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Extending the life of my current build


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#1 Scott P

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 04:46 PM

I bought the wife a nice little pre-built Asus to replace her aging Core2Duo. So, I am limited to giving my machine a tune up with minor upgrades to get it moving faster. The build is the one in my signature. It really needs a fresh install of Windows 7 as it is taking just about 2 full minutes to boot up. I mainly use the machine for standard tasks. The twins were born last month, so the machine will see use with Paint Shop Pro and some occasional video editing if  ever learn how to do that. The only games I play are StarCraft II, Diablo III (been a while) and maybe something else, I'm probably kidding myself that I'll be able to game much taking care of twins. I do some multitasking with two monitors (one of which is a 39" 1080p TV).

 

My hard drive is just about full, so that will see an upgrade for sure. I am confident in a 256 GB SSD and maybe adding a 1 TB Sata III drive. Will stepping up to Sata 6 Gb/s from 3 Gb/s be that noticeable when I have an SSD for the operating system already?

 

My CPU is another story. I don't know if upgrading to an FX 8320 or 8350 is worth the cost for my needs. My computer sits in my desk, so the extra heat build up from overclocking is a concern.

 

I think I am still fine with my HD6850 GPU for my current needs, but thoughts there are appreciated.

 

Stepping up to 8 GB of RAM might be worth it, but I am not too sure.

 

So, what can I do to maximize my performance and expend its useful life?  The SSD is a lock for sure. The rest is up in the air. I would love some feedback to point me in the right direction.


Edited by Scott P, 29 December 2013 - 08:16 PM.

AMD Phenom II X4 965 C3
Noctua NH-D14
Gigabyte GA-990XA-UD3 R
8 GB Mushkin Blackline DDR3-1600
Gigabyte GV-R685OC-1GB

240 GB Crucial M500 SSD

1 TB Western Digital Blue, 640 GB Black

Corsair CMPSU-750HX PSU
Lian Li Case
Asus 22" Widescreen


#2 Jenova69

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 05:22 PM

I think the ssd is a good idea. 8gb would be a useful upgrade. It doesn't seem like that your unhappy with your cpu and gpu so i would leave them alone and get a bigger ssd and hdd. Btw if your interested i have a samsung 840 pro 512gb sitting around here. pm me if your interested.


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#3 SpikeSoprano

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 08:54 PM

The ssd for sure and also 4 more gb of ram will make a difference. If you are going to be doing some video work you will find the 8300 cpus will help quite a bit.  :)


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#4 Scott P

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 06:12 PM

An SSD and a 2x2 GB RAM kit won't be too expensive. Maybe I can resell my 965 to offset some of the cost of an 8320 or 8350.

AMD Phenom II X4 965 C3
Noctua NH-D14
Gigabyte GA-990XA-UD3 R
8 GB Mushkin Blackline DDR3-1600
Gigabyte GV-R685OC-1GB

240 GB Crucial M500 SSD

1 TB Western Digital Blue, 640 GB Black

Corsair CMPSU-750HX PSU
Lian Li Case
Asus 22" Widescreen


#5 wevsspot

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 07:32 PM

Definitely grab SSD and 8Gb memory kit.  Do those upgrades first and I'm certain that you'll be impressed.  

 

Are you overclocking the 965 at all?  If not it's time to tweak that and squeeze a bit more life out of that great processor.

 

Everything else can wait until you're budget allows a more substantial upgrade.


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#6 Scott P

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Posted 31 December 2013 - 01:41 PM

I don't know if I have overclocked with this motherboard. I tried with my previous one, but didn't have much success. My case doesn't work as well for cooling, plus it sits inside my desk, so heat builds up quickly. At Newegg, an 8320 is $130 and an 8350 is $190. I should be able to get $80 for my 965 on ebay, dropping the upgrade cost a bit.  I probably should look for an updated cooler. I have a Noctua low profile one that I won last year here, but I don't know if it is efficient enough for these 125W cpus.


AMD Phenom II X4 965 C3
Noctua NH-D14
Gigabyte GA-990XA-UD3 R
8 GB Mushkin Blackline DDR3-1600
Gigabyte GV-R685OC-1GB

240 GB Crucial M500 SSD

1 TB Western Digital Blue, 640 GB Black

Corsair CMPSU-750HX PSU
Lian Li Case
Asus 22" Widescreen


#7 Andrewr05

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Posted 31 December 2013 - 02:29 PM

Time to do a desk mod to improve airflow then :)

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#8 Scott P

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Posted 31 December 2013 - 03:11 PM

I took an antique teacher's desk and removed the two drawers on one side. I cut off the drawer fronts and they serve as the door to the computer compartment. The computer sits on a slide out tray. This greatly limits case selection as I can't exceed 17" of case height, including feet. The Lian Li case I bought to fit is reverse flow, and it just messed with my tower cpu cooler and 6850. I have to keep the fton panel off to keep it from getting too warm, even with the door open. When I redo this machine, I will flip the fans around to blow air out the back like normal. I may add a 120mm exhaust port and fan on the upper part of the cabinet area that exhausts to under the desk.

 

I put way too much time and money into this old desk (1920's I think) to just give up, I wanted a cool and quiet pc that wasn't seen. I should just suck it up and go to an i3 and give up any hope of games, but I just can't do that.


AMD Phenom II X4 965 C3
Noctua NH-D14
Gigabyte GA-990XA-UD3 R
8 GB Mushkin Blackline DDR3-1600
Gigabyte GV-R685OC-1GB

240 GB Crucial M500 SSD

1 TB Western Digital Blue, 640 GB Black

Corsair CMPSU-750HX PSU
Lian Li Case
Asus 22" Widescreen


#9 Kuronin

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Posted 31 December 2013 - 09:25 PM

I am just going to put in my two cents, even though it's going to ruffle some feathers.

 

Just today I refit my old Phenom 955 setup into a new case and upgraded it to a 7790. I figured the 7790 would be a good match with the 955, and it seems so. I loaded up BF4 on medium graphics (on Paracel 64 man CQ) and I was getting 60-75 FPS steadily and was extremely playable. 

 

Just a note, my 955 is running at 3960MHz 1.5v, but with my Corsair H50 I was only reaching temps of 45C, according to coretemp.

 

As for your other parts, 

 

RAM would be a good thing to have and wouldn't cost that much $60-$65 will get you a good 8GB stick, I know my 890 board only supports up to 1600mhz.

 

HDD is bleh, in gaming it would only help lower your load times, which is nice but doesn't effect the gameplay much.


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#10 feetfats

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Posted 01 January 2014 - 12:11 AM

One idea is liquid cooling with some longer hoses so the rad can sit outside of the desk somehow.


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#11 ohldboy

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Posted 01 January 2014 - 12:29 AM

SSD and Operating System reinstall. 1TB WD Blue and Seagate go on sale around $60. For your uses not sure you'd notice much difference between a 965 and 83xx.

Crucial M500 has gone on sale often.  More RAM (4GB 2X2?) would help.



#12 IVIYTH0S

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 09:48 AM

I agree with others

965- Keep/Overclock

Cooler- Maybe get the CM 212+ and see if that is good enough alone (if it fits)

RAM- Kingston HyperX Blu Black Series 8GB ...Unless you just wanted another 2x2GB kit in there, but it maybe easier to overclock with two sticks, while selling your old kit would offset the cost of the new ones.

SSD- Crucial V4 256GB ~$143

HDD- Seagate 3TB $100 (because really at this price, just go all out...but if you still want a 1TB here's one for $59)

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