1:42 pm

Been a long time since I upgraded

Post by jozi » Mon Nov 01, 2010 12:19 pm

I'm starting to notice a bit of slowdown with my pc. Was going to just get ram but it seems ddr pc3200 ram isn't so cheap anymore so said f-it I'll upgrade the lot!

Going to be looking for a mobo/cpu/ram combo. I'm years out of the loop with everything, had a quick look around on a forums and the following looks recomended
Mobo:
ASUS M4A77TD, Sockel AM3, ATX
Know not much about it except that it works well with the cpu below

CPU:
AMD Athlon II X3 440 "Boxed" 95W, Sockel AM3
is this where it's at these days?

RAM:
4GB-Kit GEIL Black Dragon PC3-10660 DDR3-1333 CL7
Gerneric 4gig ram wold prob do me?

And for storage I was thinking the following to replace my very old 80gig maxtor and 500giog samsung:
Storage: Samsung EcoGreen F4 2000GB, SATA II
OS: OCZ Vertex 2E 60GB

I'm pretty set on the storage side of things unless there really are better options out there. The mobo/cpu/ram comboI'm not sure on, I like the price range, cheaper is also good, would like something thats pretty fast for todays standards.

Cooling:
I doubt my current cpu cooler will work with the mainboard, what's reasonably good at cooling, passively if possible, these days?

GFX:
I'm pretty happy with my ato x800xl, It's quiet enough with the fan spinning very slowly and I don't need anything more than it since I don't really game anymore so it's staying.

Case and fans:
I'm keeping my Solo case and all the fans I have in it. I'll give them a very good clean and that should do the job, no idea what they are though, probable nexus? I'm using the 12mm exhaust and 2x 92mm intake (or are they 80mm?)

PSU:
I think this is also upto the taks of running my pc, it's a corsair 520w model, recommended on here if memory serves me right?

SFX
I have a SB xfi pro (i think), the one with the external box, it's pci, I'm hoping to still be able to keep this?

I'll do a bit of searching myself and report back to this thread, hoping for some solid advice from here as well.

jozi
Posts: 94
Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2004 1:42 pm

Re: Been a long time since I upgraded

Post by jozi » Wed Nov 03, 2010 2:58 pm

Anyone know if the Prolima Megahalems is compatible with the x3 cpu and a solo case?

CA_Steve
Moderator
Posts: 7467
Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2005 4:36 am
Location: St. Louis, MO

Re: Been a long time since I upgraded

Post by CA_Steve » Wed Nov 03, 2010 3:16 pm

Here's my standard question: How are you going to use this PC/what apps are you going to run? That'll determine what the best hardware fit will be. That said, here's a couple of q's/suggestions:

Since you don't plan to game, and if you don't have any other video intensive tasks, why not go with the 880G based motherboards instead of the 770. Built in gfx and a newer chipset. Then you don't need to have the PCI-e gfx card.

Audio - unless there's a specific app reason, why not use the mobo audio?

jozi
Posts: 94
Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2004 1:42 pm

Re: Been a long time since I upgraded

Post by jozi » Wed Nov 03, 2010 3:21 pm

Mostly web surfing, AutoCAD (drawing and rendering) and a photography stuff. like to have the overhead if I do decide to get into gaming again, college put me off gaming at the time. Havent thought of going onboard gfx, I know they have come along way over the past years but is it enough to leave out of not use a good gfx card?

I spent a lot of money on the xfi elite pro and I use the outputs on the breakout box with my amp, I feel it would be a shame to get rid of it since I have it anyway.

Am I right in saying the cpu cooler I mentioned above won't work, I can't see any reference to it being compatible from a bit of googling.

Garak
Posts: 29
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2010 3:23 pm
Location: Wales, UK

Re: Been a long time since I upgraded

Post by Garak » Wed Nov 03, 2010 3:27 pm

You are correct, you have to buy the bracket for AM3 separately, which will add cost.

jozi
Posts: 94
Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2004 1:42 pm

Re: Been a long time since I upgraded

Post by jozi » Wed Nov 03, 2010 3:35 pm

Why is it that I always end up having to buy parts from 2 different web shops because of things like that :( And things have moved on so much, I haven't a clue whats compatible with what these days, ddr3 tri channel ram or dual channel?

And I think I'd be aiming for a 6g sata board as well just to get that little extra out of the realssd hard disk. More research required tomorrow :)

Or if someone has a reasonably priced low power but high performance suggestion im open to changing the above spec.

speedkar9
Posts: 307
Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2008 1:39 pm
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: Been a long time since I upgraded

Post by speedkar9 » Wed Nov 03, 2010 6:05 pm

Spring for a Phenom II X3 720 BE or X2 555 BE. Same 95W TDP yet 6MB of L3 cache to help with photo editing and CAD work. Possibility exists to unlock that extra core too :wink: .

If you get a board with onboard GFX, you can always add your old video card in the PCIe slot if you don't like the performance of the 880G chipset.

