Bringing life to some old parts

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Bringing life to some old parts

Postposted on Sat Aug 18, 2012 4:07 pm

Hey Gerbils,

I recently upgraded my computer's CPU, MB and RAM, and now I'd like to use my old parts in a build for my mother. She has a nice 42" LED-LCD 1080p TV and a 5.1 home theater system. (We've got a nice receiver for that.) The computer will mainly be for streaming video, but also web browsing and some gaming. (Skyrim should play decently.) The most important feature is that it be quiet: this thing will sit in the living room. The parts I have from my old system are:

CPU: Q6600 B3
Motherboard: Nvidia 680i
GPU: Nvidia 8800GT 512MB
RAM: 4 x 1GB DDR2 800MHz
Case: (Some twelve-year-old POS)

A Samsung 830 SSD is on order already, and we're looking at the NZXT H2 for a case. The old case will work fine, but it's ugly and may not be very quiet.

Where I'm stuck is the power supply and graphics card. My old 8800 is loud—so loud that I prefer to use my new CPU's integrated graphics. I also suspect the 8800 will struggle with some games, but I don't know enough to say for sure. On the power supply front, I'd really like something with Active PFC and decent build quality; the house gets frequent power outages and dips. I don't know how power quality is at most times, but I don't want to take any risks. That said, I don't want to throw more than $80-100 at a PSU. Am I being unrealistic? (I really don't care about having modular features or anything.)

The total budget for remaining parts (case, PSU, GPU) is $325-425.

Any advice? What GPU would be appropriate? Should I grab an aftermarket cooler for the 8800GT? The Samsung 830 will be limited to SATA-II speeds on the 680i; are there any cheap SATA-III controllers?
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Re: Bringing life to some old parts

Postposted on Sat Aug 18, 2012 4:34 pm

8800GT is pretty old tech; you should be able to get something newer/quieter with similar (or better) performance without breaking the bank.

Active PFC does nothing to help with power sags/dips; for that you need a UPS. If active PFC is the deciding factor when it comes to meeting your budget, ditch it.
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Re: Bringing life to some old parts

Postposted on Sat Aug 18, 2012 5:12 pm

What about the Define R4 for the case? I'm thinking about getting one for my Q6600 rig after I pay my tuition for the semester.
And then maybe a 550 Ti or HD 7770 for the graphics?
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Re: Bringing life to some old parts

Postposted on Sat Aug 18, 2012 5:40 pm

just brew it! wrote:8800GT is pretty old tech; you should be able to get something newer/quieter with similar (or better) performance without breaking the bank.


Any specific recommendations?

just brew it! wrote:Active PFC does nothing to help with power sags/dips; for that you need a UPS. If active PFC is the deciding factor when it comes to meeting your budget, ditch it.


Correct, but active PFC can help with low-quality power, yes?

Any idea what kind of wattage I should be looking for? What are reputable PSU brands these days?
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Re: Bringing life to some old parts

Postposted on Sat Aug 18, 2012 6:44 pm

400W-550W should do you well. Some reputable brands are Corsair, Seasonic, Antec, OCZ, and some of the newer Rosewill models to name a few.
The ModXStream Pro 600W would be a good choice if you're in the US. It's $64.99 if you use the promo code, then there's a $25 rebate as well. So it'd be $39.99.

A GTX 550 Ti or Radeon HD 7770 would be great replacements for the 8800GT.
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Re: Bringing life to some old parts

Postposted on Sat Aug 18, 2012 8:23 pm

TDIdriver wrote:A GTX 550 Ti or Radeon HD 7770 would be great replacements for the 8800GT.


Thanks. I took a look at TR's reviews, and it looks like the 7770 is strictly superior (and newer). Is there a more fitting match (or maybe higher-end) in the GeForce camp? Noise and power consumption are certainly big issues, so I don't think I'd want to grab a 460 or anything. How would a 560 or 560 Ti fare? What's an equivalent on the AMD side? I have no good sense for this, especially with the insane numbering schemes they use...

