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Old July 7, 2008, 11:15 AM
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Default Upgrade time - what to keep??

Hey, this is my first post here. I'll start off by admitting that I'm a gamer, but not a hardcore tech guy. I don't build my own machines (I'll hand pick all the parts, but they dude at the store will assemble them) and the thought of trying to overclock scares the hell outa me ;)

Any way, I built a rig just over 2 years ago or so, and now I want to update. The question is, is any of my old stuff worth keeping, or should I pretty much start from scratch. The three main reasons I'm doing this are

1) My DVD burner is starting to fail (not really much of an upgrade but this is why I was going to do anything in the first place).

2) I want one of these new shiny graphics cards :)

3) I want to swap out some old small hard drives for bigger ones.

Here is what I currently have:

MOTHER BOARD: ASUS A8N-E NF4 x16 s939
CPU: AMD Athlon 3500 2.2GHz
GRAPHICS CARD: GeForce 7800 GTX
RAM: 2 Gig (ddr400 Kingston Dual Kit 2x1GB)
DVD BURNER: LG (starting to fail)
HARD DRIVE "C": Western Digital 400 GB
HARD DRIVE "E": Maxtor 20 GB
HARD DRIVE "F": Quantum Fireball Plus 20 GB

This is what I want I'm contemplating:



MOTHER BOARD: Keep as is, or get Asus Rampage for Cross Fire
CPU: Upgrade to fastest CPU the old Motherboard will support, AMD ATHLON 64 FX-57 2.8GHZ 939, or AMD ATHLON 64 X2 4800+ 2.4GHZ 939. Or if getting new motherboard, then whatever is the top dog these days.
GRAPHICS CARD: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 280 ($560.00 @ Directdial.com) or ATI Radeon HD4870 (x2) ($308.00 @ Directdial.com)
RAM: up it to 4 Gig (add another ddr400 Kingston Dual Kit 2x1GB)
DVD BURNER: LG 20X Super Multi Internal DVD Rewriter
HARD DRIVE "C": keep as is
HARD DRIVE "E": 300 - 500 GB (western Digital or Seagate)
HARD DRIVE "F": 300 - 500 GB (western Digital or Seagate)

So the question is, is there any point trying to keep with the old Motherboard/memory combo? It sounds like the new graphics cards might force the move anyway.

I was hoping to do this for about $1200
3D card = $600
DVD burner = $40
Hard Drives = $120.00 each
RAM = $160 or so

CPU = $300

Not sure what the new motherboard/CPU/RAM would run me...

any thoughts?

PS - I know most of you build your own, but any recommendations on a Toronto/Mississauga area store that's reputable. I dealt with KV Computers for years, they were fantastic, but it seems they are sadly out of business :(

Last edited by Urotsukidoji; July 7, 2008 at 11:30 AM.
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Old July 7, 2008, 12:34 PM
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Don't sink money into the dead 939 platform.

Definitely move to the Intel side. You'd probably want a E8400, Q6600 or Q9450. Your choice really. Most will probably say to stick with the E8400 unless you really need a quad-core.

Hard drive wise, I think the WD 640GB drives are your best beat. Good cost per gigabyte and they supposedly use dual 320GB platters thus making them faster.

I'd get a Pioneer SATA DVD burner.

As per a good store, check out Canada Computers. They have locations across the GTA and one in Mississauga. Otherwise order online with NCIX and price match.
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Old July 7, 2008, 12:46 PM
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Yeah dont upgrade anything on 939, just go with an intel system, take the $ from 280 and buy a 4870, 4GB mem, CF board, and 8400 or similar.

Btw welcome!
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Old July 7, 2008, 01:45 PM
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I wouldn't suggest putting money into your old system either...you'll basically have to get a new one.

