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Thread: What started off as an SSD upgrade...

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    MD
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    What started off as an SSD upgrade...

    Ok, some of you know I used to work round these parts and whilst I specialised in chassis's - I used to have a daily read of all things technology (and cram knowledge during CeBit week), but as is usual, life gets in the way and you completely lose track of things.

    I bought an SSD (Samsung 830) finally after all this time. Used Norton Ghost and it didn't disappoint my expectation, its yet another crap Norton product! - didn't work, blue screens on boot, the works.

    So I'm now contemplating a full upgrade, but downsizing at the same time.

    I currently have....

    Q6600
    Intel BadAxe2
    4 x 1GiB 6400 XMS2 DHX Corsair
    BFG 8800GTS OC2 640mb
    Tagan 480W
    1 x 500GB, 1 x 160GB 1 x 1TB HDD's
    Akasa Eclipse Chassis (man they are still DAMN good cases too).

    I'm looking to move over to Micro ATX now....

    Case: Either Silverstone PS07 or TJ08b Silverstone - was looking at the FT-03 but Parm's excellent, and importantly fair review put me off

    What I put in it I am totally open to, I'd like to kinda make it future proof on the stuff that's cheap - so 16GB of ram, a decent PSU, don't think I'll need anything more than 500-550W at a guess.

    I need to know a good motherboard/cpu combination - I don't really game, but I would like to go dual monitors - something like a 640 Nvidia (has to be NVidia, I hate the ATi catalyst drivers with a passion - unless they sorted that out)

    So I'm basically stuck on a good motherboard CPU combination - I'm budgeting between £150 and £200 - I'm open to either Intel or AMD, but I can't be doing with the whole bios flashing to get a board to work (I don't have space CPU's floating around!) - I've tried to read up on AMD trinity something or other and I didn't get it - I would need the GPU side to power dual 1920x1200 screens (my trusty old 8800GTS needs to retire soon - gaming isn't important, screen estate, browsing, light graphics work and coding pages its what its primarily used for)

    I've got spare copies of Win 7, both 32/64bit discs, so no issue there.

    My main aim with this is to get to SATA 3, benefit from SSD speeds and get a solid, quiet and efficient system - help me with any ideas peeps, please
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  2. #2
    Anthropomorphic Personification shaithis's Avatar
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    Re: What started off as an SSD upgrade...

    If you don't care about gaming, just go for an FM2 based system.

    As long as you don't get a higher resolution monitor you will be fine. The A series can handle 2 x single link outputs or 1 dual link.
    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
    HTPC: AsRock Z77 Pro 4 / 3770K@4.2GHz / 24GB / GTX 1080 / SST-LC20 / Antec TP-550 / Hisense 65k5510 4K TV / HTC Vive / 2 x 240GB SSD + 12TB HDD Space / Race Seat / Logitech G29 / Win 10 Pro
    HTPC2: Asus AM1I-A / 5150 / 4GB / Corsair Force 3 240GB / Silverstone SST-ML05B + ST30SF / Samsung UE60H6200 TV / Windows 10 Pro
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  4. #3
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    Re: What started off as an SSD upgrade...

    Im struggling to find a decent FM2 board and the appropriate chip which won't require a bios flash.

    It seems to be quite a minefield to figure out on both Intel and AMD platforms, it used to be oh so much more simpler than now....that or I got old.
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    Re: What started off as an SSD upgrade...

    A trinity system (FM2) seems to fit your needs perfectly, meaning you won't even need a graphics card. What is it that you don't get about AMD Trinity?

    Problem is Trinity uses AMD Catalyst though, may I ask what it is that you don't like about AMD Catalyst?

    If you do go for AMD Trinity you can upgrade for pretty cheap as you'll only need CPU, motherboard, RAM and a PSU. (Along with the case you've chosen of course)

    EDIT: Just read your reply, FM2 will work with all the AMD Trinity chips and won't require flashing.

