advice on computer upgrade?

By on June 19, 2013 8:58:10 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Mystikmind

Join Date 06/2004
+10

looking at upgrading my 4 year old computer - specifically so i can use larger maps in FE without crashing mid game. Same for Dreadlords.

 

It is not that i need a faster computer, the speed is fine, stability is the issue here. Currently i'm running Vista home premium 64 bit, 2.4 GHz Quad core, NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT graphics. It is a bit of an obstinate, over sensitive uncooperative system which spent the past 4 years forcing me to dumb down every bios and other settings available to make the system more slow to maintain some semblance of stability. This system sorely needs throwing out my window with extreme prejudice!

I suspect Vista is the main problem, so i may just need a new operating system? Next best thing i want to upgrade is the motherboard.... the thing made electrical fizzing noises right before the onboard sound died! Dunno if shoving a PCI sound card in it will work? So what's a good motherboard still compatible with 4 year old junk?

 

 

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June 19, 2013 10:06:50 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

the thing made electrical fizzing noises right before the onboard sound died!

Ditch the whole machine.

Start again from scratch....

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June 19, 2013 10:39:38 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

I agree with JAFO. Salvage your dvd' power supply' case' hard drives' videocard unless you want to update it.

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June 19, 2013 11:53:54 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting TechNoWeb,
Salvage your dvd' power supply' case' hard drives' videocard unless you want to update it.

Optical drives are cheap [read- built to a price, not a quality] ...so not worth hanging on to....really.

Power supplies have a finite life...and if old will likely be underpowered.

Case 'may' be OK, but a new one means there's a container left for the old bits.....

Video cards....get tired [fan dirt] and are soon superceded by something cheaper/better....

And hard drives.... they get old...but can be relegated to storage/backup while the real action [OS] goes on a SSD instead.

 

Basically.....move it all across to a spare bench...or room....or person....

...and get something new from the ground up ....

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June 19, 2013 12:15:52 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

What Jafo said.

 

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June 19, 2013 12:42:20 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

I agree. That's what I did. Better and cheaper than an OEM box too.

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June 19, 2013 12:57:20 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Those specs sound ancient... I'd build a new one from scratch. If you don't do heavy gaming, you could easily throw together an econ build for $300-360 without using low build quality parts.

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June 19, 2013 3:08:30 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Yep, I'd go with everyone else here and just build a new rig from scratch, maybe keep your dvd drive and power supply if it's a good, reliable brand and has decent wattage... but from those specs sounds like you should get a new one anyways. $400-$500 can get you a very respectable rig these days, especially if you already have decent peripherals and Windows licenses.

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June 19, 2013 6:01:50 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Electrical sounds are indeed very bad.

 

Yet, I dont think that you should throw away stuff that does still work fine.

 

Quoting Jafo,
Optical drives are cheap [read- built to a price, not a quality] ...so not worth hanging on to....really.

 

That does not mean you have to dump them before they fail. Newer drives dont offer much about older ones, too.

 

I also want to point out, that those drives can live for 10 years and more, especially if not used 8 hours a day, which is rare.

 

Quoting Jafo,
Power supplies have a finite life...and if old will likely be underpowered.

 

It is usually a good idea to buy quality power supply instead of dirt cheap ones.

 

Also in your case, make sure that it is NOT your PSU who caused electric trouble... and if in doubt.... remove it.

 

I would not go to high in wattage.... with most PC hardware getting much more energy efficient, you rarely will need an owerpowered PSU.

 

 

Quoting Jafo,
Case 'may' be OK, but a new one means there's a container left for the old bits.....

 

It is nice if you have money to burn, but personally I would not use a 60 - 100 € case as a trash can.

 

Quoting Jafo,
Video cards....get tired [fan dirt] and are soon superceded by something cheaper/better....

 

You know you can clean fans with pressurized air?

 

 

Also make sure that your CPU and GPU are a match.... respectivly find out what is slowing down your system and consider replacing that first.

