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System upgrade

By kakarot27 ยท 31 replies
Apr 16, 2010
  1. im really looking to do a gaming upgrade on my pc. I have a good budget of 1350 bucks. However, i am in canada :mad: therefore the gov makes me pay taxes. so in reality i have a budget of 1174 canadian dollars.
    The stores i like to go to are:

    My current specs:
    Mobo: asus p5q3 deluxe wifi
    Gpu: HD 4850
    Case: antec sonata III
    Cpu: e8400(pretty happy with this :)
    Mouse: crappy ten dollar dynex mouse (I WANT THIS OUT)
    Monitor: 19inch lcd lg monitor
    Hardrive: i really dont know as i didnt buy this part but all i know is that its made by seagate and it is 500gb. I also know that it is SLOW!

    What i have came up with:
    New gpu : hd5850 was thinking about going with the regular HIS
    New Case: coolermaster 932
    New Monitor: this will be placed beside the old : ASUS

    SSD: intel x25 80gb one in the techspot pc buying guide $1500 (i will run a copy of win 7 that i just got on this)
    Hardrive: This will be the disk that im going to store all my normal stuff in (im going to run multi os) 500gb caviar black
    LETS OVERCLOCK THIS BADBOY!(CPU) : corsair h50 water cooling kit
    added ram: same as the one i got
    NEw mouse : g9 laser gaming mouse
    headset: yes i already have a set of shure srh840's but this is surround sound turtlebeach
    Please share what you think and answer whether or not a 500w psu will hold this system. advice is welcome and thanks in advance
    BTW: it adds up to 1405 dollars but im selling my 4850 for around 50 bucks so i should be fine :)
  2. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,979   +71

    Check out Newegg Canada on those Coolermaster HAF cases because here in the states they are having an excellent sale on both the mid-tower and full tower cases.

    Gaming: I wouldn't go less than 22" but I fully understand the limitation of a budget.

    What speed is your Seagate? How full is it?
  3. kakarot27

    kakarot27 TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 80

    i think they have that sale here but its still more expensive.
    should i stick with the haf 932 or get an antec 900 they are priced almost the same (the haf 932 is cheaper by ten bucks)
    The monitor i picked was 22inches but is it any good?
  4. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,979   +71

    The Asus should do you fine. If you can find a Samsung in the same price range I suggest seriously consider one of their offerings. Hopefully Ritwik7, red1776 or Hellokitty will come by and give their advice.
  5. kakarot27

    kakarot27 TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 80

    thats my old one....i think u have been looking at the my current specs section =/ click on asus
  6. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,979   +71

    I went back and edited. As far as the cases go either one should do you fine.
  7. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,509   +2,300

    When I buy parts, I take a "path of least resistance" approach. You just need patience, and everything you want will go on sale sooner or later. Surprisingly it's usually sooner, more so than later. The most popular parts are most often offered at steep discounts. The most popular parts are usually the best performing parts also, that's why they're popular. So, sign up for every email that Newegg has, and bide your time.

    In your "case's case", the Antec 900 is very often on sale, don't know about the Haf.

    A Samsung 22" tilt, swivel, and >> pivot<< monitor was a "Shell Shocker" deal last week @ $160.00....! Oh, it was with free shipping too!

    I would have bought one or three, but I've sworn off TN panels. (I'm more into photo than gaming, so I'm holding out for IPS panel sales). The TN panels have faster response times, so they're probably the better choice for gaming.

    Here's a Hanns-G 22" that Newegg has on "weekend sale" (til 4-18) $150.00 + free shipping; http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...IGNEFL041310&cm_mmc=EMC-IGNEFL041310-_-EMC-04
  8. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,672   +9

    What about your memory? 4GB (at least) would seem appropriate for a gaming machine.
  9. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    Whats your current powersupply? Aside from that, the 5850 is a great upgrade.
    About the SSD, those new sandforce controllers are looking really good.
  10. kakarot27

    kakarot27 TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 80

    anyhow, im adding 2 sticks of the ram i already have OCZ
    my powersupply comes with the case i already have ANTEC
    its 500w and i hope it holds a 5850
    what ssds are you talking about? the new ocz ones that are coming out? the corsair is fast but priced at 400 which is a bit too much
  11. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,979   +71

    Be careful on the OCZ memory (know nothing about their SSDs). Many customers are having serious issues with malfunctioning after a short time of use or DOA mostly one stick good and the other dead. Several tech site communiies are reporting issues.

