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Build Help & History - Still running 10 year old OC'd rig, time to upgrade

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archaeic_bloke

New Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2014
Ok so the first time I overclocked a pc I was 13 years old, my dad had just bought my brother and I this brand new pc for xmas, the AMD Athlon Socket A. I learned about the "pencil trick" and gave it a go, it worked at a minor increase combined with narrow FSB push, but after a few days wanted to see if faster speed could be dialed in, but in order to make it post stable I had to increase V on the board, being a kid I cranked it, it smoked, beeped, then it shut off. that was the end of the Socket A. hahahah. After that we had a compaq where all the settings were locked - lame.

At age 18 I saved some money and built my own PC. I spent weeks tweaking the Overclock for stability and fine tuning everything while taking measurements across the games I would play for FPS at various resolutions and settings - I scientifically determined the very best settings, for this exact rig. I remember feeling like it was so quick that these settings allowed it to SING, it felt like the machine was in harmony, ringing like a bell.... Anyway - After almost 10 years, I'm still using that same machine today, still overclocked and has never been dialed back since, I have punished this PC with the load at times. Here's the build as it stands right now, I have replaced the PSU once as it died and updated the video card twice:
  • DFI Lan Party UT NF4 SLI-Dr Expert S939
  • AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+ Toledo 90nm 2.5 GHz OC @ 1.504V, FSB = 250.07MHZ (Stock was 200), Multipler x 10.0
  • 2 GB OCZ Platinum Dual Channel DDR500 (pc4000) running @ CPU divider / 10, RAM = 500MHZ, 1T timing, 256 clocks, CL = 3,3,2,8,7 @ 2.5V
  • Asus Nvidia Geforce GTX 650 Ti OC Direct CUII @ 324 MHZ Core, 1GB
  • WD 36 SATA Raptor 10K RPM HDD
  • WD SATA 250 GB HDD (Caviar? 7,200 RPM)
  • ThermalTake 650 W PSU
  • Thermaltake modded Armor II Black w/ Window
  • Stock CPU cooler
  • Northbridge Chipset fan broke and stopped working 7 years ago
  • 2 x 6 GB IDE drives in Raid 1 Mirror
  • HAD a Plextor PX-716SA (Girlfriend stomped the drive tray right off)
  • HAD a Multi-card reader/fan controller/temp monitor system - stopped working, removed now.

I STILL play Civ 5, D3, War Thunder, Star Craft League, Sim City etc... it's painfully slow and ugly. Other things I do, and want to do more of on future PC build would be, better games, Video/photo editing, building websites, creating content, working with MS office 2013, huge excel files, lots of formulas, big data crunching algorithms I use for work, that's pretty much it - everything. I want to run dual 24" monitors on high resolution.

Here's the main parts of the build I have come to so far, would like all and any feedback on where you would improve/change if this was your story - budget goal is under $2K all in. Have 1x24" LCD, logitech wireless mouse/kb alrdy.

  • I7-4790K w/ Cooler Master Hyper Evo 212
  • Asus Z97 Pro (Wi-Fi AC)
  • G Skill RipjawsX - 2 x 8GB DDR3-1866
  • I want a M.2 PCIe type 128 GB SSD for OS only - please advise!?
  • Crucial MX100 256 GB SSD Sata 6gb/s for games/software
  • WD Caviar Blue 1TB 7200 RPM SATA for files
  • Asus Geforce GTX 970 4 GB STRIX
  • Corsair 860W 80+ Platinum OR EVGA 750 SuperNova G2?
  • NZXT White S340
  • Asus DRW-24b1ST for installing everything (or an external USB3.0 drive?) - won't use after that much...

Couple of questions on this though...
  1. M.2 is complicated, B type? M? 2260/2280? P type? wut? ( I know I want M.2 PCIe type).
  2. Also, Can I install OS from an external USB 3.0 DVD drive maybe? rather than buying a temp internal?...
  3. I'm not a fan of liquid cooling, don't need it, QUIET is important to me, I likely won't OC beyond 4.5 GHz.
  4. OS = Windows 7 64 bit premium good? or Windows 8? 10?
  5. What should I do with my old rig? Think it could handle Windows 7 and become a media server? or a HTPC?

Been a long time since I've been in this PCbuilding world, interested to see how the community has evolved. Can post screenshots of current OC if you want lol.
Thanks,
 
Last edited:

Theocnoob

Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2007
Location
Near Toronto Canada
Please tell us what country you are in and which retailer you would like to use? Or are you ok with lots of different retailers, which saves you the most money (we would use pcpartpicker for this).

Also what resolution do you want the monitors to be and will you be gaming across both screens or on one screen only?

