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Asking advice on upgrades: PSU, cooling, RAM + possible Win7-related upgrades

Discussion in 'System Builder's Advice' started by hhiker, Jan 3, 2010.

  1. hhiker New Member

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    Morning.
    Here's the situation:
    I'm going to have the "weak links in the system" replaced with better quality ones (PSU and cooling first and foremost). I'm not planning to go for the biggest and meanest parts, but for what works well together and with the current build. I'm also going to get all the pieces from the same local retailer (extending my warranty :D).
    Budget - about 9000 EEK (~$830), including possible extras.
    Adding links to the retailer online store (info sorted by manufacturer).

    - PSU: http://www.ordi.ee/EPood/Products.aspx?MC=KOMP&IC=1810&Sort=3
    (BUT, i've been advised on this one before: http://www.ordi.ee/EPood/Product.aspx?MC=KOMP&IC=1810&Sort=3&ItemID=1810-1152)

    - cooling: http://www.ordi.ee/EPood/Products.aspx?MC=KOMP&IC=2100&Sort=3

    - RAM: http://www.ordi.ee/EPood/Products.aspx?MC=KOMP&IC=1200&Sort=3

    ---
    Second question.
    I'm also going for WIN7. Is there anything that absolutely needs to be replaced because of that? (According to Win7 Compatibility Centre my current hardware is fine ... but i'd like a second opinion on that.)

    In addition -
    i just realized i've been postponing getting decent speakers along with the other upgrading :p
    So, the speakers available (not in the budget above) - http://www.ordi.ee/EPood/Products.aspx?MC=LISASEADM&IC=2500&Sort=3.
     
  2. Fourstaff

    Fourstaff Moderator Staff Member

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    :confused: Links are not understandable (as in too many products)

    Edit: Specs is good, I would replace the PSU with the Corsair one you linked.
     
  3. p_o_s_pc

    p_o_s_pc F@H&WCG addict

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    only advice i can give is go with the Corsair
    and windows 7 will run fine on your rig without changing anything
     
    Crunching for Team TPU
  4. hhiker New Member

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    OK, that's the advice i got before too, thanks :)

    To clear up some of the confusion and narrow down the selection, here are the manufacturers they've got to offer -
    - cooling: Akasa, Arctic-cooling, Codegen, Coolermaster, Frontier, Gelid, [skipping some], Zalman,
    Thermaltake.
    (what i need is CPU cooler and an extra case fan)
    - RAM: PQi, Apacer, Corsair, Kingston

    I can look up more specific information when told what to look for :)

    ED:
    The plan to replace RAM is related to some earlier (system hard lock) troubles that haven't showed up lately... but then the question of reliability came up. I'll think about it and maybe leave that part alone.

    As for cooling, that has to go, because it's not working properly. I could have it fixed under warranty, but they'll probably put in more ramdom components... i'd prefer something that lasts and saves me some trouble.
     
  5. p_o_s_pc

    p_o_s_pc F@H&WCG addict

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    I recommend for CPU cooler and fans Arctic-cooling,Coolermaster Zalama and some Thermaltake

    for ram PQi,Corsair,Kingston
    Now PQi isn't the best but they aren't bad for the price most of the time but i would look into the Corsair or Kingston first :toast:
    If you have any thing your looking at post here and i'm sure people will give you some input on it

    EDIT:here is a decent priced CPU cooler that should do fine on your CPU since i assume your not overclocking
    http://www.ordi.ee/EPood/Product.aspx?MC=KOMP&IC=2100&Sort=3&Page=3&ItemID=2100-1193
     
    Crunching for Team TPU
  6. hhiker New Member

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    Aha, cheers!
    (I don't exactly know what i sould be looking when browsing them:eek: )

    I found they let select the subcategories too; so - case fans:
    http://www.ordi.ee/EPood/Products.aspx?MC=KOMP&IC=2100&Page=1&Sort=3&PGC=FAN

    DDRAM2:
    http://www.ordi.ee/EPood/Products.aspx?MC=KOMP&IC=1200&PGC=DDR2&Sort=3

    DDRAM3:
    http://www.ordi.ee/EPood/Products.aspx?MC=KOMP&IC=1200&PGC=DDR3&Sort=3
     
  7. p_o_s_pc

    p_o_s_pc F@H&WCG addict

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    since your board is DDR2 I would go for this
    http://www.ordi.ee/EPood/Product.aspx?MC=KOMP&IC=1200&PGC=DDR2&Sort=3&ItemID=1200-1473
    its one of the cheaper ones that are there and should be reliable
     
    hhiker says thanks.
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  8. hhiker New Member

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    Speakers?

