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Noob needs help... Upgrading mainboard...


Bushmaster78FS
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Folks, I need some help in making some decisions upgrading a system I have, not a computer pro so bear with me.

I have an old VAIO that I want to practice on, upgrade and possibly pass it on to a family member after enjoying it, before I built a more serious machine. I am generally into multimedia tasks, and occasional gaming (old DX9 games like Falcon 4.0).

I want to get this EVGA X58 SLI microATX as the case is equipped with an OEM Intel microATX, I put together a wishlist at newegg, deciding on parts, but I have no idea how I am going to install the parts, my first question was to ask if you could guide me through installation...

Second, should I really wait for EVGA come up with a new generation of mobos that include USB 3 or Sata 3? That would be overkill in my opinion but just want to confirm that it is not really necessary right now...

I want to get the X58 micro, couple of OC'd 9800GTs for SLI, a budget i7 processor, and a pciX1 X-Fi. Don't know how to decide on RAM, what to get etc. I think I would need a 750W or higher PSU, I thought about Antec, but I am open to ideas on that end.

Thank you very much in advance for your help in my little project...

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I want to get this EVGA X58 SLI microATX as the case is equipped with an OEM Intel microATX

What? You want to get some motherboard (EVGA X58 SLI Micro), because a case (I never heard of a case shipping with a motherboard before) comes with ... something? I can't quite make sense of that.

Second, should I really wait for EVGA come up with a new generation of mobos that include USB 3 or Sata 3?

SATA3 will be very useful for SSDs. And USB3 for faster external devices too. Personally, I'd be looking for something that has them.

couple of OC'd 9800GTs for SLI

For performance pretty darn close to a single Radeon 5770 (depends on what particular game you're going to play obviously), but for ~50% more money, sucking about 200% the power, generating twice as much heat, without DirectX11, without EyeFinity, etc. Nevermind you'll have to spend big bucks on a fancy SLI motherboard and beefy PSU for it too (and of course, extra $ on your power bill too -- about $80/year or so).

a budget i7 processor

That's like saying "I want a budget and VERY fast Italian sports car" or something like that. If you want a budget CPU, then you don't get an i7...

before I built a more serious machine

This is already a much more "serious" machine than I'd buy myself!

I am generally into multimedia tasks, and occasional gaming (old DX9 games like Falcon 4.0)

:o 99% of multimedia tasks will run perfectly fine on a "basic" dual core that is several years old, including playing back Blu-Ray movies and what not (1080p plays with like 1% CPU load on the kids' low end Athlon X2's). F4AF recommends a P4 2.4 GHz, and a video card with 128MB. Most likely you won't see much of an improvement at all, no matter how much hardware you throw at it (older engine, older textures, etc -- meant for older hardware; it won't make use of the i7's extra cores either). Such a machine is well beyond overkill to play simple games like this. A simple $500 dual core PC would be more than enough to handle everything you mentioned for the next few years.

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I want to get this EVGA X58 SLI microATX as the case is equipped with an OEM Intel microATX

What? You want to get some motherboard (EVGA X58 SLI Micro), because a case (I never heard of a case shipping with a motherboard before) comes with ... something? I can't quite make sense of that.

If I understand the OP correctly, he seems to be trying to avoid buying a new case, since I think he's saying that his existing PC uses a microATX. But with all he wants to buy, adding a decent case to give him more room, flexibility, and airflow should be a fairly small percentage of the money he'll spend. (IF he got everything on his "Wish List", which I agree would be an overkill most likely.)