 

Or make sure that should you go to buy your new high end graphic card, that your processor is up to the task feeding it.

 

Quoting Jafo,
Video cards....get tired [fan dirt] and are soon superceded by something cheaper/better....

And hard drives.... they get old...but can be relegated to storage/backup while the real action [OS] goes on a SSD instead.

 

Never trow away storage space..... you will need it in time, believe me.

 

Better invest in backup storage..... yes... even a 2 week old hard disk or SSD can fail fataly.

 

As for SSDs, they are awesome for speed, but they are still much more expensive than hard disk drives of similar capacity. And while they dont have any mechanical parts who wear, the memory itself does wear with every write to it. The implemented wear leveling algorithm does mitigate drive encryption, although that of course may be of no concern for you.

 

 

 

 

Generally speaking, it is of course awesome to buy or build a brand new rig with the latest and best hardware available. Doing so however means that you will burn a lot of money in the process.... for perfomance that will be topped by medium range systems 6 month later for half the cost.

 

 

If you can spare that money, awesome. If not.... consider upgrading only CPU, RAM and maybe graphic card, depending on what is the bottleneck.

 

Usually the medium price range offers to best long term deal.... you dont pay the premium "Must have that now" price but also avoid the low end "upgrade every 6 month because your upgrade gets to slow within that time frame".

And get rid of Vista... it transforms 4 Ghz Quad Cores into 500 Mhz pentium IIIs with 64 MB of RAM.

 

 

 

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June 19, 2013 6:54:31 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Thanks for the advice everyone, all good points depending on priority and money.

 

In the past, whenever i upgrade, i usually spend around $1000.00 Australian as i did with this current system 4 years ago. However 4 years ago i did not have a 1 year old child!

 

Nowdays i have no money, all the time and my gaming strategy has been to buy old $5 dollar games from sites like GOG.com, i can never buy new games, so therefore i have absolutely no need for a faster computer system, at least until my child grows to about 6 or 7 years and then we can both team up and 'redirect' mothers priorities. So it will be at least another 5 years before i will have any chance of doing any kind of 'real' computer upgrade.

 

To get me out of trouble right now, i might be able to grab a cheaper 'bare bones' system for a couple of hundred, which will be the best option if i want both a new operating system and a motherboard.... but i have completely lost touch with what is the good and less good in terms of brand/model of hardware components on the market these days?

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June 19, 2013 7:07:18 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

replace ALL hw as hdds/odds from 4 years ago were mostly IDE and most if not all CURRENT mobo's are SATA only,

regarding the PSU I work to the theory (based upon experience) that unless overspeced(by capacity) (at least 2x the system draw of ALL components) have a life of approx 3-5 years as the supplies tend to lose capacity at approx 10% PER YEAR,

as already stated electrical sparking type sounds before a part fails usually means REPLACE all that are related to part that failed,

and one last bit of advice is put as much ram SPEED as you can afford (this has two benefits 1 higher performance, 2 net higher reliability in long term).

harpo

 

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June 19, 2013 7:32:10 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting ARESIV,
Also make sure that your CPU and GPU are a match

Not logical since this is an issue of the past.

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June 19, 2013 8:29:24 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting ARESIV,
It is nice if you have money to burn, but personally I would not use a 60 - 100 € case as a trash can.

The 'trash can' is a container for a complete secondary computer suitable as a hand-me-down rather than consigning the not-used bits to a REAL 'trash can' aka land-fill.

Quoting ARESIV,
You know you can clean fans with pressurized air?

You know fans DO die from dust-in-bearing failure - something pressurized air would never help?

 

Re 'price point' - high-end or highest-end components pull a false-premium price compared with components that are otherwise 'second-best' on the list.  The result is more bang for your buck....and those 'premium-priced' bits are the first to devalue once nwere more premium bits come out....

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June 19, 2013 8:57:05 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting Jafo,

Quoting TechNoWeb, reply 2Salvage your dvd' power supply' case' hard drives' videocard unless you want to update it.

