New build, recommendations?

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New build, recommendations?

Postby imorgan » Sat Aug 10, 2013 4:46 am

Hello All.

I'm looking to upgrade my current build which is starting to show its age and would like some recommendations as I've been out of the loop for a few years are there now a ridiculous amount of choice that I'm a little lost amongst the reviews.

Current build:

CPU - AMD Phenom II X3 720 Black Edition
Motherboard - Gigabyte GA-MA790XT-UD4P
RAM - 6GB (3x2GB) Corsair XMS3 DDR3 1600Mhz
Graphics - 512MB XFX ATI HD 4770
PSU - 750W TX Corsair PSU
OS - Vista 32Bit

I'll be keeping the PSU and tower the same but the rest will be upgraded, especially vista which has been a pig, but I got it on the cheap.

I work in the design industry and do use CAD and graphic software quite a bit, the 4770 has held it's own for the stuff I do at home but for gaming it is starting to struggle.

I'm looking for a slightly lower then top end build so really don't want to spend any more then £600 on the new components.

Any recommendations on good components that won't break the bank?
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Postby Mr T » Sat Aug 10, 2013 6:10 am

PSU, RAM and video card ok....

But if you wish to update the video card, an ATI 7770 is a good mid range cards.

If you do CAD, you may want to look at Intel, but it is expensive.. So if you stay on AMD, get an FX-8320 - fast 8 core CPU, I bought one for video encoding and was so impressed bought another one for sister machine..
Board wise look at the 970 or 990 AMD chipset.. If you had no issues with Gigabyte, they are pretty good. ASRock is very good too as are the more expensive ASUS (I have two ASRock 870 Extremes R2 and an ASUS M5A99 Evo, rock solid).
As for the operating system, ignore all the hype and also the moaning, Windows8 is OK.. As good if not quicker than 7, just takes a bit of getting used to, but really does the job..

If your budget is £600 and you can keep the Case, PSU, RAM, hard drive (s)/DVDRW (proving they are not IDE) you should get a rocking system and have enough for a solid state drive you can run windows off...
I have been programming on computers since the ZX81.
I am an apprentice trained Electronics Engineer with qualifications to back it up.
I have been repairing computers since 1996.
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Postby imorgan » Sat Aug 10, 2013 8:07 am

Only really looking to upgrade the CPU, motherboard and graphics card, as everything else is working fine, although I may need to get some new hard drives because my current ones are nearly 4yrs old and will probably be close to dying.

I've always had AMD's because I like the underdogs but I'm tempted by the intels for the performance and to future proof the machine a little, any recommendations for "bang for bucks" on intels? for comparisons sake. I'll read up on processor you recommended and graphics card.

Cheers for the advice.
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Postby bdub » Mon Aug 12, 2013 11:45 am

i'm curious how your ram worked in that motherboard with odd nmber of sticks. i was under the assumption you needed even numbers of sticks of ram if you went over 1.
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Postby Karlsweldt » Tue Aug 13, 2013 7:23 am

Per this specs link to that Gigabyte mobo, it has dual-channel memory design. Yes, each channel should have the same amount of memory and type for best performance and stability. If one channel has more or less memory than the other, the system may be unstable or not performing optimally.
And per the notation about memory setup, any amount over 4 GB may not be addressed.
(Note 1) Due to Windows Vista/XP 32-bit operating system limitation, when more than 4 GB of physical memory is installed, the actual memory size displayed will be less than 4 GB

For a 32-bit OS that can address no more than 4 GB of system memory, that must include any devices having their own dedicated memory.. such as a video card. A 1 GB dedicated memory video card ? Then only about 3 GB maximum system memory available!
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Postby imorgan » Wed Aug 14, 2013 1:38 am

i'm curious how your ram worked in that motherboard with odd nmber of sticks. i was under the assumption you needed even numbers of sticks of ram if you went over 1.


I actually only have two sticks installed because the CPU cooler I have on the board overhangs the first set of memory sockets, the list I was quoting is what I have in my records for what I bought the stuff (dangers of copy and paste).
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