Upgrading Some of My PC Hardware, Need Some Help!

Patroklos

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So I fired up the PC today to do some floor plan drawings for my fast approaching wedding reception and nothing happened. Well, nothing is a bit much, power was present and fans were running but nothing showed up on screen on multiple monitors.

Probably a simple issue but given it's a six year old rig and I have been contemplating upgrading anyway I figured now would be a good time to do so and save me a few days of testing components.

This will be an all around computer needed for gaming and word processing.

Current PC:

Case

Silverstone TJ02

$150.00 (with window added)

Graphics Card

EVGA 512-P3-N802-A1 GeForce 8800GT Superclocked 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail

$289.99

Mother Board

MSI P6N Diamond LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 680i SLI ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

$129.99

Processor

Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz 2 x 4MB L2 Cache LGA 775 Processor - Retail

$279.99

Memory

CORSAIR Dominator 4GB(4 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Quad Kit Desktop Memory - Retail

$337.00

Power Supply

CORSAIR HX Series CMPSU-520HX 520W ATX12V v2.2 and EPS12V 2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail

$39.99

Hard Drive

Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD7500AAKS 750GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM

$159.99

CD/DVD Drive

SAMSUNG Black 20X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 20X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 20X DVD±R DVD Burner - OEM

$33.99

TOTAL

$1,420.94

Prospective New Components:

Processor

Intel Core i5-3570 Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 2500 BX80637i53570

$214.99

Mother Board

MSI Z77A-GD65 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS

$144.99

Memory

CORSAIR Vengeance 32GB (4 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 Desktop Memory Model CMZ32GX3M4X1600C10

$179.99

Total: $539.97

I would like to continue to use my current PSU, video card, hard drive, optical drive and case. I will upgrade the video card eventually but it was working for my purposes before the PC stopped working and with NVIDIA real easing their new cards this summer I should get a deal on the current stock. This will also let me defer some buys until after my wedding (June).

So basically are my new components comparable with each other and the parts I plan to reuse? Its been six years since I did this so I might be missing something.

Also, can I shave dollars off anywhere?

Thanks!
 

Zelig

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There's a fairly non-trivial chance that upgrading those three parts doesn't save you from testing components, motherboards, and especially processors, very rarely go bad.

Processor: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116782

Same some money and the get 3350P. It's marginally slower in clock rate, but the real difference is that the onboard graphics are disabled, which doesn't matter if you're using a separate video card.

Motherboard: Probably fine given it has the features you want. (Your link doesn't work.)

Memory: Your link also doesn't work. In any case, save $20 for whatever is the cheapest memory of the spec you want:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231559
 

tokala

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The integrated graphics would be valuable exactly in a situation like now, at least one component that could be ruled out quickly with it.

The PSU is a bit suspect, IIRC the HX series has not the best reputation, and the price is suspiciously low.
If you opt for a new PSU, as a rule of thumb you should spend about $10-15 for each 100W of rated power, with 380-450W as a sensible range for systems like yours.

Mainboard and memory appear to be way overkill, I would recommend a Gigabyte or Asrock board in the $80 range, and 2X4GB or 2x8GB of memory.
If you have been happy with 4GB so far, it's likely that even 8GB will provide plenty of headroom for years to come.
Additionally, 4 memory modules will increase the probability for issues with the RAM.

If you would like to have the option of overclocking your CPU, you would need a 3570K. If you don't, then a Z77 chipset based mainboard is a bit pointless, as overclocking support is the main difference to the cheaper chipsets.


And, do yourself a favour and get a SSD!
You will most likely have to reinstall the OS anyway, and can keep your old HDD as a data dump.


There shouldn't be any compatibility issues with your old parts, only the slight inconvenience that your case doesn't have USB 3.0 front ports.
 

Zelig

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Only thing I disagree with there is memory amount - 8GB is only really suitable for gaming if you like to close all your browsers and other programs any time you want to open a game.

And the effect of an SSD cannot be overstated - I will never have an HDD-based PC again, and would not recommend one to anybody.
 

Patroklos

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There's a fairly non-trivial chance that upgrading those three parts doesn't save you from testing components, motherboards, and especially processors, very rarely go bad.

