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Thread: Upgrade Advice Needed

  1. #1
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    Upgrade Advice Needed

    Hi, after dragging my computer through the last 3 years, I've finally decided to do a complete upgrade! After a couple of days of looking through reviews I've come up with this setup. I'd appreciate any advice you guys could give regarding the hardware I've chosen.



    • AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual-Core 4400+ S939 1MB (2.2) Retail inc Heat Sink Fan & 3 Years Warranty £349.49
    • 2GB Corsair (2x 1GB) DDR500/PC4000, 2x128Mx64, non-ECC, unbuffered, 3-4-4-8, H/S, L/T Warranty £207.96
    • 250Gb SATA300 Hitachi (IBM/HGST) Deskstar T7K250 (7200rpm,8M) £75.45
    • Asus A8N32-SLi Deluxe 939 NF4 Dual x16 SLi DDR400 SATAII Raid 2xGbE Lan 8Ch Audio £156.26
    • Gainward PowerPack! Ultra/3500PCX XP VIVO-DVI-DVI Golden Sample - graphics adapter -GF 7800 GTX - 256 MB £358.38
    • 580W Tagan 2Force T580-U22 SLi U-Quiet 21db Also support 12v EPS/SATA/XEON 3 Years Warranty ATX/BTX £74.01
    • Asetek 06-L-0018 VapoChill Micro Ultra Low Noise AMD S754/S939/S94 £32.23



    I also have one other question - I've got an old Audigy (yes, the 1st version) Platinum Ex soundcard. The motherboard I've chosen has onboard sound but I'm unsure as to whether to use this onboard one or use my soundcard. The Audigy has the added advantage of a front panel which is really useful. I'm just wondering, is it worth sacrificing the front panel if the onboard sound is much better?

    That's about all I can think of to ask right now.

    Thanks in advance for any help.

    Sean.

  2. #2
    hi unreal's Avatar
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    • unreal's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Intel iMac 20" & Macbook
      • CPU:
      • Intel Core 2 Duo T7200 2.0Ghz
      • Memory:
      • 4gb DDR667
      • Storage:
      • 1TB 7200 Int + 1.5Tb Ext
      • Graphics card(s):
      • ATi Radeon 2400XT
      • PSU:
      • 95W or something?
      • Case:
      • Intel iMac 20" Aluminium
      • Operating System:
      • OSX Snow Leopard (Win 7 x64 on Macbook Bootcamp)
      • Monitor(s):
      • 20" @ 1680x1050 & 27" 1080p HDTV
      • Internet:
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    Hi mate, welcome to the forums

    Very very very nice set up you have proposed, it is genuinely pretty refined.

    The Audigy 1 probably still has the edge over the motherboard audio, eventhough the motherboard audio should be pretty fly. I would use the Audigy myself. Apparently though the new Creative X-Fi series completely obliterate the past Audigy's and onboard sound, according to several sources such as CustomPC magazine, if you are a bit of an audio freak you might be interested in that.

    Also apparently the latest Samsung SpinPoint is the best harddrive available, matches the 74gb Raptor while being good value in the speed/storage ratio.

    Hope that helps somewhat!

  3. #3
    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
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell U2311H
      • Internet:
      • O2 8mbps
    If you're doing a complete upgrade, then just make sure you buy a case which has front audio ports, then you won't need the soundcard.

    But the onboard sound won't be any better than the audigy, so if the card isn't doing anything and you've got the free slot then stick it in.

    The Samsung is the quietest drive around, but the T7k250 that you list is faster. Good spec, a bit overkill on the power IMO but that's a good quality pack so efficiency should still be good at lower draw.

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    Thanks for the advice guys, really useful to have people who obviously know a lot more than me about this kind of thing confirm that it would work =).

    In reply to the case comment, ill be keeping my Thermaltake V2000A, purely to keep the cost down and the case stil has a lot of life left. I would buy a new soundcard also, but that would make the rig a little over my budget.

    Just 1 more quick question. The Asus A8N32-SLi Deluxe motherboard states that it supports up to DDR400. The memory ive chosen is DDR500 and acording to the crucial website this type of memory will work on this motherboard. I was just wondering will the motherboard run the memory straight out of the box ? Or will i have to overclock straight away to make the memory and motherboard run at DDR500 ?

    Thanks guys, great forum =)

    Sean.

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    Oh just a quick update, ive read that the :

    2GB kit (1GBx2) DDR PC4000 • 3-4-4-8 • Unbuffered • NON-ECC • DDR500 • 2.8V

    memory is a very good performer, it retails at £249. Kalniel said that maybe the power unit is a slight overkill so maybe i can grab a cheaper psu and slam the money into getting the Crucial memory? (although it is £40 more expencive for exactly the same timings as far as i can see.)

    Just a thought.

    Sean.

