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Upgrading PC

Discussion in 'Help Forum' started by Aryx, Jun 7, 2007.

  1. Aryx

    Aryx MSC Footman

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    I'm looking to update my PC with a new mobo, GPU, and ram. It is currently around 6 years old now and is really needing an overhall. For referance, my CPU is a 2.2 Intel, GeForce 4400 Ti, and 512 ram (can't remember the type other then it is old :p ). I would like to stick with Intel and Nvidia cause I've had not a single problem with the parts I have. Just looking for a decint performance jump that isn't too expensive. Any help on finding a few good
    sites too look at would be helpful.
     
  2. Twerg

    Twerg MSC Footman

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    I just sent my bro specs on a new machine...

    I did some research for my brother to build a new machine and here's what I told him. Also, I get most of my information from Tom's Hardware.

    In short, I suggest the Core 2 Duo E6400 (~$200) on a ASUS P5N32-E SLI (~$200) (main stream choice) or a ASUS Striker Extreme (~$325) (high end gamer choice). Probably 2 DDR 800 1024MB Corsair Heat-Sink Package CM2X1024-6400C4 (~$75 each). A EAX1950PRO CrossFire PCI-E graphics card (~$180) (ASUS makes an NVidea 8600 GTS equivilant for a little more money). Total (not including a case, power supply, fans, monitor, etc.) ~$750 to $875

    Also, you'll need to get a hard drive that is SATA or Ultra DMA. I like Western Digital. I have two 10,000 rpm raptors on a RAID controller which make boot up, intallations, and video editing much faster than our other machine (standard 7200 rpm single drive). ~$100 per drive.

    If you want a more detailed discussion you can read on.

    Let's start by looking at processors. The best choice right now is probably the Core 2 Duo E6400 at 2.13 GHz or the Athlon 64 X2 5600+ at 2.8 GHz. Per Tom's Hardware "AMD's Athlon 64 X2 processors 5600+ and 6000+ did well in the synthetic benchmarks and in 3DMark. They also deliver good performance to compress files with WinRAR, process pictures in Adobe Photoshop CS2 or create large PDF documents with Acrobat 7, thanks to their integrated memory controller. They don't have a chance against the Core 2 Duo, however, if you are looking to encode or transcode digital audio or video. If you are willing to spend more than $200 on the processor, Core 2 Duo still is the only reasonable choice. You can compare other cpus at their site with different benchmarks here, Interactive CPU Charts. At the very least stick with Intel Core 2 Duo or AMD 64, forget the Pentium and other older chips.

    As for the motherboard, Tom's Hardware has a good article here Beginner's Guide to Motherboard Selection. I've always liked ASUS, but if you choose to go with an Intel Core 2 Duo chip, I've heard Intel boards are more reliable and functional now with the Core 2 Duos. On a side note, Tom's Hardware declared "the Asus Striker Extreme demolishes the competition" in their tests last December when testing the Nvidia 680i SLI chipset though they concluded later that each brand is very close. Particularly the Asus Striker Extreme, Gigabyte GA-N680SLI-DQ6, and MSI P6N Diamond. If you go with ASUS P5N32-E SLI (~$200) (main stream choice) or a ASUS Striker Extreme (~$325) (high end gamer choice), both are compatiple with Intel's Quad Core (~$400) and so can be upgraded in the future when prices go down.

    For memory, Cosair and PDP are good names, but buy according to the motherboard support list. I suggest no less than 1 GB of memory and 2 GB being the right amount for multitasking.

    As for graphic cards, another Tom's Hardware article is The Best Gaming Video Cards for the Money: May 2007. They mention that DirectX 10 was just released and so you might want to wait to upgrade this part of your machine. The best choice is probably the Radeon X1950 XT and ASUS makes a graphics card with that processor, the EAX1950PRO CrossFire (~$180). To stick with NVidea, then look for a Geforce 8600 GTS (~$200). I usually
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2007
    Jakeman likes this.
  3. KleaningLady

    KleaningLady MSC Knight

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    if you can afford it, go with E6600 instead E6400, difference is 4MB L2 cache next to CPU vs 2 MB L2. That's what i have now.
    Of course if you can get Core 2 extreme, that would be gravy :)
     
  4. Jakeman

    Jakeman MSC Founder and Donator

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    Read reviews on all parts you buy. For hardware / software reviews just search google.com for "<name of product> review". When buying from an online vendor, check their rating on http://www.resellerratings.com/
     
  5. Aryx

    Aryx MSC Footman

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    Thanks for the help! I am definitely going with the E6600 since it is only 40 bucks more then the E6400. Also going with an Intel board again since my current one has never had a problem. It is the LGA 775 Intel 975X board. I am also getting 2 Gigs of Crucial ram. For the video the Geforce 7900GS(my current Geforce 4400 Ti works so well that it just reciently has reched it's threshold for games) looked like a good pice to power ratio, but I am still open to suggestions on that. Oh, and if anyone has a good idea for a LCD monitor under $200 let me know!
     
  6. Twerg

    Twerg MSC Footman

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    I saw a veiwsonic 19 inch LCD at Fry's last week for $175. I like Veiwsonic as I think they make the best all round monitors.

    Also, I like your build. I was looking at the same board for myself a couple of months ago.
     
  7. Aryx

    Aryx MSC Footman

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    Ok, I think I got my final build down :)

    Mobo- Intel LGA775 975X ATX
    CPU- Intel Core2 Duo E6600 2.4Gig LGA 775
    Ram- Crucial Ballistix 2GB DDR2 800
    Video- EVGA GeForce 8800GTS 320MB
    Sound- Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtremegamer
    CPU Cooler- Artic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro
    Case- Eagle Tech CA-DRG-B Blue ATX Mid Tower
    Keyboard- Saitek Black Eclipse USB
    Mouse- Logitech LX7931395-0403 Blue Wireless Optical
    Monitor- still deciding
    HDD- Western Digital Caviar 250GB 7200 RPM
    PSU- Aero Cool ZERO DBA 620W

    Other then the monitor that is it unless someone can find a glaring mistake :P So some help for a good display would still be helpful, and I need to buy it online, cause there are NO pc stores near here :(
     
  8. Elbereth

    Elbereth MSC Commander and Donator

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    I see a glaring mistake - it is not a Mac! ;)
     
  9. Autolycus

    Autolycus Forum Moderator

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    i noticed that one too. some people are stuck in 2003 :(
     
  10. Jakeman

    Jakeman MSC Founder and Donator

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    What happened in 2003?
     
  11. Aryx

    Aryx MSC Footman

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    Okay I've got the system up and running for a little while now and all is working great except for one minor prob. XP doesn't want to reconize the the HD is 250 Gigs; it only reads it as about 137. I looked a bit online and all it said was download SP2 which I did no change. Anyone have an answer? Not a huge deal but still nice to be able to use the entire drive.
     
  12. Jakeman

    Jakeman MSC Founder and Donator

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    That can be the result of an OS or board limitation (like old BIOS). I don't know if the drive needs to be reformatted after applying the fix. You might try that. There are also programs you can use to extend an existing partition to include unformatted space.
     
  13. ColdHeat

    ColdHeat MSC Footman

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    My xp runs my 200gig fine. my comp buddy has i belive 500gigs on xp along with 2 8800gtx 768mb graphics cards... that comp is sick.
     

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