Optical drives are cheap [read- built to a price, not a quality] ...so not worth hanging on to....really.

Power supplies have a finite life...and if old will likely be underpowered.

Case 'may' be OK, but a new one means there's a container left for the old bits.....

Video cards....get tired [fan dirt] and are soon superceded by something cheaper/better....

And hard drives.... they get old...but can be relegated to storage/backup while the real action [OS] goes on a SSD instead.

 

Basically.....move it all across to a spare bench...or room....or person....

...and get something new from the ground up ....

Me personally I would rather take the money that I would save replacing good parts to but a good CPU and mainboard. I just did a refresh on my computer not to long ago. I just changed the mainboard' memory' CPU all high end if I had of replaced everything I would not have been able to have the demon I have  now.

I have to 2 ssd's I'm not going to change them just because I want to upgrade my computer. Optical drives hardly ever go out. as far as power supplys go's if you buy a good one and good ones are expensive they last a long time.

my specs

MB:Intel DZ77GA-70K Extreme Series new

Memory:Corsair 2x4 GB CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9B 2kits 16GB new

CPU:Intel I7-3770K "OC 4.0GHz" new

Everything else I reused all of them are high end parts. I replace things as needed when the power supply go's out I will buy a new one if the dvd drive go's out I will buy a new one. it's just like a car every now and then you want to short block the engine. but until then you just buy the parts as needed  

 

Cooler: Corsair H50

GPU:EVGA GeForce GTX 670 FTW

PhysX:EVGA GeForce GTX 460 SuperClocked

SSD:2 Crucial 256 GB m4 2.5-Inch

HHD:1 Seagate Momentus XT 750 GB 7200RPM Solid State Hybrid Drive

HDD:2 Western Digital VelociRaptor 600GB 10000 RPM

HDD:1 Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s

Case:Cooler Master HAF X 942 Full Tower

PSU:Cooler Master Silent Pro Gold 1000W

Sound Card:Sound Blaster Recon 3D

Monitor:Samsung 27in P2770

Windows 8 Pro 64 bit

 

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June 19, 2013 10:42:28 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Jafo,


Quoting ARESIV, reply 8It is nice if you have money to burn, but personally I would not use a 60 - 100 € case as a trash can.

The 'trash can' is a container for a complete secondary computer suitable as a hand-me-down rather than consigning the not-used bits to a REAL 'trash can' aka land-fill.

 

I still have my old P2 computer,,, or was it a P4, cannot remember? (400mghtz Pentium processor) one of those ones with the rectangular heat sink. I could never bring myself to throw it out because it was easily the best system i have ever had, so stable, absurdly stable, and so willing to handle any task/ game far bigger than it should. I have two other computers in storage in between that P2 and my current system.

 

Edit.... actually now that i think of it, it was probably Windows98 that i had to thank for the outstanding performance of that old pc!!



Quoting Jafo,
Quoting ARESIV, reply 8You know you can clean fans with pressurized air?

You know fans DO die from dust-in-bearing failure - something pressurized air would never help?

Fans never die on me, but they do often get tossed in the bin, shortly after developing an annoying sound (that cleaning/oiling wont cure)!

 

Quoting Jafo,

Re 'price point' - high-end or highest-end components pull a false-premium price compared with components that are otherwise 'second-best' on the list.  The result is more bang for your buck....and those 'premium-priced' bits are the first to devalue once nwere more premium bits come out....

Fully agree, and this has always been my strategy!

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June 19, 2013 10:47:47 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

To the OP: Are you thinking of Intel or AMD?

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June 19, 2013 10:52:33 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting kona0197,

To the OP: Are you thinking of Intel or AMD?
Intel.... i only ever bought 1 AMD system and that system somehow managed to run games more slowly than the system it replaced, even though on paper, it was more than twice as fast. Never touched AMD again

 

Edit: i should mention that i bought that AMD system because Intel pissed me off changing their socket design too frequently.

