View Full Version : Upgrade or start from scratch

04-15-2012, 04:00 PM

My current setup is dated and i was wondering what was best, keep what is decent and upgrade the rest or start from scratch.

I currently have a asus m3a78-emh motherboard
http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/AMD_AM2Plus/M3A78EMH_HDMI/#specifications (for reference)

A geforce 450 gts graphics card

An AMD Athlon 64 5200+ processors and 2gigs of ram.

right now my biggest problem is overheating the cpu, I'm not looking for anything fancy, just a setup that could run most games at medium-high graphics. Mostly looking for the best bang for the buck.


04-15-2012, 06:34 PM
With a system that old, I'd start from scratch. Whats your budget?

04-15-2012, 08:38 PM
Don't have a budget in mind but i guess i would like to keep it within 800$ (not counting monitor, keyboard, mous and os). I was also wondering if buying a pc from a store like best buy etc. is worth it or can you build a comparable pc for cheaper.


04-16-2012, 01:23 AM
AH.....what OS do you plan on using?................Nothing less than windows 7 home x 64 bit...........I hope

If you want to play games as you say you do............then building one yourself might be the way to go as cheaper prebuilt have lousy PSU's and GPU's that one would have to replace...................

Here, let me show you this for about $900 cdn

Processor (CPU) AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Quad Core Processor AM3 3.4GHZ 8MB Cache 125W 45NM Retail Box
Hard Drives Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200RPM 64MB SATA 6Gbps 3.5IN Internal Hard Drive - OEM
Operating System Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium Edition 64BIT SP1 DVD OEM
(GFC-02050) (sku: 45271)
CPU Cooling Please Use The Heatsink Included With My CPU -NOT Available With OEM Processors
DVD Writer Liteon IHAS124 24X DVD Writer SATA Black OEM
Motherboard ASUS M4N75TD ATX AM3 DDR3 nForce 750A SLI 2PCI-E16 2PCI-E1 2PCI 6SATA Sound GBLAN Motherboard
DDR3 Memory (RAM) Kingston HyperX KHX1600C9D3K2/8GX 8GB 2X4GB DDR3-1600 XMP Dual Channel Memory Kit
Video Cards AMD Radeon HD 6850 775MHZ 1GB GDDR5 4.0GHZ PCI-E 2 X DVI HDMI Display Port
Computer Case Antec Three Hundred Two Mid Tower Gaming Case 302 ATX 3X5.25 6X3.5INT No PS Front USB3.0 & Audio
Power Supply Coolermaster Extreme Power Plus 600W ATX 12V V2.3 Silent Power Supply 20/24PIN 120MM Fan


But I included windows 7 x 64 bit and this would do you for a game or two.........

JUST AN IDEA as I'm sure there are others that have better ideas and can switch parts.............

forgot the PSU look here

04-16-2012, 12:54 PM
Thanks for the help. What are the advantages of going towards windows 7 over xp for gaming, I could use my good old xp (unless you can't use it on two seperate pc) and save 130$.
I was looking around and found this intel build:
GIGABYTE GA-Z68AP-D3 Intel Z68 Motherboard ($120)


Intel Core i5-2500K ($220)


Patriot G2 Series 8GB DDR3 (1600 Mhz) ($38)

Video Card

EVGA GTX 560 Ti 1GB ($230)

Sound Card

Creative Labs Sound Blaster Audigy 7.1 ($30)

Hard Drive

Seagate Barracuda 1TB ($100)

Optical Drive

Sony Optiarc 24x DVDRW Drive ($18)


Cooler Master HAF 912 Mid-Tower ($50)

Power Supply

Corsair Builder Series CX600 (600W) ($60)

Total Cost: $856 (USD)

so once converted into canadian it would be about the same price, only problem is there seems to be mixed reviews on the motherboard but I like the idea of overclocking the i5-2500k to boost performance as it seems to do it well.

I'm new to building my own pc and would be happy to know which setup would be the best for a (mostly, you never know) trouble free build.

Also would like to know some recommended shopping sites to buy the stuff from (in canada)

Thanks alot for all the help.

