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Thread: Sisters 7 year upgrade AMD build

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    Sisters 7 year upgrade AMD build

    Despite reading HEXUS over the past few years since i upgraded my computer, I haven't got the foggiest idea of what plugs into what on the modern stuff. So i need a bit of help. my sister wants/needs to upgrade her slow pokey computer, the reason the title says '7 year build' is that she only upgrades every 7 years, like me

    stuff needs to be bought from SCAN because my mum wants a day trip out bolton way and thats where SCAN is. plus we dont want to be woken up at early hours for delivery men.

    shes said it has to be AMD, and it has to be the Phenom II 1055T for £135.
    graphics. Sapphire HD 6850 ATI 1GB for £150.82

    the motherboard and memory is where I dont have a clue, any suggestions?

    Shes not planning on crossfire or any overclocking, onboard sound needs to be 7.1, onboard graphics will be a bonus - incase the seperate one breaks, but it's not essential. USB3, Sata3 bonus aswell, for futureproofing purposes.
    For the memory, she wants quantity over speed, i.e. as much as possible, 2x4GB will do, so she can bung in another 2x4GB at a later date if she needs it. i just dont know what voltage stuff to get or what will work, so thats why i need help.

    power supply?
    will a Tagan 480W TG480-U22 be able to power it? bought in 2005
    if not, what will?

    total so far is £280 for cpu, graphics. another £200 estimated for motherboard, memory, PSU (if needed) although cheaper would be better.

    ______________
    all the rest of the bits she already has - big tower case, dvd, keyboard, mouse, montor SM2232BW, OS win7 64bit, hard drives 320GB 640GB hitachis, CPU cooler.

    shes upgrading from an AMD 3700, 2GB ddr 700 ram, ATI X1800 XL, Audigy 2.
    current use is Elderscrolls Oblivion, Diablo 2, LOTRO, iPlayer in HD, and some picture editing in photoshop CS2.

    future use is Diablo 3, Elderscrolls Skyrim, LOTRO, iPlayer in HD, and some picture editing in CS2.
    ______________

    so HEXITES what suggestions have you got?


    EDIT: although after typing all this out and pressing 'post thread', i have just realised Buldozers on its way, so whens that out? if its very soon, then well wait and see, if its second half of year, we'll go ahead with this build.
    Last edited by stevie lee; 28-02-2011 at 11:04 PM.

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    Re: Sisters 7 year upgrade AMD build

    Quick recommendation; You're far far better getting 2x4gb RAM rather than 2x2gb then adding 2x2gb later. AMD CPUs don't play so nice when you have 4 memory sticks in, because it has an integrated memory controller - the RAM will have to be ran at slower speeds and higher voltages and it still puts extra stress on the CPU. I unfortunately found this out the hard way... my advice would be to definitely get 2 sticks of 4gb and leave 2 slots empty!

    So for RAM I'd recommend: http://www.scan.co.uk/products/8gb%2...connector-160v - £74

    As for the motherboard, this is the one I got: http://www.scan.co.uk/products/gigab...-sata-raid-atx - £80

    It's very good and should run everything very well. That leaves £46 for a good PSU... if I were you I'd spend a little extra and go for: http://www.scan.co.uk/products/600w-...s12v-135mm-fan - £70.

    That's a total of £224 for a great mobo, all the RAM you'll need and a rock solid PSU.
    Last edited by Ultima2876; 28-02-2011 at 11:10 PM.

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    Re: Sisters 7 year upgrade AMD build

    If her Win7 is OEM (rather than full retail) then she'll have difficulty transferring it to a new mobo (etc.).

    I wouldn't worry about on board graphics. If her shiny new 6850 "breaks" and she can't get it replaced then she could always go back to the X1800.

    I'm sure that the psu that ultima recommended is a goodun, but the 480W tagan you have will probably do

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    Re: Sisters 7 year upgrade AMD build

    The onchip memory controller shouldn't be an issue, the biggest potential issue would be compatibility issues, esp if you went AM3 when it first cam out as the DDR3 at that time ran at around 1.8v rather than the current low voltage DDR3, I can for see major issues trying to mix those.