 

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June 19, 2013 10:53:57 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

I've given up reading ARESIV posts.

 

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June 19, 2013 11:33:26 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting Mystikmind,
Fans never die on me,

The reason I meantioned that is it's the most recent failure on my machine.  It wasn't some 'generic' part...it was the fan in the Coolermaster V8 CPU cooler.  It 'died' to such an extent the fan seized to the point it was almost impossible to even rotate it by pushing by hand.

I had a chat to Yrag who suggested a brand replacement [of the fan] ... a Noctua NF-F12 PWM 120mm fan - which bolted in place nicely and runs better AND cooler.

I should point out the original had survived for 3.5 years of constant 24/7/365 running...

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June 19, 2013 11:39:41 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Here's the temporary fix....would you believe....the new fan simply sitting on top of the V8 was sufficient to allow the machine to boot/run.  Without it the CPU would refuse to boot thanks to 'fan failure'...

Needless to say it's obviously now inserted correctly...

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June 20, 2013 12:15:26 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting Mystikmind,
Intel.... i only ever bought 1 AMD system and that system somehow managed to run games more slowly than the system it replaced, even though on paper, it was more than twice as fast. Never touched AMD again

Might want to look into the new AMD processors. 8 core. 4.4 GHz. Cheaper than Intel. Good stuff.

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June 20, 2013 12:53:59 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I don't think the OP's Computer is all that bad, just depends on what he wants to play.  Not sure how much RAM in the original computer, OP didn't say.  The only thing I saw (from his post) that's obvious (for gaming) would be wiping/reloading the PC with Windows 7 64-Bit.  Perhaps upgrading to a more modern video card, or not, the 8800 is still not that bad.  Lastly, buying an SSD to be your boot drive would have a huge impact.

PC hardware has pretty much plateaued again so unless you want some new shiny and sparkly, I question the real benefit of replacing the whole thing "just because".

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June 20, 2013 1:25:09 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting BernieTime,

I don't think the OP's Computer is all that bad, just depends on what he wants to play.  Not sure how much RAM in the original computer, OP didn't say.  The only thing I saw (from his post) that's obvious (for gaming) would be wiping/reloading the PC with Windows 7 64-Bit.  Perhaps upgrading to a more modern video card, or not, the 8800 is still not that bad.  Lastly, buying an SSD to be your boot drive would have a huge impact.

PC hardware has pretty much plateaued again so unless you want some new shiny and sparkly, I question the real benefit of replacing the whole thing "just because".

 

Yea this is more along the lines of what i was thinking. Only obstacle is buying windows 7, because it is usually the case that the operating systems are vastly cheaper with a system. Which in itself is odd? because the margins on computer hardware are very tight, logically there should be no wiggle room to accommodate these cheap operating systems, it has to be some kind of scam agreement between Microsoft and hardware manufacturers??

Wish i could just buy the motherboard with operating system? Oh but i will still need at least one IDE port for my old cd rom drive, why?

 

answer... for some unknown reason, that old cd rom drive reads iffy disks really well,,,, disks that all the newer cd rom drives are all too 'precious' to read.

 

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June 20, 2013 1:30:29 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting Mystikmind,
Oh but i will still need at least one IDE port for my old cd rom drive, why?

If you really want to keep it put it in an external USB case and don't worry about the IDE ports.

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June 20, 2013 5:52:26 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

I have seen one or two recent amd mobos that have ONE ide port, but the last chipset in the intels that frequently had an ide was h61, (not easily found now and does NOT support overclocking)

harpo

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June 21, 2013 1:00:15 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Mystikmind,
Yea this is more along the lines of what i was thinking. Only obstacle is buying windows 7
 

If you do a search on eBay for Windows 7 CoA you can get the OS for $40 in buy it now, or a lot cheaper through bidding.  Technically, a Windows license cannot be resold, which is why you'll find vendors selling the plastic door that happens to contain the CoA license.

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