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Mega Upgrades


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#1
Troy

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Okay it's time for one myself! Finally, I'm getting a decent tax return this year and thought I'd upgrade my rig. My budget is strictly $1000. Remember this is Australian money and component prices are higher here than fancy newegg.com

Parts I have:
ThermalTake Matrix Case
Pioneer DVD Burner
Panasonic Floppy Drive (Can't find webpage but doesn't matter)
Samsung 300GB Sata2 Hard Drive
Western Digital 80GB Sata2 Hard Drive - can't find webpage as it's an OEM version from my local shop, weird...


Parts I need:
Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3 motherboard $155.00
2x1GB Geil Ultra DDR2 800MHz (4-4-4-12) (anybody know if Geil is a good brand, I've always thought it was) $159.00
Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 processor $245.00

For a Power supply, the best two I can find are either the ThermalTake ToughPower 750W $202.00
or the Coolermaster iGreen Power 600W $189.00

I'm not sure on a graphics card??? I don't want to bother going DX10 unless I can get a 8800GTS 320MB, but they are just too expensive. I was looking at a high-end DX9 card, something like the Radeon X1950 Pro.

I am buying from http://www.umart.com.au/ and click on the "Gold Coast" store, they have the cheapest parts for me but not a great deal of range...

I am open to suggestions, I know that the Abit IP-35E motherboard is $152, but I think I like the Gigabyte better. I am definitely open to PSU suggestions and graphics card suggestions, I just can't really find the ones I like for a decent price. With the RAM, Motherboard and Processor, I have about $560 left for the graphics card and PSU.

What do you guys (and gals) think?

Or I could hold off on the processor for now, my Intel Pentium 4 (630) is compatible with that motherboard, yes I know it will be a bottle neck, but just until I save enough for the E6750 if it was worth it for the other components.

And I already have a version of Windows, no need to factor that pricing in.

Cheers :whistling:
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#2
jackflash1991

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Nice! :whistling:

Make sure the Gigabyte's BIOS if F7 or F5 because the lower ones do not like the E6750.

I would get the 8800GTS because you don't want to be stuck with an out of date card that can't play DirectX 10 games. I have one and was glad I bit down and just got one. Well worth the price!

And I already have a version of Windows, no need to factor that pricing in.

Is it XP or Vista because there is no point in buying a DirectX 10 card without Vista?

For a Power supply, the best two I can find are either the ThermalTake ToughPower 750W $202.00
or the Coolermaster iGreen Power 600W $189.00

If you get the 8800 then I would get the 750W if not then the 600W.

Or I could hold off on the processor for now, my Intel Pentium 4 (630) is compatible with that motherboard, yes I know it will be a bottle neck, but just until I save enough for the E6750 if it was worth it for the other components.

I would probably just buy the E6750 but you could do that.

2x1GB Geil Ultra DDR2 800MHz (4-4-4-12) (anybody know if Geil is a good brand, I've always thought it was) $159.00

They are not that popular but I am seeing their benchmarks about the same as any other OCZ or Patriot.
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#3
james_8970

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Powersupply Antec ATX TruePower 650W TRio -Antec (internal components by seasonic), you can get a seasonic which is slightly better, but nothing to support the 40$ price gap.
If it doesn't get in stock soon this would be next, basically the same PSU just from seasonic and 40$ more.
SeaSonic PSR650+ 650W S12+ Power Supply
To be honest, you have a processor already unless it's holding you back in some way I'd wait till december when Intel releases the Penryn.
As for the memory I'd go with this.
Patriot 2G(1Gx2) PC2-6400(800MHz) LL EPP
James

Edited by james_8970, 13 September 2007 - 12:43 PM.

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#4
Troy

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Awesome find on the power supply, thanks! It's cheaper, too...
And the RAM looks good, it's just not orange (my favourite colour) :help: Is the EPP = better performance? Otherwise they look the same specs...
Would you care to recommend a video card at all, (James)? Would a 8800GTS fit in the Matrix case?
Will the Penryn be released in Australia in December as well? My guess is they will be very expensive, will it really be worth it to hold off? I don't know if I would be able to afford it then...

