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Thread: New build advice required. Time to upgrade/replace my 2008 build

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    New build advice required. Time to upgrade/replace my 2008 build

    Hi,

    I've been lurking on Hexus for a while, and would now like to ask for some help!

    I last built a rig in late 2008 so think it might be time to upgrade

    Details of my existing PC and some general criteria are below. I'd like to reuse any components that make sense (PSU? HDD's. DVD/BluRay drive)

    Budget is dependent on what stuff I need to buy and what I can reuse. I'd like to target around £650, but can stretch it out more if needed.

    Existing PC:
    Coolermaster HAF 922 case
    i7 920 with Noctua NHU12P heatsink
    XFX 4890XXX GPU
    Coolermaster RealPower 1000W modular PSU
    6GB OCZ 10666 RAM
    BluRay / DVD combo drive
    300GB WD Raptor HDD
    2x 1TB HDD's

    Criteria:
    - The majority of use will be gaming at 1080p (although I will be getting a 2560x1600 screen later), and some recording / editing / processing play-through videos
    - I intend to use a separate capture card to grab video from console playthroughs at a later date
    - Downsizing. The HAF case is a monster. A smaller case is very desirable (I was thinking about building a MATX rig, but I think my need for expansion slots will negate this). I could stick with the HAF for cost savings
    - Quieter the better. No screaming fans!
    - Separate soundcard or good onboard sound to drive my headset (preferably with option for virtual surround sound)
    - SLI / Crossfire is not important
    - Ability to overclock on air cooling is a nice to have
    - SSD for OS would be nice, but not essential
    - It's unlikely I'll be upgrading for another 5 years, so would rather get bang for my buck now than look to being futureproofed for the next 2-3 years
    - Mobo / case needs to accommodate sound card, GPU, and a WiFi card and capture card at a later date
    - No requirement for keyboard, mouse, monitor

    I've been looking at Haswell and IvyBridge CPU's. Seems a lot of people favour the high end unlocked IvyBridge i5's, but price difference is marginal so can't see the point of sticking with the old socket. I do have a slight preference for Intel CPU's.

    I have no idea on the GPU front. Things were a lot less confusing back in 2008! Radeon 7870 seems like a decent option?

    The Xonar DG or DGX 5.1 seem like good value options for audio

    Any advice greatly appreciated!

    Thanks

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    Re: New build advice required. Time to upgrade/replace my 2008 build

    I would overclock your current CPU and get an SSD and a new graphics card. Regarding the case I would look at the Fractal R4.


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    Re: New build advice required. Time to upgrade/replace my 2008 build

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    I would overclock your current CPU and get an SSD and a new graphics card. Regarding the case I would look at the Fractal R4.
    Thanks. That's interesting. Perhaps it'd be fun investing in water cooling instead... I've never tried that before and the HAF is certainly big enough to take it (I could pretty much fit an aquarium in there!)

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    Re: New build advice required. Time to upgrade/replace my 2008 build

    cpu wise , it might be getting along a bit but its certainly not short of grunt - S1366 seems to be holding up better than 775 does now.

    what board do you have?

    an SSd would give a nice refresh boost - in the real world theres not a lot between sata 2 and sata 3 as it is , in the bulk of daily use (although egt a good sata 3 drive for future upgrade)

    gpu wise - change out that 4890 for something and new and you`ll have an awesome machine refresh

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    Re: New build advice required. Time to upgrade/replace my 2008 build

    Quote Originally Posted by HalloweenJack View Post
    cpu wise , it might be getting along a bit but its certainly not short of grunt - S1366 seems to be holding up better than 775 does now.

    what board do you have?

    an SSd would give a nice refresh boost - in the real world theres not a lot between sata 2 and sata 3 as it is , in the bulk of daily use (although egt a good sata 3 drive for future upgrade)

    gpu wise - change out that 4890 for something and new and you`ll have an awesome machine refresh
    I'm pleasantly surprised to find that the advice given so far is to not blow my budget And very surprised to find the old i7 920 still has something to offer!