  6. #6
    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
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell U2311H
      • Internet:
      • O2 8mbps
    DDR500 just means the memory is rated to be possible to run at 250mhz speeds (x2 for double data rate = 500). The motherboard will run it at DDR400 (200mhz) by default, and you will have to overclock to 250mhz to be running at DDR500.

    Is the only difference in memories that one comes as a dual channel kit, and one is buying two seperate 1gb sticks? I would not say the kit was worth a 40 pound premium. If they are both kits then it's possible that the more expensive one uses even better chips, and despite having the same guarenteed timings, *might* be possible to go better.

    But IMO it's not really worth spending huge amounts on the very top ram - the performance benefits a) aren't always guarenteed b) mean nothing/little at most in the real world c) require user effort and tinkering. The main benefit is inner smugness

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    Pony Fiddler Madafwo's Avatar
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    • Madafwo's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus P6TD Deluxe
      • CPU:
      • Intel Core i7 920 @ 4Ghz
      • Memory:
      • 24Gb Corsair Vengeance
      • Storage:
      • 1TB Drive of some description
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Asus GTX560Ti 448 Core
      • PSU:
      • Corsair VX 550W
      • Case:
      • Antec P182
      • Operating System:
      • 7 Ultimate 64Bit
      • Monitor(s):
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      • Internet:
      • O2 8Mb @ 8Mb
    With regards to the memory, how about This, its cheaper than both the options you listed, and runs at the same speed and latency timings, but comes in at under £200, and is a 2GB kit.

    G.Skill are supposed to make some of the best RAM around, although I can't vouch for them as I have never used them but will be getting some of their stuff soon. that way you can save some pennies and spend it on whatever you please.
    "I've heard there is a common problem with this item from forums" - If you read some forums they believe Elvis was abducted by aliens, doesn't mean it's true.

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    Hmm inner smugness sounds like fun =)

    With the setup ive put down would overclocking to 250mhz be pushing it ? or is that a comfortable overclock ?

    The corsair memory i was looking at is a kit of 2 x 1gig modules so yeah its supposed to be run together.

    Can anyone find that Gainward graphics card in the UK in stock ? Everywhere seems to be out at the moment =/

    Sean.

  9. #9
    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
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell U2311H
      • Internet:
      • O2 8mbps
    I'm not an overclocker, so can't help with the ease of overclock.. I would guess that getting the memory to run at that (asynchronous to the processor) would be easy, using a divider. Getting your processor to also run at 250 is another matter and I don't think is trivial.

    The corsair memory will be fine, as would g.skill or any other reputable manufacturer. I have g.skill 'budget' (ZX) memory in my system, and it's fine (2x1gb, running at 2.5-3-2-5 out of the box with no adjustments, but at DDR400).

    Forget about Gainward - the 7800gtx is a special case, where gainward were the masters of earlier gfx cards, *any* 7800gtx is great. XFX, BFG etc all produce pre-overclocked cards at least as good as the pre-overclock of the old golden samples.

  10. #10
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    Ah ok, ill look into other brands of 7800gtx cards then!

    Can anyone else tell me if the overclocking of this memory from 200mhz to 250mhz so it runs at DDR500 is a large overclock or would it be a comfortable bumpup on this system ?

    Thanks.

    Sean.

  11. #11
    Pony Fiddler Madafwo's Avatar
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    • Madafwo's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus P6TD Deluxe
      • CPU:
      • Intel Core i7 920 @ 4Ghz
      • Memory:
      • 24Gb Corsair Vengeance
      • Storage:
      • 1TB Drive of some description
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Asus GTX560Ti 448 Core
      • PSU:
      • Corsair VX 550W
      • Case:
      • Antec P182
      • Operating System:
      • 7 Ultimate 64Bit
      • Monitor(s):
      • Sony 40" TV
      • Internet:
      • O2 8Mb @ 8Mb
    With good enough cooling I don't see why it would be a problem, I have the good old fashioned A8N-SLI and unless the new motherboard has gone backwards I don't see why it shouldn't hit 250 HTT.

    The best option I think would be to run the cores at a lower multiplier at first so you know the motherboard and memory are running fine at 250 then up the multiplier when you know that both the memory and the motherboard can handle it, thats the way I did it (only on a single core mind).

    I mean if you were to run the cores at a multi of 9 that would only push it to 2250 per core, and then up it to 9.5 and so on once the mem and motherboard have proved themselves. Thats my idea anyway, feel free to prove me wrong anyone

    May I also may a reccomendation for the Leadtek 7800 GTX, its one of the cheaper options around but mines running happily at 490/1300 all day every day, could go higher but I dont like pushing it too much
    "I've heard there is a common problem with this item from forums" - If you read some forums they believe Elvis was abducted by aliens, doesn't mean it's true.

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