Unfortunately it's just a spare copy of XP, I did plan on upgrading in the next few months to Vista anyway, so I would prefer to have everything "Vista-ready". I'm not much of a gamer, and I currently don't even have the budget for any DX10 games, not like there's many anyway. At the moment, the most intensive game I play is Oblivion (rarely, though), and the rest are much older ones that my current card (Radeon 9550) can deal with on full graphics settings... So even a high-end DX9 card is going to make me go WOW! :)

Also my Intel P4 (630) is an option, but I would have to put the original fan back on, and it's very noisy. The fan I have on now (ThermalTake Blue Orb) is very large and would not fit in the Matrix Case. It didn't fit in my original case either, a mate of mine had an old full-tower that I cleaned out and just finished moving everything into it this week. You may remember me mentioning my power supply used to sit on top of my case, with cables going in over the side and in... Now everything fits! I learnt that not all standoffs are the same... :blink: So I think I would prefer to get an E6750 now, unless it's well and truly going to be worth the wait for Penryn.

Thanks heaps for your comments so far. :whistling:
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#5
jackflash1991

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Will the Penryn be released in Australia in December as well? My guess is they will be very expensive, will it really be worth it to hold off? I don't know if I would be able to afford it then...

You are right that they are going to be expensive at first but all of the other chips will go down in price to make room for the Penryn. So if you do not need a good CPU right away you can wait till December and buy the same CPU for less money. But it is not going to be a great drop in price IMO, I'm guessing like a max of $30.

Edit: The best bang for your buck for a high end DirectX 9 card is the Radeon X1950 XT. For a little cheaper one I would recommend the Radeon X1950 PRO or GeForce 7900 GS if you are a Nvidia fan-boy like me.

Edited by jackflash1991, 13 September 2007 - 06:47 PM.

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#6
james_8970

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It's impossible to predict what the going price will be of the chips. However I belive Penryn will be comparible to what we are currently seeing in C2D because the second they go on sale many processors will be phased out.
Simply put Penryn isn't a large upgade from current C2D processors (it's a part of Intel tick-tock stratagy), mainly it's just going to be a die shrink and they are increasing the cach from 4mb to 6mb, which I think is overkill. The die shrink will result in cooler processors. But like I said earlier, if your not having problems with your current processor because you don't multitask or don't demand better performance as the games you play don't require that much CPU power why upgrade just yet?
Also like jackflash mentioned, the release on Penryn will result in a decrease of C2D prices even quads if you want to go that route. That being said, if you do find that processor holding you back, I (of course) recommend you to upgrade. Keep in mind though, games only utilize 1 core (very few 2), so you won't notice a huge improvement in games, even though C2D microachetecture is far superior.
If none of your games support DX10 might as well stick with DX9 unless you have extra pocket change laying around as they are very expensive in australia.
EPP is an overclocking feature made by Nvidia, since you motherboard doesn't support this feature, don't worry about it as it will be disabled.
Can you give me a link to this matix case?
James

Edited by james_8970, 13 September 2007 - 07:46 PM.

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#7
Troy

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http://www.thermalta...trix/vd2000.asp

Link is in the first post, but I will put it here just for your benefit, so you don't have to scroll all the way up... :blink:

So why would you recommend the Patriot over the Geil, then, is it a better brand-name? Better warranty? I was talking with two different shops recently (at different times) and they both have said that for their gaming builds they have been using Geil and G.SKILL recently. Both shops used to use Corsair XMS2 but have found that the Geil and the G.SKILL run more reliably, I thought it was funny two different shops said the same thing... But if you say the Patriot is better again, then no problems :whistling:

I think I pretty much do max out my Intel P4 630 at times, I often do a fair bit of multi-tasking, especially when researching my HJT logs for GeekU, I'll end up with heaps of Firefox tabs open, plus I'm usually running a spyware scan or defrag or something... That's why the upgraded RAM would be better for me too. Plus my P4 runs hot, oh yeah! Now with the Blue Orb on it, it's heaps better, but as I've said it won't fit in the case and I don't want to have to grab another HSF for the processor. Yes, I do want a new one.

I would like to try and fit the whole lot in for under the $1000 mark, so at present we've got:
Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3 motherboard, $155
Patriot 2GB (2x1GB) RAM, $165
Antec TruePower Trio 650W PSU, $159
Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 processor, $245

Which leaves around the $250-300 mark for a video card, preferably smack in the middle to keep to my budget ($275).
The best I can find is something like this, but it says they're out of stock, so I wonder if they can order it in again? Maybe I'll email them and ask.