Skyrim is sort of the baseline here; it needs to run real smoooth. It would be nice to have headroom for the future, but I don't want to spend more than $225 or so on a GPU.
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Re: Bringing life to some old parts

Postposted on Sun Aug 19, 2012 6:39 am

Majiir Paktu wrote:Noise and power consumption are certainly big issues, but I don't want to spend more than $225 or so on a GPU.
Those requirements limit you to Radeon HD7770 or HD7850. If your budget grew to $300, the GeForce GTX660Ti would be the way to go. NVidia still hasn't released a mid-range GPU using current 28nm technology.

$132 -15MIR MSI R7770-PMD1GD5 Radeon HD7770 1GB
$227½ Radeon HD7850 2GB
$300 -20MIR Sapphire 11199-03-20G or Gigabyte GV-R787OC-2GD Radeon HD7870 2GB
$300 EVGA 02G-P4-3660-KR GeForce GTX660Ti 2GB
$320 VisionTek 900492 Radeon HD7950 3GB
i7-4770K, H70, Gryphon Z87, 16 GiB, R9-290, SSD, 2 HD, Blu-ray, SB ZX, TJ08-E, SS-660XP², 3007WFP+2001FP, RK-9000BR, MX518
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Re: Bringing life to some old parts

Postposted on Sun Aug 19, 2012 12:07 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:
Majiir Paktu wrote:Noise and power consumption are certainly big issues, but I don't want to spend more than $225 or so on a GPU.
Those requirements limit you to Radeon HD7770 or HD7850. If your budget grew to $300, the GeForce GTX660Ti would be the way to go. NVidia still hasn't released a mid-range GPU using current 28nm technology.

$132 -15MIR MSI R7770-PMD1GD5 Radeon HD7770 1GB
$227½ Radeon HD7850 2GB
$300 -20MIR Sapphire 11199-03-20G or Gigabyte GV-R787OC-2GD Radeon HD7870 2GB
$300 EVGA 02G-P4-3660-KR GeForce GTX660Ti 2GB
$320 VisionTek 900492 Radeon HD7950 3GB


Thanks very much for that. I didn't know about the 7850. Of course, now I'm tantalized by the Sapphire card, just above my planned budget... I could also pick up a 660 Ti and try to pawn off the Borderlands 2 coupon. I just can't justify adding that much power to this build.

Do you expect I'll have any problems with the Q6600 and DDR2 RAM? The CPU's never been my bottleneck before, but it's also always been my best part.
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Re: Bringing life to some old parts

Postposted on Sun Aug 19, 2012 1:24 pm

So how good is your mother at Skyrim?

Sorry, couldn't resist. :P

In all seriousness, this thread contains a lot of good information, some of which will be of use to me if I do indeed upgrade my current system and end up with a perfectly usable Q6600 and associated components for my spare-parts bin.
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Re: Bringing life to some old parts

Postposted on Sun Aug 19, 2012 6:16 pm

The Q6600 will be fine. It's not going to eke the very best performance out of a GPU, but it'll be close enough that it won't matter for a few years (hopefully).

I would strongly recommend the 7770. Go for a brand that has a great cooler like the Sapphire Vapor-X or the XFX Double D and you'll get a near-silent solution.
If you do a lot of gaming, then the 7850 is worth the extra cost, noise and power draw, but again - look for one with a decent cooler on it.

With power supplies, there are so many good choices these days. The key is not to get something cheap since power supplies will probably outlast everything else in your PC. Antec, Corsair, Seasonic, make decent kit but my advice is to take a look at what's on offer and then hunt down reviews on that specific model.
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Re: Bringing life to some old parts

Postposted on Mon Aug 20, 2012 8:21 pm

Professor Farnsworth wrote:Good news, everyone!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHfOejlvVsY

The graphics card price war is heating up:
http://techreport.com/discussions.x/23447
i7-4770K, H70, Gryphon Z87, 16 GiB, R9-290, SSD, 2 HD, Blu-ray, SB ZX, TJ08-E, SS-660XP², 3007WFP+2001FP, RK-9000BR, MX518
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Re: Bringing life to some old parts

Postposted on Tue Aug 21, 2012 9:54 pm

Radeon HD7850 2GB is down to $190, delivered from the 'egg.
i7-4770K, H70, Gryphon Z87, 16 GiB, R9-290, SSD, 2 HD, Blu-ray, SB ZX, TJ08-E, SS-660XP², 3007WFP+2001FP, RK-9000BR, MX518
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