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Old October 8, 2012, 12:29 PM
fortkentdad fortkentdad is offline
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: North East Alberta
Posts: 465

My System Specs

Default A10-5800 vs FX8120/FX8150 vs i53570

I'd like some advice on my best upgrade path. I did look for a section for upgrading, I guess "new build" is as close as it gets. An 'upgrading' section would make sense because you'd be worried about compatibility with existing components whereas with new build you just buy all new parts that do fit together. Just a thought for the forum designers.

I did read through some other posts similar to mine and got some good ideas - I also read about what I should include in this post - hence the long long post - do bear with me, I'm new to this forum and have limited experience under the hood of my PC.

For my current, two year old rig see the pull down menu - its based on the Athlon II x4 635 chip.

I'm not a serious gamer - just a few Tycoon style games from the discount bin on my PC and I hardly play them at all. Maybe if I could bring myself to part with the dollars they expect for todays cool racing game I might give it a go, but for now I don't game much. I'm not into violence so that eliminates 90% of the graphic heavy games. I used to do the SIM's but not for the past few years. And I've never Overclocked - but who knows maybe I will give it a go with this new rig I'm planning just to say that I've done it.

I have added a few compenents to my system but never replaced a mobo or built a system. My son is an IT professional and he's always done that for me, sadly he and our grandson live about 3000+ miles away in Mississippi so this time I'm on my own - although I've got an offer from the IT guy at the office to stop in and give me a hand.

I do use Adobe Photoshop Elements 10 and it is my experience with panoramic composition that started this whole upgrading adventure. PE10 needed more RAM to process my panoramic composition. I have 4 GB - not enough according to the experienced photographers at the Nikon forum.

With my current RIG I can only upgrade to 2x4 DDR2 800 - and that is rare & costs about $140.00. I think those are the limitations of my board and chip - please don't tell me I'm wrong because then I'd have no excuse for this fine upgrade I'm planning.

So I figure better to put the money towards an upgrade of the Mobo-CPU-RAM combo.

I'm doing OK with my 2 year old 1 GB nVidea 9800GT card - it runs my two monitors just fine. I've been intreged by this SLI thing and notice I can still buy a 1 GB 9800GT card for about $60. Is that worth the effort and cost or is that just a gamers thing?

My PSU is 575w & "SLI-ready" so I think it will be OK. Opinons on that idea?

I expect to use my current ATX case, my SATA & e-SATA Hard Drives, two optical drives, a card reader & the e-sata port on the front of my case. For $10 I can add an e-Sata 'card' to the back of the PC if I need to.

I might add a SSD someday - when the prices come down. I do have two monitors and a five speaker sound system (which is on mute most of the time - I use headphones when my dearly beloved is in the house.

Given my experience trying to buy two year old memory (my current rig was built Aug 2010), I'm thinking better to max out the memory now and not regret it later. I can get 2x8=16 GB for $64 of GeIL EVO CORSA Series DDR3 1600, so I'd probably just spend $128 and get 32 now. I would make use of the 'excess' RAM by creating a 20+ GB RAMdisk.

I've done some online research and my decision comes down to three options.

The new Ivy Leage i5 3570K chip, AMD's Bulldozing eight core FX-8120 or 50 chip, or the new Trinity based A10-5800 chip.

I've found the following online prices for Chip-MoBo combos. has the FX-8120 paired with ASUS's Sabertooth FX990 for $327 (neat camo mobo with armour)

Memory Express has the i5-3570K Processor w/ Asus P8Z77-V LK for $310

And still with Memory Express, the A10-5800K paired with a GA-F2A85X-UP4 for $250.

So three nice system upgrades for $375-$450 with 32 GB RAM.

I admit am partial to ASUS but not a die hard "fanboy", same goes for AMD, my past few rigs have been AMD but I could do intel. I just like to root for the underdog.

The A10 & i5 both have built in graphics which is a good thing given I expect to use my old 9800GT 1GB card. As I read the PR from the MBoard manufatures and CPU's I should expect to be able to take advantage of both the built in graphics and still use my 9800GT - From the ASUS page on LucidLogix Virtu MVP - "it perfectly combines the performance of discrete graphics cards with fast computing iGPU". That puts the advantage to these two chips.

But the FX Chip comes in a nice metal keepsake tin and bundles up with the Sabertooth camo MoBo for a nice price. These marketing features must count for something eh? With the FX I might need to add a new graphics card or SLI a new 9800GT or make do with my current card - afterall it is doing the job OK today. But it might bottleneck my nice bulldozer system. (Or is that Piledriver now?)

I gave some thought to getting a MoBo with WIFI but don't think I'd get much use out of that. I also looked at some bundles with the gamers "Formula" Mobo - but again I'm not going to get much use out of that boards advanced features.

I read alot about upgrading the CPU fan over the crappy stock fans which I've always used. Is this something to consider? Or will it only matter if I was to try my hand at OCing. see there are lots under $50, I expect the $10 one's are to be avoided but Artic Cooling & Cooling Master both have a $35 unit that gets great reviews. For $35 the reduced noise might be good - but then again is that my CPU fan, case fans or PSU fans that I'm hearing?

I suspect I'll have to get some of that CPU-goo. Although if I get the aftermarket fan I see that it comes with the goo and if I'm paying $12 for the goo - spend a few more dollars and get a super-fan to go with it?. Does the CPU stock fan come with the goo or do I really need to buy this stuff? I see there are several flavours of Artic Silver on line. What's recommended? (Is Artic Cooling & Artic Silver the same company?).

My ATX case only has two case fans - is that enough or should I buy get another? I have two left over from an old machine - I think they would still be good, but they are blue and would not be colour coordinated with the Sabertooth set up so another mark against the FX chip. If I thought it would reduce the noise a lot I might upgrade my case fans to slightly better ones - any recommendations on that idea?

I don't think I can do anything about the PSU fan noise.

Anything I'm missing?

FYI - I'm running Windows 7 64 bit and 75% of the time I'm online. We are rural and the best I'm getting out of our satelite signal is 1.44 mbps down, .29 up. We live on the slow side of the great technical divide out in the rural hinterland three hours from the city (Edmonton). Yep another Canuck

I am heading into Edmonton next Sunday and could pick up this stuff at Memory Express there. I see they have uber price matching so if they have the stock I should be able to get any of these set-ups from them. I'd phone first and make sure. Otherwise I'll order from unless TigerDirect comes up with a better bundle. Is there another Retailer I should shop?

So lets recap, I've covered What (upgrade CPU-MOBO-RAM) Why (PE10 needs more RAM and I wanna new system) When (probably next Sunday) Where (Edmonton or on line) and Who (all by myself or with a little help from my friends) and as for HOW - well once I get the parts that will be my next post.

Thanks for making it this far.

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