New member, New build.

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New member, New build.

Postposted on Tue Aug 16, 2011 2:06 pm

Hey guys, new member here that has been following tech report for the last few months.

My last build was in 2006. It was a core 2 duo E6400 that has lasted me a long time with only the need for a GPU upgrade. It has been pretty future proof but is really starting to show its age. With my current computers inability to play the Witcher 2 and the new releases coming out this fall it; is time for a whole new system.

This is a budget build (less than $600), and I am stuck on which CPU to go with. I need my choice to have a solid upgrade path. I can go with the cheaper and slower Phenom II 840 and ASUS M5A97 EVO AM3+ which would allow me to move up to the BD chips in the future, or I can choose the i3 2100 and ASUS P8Z68-V combo, which is faster now but will cost about $38 more than the AMD option. With that route I can move up to the 2500k (or better) when I am looking to upgrade. GPU wise I am looking to get something with a little umph, so I think a 6870 made by asus would keep me happy for a couple of years. Thankfully I already have a good case and 500w power supply which frees up some money. Right now with the AMD system the price is $543.

What do you guys think? Also, the AM3+ board offers an upgrade path to bulldozer, but will it a bottle neck on the new CPU compared to whatever the new socket is (AM4?)?
Last edited by friday on Wed Aug 17, 2011 10:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
friday
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Re: New member, New build.

Postposted on Tue Aug 16, 2011 2:41 pm

What parts do you plan on retaining from your old build if any at all?
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Sunburn74
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Re: New member, New build.

Postposted on Tue Aug 16, 2011 4:04 pm

Just the case and the power supply. Everything else is quite outdated.

For ram I will just get 8 gigs of whatever reputable company's stuff is on sale when I buy. For the HDD I am going with the 1tb spinpoint drive.
friday
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Re: New member, New build.

Postposted on Thu Aug 18, 2011 8:46 am

so...comments?

Right now I am thinking of going down the Intel path. Anyone have an argument on the contrary?
friday
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Re: New member, New build.

Postposted on Thu Aug 18, 2011 8:57 am

AM3+ officially supports Bulldozer, period. More importantly, I would recommend an AMD 970 or 990 chipset for your motherboard. BD is coming, most likely in large quantities starting in October. 9/19 is rumored to be the official launch date of Bulldozer.

If you go the Intel route, check out the P67 or the Z68 motherboards. BTW: what power supply do you currently have? The reason I ask is because PSUs from five years ago may not be able to accommodate current hardware.
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riviera74
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Re: New member, New build.

Postposted on Thu Aug 18, 2011 9:37 am

Personally, I think the basic premise of buying a cheap processor now so you can move up later is flawed.

The i3-2100 is $125 - more than half the price of the i5-2500K. So by the time you're done moving to the 2500K, your bottom-line expenditure to get a 2500K CPU will be $125 + $225 = $350. In other words, by getting the cheaper CPU you're going to end up paying $350 for the 2500K unless you manage to sell the 2100.

Your true best move is to get the 2500K right from the start and keep whatever GPU you have right now until you save enough to replace that.

Z68 mobos start at about $100 but I think you'll need to spend $140 or so to get a decent Asus mobo.

You can get 4GB of RAM for $30 or so, and that is very easy to upgrade later, so that puts you at 30+140+225 = $395 for CPU/Mobo/RAM.

Then you need $20 for optical, $60 for a Samsung F3 1TB hard drive, so you're now up to $475 total.

At that point, decide whether you want to wait for a new GPU or just try to do it now and see if you can get a 6870 for somewhere around $150 for a total of $625, give or take and plus shipping.

Anyway, my bottom line advice is not to spend money on a "throw away" CPU. You'll spend less money in the long run if you just get the parts that you intend to keep.
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Re: New member, New build.

Postposted on Thu Aug 18, 2011 12:08 pm

My current GPU is a nividia 9600 GT, which I think is a pretty serious bottle neck. The age of my power supply does somewhat concern me, but that will probably be the first thing I upgrade if I don't get one with the initial build. It is this one http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817103937.

On the topic of buying the 2100 vs the 2500k; It is a good point but also the 2100 should offer enough power for well over a year. By the time I need to upgrade new and much more powerful 1155 socket CPU's will be available and the 2500k will have come down in price considerably, if it is even made anymore.
friday
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Re: New member, New build.

Postposted on Thu Aug 18, 2011 12:25 pm

I would probably go with the AM3+ setup, myself. A Phenom II 840 is alot of CPU for $100 and the M5A97 is an AMD 970 chipset and AM3+ socket. That's a sure upgrade for a few years. If it's like AM3 was, you've got 2-3 years of CPU upgrades ahead of you, and you can stall to buy later. And, as you've already noted, it's cheaper. We don't know what BD has in store for us, for sure, but you didn't upgrade your CPU on your last build, either. :p

Also, a Phenom II 955 is only $120 and has an unlocked multiplier. Most C3 core CPUs can do 3.8-4.2GHz on stock voltage and an unlocked multiplier makes OCing easy. I'd seriously consider this and then forget about upgrades for quite a while. The GPU is much more important to gameplay right now. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6819103808
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Re: New member, New build.

Postposted on Thu Aug 18, 2011 12:53 pm

If you don't want to go for the 2500K then I reckon derFunk's suggestion of the X4-955 is the next best thing. That will roughly tie with the 2100 at stock speed, but it is unlocked and easily overclocked, while the 2100 is not. I have the x4-955 myself and haven't felt the need to overclock it yet. Hopefully Bulldozer will end up being worth upgrading to. :D
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Re: New member, New build.

