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Yet another system upgrading question!...


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#1
ZedU54

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'...been away so long I hardly knew the place...'

 

...anyway: I have a desktop PC that I built way back in 2007 (specifics are in my signature).  I used what was at the time a top-of-the-line CPU (AMD Athlon 64 x2 6000+ Windsor--a whopping 90nm chip!) on a Gigabyte AM2 motherboard and 2GB of DDR2-800 RAM.  Also two 500GB SATA hard drives and two Philips IDE CD/DVD burners in a mid-tower case with a 500W power supply.  The motherboard has nVidia integrated graphics (6150SE), and the system originally ran Windows XP MCE.  It has been adequate for what the wife and I use it for, but with XP being dead now, I upgraded it to Windows 7 Home Premium.  After an initial glitch (STOP code 0x0000005c), corrected by updating the BIOS using the '@BIOS' utility that Gigabyte provides, the Win7 installed nicely...but the 166 accumulated updates took forever to install!...and it is now running adequately on the system as it is. 

...BUT--I am painfully aware that, after seven years, realistically the motherboard/CPU/RAM combination at the very least should be updated. (No more 90nm CPU architecture--everything appears to have gone to 32nm, which woule suggest they can pack a lot more into those chips...)  And I am in a quandary.  If I want to stick with an AMD processor (I'm not an AMD 'fanboy', but have had good experiences with them since way back in the 486 days), it appears I have two ways I can go: an FX-series processor (up to 8 cores!) or an A-series CPU/GPU combination (apparently AMD took some cues from game consoles like the newer XBox 360s (Trinity/Falcon) which use this approach). This is a home computer that does a fair amount of web surfing and some light to moderate gaming but nothing real heavy, so I guess an 8-core FX or a 4+8-core APU would probably be serious overkill.  But which route would be the better way to go?  Anyone with familiarity with the AMD processors and chipsets here who can give some advice on which way would be better?  I'd greatly appreciate suggestions...


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#2
phillpower2

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Hello ZedU54,

 

Honest answer is that if the present computer is doing what you require of it why change it, there is no upgrade path with any of the present hardware due to the advancement to DDR3 and USB 3.0, the latter you could forego if you wished to keep the present ASUS case, it would just mean that you would not be able to use the front USB 3.0 header that modern MBs have.

 

An AMD APU build would cost you less and will do what you require and as long as a good quality 500W bronze rated PSU is used from the outset you can always add a decent add on video card further down the way if you found yourself wanting to do a bit more gaming.

 

Can you tell us your maximum budget and in which country you will purchase the parts we will see what we can put together.

 

Also worth a mention, you have recently upgraded to Windows 7, can I ask if you purchased a full retail/OEM disk or an inplace upgrade of XP with Windows 7, I ask this because unless you purchased a full retail disk you will need to purchase a new OS and product key as OEM/upgrade product keys are none transferable from one MB to another. 


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#3
ZedU54

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...thanks for the replyI forgot to mention that I'm aware of the DDR3 memory (it would probably be a good idea to have more than 2GB of RAM anyway; you can never have too much) and figured I'd need some of that, too.  Plus, I don't suppose the newer motherboards support IDE drives anymore, so I'd need to replace the DVD drives as well...or get a couple of those bi-directional IDE-to-SATA adapters for them...

...anyway, I'm in the US and, to be honest, have very limited resources.  I'm not looking to do any of this right away; I still have some work to do on the OS (drivers, reinstalling some programs, etc,).  I did the XP to 7 upgrade as recommended (a 'clean' install after running Upgrade Advisor and Easy Transfer) and the upgrade is a work in progress.  And I don't have money at the moment to buy anything anyway...

...but you have at least given me a valuable pointer: I should lean toward the A-series processor and board.  I can go to Newegg and see what their offerings are (should I stick with a Gigabyte board or would you recommend something else?), and get some ideas on what DDR3 RAM, and maybe a newer case (the USB 3.0 is not of earth-shattering importance but would be nice to be able to use), are going for...

...This, and any other input, is much appreciated...


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#4
phillpower2

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A list of parts for you to look over here prices fluctuate all the time so no point on settling on any items until you are ready to purchase and build   :thumbsup:

 

You are welcome btw  :)


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#5
old-fart

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get a usb3 front port adaptor or a HT1BC14FUVbXXagOFbX1.jpg and unscrew the plugs and fit in front.of case for few bucks


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#6
phillpower2

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That is for the rear of a chassis  :P

 

If you would have a spare drive bay on the present ASUS you could use a front panel USB hub as suggested, an example here


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#7
old-fart

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Correct, however if price is an issue it is cheaper to unscrew the plugs from the blank and fit it on the front of the case rather than filling in a bay. Responding to OP's price concerns and wanting to keep case.


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#8
ZedU54

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...good thoughts, guys.  Problem is, my front panel USB ports are stacked vertically, so that one-piece assembly isn't going to work.  I'd have plenty of room in back to put it there anyway.  Also, I have a card reader/USB hub in one of the 3.5 bays already; I could probably easily enough look for a similar unit that has 3.0 on it and replace that, so I'd have front-panel 3.0 that way.  

...I also looked at cases for s#!ts and grins and case prices are all over the place; I found some options with front-panel 3.0 ports that are cheap enough if I actually wanted to go with a new case. Like I said before, not of earth-shattering importance at this point.  I'll concentrate on the mb/CPU/RAM combination first (nice list there, phill, btw! :spoton: ), and new SATA DVD burners are cheap enough (wonder if I should replace at least one of those with a Blu-Ray burner now?) if I absolutely HAVE to get rid of the IDE/PATA burners...


Edited by ZedU54, 08 October 2014 - 09:01 AM.

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#9
phillpower2

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Hello ZedU54,

 

Glad you like the list  :thumbsup:

 

The USB 3.0 ports on the front was for your convenience more than anything else, you still have 2 USB 3.0 ports on the rear that you can use.

 

If you do opt for an alternative case please make sure that it is not plastic (plastic holds in heat) and that it has good quality front and rear case fans, this draws in cool clean air and expels the internal hot air efficiently.

 

The BR burner I can`t advise as I have one on my notebook and never used the player let alone the burner  :lol:


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