    Do careful research on OCZ and the captain's advice on patience is excellent, because as he says most everything you want will go on sale.

    Since we don't know what power supply Antec is putting into their case other than their own make we can't say for sure if it will supply the power you need for video card.

    * By the way, I've been looking at the HAF offerings and someone I highly respect at PC Guide gave me his own experience. here it is:

    I absolutely love my HAF 932. The three 230mm (front and side intake, top exhaust) and one 140mm (rear exhaust) fans make for very good cooling. It looks great. The cable routing behind the motherboard is great. The motherboard tray is not removable but it does have a cutaway in the back behind the CPU so you can fit a third party HSF without having to remove the board, which made things very easy when I installed the Zalman in my sig after I had already moved into the case.

    I found the tool-less hard drive carriages a bit cumbersome to fit onto the drives at first, but nothing that would drop the rating down any. After I did a couple drives and got used to it it was pretty easy. The rest of the tool-less design worked perfectly.

    This is the full tower version so it is huge. I think you could fit a small car in there. Working in a full tower case like this is a pleasure and also contributes to the overall good cooling.

    The hard drives are installed with the cables to the right side of the case. This makes it very easy to use the routing behind the board tray and keep the cables hidden and out of the way. However, it does mean that if you want to install or remove a drive you have to take off the right side panel to get to the cables. But a minor inconvenience to keep the cables out of the way for the sake of organization and better airflow. I also recommend using 90 degree angled SATA data cables. Regular cables fit but you won't have to worry about squeezing them in there.

    The PSU can be mounted in either the bottom or top. If you choose the top you have to remove the 230mm fan and swap the PSU bracket to the top. There are mounting points for four 120mm fans once the 230 is removed. So with a PSU in place you could probably fit two if desired. I believe it is the same deal on the bottom but would have to open it up to be sure, it may only have mounts for two.

    The only real issue I could say about it is the HDD and power LED's are waaaaay too bright. If you look at one directly it is like looking at the sun at high noon in July through a madnifying glass. I remedied this buy using a hole punch on the sticky part of a blue post-it and put them over the LED's. That brought them down to normal levels.

    There are of course mid-tower version of the case and I am sure they are great to. But if you are going to spend that kind of cash on a case I highly recommend a full-tower.

    Overall a very well designed and well built case. Of course the exact specs vary from model to model but the entire HAF series seems very well done in my opinion.

    *** By the way, the HAF 922 mid-towers are huge as well, just less room for multiple harddrives, smaller fans, and no firewire port.
  12. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,672   +9

    There are a large number of good cases out there. The Cooler Master offerings include the CM 690, Storm Scout and HAF 922 among the mid tower cases. All of them have plently of room and are cheaper than the HAF 932. So is the Antec 900.

    However, the the HAF 932 is an excellent case and if your budget permits you should get it.

    My major concern would be the PSU. Not only does the power supply need to provide adequate wattage but also sufficient amps on the 12V rails. A good compromise would be to get a slightly cheaper case and a Corsair 550VX PSU. In case you're looking to go CrossFire in the near future the 650TX or 750TX should be in order.
  13. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,979   +71

  14. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    The power supplies in the antec sonata's are antec's low end power supplies, I think it is the antec basiq 500w, so you should go with a corsair 550.

    Well, the new sandforce ssds are just coming, out OCZ will release their agility 2 and vertex 2 soon...I don't know but it may be worth the wait.
    The ones I was talking about above are the $200 Corsair nova and Vertex Limited editions.
  15. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,262

    Just to add my $0.02
    The CM HAF922 or Lian Li Lancool PC-K62B - both at the $100 mark probably represent the best value. I would personally lean towards the Lian Li as it has excellent build quality (even if a little heavy) and fan filters- the HAF's can get very dusty, very fast.
    I might also suggest an alternative to the HD 5850 in buying two HD 5770 1Gb- they would work out a little cheaper than the 5850 at $304 and would approximate the HD 5870 in performance (see review links below). The downside is that multi-GPU driver support sometimes lags behind that of a single card.
    The Corsair VX550 ($100 + shipping), as Ritwik and hellokitty have pointed out, or the Thermaltake TR2 650w modular ($91 + shipping) would both meet your needs for a good PSU.

