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Upgrade Question


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#1 SmokeViper07

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 12:16 AM

I have a custom built computer currently that I do alot of gaming and downloading on and I've come along a few issues now that its become older. I need to know if I would be able to run some newer games such as Diablo 3, Star Wars The Old Republic MMO, Starcraft 2, DC Universe MMO, etc on my system smoothly or will I indeed have to upgrade my system. My specs are as follows:

AMD Athlon X2 Dual Core Processor BE-2350 2.10 GHz
Windows 7 Ultimate 32-bit
3.00 GB DDR2 RAM
NVIDIA 9800GT 1GB Graphics Card
Western Digital 1 TB 64 MB Cache 7200 rpm 6gb/s HDD SATA
Western Digital 160 GB HDD SATA
ASUS M2N-VM DVI MotherBoard
LITE-ON DVD-R/CD-R Burner/Reader
External:
MAXTOR 1TB USB 2.0 HDD
Seagate 320 GB USB 2.0 HDD

If I were to upgrade I would hope to build another that would last me a good few years without needing an upgrade, play all my games smoothly with high download speeds and minimal lag, I would also like to be able to run video and audio editing software well and run a triple monitor setup with eyefinity, I wanna know that if I experience lag in online play that I can point it out as either the gaming servers or my internet connection and not because I don't have enough RAM or a powerful enough processor. I use alot of hdd space downloading and will require atleast another TB or 2 of storage. I currently use my smaller hdd as operating system boot with installed software. I'm open to suggestions, Thanks in advance.

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#2 DJBPace07

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 11:55 PM

In that build, with those games, I would say the CPU would be the greatest drag followed by the graphics. You have a good amount of RAM for most systems. However, if you are planning on running video and audio editing software, you should have a full 4GB of RAM with a 64-bit operating system along with a 2.8 GHz. dual or quad core CPU, and a Radeon 5770 or GeForce GTX 260 (For three or more monitors, you need to SLI to get a similar effect to EyeFinity) graphics card. Replacing the graphics card is easy, but the CPU upgrade will require replacing the motherboard, the CPU itself, and the RAM, plus, you would need to install Windows again. The good news is that you can reuse almost all other components inside your case. The only real problem you may run into is the case itself (It should be a standard mid or full ATX case) or the power supply (Which should be 550W or greater). Here's a suggestion:

Motherboard: MSI 870A-G54 AM3 AMD 870 - This will take AMD's new AM3 CPU's and runs the AMD 8xx series of chipsets which come with USB 3 and SATA 6. Like all AM3 motherboards, this requires DDR3-1333 RAM. This motherboard will run Crossfire in a 16X/4X configuration, if desired. This is a standard ATX motherboard, make sure your case will hold it. $99 (Before $10 rebate)

CPU: AMD Phenom II X2 555 Black Edition Callisto 3.2GHz - Most of the games you listed rarely take advantage of more than two cores. However, if you go for some of the newer games, they might, as will some video encoding software. In that case, you can get the AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz. If you're going to be doing some higher performance video editing work which loves even more cores, the AMD Phenom II X6 1090T Black Edition Thuban 3.2GHz is worth considering. $99

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 - This is more than enough for most people, however, if you are going to be using programs, such as video renderers, which make use of all RAM available, 8GB should be considered. You will need a 64-bit OS to run 4GB or more of RAM. $99

Graphics: SAPPHIRE 100283-3L Radeon HD 5770 1GB - Those games don't really push your graphics that hard, so a mid-range 5770 should suffice. If you want a little more power and have the cash, the MSI R5830 Twin Frozr II Radeon HD 5830 1GB or the MSI R5850 Twin Frozr II Radeon HD 5850 (Cypress Pro) 1GB would work too. $149 (Before $15 mail-in rebate)

Power Supply: OCZ StealthXStream OCZ600SXS 600W - I suggest at least a 550W power supply. If you need to replace yours, this is a good one. $69 (Before $10 mail-in rebate)

Operating System: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit - Due to licensing restrictions, you need a new copy of Windows if you replace the motherboard, however, there is nothing technologically that will prevent you from reinstalling. If you have a full, boxed, retail version of Windows, you can simply delete it from your old computer and install it on this one. Remember, you need a 64-bit OS. $99