CA_Steve
Moderator
Posts: 7467
Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2005 4:36 am
Location: St. Louis, MO

Re: Been a long time since I upgraded

Post by CA_Steve » Wed Nov 03, 2010 7:28 pm

The x800 xl is pretty ancient tech...intro'd in 2005. I think you'd be disappointed in it's performance if you loaded a current generation game. I don't have the time to do the research, but I bet the onboard graphics on the 880G might have similar performance to the x800 for a lot lower power draw. :D Plus, you pick up dx10 support, and the Asus/Gigabyte boards tend to have USB3 and SATA 6.0.

As an alternative, look into your Autocad and photo editing s/w and see if they support Open GL graphics acceleration. Adobe has been rolling that out for Photoshop/lightroom. It uses your gpu to accelerate display functions (rotate, zoom, etc). That might be a reason to get a new low end PCi-e card. Lots of alternatives here.

If you do a LOT of Autocad and photo editing, consider getting 8GB of RAM. (I'm assuming you are going to a 64-bit OS).

jozi
Posts: 94
Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2004 1:42 pm

Re: Been a long time since I upgraded

Post by jozi » Thu Nov 04, 2010 12:24 am

It was lightroom that got me looking at upgrading the system (that and me looking for a performance boost). 2005 sounds about right :) I may look at a low end GPU to replace it, although that would drive the cost up again.

I think I'll be making the jump to Windows 7 (or xp 64), for the moment I can't (don't) afford more ram, 4 should be a lot better than the current 1gig I have now.

Sticking with the AMD cpu I'll do a little reading into mobo's this evening.

jozi
Posts: 94
Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2004 1:42 pm

Re: Been a long time since I upgraded

Post by jozi » Thu Nov 04, 2010 5:51 am

Am I on the right track here wit the following:

MSI 870A-G54, Sockel AM3, ATX, PCIe
4GB-Kit GEIL Black Dragon PC3-10660 DDR3-1333 CL9
AMD Athlon II X3 440 "Boxed" 95W, Sockel AM3
HIS HD 5670 IceQ GDDR5 1024MB Native HDMI D-DVI
Crucial RealSSD C300 64GB Retail
Samsung EcoGreen F4 2000GB, SATA II (HD204UI) 8,9cm (3,5")

I've decided against on-board graphis and now added the above card, I'm happy with my curent HIS - would this perform the same on noise levels?

I have no idea about ram for these boards, the numbers mean nothing to me :?:

Could save a few quick going for a OCZ vertex 2E SSD drive. Will also need a good cpu cooler, do AM2 coolers fit AM3 boards as well?

CA_Steve
Moderator
Posts: 7467
Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2005 4:36 am
Location: St. Louis, MO

Re: Been a long time since I upgraded

Post by CA_Steve » Thu Nov 04, 2010 6:12 am

Lightroom, eh? Here's some more reading for you.

Anandtech's Bench comparing cpu's using Photoshop Retouch Artist.

Photoshop and OpenGL. Didn't see any Lightroom references.
An interesting article at Xbit labs comparing 4 or 8GB of RAM vs SSD/HDD. Overall, a faster drive is better than having 8GB RAM. Except for the Photoshop Retouch Artist test.
Image
On the other hand, Lightroom is immune to this.
Image
Whatever you build, if the last system is 5 years old, the new one will seem like magic. Especially with only 1GB of RAM :D

speedkar9
Posts: 307
Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2008 1:39 pm
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: Been a long time since I upgraded

Post by speedkar9 » Fri Nov 05, 2010 6:06 pm

Generally I'd stick with more reputable Gigabyte or Asus boards and 3 year warranty. I've had bad experiences with MSI in the past.

For the CAD and photoshop, you'd notice a huge improvement in processing time if you had a chip with more L3 Cache. A 440 X3 with 3x512kb L2 cache is similar in price to a base PII X2with 6MB L3 cache.

Corsair, Kingston and OCZ are generally good names for RAM, check the motherboard vendor's website to ensure compatibility (though not all compatible sticks are listed).

jozi
Posts: 94
Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2004 1:42 pm

Re: Been a long time since I upgraded

Post by jozi » Sat Nov 06, 2010 9:41 am

I already got the 440 the other day, it was a good price compared to what I've seen around. Any cpu will be a good improvement over what I have now!

I've heard conflicting opinions on Asus, I've always like them and my 1st proper mobo was a asus. No experience with gigabyte, neither have to many (or none) budget boards with a 6gb sata control though :( I'll check manufacturers sites for ram compatibility and go from there with that.

Any last minute recommendation from anyone, hoping to order everything tomorrow or monday so as to have it all for next weekend.,

danimal
Posts: 734
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 2:41 pm
Location: the ether

Re: Been a long time since I upgraded

Post by danimal » Sun Nov 07, 2010 10:09 am

i have overclocked the cr*p out of two msi motherboards, with a third mis board in an htpc... they have all been rock-solid... the last gigabyte mb that i had finally wouldn't load it's overclocking settings, albeit after a lot of abuse.

you can't go wrong with more ram, i would pass on the overpriced ssd at this point in time... the cheap ocz ram that i've run in multiple installs has been solid, it has a lifetime warranty, and a good support forum.

Post Reply