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Getting ready to upgrade.


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#1 MikeyDSlagle

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Posted 21 September 2010 - 09:18 PM

Alright folks. After seven or so years using this puter, I have finally decided its time to upgrade. I know these things have come along way since last I messed with them and I am looking for any advice and help I can get.

I am attempting to maintain a budget on my new build, and this is my first build as well. I wont be using it for any real extreme gaming, I got a PS3 and 360 for that, but I know there are alot of PC games out there that never make it to the platforms. Sure some make it to the 360, but I dont really care for the 360... thats a discussion for elsewhere. So anyway, I live in the freaking sticks so I cant get broadband except for Hughesnet and thats not broadband no matter who says it is, so online gaming is not an option for me. :thumbsup: However, I do want to be able to see a game I like and not worry "Will my puter run this?". Most games will be strategy or roleplaying like StarCraft II, Age of Empires 3, Divinity II.. things like.

Any new computer will be a huge leap forward compared to what I have now. I am gonna go with AMD and for some reason I want ATI for my graphics card. My old MoBo is a gigabyte and after seven years, I still cant complain. From what I read and what I am gonna be using it for, I dont think the Phenom II is what I need. I think I can get by with the Athlon II 635. Yeah it only runs at 2.9 Ghz but it comes in at 100 bucks, I dont see my overclocking in my near future. Now on the other hand, the Phenom II 955 is only what, 50 dollars more. But I would need more power and more Mobo. So there's my dilemna.

I am so far behind on the technology, I dont know exactly what to do. So here is kinda where I am at.

CPU:
AMD Athlon II X4 635

Motherboard:
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/Se...&CatId=5533 or
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/se...20M4A87TD%20EVO : I can always slap a phenom II in this one later if need be and this one has USB 3.0 and SATA 6 Gb/sec and I can set up crossfire, though I dont think I will be needing it.

Graphics Card:
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/Se...p;sku=M452-5570

Hard drive:
Western Digital WD5000AAKS Caviar Blue Hard Drive - 500GB

Im also gonna have a DVD burner or two And two 2 gig sticks of Corsair 1333 mhz RAM. Running Windows 7

The power supply is one place that really hangs me up. I saw these:

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/Se...mp;sku=S23-1112 or

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/Se...&CatId=1483

I can get either from Tigerdirect for 30 dollars so I am kinda wondering how they will be, I know very little about computer PSUs so what do you guys think?

And finally, a place to put it all. The case. I dont need anything fancy, it will just be under a desk or somewhere noone will see it. All the talk about cooling I dont know if this one is worth anything or not.

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/Se...p;sku=G452-8010

Other case options if that one is insufficient would be:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16811208009

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16811517002

They also look nice.

If I go with the cheap MoBo and case, I can build this system for just under $750 with a mediocre wireless keyboard and mouse, cheap speakers and decent monitor with shipping and handling. If I go with the higher end products, I would be coming in close to 900.

Would the cheap build be a good system for moderate gaming? I know the benefits of stepping up the MoBo so other than that, how does everything else look? Like I say, it's been so long since I fooled with any of this I feel like a noob, if that word is even still used. LOL.

Thanks in advance.

Mikey D

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#2 DJBPace07

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Posted 21 September 2010 - 11:47 PM

Welcome to the forums!!!

I just helped a fellow Bleeping Computer member with similar computer requirements and this build idea might be helpful. I'm not sure if you need a monitor, but I will include it as an optional purchase below.

Case: COOLER MASTER ELITE 335 RC-335-KKN1-GP Black SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower - You're not doing anything needing SLI/CrossfireX, so this case should be more than enough. If you were going to be using the huge high-end graphics cards, or using those technologies, a Full-ATX case is suggested. Be careful with cases as shipping can be quite high if you aren't careful. Your case selection will not work as it is a micro-ATX and the motherboards you have chosen are standard ATX. I suggest staying away from micro-ATX motherboards due to heating issues. $49 (Before $10 mail-in rebate)

Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-870A-UD3 AM3 AMD 870 - This is a standard AMD 870-series motherboard. This comes with the ability to use AM3 CPU's, DDR3, CrossfireX, USB 3.0, and SATA 6. The AMD 870 chipset is considered a budget chipset and will work well for most users. Given your requirements, a higher-class chipset may not be needed and a waste of money depending on what you do. Gamers should go for the AMD 890FX and people building low cost PC's who don't need a dedicated graphics card can go for an AMD 880G chipset. $98

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz - This is a very nice quad-core processor, it comes unlocked as it is Black Edition. This means it is very easy to overclock. The AMD Athlon II X4 640 Propus 3.0GHz would be a great alternate CPU, but not as powerful as the Phenom II model. $143

RAM: CORSAIR 4GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 - This is a single stick of 4GB memory. You need a 64-bit OS to use 4GB or more of memory. $85

