Similarly to many other people, I have a computer that is built upon the old Intel Core 2 Quad processors. My intentions for using my PC is to multi-task in browser and play modern games. I am looking to upgrade this build to the new Intel Ivy-Bridge processors. For many people, money is a factor that should be considered when building a computer. Unfortunately, I am one of those people amongst that population. I am on a very tight budget and I want to save as much money as I can. Below you will find an appropriate list of the specifications for this build.
CPU/Processor: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 @ 2.4GHz Stock Speeds
Motherboard: Asus P5KR
RAM/Memory: 4 x 1GB DDR2 @ 667MHz
Hard Drive: 1 x 250GB Seagate Drive, 1 x 500GB Western Digital Caviar Green
GPU/Graphics Card: XFX Nvidia GeForce 8800 GTS (G92) 512MB
Power Supply: 400w Power Supply
Since I am on a tight budget, I am looking to upgrade to low-end Intel Ivy-Bridge Processors and low-end AMD Radeon HD Graphics cards. As far as storage goes, I am planning to move to an SSD. Here is what I have planned so far:
CPU/Processor: Intel Ivy-Bridge I5 3470 3.2GHz
Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-Z77-D3H
RAM/Memory: 2 x 4GB DDR3 G. Skill Ripjaws X Series Blue
Hard Drive: Crucial M4 64GB SSD (Boot) (Existing Drives for Storage: 1 x 250GB Seagate Drive, 1 x 500GB Western Digital Caviar Green)
GPU/Graphics Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7750 1GB GDDR5
Power Supply: (Existing Power Supply) 400w Power Supply
As you can tell, this is pretty much a new build. I am afraid that my PSU and my existing drives will die soon even though they haven't shown any problems so far. Would it be wise to purchase a new PSU and Storage Drives? Also, would choosing such a low-end motherboard affect my performance in any way? And Lastly, I am going too low-end buy choosing the Graphics card above?
Hopefully you guys are able to understand my post despite going a little of the subject. Thanks for you time. :)
I'd get a new PSU if I fear it's going to die soon. You can tell by some electronic scents comming from that area where the PSU is. Or some high pitch sounds it's making.
The drives, you can tell if they're going to die by running chkdsk from the command line. You'll see if there are bad sectors on one or both of those drives. Otherwise hold on to the money.
I would change the PSU for sure and the GPU to one fastest, do some minor overclock (3.2-3.4Ghz on Q6600) and keep this rig for the next year to spare some cash...
PS: Clock for Clock the i5 is faster but not by much due to the lack of Hyperthreading... (in bench and games i5 3.2ghz is the same as Q6600 @ 3.6 ghz so don't throw cash for the same performance, just do some overclock on that chip, they like it !!!
As far as the GPU change, i suggest you to get 7770 or better or a 6000 series GPU like the 6870 that perform really well in all games
7770 vs 6870: http://www.hwcompare.com/11924/radeon-hd-6870-vs-radeon-hd-7770/
HD7770 Bench: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-7770-7750-benchmark,3135-6.html
As you see, the 560/HD6870 is 10% faster and cheaper (i know the 6870 isn't here but it's the equivalent of the 560 and better than the 6850 you see in the charts and the 7750 is simply not fast enough compared to their bigger brother the 7770)
Price at my local retailler: HD7750: 140$ HD7770: 175$, HD6870: 185$, GTX560 (non-ti): 170$
PS: I suggest to stay away of the 7750 if you want to game in decent resolution and details with the newest games... the 7770 is barely enough for 1680X1050 with decent graphic details so unless you want 1024*768 don't go lower than that unless you'll not expect to play the latest titles or the graphics details are not so much important for you... (the 7750 will do the job at high settings but not in games like BF3 or Crysis)
Corsair Power supplies always deliver if you are looking for a good brand psu. And if you want to spend a few extra bucks a 560 ti is really worth it vs. a non-ti.
Couple of things:
If you aren't sure about your storage HDD's, besides chkdsk, you can download Speedfan. It's a program that tells you lots of useful information about your computer's hardware.
If you click on SMART on the tab section, then select your HDD, it will compare your HDD's stats against other's of the same brand/model. Things like spin-up time, temperature, power-on hours, etc etc. That effect the health of your HDD. It can be very useful in guesstimating how healthy our HDD is, so you will know if you should be prepared to buy replacements.
The Radeon 6870 is $160 at Newegg, while the 7750 is $110. Personally, I would purchase the 6870 if you intend to game on a high resolution with great graphics screen. If not, go for the 7750. I own a 6870 and it's great imo. I underclock it and it still runs Skyrim at the absolute best settings (that includes high resolution texture mods among other graphical enhancing ones). That's at 1080p too. Imo, it's worth the extra money.
One warning: the 6870 is a hog, kinda. If you do buy it, I suggest buying at least a 550 watt PSU with it. I don't believe your 400 watt will be able to handle it. The 7750 runs at less than half the watts the 6870 does, so it may be more up your alley for that reason.
If you decide to upgrade the PSU, I recommend the NZXT series of power supplies. They always have really good products imo.
Lastly, the motherboard is fine :). Just remember to plug the SSD into the Sata 3 ports and not the Sata 2 ports. It makes HUGE difference. Theoretically, Sata 2 is 1/2 the speed of Sata 3.
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