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    MD
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    Re: What started off as an SSD upgrade...

    I used to hate the constant updates to Catalyst - I mean to the point where it would just do my head in.

    I mean I know my 8800GTS is behind the times as from what I can gather the FM2 setup is actually quicker than it - I am not adverse to having a separate GPU (I know with Intel I would need to) but I just found the whole interface for drivers a pain (I mean for example, I don't recall the last time I updated my NVidia drivers and it keeps ticking, not constantly reminding me to update etc.
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    Re: What started off as an SSD upgrade...

    Well I've been using AMD Llano (Trinity's predecessor) and AMD graphics cards for the last few years and I've never got a reminder to upgrade them. I never really upgraded the graphics drivers either once I installed them as usually it would only be a small performance gain and I'm no hardcore gamer, "don't fix what isn't broken".

    Here's a cheapish spec: (I say cheapish because you can go either cheaper but I don't see the point in saving a tenner or so)
    CPU: A10 5800K £92
    Motherboard: ASRock FM2A75-PRO4-M - £55
    RAM: Crucial 16GB 1600Mhz Ballistix - £62

    There's not much difference between the newer A85X chipset and A75 so I've chosen a A75 chipset FM2 motherboard in mATX format because IIRC the case that you're looking at is mATX. The motherboard states "Multi VGA Output options: D-Sub, DVI-D and HDMI" so I assume you can use them to output to multiple monitors.

    For the PSU it would be best to get something like a Seasonic SII12 380W or XFX Core Edition 450W but I can't find them for sale at a reasonable price anywhere. I guess you could go with the Corsair CX430 V2 as it doesn't seem that bad now (V1 was pretty bad). There's no need really to go for a 500W+ PSU as you'll mostly be drawing around 30-70W idle and 100-150W load if you go for AMD Trinity.

    EDIT: Forgot to add, you'll want to go with an aftermarket CPU cooler, I've not really been keeping up to date with what's good for a mATX sized case though so someone else will have to chip in here.
    Last edited by Ulti; 19-11-2012 at 02:28 PM.

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  9. #7
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    Re: What started off as an SSD upgrade...

    An FM2 motherboard does not require a BIOS flash to use Trinity.

    For a Trinity setup this is what I would get:

    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/amd-a...hz-100w-retail

    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/gigab...vi-d-hdmi-matx

    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/8gb-%...-11-27-xmp-15v

    The motherboard uses the A85X chipset and there is 8GB of high speed RAM which is useful for Trinity. The motherboard has 4 RAM slots so you could always add more RAM. However,Scan is tad expensive for such RAM. I would also get a better cooler if noise is important to you.

    This PSU is also very efficient:

    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/360w-...gold-quiet-fan

    Another alternative would be the FX6300,but mATX AM3+ motherboards are thin on the ground though!!

    The CPU would be a bigger upgrade for you.


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  11. #8
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    Re: What started off as an SSD upgrade...

    that's a bit easier for me to follow, thanks folks!

    It looks like there is a good backing for an AMD chip this time around - for a sake of comparison would I pretty safe with any of the Intel manufactured boards?

    I'm looking to take advantage of USB 3, Sata III and plenty of device ports for HDD and an optical drive so I'd like to future proof as much as possible in that regard...
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    Re: What started off as an SSD upgrade...

    On case, depending on the number of hard drives and cpu cooler size you plan to use the fractal design core 1000 is a good low cost option http://www.scan.co.uk/products/fract...et-fan-w-o-psu
    The silverstone's you've mentioned are lovely mATX cases, and easy to build in once you get your head around the unusual layout.
    Others to look at are the Fractal design ARC mini http://www.scan.co.uk/products/fract...-black-w-o-psu although this and the silverstones are a bit more focused on packing in a graphics card and large cpu cooler (and the arc mini is probably the best matx option if you want to shoe horn in water cooling)
    For a bit more money the fractal design define mini http://www.scan.co.uk/products/fract...e-case-w-o-psu is probably the best case for more hard drives and lower noise.