    Granted I've not had any direct experience of AM3 with 4x ddr3, however I've had no issues with an AthlonII in a AM2+ motherboard with 4 sticks of ddr2

    in theory that PSU should be able to cope, however given the age there might be issues
    As a lower non-modular cost option the Antec HCG 520w @£56 made by seasonic http://www.scan.co.uk/products/520w-...ps12v-v291-psu

    Bulldozer is not AFAIK until end of march / beginning of april and still a bit of an unknown as to actual performance.

    i'd say it might be worth trying to talk her into a PhenomII x4 955 for £101 http://www.scan.co.uk/products/amd-p...hz-125w-retail it'll perform better on things that cannot use the full 6 cores of the 1055t, however it's currently out of stock
    the 965 might be worth looking at, a bit more speed but a bit more money at £117 http://www.scan.co.uk/products/amd-p...he-125w-retail
    However if she's determined on a hex core then the 1055t is probably the best bet.

    Motherboard I'd agree with Ultima, if you have something against gigabyte then I'd look at the Asus M4A87TD EVO instead, http://www.scan.co.uk/products/asus-...-sata-raid-atx the cost and specs are basically the same, from reports the Asus M4A87TD EVO doesn't like overclocking with the hex core phenomII that much esp compaired to the Gigabyte GA-870A-UD3, but if you run at stock speeds it's not an issue.

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    Re: Sisters 7 year upgrade AMD build

    I was gonna get that M4A87TD EVO, but was recommended against it by some guys on another forum - apparently that particular line of motherboards (and the other 8 phase ASUS ones) has a lot of build quality concerns. That is backed up by this article: http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/mai...0-roundup.html

    If you do decide not to go with the Gigabyte for some reason, tread carefully; thar be dangerous waters ahead!

    As for memory sticks; I had problems with my old Athlon 4800+ w/4 sticks 2, in the end I didn't bother upgrading past 1gb (2 sticks of 512mb) because it caused the memory speed to halve, which actually made my games run slower after upgrading even though I had more RAM... this was DDR1 though, I'm not sure that running DDR3 at half speed would have such a big performance impact.

    That Antec PSU is also supposed to be good. I'm not a PSU expert, but 520w should be enough for this system; I figured you might want the extra headroom if you're running a high power GPU with a hex core 140w processor though, hence my other recommendation You will generally save some money by going non-modular though if you're not fussed about airflow and a tidy case!

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    Re: Sisters 7 year upgrade AMD build

    One of my mates has a M4A87TD EVO in their build and it seems to be a great motherboard and is very easy for core unlocking and overclocking it seems.However,the Gigabyte 870 motherboard also is a good choice and does have a 8 pin EPS connector so can supply more power to the CPU for overclocking.

    If you don't intend to overclock the Phenom II X6 these motherboards should also be fine:

    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/255179

    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/205849

    Regarding the PSU I would also probably look at the Antec HCG 520W or the Antec TruePower New 650W. The latter PSU can be had on Scan Today Only sometimes for around £60. The Phenom II X4 955BE will probably be a better choice for most games and is cheaper than a Phenom II X6 1055.

    Also, Scan is overpriced for HD6850 1GB cards ATM! For instance the Sapphire HD6850 1GB is around £130 on Ebuyer:

    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/244431

    However,these two HD6850 1GB cards look decent for the price:

    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/244442

    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/254378


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    Re: Sisters 7 year upgrade AMD build

    @Ultima, ummm that artical supports what I said, running at stock speeds is not an issue in the slightest, overclocking esp on the Hex core is an issue, if you're not overclocking no issue.

    Well that memory issue was probably down to the DDR1 memory and a long time back, I can tell you that running 4 sticks of ddr2 on a socket am2+ motherboard doesn't half the ram speed at all.
    And I see no reason that using 4sticks of ddr3 on an am3 board/cpu should run slower.

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    Re: Sisters 7 year upgrade AMD build

    win7 is one of those cheap boxed copies from when they were preorder, we bought a few, so thats not a problem.

