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Thread: System Upgrade - Advice Before Buying

  1. #1
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    System Upgrade - Advice Before Buying

    Right ho, I be wanting a new system, and have come up with the cash to pay for it. I have a fair idea of what I want, but still some outstanding questions in some areas.
    I want to spend as little as possible, but probably around £600. I have a TFT, monitor, keyboard and speakers, so this is just for the base unit. Also, I will be using a 120GB HD, a soundcard and perhaps some RAM from my old system in the new one.
    I am buying the system mainly for gaming, and a bit of video/audio encoding. I am looking to OC, not to liquid nitrogen levels but a decent boost.

    Anyway, on with the components.

    Case - Xclio Supertower - £36. Has 2x120 and 1x80mm fans, so should keep everything cool enough. Door means I won't have to keep noticing the fact my DVDRW is beige and my CDRW is black.

    Fans - Rear 120mm , Front 120mm, Side 80mm. - £20 approx. Want decent airflow, but not too loud.

    Hard Drive - T7K250 250GB - £67

    PSU - Tagan 480W Easycon - £55

    Cooler - Akasa AK-859 - £18

    CPU - Opteron 144 OEM - £80.

    Motherboard - Asus A8N-SLi - £70.

    GFX - 7800GT - £171. Gigabyte 7800GT in Sale

    Memory - I currently have 1GB in 2x256 and 1x512, of which at least 512 will have to go to the 2nd PC I'm building from the remnants of the current one.
    2x1GB Corsair VS - £103

    So, there you go. The price works out about £620 + delivery. I'll be getting a new graphics card in early 2007 (don't ask), so I'm not considering spending over £200 on one now, gaming rig or otherwise. (Unless of course anyone can get me an X1900XTX for £201? )

    My final question is perhaps impossible to answer: now or later? I know things are impossbile to predict, but you can make some educated judgements. For example, is the X1900 launch likely to change anything other than an extra couple of £300+ cards? I had originally thought of waiting for Socket M2, but it appears to be little more than adding DDR2 compatability so I don't think its worth it.

    Thanks for any/all input.
    Synergy6
    Last edited by Synergy6; 29-12-2005 at 12:46 PM.

  2. #2
    explorer.exe
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    I have an XClio Jr. It's as noisy as hell!

    Just a warning, make sure you use really really quiet fans! Cooling is fantastic.

    It looks amazing though. Everyone comments on it.

    EDIT: Oh, and afaik ScanFX cards are OEM XFX cards, possibly with some sort of warranty from Scan. We bought a 6600GT and it came in an XFX OEM box. I too am looking at the 7800GT from ScanFX
    Last edited by Silent Shark; 27-12-2005 at 08:01 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Silent Shark
    I have an XClio Jr. It's as noisy as hell!

    Just a warning, make sure you use really really quiet fans! Cooling is fantastic.

    It looks amazing though. Everyone comments on it.

    EDIT: Oh, and afaik ScanFX cards are OEM XFX cards, possibly with some sort of warranty from Scan. We bought a 6600GT and it came in an XFX OEM box. I too am looking at the 7800GT from ScanFX
    The Scan line does look good, a PCI-E cable is all I'd actually "need" to work it, right?
    Thanks again for the post
    Synergy6

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    Senior Member Workaholic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Synergy6
    What would an OEM not have? What's the difference between an XFX Scan and XFX product?


    Thanks for any/all input.
    Synergy6
    retail now comes with games, power connectors/adapters, DVI-VGA adapters, manuals, nice looking box. OEM and usually plain white or brown box with just the card.
    Woohoo now Assistant Manager!


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    explorer.exe
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    The card we bought came with a nice looking OEM box (it wasn't the big box you usually get for computer parts, but a VCR case sized box with XFX logos on it), the drivers and a SVideo cable.

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    Thanks Silent Shark/Workaholic Any comments on the rest of the components?
    Synergy6

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    • [DW]Cougho's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus Crosshair VI Hero
      • CPU:
      • AMD Ryzen 1700 @ 3.9GHz
      • Memory:
      • 16GB Team Group Dark Pro DDR4 @ 3466 C15
      • Storage:
      • 256gb Samsung 830 & 1TB Samsung 850 Evo
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Gigabyte GTX1070 G1 Gaming
      • PSU:
      • Corsair AX760
      • Case:
      • Silverstone FT-05B
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 10
      • Monitor(s):
      • BenQ XL2730Z 1440p 144Hz
      • Internet:
      • BT Infinity 1
    get a different brand of PSU.

    Enermax are quite frankly a shadow of their former selves.

    Noisey and with comedy rails. Ive got the 425w noisetaker and im not exactly stretching it as ive got the usual stuff and only 1 HDD!

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    Get a Tagan 530W EasyCon.

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    PSU and graphics card updated. Main questions are over the CPU, cooler, motherboard and memory. (Especially the memory )
    Synergy6

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    Hi there,

    Motherboard- For Stability go for a Asus Sli Premium. I know you dont want SLI but these are in the sweet spot.

    If you want to overclock get a DFI LANPARTY SLI-D.

    RAM- G-Skill 2GB 2-3-2-5 timings- £158- http://www.overclockers.co.uk/acatalog/G_Skill.html

    2nd one

    Cooler- Get a Thermaltake Bigtyphoon. Its argubaly the best air cooler. and cheap.

    http://www.specialtech.co.uk/spshop/...8&cat=0&page=1

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    How about http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Produ...oductID=170221
    or http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Produ...oductID=170221 for the cooler?

