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[completed] computer upgrade

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hitbyambulance
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[completed] computer upgrade

Post by hitbyambulance »

hard drive had been getting slower and slower to start up over the years, til last night when it just booted to a black screen (with cursor). started PC with Windows repair disk and it's 'fixing disk errors - 1% complete' as of the past ten hours of attempting this repair. at this point, the CPU, mobo and RAM are about 10-11 years old (purchased secondhand), the HDD nine years, and the video card probably six or seven (also second hand) so i think it makes sense to now build anew.

i have here my backup PC with an MSi Z270 Gaming M7 motherboard, i3 processor and 8GB RAM from about three or four years ago. the i3 processor wouldn't be so great for gaming, so i thought of buying a replacement for that. however, this board is now a couple generations old (LGA 1151), and i'd still need to buy more RAM, and as it has integrated video, i'd be using the GTX 970 from my current machine. the motherboard is pretty nice, but is that enough to make an upgrade with an older CPU (which would be a secondhand purchase) worth it? RAM is cheap right now (32GB for ~$100), but the CPU, even used, could be costly.
Last edited by hitbyambulance on Fri Feb 14, 2020 2:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: better value: completely new system, or reconfigure backup PC?

Post by EvilHomer3k »

I would go with a new board. Even a 6700K is going to run you $300 new. A used one on eBay is going to be over 200. For less than $200 you can get an AMD Ryzen 3600 which is considerably faster. An MSI Tomahawk Max runs about $115. 16 gb is plenty for gaming. I'd say unless you can find a 6700K for 200 or less you are better off with getting a new Ryzen setup.
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Re: better value: completely new system, or reconfigure backup PC?

Post by hitbyambulance »

AMD Ryzen 5 3600 is looking awfully compelling for price/performance ratio. if i went that route, the motherboard to get would probably be the MSI B450 Tomahawk Max.

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Re: better value: completely new system, or reconfigure backup PC?

Post by hitbyambulance »

the CPU on the backup PC is an i3-7300. this looks to actually be slightly better in some ways than the i7 920 on the PC with the broken HDD.

https://cpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare/I ... m778vs3893

http://www.cpu-world.com/Compare/374/In ... 7-960.html

if this were a same-gen i5 processor, i wouldn't even be asking this question and i'd just go with it, but ... how much of a performance decrease will i notice with the i3?

i just purchased 2x16GB of DDR4 RAM, so i could get by with this setup for a while (swapping out the old mobo, CPU and RAM... and of course, putting in a new SSD drive).

other option is buying new CPU and mobo for the Ryzen 5 3600, as mentioned above - but i see almost no one here buying AMD processors. are people here just set in their ways with Intel? (or telling themselves they _need_ to have i7 processors in order to feel good about their techno-superiority...)

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Re: better value: completely new system, or reconfigure backup PC?

Post by gameoverman »

It's an interesting choice. For newer games, a 2 core even with hyperthreading isn't going to cut it. However, there's no guarantee the 920 would do better on that same game. In games where it was enough I'd go with the i3 over the 920. My reasoning there is you'd gain efficiency and performance in areas besides the CPU. Unless you know you need a minimum of 4 actual cores the i3 should do as well. I assume streaming your gameplay is not something you'll be doing.

edit: I think the AMD thing is that AMD still has the rep of being a good bang for the buck choice, but Intel has the rep for being faster in gaming. So gamers tend to pick Intel in order to get the fastest possible gaming performance even if it costs a premium.

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Re: better value: completely new system, or reconfigure backup PC?

Post by DOS=HIGH »

hitbyambulance wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 8:25 pm
other option is buying new CPU and mobo for the Ryzen 5 3600, as mentioned above - but i see almost no one here buying AMD processors. are people here just set in their ways with Intel? (or telling themselves they _need_ to have i7 processors in order to feel good about their techno-superiority...)
When I upgraded in November I went with a Ryzen 7 3700x paired with a 570 motherboard. It actually wasn't much cheaper than an i7-9700k build since the 570's are relatively expensive to other AMD chipsets and I upgraded to an AIO cooler. The stock Wraith cooler works well and apparently there isn't much to gain from overclocking the CPU at this time, but it will allow me to run a little quieter. I liked the fact that the 570 motherboard had two PCIE 4.0 m2 slots, most motherboards currently only have one slot that can run at PCIE 4.0 speeds, and it future proofs me in a couple of other areas. Hoping to only need to upgrade the GPU over the next 5 years, currently running with a RTX 2080. So far everything is working well.