    The FT03 has some issues with it but it does have a very small foot print for an mATX case Granted this might not be an issue for you, the restriction of DVDr/w

    On graphics card/onboard you still don't need much to power 2 monitors, the intel onboard gpu has enough power to display a 2 monitor desktop as does the gt610, so no need for anything fancy. ( I did some testing at work with a gt610 vs gt630, as I wasn't sure the gt610 would be enough, it was fine)

    For onboard I'd say double check before you get the motherboard, as some may have multiple outputs but can only output a single feed at a time (I cannot remember which motherboards I was looking at, but I found a couple like that, I think they where some cheaper intel based ones I don't know what the AMD situation is like)

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    Re: What started off as an SSD upgrade...

    Quote Originally Posted by MD View Post
    that's a bit easier for me to follow, thanks folks!

    It looks like there is a good backing for an AMD chip this time around - for a sake of comparison would I pretty safe with any of the Intel manufactured boards?

    I'm looking to take advantage of USB 3, Sata III and plenty of device ports for HDD and an optical drive so I'd like to future proof as much as possible in that regard...
    The A85X motherboard I listed has 8 SATA3.0 ports and 2 USB3.0 ports plus thre USB3.0 headers on the motherboard.

    The CPU is around Q9550/Q9650 level performance and the IGP with faster RAM is probably around 9600GT level performance.


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    MD
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    Re: What started off as an SSD upgrade...

    Peeps,

    Thanks for the info, I would like to compare a costing to an Intel setup though too (I have a secret love on their well vetted own brand boards) - best sort of equipment for me to look at if I did?

    I have costed up the AMD setup based on your recommendations - If i go down that route I might delay a bit as there are other A85X board coming that look pretty tasty (I only want to do this upgrade once in the next three years
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    MD
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    Re: What started off as an SSD upgrade...

    Well I bit the bullet and the parts have started turning up this morning with others due later...

    AMD 5800K (OMG how small a box?)
    Arctic Cooling Freezer A30 CPU Cooler (still undecided if this was a good call or not...)
    Asus F2A85-M Motherboard (AMD A85X 7 x S-ATA 600 FM2) (managed to find one of these, but it wont be landing till Monday so no weekend build for me )
    Corsair 16GB 1600MHz CL10 DDR3 Vengeance Memory Kit X 2 (decided to buy enough now to last, its cheap enough - 32GB total)
    Crucial M4 SSD 256GB (thanks to Amazon Black Friday it was only £99.99 )
    Silverstone Temjin TJ08 M-ATX Case
    Silverstone USB 3.0 2.5" Port Bay with 2 x 2.5" SSD storage
    Corsair 500w Enthusiast Series PSU (it seemed a good compromise and will cover me if I add a GPU card further down the line)
    LG GH24NS90.AUAA50B 24x SATA Bare Internal DVD Rewriter - Black

    I've got a spare copy of Win 7 64bit already, so I don't have to get none of that Windows 8 crap

    And that's the lot so far. One thing I want to check is there's a rumour you might be able to squeeze some ATX boards in the TJ08 if my BadAxe will fit, I'll buy another one and run two systems (can't face getting rid of the gold girl quite yet )

    Thanks for all your help all, if you have a comment on the memory or CPU cooler please share, I haven't opened either yet - the Memory decision was based on the fact that reviews have stability issues on 2033, for me stability is more important than overall graphics performance - one of the main reasons I went with the Asus board at £85 versus the Gigabyte at £55 (although I could still change my mind as it stands...)
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    Re: What started off as an SSD upgrade...

    Looks like I noticed this thread a bit late.

    Still, nothing I'd change there, and you'll have to let us know what you think of that case!

    As for the CPU box, I think both MFRs have significantly reduced their packaging now; a SNB Celeron I came across recently was in a box a similar size to the one my Llano APU came in.

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    Re: What started off as an SSD upgrade...