Power Supply: SeaSonic S12II 520 Bronze 520W - This is an excellent power supply from a good brand and should be more than enough for what you are doing. If you later decide to use Crossfire, I suggest getting the SeaSonic S12II 620 Bronze 620W for a bit extra. Seasonic is a nice brand, other brands to consider are Corsair, Silverstone, PC Power, and Thermaltake. $59

Graphics Card: SAPPHIRE 100283-3L Radeon HD 5770 1GB - This is a solid, mid-range graphics card which comes with DirectX 11 and EyeFinity. I will give you two alternatives. The HIS H575Q1GD Radeon HD 5750 1GB which is a little less powerful and the more powerful XFX HD-583X-ZAFV Radeon HD 5830 1GB. $139 (Before $15 mail-in rebate)

Optical Drive: LG 22X DVD Burner - Bulk Black SATA Model GH22NS40 - A basic drive. $17

Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black WD5001AALS 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s - Getting a drive with 32MB of cache is usually suggested for a slight speed increase. $59

Operating System: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit OEM - You need this to run your PC. $99

(Optional) Monitor: Asus VE228H 21.5" 1920x1080 Full HD LED BackLight LCD Monitor w/Speakers ASCR - You will pay a little more for an LED backlit monitor, but LED backlights offer better contrast and power savings. This model comes with speakers. $169

Grand Total: $756 (Before rebates, shipping, and taxes. Doesn't include optional equipment.)

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#3 MikeyDSlagle

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 05:38 PM

Thanks man. I actually had a build similar to that when I first decided to build me a new unit. But I scaled the PSU and Video card back to save some coin so I could add a the accessories I needed for a complete system and still come in at a fairly low price.

I didnt realize I had picked a case that was too small, I am leaning toward a more stylish case with more fans now, like the one you suggested.

So as far as PSUs and video cards go, the ones I had in mind arent any good? I understand the whole get what you pay for thing all too well, but those are the only two areas I thought I could save some money.

Well thanks again for the help.

#4 dpunisher

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 09:37 PM

I had a post ready for this thread yesterday, but somehow it got lost while I was looking at that Silenx power supply.

Diablotek is garbage. No way to sugar coat that. As far as the Silenx, a power supply that cheap for that amount of watts is suspect, well, $30 for any PSU is suspect (unless it was that Corsair 400 awhile back). Generally, figure on about $50 after rebates for a decent quality low end Antec or slightly more for a Seasonic/Corsair unit. JonnyGuru, HardOCP, and Hardware Secrets are generally the best sites for PSU reviews.

A 5570 won't cut it for moderate gaming. Even a 512meg 5670 (~$75) would be a better card. If you plan to watch/output high def movies or need 1080P decode with all the goodies, 5670 is the minimum. Luckily, prices should fall even farther in the next month due to the release of the new 6XXX series of ATI cards in October.

A power supply is the one spot where you do not cut corners. I have run across so many systems that have oddball problems (stability/BSODS/spontaneous reboots) and the power supply was the one component that caused the most of those problems.

I am a retired Ford tech. Next to Fords, any computer is a piece of cake. (The cake, its not a lie)

3770K @4.5, Corsair H100, GTX780, 16gig Samsung, Obsidian 700 (yes there is a 700)


#5 DJBPace07

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 09:39 PM

Think of the PSU as the beating heart of the PC, you want it to be good. If it fails, there is a chance it could take out everything with it. Higher quality units are better made and withstand higher loads and if something does go horribly wrong, your equipment is less likely to get fried. As for the GPU, the 5570 is decent for someone who isn't going to be gaming or who simply wants the performance boost a dedicated card provides. If you are going to be doing much gaming beyond Flash games, which you are, a higher end graphics card is really the way to go, starting at the Radeon 57xx series. You could go for the Radeon 5670 if you're counting pennies, which is about 20 FPS or so slower than a Radeon 5750.

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#6 MikeyDSlagle

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 10:24 PM

Thats good to know guys. Like I said, it's been so long since I fooled with any of this stuff, and I dont know who makes good stuff and who doesn't. In fact, I didnt even know who made PSUs. There is always a reason for parts being cheap like that, when dealing with anything. Looks like I'll be upping my budget a bit no biggie. I knew I wouldnt get off as cheap as I had planned.

And as always, when I get ready to finally buy something, something better is right around the corner. LOL. Story of my life. But yeah, I am building this rig mostly for gaming, my old one will work for web browsing, and it seems PS3 has decided to make good games at a rate of only 2 a year. What am I to do the rest of the time? I wont be taking it to the extreme of course, and Im not trying to squeeze out every frame I can but I want it to be able to play what I want to play.

I think that is about all the questions I have for now. Dont go cheap, the age old saying get what you pay for and such.