Well, like I said this is sort of an excuse to do some upgrading. My fiancé understands "doesn't work, need new parts" so I don't thing I should waste the opportunity!

But yeah I thought about that. I figured a bad hard drive or video card might be the problem, but with no onboard video I can't really check the video card easily and if kid the hard drive I can just grab one locally pretty cheaply. If it's the hard drive I am screwed as all the wedding stuff was on there!

Processor: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116782

Same some money and the get 3350P. It's marginally slower in clock rate, but the real difference is that the onboard graphics are disabled, which doesn't matter if you're using a separate video card.

Yeah but then if the video card is the problem I am stuck dropping a couple hundred on a new one immediately instead of limping along until after the wedding.

Motherboard: Probably fine given it has the features you want. (Your link doesn't work.)

Since I am going to be upgrading over a year for some components I wanted something able to handle whatever I might choose.

Fixed the link.

Memory: Your link also doesn't work. In any case, save $20 for whatever is the cheapest memory of the spec you want:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231559

Yeah memory always gets me, I always overspend. Thanks

The integrated graphics would be valuable exactly in a situation like now, at least one component that could be ruled out quickly with it.

Yeah that's what I said above. I like having a backup option.

The PSU is a bit suspect, IIRC the HX series has not the best reputation, and the price is suspiciously low.
If you opt for a new PSU, as a rule of thumb you should spend about $10-15 for each 100W of rated power, with 380-450W as a sensible range for systems like yours.

Yeah I copied that list from my six year old build thread over at poly and had to swap out the PSU listed there with what I actually bought. Unfortunately the price isn't listed as it is Discontinued.

How can you tell if a PSU is not working. It is definitely delivering power of some sort.

memory appear to be way overkill, I would recommend a Gigabyte or Asrock board in the $80 range, and 2X4GB or 2x8GB of memory.
If you have been happy with 4GB so far, it's likely that even 8GB will provide plenty of headroom for years to come.
Additionally, 4 memory modules will increase the probability for issues with the RAM.

All good points I can do with 2x8GB and save some money or get a nice new hard drive.

If you would like to have the option of overclocking your CPU, you would need a 3570K. If you don't, then a Z77 chipset based mainboard is a bit pointless, as overclocking support is the main difference to the cheaper chipsets.

Hmmmm...

No over clocking for me, what chip set should I be looking for If not z77 assuming the same processor?

And, do yourself a favour and get a SSD!
You will most likely have to reinstall the OS anyway, and can keep your old HDD as a data dump.

Yeah, maybe I'll apply the savings from memory here.

There shouldn't be any compatibility issues with your old parts, only the slight inconvenience that your case doesn't have USB 3.0 front ports.

the case was bought for looks, fits into our living room which was a requirement placed upon me during the last build by you guess who... :)
 

tokala

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How can you tell if a PSU is not working. It is definitely delivering power of some sort.
That's exactly the situation where you probably can't, short of trying out another one.

No over clocking for me, what chip set should I be looking for If not z77 assuming the same processor?
Probably H77 and B75, which have most of the functionality of the Z77. There might also be some sub-$100 no-frills Z77 boards.

If you don't have specific requrements for the on-board components, almost any modern board will have more than enough connectivity options. In the last "I'm going to built a new computer" thread we had several suggestions:

http://forums.civfanatics.com/showpost.php?p=11997031&postcount=33
http://forums.civfanatics.com/showpost.php?p=11997139&postcount=34


For checking out the drives you might try to disconnect all the SATA cables from the mainboard and see if it powers up.
 

Zack

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If you're just gaming and word processing, 8 GB of memory is more than enough. And if you're gaming, the video card is by far THE most important component.
 

Patroklos

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So after taking your Advice into account I have come up with the following:

Mother Board

GIGABYTE GA-H77-DS3H LGA 1155 Intel H77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard @ $99.99

OR

MSI ZH77A-G43 LGA 1155 Intel H77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS @ $79.99 plus $10.00 rebate plus free shipping

OR

ASRock H77 Pro4/MVP LGA 1155 Intel H77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard @ $79.99

I am curious about slots for future video cards, which one will provide the connections needed?

