Author Topic: Fixing up old system vs. building new  (Read 2204 times)

Offline scuzzy

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Fixing up old system vs. building new
« on: Feb 13, 2014, 08:00 PM »
I have an older AMD build on a Gigabyte micro-ATX board running Windows 7 Home. I think I built it some 4 years ago. Currently it's running on a slow, 5-year-old 2.5" 5400 RPM HDD that I salvaged from a laptop. The video card is an nVidia GT 7600. Remember those?

I'm planning on building a completely new system, but I don't have enough coins saved up for a complete build. So I'm thinking of at least starting with this 256 GB Samsung 840 Pro, and maybe a decent video card to upgrade the old system. Later, I can get the other parts and transfer the new SSD and video card.

I suppose that the 840 Pro and upgraded graphics might be enough to keep me happy, as everything else is working just fine. I just need something with a little more oomph.

Scuzzy; I need more oomph.

Offline Bill

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Re: Fixing up old system vs. building new
« Reply #1 on: Feb 14, 2014, 09:23 AM »
The 256g Plexor M5P with SATA 3 is only $5 more, why change brands?  Will the video card require you stick with AMD?  I am really out of touch with this stuff at the moment.
Fractal Design R5 | Asus  Z170 Pro | Intel i5 6600k | 16 GB G.Skill Ripjaws  DDR4 2133 | Seasonic 650w PSU | eVGA GTX 550 TI | Samsung 960 M2 500 GB | Samsung 850 EVO 500 GB | ASUS Burner | Windows 7 64-bit

Offline scuzzy

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Re: Fixing up old system vs. building new
« Reply #2 on: Feb 14, 2014, 11:17 AM »
Nothing wrong with Plextor, Bill, and nothing is off the table right now. I simply haven't decided if I really want to gear toward a complete new build, or just beef up my old system. I may decide to only upgrade a couple parts and get another couple years out of it, in which case I'll look at cheaper parts. Currently the weakest links in the system are the storage and the video card.

As for the video card, I can go with either Radeon or NVIDIA, but I tend to favor NVIDIA.

If I only upgrade, then I'll look at something like this (prices as of this writing):

Samsung 840 EVO 120 GB ($89.89)
Galaxy GeForce GT 640 ($71.99 + $4.99)
or possibly this big, fan-less XFX R7-250A ($99.99 + $5.39)

The more I think about it, the more likely I'll take the cheaper upgrade route.

Offline Bill

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Re: Fixing up old system vs. building new
« Reply #3 on: Feb 14, 2014, 11:50 AM »
That would probably be the best route.  By the time you're ready to do the rest something new or several somethings will be the latest and greatest.
Fractal Design R5 | Asus  Z170 Pro | Intel i5 6600k | 16 GB G.Skill Ripjaws  DDR4 2133 | Seasonic 650w PSU | eVGA GTX 550 TI | Samsung 960 M2 500 GB | Samsung 850 EVO 500 GB | ASUS Burner | Windows 7 64-bit

Offline scuzzy

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Re: Fixing up old system vs. building new
« Reply #4 on: Feb 14, 2014, 12:00 PM »
That's a really good point, Bill. I think you just helped me make up my mind.  ;D

Offline Bill

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Re: Fixing up old system vs. building new
« Reply #5 on: Feb 14, 2014, 01:04 PM »
Good luck!
Fractal Design R5 | Asus  Z170 Pro | Intel i5 6600k | 16 GB G.Skill Ripjaws  DDR4 2133 | Seasonic 650w PSU | eVGA GTX 550 TI | Samsung 960 M2 500 GB | Samsung 850 EVO 500 GB | ASUS Burner | Windows 7 64-bit

Offline scuzzy

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Re: Fixing up old system vs. building new
« Reply #6 on: Feb 14, 2014, 08:29 PM »
I just made the purchase from Amazon:

Samsung EVO 840 SSD 120 GB
$89.89
Zotac GeForce GT 630 $93.07
Antec Tricool 120mm Case Fan $7.95

The new parts are scheduled to arrive next Tuesday.

This should put some fire up the old system's caboose.

Scuzzy; going into the passing lane.

Offline scuzzy

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Re: Fixing up old system vs. building new
« Reply #7 on: Feb 16, 2014, 07:55 PM »
Well, I got impatient waiting on the new parts and I somewhat got ahead of myself.

I yanked the Plextor M5S 128GB SSD from my laptop and I moved it over to the old computer build, which I'll call "Foxconn" for its case. I took the old 2.5" WD 128 GB HDD from the Foxconn, reformatted it and then reinstalled it as secondary storage. I then installed a fresh copy of Windows 7 on the SSD, and I updated the tar out of it all the way to IE11.

