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Need Advice for Upgrade

Discussion in 'Building a new PC' started by KillerBug, Dec 10, 2011.

  1. KillerBug

    KillerBug Active member

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    It has been a while since I really paid attention to the industry, but it is time for me to do a basic system upgrade. I am looking to upgrade my Mainboard, CPU and Video Card...and since I don't have any DDR3 memory, I'll have to do that as well.

    I know I want at least a 12GHZ processor with hardware AES support, and that I need 2 PCI slots, a x16 slot, an x8 slot, and 8GB of ram. Based on this, I found these items:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231428
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128502
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115073

    ...Any problems with those choices? Is the stock cooler for this chip worth using or should I go ahead and order a replacement right away? Will I have any issues if I use all the SATA ports without upgrading the southbridge cooler?

    I also need a video card...and I am completely clueless here. I am looking for something that will let me play Skyrim at 1080P with the settings turned up, but I also want SolidWorks to work well with it...and I don't want to spend much money. Plus, I want quality; something that will work reliably for a couple of years without needing to upgrade the cooler.

    [edit]
    I am also looking for some good 120MM fans to replace what I currently have...good units with ball bearings and good airflow. Noise volume doesn't matter much, but pitch does (they can roar, but I don't want them to whine). PWM speed control would be a big plus, and lower price is also a good thing.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2011
  2. KillerBug

    KillerBug Active member

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    Wow...I guess this site doesn't get many visitors anymore. I went ahead and ordered the three items I listed. I'll see how Skyrim plays on the 3870 with these other parts.
     
  3. paztelu

    paztelu Regular member

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    Hello. Lets answer each question at a time.

    Any problems with those choices?: Not at all, the I2500 is a very good processor and very well suited for gaming. Although you cannot overclock it changing its multiplier.

    The board is a good brand and based on your needs it suits all of them.

    8Gb is probabbly the minimum you should aim for a good gaming pc so you are good to go.

    Is the stock cooler for this chip worth using or should I go ahead and order a replacement right away?
    Because you wont do any overclocking (based on your processor choice the overclocking room is very limited and not recommended) you wont need an aditional cooler. Just make sure you have good air flow through your case and you are good to go.

    Will I have any issues if I use all the SATA ports without upgrading the southbridge cooler?NO, you wont have any issues. Boards are designed to make sure all its cooling needs are suited (again make sure there is a correct air flow through your case). The Z68 chipset handles other stuff like pci express communications therefore SATA II usage is not that big of a deal.

    For the graphics card what kind of budget do you have? (My recommendation can change drastically based upon that) Although the 3870 is getting a bit old I bet it can play Skyrim on medium to low settings on a decent resolution(not sure at 1080P check google from benchmarks). Check out the 560TI 448 cores.

    Although Ill recommend buying a new graphic card as soon as possible if you want to enjoy the lastest games at a decent FPS


    Last but not least, what PSU are you using? if you plan on upgrading you graphic card make sure you are using a good brand PSU with enough wattage to support it.


    About the fans:I use noctua brand, but they are expensive. They dont produce much noise and their quality is very good.

    I hope answered all of your questions.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2011
  4. KillerBug

    KillerBug Active member

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    Thanks for replying...I was still a bit worried about the SATA because I have had heat-related instability on when using all the SATA channels at once on past boards, but I'll hope for the best.

    My graphics card budget is small...I'd like to keep it under $150. I actually tried out Skyrim on my old 3870 and it plays pretty good at 1080P and "High Quality", but if I go above "High Quality" the game slows down a little. Still, it looks better than it does on the PS3 or 360.

    I am using a 750 Corsair power supply I got a while back...it seems to work pretty well...but I also have a spare 1200W server power supply I could use if I needed to...the only reason I got the Corsair is because it has a much better efficiency rating.

    Thanks for the fan advise, but I don't like SSO bearings...this system will be used in a high vibration environment and I need double ball-bearings if I want them to last.
     
