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Old 07-21-2009, 03:31 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default From decent computer to performance computer! Upgrading help!

Hello all.
I come to this forum in search of great advice. This will be my first computer-tech forum which I stop by, and hopefully it will be the only forum I stop by.

As you may have all guessed(or not), I will be upgrading my computer. My current computer specs are:
-AMD Athlon X2 6000+ 3.0 GHz Processor
-ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro
-2GB of DDR2 RAM
-ASUS M2A-MVP Motherboard
-450 Watt PSU

Owards with my questions/scenario:

Do you need a good graphics card for a performance computer?

I'm generally not into gaming, rather troubleshooting problems. Sometimes I'd need to do timely stuff, that, as a no brainer takes time, and I really want it to get done "lickity split" so that I can fix the problem.
If there is any game I MUST play, however, it would be from the Call of Duty series.

I know for a fact that I'll be getting the AMD Phenom II 955 Quad Core (3.2 GHz) processor. No doubt about it.

The only decision for me now is whether I should get a video card with 1GB or 2GB of video memory(correct term?). I will be sticking to either the ATI HD 3xxx series or ATI HD 4xxx series.

With the new video card and the AMD 955 Phenom, would I need to upgrade my PSU?

OR, would it just be a good idea to buy a SCSI Hard Drive and install Windows onto that? From my understanding SCSI Hard Drives are incredibly fast. This gets me thinknig that with even the slowest overall computer, if you just install Windows onto that SCSI hard drive, you'd be fine?
And what is the difference between a Solid State and a SCSI hard drive? Which would be better to buy in my case?

Thanks,
Cody
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Old 07-21-2009, 05:51 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: From decent computer to performance computer! Upgrading help!

Quote:
The only decision for me now is whether I should get a video card with 1GB or 2GB of video memory(correct term?). I will be sticking to either the ATI HD 3xxx series or ATI HD 4xxx series.
In that case look at the HD4890 or HD4870; they will both play any game from the CoD series easily at high resolution.
You should only get the 2GB version of it (if there are, I'm assuming there are) if you have a 64-bit OS, since on a 32-bit OS it would take up half the allowable RAM.

Quote:
With the new video card and the AMD 955 Phenom, would I need to upgrade my PSU?
Very probably, depends on the quality of your current PSU; can you provide the make and model of it? I'm guessing it's just a generic one that came with that computer?

Quote:
Do you need a good graphics card for a performance computer?
That entirely depends on what you mean by a 'performance computer'.

Quote:
And what is the difference between a Solid State and a SCSI hard drive?
SSD (solid state drives) run on flash memory, similar to a thumb drive, and are usually much faster than hard drives.
SCSI hard drives are just faster and more reliable hard drives; they are generally only used in servers however, and even then they're a slightly outdated technology.
If you're after a fast drive, then an SSD would be it. Generally they're about $120/£100 per 30GB now.

Just one question; what will your budget be for all these upgrades?
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Old 07-21-2009, 01:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: From decent computer to performance computer! Upgrading help!

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Originally Posted by Yamikotai View Post
In that case look at the HD4890 or HD4870; they will both play any game from the CoD series easily at high resolution.
You should only get the 2GB version of it (if there are, I'm assuming there are) if you have a 64-bit OS, since on a 32-bit OS it would take up half the allowable RAM.
I see. I'll be going for the 1GB version of the HD4870.

Quote:
Very probably, depends on the quality of your current PSU; can you provide the make and model of it? I'm guessing it's just a generic one that came with that computer?
I'm not sure how to find the model of the PSU, as it indeed came with the computer case.
The computer case is a Raidmax Apex.

Quote:
Just one question; what will your budget be for all these upgrades?
I really don't want to go over $650 for all of these upgrades.

The processor I'm going for will sell for roughly $335 after taxes.
The video card I will buy is selling for almost $207 after taxes.
So I have at least $110 to spend on a PSU.

Since the video card as well as the processor WILL BE BOUGHT, I need to find a PSU that will work with all of them.
Do you have any ideas on a PSU that will best suit the processor, as well as the video card?
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Old 07-21-2009, 01:35 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: From decent computer to performance computer! Upgrading help!

