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#4662435 - 02/11/18 12:54 AM Upgrade vs build
ram_man Online   content


Registered: 03/15/13
Posts: 3218
Loc: southern mo
I havent built a PC before but do understand some of how it all works.
I currently have an HP with a infinion b motherboard 6gb ram and an AMD phenom ii x6 1035 CPU also has a AMD 1gb graphics card.
It has a fan on the CPU and a fan in the rear.
I don't need the best of the best but id like to upgrade the graphics cards the CPU and RAM if possible . It's in a HP pavilion elite hpe case. Would it be worth upgrading this computer or scrapping it for something else? There isn't any place for extra fans on this case but if I can get by with the motherboard I can always buy another case and just install everything in the new case. I'd like to keep this on a budget . Also should I stick with an AMD CPU or go Intel? Thoughts opinions and suggestions all appreciated.
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#4662455 - 02/11/18 02:26 AM Re: Upgrade vs build [Re: ram_man]
Rolla07 Offline


Registered: 11/05/11
Posts: 4740
Loc: MTL, CANADA
Do you do any gaming? If no, no point in upgrading graphics. Graphics boards have increased in price thanks to bitcoin mining. What do you use the computer for and why do you feel the need to upgrade? That will help us provide you better advice. Whats the most ram your device is capable of? How many slots do you have for ram? 6gb of ram is decent. I have a refurb business grade machine with 8gb ram, ssd hard drive but i dont do any gaming nor do i do much besides youtube and web browsing on it...so it depends.


Edited by Rolla07 (02/11/18 02:29 AM)
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#4662495 - 02/11/18 05:29 AM Re: Upgrade vs build [Re: ram_man]
skyactiv Offline


Registered: 03/02/13
Posts: 4405
Loc: The Midwest
I have owned Intel and AMD CPU's and my current desktop has an Intel i7-7700 CPU.
Meltdown is applicable to Intel CPU's, not AMD.
I would choose an AMD CPU. Intel might win benchmark test, but my experience is that AMD equipped
computers just run smoother without the occasional weird microsecond lags I've always notice on Intel
computers.

I didn't build my current PC, but I built one years ago.
I was scared but in reality it was very easy. If you have a Microcenter in St Louis,
I highly recommended you visit them. They have a huge BYOPC section with everything you can
think of, prices that match Newegg and a staff that is friendly and will answer all questions.

http://www.microcenter.com



Edited by skyactiv (02/11/18 05:29 AM)
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#4662544 - 02/11/18 07:34 AM Re: Upgrade vs build [Re: skyactiv]
javacontour Offline


Registered: 06/26/03
Posts: 10306
Loc: Illinois
There is a MicroCenter in STL, in Brentwood, south of the Galleria.
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#4662772 - 02/11/18 10:38 AM Re: Upgrade vs build [Re: ram_man]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 41798
Loc: New Jersey
The question of what is your intended use is key...

Then youll need to analyze what is the weakest link? Motherboard? Processor? Power Supply? 6GB of RAM is decent but there is good reason to go higher depending upon use.

Ive generally always encountered that its just not worth upgrading, other than some RAM or a processor when it goes obsolete.

For the long run, Id argue that you would buy the absolute best case and power supply that you can, then roll from there. That way any future changes for many, many years would save you re-buying those parts at least...

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#4662808 - 02/11/18 11:02 AM Re: Upgrade vs build [Re: ram_man]
ram_man Online   content


Registered: 03/15/13
Posts: 3218
Loc: southern mo
I play I racing so it does need to be decent.
The motherboard has 4 ram card slots they're all full but cant I upgrade to bigger ram chips?
Ram is decent so I I'm not super worried about it. My main worry was the motherboard not being good enough and needing to upgrade it to work with a better CPU and GPU
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#4662839 - 02/11/18 11:27 AM Re: Upgrade vs build [Re: ram_man]
MONKEYMAN Offline


Registered: 06/24/04
Posts: 2231
Loc: St. Louis
What hard drive do you have? In most of my computers a solid state drive was the most noticeable upgrade. Samsung being the most noticeable improvement.
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#4662853 - 02/11/18 11:38 AM Re: Upgrade vs build [Re: ram_man]
ram_man Online   content


Registered: 03/15/13
Posts: 3218
Loc: southern mo
It's a 1 Terabyte
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#4662888 - 02/11/18 12:09 PM Re: Upgrade vs build [Re: ram_man]
OVERKILL Offline


Registered: 04/28/08
Posts: 36464
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Because you have a pre-built now, its CPU upgrade compatibility is not ensured. It'll likely go without issue, but that is worth mentioning.

Your current specs, based on what you provided:

- Motherboard - Socket AM3 - Model #? This should be on the board right in front of the far-left RAM slot. H-RS880 is a possibility.
- CPU - AMD Phenom II X6 Socket AM3, 95W, 2.6Ghz, 6-core, 6MB Cache
- RAM - 2x1GB, 2x2GB (based on your statement that you have 4x slots and they are all full)
- Power supply - Probably 300W? This needs to be checked
- Graphics Card - Maybe Radeon 5570? Please confirm.
- Storage - 1TB spinning disk

For overall system performance improvement, the switch to an SSD would make the most significant improvement.
Finding a CPU that's not a used pull is going to be difficult, as that socket is roughly 8 years old and nobody will be carrying new stock.

Ergo, your best upgrade path here is put an SSD in it and slap in a new graphics card, being conscious of the power requirements. The 5570 draws roughly 43W, that's relatively low, and means that HP wouldn't be putting a big PSU in that computer.