Cheers and Regards

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Well thank you for your posts and taking time. I painfully realized what a noob I am when it comes PC upgrades. I agree that it is a little overboard considering the cost of upgrades. With what I want to do I need some but not huge performance upgrade. My main concern is to be able to play some simulation games, mainly the new version of Falcon 4.0 that is coming out supposedly, which is based on DX9. Here are a few shots that leaked;

20091028152802.jpg

20091204214124.jpg

20091106221711.jpg

I am not a serious gamer, (I prefer to play games on PS3 nowadays) so as long as I have a system that would run this above sim decent, I am game. At first I thought about getting a All-in-one like Gateway, HP or Sony, I don't do much gaming, I said "well if all I am going to play just a few sims, and since I am in military flight school I don't get to do much other than streaming a movie to my PS3 here and there or surfing the net, go with an all-in-one" ... All in ones seemed cool and neat, quiet, less space what not. But then they are expensive. The model that I looked had a QuadC2D Q8400S and a GT240M chip in it at around 1.8K... So I decided to upgrade what I have in hand with top of the nudge stuff, so I would not have to upgrade for a long time. As you say that would be overkill.

I found a guy who had the same computer I currently have and did a similar upgrade project and seems happy with the results.

http://www.maximumpc...pic.php?t=85935

So why don't I keep this upgrade simple and easy? I currently have a Antec 550W Neo Power and SB X-Fi XtremeMusic I am happy with, I don't think I need to replace those, I am happy with the HDDs. So forget SLI/Crossfire and all, keeping it simple, if you would suggest a proc, decent ATI card, mobo, what would you recommend?

Oh I said budget i7, because I thought i7 920 was affordable at newegg, sorry.

Thanks again.

Edited by Bushmaster78FS
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Now, I would forget the case you have now an build yourself a computer with a new full (mid-tower) ATX case; You will get generally better/more airflow, more space to work inside and can fit a full ATX board as well.

So, you like to play the latest flight simulators and use 1 screen to play it on? You would be fine with some latest generation ATI HD5xxx card and a simple quad core from AMD (model 620 or 630 for example), some 3 to 4GB of DDR3 RAM, new case with space for 12cm fans and a motherboard that supports USB3 / SATA gen.3.

Let me give you an example from newegg (where you looked too):

The CPU:

AMD Athlon II X4 630 Propus 2.8GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Processor

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103704

99USD

The Motherboard:

GIGABYTE GA-770T-USB3 AM3 AMD 770 USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128431

89USD

The Video Card:

SAPPHIRE 100283-2L Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102864

160USD

The RAM:

Crucial Ballistix 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Desktop Memory Model BL2KIT25664BN1337

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148323

114USD

The Case:

COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119137

80USD

542USD in total...

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Now, I would forget the case you have now an build yourself a computer with a new full (mid-tower) ATX case; You will get generally better/more airflow, more space to work inside and can fit a full ATX board as well.

So, you like to play the latest flight simulators and use 1 screen to play it on? You would be fine with some latest generation ATI HD5xxx card and a simple quad core from AMD (model 620 or 630 for example), some 3 to 4GB of DDR3 RAM, new case with space for 12cm fans and a motherboard that supports USB3 / SATA gen.3.

Let me give you an example from newegg (where you looked too):

AMD Athlon II X4 630 Propus 2.8GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Processor

http://www.newegg.co...N82E16819103704

99USD

GIGABYTE GA-770T-USB3 AM3 AMD 770 USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard

http://www.newegg.co...N82E16813128431

89USD

SAPPHIRE 100283-2L Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card

http://www.newegg.co...N82E16814102864

160USD

(BRB)

Wow, that is affordable... I was thinking MaximumPC's Silverstone Fortress midtower then... I also thought about HD5850... Antec NeoPower550W would haul all these?

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Wow, that is affordable... I was thinking MaximumPC's Silverstone Fortress midtower then... I also thought about HD5850... Antec NeoPower550W would haul all these?

I wasn't finished with my list but now it is ;).

The Silverstone is indeed a nice case and I must say to pick a case is a personal taste. The HD5850 is a beast indeed, a it overkill I believe for what you will be doing with it. The 550W PSU will haul it indeed, I don't see a problem there :).

EDIT: the cooler that come with AMD CPUs are a bit... well... too cheap build. You could look for an aftermarket cooler there; I like the prices on the Coolermaster as much other brands just sell hot air.

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That is indeed a tight system, wow how cheap and powerful compared to what intended in the first place. What are the main differences between the 5850 and 5770 you suggested? Let me go read about the coolermaster you posted...

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