    Was kinda trying to keep it to all the one retailer if possible. To be honest, is it worth getting a 3rd party cooler? I've read a couple of reviews of such things which seem to come to the conclusion "Omgzorz, 5bazillion celcius less in my case. Extra 5MHz overclock too!!11". I want to overclock as far as possible, but this is supposed to be on some sort of performance/pound budget.

    Motherboard - I.e. http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Produ...oductID=225008 ?
    Is it really worth double the price of a £50 board? DFI also seem to be around £100

    Memory - So better timings are worth it? Quite similar to the TwinX, right?

    I'm getting the faint feeling my system is a bit out of joint, in the way that the graphics card and the memory are coming to over 50% of the cost, surely they shouldn't be quite that much?

    In another way of looking at it, I can find the price of the system at the absolute minimum, of £549. This is spending £50 on memory (extra 2x512mb crucial sticks), £50 on a motherboard, £20 on CPU cooler and £80 on CPU (Opt 144). If I then spend an extra £100 on better components, will it give much extra performance? If so, where would be the best place to spend it?

    Otherwise, thanks for the advice .

    Synergy6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Synergy6
    How about http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Produ...oductID=170221
    or http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Produ...oductID=170221 for the cooler?

    Was kinda trying to keep it to all the one retailer if possible. To be honest, is it worth getting a 3rd party cooler? I've read a couple of reviews of such things which seem to come to the conclusion "Omgzorz, 5bazillion celcius less in my case. Extra 5MHz overclock too!!11". I want to overclock as far as possible, but this is supposed to be on some sort of performance/pound budget.

    Motherboard - I.e. http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Produ...oductID=225008 ?
    Is it really worth double the price of a £50 board? DFI also seem to be around £100

    Memory - So better timings are worth it? Quite similar to the TwinX, right?

    I'm getting the faint feeling my system is a bit out of joint, in the way that the graphics card and the memory are coming to over 50% of the cost, surely they shouldn't be quite that much?

    In another way of looking at it, I can find the price of the system at the absolute minimum, of £549. This is spending £50 on memory (extra 2x512mb crucial sticks), £50 on a motherboard, £20 on CPU cooler and £80 on CPU (Opt 144). If I then spend an extra £100 on better components, will it give much extra performance? If so, where would be the best place to spend it?

    Otherwise, thanks for the advice .

    Synergy6
    Memory- Yes better timings are worth it!

    CPU COOLER- Thats not a nice cooler, anyway, if you overvolt your CPU then you will need a cpu cooler. Other than that a stock one is fine (but loud).

    Motherboard- That is a great motherboard and is very stable.

    Not quite sure what you mean on the price!

  13. #13
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    What I mean is, I'm trying to keep the price as low as possible, which means no £100 motherboards and £150 memories unless absolutely necessary.

    Do better memory timings mean a better possible CPU overclock, or just slightly better memory bandwidth when you get there?

    So, which cooler from Scan would you suggest

    Ok, I'll look at the motherboard again, but to be honest I'm not sure if my budget for one goes into triple figures.

    Thanks
    Synergy6

  14. #14
    explorer.exe
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    I'd recommend the Akasa Evo33 Cooler. It keeps my A64 3200 at 34C under load. It's amazing!

  15. #15
    Nox
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    • Nox's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Yes
      • CPU:
      • Yes
      • Memory:
      • Yes
      • Storage:
      • Yes
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Yes
      • PSU:
      • Yes
      • Case:
      • Yes
      • Monitor(s):
      • Yes
      • Internet:
      • Yes
    ok, you've got a bit of a miss-match going on there. you have a crossfire (ATI) mobo and an nvidia gfx card! Its not that you can't use the other card, but erm, you are removing an avenue of upgrading for absolutely no reason.

    I would switch your mobo for this one:

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Produ...oductID=158981

    The asus nf4 sli one, its around the same price. The premium is great, the 32 even better. , but they cost more. I have a DFI, and am very very happy with it, the asus also gets rave reviews (and is slightly easier to get going apparently)

    Your CPU choice and HD choice could not be better, and gfx card choice is superb too.

    Your case - its personal preference. That said, scan do a full aluminium one that looks great for £23 on their today only section, but you may need to cut a hole in the back! I got one of these for a mate, and it looks great.

    PSU - don't skimp - it can last you a long time, hexus have a MASSIVE roundup, go have a read

    and lastly memory. Are better timings worth it? yes and no. I would say no - Its a LOT of extra cost, and you will see no more than 5-10% MAX on a few memory tests, that does not equate to fps in games - you may be looking at 1 or 2. For some people, running 2-3-2-5 or faster is important. Others like high fsb.

    That said, the more you spend on memory, generally the further you can push it. I like OCZ, but corsair is a better choice for an asus board. Personally, i'd spend the £150, and get the twinx - at stock speeds they won't be much faster than the value select, but will hopefully have more headroom in them, & not running a divider makes life a lot easier, and if you're getting an opteron 146, i'm assuming you'll be overclocking Then again, if you're feeling lucky, go for the cheaper. The heatspreaders look pretty good though!

    oh, and have a read here re timings:

    http://www.legionhardware.com/document.php?id=486

    just make sure you get 2x1gb modules!

    Nox
    Last edited by Nox; 29-12-2005 at 03:01 AM.

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    Whole thing seems about ready, other than one thing. Supposedly the difference between the A8N-SLi and the Deluxe version is "Over Clocking features:- Adjustable FSB/DDR ratio". Err, wait a minute, does that mean that my motherboard therefore doesn't have that feature? And so, presumably, I either have to get the Deluxe or get memory that will get to 250+ FSB on 1:1? :/
    So, is there a motherboard that does FSB overclocking as well as FSB:memory dividers, with SATA300? SLi is not necessary, as I won't be using it, and under £70 would definitely be a bonus

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