  5. paztelu

    paztelu Regular member

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    Hi again. Yeah dont worry about the Sata issues as I said the Z68 chipset does a whole bunch of other stuff so using all the Sata ports really is not that demanding on the chipset by itself.

    But you can always be aware of the issue by monitoring the board temperature and doing a simple test (like transfering a lot of data from one HDD to another) and checking if the MoBo chipset temperature goes up. If the temperature do not rises (and it will probabbly not) you are good to go.


    Also remember to positions the fans correctly and have good cable managament in order to help increase the airflow in your case, also helping other components get sufficient cooling.


    About the graphic cards as I seen you use AMD Radeon I will recommend a: Radeon HD6850 or if you want to save some money you can get 6790. (Although I prefer the 6850 as its a little better and Ive seen it as low as 150 on newegg)


    About the PSU you are good to go in fact you are more than good. I own a Corsair 650 PSU with a more demanding setup than yours (A GTX 570 and a I2600k OC to 4.3GHZ) and it has worked flawlessly. In fact independent reviews always give an excellent score to this kind of PSU. So dont worry about the server PSU stay with your current PSU and you still have plenty of room to upgrade.


    Im really not a fan expert so I can´t really give you a concrete recomendation, but Im sure a simple google search will give you a lot of answers.

    Hope this helped.
     
  6. blivetNC

    blivetNC Regular member

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    Aftermarket coolers are a lot better IMHO, I have a CoolerMaster Hyper 212 Plus installed in my latests build, the stock cooler ran at 125-135 degrees Farenheit under load, but with the CoolerMaster it has never gone above 102 even at 100% and overclacked to 4.0.
    I have an AMD Phenom II X6 1100T Black Edition Thuban 3.3GHz 6 core processor.
    Ran the stock cooler for 2 months and saw the Black Friday deal on this for $14.99 and jumped on it. Never regretted it. Make sure it can fit in your case, it is huge (Tall) compared to te stock cooler. Hope that this helps.
     
  7. paztelu

    paztelu Regular member

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    Without any doubt after market coolers are much better than intel stock fan and heatsink.(personally I use a noctua for my I7 2600k)

    But if you are not doing any overclocking you will have no problems with the stock cooler. Of course if you find a good one a a very low price it may be worth it, but staying with the stock cooler in this setup wont give you any problems.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2011
  8. vatika

    vatika Member

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    Great post
     
  9. KillerBug

    KillerBug Active member

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    Cool...I like the looks 6850, although I am not sure how well it will work with SolidWorks; I know that my 3870 falls flat without the fake FireGL drivers...

    I've been looking at Delta fans...the reviews are generally that they are noisy and powerful, and not too high pitched. Plus, I know they last and last from experience.

    I'll try some folding when I get the system built...if it gets hot I'll either buy a new cooler or modify an old one.
     
  10. KillerBug

    KillerBug Active member

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    Ok...I've been looking around and the ATI/AMD set is looking worse and worse the more I learn...

    Anyone have experience with the GeForce GTX 560? It looks good on paper but I see a lot of complaints about the drivers...did they ever fix this?
     
  11. KillerBug

    KillerBug Active member

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    Just a quick update:
    I got the parts and threw them together. I have not finished installing my hundreds of apps and such yet, but even just getting started, I know the CPU cooler just isn't good enough. At idle it runs 48C, and that is with the fan set to full speed.

    Also, this board is missing some features I had become used to...mainly, there is no auto-shutdown function for fan failure. My last 5 boards in a row all had the ability to do an emergency shutdown when fan speeds dropped below a speed set by me...a nice feature when you run a system 24-7. I guess I'll have to do something with a teensy or arduino or something.
     
  12. paztelu

    paztelu Regular member

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    Yeah that is a bit high for idle temperature. Are you sure you installed your heat sink correctly? It is making full contact with the processor?

    But more important than idle temperatures it?s to do a Stress test with Prime95 (a blend or large FFT test) and check the temperatures under extreme load.