What do you think - does that look alright?
Cheers :help:
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#8
james_8970

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Basically what it comes down to is that the G.Skill and Geil hasn't entered the Canadian market so I'm not sure what there support is like nor what there products are like in terms of overclocking. So the end result being that I don't feel comfortable suggestions I brand I know nothing about :whistling: You best bet is to look at reviews online like I am about to (later tonight when I have time) to familiarize myself with the brand. I personally rather look at a big picture and see many reviews opposed to one to get a general idea and try my best to eliminate biases or information that one person may have not been able to provide.
I'd take this video card, it's cheaper and a better brand name under the ATI brand cards.
HIS Radeon X1950Pro 512MB Dual DVI GDDR3 CrossFire Ready (it's also out of stock at the time being)
Sorry missed that link to the case. While I cannot guarrentee anything (as I don't have the case) any video card on the market should fit in that case, at worse you'd have to move a hard drive down lower or higher to give it an extra 1/4 inch of room. But my HD2900XT will fit into my case (antec 900) which is 470mm long yours is 480mm, so you should be fine.
James

Edited by james_8970, 14 September 2007 - 09:46 AM.

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#9
Troy

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I'd take this video card, it's cheaper and a better brand name under the ATI brand cards.
HIS Radeon X1950Pro 512MB Dual DVI GDDR3 CrossFire Ready (it's also out of stock at the time being)

A return email from Umart said that the HIS version is in stock in another store (Milton one, not Gold Coast), so it's funny you mentioned the same one! I prefer HIS as well, I do need to look a little more carefully! I might do a little more double-checking of prices and brands, just to make sure. Then I'm going to e-mail all the local stores and ask for "best price" for the whole order, telling them I'm going to buy the lot in one hit and wondered if anyone wanted to be competitive as their marked prices were just too expensive to compete with Umart. I did this when I first bought my current system, and saved about $400, which was awesome. I'm a haggler! :whistling:

Thanks for your help, I'll research Geil and G.SKILL now. I know that I have heard some good reviews already about them, so I'll double check and see if I can find any "nasty" reviews... As jackflash1991 has said, they just aren't as popular as some other brands, doesn't necessarily mean they aren't as good... And if orange is my favourite colour, then I'm sold! :blink: Just kidding...
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#10
Troy

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2x1GB Geil Ultra DDR2 800MHz (4-4-4-12) (anybody know if Geil is a good brand, I've always thought it was) $159.00

They are not that popular but I am seeing their benchmarks about the same as any other OCZ or Patriot.

Jackflash1991, can you please post the links for those benchmarks where you are researching? I'm tempted to go with the Geil, just because they aren't as popular as some other brands doesn't bother me as long as the performance is up-to-par.

Also some links in general when researching hardware? I've looked up a few that came up on a Google search, but just to make sure I'm looking in the right place.

Cheers :whistling:
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#11
jackflash1991

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I get most of my stuff from Tom's Hardware.

CPU Chart: http://www23.tomshardware.com/cpu.html
VGA Chart: http://www23.tomshar...m/graphics.html
Hard Disk Chart: http://www23.tomshar...om/storage.html
DDR2 RAM Benchmark Results: http://www.tomshardw...air/page12.html

If you look around in Tom's Hardware you can find a lot of useful reviews.

Edited by jackflash1991, 16 September 2007 - 10:51 AM.

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#12
Troy

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Okay cool, I've already researched through Tom's. I must admit I didn't really like it that much, heaps of advertising is so annoying...

But now I have another question:
For the Antec TruePower Trio 650w Power supply, it has a 120mm fan on the top. My case does not have an opening for the fan on the top, so what does this mean? Shall I install it upside down? Do I cut holes in the case? Would it make no difference? Would it overheat easier?

I don't want to go upside-down or cut any holes in the case :whistling: Is it worth looking at a different PSU?
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#13
Titan8990

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There really is no top or bottom too it. If your case has the PSU at the top then you place the PSU with the fan facing down. If it is at the bottom then the fan would face up. There is no need for it to draw air from outside of the case. Those Antec PSUs don't get hot at all. I have the 550w version myself.
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#14
jackflash1991

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There really is no top or bottom too it. If your case has the PSU at the top then you place the PSU with the fan facing down. If it is at the bottom then the fan would face up. There is no need for it to draw air from outside of the case. Those Antec PSUs don't get hot at all. I have the 550w version myself.

I have the 650W trio also and because it is so efficient it barely gets warm. Just make sure that the fan faces towards the open area of the case (Flip it, if needed).
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#15
Troy

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Okay cool, so upside-down doesn't matter. I just thought the screws only went one way, because they aren't in a perfect rectangle? One's odd... But maybe I can just install it with only 3 screws, would that be alright? Also I have to admit, I prefer the idea of a modular PSU as I can keep it as simple as possible inside, any around the same price/specs that would do the job?
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