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Suggestions or thoughts on a system overhaul upgrade?

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#1 deprecated


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Posted 25 January 2016 - 03:11 PM



GRAY STRIKEOUT: HAS TO CHANGE (Uneducated rush decision on purchase)


CPU: AMD Athlon II X4 630 2.8GHz (4x512MB)

HEATSINK/COOLER: Cooler Master N520

MOTHERBOARD: Gigabyte GA-MA78LM-S2 (Rev 1.1)

* Mostly unhappy with the mATX form factor and CPU has to be overclocked to 3.2GHz to get RAM timings close to specifications.

MEMORY: OC-Z Technology Platinum Series 2x2GB DDR2-1066 OCZ2P10664GK

*Happy with this brand and the performance despite above notes; however, may want something a bit bigger? Do you guys have any thoughts on OC-Z RAM? I am thinking if DDR3 upgrade might stick with this brand, Kingston or Crucial.

Graphic Card: Radeon 5450 (Installed) / Radeon 4350 (Sitting around)

*Kind of want to crossfire these, but don't think they support it. Any suggestions on video card? I like staying with AMD.

HDD1: WD Caviar Blue 320GB WD3200BPVT (Partitions: OS, User Files, Downloads)

HDD2: WD Caviar Green 500GB WD5000AAVS (Partitions: Prefetch, PS Scratch, Documents, Music, Videos)

HDD3: Maxtor 160GB (Very old backup drive)

*May rid myself of this drive and get an SSD around 250GB to use for OS and User Files.

320Gig: App/Driver Backup > Games > Downloads > Documents

500Gig: OS Backup  > Music > Videos > Other

(Which sounds like a daunting amount of time... ugh)

PSU: Diablotek 575W (Who cares the model, haha)


Okay so... what I know I have to replace is the crappy PSU considering one of these:

Corsair 650W Modular CS650M (around $90)
Corsair 750W Modular CX750M (around $80)

Corsair 650W Modular RM650 (around $80)


The motherboard I am looking at that I actually like is: Gigabyte GA-970A-DS3P

The RAM I am looking at is: Kingston 2x8GB DDR3-1333MHz HX313C9FK2/16


I think even just these upgrades alone would make a HUGE improvement in performance... with or without upgrading to a Solid State Drive. Any thoughts on the above upgrades or any suggestions on upgrades that are more bang for the buck?


Preferably, I really would like to find a cheaper power supply, that isn't a risk to my overall system.


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#2 diggi


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Posted 26 January 2016 - 01:50 AM

I'd get the cheapest

1. FX 83XX cpu I could afford over the fx 6300


2. Minimum of 8gb 1600mhz ram

 eg Gskill sniper


3. 128 gb SSD, Samsung 840 pro, 850 evo or 850 pro

If you can get 250-512gb even better


4. R9 380 or 380x Gpu, if you wish you can get a used preferably  non-reference 290/X or even 280/x


5. Not so sure about those particular Corsair PSU's, I trust Antec though.

550w should work with the 380x/280x and 750w for 290x


6. Asus 990/x or Gigabyte 990/x motherboard only available in atx

#3 deprecated

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Posted 26 January 2016 - 08:01 AM

Corsair seems to be deemed one of the best manufacturers by lots of sites. I wanted to make sure that the PSU had enough wattage for future upgrades that's why I chose to go 600+.


The CPU I have I kind of like, as well, it is extremely overclock-able. Also, an eight core seems overkill for anyone, especially at 125W, with a 550W PSU, sounds scary... I wouldn't want to be capping recommendations of my PSU's wattage with just CPU and GPU alone.


I was thinking of going for 8 Gigs, but then decided I do a lot of work in Adobe and may eventually try my hand in 3D so wanted to make sure that the amount of RAM would never become an issue and felt at 16 Gigs... I also, use my computer for XAMPP to locally create DB and dynamic web sites locally prior to publishing them on a public web server.


Currently I have a 248 Gig Crucial BX200 that I purchased for my laptop in hopes of running a dual boot in place of the Optical drive I never use; however, the BIOS is locked with no other means proven to run outside of ATAPI on that particular slot so... with both installed it fails to even POST. So, I am not really getting the optimum performance from the drive since the laptop only has SATA II, but decided to go SATA III just in case I ever decided to use it again rather than going SATA II and being capped at SATA II if I moved it to a SATA III capable mobo.


On the GPU I may, just stick with the 5450 I have, temporarily. Right now my thoughts are geared towards piecing together cost-efficient upgrades that will perform above my current usage and potential future usage.


So, I think 16 Gigs of RAM is more than I could imagine using ever, which is always good to not be worried about RAM usage. 600W+ should run a 95W CPU, 1 SSD, 2 Slave HDDs, 1 DVD-RAM, and a GPU that suggests a 400-500W PSU. Throw in 4 case fans and 2 CPU fans, that shouldn't take much, right? I mean 550W would be good, but 600-700W would mean a GPU upgrade is less likely to deem a new PSU to buy, which sounds a smarter long term investment. As opposed to buying a 550W $75 and then upgrading a GPU in a couple months and having to go ahead and purchase a 600-700W at $100-150.


Side note: Not a SUPER heavy PC gamer, meaning I don't play Role Playing Games... mostly I play First Person Shooters when it comes down to it, Counter-Strike, Urban Terror, Warface, etc. So, it's not EXTREMELY GPU intensive on the gaming front as I don't know about most people, but I personally will ALWAYS play at the lowest possible graphic settings to insure the optimum registration of shots and least likely circumstance for lag. I remember back in the day I used to end explorer.exe so I could play CS 1.6 at 100fps, haha.



I think mostly my purchases will be bite size chunks as all my builds seem to be, so probably as follows:

1 -> Power Supply

2 -> Motherboard

3 -> RAM

4 -> SSD or GPU, if I end up using my laptops BX200


This way... I won't get tempted to use any of the upgrades with known bad/old hardware that potentially could damage it. So, I just need to find a Power Supply brand/model that I know will be good as my Diablotek purchase was a "OMG my computer won't turn on" situation. That will give me time to find a cost-efficient motherboard... I am not opposed to mATX, but I know my current mATX just feels so cramped as far as maintenance and installing components. However, with 2x8Gigs of RAM I dunno if I will need 4 RAM slots.

Edited by deprecated, 26 January 2016 - 08:24 AM.

#4 diggi


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Posted 30 January 2016 - 05:02 AM

Not all corsairs are good, the only one on your list I'd trust is the first one, avoid cx & RM series

Also wattage on CPU is heat dissipation, not power consumption

I recommended a minimum of 8 gigs of RAM, ideally 16gb should be starting point, I regularly use 22gb+ out of my 24gb but not everyone taxes their system to the degree that I do


Your CPU is really ancient and will hold you back quite a bit, especially when you upgrade your grafix later on

 If you have a microcenter close by you can get  good deals on an fx 6300/6350 motherboard combo


Another option  is to get an APU e.g. an AMD A10 7870K or 7850K which has a more powerful GPU than your HD5450 

and then mate it to an FM2+ mobo

Later on you can crossfire with an AMD R7 240/250/260 GPU if needed

APU's do well with fast RAM, Min 2133mhz is advisable

This will probably run well on a 350-450watt PSU

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