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Re: better value: completely new system, or reconfigure backup PC?

Post by hitbyambulance »

going for this combo deal:

https://slickdeals.net/f/13829774-amd-r ... -289-98-fs

have a replacement SSD and i got the RAM a couple weeks ago, and i'm reusing everything else from my current PC. so i'll have an Intel i7 960 CPU and 24GB of RAM with a Gigabyte LGA 1156 socket mobo free soon. that's circa 2009, but it's absolutely decent as a productivity machine still... and it never had issues running games at all.

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Re: better value: completely new system, or reconfigure backup PC?

Post by Kasey Chang »

I was in a similar situation. My old laptop, top of line for its time, had an i7-740QM CPU, but it's starting to choke on the modern games and video card choked a long time ago. Last year, I just decided to start from scratch and bought myself an i7-7700K with a NVIDIA RTX2070.

The CPU that many generations removed makes a huge difference.
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Re: better value: completely new system, or reconfigure backup PC?

Post by hitbyambulance »

i'm kinda excited to go back to AMD after the past six or so years. someone's gotta rep for Ryzen on this board.

video card is still ok and is being carried over. i am not sure when to upgrade that.

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Re: better value: completely new system, or reconfigure backup PC?

Post by DOS=HIGH »

Seeing how the price of m2 NVME drives can be found for the price of SSD's why not go that route? One less cable in your case too.

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Re: better value: completely new system, or reconfigure backup PC?

Post by hitbyambulance »

DOS=HIGH wrote:
Thu Jan 30, 2020 5:53 pm
Seeing how the price of m2 NVME drives can be found for the price of SSD's why not go that route? One less cable in your case too.
already had that SSD as a present from last year

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Re: better value: completely new system, or reconfigure backup PC?

Post by hitbyambulance »

CPU and mobo arrived yesterday - will replace the guts of my desktop case this weekend.

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Re: better value: completely new system, or reconfigure backup PC?

Post by Isgrimnur »

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Re: better value: completely new system, or reconfigure backup PC?

Post by hitbyambulance »

PC is 'built' and booted on first attempt. DDR4 3200 memory OC with no issues at all. loads Ubuntu off the DVD just fine. ok, great, woo hoo.

so what do i do about this power LED? two pins on the motherboard, but the case cable is three pins (with the extraneous empty socket between the hot and ground pins). i'm thinking i'll get pin-header extensions? could also cut the middle empty socket on the cable, i guess.

that's the only issue i've run into so far (other than installing the Wraith cooler 180 degrees the wrong way so the stupid AMD logo protruding from the fan is blocking one of the RAM slots, but that's easily fixable and i'm not getting any more RAM modules at this time - 32GB is enough.)

next task is to attempt data recovery on the old failing HDD.

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Re: better value: completely new system, or reconfigure backup PC?

Post by Daehawk »

I was going to point at you for still using a DVD drive but I cant....I still have one too. In my defense its a rewriter and I use it for backups and such. Also I have a large old game collection and need it in case I cant find those in digital form online. Its also Lightscribe but I haven't used that feature in years and years. Had to try it though when I bought it :P
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Re: better value: completely new system, or reconfigure backup PC?

Post by Kasey Chang »

I bought myself a blu-ray drive... USB3. I didn't bother with a SATA internal as I don't really want to open my case. And I don't consume Blu-ray media except for an occasional movie or two. But it's a rewriter and a DVD writer. Not that I really want to back up anything.
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Re: better value: completely new system, or reconfigure backup PC?

Post by hitbyambulance »

i'm kinda disappointed that this decade-newer motherboard doesn't have a whole lot in the way of 'new and exciting I/O'. it has USB 3.1 and that's it (and Firewire and optical audio have been removed). no PCI slots either, so i can't use my old USB 2.0 add-in card. haha.
Daehawk wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 1:59 am
I was going to point at you for still using a DVD drive
i misspoke, it is not a DVD drive - it's a Blu-Ray writer (and it's already six years old). i have a ginormous collection of music albums on CD (around 20,000) and i get new CDs from the library regularly, so having an optical drive is eeeeeessential for me. i have, at last count, 15 16 24 devices around the apartment that can play CDs. (also four cassette decks, two turntables, two VCRs and two LaserDisc players.)

