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Thread: Proposed Upgrade

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    Proposed Upgrade

    Current Machine Put together Q1 2006, upgraded to Sli 2 years ago.

    MoBo: Asus A8N Sli Deluxe
    CPU: AMD Opteron 185 (Denmark)
    Memory: 4Gb Patriot DDR PC4000 Eased Latency CL3 Dual Channel kit (XP sees 2gb)
    Windows only accepts 1.75 Gig of the mem’ but BIOS see’s it all. (64 Bit or vista required?)
    Graphics :2 x XFX 8500 GTS 512 mb each
    1 x Maxtor Pata 150GB HD
    1 x Maxtor Sata 150GB HD
    1 x Maxtor Sata 250GB HD
    2 x DVD-R
    1 x Floppy Drive
    Running XP home with 3 user accounts – 90 gigs of crap on the C: drive.

    Machine Used as follows:

    Wife: A teacher, therefore loads of poorly written, bulky educational software on it.
    Tons of (to her) invaluable documents.

    Daughter: Facebookaholic, messenger, photos, school work.

    Me: Work stuff, Accounts, Photos, Music, COD 2, 4, 5 & Crysis.
    I also like to tinker with it which invariably results in a big a crash!

    Drawbacks: Won’t OC massively, always falls over if pushed beyond 2850 MHz.
    Very cool, Max ever seen 60’c on CPU – Vid’s get up to 90’C gaming with O’clock on
    Bios V1016 a bit flaky, has the feeling of unfinished work in progress.
    The SATA drives will actually disappear from BIOS!
    Once crashed it takes a lot of effort to get everything defaulted and back up.
    Windows can get corrupted on crash, it’s simpler to boot from PATA then clone the SATA back.
    PATA slow but bomb proof!
    I run games at 1260 x 1024 on a 19” at 60 Hz. COD5 stutters occasionally. Crysis can drop to 10 FPS and become un-playable. COD 2 & 4 pretty good.

    Am contemplating building a new machine and going for Windows 7.
    The machine has got to be robust, upgradeable, capable of screaming for me, an office donkey for my wife and indestructible when it comes to data preservation.
    My plan is as follows:

    Gigabyte GA-P55-UD6 Intel P55 Socket LGA1156
    Core i7 860
    8 gigs of quality DDR3 ram
    1 x 32 Gig SSD to hold the OS, peripheral drivers and associated software inc AV.
    2 X 250 Gig Maxtors, one to hold all the apps like Office, Adobe, music, pictures, documents etc, the other disc to be its clone.
    I haven’t a clue what to do about graphic cards.
    It has to fit in the current machines Thermal take Soprano case and will have the same DVDs and stuff already fitted. (That way the wife will think I’ve only upgraded the OS!!! )

    Any comments or advice about the above and how it might perform or meet my criteria would be appreciated please.

  2. #2
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    Re: Proposed Upgrade

    Personally, I wouldn't waste my money on an SSD and 2 piddly 250GB Maxtors. A couple of 1TB WD Caviar Blacks or Sammy F1's properly partitioned will do the job if you stripe them. Fast & scads of space. I mean, at the end of the day, how important is it to most people if your OS loads in 6 secs or 25 secs?

    Plus SSD's are still new tech. Look at the price of the 1tb drives when they first appeared. 8 months down the line they're more reliable & a damned sight cheaper. The same will apply to SSD's. 8 months down the line & you'll be wondering why you purchased it (imho).

    Know what you're saying about the mrs, get the kit delivered to work if you can & sneak it in under cover of darkness.
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    When I say go, both walk in the opposite direction for 10 paces, draw handbags, then bitch-slap each other!

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    Re: Proposed Upgrade

    I would seriously consider getting a bigger screen from the money you save not running SSD.

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    Re: Proposed Upgrade

    The Gigabyte board you have chosen is at the high-end pricing for P55, you could probably find a comparable LGA1366 board and i7-920 instead for a similar price to the UD6 + i7-860. There are better value P55 boards out there, having said that, Gigabyte do offer extended warranty for some select P55 boards, and that's definitely a good thing.

    Also, LGA1366 is the only platform which will be upgradable to 6-core cpus if that's your thing.
    Last edited by simonw; 15-09-2009 at 11:46 AM.