What is your total budget for JUST the tower (no windows no monitor no keyboard etc)
 
OP
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archaeic_bloke

New Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2014
Please tell us what country you are in and which retailer you would like to use? Or are you ok with lots of different retailers, which saves you the most money (we would use pcpartpicker for this).

Also what resolution do you want the monitors to be and will you be gaming across both screens or on one screen only?

What is your total budget for JUST the tower (no windows no monitor no keyboard etc)

I'm in Canada - I have used PC Part picker to check build the list I currently have, but my plan is actually to print off the PC Part Picker list and walk in to a physical store here in Montreal called Microbytes, and just tell them give me the best price you can for the whole kit and order through the physical store.
If there's any issues during the build I've always preferred to have a physical receipt and store to go to... usually this store can be pretty competitive making online savings negligible, but I will compare the day before I purchase of course.

is 4K possible on both displays while running email/browser/itunes/photoshop etc....? Gaming would very likely be just one display. Except for warthunder where two displays could be cool.
Total budget just tower = $2K
 

Witchdoctor

Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2014
Welcome to the forum

Here are a few things to think about

M.2 is complicated, B type? M? 2260/2280? P type? wut? ( I know I want M.2 PCIe type). I would just grab the XP941 of the OS and SSD for games and such , maybe a huge spinner for a bone yard drive
Also, Can I install OS from an external USB 3.0 DVD drive maybe? rather than buying a temp internal?... Yes
I'm not a fan of liquid cooling, don't need it, QUIET is important to me, I likely won't OC beyond 4.5 GHz. Still would consider a smaller AIO for memory compatibility and overall small footprint
OS = Windows 7 64 bit premium good? or Windows 8? 10? Win 8.1 is not bad , just enable start menu
What should I do with my old rig? Think it could handle Windows 7 and become a media server? or a HTPC? I am not an AMD guy, but the board may have some value to that crowd. Not sure if that one is sought after or not, but some of the LAN Party boards are. If Mr. Scott see's this he could give you much better insight

TBH with a 2K budget and your history of not upgrading for a decade I would look at a 5820K build on the x99 platform

I have config ed many systems for people and can usually get it with in $ 200.00 of a z97
 

Theocnoob

Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2007
Location
Near Toronto Canada
Ok. Being in Canada is going to suck because we pay higher prices here so it's going to cut into the build I can put together for you.
4K is possible on both displays for non 3D tasks. So yes, email, browser, itunes, photoshop. Gaming on even just 1 4K display is where things get hairy. Since 4K is 4X1080P, it demands a lot from your graphics card(s). NVidia recommends a minimum of 2X GTX 970 to do 4K gaming on a single monitor. Even then, don't expect to get the same kind of framerates you would at 1080P or 1440P. The demands on the GPU(s) are so much higher that your framerate will suffer significantly compared to those other resolutions.

Here are some benchmarks showing 970 perf at 4K http://www.guru3d.com/articles-pages/geforce-gtx-970-sli-review,22.html

here is a parts list I put together for you for $2000 that will game at 4K.
I didn't include an M.2 part because they are expensive and just unnecessary in today's world as far as I see it. I spent money on performance you would actually feel in this build.

http://ca.pcpartpicker.com/user/mistersprinkles/saved/64VfrH

If you don't like the Air 540 (awesome air flow) you should look at the 760T.
 

Mr.Scott

Beamed Me Up!
Joined
Jun 9, 2013
If Mr. Scott see's this he could give you much better insight

Mr.Scott did see this. :)

Your Expert board still has value to some.
The rest of your stuff is pretty common.
If you weren't in Canada, I'd flick you an offer for the board.

Board, CPU, ram, and vid card = roughly $200
 
OP
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archaeic_bloke

New Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2014
@ WitchDoctor - XP941 looks amazing, where can i buy it? Can't find it on amazon even.... As for the 5820K on X99 I am purposely avoiding that lol, pretty sure I want to stick with the 1150 socket and boards - I like the fact they've been out a while now and have proven results, i would be hesitant to risk it all on X99.

@Theocnoob - agreed - so maybe I grab a second 970 when I need it and SLI then for games. Regarding the Corsair liquid cooler, I'm just not convinced I need to spend the extra $100 on a liquid cooler, the 4789k usually reports great temps even on stock fan, I like the evo because it's one of the quietest fans for cpu, most of the time won't run above 600 rpm - the liquid cooler pump and dual rad fans for me just adds too much without enough benefit to justify it. The Air540 case is cool definitely, but that **** wont pass the "wife test"... meaning it's not white and elegant enough to be allowed in public sight hahaha - srslynow. Why the Asus-A? I really want the Wifi stuff. I even considered the deluxe because I want the thunderbolt card but I don't give a damn for NFC/wireless charging BS, not for $100 anyways lol. The seagate 2TB is probably better for me, Any reason A-Data? I'm not keen on brands I haven't heard of, not to say A-data is bad, it's just that I KNOW g.Skill has a long a tested history. As for Vid cards I love the strix again because it's quiet, I'm willing to give up the 14mhz overclock for quiet.