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Re: better value: completely new system, or reconfigure backup PC?

Post by Daehawk »

No PCI slots? Everything uses PCI..how do you get good sound or video? Surely you dont plan to use onboard? What if you want to add in a USB hub or something? I dont use as many...only 2...I used to use 5 slots worth.
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Re: better value: completely new system, or reconfigure backup PC?

Post by hitbyambulance »

Daehawk wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 6:40 pm
No PCI slots? Everything uses PCI..how do you get good sound or video? Surely you dont plan to use onboard? What if you want to add in a USB hub or something?
it has PCIe slots. no PCI. see this: https://forums.tomshardware.com/threads ... t.1431162/

also, there's no need for a soundcard for gaming at all if you use digital audio output from the motherboard. there's literally no difference in the sound quality. and if you need good quality analog output/input, you should be using an external DAC anyways - anything inside the PC case is subject to EMI interference.

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Re: better value: completely new system, or reconfigure backup PC?

Post by hitbyambulance »

so i have a barely used 3GB HDD i could use for a games drive (salvaged from the eWaste pile at a previous job, works just fine), but i was also thinking of getting a 1TB M.2 drive, then clone the current contents of the SSD (operating system install) onto the M.2 and use the SSD as the games drive. thoughts?

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Re: better value: completely new system, or reconfigure backup PC?

Post by Kasey Chang »

hitbyambulance wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 8:14 pm
so i have a barely used 3GB HDD i could use for a games drive (salvaged from the eWaste pile at a previous job, works just fine), but i was also thinking of getting a 1TB M.2 drive, then clone the current contents of the SSD (operating system install) onto the M.2 and use the SSD as the games drive. thoughts?
I guess I'm a traditionalist, but I personally only put OS, apps, and swapfile on SSD, not games. But if you have capacity to spare, may as well do it.
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Re: better value: completely new system, or reconfigure backup PC?

Post by Daehawk »

I dont think 3gb will fit anything on it now days. Not since about 1999.
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Re: better value: completely new system, or reconfigure backup PC?

Post by hitbyambulance »

TB

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Re: better value: completely new system, or reconfigure backup PC?

Post by hitbyambulance »

i put the 3TB HDD in for the games drive. also put the PC back into its usual place and rehooked up (most of) the old peripherals. new mobo doesn't have as many USB ports as the old one, so i have to be smarter about what i connect to it - keyboard (also uses the single PS2 connection), mouse, hTC Vive (takes up HDMI on the video card as well), UPS and one backup HDD.

i was missing a rear PCIe cover since i couldn't use my old PCI USB card, so i threw in a wireless PCIe card i had recovered from the eWaste bin. don't believe i will ever use it...

some things i may or may not do:

* get an SSD mounting rack for the case. apparently the case is too old to have thought of including screwholes or dedicated space for an SSD...
* get pin extensions for the case HDD LED pin headers so i can have a working SSD access light. or just clip the case header connector (3 pin, need 2 pin)
* get a PCIe card for Firewire. i have a decent external DAC that is Firewire-connectable only. (also have a webcam that is Firewire only, but that's not really needed anymore - i can use my work laptop or my MacBook for Skype.) the onboard sound on the new mobo only has optical digital out, no coax digital. my speakers are from the early 2000s (Altec Lansing ADA885) and do not have optical digital... so i'm going to use the analog outputs for now.

definitely will do:

* upgrade video card, but the current one (nVidia GTX 970) is still ok for now.
* upgrade the monitor. i'm using an early 2000's Samsung SyncMaster 1780MP LCD monitor (with built-in analog TV tuner!) with 1280x1020 resolution and a 4:3 display ratio and the most advanced video input on it is VGA, so it has to go through a VGA->DVI adapter to be used with the GTX 970, lol. i'm running into games that clearly have never been tested on 4:3 displays and i am seeing a lot of clipped edges or incredibly tiny text on a letterboxed display.

done:

* replacement case front panel with more USB ports (2.x and 3.x) - already had this for the previous setup since my previous USB front panel just up and died, but couldn't use the USB 3.x ports since the old mobo didn't have headers for that.


can't wait to install Nioh this weekend!!

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