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Thread: Advice for Upgrades

  1. #1
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    Advice for Upgrades

    As much as I wish I wasn't being that guy... I have a minimal knowledge base of computer hardware. However, I'm trying to learn what I can, but I'm also looking into livestreaming and recording gameplay footage to use for series/reviews. Considering my computer was given to me as a Christmas present in 2005, and was most definitely not "top-of-the-line" back then, it clearly needs some work.

    Here's the sad part.
    Basic hardware as-it-stands:
    • Intel Pentium 4 CPU 3.00 GHz
    • 4.00 GB Corsair RAM
    • Checking what motherboard I have, will edit post when I find out.
    • NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GT Graphics Card
    • 70 GB Internal HDD
    • 1 TB External HDD
    • Windows 7 64-bit
    Now, I have up to 8.00 GB of RAM available to me, but I'm having issues where Windows freezes while at the boot-up screen (Where it says Windows 7, just before the logo fades in) so I'm inclined to think it's the fact that the motherboard was made before 64-bit OS were even a thing?

    Other than that, the only things I've upgraded since receiving the computer have been the graphics card (to it's current) the power core to a 500W (for the graphics card) and the OS (to W7-64).

    My upgrade ideas are:
    • One of the new Intel Ivy Bridge processors, within the range of ~$300
    • A compatible motherboard. (I have the least amount of knowledge about motherboards)
    • An internal SSD (I saw one in a post farther down that looks good)
    • A new case, in the range of ~$50-$100 (Mostly because my current case is kind of nasty, to be perfectly honest, but additional space/ports/cooler inputs are a bonus)
    Any advice/help/smack to the head for still having this POS are welcome and appreciated. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    AsRock Z77 Extreme4
    Intel Core i5 3570K
    Crucial M4 128GB or Samsung 830 128GB
    Fractal Design Arc Midi, Fractal Design R4
    You'll probably be wanting to upgrade the graphics card too in the near future.

    If you have a Microcenter nearby you can get a significant discount on the CPU in the store if you buy a motherboard at the same time.

    You will also probably need new RAM - something like Corsair Vengeance low profile, Mushkin Blackline Enhanced or G.Skill Ares would be what I'd recommend.


    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Microcenter)
    Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($134.99 @ Microcenter)
    Memory: Mushkin Blackline 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($48.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Crucial M4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($108.49 @ Adorama)
    Case: Fractal Design Arc Midi Tower ATX Mid Tower Case ($109.99 @ Amazon)
    Total: $592.45
    (Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-08-05 17:27 EDT-0400)

    The alternative SSD:
    Storage: Samsung 830 Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($97.49 @ B&H)

    The alternative case:
    Case: Fractal Design Define R4 (Black Pearl) ATX Mid Tower Case ($109.99 @ Newegg)

    Cases are very much a personal preference though. Remember, you're going to be sitting next to it for the next 4-5 years (or longer)


    As for graphics cards:
    Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 6870 1GB Video Card ($154.99 @ Newegg)

    Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card ($237.49 @ CompUSA)
    Last edited by Fetzie; 08-05-2012 at 02:36 PM.

  3. #3
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    Jun 2012
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    After reading the other posts like mine, I was really hoping you'd reply, Fetzie
    Thanks man, really appreciate it.

    Quick question: Why the 3570K? I don't know the specifics of overclocking, and I don't like tempting my stuff to explode so I probably won't delve into it. That being the case, should I look for an equivalent that doesn't have OC capabilities? Seems a whopping ~$20 cheaper or so but still.

  4. #4
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    The 3570K because it is the best gaming processor on the market (slightly ahead of the 2500K), the non-K version is the same, but to have the opportunity of overclocking when it is no longer quite enough 2-3 years down the line, spending 20 bucks more now to not have to buy a new motherboard and new processor (250-300 bucks) seems to me to be a fairly good idea. Overclocking has got a lot easier with the sandy/ivy bridge CPUs, and the processor will crash to bluescreen if it feels like it is getting too hot. Read a couple of walk-throughs, watch a couple of youtube guides and you'll be fine.

    If you do overclock, you'll need a proper heatsink, something like the Coolermaster Hyper Evo for 29 bucks is cheap and cools well

    CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.99 @ Newegg)

    I prefer Noctua coolers myself though, their mounting system is damn near foolproof (you pretty much only need to do two screws up and it is installed)

  5. #5
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    Awesome. Again, thanks man. The advice is really appreciated.

  6. #6
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    Not reccommending nVidia graphics cards these days guys? Are ATI cards superior to them now? Also, great tip about the CPU!

  7. #7
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    Not reccommending nVidia graphics cards these days guys?
    Not at that price point.

  8. #8
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    Not like AMD cards are really all that cheap for what you get, but yeah, Nvidia is horrible for prices. Both companies need to stop damn well gouging consumers for upgrads even after they have been on the market for 6 months or more.


    The measure of a life is the measure of love and respect. So hard to earn, so easily burned - Neil Peart

  9. #9
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    Meh, the 7850 is almost GTX 580 performance for 560ti money, it isn't that bad.
    Yeah, It could stand to drop another 40 bucks, but what are you going to do, ATI has zero competition in the under 300 dollar bracket, even with the 660ti coming out this week.

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