04-16-2012, 01:25 PM
Most XP's are locked to the first MB that they are installed on and cannot be used in another PC, and besides you really, really don't want to do this with XP as it is 32 bit only.............games and apps are becoming mostly 64 bit now and more to come

a store in Canada http://www.ncix.com/ and check them (and check PC builder on that site also)

Very easy to clock up the i5 2500k to 4.5 on air (I do)

Windows 7 has 64 bit and XP has only 32 bit and can only use 3 gigs of RAM............and you need RAM, lots of it, it's cheap these days

a trouble free rig is very hard to find........lol

about that MB, it's got a good review where I looked...........the only thing not great about it is that if you try to put 2 gpu's in, it would play at x4

x16 would be best but x8 would see hardly any loss, but x4 really would suck......

If you are going with one gpu card, then this MB would suit you (good price for a budget board that takes OC'ing easily)

Bottom line: good pick, all games on High/Ultra

04-16-2012, 02:03 PM
thanks, you cleared a few questions I had, would the intel build be better then the amd you proposed?

thanks for the help

04-16-2012, 04:59 PM
Also, sould I pay more to get a mobo that I could put 2 graphic cards in, will the gtx 560 need some help in a few years or will it keep up with the rest of the system? Also, if I would add another graphics card, does it need to be a good one or will anything not prehistoric help the overall performance?

04-16-2012, 06:27 PM
1: Your preference in what make........I like Intel but AMD is OK for gaming also............might save a few bucks..........might want to check and see if maybe you should wait till the end of the month when the Ivy Bridge is out and go with that or if you want the "e".. http://www.cpubenchmark.net/high_end_cpus.html ...but that means different MB socket
2: only need a better MB if you plan on having 2 cards............and if I was going with 2 cards today, I would make sure it was the new MB's with PCI 3.0 and the new 3.0 cards to match.......but this is overkill for the moment as we have not used up PCI 2.0 yet
3:the 560 will age like the rest of the gpu's and need to be upgraded (already!)................(I have an intel Q6600 quad core @2.8ghz with a GTX 275 in it .........about a hundred years old, lol............but the Q6600 still is not a bottleneck and I might replace the card with a new one)
4: You must put in the same card to SLI or CFX.............there are a few exceptions from AMD like the 6870 and 6850 could be placed together ..........almost the same card with a few minor changes.....it would run at 6850 levels but x 2
5:the best thing to do is buy the best card you can afford now and when in 1 or 2 years when the price is down, you could pick up another cheaper. This will only be good if gpu's haven't advanced too far down the road with better DX and things................some like only one card if it is a great one....can you say 680?

04-16-2012, 06:50 PM
Will the ivy bridge processors be overpriced when they do come out? If they are only a little better but cost twice much i think I'll stick with the i5-2500k and overclock it. I'll also follow your advice and added windows 7 to the cart.

with the parts I posted before, if installed correctly will I be all set to boot it or am I missing parts?

Thanks again for the help.

04-16-2012, 08:00 PM
and btw, do you NEED a anti-static bracelet while handling the internals (mobo,cpu etc.) or does grounding yourself on metal before touching anything and not dragging your socked feet on a carpet while building the pc good enough. I could be barefeet on a cement floor, my electrical science knowledge isn't great but would I be considered properly grounded?

04-16-2012, 09:43 PM
ground yourself out to the case would be ok........

and where did you hear that the ivy bridge will be twice the price?








CPU / Price

Core i5-3450

4 (4)

3.1 GHz

3.5 GHz

6 MB

77 W


i5-2400 / $184

Core i5-3450S

4 (4)

2.8 GHz

3.5 GHz

6 MB

65 W


i5-2400S / $184

Core i5-3470T

2 (4)

2.9 GHz

3.6 GHz

3 MB

35 W


i5-2390T / $184

Core i5-3550

4 (4)

3.3 GHz

3.7 GHz

6 MB

77 W


i5-2500 / $205

Core i5-3550S

4 (4)

3.0 GHz

3.7 GHz

6 MB

65 W


i5-2500S / $205

Core i5-3750K

4 (4)