    Thanks for the replies; the picture is getting clearer :toast:

    Any words of wisdom on the possible speakers?
    I'm thinking 2.1 (space is more of an issue than budget here; purpose - gaming, random background music).

    I've taken a look at these ones:
    - http://www.ordi.ee/EPood/Product.aspx?MC=LISASEADM&IC=2500&Sort=3&PGC=SPK21&ItemID=2500-1515
    - http://www.ordi.ee/EPood/Product.aspx?MC=LISASEADM&IC=2500&Sort=3&PGC=SPK21&ItemID=2500-1351
    - http://www.ordi.ee/EPood/Product.aspx?MC=LISASEADM&IC=2500&Sort=3&PGC=SPK21&ItemID=2500-1477
    http://www.ordi.ee/EPood/Product.aspx?MC=LISASEADM&IC=2500&Sort=3&PGC=SPK21&ItemID=2500-1510
     
  9. Conflict0s

    Conflict0s

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    Have you considered a good headset? or are you just after speakers.

    Because you could throw a sound card into there and have a 5.1 headset, just a thought.
     
  10. hhiker New Member

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    A good headset would do just as well :)
    (i guess the old generic speakers will do for occasions like doing chores and such :laugh:)

    Any recommendations on that and sound card?
    (this is what they have to offer: http://www.ordi.ee/EPood/Products.aspx?MC=KOMP&IC=2600&Sort=3 )
     
  11. Conflict0s

    Conflict0s

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    To be honest I wouldn't want to advice because that site is not in my native language. What kind of price range are you looking at?
     
  12. hhiker New Member

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    Not sure, i haven't got any experience with that.

    Something like... 400-800 EEK (~£23-45 / $36-73)?
     
  13. jjFarking

    jjFarking New Member

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    For that money, you won't get a worthwhile soundcard..
    You're better off using Rapture 3D for your games & stick to your on-board sound ;)

    Unless you want to spend some decent money & get decent sound :p
     
  14. hhiker New Member

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    The other upgrades are a priority anyway, so i'd rather stick to what i have sound-wise right now than upgrade half-way.

    Buuut... i might start looking around for decent sound later on :)
    How much is "decent"? (the ready-to spend amount was based purely on what the local store had in stock.)
     
  15. jjFarking

    jjFarking New Member

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    Geez.. how long is a piece of string?
    That completely depends on what you want to do with it overall - what's most important I guess.
    For fairly decent audio sound & excellent game compatibility, a SoundBlaster X-Fi extreme gamer would be the way to go. For the best audio replication, you cannot go past the Asus Xonar D2X.. but it sucks at game sounds/compatibility.
    Regardless, expect to pay at least a minimum of $100 (±1000eek?) on an entry-level soundcard that's actually worth getting :)
     
  16. imperialreign

    imperialreign New Member

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    Based on the link you provided . . . I can't exactly recommend any of those sound cards - it's not that they're bad, they're just . . . not the best one could get for their price range.

    I'd stay away from the USB solutions if possible. The Chronos is more like a Turtle Beach card that Creative licensed and slapped the SB logo on, the Xtreme Audio doesn't even really qualifiy as an X-Fi . . . and, sadly, it's actually the best card out of that list.

    Are there other online retailers that deliver to your country? There are excellent cards available that would fall under $100 USD, if they're available to you.
     
  17. hhiker New Member

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    soundcards; different sources

    I was gonna say there are plenty of stores- and then i checked. Looks like there's only a few that sell components too, others only offer sets and a few extras :wtf:
    Here:
    - http://www.ox.ee/est/catalog/341
    - http://www.arvutid24.ee/helikaardid/ (this one indexes offers from different stores. yay.)

    Now, the reason why i wanted to get all the pieces (and installation) from the same place was to keep and extend the warranty - but if i can get a significantly better selection from combined sources, i might re-evaluate the whole strategy. (I could probably bug a co-worker of mine to show me the basics of putting the pieces in place and finally get my hands inside the case :))

    What's your take on the speaker and/or headphone situation?
     
