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    nikaso's Avatar
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    PC upgrade, advice?

    I am looking to upgrade my PC, I have a dual core Pentium chip (can't remember exact model but it is about 5 years old) 4GB RAM and a Geforce 9800 GTX+ graphics card at the moment.

    I am tempted by the pre-overclocked motherboard bundles particularly the i3/i5 bundles for between 300-500 squid but will really need a decent PSU, at the moment I have some Winfast budget PSU which I simply don't want to risk running a new mobo etc. on.

    Given a total maximum budget of £600 what upgrades would you suggest and in what order? Possibly get mobo bundle and save for a new graphics card later?

    SSD? New case? (existing case is a Dell XPS equivalent type case but from MESH)

    Thanks in advance for any advice.

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    Hightower's Avatar
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    nikaso's Avatar
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    Yeah I have got one of those and a 360 but do a fair amount of work and study as well as gaming on the PC so would like it to be quick! I really do play more games than I should methinks......

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    Hightower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nikaso View Post
    Yeah I have got one of those and a 360 but do a fair amount of work and study as well as gaming on the PC so would like it to be quick! I really do play more games than I should methinks......
    Ah well, sorry I can't give any advice on a PC upgrade as I'm still running a Dell from 6 years ago (not that its been turned on it 2 years). In fact, anybody want to buy a 6 year old Dell?

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    SteveB's Avatar
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    You will be given plenty of advice from many people but if you use this as a guide you won't go far wrong. Been building gaming rigs for years and the advice from Bit-tech, Custom Pc is always well researched and accurate.

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    nikaso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveB View Post
    You will be given plenty of advice from many people but if you use this as a guide you won't go far wrong. Been building gaming rigs for years and the advice from Bit-tech, Custom Pc is always well researched and accurate.
    Rep given, this site is just what I am looking for, of course now I will have to scrape together and extra £100 or so but I am sure I have some stuff to sell on ebay!

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    DAZZD88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hightower View Post
    I'm still running a Dell from 6 years ago (not that its been turned on it 2 years). In fact, anybody want to buy a 6 year old Dell?
    I'm still running a custom build, Athlon XP 2400, 512MB RAM and other bits have been upgraded now and again but only low cost items such as budget graphcis cards and a cheap HDD. It's none functional at the moment but just needs a OS reinstall. I'm thinking might use it to tinker with Linux. Older kit seems to last longer but I think sometimes it's down to the demands of gamers keep pushing requirements forward.

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    browolf's Avatar
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    antec 300 case £49
    Gigabyte GA-H55M-UD2H Intel H55 (Socket 1156) DDR3 microATX Motherboard £65
    Intel Core i5 750 £155
    OCZ Gold 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 PC3-10666C9 £65
    Samsung SpinPoint F3 1TB SATA-II 32MB £43
    HIS IceQ 5 Turbo ATI Radeon HD 5770 1024MB £120
    Zalman ZM500-HP Heatpipe Cooled 500W Modular Power Supply £72
    Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro Rev 2 CPU Cooler £20
    Samsung SH-S223C/BEBE 22x DVD±RW SATA £14

    = £603 (inc vat) @ Overclockers UK
    it'll be dead quiet too!

    if you have more money get more ram & the 64bit version of win7 & maybe a better case, e.g. the antec 600
    Last edited by browolf; 8th October 2010 at 10:57 AM.

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    Although the prices are in USD, you may find the following guides quite useful...

    http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/guide...10-edition.ars
    http://techreport.com/articles.x/19560

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    Quote Originally Posted by browolf View Post
    Zalman ZM500-HP Heatpipe Cooled 500W Modular Power Supply
    The Zalman 500w & 600w heatpipe PSUs aren't particularly good if the reviews are anything to go by. I would spend a little bit more and get a Seasonic X-650 (~£115) which is one of the best PSUs you can currently buy.

    The Zalman PSUs would fit into the quiet models category well enough if it were not for the poor stability of their output voltages. (Source)
    The cross-load diagram of the junior model resembles the FSP Epsilon. The +12V voltage is higher than necessary and not very stable while the +5V and +3.3V voltages go below the acceptable limit when the load grows on the respective power rails. This PSU is going to cope with a modern PC that puts but a small load on the latter two rails, but it does not comply with its own specifications. (Source)
    The ZM600-HP is clearly targeted at the high performance gaming market. The high power output, good voltage regulation, and excellent power factor correction make it a solid candidate for a new dual core, dual video card setup. The price tag also matches that of systems that might have such a high power requirement. The modular sleeved cables are also another nice touch for those that demand tidyness or want to show of their rig to their gamer friends.

    Unfortunately, a gaming rig is typically not the realm of quiet computing. The unit performed quietly only at < 150W load, and would most likely be amongst the loudest components in a typical "quiet" system. It's strange, since Zalman's product pages are littered with talk about "ultra-quiet" systems — maybe they're talking about ultra-quiet relative to the typical high-end gaming rig. Their ZM460B-APS power supply boasts a feature Zalman calls CNPS (Computer Noise Prevention System) that is supposed to keep the fan running slowly until the internal temperatures reach 30°C, but the ZM600-HP has no indication of such a feature on their website. Our results suggest that the absence of such a claim is no accident.

    One possible source of the problem lies in the tight spacing of the heatsink fins on the heatpipe. With such a small gap between the fins, the fan needs to spin faster in order to provide sufficient pressure to sufficiently cool the device. For high airflow systems, this provides more efficient cooling, but it significantly reduces performance in low airflow situations. Although the heatpipe heatsink is interesting, it has not helped Zalman to produce a PSU that uses less airflow for cooling. Or one that's quieter than the competition.

    In the end, if the ZM600-HP is used in a system where the CPU fan, hard drives and/or graphics card are loud, then yes, you could call this PSU "ultra-quiet". If silence is your goal, there are several other PSUs even in this high power category that are better choices. (Source)

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    Quote Originally Posted by nikaso View Post
    What upgrades would you suggest and in what order? Possibly get mobo bundle and save for a new graphics card later? SSD? New case?
    Given how long you have waited to upgrade your gaming PC, you might as well wait a few more months as there is literally tons of new tech being released soon.

    • New 32nm Core i3/i5/i7 processors from Intel. These will have higher clock and turbo boost speeds, use less power and encode video extremely fast too (among other things). They will only work with socket 1155 motherboards which makes buying a socket 1156 motherboard kind of pointless.
    • New H67/P67/Q67/Q65/B65 motherboards to go with the processors above. These all feature native USB 3.0 and Serial ATA 6Gbps connectivity, a faster DMI bus and even more PCIe lanes. The H67 and P67 chipsets will also ditch legacy PCI slots too (finally!).
    • New Radeon HD 6000 series graphics cards from AMD. According to the rumoured specs, the Radeon HD 6770 should be twice as fast as the 5770.
    • Next-gen SSDs from Intel (the 25nm X25-M 'G3') and SSD controllers from companies like SandForce (their SF-2000 controller has 500MB/s sequential read/write speeds so will make good use of SATA 6Gbps). These will also be cheaper than the current generation so you will be able to buy a larger SSD for the same amount of money.



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