Need advise for upgrading my PC and it's cooling

By Artema
Jun 10, 2015
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  1. Hi. need some help here plz.

    so a while ago I bought my first PC (that wasn't bought on a wallmart). I wasn't very knowlegeable on the topic and my budget was limited but with some help from the vendor (who is an enthusiast) I managed to get something I was happy with, and I'm still happy, I can play nice games and do stuff, but I think it's time for some upgrading. here are the specs of my rig:

    CPU: AMD A106790K APU @ 4000 MHz BLACK EDITION
    Motherboard: ASUS A-88XM A

    Memory: KHX1600C10D3B1/8G x 1
    Graphics: AMD RADEON R7 240 2GB DDR3
    Storage: SEAGATE BARRACUDA 7200.12 1TB... REF :-(
    Case, power source: COOLER MASTER ELITE 431 PLUS, EDGE 600W AF-B600P
    Other Peripherals: LOGITECH G600 MMO, KEYBOARD? GAMEPAD!!!
    Operating System: WIN 7

    So that's about it. Because of limited budget I didn't bought any other fans or disipators so the case has 3 open slots for fans, two on top, above the CPU and MOBO and one on the upper back. the case came with a fan in the front for the hard drive, and there is the fan from the power source, the CPU and the graphic card, but that's about it. The front fan pulls air from outside and the power source pulls air from the case. (forgot to put it on image, but back slot is where "BACK" label is)


    So basically I want to put to use those open slots on the case, mostly because I live on a stupidly hot country (like 40°C hot) and I do have had one event where the CPU shut all down because of overheat (basically went above 74°C). I would like some advise as to how to choose a good product that fits my needs and what should be the configuration of the fans (since I have read that air input and output should be balanced or bad things happen).

    Also, I wish to upgrade other parts of my rig, the RAM is no brainer, just get a sister to my existing card, however the graphic card is another story. The vendor assured me that the MOBO, CPU and power source were good enough so that I wouldn't have any bottleneck issues if I later decided to upgrade the graphics, however I would like your opinion on what can I expect to put on that rig without having those issues (basically what are the highest graphic card specs I can expect it to run without problems). I do have a personal preference for AMD solutions, so keep that in mind (since intel stuff costs are way, way too inflated on my country).

    I also want a new HDD (SSD is still on the list, but right now I want more storage), so what would be a good option for that. the one I have was basically a default option, but I would like to know if that's ok, or I would be better of with something else.

    finally, what should I keep an eye on when purchasing a display. in the store they all look good, but then I brought my new samsung display home and dark/bright scenes look awfull and it makes me sad.

    thank you very much in advance for your time and help and apologies for the wall of text.
  2. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,966   +70

    Well RAM should be no issue as to the fact your mobo can handle up to 32 gigs or RAM so another 1x8 gig should do you quite fine as long as the RAM matches CAS, voltage, DDR3, and speed; as you say "no brainer." :)

    Go for an SSD and run your OS from that and utilize your hard drive for games. SSDs are coming down in price and it will make your load times so much faster.

    As a fan of Cooler Master your case is fine. Here is a link to it from Seriously consider getting those fans and keep in mind that between intake and exhaust, exhaust is the more important of the two. Also, AMD chips run hot. - check out the fan options under specs.

    Honestly, the only thing to upgrade for gaming purposes would be your video card. But here is my question: Are you having any issues gaming with your current system? If not seriously consider an SSD.

    As for your monitor Samsung makes excellent ones. Did you calibrate/adjust the settings? What connection are your using: VGA, DVI, or HDMI?

    By the way, really nice system on a budget. You got good advice.
    Artema likes this.
  3. Artema

    Artema TS Member Topic Starter

    well, not actual problems gaming, but most new games I have to run with some features off or at mid/low graphics to keep a reasonable 30 FPS (like AC IV). I would really like to step up on that so I can play games like metro or the last gen games without problems. the main issue I have been noticing is that I have been playing using my 40" LED TV as a display and the big increase on resolution does affect performance when playing heavy graphics games, even with dual graphics on.

    the monitor is VGA only and to be honest it was rather cheap, but the guy in the store (different guy that the one that sold me the PC) told me it was a great display etc, etc. I did adjusted everything but it's no good. dark scenes look awfull if I'm slightly below the angle of the monitor (say, chilling out on my bed).

    eh, for the fans would you say that 1x120 mm 1200 RPM intake fan on back top and 2x 120 mm 1200 RPM exhaust fans on the top would be ok? or would it create too much negative pressure?

    TYVM for your help and time
  4. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,966   +70

    First, no need to worry about negative air flow. Second I would definitely get 2x 120mm for the top for exhaust. I did not know about the bottom fan possibility because I have never seen that before. I would not go any less than 120 if it fits. Air flow is always good.

    Here is something to consider when purchasing a video card (from Cooler Master's official web page): Supports high-end graphics cards up to 315mm/12.4" in long.

    Can you link us to your monitor?
    Artema likes this.
  5. Artema

    Artema TS Member Topic Starter

    This is the only information page I have found on my monitor model. it has an specs section

    and about the graphics card what would work well with my MOBO and CPU without bottlenecking?

    Ty in advance
  6. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,966   +70

    If bottlenecking occurs it is usually due to the hard drive. Yeah, I see what you mean about the monitor. Honestly, I always use Samsung for my monitors because they are so good but I could not recommend your particular model.

    If you are going to get a monitor in the near future make sure the resolution is at least 1920x1080.
    Artema likes this.
  7. Artema

    Artema TS Member Topic Starter

    Thanks for all the advise. I'm not really going to replace my display anytime soon, since I mostly use my TV now, but at some point I will probably have to get one, either for me or someone else and I don't want to be scammed again, so I wanted some insight on how to recognize the good stuff from the bad stuff in the store.

    Is there any other pieces of wisdom you may offer me? if not then TYVM for your time and help, I really appreciate it :)(y)
  8. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,966   +70

    Further advice:

    1. If you are not sure exactly what to do in installing an upgrade find a friend that does and you do the work and let him guide you.

    2. Keep returning to these forums from time to time and just read the subjects that interest you. You'll learn a lot.

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