It's about that time again

vbimport

#1

Yup, it’s about time for me to upgrade again and once again I am more or less out of the loop on what to get. I will explain my current situation and specs:

I am currently running an AMD 64 Athalon X2 with a 2.9GHZ Brisbane processor
2GB Mushkin DDR2 Ram
Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H Mobo with built in Radeon HD3200 graphics
Windows XP Pro OS

The reason for the upgrade isn’t anything specific (I just think it is a good idea to upgrade every 2-3 years so you don’t fall behind) although my case is a cheap piece of junk that is falling apart and I probably should at least switch the innards to something more sturdy.

So first of all can someone recommend to me a solid built case that won’t fall apart in shipping and still has a display window. I do have a 430 Watt Antec Power Supply that I plan on transferring so I am okay if the case doesn’t have a power supply.

My uses for the PC are as follows:

Browsing the I-net
Reading/Burning CDs/DVDs
Playing high-def streaming files
Playing regular video files (ie Netflix/Hulu)
Playing older PC games (I don’t need the latest and greatest ones)

So anyways, my question is, should I upgrade to one of the latest X4 AMD processors and Mobo configurations and should I upgrade my OS to Windows 7 or should I just order a new case and transfer my current stuff in with maybe a RAM upgrade? The current setup works fine for pretty much everything that I like to do, but I don’t want to end up like my Dad and get too far behind the times and then I am stuck with not being able to transfer files and having a machine that struggles to keep up.

I am still running an IDE HD and DVD Burner since I have had rotten luck with configuring SATA devices properly.

If I should upgrade I would like some recommendations from products from www.newegg.com

Thanks for the help.


#2

I just put a system together yesterday using thses parts for a friend and it is a fantastic system.
He is using the on board HD4200 video for the time being and I must say it does a great job for on
board video.

This is the case I used for his build
APEVIA X-QPACK2-BK/500 Black Aluminum Body/ Front Mask MicroATX Desktop Computer Case 500W Power Supply


but if you don’t want something this small then I’ve also included a link for a Thermaltake M9 below which I like as
it is a pretty sturdy case.

Thermaltake M9 VI1000BWS Black SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

BIOSTAR TA785GE 128M AM3/AM2+/AM2 AMD 785G Micro ATX AMD Motherboard

AMD Phenom II X4 945 Deneb 3.0GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Processor

Patriot Extreme Performance 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model PDC24G8500ELKR2


of course you could just reuse your RAM

Western Digital Caviar Black WD5001AALS 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive

Sony Optiarc Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA DVD/CD Rewritable Drive

Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders


#3

Check out Dee’s new build. I think it is great and won’t be out of date two days after you put it together.


#4

Thanks folks. I tend to be partial to the Gigabyte Mobos though since they seem to be the customer’s choice winners. I definitely love my current one, although I wouldn’t mind one with a built-in HD4200 set-up for just a little extra. Also, I know it is red but what do you think of this one. It’s made from Japanese Steel and I know that stuff is pretty durable.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811108051&cm_re=computer_cases_mid_tower_Japanese--11-108-051--Product


#5

[QUOTE=G_Ivan Awfulitch;2479602]Check out Dee’s new build. I think it is great and won’t be out of date two days after you put it together.[/QUOTE]

No on-board graphics kills the deal for me on that setup. I really like the on-board ATI-Radeon setup as it does everything I want it to without the hassle/cost of purchasing a separate graphics card. That and I prefer the AMD due to the pre-applied thermal paste since I don’t have very steady hands.


#6

Honestly if your current PC is keeping up to the tasks, especially gaming then stick with it. Good upgrades would be the case (ferrari red looks pretty cool), another stick of ram, and if the HDD is more than 2 years old. The fastest HDD’s now are of course SSD, but they aren’t mature yet and a bit pricey. The fastest traditional drives now are from Samsung, the F3 series, I have the 1TB version it also comes in 500GB.

Muskin Memory available, try to match to your old set.
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM SATA, the demand is high but it pops in and out of stock.

Dee’s new system is HOT, but comes at a price and performance you really wouldn’t use.