@ Mr.Scott - Cool, why does my ancient expert board have value to some still? What do people do with these relics? museum piece? Srsly though, if you genuinely want it, I could part it out once my new rig is up (1 - 2 months from now). I would keep the Vid card, but I have an older Vid card I could give with it, it's a Nvidia Geforce 7800GT lol.

Although I was more thinking along the lines of what could I do with this old system myself... lol
 

manu2b

Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2011
Oh, well, and avoid Asus, their customer/Warranty service sucks!

Better go with Gigabyte or Asrock.
 

Witchdoctor

Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2014
@ WitchDoctor - XP941 looks amazing, where can i buy it? Can't find it on amazon even.... As for the 5820K on X99 I am purposely avoiding that lol, pretty sure I want to stick with the 1150 socket and boards - I like the fact they've been out a while now and have proven results, i would be hesitant to risk it all on X99.

I understand your hesitation, but there are viable arguments for this platform, and as each day passes they become more compelling.

However the z97 platform is beastly in it's own right and sure you will be very happy with it.

I got mine at Newegg, check Newegg CA , they may have it

I am getting 764 mbs reads with mine on a 2x lane. If you get a board with a 4x lane it will do 1000 mbs +

As I stated in another thread, I am liking the Asus z97 Pro for a mid upper range board.

But there are many good choices out there.

As for the value of your board many AMD benchers seek these boards out and they are becoming harder to find every day.

Case and point I just saw a REX go for in less than an hour on another site for $ 250.00

I like the Strix as well in the 970 line of cards.

@ Manu, Can't say I ever have experienced poor customer service from Asus

I have been fortunate, I have to even go as far as saying the tech support people I have spoken with at Asus have primarily out classed other vendors for a knowledge and helpfulness stand point

Good luck with the build, sure you will be blown away coming for a 10 year old system
 

Theocnoob

Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2007
Location
Near Toronto Canada
I understand your hesitation, but there are viable arguments for this platform, and as each day passes they become more compelling.

However the z97 platform is beastly in it's own right and sure you will be very happy with it.

I got mine at Newegg, check Newegg CA , they may have it

I am getting 764 mbs reads with mine on a 2x lane. If you get a board with a 4x lane it will do 1000 mbs +

As I stated in another thread, I am liking the Asus z97 Pro for a mid upper range board.

But there are many good choices out there.

As for the value of your board many AMD benchers seek these boards out and they are becoming harder to find every day.

Case and point I just saw a REX go for in less than an hour on another site for $ 250.00

I like the Strix as well in the 970 line of cards.

@ Manu, Can't say I ever have experienced poor customer service from Asus

I have been fortunate, I have to even go as far as saying the tech support people I have spoken with at Asus have primarily out classed other vendors for a knowledge and helpfulness stand point

Good luck with the build, sure you will be blown away coming for a 10 year old system

Try to talk him into X99 Witchdoctor, you're good at that. Tell him about the $200 platform price difference and how that's just essentially the cost of the 2 extra cores and how it's a great deal and he'll have so much more processing power.

In short though, comparing ASRock EX4 Z97, 16GB DDR3 2133, 4790K to ASRock EX4 X99, 16GB DDR4 2133, 5820K the price difference in total is about $200 US. A little more in Canada, but by no means a deal breaker.
 

Witchdoctor

Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2014
:rofl:

Not everybody see's the value that we do bro.

Face even an APU build is going to blow the OP away coming from a system that old
 

Witchdoctor

Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2014
Ok ok. We can all agree that a good old 4 core i7 will be more than enough in this case.


Actually with the OP's upgrade cycle I could not disagree with this more.

lets face it, 5 years from now we may be seeing 6/8 core mainstream CPU's and quad entry level i3's , all with HT

In that time frame we could also see the vast majority of software and games being designed to take advantage of this type of horsepower

However the OP states he is avoiding this platform due to it being new and is not convinced they have some of the inherent problems associated with such a new platform ironed out.
 
OP
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archaeic_bloke

New Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2014
You guys make me feel like I'm right at home,
Just the way a forum should be, hot with debate - I love it.
hahahha

Honestly though, I appreciate all your inputs.

:)
 

Theocnoob

Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2007
Location
Near Toronto Canada
If you want to future proof-- if you're one of those people who keeps a PC for 10 years, those hex core i7s aren't a bad idea. There's nothing "wrong" with the platform. It works.