Processor

Intel Core i5-3570 Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 2500 BX80637i53570 @ $214.99

Memory

CORSAIR Vengeance LP 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CML16GX3M2A1600C10B @ $83.99

TOTAL: $398.97

A new hard drive depends on the money I save here. EDIT: wow SSDs are expensive. If I do am multiple hard drive system where I only run my OS and select other programs on it what capacity would I need?
 

Zelig

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Depends how much stuff you have. There's basically no point in putting any movies or music on a SSD, I find either 128gb or 256gb drives are fine for most people.

Also keep in mind that SSDs decline dramatically in performance when they're full, I keep 25% of the space free as a rule of thumb.
 

Patroklos

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That's what I figured, put programs on the SSD and files of various sorts on a secondary.

Any thoughts on the motherboard options?
 

Patroklos

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Sorry about that, I keep forgetting that original list changed due to the TJ08 not being available. Its actually the TJ02, same exterior just full ATX.
 

Patroklos

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Picked an SSD:

OCZ Vertex 4 VTX4-25SAT3-128G 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

Based on this review:

http://www.techradar.com/us/news/co...-the-top-ssds-on-test-994095/3#articleContent

I was messing around with the current build since I have time before any of this stuff will get to me. Disconnected the HD and still couldn't get it to boot. The Video Card is getting power as it's cooling fan is running, I can't think of any way to test it besides making sure it wasn't a monitor problem :(
 

tokala

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Picked an SSD
do NOT get a OCZ.

Those have an incredible failure rate.

Samsung 830s used to be the way to go, but are discontinued. 840s would be the next best thing

ASRock H77 Pro4/MVP LGA 1155 Intel H77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard @ $79.99

I am curious about slots for future video cards, which one will provide the connections needed?
According to the Newegg comments, it seems that there is a bad batch of that board out there.

I don't really get the question regarding the "future video cards".
The latest cards will even run in a 5 year old PCIe 2.0x16 slot without problems, and only a negligible performance hit.

Intel Core i5-3570 Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 2500 BX80637i53570 @ $214.99
...
A new hard drive depends on the money I save here. EDIT: wow SSDs are expensive. If I do am multiple hard drive system where I only run my OS and select other programs on it what capacity would I need?

You could save $15 and go with a i5-3470 instead, you will never notice the difference.

On the other hand, you will very much notice that even a slow SSD will be much, much faster than the fastest HDD.
120GB should be enough for the OS, your applications, your most important data and your favourite games.
I spent ~$250 for my first 80GB SSD and never regretted it.
 

Zack

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do NOT get a OCZ.

Those have an incredible failure rate.

Samsung 830s used to be the way to go, but are discontinued. 840s would be the next best thing
Crucial M4s are good too, but the Samsungs are faster.

Although, to be honest the only speed difference you'll notice will be in benchmarks.
 

Patroklos

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I wish I had seen these posts before I ordered, I went with th OCZ. :(

I ended up going with the MSI mother board based on the reviews (and it was the cheapest)

Thanks slot guys! With your suggestions I was able save enough money between the mother board and memory to get an SSD and a new power supply (600W) for near the same price as my original list.
 

Zelig

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I wouldn't worry about reliability too much, it's got a five year warranty, and you need everything backed up regardless of warranty and reliability.

You should really have all your personal files syncing to the cloud service of your choice.
 

Patroklos

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Well that's good!

I should get everything on Tuesday so I'll let you know how things go.
 

tokala

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I wouldn't worry about reliability too much, it's got a five year warranty, and you need everything backed up regardless of warranty and reliability.

Very good point.

The Vertex 4 is probably not as bad as some other OCZ models, but some series had failure rates in the ballpark of 50%. :crazyeye:
(actual RMA numbers from a big retailer):

- 40,00% OCZ Petrol 64GB
- 39,42% OCZ Petrol 128GB
- 30,85% OCZ Octane 128 GB SATA II
- 29,46% OCZ Octane SATA II 64GB
- 9,73% OCZ Vertex 2 120GB 3,5 "
- 9,59% OCZ Vertex 2 120GB
- 6,73% OCZ Vertex 2 60GB
- 5,43% OCZ Agility 3 240GB
- 5,12% OCZ Vertex Plus 128GB
 
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