    The mobo is a Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD5

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    Re: New build advice required. Time to upgrade/replace my 2008 build

    motherboard has 10 x sata 2 slots , 4 of which are on the JMicron controller.

    use the blue ones for an SSD - the intel chipset is far better than the offboard chip and make sure AHCI is enabled:

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/922976

    run that fix then reboot , and enable AHCI in your bios (will be under the SATA type) , it even helps with HDD as well

    edit:

    http://www.intel.com/p/en_US/support/detect

    ^ and that will automatically update your chipset drivers , run it after you`ve enabled ahci

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    Re: New build advice required. Time to upgrade/replace my 2008 build

    Thanks HalloweenJack. Good info. I'll sort that out when I get home from work.

    Does anyone have advice on the GPU? I am looking at a few different models in the region of £200 Seems like the AMD 7870 has a slight edge over GTX 660Ti's. But should I be looking at any particular models (considering I'd like to keep noise to a minimum). Or is there any compelling reason to look at other series of cards?

    I see good things about the Samsung 128GB 840 Pro. Is that still a decent SSD?

    Thanks for all the fast responses. much appreciated - at this rate I'll be making a purchase today from Scan!

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    Re: New build advice required. Time to upgrade/replace my 2008 build

    can you stretch to £239?

    ocuk have a gtx 670 for that money - its £70 cheaper than only a month ago (its EOL and being replaced which is why its cheap - its also still damn good)

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    Re: New build advice required. Time to upgrade/replace my 2008 build

    Which 7870 btw? the Tahiti or Pitcairn?

    At larger resolutions (ie 2560x1600) the 660ti's 192bit memory bus may start to show its gimpedness. It also effectively only has 1.5gb ram. the 660 is about 130 at novatech atm. A crossfire setup may be an option but will cost a bit.

    The 760 should be imminent.

    Someone came up with this a while ago:-



    from http://alienbabeltech.com/main/ivy-b...-4-2ghz/?all=1

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    Re: New build advice required. Time to upgrade/replace my 2008 build

    Thanks for all the advice.

    I ordered the KFA2 GTX670 from OCUK. It looks like a bog standard reference card, so should do the job nicely.

    Also went for a Samsung 840Pro SSD - not a big fan of Samsung normally, but the reviews all looked good.

    Looking forward to fitting it all at the weekend and having a nice OS refresh!

    Seems like I can quite easily push the i7 920 to 3.2 or even 3.6 on air.

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    Re: New build advice required. Time to upgrade/replace my 2008 build

    the 840PRO is a good SSD

    make sure you`ve enabled AHCI ofc for TRIM to work (TRIM is the defrag for an SSD - you don't use windows defrag so switch off any scheduling you might have for it)

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    Re: New build advice required. Time to upgrade/replace my 2008 build

    OK, so I got the GTX670 on Tuesday and couldn't resist fitting it. And.. well, wow.. just... wow. What an improvement! It's quieter than my old card, and I was really impressed by the step up Nvidia have made with their software. The jump in graphics in some games was astonishing.

    The SSD and a Xonar DXG arrived Wednesday... And although I was leaving it for a nice weekend project... my impatience got the better of me and I fitted them last night.

    It all went very smoothly. Due to the number of Windows 7 updates I needed to install I've not seen the true speed of the SSD on boot up yet, but it's obviously improved things significantly during normal operation.

    Things are slightly more mixed with the Xonar. The quality improvement compared to my onboard sound was significant through my Sennheiser PC360 headset. And the virtual surround sound worked far better than I was expecting. For £20 it is doing a grand job on playback. Unfortunately, for voice it is not very good. I record game playthroughs from time to time, and I couldn't get decent levels from the mic. The audio is very very quiet, and without mic boost on it is inaudible. With mic boost on it adds a slightly metallic / robotic tone. I have checked settings, but a web search seems to show a fairly common issue on many Xonar cards. I have reverted to using the USB audio dongle I had from an old Senneheiser headset for the mic, and the Xonar for playback. Bit of a shame, but will see if I can get it resolved over the weekend.

    Thanks to one and all for the advice! The 670 is the star buy here, so thanks to HalloweenJack for suggesting it. It was slightly outside budget, but worth it compared to the alternatives I was looking at.

    Next step will be OC'ing the i7 920...

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