I have been running two computers with hand-me-down parts for a long time now and they are finally starting to die with random BSODs and hard locks. At first, it was just my everyday machine but when I started leaving my gaming machine powered on all the time, it started going as well. Wanted to install Win7 on them (currently running XP 64) but there are no drivers for either motherboard. So I checked the system guide and started looking up parts. One thing is for sure, I have been out of the game for a long time.
Gaming/work machine: AMD Opteron 165 on a Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe, with 2 GB of RAM and an ATI Radeon HD 3870. 520W OCZ PSU
File server, everyday machine: Dual AMD Opteron 242 on a MSI 9130 K8T Master2, with 2 GB of RAM and an Apogee GeForce 6800 D128M. 430W Thermaltake Purepower PSU
Spare GPU: BFG Geforce 7950 GT OC
Financially, there's no way I can replace both systems, so I targeted the older of the two systems. With a born-on date of 2003, it was time to say goodbye to the K8T Master2. I started with the Econobox parts but I found a really good deal at Microcenter for the core components of the Utility player. $60 off a CPU/mobo combo if you buy a 2500K with a Z68-based motherboard. Plus, Microcenter is currently selling the 2500K for $180 ($35 less than Newegg). I figured my existing PSU would be up to the task so I headed to Microcenter on Saturday to pick up the following:Intel Core i5 2500K
- $180ASUS P8Z68-V LX
- $60 (after the $60 combo discount)Corsair XMS 8GB DDR3-1333
- $45 (currently listed for $56)
The system guide has essentially those parts listed at $395, while I paid just over $300 with sales tax at Microcenter. Feeling pretty good, I started pulling the old parts out of my case and installing the new ones.
My good feeling was smashed when I went to power on the system and only got a high pitched whine from my PSU for my troubles. Apparently the Purepower is anything but, outputting only 350W verses it's rating of 430
. More importantly, it's not even ATX 2.0 (required by the ASUS P8Z68), which would have been nice to notice prior to going to Microcenter. I could have pulled the 520W out of my other computer, but I needed that computer to be up and running while getting the new one to work. Plus, the P8Z68 does not have any PATA connectors and I did not have any SATA CD/DVD drives. So back to Microcenter I went (the next day of course, no way would I be lucky enough to get the new machine up and running in a single day) to get a new PSU and DVD drive:Corsair Builder Series CX500
- $60 (found an open-box for $48)Lite-ON iHAS124-04 B
Even though the Radeon 3870 is better than the Geforce 7950, I decided to go with the GeForce. As mentioned, I like having a complete working system up (such as it is) while building and I really don't need much graphics power for this machine. I probably could have gotten away with the built in GPU, but the GeForce was just sitting around.
Once I got the new PSU, everything else has been easy. Windows install went fine and I am working to set everything up as it was. Not too happy that my $300 budget ballooned to nearly $400, but so it goes. One other major benefit is how quiet the new system is. Now if only I could find some time to play games on it...
Being right doesn't matter if no one listens.