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Thread: Upgrading the backbone my PC - Advice Welcome...

  1. #1
    CK1
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    • CK1's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus P5K
      • CPU:
      • Intel Core 2 Duo e7500
      • Memory:
      • 4x 2GB
      • Storage:
      • OCZ Vertex 4 - 240GB
      • Graphics card(s):
      • XFX GeForce GTX260/216
      • PSU:
      • Corsair 750W
      • Case:
      • Antec P182
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 7 64bit
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell 2412
      • Internet:
      • Virgin Media

    Upgrading the backbone my PC - Advice Welcome...

    I currently have a PC which I have been steadily upgrading for the last few years, but now it needs a new backbone, i.e. CPU, mobo, RAM & gfx card.

    My current system is as follows: -

    Athlon XP 3200+
    2x 512MB Crucial RAM PC3200
    Asus A7N8X Deluxe
    MSI Nvidia 6600GT 128MB
    Creative X-Fi Music
    Leadtek Winfast Freeview TV Card
    2x 250GB Samsung Spinpoint HDD
    1x 250GB Maxtor Onetouch External HDD
    Asus DVD/CD writer
    Sony DVD ROM
    Dell 2407FPW Monitor
    Antec P160 case
    Antec 440W PSU

    As you can see the backbone of the system is in need of a refresh as the of the rest of the hardware is pretty much up to date.

    I have a budget of around the £600 mark and am thinking of the following items

    Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 - £192.69
    Asus P5N-E SLI NF650i SLi - £75.66
    2GB (2x1GB) CorsairTwinX XMS2, DDR2 PC2-6400 - £129.24
    320MB XFX 8800GTS XXX - £223.11


    This comes to about £635 inc delivery

    I have not really overclocked in the past but am willing to give it a go, but do require a stable system as my wife works from the computer and won't be happy if it locks up / reboots all day while I am at work.

    Should I buy a separate HSF, if so is it worth buying an OEM CPU instead of a retail one (if they're available)?

    My purposes for the PC are for playing games mostly RTS & FPS, watching TV & DivX files, movie editing, email, internet etc etc.

    I am also thinking of upgrading the case to the P180 but not sure if I would need to upgrade the PSU?

    Is a new mobo with the new integrated Intel sound card better/worse or no different than the Creative X-Fi? Depending on the answer I might sell the X-Fi.

    I am not sure about which memory is required for the best or most stable overclock though. I am guessing an overclock of between 3 & 3.5 Ghz would be possible here, but would like further advice on the memory.

    Any help is gratefuly received.

    CK

  2. #2
    The King of Vague Steve B's Avatar
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    Clunk is the man to speak to about this.

    Personally, I would downgrade the 6600 to an E4300, spend a little more (circa 130) to get some nice OCZ ram, change the board to a 965 chipset and that should give you some headroom to upgrade the PSU, something >= 550W should be perfect
    You should also have a little more to get an Arctic Freezer 7 Pro, which is an ace cooler for the C2D chips

  3. #3
    Mostly Harmless
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    Your xfi will be far better than an onboard sound chip, only problem is vista compatability at the moment.

    I'd say get a better than stock cooler for it, you will benefit from better overclocking and quieter operation.

    As for the psu, if it's an ATX 2 unit it should be fine, though with a P180 you need to be sure it's cables reach due to the none atx layout.
    "You've gotta laugh when you fall off a sofa!"

  4. #4
    Flat cap, Whippets, Cave. Clunk's Avatar
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    E6600 CPU = excellent, but the E4300 can be had for about 99 quid, and the overclock to make it run at 2.4ghz (same as the e6600 but with 2meg cache), is stupidly easy, with pretty much any half decent board.

    Motherboard wise, the P5B boards will serve you well. If you dont NEED SLI, dont bother with an SLI board. I would recommend the P5B deluxe, especially if you go with the cheaper E4300, but ask for it to have the latest bios pre flashed onto it.

    Ram=fine

    Graphics = I'm sure that there are cheaper alternatives of the same model

    Edit: Yes, grab an aftermarket cooler for the cpu, the Intel ones are rubbish, noisy and inefficient.
    Last edited by Clunk; 10-03-2007 at 12:45 AM.
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    stupid betond belief.
    You owe it to yourself to click here really.

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    I have the Asus P5N-E SLI NF650i motherboard and it's a very good mobo imo. So far no problems at all and nothing to complain about. I haven't tried overclocking yet though so I can't help you in that regard.

    The p5b is probably a better motherboard overall and a proven overclocker so if you can afford that then you should probably get that one. I chose the p5n-e cos of the lower price.