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    Re: Proposed Upgrade

    I would avoid Seagate/Maxtor drives. I've just had a barracuda die on me after six months. Bios will no longer see the drive. Something to do with bad firmware. There is an upgrade for it but only if you can access the Sata drive, I cant and have lost this months data because of it. So be very wary of them.

    I agree with OiD go with Western Digital. I will be the next drive I buy.

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    Re: Proposed Upgrade

    While I like the new 1156's I'd be tempted by something including:

    i7 920 D0 - All the features and some OC'ing
    3x2Gb DDR3 in triple channel - Can always add 6Gb more later if you feel stretched
    ATi 5000-series when they arrive or 4890 if you can't wait - Can you hold out for DirectX 11?
    2x 1Tb Western Digital RE3 in RAID1 - Main storage and coverage for HD failure

    If you still need a boot drive go for it but tbh the RAID should cover it. However also add an external drive - something like an esata connected WD MyBook - maybe buy 3! (one for each of you) then backup backup backup
    Vimeous : i7 7700K | 16Gb | ASUS Strix Z270G | GTX1080 | 960 EVO 500GB NVMe | 850 EVO 500GB | TX650W | NZXT S340 Elite | Dell U2713H + 17" | 10 Pro
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    NAS : DS1511+ | DX513
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    Re: Proposed Upgrade

    I agree with the plans proposed for an i7 920,
    You can get a much more flexible system, which will provide far better capacity and expandability for the future.

    I bought a £50 1TB Hitachi drive from ebuyer and it has been fine for me, but it is not as fast or as efficient as the Western Digital Raid Edition 3 drives.

    I would avoid the SSD boot drive unless you have cash to burn - you get much better value from buying a couple of large SATA disks, perhaps putting them in RAID 1 for data security, and spending your saved pennies on an eSATA disk for the most important files.

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    Re: Proposed Upgrade

    I only mentioned the RE3's because of the "indestructible when it comes to data preservation" statement. I'd trust them the most.
    However I'd be happy with Samsung F1's in the proposed system as long as the backups were done regularily.
    Vimeous : i7 7700K | 16Gb | ASUS Strix Z270G | GTX1080 | 960 EVO 500GB NVMe | 850 EVO 500GB | TX650W | NZXT S340 Elite | Dell U2713H + 17" | 10 Pro
    Willowin : i7 3570K | 16Gb | ASUS P8Z77-I Deluxe | GTX 660 TI | 2x 1TB 840EVO | Sugo SG05BB-450 | Dell U2713H + 17" | 8.1 Pro
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    NAS : DS1511+ | DX513
    W : Dell Precision T3610 | E5-1650 V2 | 16GB | Quadro K2000 | 256GB SSD | 1TB HDD | 8.1 Pro | 2x Dell U2515H


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    Re: Proposed Upgrade

    Just to add my tuppence, I'd also stay well away from Maxtor drives (to the point of being in a different county, let alone a different post code). Of four Maxtor drives I've had over the years every one has failed.

    Anybody but Maxtor (not had any experience whatsoever of Seagate though) is my own maxim - Western Digital or Samsung would be my own choice!

    Then again, someone, somewhere, will undoubtedly claim WD or Samsung drives are the most unreliable he or she has ever owned and to not touch them with two barge polls sellotaped together.

  10. #10
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    Re: Proposed Upgrade

    Quote Originally Posted by bandsaw View Post
    Just to add my tuppence, I'd also stay well away from Maxtor drives (to the point of being in a different county, let alone a different post code). Of four Maxtor drives I've had over the years every one has failed.

    Anybody but Maxtor (not had any experience whatsoever of Seagate though) is my own maxim - Western Digital or Samsung would be my own choice!

    Then again, someone, somewhere, will undoubtedly claim WD or Samsung drives are the most unreliable he or she has ever owned and to not touch them with two barge polls sellotaped together.
    Seagate = Maxtor

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    Re: Proposed Upgrade

    Thats interesting.
    I've had a pair of Seagate 40GB IDE drives for years now, which are still running without a hitch.

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    Re: Proposed Upgrade

    It is interesting laywill, I too have an old IDE drive that is Seagate, a 120GB and it is still going strong.

    It is the Sata drives that are the problem at the moment. It was down to firmware and while this might now have been fixed I personally am not prepared to take another risk. One drive going belly up and a search of said drives brings up a lot of people having the same problem.

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