    First download Prime 95, CPU-Z and Real Temp. Fire up CPU-Z and check at what frequency the processor is functioning at idle (post it here). Then Fire up Real Temp and prime95 choose FFT test and leave it for a minimum of 20 minutes. Be sure to check temperatures at all times if you see it at more than 80C immediately after starting prime 95 Stop the test. If you see the temperatures staying at more than 80C for long periods of time (not just the max) stop the test immediately.

    Although this processors can support temperatures to mid 90C (don?t believe those people who tell you the maximum is Tcase 72.2 or so, that is another measurement and the temperatures reported by RealTemp are NOT Tcase).

    If all goes well your load temperatures should be something in between 60C and 70C (70C is hot but not that dangerous). So post the max temperatures reported by real temp and if necessary we can recommend you an aftermarket cooler or some tips to improve those temps.


    About the fan features, you don?t have to worry about that much. The processor will throttle itself if it surpasses certain temperatures and will shut down itself if it gets to critical temperatures. So the possibility of frying your processor because of a defective fan is minimal and almost not present.
     
  13. KillerBug

    KillerBug Active member

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    I'm not so much worried about the CPU fan...I know it will throttle itself and there is even an option to shut the system down on overheat. I am more concerned with the video card and hard disk coolers...the 3870 I have now runs HOT even with the fan, and Seagate 7200RPM drives overheat very easily if not under constant cooling.

    I am sure the heatsink is on the CPU correctly; I even checked the heatsink base with a thermistor and the readings were within 2C. I know that the CPU is spec'd for high temperatures...but that doesn't mean I have to accept them. I want this system to last longer than 2 days out of warranty.

    I have an old Zalmin Orb that I think I'll make an adapter for...it won't be pretty but it should work I think.

    I've already started writing a sketch for a Teensy 2.0++ I am not 100% sure it will work, but if it does, it will give me the ability to read the speeds of 8 fans, read 8 thermistors, control up to 7 PWM enabled fans, and display everything on a 20x4 character LCD screen. If that all works I'll also add an auto-shutdown routine for when fan failure or overheat is detected.
     
  14. paztelu

    paztelu Regular member

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    Well until we see some Load temperatures (with prime 95 preferrably) we coud really see if your system is really running hot. At what temperatures is your 3870 running at load? Even if your system runs a little hot (we will have to check the temperatures at load for that) it wont fail in that short amount of time.

    The processor its running at stock speed and voltages so the degradation over time is minimum compared to other Overclocking configurations. Although its always a good idea to mantain temperatures low to prevent component premature failing, but with good case airflow this is achieved easily.

    You can download HWiNFO to check all your temperature sensors in the pc (including HDD if you are worried). What is your ambient temperature? it seems that you had overheating problems in the past so just curious to see if this may be influecing your pc temps.
     
  15. KillerBug

    KillerBug Active member

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    I've been using SpeedFan because I happened to have that on the hard disk already. I really shouldn't have started Prim95...my temps hit 80C almost instantly, and when I closed it it just went to the tray, by the time I closed that I was at 88C. No question...I need a new cooler.

    My 3870 runs at 65C under full load if the fan is running full speed, and it runs at about 35C under light load with full fan speed. HOWEVER, the fan failed once in the past and the thing got hot enough to discolor the sticker on the back of it in the time it took the system to do an auto-shutdown, and this was not under load.

    Speaking of video, I just ordered a GeForce GTX 560. Still, I don't want to risk this 3870 because I want to give it to a friend who is suffering from Intel video.

    The ambient temperature outside the case is about 25C, inside the area where the mainboard is it is about 27C. Inside the area where all but one of my hard drives are it is about 30C.

    The big reason I was worried about temperature is that the last time I had an Intel CPU it was a Pentium 3. It had the stock cooler installed and it overheated in a week. Intel refused to replace it because it had overheated. I didn't want to waste the mainboard so I bought another one and put an aftermarket cooler on it. It worked fine for a while and then something went wrong with the cache...and Intel refused to replace that one because I had changed the cooler! Needless to say, I am very nervous about dealing with Intel, and I wouldn't even consider them if it were not for the fact that AMD refuses to put hardware AES into their processors.
     