The SSD (C Drive) is in a single partition, as is the HDD (D Drive). Only the OS and programs will be installed on the SSD. Everything else will be saved on the HDD, which is linked to Dropbox.

After I created an image of the upgraded system, I went back and installed everything else I immediately needed (MSE, Dropbox, MS Office Pro 2003 & Firefox). Then I updated the tar out of Office. The upgraded Foxconn, even on the old video card, is now considerably faster than the laptop it replaced. 8) I'll install the new video card and case fan as soon as they arrive.

When I ran Windows Experience Index, the graphic scores were the only weak points; both posting in the low fives. The processor posted 6.8; everything else was in the sevens. The new fanless Zotac video card should even things out. Matched with the quieter case fan, the noise level will no doubt drop to something much more comfortable. Although it's not that bad, I won't miss the "dry" whirring from the old video card fan.

I will install the new Samsung SSD in the laptop, and it too will get a fresh, fully updated copy of Windows 7. I will keep the rest of it light to prevent overburdening the laptop. The only other programs I can think of installing to it are MSE, Dropbox, MS Office, Quicken, and Firefox. Maybe a few other odds and ends, but those will be the biggest additions.

The new parts are scheduled to arrive Tuesday. I'll come home from work in the wee hours of the night and quickly get busy finishing my little project. I'll poast the results here Wednesday morning at O-Dark 30. ;D

Offline scuzzy

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Re: Fixing up old system vs. building new
« Reply #8 on: Feb 16, 2014, 08:20 PM »
I suppose it could be delayed, but UPS is still showing an on-time delivery.

Scuzzy; time will tell.

Offline scuzzy

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Re: Fixing up old system vs. building new
« Reply #9 on: Feb 19, 2014, 03:40 AM »
The new parts arrived last night and were waiting my arrival when I got home. I quickly installed the new Zotac video card along with the new fan. A few minutes later the system was up and running again.

It's everything I hoped for. The video is noticeably smoother, and the system even boots a little faster. The previous video card was introducing interference at the Windows login screen. It was only temporary, but it looked bad. The new card solved the problem.

The updates also quieted the system a significant amount. While I can still hear a muffled hush from the fans, they are barely noticeable unless I'm paying attention. The fanless video card is awesome.

This was no doubt worth the few bucks I spent. I'll get to installing the Samsung SSD and a fresh copy of Windows on the laptop at my first opportunity.

Offline Bill

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Re: Fixing up old system vs. building new
« Reply #10 on: Feb 19, 2014, 08:52 AM »
Good, glad that worked for you.
Fractal Design R5 | Asus  Z170 Pro | Intel i5 6600k | 16 GB G.Skill Ripjaws  DDR4 2133 | Seasonic 650w PSU | eVGA GTX 550 TI | Samsung 960 M2 500 GB | Samsung 850 EVO 500 GB | ASUS Burner | Windows 7 64-bit

Offline scuzzy

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Re: Fixing up old system vs. building new
« Reply #11 on: Apr 04, 2014, 12:17 PM »
Just a quick update...

My upgraded system has been up and running for 6 weeks now, with every program I want/need installed along with two monitors.

The system has been running flawlessly and it is plenty fast for my needs. While I'm sure it is not as fast as a new build would have been, I can't honestly say that it would have mattered much. The system is consistently up and running in under a minute from a cold boot, and it runs smoothly after that. I have not had a single problem, nor have I muttered the words, "I wish this thing was faster."

Bill, thanks for helping me make a wise choice in upgrading instead of building a new system. I'm very pleased with the results, and it was money well spent.  ;D

Offline Bill

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Re: Fixing up old system vs. building new
« Reply #12 on: Apr 04, 2014, 12:28 PM »
Don't think I had all  that much to do with it, but thanks.
Fractal Design R5 | Asus  Z170 Pro | Intel i5 6600k | 16 GB G.Skill Ripjaws  DDR4 2133 | Seasonic 650w PSU | eVGA GTX 550 TI | Samsung 960 M2 500 GB | Samsung 850 EVO 500 GB | ASUS Burner | Windows 7 64-bit

Offline scuzzy

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Re: Fixing up old system vs. building new
« Reply #13 on: Apr 04, 2014, 12:33 PM »
Yeah, you did. When I mentioned that upgrading might be better, you replied with:

Quote
That would probably be the best route.  By the time you're ready to do the rest something new or several somethings will be the latest and greatest.

At that point I could have gone either way. But your statement is what made me choose upgrading instead.

Scuzzy; sometimes it's the little things.