  18. imperialreign

    imperialreign New Member

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    Cool - that gives me a little more room to work with :p



    Out of the listing on your first link (www.ox.ee), I could recommend these (Ты понимаешь русский язык?):

    http://www.ox.ee/rus/product/51494 <= I know nothing of this company, nor have I heard of them before . . . but, from what quick research I mustered, the card packs a CMI8768, which is a good quality DSP from C-Media. I'd reckon this card should have decent output, based on the DSP and what channel filtering seems to be in use . . . but, the lack of stand-alone OPAMPs or DAC has me fence-posting . . . seems to support OpenAL.

    http://www.ox.ee/rus/product/184523 <= if you're willing to spend a bit more than 800 EEK. Half-PCB design. Not as fast as Creative's Xtreme Gamer (or any of the X-Fi lineup), but better audio quality than 95% of Creative's lineup. Will proove itself more if you spend more time listening to media, than playing games. OpenAL compatible.


    Honestly, I couldn't recommend any of the Creative cards, in good faith . . . the ones I would recommend are a bit high (for the price range you listed earlier), and the one's in your price range are either overpriced (for what they offer, i.e. Xtreme Audio, VX 5.1, Chronos), or are aging/out-dated tech (i.e. Audigy). If you're willing to spend more, I could then easily recommend some of those cards, though.

    Personally . . . if the Xonar is indeed out of your price range, I'd recommend the Ultron over everything else below 800 EEK.




    Now . . . on to stereo recommendations . . . first off, take any recommendations with a grain of salt. Percieved quality is subjective. What one person may like, another may not - we're all different when it comes to what we can hear, and how we hear it. I've always recommended people to check things out in store, first, if possible . . . there can be major differences in output quality between different brand setups - even though they're near identicle on paper.

    That being said, I can recommend some setups that I might suit you (based on my past experiences with them, or per their spec sheets alone) - but I don't know your price range for this, so:

    http://www.ox.ee/rus/product/116055

    http://www.ox.ee/rus/product/116034

    http://www.ox.ee/rus/product/181317

    http://www.ox.ee/rus/product/24809

    If you're defi looking for a 2.1 setup - some things to keep in mind specifically: avoid flat-panel speakers. They tend to have a very limited range, and rely heavily on the subwoofer for low-end output. Cone speakers are still the best choice out there. Enclosure material heavily affects output as well - wooden units, although heavy, produce rich and warm tones, and give the output range a "deep" feel to it.


    Regarding the headsets . . . I didn't see too much that impressed me - lots of earbud sets, though. All the differing Philips models look good, though; especially these:

    http://www.ox.ee/rus/product/172909

    http://www.ox.ee/rus/product/172915

    http://www.ox.ee/rus/product/172826

    Excellent specs on those models.

    Well, hope this all helps. If you have any other questions, don't hesitate to ask stalker! :toast:
     
  19. hhiker New Member

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    Well enough to play CoP without translation mods :D
    (Besides, the site remains to ht eselected page when switching language.)

    Did i also mention, my budget has a little bit of wiggle room? No? Must have slipped my mind...

    Alright. I'ts probably gonna be eiter speakers or phones; and looks like i'm gonna drag my butt to an actual shop for those and keep the notes handy. (These though - http://www.ox.ee/est/product/24809 - experience or specs?)

    You bet it does! Always appreciate some background explanation and "what to look for" kinda information. Cheers :toast:
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2010
  20. imperialreign

    imperialreign New Member

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    in that case - go with the Xonar . . . unless you can afford the much higher priced X-Fi Titanium


    I've never used those (much less heard of the brand) . . . but based on the spec sheet listed on MicroLab's website, they look like they'd sound respectable. Plus, considering the wooden enclosure, I'd bet good money they'd sound really good.
     
  21. hhiker New Member

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    sounds & deals

    ... And i think i'll do just that. (The next level is already out of my acceptable range.)

    I did some digging and found this to describe their material: "Каркас из плит MDF качественно оклеен декоративной плёнкой." In my book "pressed wood fibre, something- something, covered with decorative wood layer" doesn't equal "wood" :p
    (I'd assume the soundwaves agree with that.)
    But these - http://www.ox.ee/rus/product/116034 - same question, specs or experience?
    ---

    All in all it looks like ox.ee has better deals for the same stuff (and free delivery).
    They've got the OK sound card;
    the PSU [switching to Russian...] - http://www.ox.ee/rus/product/34019
    RAM - http://www.ox.ee/rus/product/88935

    Their cooling assortment seems somewhat different though ... and i'm not sure how to navigate that information :confused:
    Here's the main cooler menu, in Russian if that helps. http://www.ox.ee/rus/catalog/15

    Just some guidelines what parameters to look, would do just as well.
    (Another piece of information i forgot to add before - the extra case fan i need is the one in front - here http://img33.imageshack.us/img33/4939/rig02.jpg)

    ed: also, are all thermal pastes made equal?
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2010
  22. imperialreign

    imperialreign New Member

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    Agreed. A "quality, pressed-on decorative film" != wood :p

    Kinda sad, actually, as wooden speaker enclosures are really hard to find anymore . . . and they can yield some amazing sound for such small setups.