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Originally Posted by Crocodyle View Post
I see. I'll be going for the 1GB version of the HD4870.


I'm not sure how to find the model of the PSU, as it indeed came with the computer case.
The computer case is a Raidmax Apex.


I really don't want to go over $650 for all of these upgrades.

The processor I'm going for will sell for roughly $335 after taxes.
The video card I will buy is selling for almost $207 after taxes.
So I have at least $110 to spend on a PSU.

Since the video card as well as the processor WILL BE BOUGHT, I need to find a PSU that will work with all of them.
Do you have any ideas on a PSU that will best suit the processor, as well as the video card?
Unfortunately, that PSU is crap, Raidmax = bad news mate.

Also, based off ASUS' website, you'll need a new motherboard to support Phenom II's because the M2A-MVP only supports until Phenom 9850
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Old 07-21-2009, 03:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: From decent computer to performance computer! Upgrading help!

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Originally Posted by vernong1992 View Post
Unfortunately, that PSU is crap, Raidmax = bad news mate.

Also, based off ASUS' website, you'll need a new motherboard to support Phenom II's because the M2A-MVP only supports until Phenom 9850
Yeah I'm going to get a new PSU.
Probably a 600 watt one, maybe even 650 watt.

I'm not really sure about my assumption right now.. but I've done quite alot of Googling and I think I found a reliable source(ASUS forums) and I now believe that the Phenom II's will work on my motherboard.
ASUSTeK Computer Inc.-Forum- Phenom II + M2A-VM = Works

Hopefully it will work.
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Old 07-21-2009, 05:57 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: From decent computer to performance computer! Upgrading help!

howcome you are set on getting the 955? it is basicly the same as the 940, and you could just OC it for those extra 200mhz, which IMO are not worth the extra money.
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Old 07-21-2009, 10:18 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: From decent computer to performance computer! Upgrading help!

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Originally Posted by Muffin Man View Post
howcome you are set on getting the 955? it is basicly the same as the 940, and you could just OC it for those extra 200mhz, which IMO are not worth the extra money.
I don't really want to overclock my processor.
I might screw something up, or something might go horribly wrong.

Overclocking is definitely not something I'd want to do.
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Old 07-21-2009, 10:20 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: From decent computer to performance computer! Upgrading help!

Well the 940 has an unlocked multiplier, and its quite easy..

Even complete n00bs have come here, and ended up thinking they are experts but OC'ing doesn't cause harm, unless you go too far and get selfish about it
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Old 07-21-2009, 10:29 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: From decent computer to performance computer! Upgrading help!

It's pretty safe to overclock processors nowadays - AFAIK they have automatic cutoffs at dangerous temperature levels, which you shouldn't get with an extra 200mhz. Right now, my Athlon X2 4000+ is happily running about 450mhz above stock, and I've run it at 700mhz above stock for long periods with no noticeable effect (from 2.1ghz, so between about 6/5 and a 4/3 its original speed). All stock cooling, and my cheap motherboard doesn't really have many options for changing voltages, so everything else is normal.

I'd recommend just buying the cheaper processor - in all likeliness, 200mhz won't be very noticeable even in worst case scenarios. You could always overclock it later down the road if you feel you need a speed boost.
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Old 07-21-2009, 10:47 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: From decent computer to performance computer! Upgrading help!

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Originally Posted by trekkie00 View Post
It's pretty safe to overclock processors nowadays - AFAIK they have automatic cutoffs at dangerous temperature levels, which you shouldn't get with an extra 200mhz. Right now, my Athlon X2 4000+ is happily running about 450mhz above stock, and I've run it at 700mhz above stock for long periods with no noticeable effect (from 2.1ghz, so between about 6/5 and a 4/3 its original speed). All stock cooling, and my cheap motherboard doesn't really have many options for changing voltages, so everything else is normal.

I'd recommend just buying the cheaper processor - in all likeliness, 200mhz won't be very noticeable even in worst case scenarios. You could always overclock it later down the road if you feel you need a speed boost.
With all of the hoopla about my motherboard not supporting the AMD Phenom II's and whatnot, would it be a good idea just to begin saving up for a whole new computer?
I'd buy the parts, not a prebuilt one :P
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