    Was the PSU a CX500W?? I would have got the XFX PRO 550W,Antec HCG520W or OCZ ZS 550W instead. The first two PSUs are made by Seasonic and more importantly use ball bearing fans. Sleeve bearing fans in PSUs are not so good for use in SFF PC system IMHO.

    Also,the Trinity IGP really does prefer faster RAM and you see a 15% to 20% improvement in framerates going from 1600MHZ DDR3 to 2133MHZ DDR3. One of my mates used 2133MHZ DDR3 RAM in an A10-5800K based build,and it did OK and at the very least you can still run it at 1866MHZ.

    Edit!!

    Just realised you don't game so ignore the last point.


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    Re: What started off as an SSD upgrade...

    Quote Originally Posted by watercooled View Post
    Looks like I noticed this thread a bit late.

    Still, nothing I'd change there, and you'll have to let us know what you think of that case!

    As for the CPU box, I think both MFRs have significantly reduced their packaging now; a SNB Celeron I came across recently was in a box a similar size to the one my Llano APU came in.
    I have to say, very impressed with the case (had my fair few contacts with an M-ATX is the past and its right up there) - it's strictly M-ATX or smaller though as there is a metal plate avoiding the fitment of anything bigger.

    So far so good with it all to be honest, where the Case is concerned.

    Alas, the news is not so good on the motherboard/cpu front,. I've got issues obtaining the motherboard, which is really annoying me as its given me time to do abit more reading and I'm currently leaning towards going to an Intel system instead.

    Many reasons for this, but price wise - Im currently sitting on this...

    AMD Config - FM2 Motherboard £89, CPU £93, Cooler £30 - £213
    Intel Config - Z77 Motherboard £100, CPU £159 - £259 (Intel Cooler is more than fine given its all going to be stock and the Intel fan is quiet (can't believe AMD still peddle such poor kit with CPU's)

    For the extra £46 I am going to switch over to Intel (as I can get it all to me for Monday) as I just can't get a hold of a FM2 board with the ports I wanted - I feel alot more comfortable buying up a slightly more mature platform as this is going to be my main rig and stability is key.

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    Was the PSU a CX500W?? I would have got the XFX PRO 550W,Antec HCG520W or OCZ ZS 550W instead. The first two PSUs are made by Seasonic and more importantly use ball bearing fans. Sleeve bearing fans in PSUs are not so good for use in SFF PC system IMHO.

    Also,the Trinity IGP really does prefer faster RAM and you see a 15% to 20% improvement in framerates going from 1600MHZ DDR3 to 2133MHZ DDR3. One of my mates used 2133MHZ DDR3 RAM in an A10-5800K based build,and it did OK and at the very least you can still run it at 1866MHZ.

    Edit!!

    Just realised you don't game so ignore the last point.
    It is the CX500W

    Mind you, this case has a top vent which the PSU faces to extract direct out of the case top. Hopefully its not going to be too bad a decision.

    I really appreciate all your help - I am sorry that I ended up on Intel again, I'm no fanboy, but I guess the fact I cant get the board I want and I have never had issues with Intel means I was kinda outside my comfort zone when the AMD Processor turned up.
    Please do not message me about Scan Free shipping, I no longer work for HEXUS.net

  19. #16
    Bows out! CAT-THE-FIFTH's Avatar
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    • CAT-THE-FIFTH's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Less E-PEEN
      • CPU:
      • Massive E-PEEN
      • Memory:
      • RGB E-PEEN
      • Storage:
      • Not in any order
      • Graphics card(s):
      • EVEN BIGGER E-PEEN
      • PSU:
      • OVERSIZED
      • Case:
      • UNDERSIZED
      • Operating System:
      • DOS 6.22
      • Monitor(s):
      • NOT USUALLY ON....WHEN I POST
      • Internet:
      • FUNCTIONAL

    Re: What started off as an SSD upgrade...

    What ports do you need??


    Those despicable Elk,stealing the pond weed!

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