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Old 07-19-2011, 08:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Questions about upgrade choices.

Looking to do some minor upgrading to my Dell and leaving it connected to my TV (42" Vizio) for streaming/playing videos and source engine games (TF2, L4D2, Portal2).

Upgrade parts:
CPU: Pentium E5700 Wolfdale.
PSU: OCZ 500w ModXStream Pro.
RAM: Mushkin DDR2 800 (x2).
GPU: EVGA GTS 450.

Questions:
1) Another GTS 450 stated 450w+ PSU with 12v current @ 38A, that OCZ only has 36A between both rails, will it work for me?
2) I only have a PCIe x16 1.0a slot, I know cards are backwards compatible but how bad of a performance hit will I take?
3) I'm using 32-bit XP which is limited to 3GB-ish of ram, getting 4GB so I can still utilize dual channel. Will I still get dual channel benefits even if I can't use all the memory?

Any other thoughts would be appreciated.
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Old 07-19-2011, 09:11 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Questions about upgrade choices.

1) Probably. The stated power requirements are general and a good PSU of a lower wattage can handle them. but, with only 36A total you need to be thinking about replacing it when you get the chance. You could go with a different card, like this one:
Newegg.com - ASUS ENGTX550 TI DC/DI/1GD5 GeForce GTX 550 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 192-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
More powerful, uses less juice, better cooler.

Here's some suggestions for PSU's:
Newegg.com - Antec BP550 Plus 550W Continuous Power ATX12V V2.2 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
69A

Newegg.com - Antec EarthWatts EA-650 GREEN 650W ATX12V v2.3 SLI Ready CrossFire Certified 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply
78A

Newegg.com - Antec EarthWatts EA-500D Green 500W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply
44A

2) Very small hit if any. The lanes are there but current cards can't saturate them.

3) Yes, you will get the benefits but won't be able to utilize all the RAM.
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Old 07-19-2011, 09:24 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Questions about upgrade choices.

IMO ~3GB is better than 2GB.
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Old 07-19-2011, 09:35 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Questions about upgrade choices.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MindoverMaster View Post
IMO ~3GB is better than 2GB.
That was my thought, just didn't know if it would get all wonky about dual channel if it was only reading 3GB.

I really like that 550Ti Trotter, not sure how I missed it.
Looks like it should be slightly faster than the GTS 450 without much of a price increase.

I wish I could find a 500/550w 38A+ that was modular and on a single 12v rail for <$100.
I don't think that such a thing exists though (from a quality manufacturer).
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Old 07-19-2011, 11:11 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Questions about upgrade choices.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roark View Post
That was my thought, just didn't know if it would get all wonky about dual channel if it was only reading 3GB.

I really like that 550Ti Trotter, not sure how I missed it.
Looks like it should be slightly faster than the GTS 450 without much of a price increase.

I wish I could find a 500/550w 38A+ that was modular and on a single 12v rail for <$100.
I don't think that such a thing exists though (from a quality manufacturer).
FS: New Corsair HX650 $90 shipped

exactly what you are looking for.
I have the same one, runs super quiet.
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