Help with PC upgrade.. this is a mine field?

stee41

Standard Member
Hi all,

Ok my motherboard has died, so looking to upgrade my Motherboard/Processor/RAM

I have my own ATX case/550 watt supply
extra 12cm fan fitted
3 internal Hard drives & 1TB extrnal HD
1GB Asus GFX Card PCIE
SB Audigy sound card

I have £300 max to play with for the 3 items
I have looked at various processors etc but I'm getting so confused now, I dont play high demanding games,but do play the odd Combat flightsim, I dont do graphic design but want a fast PC that I can run a few different applications on at the same time and watch movies on, looking at maybe 8GB of fairly fast RAM

any help would be brilliant, not easy I know
thanks guys :smashin:
 

LJx

Well-known Member
With £300 to spend you can get near enough anything. You could buy an i5 CPU for about £150ish, £35 for 8GB of RAM leaving more than enough for a motterboard
 

shadowboxer

Member
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stee41

Standard Member
Wow Shadowboxer thats brilliant have checked it out, looks great, would you recommend any other basic upgrades, DVDRW, Coolers etc?
 

shadowboxer

Member
Motherboard doesn't have IDE so as long as your current HDD's and DVD-RW ares SATA then their fine.

What make is you PSU? Always an important component (if not the most).

If your wanting a quiet CPU cooler that will allow you to overclock then can't go wrong with a Gelid Tranquillo for great cost effective well performing unit. Be sure you case will accomodate it as it is quite large.
 

stee41

Standard Member
ok,
NO:1 HDD is Hitachi SCSI SATA
NO:2 & 3:HDD are generic ITE SCSI ( ARE THESE 2 DRIVES USELESS OR CAN i GET ADAPTERS)

DVDRW is SATA
CDRW is SCSI generic drive

and without opening the case dont know about the PSU, it seems to be fine, but as it is 5 years old, maybe replace do you think?

cheers
 
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EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
SCSI? That's something you should have mentioned, it's very rare to see them on home computers and support tends to be expensive.

The SAS (Serial Attached SCSI) drive you may be able to attach to the motherboard if you can find one with SAS ports at a reasonable price (I know some of the enthusiast motherboards have them as they can be used as SATA ports as well).

The old SCSI drives, there may be adapters or you may need to buy a PCI-Express 1x/PCI controller card.

Unless you can get a three port controller card or another adapter for not much more then I'd just write off the SCSI CD-RW given the cheap price of SATA optical drives these days (both DVD-RW and Blu-ray drives will write all common variety of CDs).

Which variety of SCSI are they?
 

stee41

Standard Member
Hi Endless, I'm no computer buff, I used to dabble years ago but no longer, so had to open device manager to find the format of this stuff, as for which variety...... wouldnt have a clue where to start looking, but replacing a CDRW is no big thing as you say they are cheap enough, so I assume I'm probably all go with the new equipment only replacing the CDRW?
cheers
 

EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
I'm surprised you've got SCSI drives and don't know much about them, they've always been an enthusiast thing like watercooling that you'd never see on a normal PC, not even a high end gaming one.

If they are SCSI/SAS drives then ordering the stuff above wouldn't give you a functional computer as they couldn't be plugged into it and a computer without drives isn't much use. The quickest way to solve it would just to buy a normal SATA drive but prices are through the roof at the moment and you're looking at a minimum of £80 or so.

I'm not sure how to identify SCSI drives in device manager as I've never had them myself, someone else may be able to tell us how to but one way to identify the drives is to take the side off the computer and look at the labels on the drives themselves, they'll hopefully give the interface (i.e. mention SCSI, SATA, SAS, PATA/IDE/DMA) but they will give the drive's model number which can be looked up.

Also, while you're there follow the cables that are connected to the drives. There are likely to be two on each drive, one set will lead to the power supply but we're interested in whether the other set lead to the motherboard directly or to a large card sticking out of the motherboard at right angles.
 

KhalJimbo

Distinguished Member
Easy mate. No contest IMO (*unless you plan on dual graphics card setup).