    4 sticks of ram, its what im using in mine see my system to left, 4x2gb sticks, so i know all about the niggles and things associated with that.

    I've got nothing against gigabyte, nothing much against any manufacturer except for maybe a little with asus.
    my previous 2 PCs had Asus mobos and i fried the northbridge on one, literally, burn marks and everything. thats when i found out they wernt supposed to run at 110celcius. the BIOS and IDE controller self destructed somehow on the second one.

    ______

    those PSU's look good. i'll have to check on the total budget, and see whether she wants modular or not. it is a big case shes got so its not essesntial and shes not bothered either.

    CPU, considering itll be another 6-7 years before my sister even thinks of upgrading again, hex core its going to be. they may come in handy in 3 years time.

    motherboard, descision made - its the Gigabyte GA-870A-UD3

    graphics - didnt realise there was that much of a difference, within a fiver we will go for the convenience of picking it up ourselves, but that much, we have to rethink.


    so thats just RAM left. I notice theres 1.5v 1.6v 1.65v. thats whats confusing me the most. what voltage stuff will work?


    and this has turned into a final-ish list of stuff to get, but we'll see what bulldozer does, so not buying it just yet, itll be a month or 2, maybe may, because thats her birthday, type project
    Last edited by stevie lee; 01-03-2011 at 07:15 PM.

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    Re: Sisters 7 year upgrade AMD build

    For the Sapphire HD6850 1GB you linked to Ebuyer is £21 cheaper!!


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    Re: Sisters 7 year upgrade AMD build

    ^ yeah but will it be in a month or 2

    ill keep an eye on both.

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    Re: Sisters 7 year upgrade AMD build

    Quote Originally Posted by Pob255 View Post
    @Ultima, ummm that artical supports what I said, running at stock speeds is not an issue in the slightest, overclocking esp on the Hex core is an issue, if you're not overclocking no issue.
    Still, I'd rather pay £80 to get a good mobo that can overclock and has extra features than spend the same and get one that has known overclocking issues and clearly poorer quality components... wouldn't you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pob255 View Post
    And I see no reason that using 4sticks of ddr3 on an am3 board/cpu should run slower.
    I built an AM3 machine last week (that I'm using now) and couldn't get 4 sticks stable at 1600mhz. It took about 6-8 hours of testing and tweaking to get 1333 stable - but since the OP knows about 4 stick problems it's probably best we leave it there

    EDIT: RAM stuff.. if you're waiting a month or two, just make sure you check Corsair's approved AMD list (it's on their site) and pick when the time comes

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    Re: Sisters 7 year upgrade AMD build

    You might as well reuse the PSU if you can. Its more about does it have the right connectors
    than it not being powerful enough.

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    Re: Sisters 7 year upgrade AMD build

    I keep reading that graphics need certain ampage/wattage on the 12V rail. For instance my 4870 says it needs two 75W 6-pin PCI-E, wasn't sure whether the tagan would be able to cope with a 6850.
    It has 2 x 6 pin and a 1x4pin PCI-E connector . its ATX 2.1 if that makes a difference.

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    Re: Sisters 7 year upgrade AMD build

    The MSI 6850 that I had (I say had because it was faulty, even though Scan said not) only had one PCIE power connection. Alot of the newer ones have two.

    It really is best to buy a new PSU, something thats 5 years is old is likely to crumble with the new hardware your looking at sooner rather than later. I've had no issues with the OCZ range of PSU's I've had, pretty near silent and well built

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    Re: Sisters 7 year upgrade AMD build

    Just had a quick google and the power consumption for a 6850 is about 130W idle , 230W load.
    4870 is 150W idle, 280W load. ~that is from different sites though.

    The pdf say 360W for both 12V. Personally I would try and use it and if its a no go then get a new
    one

    Depending on your own PSU maybe use yours in hers and keep the new one for yourself she will
    never know hahahha

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    Re: Sisters 7 year upgrade AMD build

    Be careful though, a PSU that blows *can* take the motherboard and sometimes other components with it, and PSUs do become more unstable with age. I guarantee that 5 year old PSU won't be able to handle itself the same way it did when it was first made

    You're rolling the dice...

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