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#90467 22-Sep-2011 02:47
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Hi all,

I need to upgrade my graphics card, add some more RAM, and possibly upgrade my power supply unit and change case. The current system is noisy and gets very dusty so a case change appeals (though paying money out doesn't). I'm also adding an SSD, second 1Tb drive, and wondering if my PSU can handle it. Suggestions please!

What I have now:

Intel DX58SO Extreme, X58 chipset motherboard

Intel Core i7 920 Quad Core 2.66GHz ** Overclocked to 3.2GHz **

G.SKILL 6GB Tri-Channel kit (2GBx3) DDR3-1600 <- going to upgrade to 12GB

Samsung Spinpoint F1 HD 1Tb

XFX Radeon HD 4890 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI-E 2.0 x16 CF Ready

OCZ 600W ATX2.0 Dual Rail 120mm Modular Power Supply

CoolerMaster Storm Scout ATX Mid Tower Black Gaming Case

 

For the power supply, I run two monitors (21" and 24"), a graphics tablet, USB keyboard, 2x USB mouse, and external HD through an eSATA port. I'm not sure if adding new GFX, an SSD and another terabyte drive to the system will push the PSU past its limits. 

Any advice? Cheers.

 

 

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  #524372 22-Sep-2011 03:22
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A 600W power supply is plenty. I'm not 100% sure on the USB devices but I know the monitors will be on a separate power supply, so they will not count towards the over-all load on your PSU after the upgrade.

As far as the case is concerned, you want plenty of dust filters where your intake fans are. The bigger lower RPM fans tend to be quieter, they have a low RPM but move a lot of air which may solve your noise problem. It also depends on the quality of the fan you buy.   You can adjust the speed on many of the bigger fans available too.

You can find excellent case reviews here: http://www.youtube.com/user/3DGAMEMAN
They are the best I have seen so far.  He quite often skips the dull and boring "unboxing" phase and gets right in to the product with no BS.  Discusses pros and cons...etc...etc.

I am a fan (no pun intended) of air cooling over water, so I like big cases with a lot of airflow. If your case is not being transported around often I personally would opt for the full tower case. They generally have more expansion bays and more intake and exhaust fans.

Adding another video card rather than replacing it may put your PSU over its limit.  Replacing it with a new one should be fine.  You can get a decent 1000WATT PSU pretty cheap these days though, so if you have the extra after the upgrades, it is worth future proofing.  The new AMD RADION 6990 can draw up to 440 odd WATTS of power by itself!

I hope this helped.





Sometimes what you don't get is a blessing in disguise!

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  #524394 22-Sep-2011 08:21
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I measured the power consumption of my PC (Q6600, three hard drives, two SSDs) under load, it was 110W. 600W is way more than you need. 200W is plenty for most people, unless they have huge video cards.

What are you doing with the machine?

An SSD and another drive will make the biggest difference. Unless you have massive requirements doing video or something odd 6GB of RAM should be enough. I process 2000+ 12megapixel RAW files at a time on a Q6600 and 4GB of RAM (soon to be upgraded), but even for that i'll only get 8GB of RAM - unless it's crazy cheap.


 
 
 
 




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  #524571 22-Sep-2011 12:40
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timmmay: I measured the power consumption of my PC (Q6600, three hard drives, two SSDs) under load, it was 110W. 600W is way more than you need. 200W is plenty for most people, unless they have huge video cards.

What are you doing with the machine?

An SSD and another drive will make the biggest difference. Unless you have massive requirements doing video or something odd 6GB of RAM should be enough. I process 2000+ 12megapixel RAW files at a time on a Q6600 and 4GB of RAM (soon to be upgraded), but even for that i'll only get 8GB of RAM - unless it's crazy cheap.



Primary use is web development for which I run Windows 7 64-bit on a VM. Allocating 2Gb RAM to the VM works - just. I do my graphics outside of the VM and 4Gb RAM is not nearly enough. I end up micro-managing the number of browsers and browser windows I have open just to keep from running into RAM bottlenecks.  Upgrading to a 12Gb Tri-channel pack will cost me around $170 so its not too bad.

Secondary (but highly important) use is gaming. Single-player RPG's. The main reason for upgrading the graphics card is for playing Skyrim when its released. My current card struggles with the highest settings for The Witcher 2.

 

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  #524580 22-Sep-2011 12:55
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Why do you do development in a VM? I had to once, because of the environment, but generally VMs raise CPU and RAM requirements, with the only "benefit" being isolation from the physical machine.

Upping the RAM will help a lot with what you're doing though.



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  #524607 22-Sep-2011 13:33
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timmmay: Why do you do development in a VM? I had to once, because of the environment, but generally VMs raise CPU and RAM requirements, with the only "benefit" being isolation from the physical machine.

Upping the RAM will help a lot with what you're doing though.


It's easier. I end up installing/uninstalling a lot of stuff and over time this leaves a lot of residual crap behind. When I've finished with that work its much easier to simply remove that VM than it is to try and clean out my main system. It removes the need for doing the occasional clean OS install. 

 

 

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  #524616 22-Sep-2011 13:49
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Ah fair enough :)



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  #525853 26-Sep-2011 15:35
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After pricing everything out I decided to do my upgrade in two stages. 

First stage - gear on its way now:

1 x Seagate Barracuda 1TB ST31000524AS 32MB 6Gb/s SATA3 @ $84.95 = $84.95
1 x Intel 320 Series 80GB 3GB/s 25nm SSD Retail Pack @ $258.95 = $258.95

1 x MEM578 - G.SKILL Sniper Gaming Series 12GB (3 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory F3-12800CL9T-12GBSR - $169.00 NZD

Having my OS on the SSD and adding another 1Tb HD to the one I already have should see some performance improvements. Doubling RAM from 6GB to 12GB should also make a significant difference given the way I use the machine.

I'm going to wait till next year and see what's around in GFX before upgrading. My Radeon HD 4890 has served me well and I will just have to live without tessellation for now. 

I was going to add a fan controller to make my case quieter but I can't work out which fans are the ones that annoy me. I suspect its the CPU fan, which is a Xigmatek Achilles. However, I abandoned the idea of adding a fan controller when I discovered that hooking my fans up to it would mean I lose the LED's. I love my case and kinda like the white, red and blue lights the shine through ;) 

With luck, this system will see me through for another couple of years.

 

 
 
 
 


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  #525868 26-Sep-2011 15:53
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Doesn't the bios and operating system manage fan speed to keep things quiet?



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  #525919 26-Sep-2011 17:48
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timmmay: Doesn't the bios and operating system manage fan speed to keep things quiet?


Not with my case. It's a CoolerMaster Storm Scout that comes with 3 fans included. The fans all connect directly to the power supply so run at full speed all the time. 

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  #525953 26-Sep-2011 19:39
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Ah ok, that's not smart. All mine connect to the motherboard.

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