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Old 12-27-2010, 07:59 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Upgrading a previous build

Her guys... I'm new and I hate being that noob that provides little information that ends up turning threads into a bashing fest. So I'll try to give you as much information as possible for the best feedback. I know my way around a computer and know some stuff, but by no means am I tech saavy so if you could please ease up on the lingo and simplify things for me, that'd be cool .

I think I need to upgrade my motherboard and CPU and MAYBE my graphics card.. Lately, I've been having a lot of little problems here and there. They all started when I reformatted my main hdd with XP. I have 2 HDD's, both are hooked up and working but I boot off of 1 that has XP, the other has Vista. Problems are as such: NTLDR is missing, beeping when it's first started (1 short, pause, followed by 1 long. I believe memory related issue), and a missing driver the computer and internet cannot seem to find so it opens the "new hardware driver" installation window every...single...time...I log on.

With that being said, I think I just want to wipe it all clean and upgrade a couple parts in the mean time. My budget is fairly low since I don't need a whole lot of performance. I game but not a lot. World of Warcraft is the only game I play, and that doesn't require a ton. I also use Adobe Photoshop CS3, I have dual 23" monitors, I watch Blu-Ray, surf FireFox... I think that pretty much covers it. Oh and I love to have 20 things open at once . Ventrilo, AIM, MSN, Winamp, I'll have a couple media folders open to drag movies/songs in/out, usually 5+ firefox (I hate tabs), then I usually have 2 World of Warcraft's going, then I have a movie on the other monitor... Needless to say, I keep my computer working lol. So having SOME speed would be nice because my computer gets kinda slow at times.

My current mobo:
Newegg.com - GIGABYTE GA-MA78LM-S2 AM3/AM2+/AM2 AMD 760G Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
My current cpu:
Newegg.com - AMD Athlon X2 7850 Black Edition Kuma 2.8GHz 2 x 512KB L2 Cache 2MB L3 Cache Socket AM2+ 95W Dual-Core Processor AD785ZWCGHBOX
My current gfx card:
Newegg.com - XFX HD-485X-ZDFC Radeon HD 4850 1GB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
Otherwise, I have an OCZ 750W PSU, 4GB RAM, and a WD Cavier Black 7200RPM 3.0GB/s 32MB cache HDD.

I think I'm safe with going with another dual core. I dunno..what do you think? Mobo could definitely use an update. I tried looking for more RAM on newegg but under 240pin DDR2 PC2 8500, I couldn't find any 4GB sticks. I don't know if my current mobo can take DDR3. I just looked up the same spec sticks as the ones I have. I'm pretty sure my gfx card sucks by now. I was thinking about making the switch to NVIDIA for a GTX or something, but I don't want to spend a couple hundred on a card that I don't need. Again, World of Warcraft is all I play.

Any input is appreciate guys! If you need more info from me, please ask! Thanks!
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Old 12-27-2010, 11:24 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upgrading a previous build

Actually, you could probably just drop a quad in your current board and get a nice improvement with your current setup. According to Gigabyte your board can run up to a Phenom II x4 940 with BIOS revision F4, but I would say that it can run better than that. I doubt it could have a x6, though.

The 955 is a ice one that overclocks well:
Newegg.com - AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor HDZ955FBGMBOX

If you go with a new AM3 board you will need RAM as well. To go with 2x4GB of DDR2, go with these:
Newegg.com - G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL5D-4GBPQ

A 4850 can handle WOW pretty good, so you could stand with that card for now.

If you want to take the plunge for a new mobo, CPU, and RAM (as well as a 1TB hard drive), go for this combo:
* AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor (Model: HDZ955FBGMBOX)
* GIGABYTE AM3 AMD 880G SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 HDMI Micro ATX Motherboard (Model: GA-880GMA-UD2H)
* G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory (Model: F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL)
* Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive (Model: ST31000528AS)
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Old 12-27-2010, 11:39 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upgrading a previous build

Her guys? j/k We don't bash anybody, no matter the noobism. If you know GFX and CPU, you're halfway there.

Do you do anything else on your computer, as Photoshop?

As per your CPU, you would want to update to a Phenom II x6. It will give you a lot more performance. Not just in gaming, but faster response in Windows.
Newegg.com - AMD Phenom II X6 1055T Thuban 2.8GHz 6 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 125W Six-Core Desktop Processor HDT55TFBGRBOX

GFX, I can recommend an ATI HD5770, as I have one myself. Plays StarCraft 2 at ultimate settings. I have this one:
Newegg.com - XFX HD-577A-ZNFC Radeon HD 5770 (Juniper XT) 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
I got it for cheaper, but that was when they had a rebate on it.