Also just to add, a new monitor is a very good idea too. Prices on monitors have never been better, and the upgrade in visual experience is well worth it.


#7

I already have a 22" Hannspree LCD, that I purchased about a year ago, so I think I am good with it. I am considering doing just what you suggested and just upgrading the ram and the HD (Believe it or not I am running an old 80GB IDE Western Digital since it seems to be the one that gets along with my current setup, I had a 160GB Seagate but it refused to recognize my hardware and kept rebooting even after I tried reformatting). I am a bit nervous about switching to SATA since it isn’t plug and play like IDE (unless things have changed). That and I have had rotten luck trying to configure SATA devices in the past.


#8

I don’t know what trouble you had. Just set your sata option in the bios for IDE, theirs no need for AHCI or RAID options.


#9

[QUOTE=eric93se;2479844]I don’t know what trouble you had. Just set your sata option in the bios for IDE, theirs no need for AHCI or RAID options.[/QUOTE]

Have to agree 100% with eric93se on SATA set to IDE mode in the BIOS
being pretty much plug and play or is that plug and pray lol. :bigsmile:


#10

Also, is it worth it to upgrade to Windows 7 or should I stick with XP.


#11

I would go Win 7


#12

Before you do the upgrade you might want to make sure you have the latest BIOS installed on you MB, it might fix some of the SATA issues you had.

Windows 7 is up to you, don’t expect too much and you won’t be disappointed. If you have a student email account you can get Win 7 from MS for around $30.

Upgrading your old HDD will make a nice improvement, the new HDD will be 2-4 times faster than you old one.


#13

[QUOTE=Jesterrace;2480432]Also, is it worth it to upgrade to Windows 7 or should I stick with XP.[/QUOTE]

I’m running XP 32bit on one drive and Vista 64bit / Win7 64bit on one of the other drives in a dual boot and I love
Win7 I hardly ever use the XP drive any more. I switch back and forth between Vista and Win7 at boot up and I do
use Win7 a lot more than Vista now days. The only reason I keep XP around is one of the older arcade type games
I like to play every once in a while does not run on Vista or Win7 if it did XP would be gone. I might delete the Vista
partition and just run Win7 all the time and use that extra space for storage. :iagree:


#14

I would recommend Windows 7 64-bit. I ditched my Windows XP MCE 2005 install for a clean Windows 7 64-bit install in October and have not looked back. No programs that I want to use cause any problems or unexplained crashes.

… and going 64-bit means that you could install 8GB of RAM on your existing motherboard (I did).

I am using a 30GB SSD (OCZ Vertex Turbo) as my O/S drive and a Samsung HD154UI (1.5TB) as my data drive. The OCZ is extremely fast, but the Samsung is the fastest conventional HDD that I have owned.

Edit:

and I had an AMD X2 5600+ in my HTPC (GA-MA78GM-S2H) and all it needed was a BIOS flash to allow it to take an AMD X4 620 (Propus).


#15

[QUOTE=Jesterrace;2479534]
I am currently running an AMD 64 Athalon X2 with a 2.9GHZ Brisbane processor
2GB Mushkin DDR2 Ram
Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H Mobo with built in Radeon HD3200 graphics
Windows XP Pro OS
[/QUOTE]

So if this is your motherboard, all you need to do is get a Phenom X4 945 update your bios to be sure that it will support it, also add one sata HDD (the samsung F3 is a good choice). and if you want you can put some extra ram (2G) and then go for the win7 64x, of you want to stay with the ram that you already have stay with windows XP.