Thanks alot guys. You've been a big help. And thank you for your tolerance to my ignorance. HA

#7 MikeyDSlagle

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Posted 08 October 2010 - 03:27 PM

Hey guys. Im back. Had some issues come up and been trying to decide how much I want to spend on this new build. I am pretty much gonna go with the build DJBPace07 had laid out. With a few changes. Ive decided to have this thing in my living room so I can hook it up to my 46" when the mood strikes me, and my girlfriend put her two cents in and wants a case with a "window" on it, which I was kinda wanting anyway.
So going with this: (I'm not listing it all. Just what is needed to see if I have enough room in the case)

CPU:
AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz


Motherboard:
GIGABYTE GA-870A-UD3 AM3 AMD 870


Gaphics Card:
SAPPHIRE 100283-3L Radeon HD 5770 1GB


PSU:
SeaSonic S12II 620 Bronze 620W



Would this case house it all?
COOLER MASTER Elite 430


According to their website it will, and is suitable for crossfire.. in the unlikely event I decide I need it.

I'll be going with the hard drive listed and two LG DVD burners. Nearly just like DJBPace07 suggested, but with Lightscribe. Same price even.

Im also gonna stick these in there. One in the "window" and one up top.
Cooler Master LED Fan 2 pack


I may stick two more of those above in, one more in top and one on the back. Or I may go with two 80mm and put one on the back and one on the bottom.
80mm Fan

I dont know how much cooling I am just wanting your opinions on the fans. I know those I got listed aint much because they are cheap. But I think with what I am running inside the machine, they will be more than sufficient. The case already comes with one in the front.

After all is said and done, I come in just under 900 with shipping. A far cry from the 500 or 600 I was originally planning, but thats no big deal. I would just like to hear your opinions. And will that PSU be sufficient for if I add a blue ray player in the future still keeping the two DVDs. I know keeping both DVD burners and adding a BluRay is kinda silly. Just curious is all.

Thanks again. Ill get this figured out and quit bothering yaw eventually.

#8 DJBPace07

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Posted 09 October 2010 - 09:42 PM

I would get a higher-class case. Remember, side windows or fans will make the computer more noisy which may be a factor in a living room setup. Aluminum cases are often higher class cases than plastic ones, but you do pay more for it. If you later decide to upgrade to the big, powerful graphics cards, a full-ATX case is suggested. With cooling, you are usually fine with whatever comes in the case already, unless you are going to be doing overclocking, have a crappy case, have climate issues, or have silent or small fans for your GPU. I use the stock fans on my case, but there is one on the top, back, and just behind the hard drives. May I ask why you need two DVD burners when a single Blu-Ray burner often has DVD/CD writing built in? Below are additional case suggestions.

LIAN LI Lancool PC-K7B Black Aluminum/ SECC ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - It's got no window, but for a mid-ATX case, it has great cooling. Lian-Li makes very nice aluminum cases, I had one and replaced it to go for a full-ATX case. $89

LIAN LI PC-8N Black Aluminum ATX Mid Tower - Similar to the first, but with one less 120mm fan and has a window. $99

COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 CAC-T05-WW - Similar to the second Lian-Li case in regards to cooling, but is not a complete aluminum chassis. It does look good though. $59

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#9 MikeyDSlagle

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Posted 10 October 2010 - 01:22 AM

If I ever decide to upgrade to better graphics cards, I will also upgrade to a full atx case. I was simply pointing out they said two cards would fit in that case, but just looking at the picture they had looked like it would have cooling problems because the case was slam full. That case also only came with the one fan, i thought it would make more sense to put one up top and in the back. The others were just for the hell of it.

About the DvD burners. Ive always had two drives, dont know why. I guess it doesnt make much sense. When I decide to upgrade to the BluRay, I will pull the DvD drive out and replace it with the BluRay.

Those two Lian Li cases are sweet. Now when you say full ATX you do mean a full tower correct? The reason i am asking is I browsed through the full tower cases and some are smaller than the mid towers you suggested. Am I looking at this wrong or is there more to it? Is there a fine line between high end mid tower and low end full tower?

This one is listed as full tower but is smaller that the LIAN LI PC-8N you have listed.
IN WIN Maelstrom Black

I do realize this is a cheap full tower, just using it as an example.

#10 DJBPace07

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Posted 10 October 2010 - 09:35 PM

There are differences in cases, but the two main cases are Mid-ATX, which is what my suggestions are, and Full-ATX, which is what your example is. Full-ATX cases are often larger depth wise and most are taller, they are seldom narrower. Quality with cases is also a concern, some cases have a low-grade steel skeleton with a plastic front and and a flimsy metal side panel, others use high-grade steel inside with an aluminum exterior or aluminum almost everywhere except places where it would be impractical to use it. The Lian-LI PC-K7B uses a quality steel interior with aluminum panels. Most of the Lian-Li PC-8N is aluminum. The Cooler Master is mostly steel with an aluminum front. If you do decide on the Lian-Li keep in mind that they do make very nice cases, but their translations are a bit "Engrish-y."

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