An AMD Radeon RX 550 would be a solid upgrade for what you have presently, is inexpensive and with a 50W consumption rating, should work with your power supply.
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#4662898 - 02/11/18 12:19 PM Re: Upgrade vs build [Re: ram_man]
eyeofthetiger Offline


Registered: 11/18/17
Posts: 683
Loc: South Carolina
I have run an AMD Phenom II X6 system since 2010. It still keeps up with modern games and rarely gets over 55C on the stock cooler. I also have a R7 370 video card and run dual 1600x900 monitors. It's nothing fancy these days, but I don't see any reason to do any major upgrades. The only thing I might do is trade out the old spinning HDD for dual SSD in a RAID 1 configuration. I use a Raspberry Pi on the livingroom TV, and it actually does everything I need other than playing really fancy games.
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#4662917 - 02/11/18 12:31 PM Re: Upgrade vs build [Re: ram_man]
ram_man Online   content


Registered: 03/15/13
Posts: 3218
Loc: southern mo
Motherboard is an rs880

It has 8gb of ram not 6 like I said earlier.
Max power of power supply is 460w

Graphics card is a AMD Radeon hd 5570
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#4662930 - 02/11/18 12:38 PM Re: Upgrade vs build [Re: ram_man]
SubieRubyRoo Online   content


Registered: 05/14/12
Posts: 1139
Loc: Winchester, Indiana
Good points already made here, biggest question is always "what is your budget, and what does your current computer lack? (i.e., what does it not do well that you need it to?)"

As said, SSD upgrade from mechanical HDD will always give a "snappy" feel to even an older, outdated machine. Unless you are focused only on gaming, probably 40-50% of your budget should be spent on the biggest, fastest SSD you can find (Samsung rules the roost here). If your motherboard does not support SATA III, this does not always apply because any modern SSD will completely saturate a SATA I or II interface and be like a 650 Holley feeding a 632 BBC... sure it works, but nowhere near optimal.

RAM is next; more RAM is always better. Always. Don't bother buying "faster" memory unless you are running integrated graphics. Because if you aren't doing things like Photoshop or video editing, you can turn half your 32GB of RAM into a ramdisk, which is faster than even the best SSD, even PCIe ones. RAM prices are still going up unfortunately, so expect this to eat up a disproportionate amount of budget. If you can, add more to what you have but mixing brands and speed bins can create some hard to trace issues, so try to stick with same brand/model/speed bin for least worries.

After that, it all depends on your gaming needs. If you are trying to do 4K gaming, both the processor and graphics card are important, otherwise one bottlenecks the other. A simple rule of thumb to try to keep things well balanced is that you should match dollar-for-dollar cost on CPU and GPU... you buy an i7-7700k for $330, you should spend at least $330 on your graphics card (based on reference designs since aftermarket mods drive prices up). This means you'd be looking at least a GTX 1060 or better, or RX 580.

All that being said, you can create a really killer gaming rig for under $1000 if you know what you need and search for bargains. PCPartPicker and Camel Camel Camel are good sites to use. You can reuse the case but be sure your PSU is up to the task (PSU calculators abound on the 'net) and that you add or upgrade case fans with your new, hotter hardware.

Just be careful, this is definitely a red pill/ blue pill time in your life! Once you go down the modding route, you can definitely get sucked in. I've built well over 100 computers in my life for myself, friends, and family. It's by far my favorite hobby, so good luck!

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#4662958 - 02/11/18 12:59 PM Re: Upgrade vs build [Re: ram_man]
OVERKILL Offline


Registered: 04/28/08
Posts: 36464
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: ram_man
Motherboard is an rs880

It has 8gb of ram not 6 like I said earlier.
Max power of power supply is 460w

Graphics card is a AMD Radeon hd 5570


Then I would do as I suggested unless your budget allows for an even better graphics card.
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#4662960 - 02/11/18 12:59 PM Re: Upgrade vs build [Re: ram_man]
ram_man Online   content


Registered: 03/15/13
Posts: 3218
Loc: southern mo
Well I'd like a better graphics card and processor. I'd like to do some minor Bitcoin mining, that's probably the most difficult task it'll ever see. But if the motherboard can't handle it won't I need to upgrade it? Also the case seems kinda small I'm not positive a bigger graphics card would fit? Maybe it would. I'm a newb
_________________________
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1995 Dodge ram 1500



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#4662967 - 02/11/18 01:08 PM Re: Upgrade vs build [Re: ram_man]
OVERKILL Offline


Registered: 04/28/08
Posts: 36464
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: ram_man
Well I'd like a better graphics card and processor. I'd like to do some minor Bitcoin mining, that's probably the most difficult task it'll ever see. But if the motherboard can't handle it won't I need to upgrade it? Also the case seems kinda small I'm not positive a bigger graphics card would fit? Maybe it would. I'm a newb


You will be very hard pressed finding compatible CPU's that aren't used (e-bay and the like) because of the age of the system, that's why I mentioned that in my earlier reply. Gaming will benefit considerably from a faster graphics card, but as touched on by both myself and SubyRooRoo, that needs to be a proportionate endeavour, you will not benefit in full from the fastest GPU on the market when your CPU is eight years old. You would however benefit in general, which is why I suggested the 550 as a budget-friendly solution that should work with your present system with the acknowledged caveat that a CPU upgrade at this juncture may simply not make sense.

16GB of RAM would make more sense with the SSD and Graphics Card than putting the effort into trying to find an only slightly faster CPU in your socket.

Your other option is to start from scratch with a new system, but you will need to increase your budget if that's the case.

I've built hundreds of computers over the years from gaming rigs to servers. It is, as SubyRooRoo indicated, pretty addictive once you get into it. Budget always dictates where you go, as there is a threshold where putting more money into an old rig for marginal gains, even if the amount isn't big, is simply a waste and it is time to start with a new platform.
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