  6. #6
    HEXUS.social member
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    Probably a little bit late, but Scan has that graphics card for £176 on Today Only. It's normally less than £190 anyway. I second the E4300, having ordered it myself. Definately get a better cooler as they don't cost a lot, but do give a good performance boost. I agree with Clunk, and use the money saved to get a better motherboard.
    In regards to the PSU, the PSU calculator gave about 350W for that system, but you should check whether it has the 8 pin connector for dual core CPUs. You can order an 4P-8P adaptor if it doesn't, although upgrading it wouldn't hurt.

    E4300 - £100
    Asus P5B Deluxe - £125
    2Gb Corsair Memory - £130
    XFX 320Mb 8800GTS - £180
    Arctic Cooling Freezer Pro - £20
    Total = £555

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    • Marcvs's system
      • CPU:
      • Acer Aspire 5810T
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 7/Mac OSX Lion
      • Monitor(s):
      • Viewsonic 22" (1920*1200)
    I might also be interested in taking the 4 components you listed off your hands - as I need to do a very cheap build for a family member..

    get a regular P5b though you will have to flash it its quite good - though have alo heard good things abotu the P5N-32 - also beware of the issues when installing xp onto sata II HDDs

    aftermarket coolers are great - much quieter

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    • DecomposingStar's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus P5K Premium Wifi
      • CPU:
      • E6400 C2D Intel @ OC'd to 2.91ghz
      • Memory:
      • 4x 1GB OCZ Platinum Edition (800mhz - 4/4/12) (32bit Vista runs it at 3.3gb)
      • Storage:
      • 1 Maxtor DiamondMax 80gb HDD, 1x Western Caviar 250gb HDD
      • Graphics card(s):
      • ATI 2900XT HIS Oc'd 810/899
      • PSU:
      • 670W HiperPower
      • Case:
      • Antec 900 - Customised.
      • Monitor(s):
      • Hanns.G 19" HW191D
      • Internet:
      • 2mb NTL/Virgin
    Use a P5B motherboard.
    The RAM is fine, but you could get some OCZ stuff for a similar price if you wanted.
    I'd personally wait for the R600 to come out but if you're an nVidia type person, get a good overclockable model.
    If you can afford the E6600, then go ahead, but if you are thinking of downgrading, get an E4300/E6300 and not an E6400.

  9. #9
    CK1
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    • CK1's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus P5K
      • CPU:
      • Intel Core 2 Duo e7500
      • Memory:
      • 4x 2GB
      • Storage:
      • OCZ Vertex 4 - 240GB
      • Graphics card(s):
      • XFX GeForce GTX260/216
      • PSU:
      • Corsair 750W
      • Case:
      • Antec P182
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 7 64bit
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell 2412
      • Internet:
      • Virgin Media
    OK - thanks for the feedback guys. Let me check a couple of things out though.

    It seems to make sense to buy the Arctic Cooling Freezer Pro and use this instead of the Intel HSF.

    If I buy an E4300 instead of a E6600 and overclock it to 2.5Ghz it will give a similar level of performance as the E6600. However if I overclock to the E6600 to 3Ghz (or more) I will still get a faster machine, and it has more cache. Wouldn't this be a better option?

    Are the overclocked 320MB GTS much better than the standard ones? Can these cards be manually overclocked to the same extent with the supplied fans?

    Motherboards are a confusing matter, what I need from a mobo is as follows: -
    As many USB ports as possible & Firewire
    Minimum 4x Sata
    1x IDE
    Ethernet
    2x PCI slots
    1x PCI-E

    I'm not really interested in SLI/Crossfire as I would rather sell my current card and buy a newer one that to buy a second identical card.

  10. #10
    Flat cap, Whippets, Cave. Clunk's Avatar
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    The chances are, the E4300 and the E6600 ***should*** overclock to roughly the same speed (see below), wether the extra cache makes a difference to you, will depend on what you use the pc for, but the difference is minimal really, and not worth twice the price in my opinion, unless you dont want to overclock at all, ever.


    ***no guarantees with any overclocking. You could buy an E6600 that does 3.6ghz at stock volts, or you could be really unlucky and get one that takes a shedload of voltage to hit 3ghz. Same with the E4300, but its half the price, and the chances of it NOT hitting 2.4ghz are minimal to none
    Quote Originally Posted by Blitzen View Post
    stupid betond belief.
    You owe it to yourself to click here really.

  11. #11
    Flat cap, Whippets, Cave. Clunk's Avatar
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    Motherboard, P5B deluxe wifi.
    Quote Originally Posted by Blitzen View Post
    stupid betond belief.
    You owe it to yourself to click here really.

