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# 81389 12-Apr-2011 15:18
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Hey GZ,



Was just thinking about whether or not it would be worth it for me to upgrade my current rig.
Its always been used as my main rig doing everything from gaming to general browsing and a few graphics applications. Was thinking that since ive had it for around 3-4 years,


Here are my specs:

OS - MS Windows Vista Home Prem 32-bit
CPU - AMD Phenom X4 9550 2.4GHz
GPU - 2x ATI Radeon HD3870 in Crossfire 
RAM - 4GB DDR2 
MOTHERBOARD - Gigabyte GA-MA790X-DS4 (Socket M2)
HDD - 500GB WD SATA
PSU - 500w


You reckon if i upgraded id see a increase in performance worth the upgrade cost? and what high specs could be achieved nowadays? Ive only ever researched Desktop Components before i bought this system so my knowledge is a bit out of date you could say lol.



Thanks.   

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  # 457873 12-Apr-2011 15:21
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what are you planning to upgrade?





xpd

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  # 457879 12-Apr-2011 15:28
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Is the AMD etc your current setup or what youre planning on going to ?




XPD / Gavin / DemiseNZ

 

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  # 457888 12-Apr-2011 15:35
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Seen a few on trademe and was thinking about getting this one.
http://www.trademe.co.nz/Computers/Desktops/No-monitor/auction-367399775.htm

Looking around the 2000-2250 mark for a new desktop if i was to upgrade.


@xpd

So the Crossfire cards are pretty weak? Guess thats ok given how many cards have been released since then.




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  # 457900 12-Apr-2011 15:59
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First up, why is your sig so huge? Would you mind fixing it?

Why would you buy from trademe? Buy from a reputable store or online dealer, for the warranty and support. Dell, HP, Ascent (custom built or stock) are options.

I don't know how fast your current system is, but if it's 3-4 years old it's probably even pokier than my Q6600. Any Sandy Bridge PC will be a big jump in performance. Get 8GB of RAM, more is probably a waste for most people. If you can afford it an SSD for your OS disk, boot and wake from standby times are awesome. I have another SSD for my Photoshop/Bridge/ACR cache, that helps a lot too. My two are from here. Get a modern spinning disk too, newer disks are faster than old spinning disks, primarily because of data density.

Also get an external disk to do you backups onto.



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  # 457905 12-Apr-2011 16:11
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Ok just thought that buying through one of these online stores would cost 100's more than buying an already built custom desktop. Will have a look around the online stores for possible builds then compare prices.

Yea its a quad core processor but im sure its well out-of-date.
Ok so i should have just a normal HDD with an SSD to run windows off of?

Yep have a 7200RPM seagte 1TB external.

Any thoughts on the GPU recommendations? was thinking of possibly 2x GTX470's but im a real AMD fan have never had a Nvidia card before.

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  # 457907 12-Apr-2011 16:15
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Trademe might be cheaper, but be careful who you buy from. You could end up with no warranty or support, no matter how good their feedback.

I would (an do) have an SSD for Windows, and a spinning disk for data. Actually I have two SSDs and three spinning disks, but I have bigger data storage requirements than most people (i'm a professional photographer). You're better off buying the SSD I linked to (or OCZ Vertex 2) and installing windows yourself, preinstalled SSDs are expensive.

I have no idea about GPU, since it doesn't matter for photography. Two cards sounds pretty hard core and expensive unless you're a seriously obsessed gamer.

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  # 457949 12-Apr-2011 18:00
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ImHighAs: 

Here are my specs:

OS - MS Windows Vista Home Prem 32-bit
CPU - AMD Phenom X4 9550 2.4GHz
GPU - 2x ATI Radeon HD3870 in Crossfire 
RAM - 4GB DDR2 
MOTHERBOARD - Gigabyte GA-MA790X-DS4 (Socket M2)
HDD - 500GB WD SATA
PSU - 500w



Really that stuff is still mostly fine.

Here is what I would do:
- SSD for the main hard drive
- Graphics card, something much/newer faster with DX11 eg: GTX 560Ti 1GB or Radeon 6950 1GB
- Windows 7 64bit

 
 
 
 




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  # 457961 12-Apr-2011 18:38
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Ok thanks for you reply Ragnor.

If i remember correctly. Before i had to format my HDD and do a clean install of windows i was finding that while playing games sometimes the whole computer would just shut down randomly and wouldnt start up for around 10 minutes. Was wondering if it was something to do with the PSU as it was quite a low quality PSU. Any ideas on this? running Speccy the temps for the GPU are around 45C when idle.
Would you just upgrade the PSU anyway to make sure?

Yea was thinking of getting a GTX470 or the AMD equivalent(Please let there be an AMD equivalent). All these years with AMD have slowly pulled me over to the dark side lol.

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  # 457974 12-Apr-2011 19:53
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ImHighAs: Ok thanks for you reply Ragnor.

If i remember correctly. Before i had to format my HDD and do a clean install of windows i was finding that while playing games sometimes the whole computer would just shut down randomly and wouldnt start up for around 10 minutes. Was wondering if it was something to do with the PSU as it was quite a low quality PSU. Any ideas on this? running Speccy the temps for the GPU are around 45C when idle.
Would you just upgrade the PSU anyway to make sure?

Yea was thinking of getting a GTX470 or the AMD equivalent(Please let there be an AMD equivalent). All these years with AMD have slowly pulled me over to the dark side lol.