3.4 GHz

3.8 GHz

6 MB

77 W


i5-2500K / $216

Core i5-3750T

4 (4)

2.3 GHz

3.3 GHz

6 MB

42 W


i5-2500T / $205

Core i7-3770

4 (8)

3.4 GHz

3.9 GHz

8 MB

77 W


i7-2600 / $294

Core i7-3770K

4 (8)

3.5 GHz

3.9 GHz

8 MB

77 W


i7-2700K / $332

Core i7-3770S

4 (8)

3.1 GHz

3.9 GHz

8 MB

65 W


i7-2600S / $294

Core i7-3770T

4 (8)

2.5 GHz

3.7 GHz

8 MB

45 W


that should be about the same price as the sandy bridge's

Put those parts together and fire it up.......go into BIOS and set the boot order too CD-ROM for you too install the bootable Windows 7 disk first

04-16-2012, 09:51 PM
Thanks for the info, I was just taking a guess since in most things new= more expensive. If the price is similar for better performance then I might wait for the end of the month.

04-16-2012, 11:06 PM
you will know for sure on April 23...............we hope that it ships fast

04-17-2012, 08:46 AM
Now I'm thinking I want a mobo where I can run two gpu's, the cpu will outlast my gpu especially if it's overclocked and I could get another 560ti in a few years and get the best overall bang for the buck even if I pay more for the mobo right now.

04-17-2012, 11:07 AM
might want to look at the new MB's



these are in the mid range price for a new MB......but lots to look at

04-17-2012, 09:12 PM
Great, just made the switch, thanks again for the help.

On a side note, I read in another thread you saying that delivery of the ivy bridge cpu's could take one or two months for delivery, is that a worst cas scenario or is it what you are expecting it to be?

04-17-2012, 11:09 PM
also upgraded to a COOLER MASTER GX Series 750w for a little extra juice if i overclock and ge to two gpu's

04-18-2012, 08:03 AM
good on the PSU.............delivery might take longer depends on where you live and how fast MicroSoft ships the ivy out. You might be in a great spot or Newegg might get them first. No one knows yet............next week will be interesting

04-18-2012, 08:53 PM
I'm now thinking about switching the gtx 560 ti for an asus HD 7850, same price, slightly better performance, lower power consumption, and cooler temps.

04-18-2012, 10:57 PM
or the Gigabyte hd6850 since they are 100$ cheaper, similar in performance and I could pair them up right away for 50$ more then a single 7850, especially since the asus HD7850 just sold out on newegg.

04-18-2012, 10:58 PM
good stuff.......extra features

05-02-2012, 02:03 PM
Here's an update, I now have

Intel i5-3570k ivy bridge cpu
Corsair HX1000w psu (Sweet deal)
Zalman 9900 Max-B cpu cooler
Corsair vengeance 8gb ram
Asus HD7850 gpu
Samsung f3 1tb hdd
Coolermaster storm spawn
Coolermaster haf 922
Asus 24X DVD burner
Mushkin chronos 120gb SSD
Asus Sabertooth z77 mobo (originally wanted gigabyte z77-ud5h but went out of stock)
Windows 7
Asus VH236H 23" lcd Monitor
Coolermaster cm storm quick fire rapid mechanical keyboard

Grossly overbudget but I have the money and I think it's worth it.

05-02-2012, 02:56 PM

I'm with hackerballs on the issue of XP vs. Win 7; you're definitely better going for the latter. Not only for the newest games, but bear in mind a lot of manufacturer support will wane for XP drivers and other software - especially in light of the fact XP's support life-cycle is end-dated for August 2014.

Nevertheless, if you're still keen on keeping XP, you could virtualise it on your new PC. Basically, this would be an OS within an OS, and you'd be able to still play old games/use old applications which don't run on Win 7. For this task, two of the products I've used before and like are VirtualBox (https://www.virtualbox.org/) or VMware Player (http://www.vmware.com/products/player/).

05-02-2012, 05:12 PM
Thanks for the advice but windows 7 is already on it's way so all is good.