    HD 5770 Crossfire reviews at Tweaktown, Legit Reviews and Guru3D
  16. kakarot27

    kakarot27 TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 80

    would you say the Lian Li Lancool PC-K62B is better than the antec 900? the antec 900 is only 10 dollars more (i didnt know it went on sale with the haf 932). it also comes with a 20 dollar rebate.
    and would 650w be enough foR three 5770s just in case i want to do crossfirex at some point.
    im thinking of not going with the h50 so i can have a better budget for a monitor (24inch)
    a psu easily fits the budget as i can now sell my psu and case with the gpu for about 100 bucks.
    from what i know about crossfire and sli they cause some problems, so im not sure if thats the right path to take.
  17. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,262

    Yes ( Lian Li over Antec every time)
    Yes ( The PSU features four PCIe connectors. Each HD 5770 requires one. 12v/amperage draw for three cards -or two HD 5850 for that matter- the PSU is rated at 528w/44A in the 12v rail)
    On the other points you raised...
    I don't know if there would be too much tangible benefit by adding a third card.
    A good air cooler will match the H50 for performance. Options could include the Cooler Master 212 Hyper+ ($39.73 inc shipping), Zalman CNPS10X ($46.72 inc shipping) and Sunbeamtech CCTF ( $30 approx.) which I use on my Q9400 (3.33-3.6GHz). The 91cfm magnetic fluid-dynamic bearing fan it includes is worth 50% of it's price.
    Crossfire and SLI can have driver woes that come up on a game-by-game basis.
  18. kakarot27

    kakarot27 TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 80

    errrr i hate that there is no video review on the lian li case.(im very visual)
    im really liking the 5770 idea.
    anyone else have an opinion on the case? My brother has an antec 1200 and he is pretty happy well he was untill he found out he cant fit a 5970 in it(not that he was going to get one)
    i think i will wait and save a few bucks for the h50
    A)it performs even better than the v8
    B) i can say i got water cooling :p
  19. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    Wow not fitting in a antec 1200, kind of weird.
    I would think the benefits of triple crossfire 5770's would be minimal, not really worth it, so I wouldn't plan on it.
  20. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,223   +163

    actually, adding a third 5770 scales very nicely and adds 20% advantage.
  21. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,509   +2,300

    Here's a dynamite case; http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811133073 That said, it is a full tower, a bit above budget, but I've seen this in person, and it's very nice looking, the grille is a finer mesh than the Antec 900/1200 series, so it presents itself as less "machiney" and more refined.

    As to the memory issues, I just pop GSkill modules out of the box, plug them in and they seem to work right off the bat. I never overclock them though, so you might want to get a second opinion from someone who does.
  22. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,262

    Video walkthrough/preview here
    You'll find that the 900 and 1200 are pretty much identical. They share the same depth and width. The 1200 is just a bit taller (three 5.25" bays taller), but the depth of the case makes fitting longer cards (inc the 5870 and 5850) a snug fit also.
  23. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,672   +9

    Was waiting for that to come Greg! :D
  24. kakarot27

    kakarot27 TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 80

    here is some more info about my psu:
    Earthwatts power supply:
    -80mm low noise fan
    -80 plus certified
    Active power factor correction rails:
    dual 12v outputs (17A each) & +3.3v (20A), +5 (20A)

    i have no idea what that means, but can it support crossfire with 2 5770s? or just the 5850?
    i already have that RAM (almost 2 years) never failed me
    Im still leaning to the antec 900 it just seems to have alot of good features at a fantastic price.
    EDIT: i am leaning to the haf 922 so much bigger! and can fit a hd 5970!
    EDit2: Is the lancool as large as the 922?
  25. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,509   +2,300

    After a bit of research it seems you probably have either this (EA-380); http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371033 or this (EA-430); http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371034

    But NOT this (EA-500); http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371035

    IMO, the EA-380 or the EA-430 are NOT sufficient for the grandiose upgrade schemes that have been presented. For example, triple graphics cards.

    You can go here; http://www.antec.outervision.com/ to calculate your PSU needs when you've settled on your new configuration.

    The Antec 900 is a great case. It does have one weakness, and that is the supplied fans. Their speed can't be set without going inside the case, and they can't be adapted to a fan controller panel without great difficulty.

    I have one of these cases and I love it dearly. I set the fans on medium and let it go at that. I don't game, so I could really get away with leaving everything on low. As I always say; "your results may vary".
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