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Old 04-17-2014, 05:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default What to upgrade first

Okay I have an alienware x51. I'm looking to transform this into a more functional gaming machine I just don't know where to start (other than a new case) I'm interested in the nzxt h440 case. My current configuration is....

Alienware mini itx mb
Intel core i5 3450k
8gb unknown dual channel ddr3
Evga gtx 760 sc.
Dell 330 watt external psu(obviously second to replace after the case...but to what...)
I'm getting a new case because I don't like my system running over 80 celcius while gaming and since I'm getting more room any ideas on what to add or replace would be appreciated!

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Old 04-17-2014, 05:34 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: What to upgrade first

What piece is running over 80c? More than likely the heatsink on the CPU needs some new paste since OEMs love to cram that **** in there.

If the GPU is at 80c that is perfectly ok.

I'm all for helping you upgrade your setup, but just want to get to the bottom of things before a needless upgrade takes place.

Also, how is your specific model positioning the GPU? Is it directly over the CPU?
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Old 04-17-2014, 06:23 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: What to upgrade first

Yea it's the gpu peaks at about 84. The cpu had reached 80 but typically peaks at 78. And I want a bigger case anyway. I want to piece by piece upgrade into a good gamer capable of high frames on max settings with good resolutions so I'll need a bigger psu anyway. It's...Okay right now I get good frames on high not ultra setting..and I've had a couple system shutdowns playing COD ghosts (unfortunately wasn't recording temperatures when this occurred so it could be the psu stressing)

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Old 04-17-2014, 06:35 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: What to upgrade first

GPU that's normal temp and honestly good considering the cramped case.
CPU kinda hot but not terrible.

You've already got a good base setup. Basically all you need to do is upgrade the GPU to get the frames and settings you want. IMO the case you're wanting is a bit much, even if you want to grow into it but to each their own. A good start for a PSU would be the Seasonic M1211 620. You can use what you currently have for CPU/mobo/RAM and put something like a GTX 780 to greatly increase frames at higher settings.

The only problem I can see is the motherboard in those looks rather proprietary.
Edit: Scratch that, appears to be standard mITX.
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Old 04-17-2014, 06:43 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: What to upgrade first

So what kinda case would you recommend, and while my cpu is no snail you think it's good enough to pair with something like a 780ti and I'm going to get a really nice 120 hz monitor but that's more the gpu powering it I think right.

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Old 04-17-2014, 06:54 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: What to upgrade first

Well it's up to you. I thought the 440 was a full but it's just a super mid. Be good if you want a lot of drives or something or good airflow for a SLI setup later (even though I don't personally recommend dual GPU setups).

Your CPU is more than plenty for any gaming right now. When my Sandy isn't enough then that's when I'll start pointing people in a different path. But software for gaming is actually leading to less CPU overhead meaning less powerful CPUs will be necessary in the future.
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Old 04-17-2014, 07:03 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: What to upgrade first

Okay cool. Thanks for the advice I probably would have gotten a new mb/ram too boot but sounds like it's all well and good.

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