Also check the [B]PCB[/B] of the motherboard to be sure what [B]REV[/B] is, i see that gigabyte has 1.0/1.1 and 2.x and the rev2.x support 140watt cpu :bigsmile:


#16

Shoot, looks like they no longer carry that case. That being said this one is a bit cheaper and will probably do the job nicely (I like that it has 4 USB ports on the front for easy access):

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811517007&cm_re=Japanese_steel--11-517-007--Product


#17

Talk about bumping an old thread but at least this is relevant. Being cheap and content with what I have, I feel it really is time to upgrade now. My PC still does everything I want and nothing has changed in my demands but I will cover it again:

Specs:

I am currently running an AMD 64 Athalon X2 with a 2.9GHZ Brisbane processor
2GB Mushkin DDR2 Ram
Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H Mobo with built in Radeon HD3200 graphics
Windows XP Pro OS

My uses for the PC are as follows:

Browsing the I-net
Reading/Burning CDs/DVDs
Playing high-def streaming files
Playing regular video files (ie Netflix/Hulu)
Playing older PC games, the newest game that I have is Heroes of Might and Magic V.

I want to keep onboard graphics (I just have no need for a separate graphics card) and I am really hesitant to get rid of Windows XP as there are a couple of old games (ie Heroes of Might and Magic III) that I really like to play that won’t be compatible with Windows 7 or the upcoming Windows 8, but I also know that I can’t hold onto it forever. I will need a new DVD Burner and HD, since I will need to convert to SATA for the new system.

Either way so I know for sure I will need the following:

New Mobo, Processor and RAM
New DVD Burner
New HD
New Case
New Power Supply (I currently use a 400W Antec Tru Power which is plenty).
New OS?

Anyways, so it sounds like I will be building a new PC, any suggestions given what I am using my PC for.


#18

Ok! lets do this :bigsmile:

Ready to give Intel a try? If you want to stick with AMD let us know and we will see what we can come up with.

I didn’t include a HDD because well first of all there are now SSD drives that are very fast, they aren’t a necessity though. Also regular HDD’s are expensive because Thailand was under water due to flooding so HDD prices pretty much doubled. Recent reports say they should be in full swing again by the third quarter. They’re probably just taking advantage of us right now though. So I guess you can decide if you want to use an old HDD for now, get a decent SSD drive ($100-$170) or fork over bucks for a regular HDD. Realize that SSD drives are small, they are mainly used for the OS and main programs.

Intel build:

ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard Has HDMI and DVI, the cpu has the actual gpu in it.

Intel Core i3-2105 Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz LGA 1155 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 3000 fast dual core with latest graphics on it.

G.SKILL Sniper Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600

FSP Group AURUM GOLD 400W (AU-400) ATX12V /EPS 12V 80PLUS GOLD Certified very efficient at idle and loaded.

Rosewill REDBONE U3 Black SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case Has USB 3.0 on front panel.

SAMSUNG CD/DVD Burner Black SATA Model SH-222AB your a CDfreak so the CD/DVD drive is up to you.

Totals $442.

You can get good money for your old stuff on ebay or Craigslist if you want.

If you want to spend less on the Intel build we can probably shave off ~$50-100 bucks.
You can save $42 getting this MB: ASRock H67M instead if you want. The Z68 has a lot more potential but this one has the same basic features.
edit: This a good board that is cheap and is Z68: ASRock Z68M/USB3, I guess its up to you how much you want to spend.


#19

Why an i3 dual core instead of an i5 quad core? I’d go for a less expensive motherboard and the quad with the same graphics: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116400

But then, I do a lot of video encoding and the tools I work with need the extra cores. But multitasking in general tends to work better also.

I’d avoid that Samsung dvd drive. I’d go with an Optiarc: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827118067
Or an LG Blu ray burner if you are all interested in blu ray on the computer: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827136239

An SSD will speed things up like virtually nothing else. The Crucial M4’s have just had a firmware update that clears up the only problem I’ve heard about them. Get a 120 or 128gb ssd for the operating system disk from Intel, Crucial or Samsung.

Win7 is very good. A real step forward from XP, so you should really consider it unless you have some legacy hardware somewhere that you absolutely have to use and it just doesn’t work with Win7.


#20

I take it AMD has really flopped in the last few years. Most used to recommend them all the way and now it seems every effort that they have made to keep pace with intel has flopped. Glad I am looking at upgrading, I didn’t realize how far behind the times I was. Anyways, as mentioned I need a mobo with onboard video and would really prefer ATI (which tends to be on AMD boards).