  16. paztelu

    paztelu Regular member

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    Clearly there is something wrong with your cooler, I think you should reinstall it or make sure its propertly seated and making contact with the processor (you took out the thermistor didint you? A quick search in google may reveal other users with the same problem and it was just a bad installed cooler).

    Under normal conditions the processor with the stock cooler should not overheat. Prime 95 was the best way to determine if your processor was overheating as it is (and at 88c it was still 10c away from throttling so no damage done there). Make sure you re check everything its ok THIS IS NOT NORMAL and should not be happening, idle temperatures should go down everything its installed the proper way.

    A quick google search reveals that your 3870 is far from overheating and running cool based on it´s specs. How did you replace the fan? this issue should be of concern in the past Ive had similar problems and under load an old Radeon card showed artifacts on most games.


    Although your ambient temperature it´s kind of hot, your CPU temperatures should not reach that high. Are your fans positioned correctly? (intake from the front, fan blowing out from the back etc)How is your cable management? Before you start using your computer 24/7 you should correct this problems and monitor the temperatures under stress and idle to see everything its ok.


    So conclusion:

    1.Check if CPU is installed correctly(maybe you can send a picture), a google search maybe helpfull as other people had this problem too.

    2.Check cable management and fan positioning on your case.

    3. Check idle temperatures, fire up prime 95 (don't leave it unattended) if temperatures at load go higher than 80c stop at once.

    4.If problem is not corrected you may have to consider buying an aftermarket cooler (with your ambient temperature is a very good option but still the stock cooler should not let temps go that high).

    Any other questions post them here, could you post your MOBO temps please?
     
  17. KillerBug

    KillerBug Active member

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    -Mainboard temp is 26C
    -Chipset temp is 30C at idle (goes up to 40C while copying files from one AES drive to another AES drive)
    -I know the CPU is installed correctly, and I cleaned the thermal compound off of the heatsink and chip, then applied paper-thin AS5 to the heatsink only and assembled. When -I pulled it back apart I had a perfect contact pattern on the CPU top.
    -Cables are neat and clean...the extra bits are even tucked away in unused 5.25" bays.
    -Front fan (120mm) is intake. Rear fans (80mm) are both exhaust. Side fan (120mm) is intake...blowing directly onto the RAID card, TV tuner, and video card (if I don't do this, the RAID card gets so hot that it malfunctions). PSU fan is also exhaust. There is also a tiny 70mm fan on the front, but I don't use it because it is whiny and it makes no temperature difference.
    -I ran this same setup (just with a different mainboard, chip, and ram) for YEARS, only turning it off for cleaning. The CPU (AMD Athlon 64 x2 6400) never got to 50C in all that time.

    I know I need a new CPU cooler...Intel clearly designed this one to be just barely enough for a casual user to get out of warranty, and that isn't good enough for me. Really all I want now is a software that will monitor the various mainboard fan RPM inputs and trigger a shutdown if one of them drops suddenly. If I thought of it, someone else must have also, so it must exist, right?
     
  18. KillerBug

    KillerBug Active member

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    [update]
    I modified a crummy old Socket AM2 cooler from ASUS to fit and it is installed (I didn't have the raw materials to make a new clip for the Zalmin). After letting the stress test go for a while, the chipset was sitting at 47C and the hottest core of the CPU was sitting at 58C. So that's it...the cooler that comes with the i5-2500 is just junk.
     
  19. paztelu

    paztelu Regular member

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    Excellent temperature for your processor, you will have no trouble with that setup. You are good to go. Any other question glad to help (y)
     
  20. KillerBug

    KillerBug Active member

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    Yup...very happy with it. Thanks for the help. I even found a good use for the intel CPU cooler...I cut the fan off and attached it to my 3870, once the glue dries I will have about double the airflow of the old fan, plus PWM speed control.
     

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