Yeah as Ragnor says your current PC is fine, well on the CPU side, I would do pretty much the same as him:

- 64bit Windows(if you have 32bit, the key will work in a 64bit disc, they are exactly the same)
- 6850 x 2 in Crossfire since your board supports it or a single 6950 would both be good choices
- SSD for Windows would speed up general tasks, maybe leave some room for games?
- Overclock your CPU to 3ghz and get a slightly better cooler(guessing it's stock AMD at the moment)
- Possibly a new PSU, do you know the brand of your current PSU?  I'd go for at least a 600w Corsair or Silverstone PSU
 


The PC Force price on the Trademe PC above is pretty good, around 2025 if you bought the components separately, although I would do the following differently 

*Silverstone ST650 $173
*Intel Core i7 2600K $481
*Gigabyte GA-H55M-S2H $136(Crossfire capable)
*Kingston HyperX DDR3 8gb(2x4GB) $165
*HDD Keep your current one, find a cheap 250gb off trademe and put it on there for selling purposes
*Samsung SH223F DVD $32
*2x HIS 6850s(they are quiet, I've owned one $580
*CoolerMaster Elite 341 case $54
*2x Artic Cooling 120mm fans $40
*Kingston SSDNow 64GB SSD
=  $1859


That would be an awesome setup
Or add an extra $180 and upgrade the 6850s to 2x 6950s still under the 2200 budget :)

You could also easily change the motherboard to an AMD AM3+ and the case to a full size case, I was just using a MicroATX for reference and because it's a nice size and easy to keep quiet :)
 




I have moved across the ditch.  Now residing in Melbourne as a VOIP/Video Technical Trainer/Engineer. 



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  # 457981 12-Apr-2011 20:11
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Thanks for you reply.

Yea now that you mentioned it id definitly go with the 2x 6950's in Xfire But do you know if my current Motherboard would support these 2 cards at all?
Gigabyte GA-MA790X-DS4 (Socket M2)

Also not too sure of the branding as i checked it a few years ago but i can confirm that its a Poor brand to say the least would upgrade the PSU whether i needed to or not. Should have replaced the PSU straight away TBH.

Also are CPU cooling systems and PSU's motherboard based? or should they all be able to be connected to my MOBO?.

Sorry about all the questions serious Desktop noob here.

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  # 458025 12-Apr-2011 22:22
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Random shutdowns are more likely to be a cooling issue than a power issue. Reseat the heat sink on the CPU.



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  # 458050 12-Apr-2011 23:28
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Just thought id mention it.

Im thinking of getting this GPU off trademe http://www.trademe.co.nz/Computers/Components/Video-cards/PCIExpress/auction-368285427.htm

just a question would this be equal to having 2 1GB editions of these in Xfire or no?



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  # 458056 12-Apr-2011 23:44
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Ok so here are the specs that my desktop will upgrade to:


OS - MS Windows 7 64-bit
CPU - AMD Phenom X4 9550 2.4GHz
GPU - 2x ATI HD 6950 Crossfire
RAM - 4GB DDR2
MOTHERBOARD - Gigabyte GA-MA790X-DS4 (Socket M2)
HDD - 500GB WD SATA
PSU - Corsair or equivalent 650w

Do you think i should change the Ram in the setup to DDR3? i went over to Gigabytes website and theres only mention of DDR2. Anyone know how fast DDR2 is compared to DDR3?

Also can i just buy a PSU and install it? will any PSU be able to run the system safely?

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  # 458110 13-Apr-2011 08:46
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The AMD X4 9550 is meant to be slower than my Q6600, which is really quite slow compared with a sandy bridge CPU. I wouldn't bother upgrading that machine at all. Putting two massively fast graphics cards in may be a waste, I don't know if the CPU is fast enough to keep them busy - really no idea.

Incidentally my PC uses 90W running with all cores full and two disks running. I laugh at the idea that 650W power supplies are necessary, unless the modern graphics cards are complete power hogs you won't get near it. A good quality PSU is important though.

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  # 458117 13-Apr-2011 09:12
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@Timmmay - yeah the CPU might actually be the biggest bottleneck in the system :S, possibly only really need one 6950 if that's the case.  And yeah, Quality over quantity :)  I only priced up the 650W Silverstone, because they are of higher quality than the 500W version and for two cards it'd be better to be safer than sorry :).  I used to run my 6850 off my 400w Shuttle PC PSU, it was great

@ImHighAs
- You can't change from DDR2 to DDR3, your motherborad only supports DDR2

- PSU almost all PSUs will be compatible with that motherboard, find a good quality brand, basically:
Corsair, Silverstone, Thermaltake, Zalman, CoolerMaster, avoid the cheap and nasty no name brands.
Easy to install as well, unscrew the 3-4 screws, unplug the larger plug, unplug the smaller plug x1 or x2.  And unplug you drives and graphics cards.  They are all designed to go into the plugs they are required to and won't fit in the wrong ones

- an Artic Cooler pro which is compatible with AM2, AM3 and Core i7 would be a perfect cooler

- The video card link, that's quite expensive, Trademe have a habit of being more than most actual NZ retailers, try this link http://pricespy.co.nz/product.php?p=793001#rparams=ss=HD6950


I reckon it might be an easier idea to sell it, use the money to get a new one.  You could probably make about 500 off it easily, maybe more.  I made just under 400 off my last one, which was a lot older, AMD 5200+, 4650, 4gb ram just last week 




I have moved across the ditch.  Now residing in Melbourne as a VOIP/Video Technical Trainer/Engineer. 

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