Author Topic: Need some advice on an upgrade.  (Read 2563 times)

MKH

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Need some advice on an upgrade.
« on: August 19, 2011, 08:22:23 AM »
Well I've decided to finally upgrade my 3 year old Dell box, which I use for gaming and the occasional Uni assignment. I mostly play Source games so I don't need a high end system, but my 1.8 Dual core system with 2.5gb ram and Radeon HD 5550 is starting to feel a bit dated. My budget is around $450, and I'm hoping to get a new PSU, CPU, board, ram and hard drive (I'm keeping the 5550 for now). I don't know much about modern hardware, so I'm looking for advice on what is best value for money.

So far I'm thinking of:
WD Black 500gb drive (I have a 1.5tb green drive as a secondary)
Cooler Master 500w PSU
Kingston 1333 MHz 4gb RAM

I'm not too sure about which is better for games, AMD or Intel, but the two processors I'm looking at are the AMD Phenom II 955 Black Quad Core 8mb 3.2ghz and the Intel Core i3 3mb 3.1ghz (1155 socket). Whichever one I pick I'll get a good Asus board to suit. These are both the same price, so which one should I get?
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Daemon

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Re: Need some advice on an upgrade.
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2011, 01:10:35 PM »
AMD and I would avoid Asus if you are going for budget. They love to upcharge for their boards. Check for a gigabyte board.

Check out xfx psus or Enermax. Both use top notch parts without the top notch price.

angry hampster

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Re: Need some advice on an upgrade.
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2011, 01:53:11 PM »
^ Pretty much. I've had great experience with Gigabyte boards. My current MSI is also wonderful..very nice layout and seems to be built well.

You're welcome:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboBundleDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.719453

This PSU offers a great value right now:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371044


Daemon

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Re: Need some advice on an upgrade.
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2011, 05:17:24 PM »
Very good find. Instant 20 and 15 more off with the promo code.

angry hampster

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Re: Need some advice on an upgrade.
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2011, 05:31:49 PM »
Yep. Little bit overkill as far as wattage goes, but it's actually cheaper than the 500w from the same series right now.

For some reason I like 650w PSUs..seems like a happy medium. I have a 650w Coolermaster Real Power Pro that has served me very well for the past 3.5 years. Will replace it when the warranty is nearing expiration.

MKH

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Re: Need some advice on an upgrade.
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2011, 08:27:22 PM »
^ Pretty much. I've had great experience with Gigabyte boards. My current MSI is also wonderful..very nice layout and seems to be built well.

You're welcome:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboBundleDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.719453

This PSU offers a great value right now:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371044



That is a good price, but Newegg don't ship to Australia so I'll probably be buying parts locally. The same G.Skill ram is $60 here, and the Antec 500w is $90. I can get the Kingston ram for $40, the CoolerMaster for $60, and the Phenom II and a Asus M4A78LT-M LE together for $190. Is this still a good deal?
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angry hampster

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Re: Need some advice on an upgrade.
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2011, 08:39:49 PM »
Oh I forgot you're in upside-downworld.

MKH

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Re: Need some advice on an upgrade.
« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2011, 04:51:11 AM »
Oh I forgot you're in upside-downworld.
Yeah things are a bit more expensive here. I've been doing some searching and apparently the AMD quad core isn't much better than an i3 when it comes to games.

This is what I'm thinking of getting now, but I don't think it's very future-proof:

CPU: Intel Pentium G620 $69
Mobo: Asrock H61M/U3S3 B3 $78
RAM: G.Skill-NT 4GB (1x4GB) DDR3-1333 $24
HDD: Seagate Barracuda 500GB $39
GPU: 1GB AMD Radeon HD6770 $115
Case&PSU: Thermaltake V4 Black Edition w/ 450W Litepower PSU $76

Would this be a decent setup? As long as I can upgrade it easily later on, I don't mind starting with a budget build.
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angry hampster

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Re: Need some advice on an upgrade.
« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2011, 08:31:18 AM »
I wouldn't even bother with upgrading to that.

Daemon

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Re: Need some advice on an upgrade.
« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2011, 01:54:35 PM »
Stick with the AMD. Get an 880 motherboard. If you want to later on down the road you can upgrade to a bulldozer cpu.

If you want 4 gb ram then go 2x2gb. Filling all the slots put's a lot of stress on the IMC, especially if you have any plans of overclocking.

Barracudas aren't bad, but I would go for the Spinpoint F3 or the WD Black.

I would want a better psu, myself. That one is the bare minimum for the GPU and leaves no room for faster, or more, gpus that will want 500+.

MKH

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Re: Need some advice on an upgrade.
« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2011, 09:37:28 PM »
Stick with the AMD. Get an 880 motherboard. If you want to later on down the road you can upgrade to a bulldozer cpu.


I would want a better psu, myself. That one is the bare minimum for the GPU and leaves no room for faster, or more, gpus that will want 500+.

Yeah that was a budget build I was recommended, I was going to replace the 450w with an Antec 500w, as I'm keeping the Dell case anyway.

So an i3 isn't better than a Phenom quad core? I'm a bit confused about this as it seems difficult to get an unbiased opinion from PC hardware forums. This is what I was told:
Quote
The i3 2100 out performs the AMD x4 955 for the same price. The G620 is just behind them. So Intel is the way to go for a gaming CPU right now.

I know I won't get a top notch system for under $500. I'm looking for a good PSU and board that won't go out of date quickly, so I can upgrade as I go.

Quote
If you want 4 gb ram then go 2x2gb. Filling all the slots put's a lot of stress on the IMC, especially if you have any plans of overclocking.

So 2x 2gb is more stable that one 4gb module? I was going to get one so I could upgrade the ram easier, but I'm still running 32 bit Vista so >4gb wouldn't work anyway.

Quote
Barracudas aren't bad, but I would go for the Spinpoint F3 or the WD Black.

The Black drive is only $20 more than the Seagate, So I'll probably get one if I can get everything else for a good price.
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Daemon

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Re: Need some advice on an upgrade.
« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2011, 09:47:31 PM »
I3 is only slightly better in gaming than the 955. When bulldozer drops, it will demolish the I3, I have no doubt about that. If you have an AM3+ motherboard, you can easily upgrade to the bulldozer and be very happy.

As for memory, both chips utilize dual channel memory. This technology theoretically doubles the amount of data transmission from the memory to the memory controller. This equals faster access times and better performance. You have to use 2 or 4 sticks of memory to pull it off, but 2 sticks of 2gb ram is faster than 4 sticks of 1 gb ram.