You could go for a 5750, too..
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-448-_-Product
$100 after rebate. XFX is pretty quick about rebates. I got mine within 3 weeks.

Your current board cannot take DDR3, but there isn't such a big jump between the two. Your RAM is fine.

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Old 12-27-2010, 11:59 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upgrading a previous build

Thanks for the recommendations so far!

I thought my mobo might've been real crappy but I guess not if you say so. I mean like I said, I don't do anything that requires major performance. I just run a ton of things at once and it slows my computer down. So I guess a faster processor would fix that. I thought that having 4GB of RAM was slowing me down but I can see that my processor is somewhat lacking considering how much I run crap. But the computer beeping at me concerns me since I read it is most likely memory related. I've removed the sticks, put them back in, and switched them, and the computer will still beep at me. But according to My Computer > Properties, it has 3.25GB of RAM so something must be wrong somewhere.

Mind - I do not do anything that serious other than WoW and Photoshop. And I don't even use Photoshop all that much. I haven't done much photography lately (I own a DSLR, otherwise I wouldn't bother with photoshop :P). I think I'll keep my current GFX. And thanks for the clarification between DDR3 and DDR2.

Another question - When I play WoW, I don't really get THAT good of graphics... I run with EVERY graphic turned off or low (including vertical sync) and I still lag somewhat. Is this still my processor? I don't consider my computer great but I consider it more than enough for WoW. When I run graphics on highest, I probably cap at 20fps.
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Old 12-27-2010, 01:14 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upgrading a previous build

Quote:
But according to My Computer > Properties, it has 3.25GB of RAM so something must be wrong somewhere.
Any 32-bit windows OS is limited to using 3.5GB of RAM including the memory on your graphics card. Since it says 3.25 I am figuring your GFX card has 256MB? If so then your card may be choking your gameplay as 256 is really low for modern games.

Tell us your budget (ballpark and max) and we will see what we can do to get you set up good.
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Old 12-27-2010, 05:46 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upgrading a previous build

To be quite honest, I was only looking to spend a couple hundred, if that.

So my graphics card is only running at 256MB? Well that sucks because it's a 1GB... No wonder why WoW runs so crappy. That makes perfect sense.

Should I upgrade my OS then? I don't really want to considering a new copy of Windows 7 costs $180 off newegg.
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Old 12-28-2010, 12:45 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upgrading a previous build

No, I don't think your card is running you short on memory. Looking at it the extra 250MB is probably XP running. But if you are running a 1GB card then XP is only using 2.5GB out of your 4GB.

Actually, you can get an OEM copy of 7 Home Premium 64-bit on NewEgg for $100. That and an Athlon II x4 640 would set you up pretty good.
Newegg.com - Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - Operating Systems
Newegg.com - AMD Athlon II X4 640 Propus 3.0GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor ADX640WFGMBOX
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Old 12-28-2010, 08:38 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upgrading a previous build

$200 wouldn't be bad for those 2 items. Better than $400 or whatever for that combo. I didn't want to spend that much.

Is 4GB RAM enough for 64-bit W7? I thought that was the minimum requirements. Or would the quad core help out there. And what's the difference between the system builders one and the full package one thats $180?

And you're sure that processor would work on my mobo right? lol
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Old 12-28-2010, 09:38 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upgrading a previous build

4Gb is not the limit for W7 x64. x64 can just go above 4GB.

System builders is OEM. Full package is retail.
OEM means that it will work on one computer, and one computer only. Also if you change major hardware, it will not be genuine.
Retail can work on any number of computer, but can only validate it for one computer. Can't have two computers running the same serial.
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Old 12-28-2010, 01:12 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johns622 View Post
$200 wouldn't be bad for those 2 items. Better than $400 or whatever for that combo. I didn't want to spend that much.

Is 4GB RAM enough for 64-bit W7? I thought that was the minimum requirements. Or would the quad core help out there. And what's the difference between the system builders one and the full package one thats $180?

And you're sure that processor would work on my mobo right? lol
According to Gigabyte's CPU Compatibility List, yes. Check here yourself; scroll down to AM3 chips and look at the list. You could go with up to a x6 1090T (I was looking at the AM2+ part before... oops). You will need to make sure you have the F4 BIOS installed.
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