Postposted on Thu Aug 18, 2011 1:30 pm

I think the snag with the Intel CPU upgrade plan is that other than the very high end, CPUs don't seem to drop too much in price right up until they are EOL'd. This was my experience where current build started with an E8400 with the expectation that I would be able to do a relatively cheap upgrade to a good quad core before the 775s became obsolete. Unfortunately the expected price drop never really happened, and when I picked up a Q9550 just before they disappeared, it was still expensive enough that I'd spent considerably more on the E8400 and Q9550 than if I'd just bought the more expensive chip in the first place.

I've always thought it was worth spending proportionally more on the graphics cards than the CPU if you're gaming, but I'm rethinking that on the basis that graphics cards are much more easily replaced (they don't need a new motherboard every new generation) and also tend to drop in price more significantly. If I was building new today, I'd lean towards a graphics card that was good enough for now and the immediate future, and a CPU that was likely to last a bit longer and survive a GPU ugrade or two. Incidentally I'm still running the same graphics cards (4850s) as I started out with when I built the system three years ago because they're still just about fast enough at 1920x1200. In hindsight I probably should have gone for a single 4870 with the Q9550 intially, and then I would have spent the Q9550 upgrade money on a 6870 or 6950 by now and have a better overall system today.

In your case the argument is slightly different if you go the AMD route, since at least then you can hold off on the CPU upgrade until the next generation.
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Re: New member, New build.

Postposted on Thu Aug 18, 2011 1:35 pm

MrJP wrote:I think the snag with the Intel CPU upgrade plan is that other than the very high end, CPUs don't seem to drop too much in price right up until they are EOL'd.

Exactly. I posted something on this just the other day. Go take a look at prices for the 655K or the 760 - nether has budged since their launches long long ago - they both cost MORE than the 2500K! Intel makes a few price moves at the low end because that's where AMD can compete, but that's about it. There will be no price drops on the 2500K unless Bulldozer brings some legitimate competition.
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Re: New member, New build.

Postposted on Thu Aug 18, 2011 2:20 pm

Thanks for the help guys. I am heavily favoring the AM3+ and 955 option right now. Hopefully I will have enough cash in a week or two for the purchase.

I am excited to build again.
friday
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Re: New member, New build.

Postposted on Thu Aug 18, 2011 3:19 pm

One last thought - you will probably want to get a seperate heatsink if you plan to OC or if you care about noise.
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Re: New member, New build.

Postposted on Sat Aug 20, 2011 11:14 am

If your budget could stretch to include a Radeon HD6950, you'd be set on the GPU front for a while.
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Re: New member, New build.

Postposted on Sun Aug 28, 2011 12:04 pm

Just pulled the trigger on the new system.

I got the Phenom II x4 955BE and the asus M5A97 EVO AM3+. For ram I got the Kingston hyperX 8gig since it was quite cheap. The GPU will have to wait for now. Will probably pick up a 6870 in a few weeks.

Even without the GPU upgrade this will be a serious update for my core 2 due system.
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Re: New member, New build.

Postposted on Sun Aug 28, 2011 3:13 pm

friday wrote:Just pulled the trigger on the new system.

I got the Phenom II x4 955BE and the asus M5A97 EVO AM3+. For ram I got the Kingston hyperX 8gig since it was quite cheap. The GPU will have to wait for now. Will probably pick up a 6870 in a few weeks.

Even without the GPU upgrade this will be a serious update for my core 2 due system.


Great job. You may want to also consider a very good 450-500W PSU as well as the 6870.
Laptop: HP Pavilion 17-e016dx. AMD A8-5550M, 4GB RAM, 750GB HDD, AMD Radeon HD 8550G integrated video, 17.3" display, 1600*900 (HD+) resolution, SD card reader, Windows 8.1 (DL Classic Shell)
riviera74
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Re: New member, New build.

Postposted on Sun Aug 28, 2011 11:16 pm

For sure, mine has been great for the last few years but I doubt it will last too much longer.
friday
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Re: New member, New build.

Postposted on Thu Sep 01, 2011 7:07 am

Got everything up and running last night, but it has some issues.

Problem #1 is what I believe to be coil wine from the PSU. High pitch sound coming from the PSU whenever it is under load. It is really annoying and also a time bomb.

Other issue: Last night I took the ram from auto speed setting to 1333, which should be no problem, but the computer kept crashing on start up. It also crashes when I tried to get a system rating, and last night while idling it just shut off, no BSOD or anything.

All these issues could be PSU related, looks like I just wasted my time trying to save a little money.
friday
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Re: New member, New build.

Postposted on Thu Sep 01, 2011 7:56 am

friday wrote:Got everything up and running last night, but it has some issues.

Problem #1 is what I believe to be coil wine from the PSU. High pitch sound coming from the PSU whenever it is under load. It is really annoying and also a time bomb.

Other issue: Last night I took the ram from auto speed setting to 1333, which should be no problem, but the computer kept crashing on start up. It also crashes when I tried to get a system rating, and last night while idling it just shut off, no BSOD or anything.

All these issues could be PSU related, looks like I just wasted my time trying to save a little money.


Yup. PSU issues. A suggestion for its replacement.
Laptop: HP Pavilion 17-e016dx. AMD A8-5550M, 4GB RAM, 750GB HDD, AMD Radeon HD 8550G integrated video, 17.3" display, 1600*900 (HD+) resolution, SD card reader, Windows 8.1 (DL Classic Shell)
riviera74
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Re: New member, New build.

Postposted on Thu Sep 01, 2011 8:01 am

riviera74 wrote:Yup. PSU issues. A suggestion for its replacement.

Good P/S - the CX600! I got lucky and purchase the Corsair GS800 for the same price a month or so ago at MicroCenter.
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Re: New member, New build.

Postposted on Thu Sep 01, 2011 10:53 am

Thanks for the link, just bought it. Good deal with free shipping and promo code! Hopefully I will have it by Friday.
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