Kingston 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600MHz HyperX Blu Memory Kit CL9 1.65V £28.91

Gigabyte Z68XP-UD3 Intel Z68 (Socket 1155) DDR3 Motherboard £102.47

Intel Core i5 2500K 3.3GHz Socket 1155 6MB Cache Retail Boxed Processor £169.98

Total - £301.36 (inc FREE delivery)

Review of motherboard here.

I can vouch for this setup (I have the corsair memory instead) but the board and CPU overclock like a bat outa hell!

I got my CPU up to 4.3ghz just by using the Gigabyte OC software tool. I haven't even gone into the BIOS to do any over clocking. I wouldnt be surprised if I could get it to 5ghz if I tried.
 

stee41

Standard Member
Have just lost my job so funds have been cut :(
my allowance for a MB, Processor, and RAM is now down to approx £200..can anyone advise on components please guys, I would appreciate some guidance for this ...

Happy New Year folks

:)
 
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spyder viewer

Well-known Member
Sorry to read your unfortuate news. Hopefully something will turn up.

Don't start a new thread: just carry on here.
 

stee41

Standard Member
Mum is giving me the money for my original components so can anyone suggest a suitable PSU for the recommended set up?
cheers all

:)
 

shadowboxer

Member
Very sorry to hear about you losing your job. :(

This motherboard is a little bit cheaper but still gets very good reviews. The main thing you lose is it won't do SLI/Crossfire.

Gigabyte GA-Z68AP-D3 £82.05

Acutally it's a bit cheaper at Amazon. £76.99 (link).

Given that you need the PC for graphics design I would stick with 8GB 1600MHz RAM rather than cutting back to 4GB.

You mentioned in the OP that your current PSU is 550W. If it's a decent quality branded one it will be fine with your new components. What is the make and model of it?

Also what graphics card do you have? Unless it's something very power hungry like the GTX 400 cards you should be OK with it.

Finally, what will you be doing about the HDD's?
 

stee41

Standard Member
Thanks Shadow,

What is SLI/Crossfore in laymans terms?

PSU is generic with no info on it other than 550w
ASUS Nvidia Geforce GT240 1GB DDR5
Appears I may have to buy a new hard drive so may need advice there, wont go to huge capacity though as I still have my external 1TB drive

Thanks again
Stee
 

shadowboxer

Member
SLI/Crossfire is basically adding a second graphics card to boost performance in games.

If it's a generic PSU you have, even though money is tight I'd bite the bullet and pick up a new decent one. Something around 550W will be more than enough for that system, even if you add in a mid-range graphics card at a later date. If your buying from ebyer, this looks well priced. Review of the 600W verision here.

The GT240 isn't really a gaming graphics card so don't expect much in the way of improvement in this area with also upgading that. If you do want more gaming performance on a budget you could consider getting an i3-2100/2120 and a cheapish H67/H61 motherboard and get a better graphics card? I must have misread the OP and thought you needed the PC for graphics design but obviously not. An i3 dual core is still pretty quick and will be fine for a general office and browsing PC. You could even just get 4GB but with RAM so cheap it's probably still worth just grabbing 8GB even if your on a tight budget.
 

stee41

Standard Member
Cheers thats a great help, I play the odd combat flightsim but nothing that needs major graphics, so SLI/Crossfire wont be needed.
Probably try to sell my HDD's to raise funds
Looks like I may go for your original set up then...

Originally Posted by shadowboxer
Kingston 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600MHz HyperX Blu Memory Kit CL9 1.65V £28.91
Gigabyte Z68XP-UD3 Intel Z68 (Socket 1155) DDR3 Motherboard £102.47
Intel Core i5 2500K 3.3GHz Socket 1155 6MB Cache Retail Boxed Processor £169.98
Total - £301.36 (inc FREE delivery)
PSU OCZ Stealth Xstream II 500W

I still have my own ATX case with extra 12cm fan fitted
SB Audigy sound card
ASUS Nvidia GeforceGT240 1GB DDR5
1TB extrnal HD

CHEERS :)
 

shadowboxer

Member
You won't be losing out much by going with the cheaper motherboard, especially if your never going to add in a second graphics card. You could alway dissemble the 1TB external drive carefully and use it as an internal drive until prices become more reasonable.
 

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