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Thread: new build advice

  1. #1
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    new build advice

    Hi all

    I'm a bit behind on the latest chips etc so have joined to ask some advice.

    My current PC is a Core2 Duo 6300 1.86, 2GB RAM across 4 slots, GeForce 9500GT and and ASRock ConRoe945G-DVI mobo with a couple of SATA drives and a DVDRW. I'm running Windows 7.

    My main use (aside from email and browsing) is Photoshop, Dreamweaver and InDesign but boot up times and app start up times (esp the Adobe stuff) are starting to get ridiculous.

    I also play the very occasional game of COD or MOH so gaming isn't a major priority.

    I could re-format but I'm thinking it may be time to throw some cash at it instead.

    My current options are:

    a. I'm aware my RAM is probably a bottleneck and for around £80 I could get 2 x 2GB sticks of DDR2 667 RAM but this would probably only be a temp solution.

    b. Buy AMD Phenom II X4 945, Gigabyte GA-870A-UD3 and 4GB (2x2GB) Corsair DDR3 PC3-10666 (1333) and keep the rest.

    c. Buy AMD Phenom II X6 1055T, Gigabyte GA-880GMA-UD2H and 4GB (2x2GB) Corsair XMS3 DDR3 PC3-12800 (1600) and keep the rest.

    I suppose my questions are....

    1. Will I notice the difference of option c over option b? Will it last me considerably longer for the additional £50ish it will cost?

    2. Will a newer graphics card help?

    3. What power PSU will I need for b and c?

    4. Do I need a separate cooler for the chip or is the retail one adequate? I'm not interested in overclocking.

    Any comments, or better suggestions appreciated!
    Last edited by dw1973; 06-07-2010 at 11:39 AM.

  2. #2
    Late Night Ninja! CrazyMonkey's Avatar
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    Re: new build advice

    I cant answer what AMD solution would be best but i'll answer a few others things and give you some other suggestions.

    - Yes a newer graphics card will help both in newer games and probably some design software.

    - 500-600w will ensure your safe and give you some room in terms of upgrades. What do you currently have (Wattage + Model + Brand)?

    - If your not overclocking the stock supplied CPU heatsink will suffice (ensure you dont buy an OEM CPU, get a retail one or you wont receive a cooler).


    Now heres my other suggestions -

    That 6300 is begging to be overclocked, its usually the most simple task to get them to around 3ghz and you'll see a phenomenal difference. It seems like you dont like the idea of overclocking, but rest assured its largely safe - If you are worried start a new topic here and people can help you with the overclock. Also i'd grab another 2GB of ram, should be able to get some for around £40-£50.

    The 6300 is getting on quite a bit now i downgraded from a Q6600 back to my old 6300 as i saw a sale opportunity arrise. I've spent a long time overclocking my 6300 and it's currently sitting at just over 3.7ghz (which is crazy and allows it to keep up with some of the newer chips).

    If your 100% set on not overclocking then i'd just upgrade because that stock clock 6300 has been holding you back for years.

  3. #3
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    • dw1973's system
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    Re: new build advice

    Thanks CrazyMonkey

    I guess my next question would be what's a recommended decent graphics card for my requirements, bearing in mind gaming isn't high priority?

    I've pulled my PSU out and found it's a Hiper hpu-4s425 425W which is lower than I thought. Which means probably a new PSU as well. I've looked at the modular ones before as the idea of less cables is always attractive but again I don't know much about decent quiet ones. I'll be shopping at Scan as it's only about 15 mins away.

    I'm not adverse to overclocking, it's more an issue of time and liking things to work well out of the box. I've had a quick look at the C2D OC thread and it's given me some ideas (and the chip does rate at the lowet on Windows Experience if that's a genuine measure)...just need to be careful as I'm running the retail heatsink and fan.

    My RAM slots are also full as for some reason (probably financial) I bought 512MB sticks

  4. #4
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    Re: new build advice

    Spring clean of your HDD?

    Price wise a cooler and ram may be the cheapest. I would be loath to buy any ram at teh moment unless there was a good deal.

  5. #5
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    Re: new build advice

    I've never found a HD cleanup to help much in terms of speeding up, especially compared to a reformat...maybe I'm doing the wrong thing?

    I only installed Win7 around the begining of the year so a format isn't really due yet.

    I don't want to spend a fortune but have some money in my company which I can spend on my PC, otherwise it becomes taxable in a couple of months but at the same time the temptation is there to wait for prices to drop.

  6. #6
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    Re: new build advice

    Whether the X6 will be worth it over the X4 is really determined what file sizes you deal with in Photoshop - if just if web development or only 2000x2000 odd pixels, then the X4 will be fine, but if doing 3D or very large files, then the X6 may be useful. If you were to get certain nVidia GPUs, they could enhance PS (the 285 GTX springs from memory), but I don't thing the latest 4xx are supported even by CS5 so probably little reason there apart from for the gaming side of things.

  7. #7
    Senior Member kalniel's Avatar
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    Re: new build advice

    All recent ATI and nVidia cards accelerate photoshop no problem.

  8. #8
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    Re: new build advice

    Thanks SkullTrail, its only smaller stuff so a x4 should be adequate.

    I've checked and my 9500GT supports the PS acceleration and it's already enabled.

    I've now slightly tweaked my spec to:

    AMD Phenom II X4 945
    Asus M4A785TD-V EVO
    4GB (2x2GB) Corsair XMS3 Classic, DDR3 PC3-10666 (1333)

    I've used the Extreme Power Supply Calculator and based on those specs it's suggested I need 332W PSU, so I'm assuming my Hiper hpu-4s425 will be adequate or does an X4 need something special?

    Also the ASUS board has onboard Radeon 4200 graphics...is this better than my exisiting 9500GT?

  9. #9
    root Member DanceswithUnix's Avatar
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    Re: new build advice

    The built in 4200 graphics is nowhere near as good as your 9500GT.

    I am using an Antec 380W PSU with a 955BE (mild overclock to 965 speeds), an 8800GT graphics card and two hard drives and it works fine. That isn't a recommendation of the Antec on which I don't like the small fan, but shows you that even 380W is plenty.

  10. #10
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    • dw1973's system
      • Motherboard:
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      • CPU:
      • E6300
      • Memory:
      • 2GB
      • Storage:
      • 500GB
      • Graphics card(s):
      • 9500GT
      • PSU:
      • Hiper HPU-4S425
      • Case:
      • Lian Li
      • Operating System:
      • Win7
      • Monitor(s):
      • Acer P203W
      • Internet:
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    Re: new build advice

    Thanks DanceswithUnix...I had a feeling I'd used the PSU Calc when I bought my current set up and saw 425 was more than adequate, but wanted to make sure!

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