MOBO: A P45 one...ie Biostar I45, ASUS P5Q, Gigabyte EP45-DS3. You can get the upgraded models if you have the cash.
CPU: E8400 for gaming...Q6600 for multitasking
GPU: 4850 or 4870...CF if you need. If your 7800GTX is still playing your games fine...then you don't really need to upgrade it since technology will only get better.
RAM: Definitely get 4GB...Corsair Dominators/DHX, G.Skill HZ/PK/PI, Mushkin Ascent/Redline/XP, OCZ ReaperX
DVD: Pioneer DVR-215
HD: Samsung F1, Seagate 7200.11, WD 640GB.
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Old July 7, 2008, 05:10 PM
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And please don't get a cheap arse power supply. You'll regret it sooner or later.
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Old July 7, 2008, 06:44 PM
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Default yoiu guys are right

After your comments, and a little more looking around, I have concluded that you guys are so right. There does not seem to be much point in upgrading the old system. There's not even much point in cannibalizing it…. The only things of value are the old sound card (SB Audigy 2 ZS Audio) and the 400 GB hard drive. I think I would be better served donating this rig to the kids. I mean this thing cost $3K two years ago, it seems silly to pull out $200 bucks worth of parts and then basically scrapping the rest. I mean, this sys still plays Doom 3 and the like just fine, and the kids are no where near needing that sort of power for their “Scooby-Doo” and “Land Before Time” games yet. So this would serve them for awhile. So for Daddy, that means a fresh new build, which brings up the topic of operating sys. I currently run XP, and of course have heard the horror stories about vista. Do I still avoid Vista if building new, or should I stick to XP?

Last edited by Urotsukidoji; July 7, 2008 at 07:27 PM.
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Old July 7, 2008, 06:54 PM
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Well you're going to get mixed opinions on Vista. Personally I've run Vista x64 since release and haven't had any huge difficulties. The majority of problems were due to poor drivers or the lack of. Most hardware has drivers which work now. Only thing you might have issues with is perhiperals. You need a 64bit OS to really use 4GB of RAM and since DDR2 is so cheap these days, there's no reason not to get 4GB.

Not sure if you really need a GTX280 unless you're running a large monitor. Probably don't need Crossfire HD4870s either. If your monitor is 22" or less, a single HD4870 should do you fine.
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Old July 7, 2008, 07:26 PM
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My monitor, which I love, is a ViewSonic G220fb
ViewSonic G220fb Specs. CRT Monitors Specifications.

The 4870 Card is so cheap I was planning on getting 2 off the bat and doing the crossfire thing. Do you not think I'm gonna see the benifit?

Vista- if it's main issue now is being a RAM hog, and DDR2 RAM is so cheap, should I go 8 GB? Will it be utilized?

If I'm gonna drop this coin - I want this thing to scream.

Another question - liquid cooling - is this needed if I'm not over clocking etc.
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Old July 7, 2008, 08:16 PM
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I think you'd be pleasantly suprised at the performance of a single 4870 on that monitor. And you could always add a second one later.

8Gb is not necessary for a pure gaming rig. I've yet to see any game use over 60% of my 4gb Vista 64 rig.

Watercooling is not a requirement if you are not going to overclock. Check my sig, most people can get E8400's to 3.8-4.0 Ghz on air. WC'ing is for those looking for the extra OC headroom, or for less noise, or for the bling bling factor.
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Old July 7, 2008, 08:18 PM
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ok.... I have a start on what I need here. Prices are from Canada Computers. Some items I have no idea about such as the case, power supply, fans, cooling ect. Who can fill in the blanks?

As far as cases go, not sure what I need. The nerd in me is attrackted to the ones with flashing lights and such, but on a practicle level, not sure what is needed. I don't even know if I need a mid, or full size case....

MOTHER BOARD: Asus Rampage Formula Socket 775 Intel X48 + ICH9R Chipset Dual-Channel Dual-channel DDR2 $305.00
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Socket LGA775, 3 GHz, 1333 MHz $215.00
GRAPHICS CARD: ATI Radeon HD 4870 $330.00
RAM: Corsair XMS2 TWIN2X4096-6400C5 G PC2-6400 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR2 $78.00
DVD BURNER: Pioneer DVR-215D(Black) SATA DVD-Writer 20x $31.00
HARD DRIVES: Western Digital Caviar (WD6400AAKS) 640GB SATAII 7200RPM 16MB Buffer $95.00 (x3)
MONITOR: ViewSonic G220fb CRT – Have
POWER SUPPLY: ?
CASE: ?
KEYBOARD: Logitch iTouch – Have
MOUSE: Microsoft Intellmouse Explorer 3.0 – Have
SOUND CARD: ?
SPEAKERS: Logitech Z-5300E Speakers 5.1 280W RMS 560W THX – Have
FAN: ?
OS: Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium 64-Bit (OEM) $127.00


Here is another question - will I be able to Run my old version of Office 2000 under vista?
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