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#3 SmokeViper07

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Posted 14 August 2010 - 05:51 PM

Thanks for the Response, I currently do alot of gaming playing FPS games like Battlefield Bad Company 2 but I moved from PC to Xbox 360 for those style of games. I also play Dragon Age Origins and other RPG, MMO, RTS and Action style games on PC. My case at the time is NZXT Mid Tower but I would like to move to a full tower case and motherboard using something like these:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16811103026
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16811139001

Also I currently have a hanns G monitor which is about 17" in size, if you'd be able to recommend any good monitors for a triple monitor setup as well it'd be appreciated.
As far as the power supply goes I only have a 450W RAIDMAX so I will probably need the upgrade. I was looking into getting around 8GB of DDR3 RAM in an upgrade as well as possibly water cooling though I do not know too much about it other than the coolest you can get is room temp and you can have a quieter running case than with air cooling. Also, I have heard that the 6 core processors are similar to the 3 core ones and almost never use all 6 cores and run more like a quad(or in the 3 core's case a dual). Also in a CPU I would like to try one of the new intel i5 or i7 processors. I don't want to have to upgrade again for awhile. Also the prices you mention appear different to me when I click the links. If possible do you think you could list a full atx board as well?

Edited by SmokeViper07, 14 August 2010 - 05:59 PM.


#4 DJBPace07

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Posted 15 August 2010 - 03:50 AM

The prices appear as quoted when I click on them. You are in the U.S. right? Newegg.com only ships to U.S. customers and if you are in another country, say, Canada, you may be being redirected.

1. Unless you are really confident in your abilities, don't do water cooling. It's expensive and if something goes wrong, your whole system is toast. Air cooling is very good especially when you consider that, for a computer, room temp is considered very cool. I go with the safer option of air cooling. If you're worried about noise, you can get special fans or material to put inside the case.

2. As for the six-core CPU's, that requires more explaining. First, whomever told you that should have mentioned that core utilization is largely determined by the programs. Second, not all programs will utilize two, four, or six cores depending on how they are coded, hence my "If you're going to be doing some higher performance video editing work which loves even more cores" part when explaining CPU's. Third, with gaming, four cores are just now starting to be harnessed, six core CPU's are still rare and the programs that use them typically involve rendering, data manipulation, or scientific operations. In the future, six cores will be more common and more used.

3. I very much loathe marketing departments... Intel's Core i5, compete's directly with AMD's Phenom II lineup to the point where performance differences are minor in real-world situations. Intel's Core i7 is another beast entirely especially at the i7 950 levels (Which cost about $200 more than the six-core CPU I listed above). Intel will be replacing the LGA 1366 socket, the one which runs the high-end i7 CPU's, with socket LGA 2011 which is not backwards compatible. This will effectively bring your upgrade options to a halt since you would need to replace your motherboard to use the LGA 2011 CPU's. In AMD's case, their upcoming socket, AM3r2, is pin-for-pin identical to the current AM3 socket, which makes backwards compatibility an option. Intel goes through sockets constantly and few are backwards compatible.

4. That is a standard ATX motherboard. Cases come in Micro, Mid, or Full ATX, however, motherboards come in Micro ATX and ATX. Many full and mid ATX cases support Micro-ATX motherboards and they all support standard ATX motherboards. Some full-ATX cases even take E-ATX but that type of motherboard is rare.

5. Use caution when picking out cases as shipping can be astronomical. Cases which have side windows or vents will tend to be louder. My favorite case is the COOLER MASTER COSMOS 1000 RC-1000-KSN1-GP.

6. As for monitors, I like these: ASUS MS Series MS228H Black / Blue 21.5" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen LED, ASUS MS238H Glossy Black 23" 2ms Ring stand & Ergo-fit LED, and Acer S243HLbmii White 24" 2ms(GTG) Full HD LED. I like LED backlit monitors for their energy savings, high contrast, and fast refresh rates.

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#5 SmokeViper07

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Posted 16 August 2010 - 12:25 PM

Alright I think I understand now, Thanks for the explanations. I am also in the US on the East Coast. I think the price difference was just from the extra video cards and such you linked to but didn't mention prices. In any case, Thanks for your help.




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