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    • DecomposingStar's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus P5K Premium Wifi
      • CPU:
      • E6400 C2D Intel @ OC'd to 2.91ghz
      • Memory:
      • 4x 1GB OCZ Platinum Edition (800mhz - 4/4/12) (32bit Vista runs it at 3.3gb)
      • Storage:
      • 1 Maxtor DiamondMax 80gb HDD, 1x Western Caviar 250gb HDD
      • Graphics card(s):
      • ATI 2900XT HIS Oc'd 810/899
      • PSU:
      • 670W HiperPower
      • Case:
      • Antec 900 - Customised.
      • Monitor(s):
      • Hanns.G 19" HW191D
      • Internet:
      • 2mb NTL/Virgin
    I agree with Clunk, however i feel that if you can easily afford the E6600 then go for it, but if buying the E6600 causes you to spend less in other areas, don't bother.

    As for the Graphics card, pretty much all cards are well overclockable, you'll have to weigh up what you save on getting a "stock-speed" version. You might be able to buy an awesome Zalman GPU cooler for the money you've saved, and this will give you a bigger amount of overclocking headroom.

  13. #13
    CK1
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    • CK1's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus P5K
      • CPU:
      • Intel Core 2 Duo e7500
      • Memory:
      • 4x 2GB
      • Storage:
      • OCZ Vertex 4 - 240GB
      • Graphics card(s):
      • XFX GeForce GTX260/216
      • PSU:
      • Corsair 750W
      • Case:
      • Antec P182
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 7 64bit
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell 2412
      • Internet:
      • Virgin Media
    I am hearing rumours that new Intel processors are out next month.

    Is it worth waiting for these to come out so that I can either get one of these or buy one of the current ones as I'm guessing that they will come down in price?

    I'm not in a hurry to buy the new bits as I want the components to last several years, my old bits have!

  14. #14
    Senior Member kalniel's Avatar
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    • kalniel's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Gigabyte X58A UD3R rev 2
      • CPU:
      • Intel Xeon X5680
      • Memory:
      • 12gb DDR3 2000
      • Graphics card(s):
      • nVidia GTX 1060 6GB
      • PSU:
      • Seasonic 600W
      • Case:
      • Cooler Master HAF 912
      • Operating System:
      • Win 10 Pro x64
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      • O2 8mbps
    You can always wait for the next price cut or speed bump that's just around the corner. That said.. yeah, I'd wait

    As for my 2p's worth, I'd consider an intel based chipset over Nvidia's. The NVidia northbridge is fast, no question, but it also runs hot, usually requiring noisy fans or huge heatsinks.

  15. #15
    CK1
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    • CK1's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus P5K
      • CPU:
      • Intel Core 2 Duo e7500
      • Memory:
      • 4x 2GB
      • Storage:
      • OCZ Vertex 4 - 240GB
      • Graphics card(s):
      • XFX GeForce GTX260/216
      • PSU:
      • Corsair 750W
      • Case:
      • Antec P182
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 7 64bit
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell 2412
      • Internet:
      • Virgin Media
    Another quickie...

    Is there a motherboard that is the equivalent of the Asus P5B Deluxe/WiFi-AP, which seems to be held in high regards by just about everyone, without the WiFi and with SLI & not Crossfire?

    For the wifi I cannot see the point of this as my wireless router is about 2 feet away from the PC and a cabe is much quicker / more stable.

    As for SLI, even though I said I wouldn't do it, I would rather have the option of SLI than Crossfire as I'm more likely to buy an nvidia card the an ATI one.

  16. #16
    Anthropomorphic Personification shaithis's Avatar
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    • shaithis's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus P8Z77 WS
      • CPU:
      • i7 3770k @ 4.5GHz
      • Memory:
      • 32GB HyperX 1866
      • Storage:
      • Lots!
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Sapphire Fury X
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      • Windows 10 x64
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    Only the Asus boards seem to have that kind of following at the moment, that isn't to say that there are bargains elsewhere.

    I would take a serious look at the Abit IB9 if it isn't too lacking in the features you need.

    I can't see any reason why you wouldn't have an E4300 clocked at 3GHz almost immediately.
    Main PC: Asus Rampage IV Extreme / 3960X@4.5GHz / Antec H1200 Pro / 32GB DDR3-1866 Quad Channel / Sapphire Fury X / Areca 1680 / 850W EVGA SuperNOVA Gold 2 / Corsair 600T / 2x Dell 3007 / 4 x 250GB SSD + 2 x 80GB SSD / 4 x 1TB HDD (RAID 10) / Windows 10 Pro, Yosemite & Ubuntu
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