    I had noticed some of the other listings were marked "wooden," but I hadn't done any digging for thorough descriptions.


    Logitech's setups are good. Not the awesome-1337 stuff, but definitely some of the best value for their price. With a lot of the "pre-configured" speaker setups, especially the 2.1/3.1/4.1, Logitech offer good quality at a good price - most of their "audiophile" competitors only offer a slight increase in quality (compared to Logi) with a much higher price tag.


    Defi an excellent choice of PSU, by my standards . . . not 100% keen on the RAM, but at the least, Kingston are highly reliable throughout their product lineup.

    What CPU/motherboard setup have you decided on, or are you re-using your current hardware (per system specs)?



    Hmmm . . . honestly, a lot of the CPU coolers they offer, you might want to double check the rated dimensions of the cooler, and make sure your case can accomodate it. A lot of those coolers look like they're aimed at mid-tower and full-tower setups.

    This is a good cooler, that should fit into most mid-tower cases: http://www.ox.ee/rus/product/104720 . . . it's not the best CPU cooler available, but it's still highly respected and seems to continuously place of top CPU cooler lists from most PC-enthusiast publications.

    As well, it looks like the product descriptions aren't really descriptive - if you do some i-net research, make sure you also look at the manufacturer's code number. A lot of manufacturer's like to number their coolers sequentially, with higher numbers for the larger coolers (and hence, would require more space to accomodate).

    Specifically - look for CFM ratings for the fans. The more air they move, the better they cool (in general) . . . but, the more air they move, the louder they tend to be as well.

    Copper finned coolers tend to cool the best - they give up more heat and faster than aluminum would; but, copper is extremelly heavy. Aluminum is good all-around, but it's not a prime choice for enthusiasts, or those looking for the best cooling performance. Plus, there's also the aesthetic value - some prefer the look of aluminum, while some prefer the look of copper. As well, some of the best CPU coolers are actually aluminum - but they're huge, and offer a ton of surface area for cooling. Copper coolers can typically offer great cooling capabilities from a smaller package.



    I'd guess a 120mm, based on that pic. Any 12x12cm unit will work. Look for high CFM ratings - but keep in mind, again, the more air they move, the louder they tend to be. Be leary of any claimed dB rating, as there's no "standard," and manufacturers don't like to disclose how they come up with those figures.


    No, not at all.

    I'd recommend sticking with AS5 or AS7. It doesn't really matter what brand it is, nearly all formulas are identicle. AS5/7 offers great heat transfer, but it's downside is that it will slowly "bake off" over time, requiring one to re-apply. If you don't do much overclocking (which you don't strike me as the type), and don't punish the crap out of your hardware, I've seen AS5 last upwards of 2 years or better before you'd have to re-apply the TIM. Those of us who tend to run extreme OCs and brutalize our hardware might have to re-apply as often as 3-6 months.

    Stay away from ceramics, though . . . although they'll last damn near forever, they're a PITA to clean. Not to mention, they tend to have lacklustre thermal conductivity. Although they're cheap, "you get what you pay for." Plus, some tend to be a thermal epoxy (although they're usually labeled as such), which will make removal of the cooler later on impossible.

    There are quite a few other kinds of TIM available, but you probably don't need to worry about them, really. They're generally aimed at the performance/enthusiast/overclocking crowd.
     
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  23. hhiker New Member

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    Other options-opinions-recommendations?
    [/QUOTE]
    http://www.ox.ee/rus/catalog/335

    Re-using.

    *digging into the cooling information*
    LOL, most of it is all unexplored questions to me, that includes the related vocabulary :laugh:
    But, i can go on from here, look up stuff on the way when necessary.
     
  24. imperialreign

    imperialreign New Member

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    http://www.ox.ee/rus/catalog/335[/quote]


    If you can afford this: http://www.ox.ee/rus/product/36054 2x2GB
    Or even two of these: http://www.ox.ee/rus/product/3928

    If you can pick up RAM that are aimed at your native BUS speed (1333 for the Q8200), you'll get better performance without having to really tweak things.



    S'all good - we're her to answer questions. Regarding the cooling components, there are tons of reviews and comparison reviews out there. If need be, I can dig up the links.
     
  25. hhiker New Member

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    hmm, you mean 2 of these then? (The other links were to 1GB ones)
    http://www.ox.ee/rus/product/95304

    Yes please :D
    I'd gladly do a little more homework.
     

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