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mpicasso

Registered
Joined
Jul 6, 2019
Wanting to upgrade desktop and will be using it for photo editing, basic surfing, and overclocking...more for the fun of it, as opposed to need. Will eventually upgrade the MB but for now, need to save money for buying monitor/calibration devices.

MB: ASUS M4A89GTD Pro/USB3
Memory: G.Skill 2x4 DDR3-12800 (F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL)
HDD WD 2TB Black
CPU: AMD Phenom II x4 955
GPU: Radeon HD 5770
Case: HAF-922
PSU: Corsair TX-650
Dual boot Win 10 Pro/Manjaro

Plans:
1) install Samsung 860EVO SSD
2) Install FX-8350 CPU. Comes with Wraith cooler
3) Increase memory
4) Update video card
5) Change case
6) Overclock, under air

2) Is the Wraith cooler enough for the CPU? Or is there something better?
3) VGL has not been updated since 2010/2011 but on G.Skill’s website, they show running 2-8Gb sticks and have seen it others having success with 2-8’s. Would I be better purchasing 2 more of what I have? or just doing 2-8Gb, leaving availability for more, if needed (MB manual says 4x4Gb max)?
4) Recommendations on an upgrade? Not wanting to spend an arm and leg but maybe something like this? Not doing anything majorly graphic intensive.
https://www.newegg.com/xfx-radeon-rx-570-rx-570p8dfd6/p/N82E16814150815?Item=N82E16814150815
5) Multiple animals in the house and even though computer is somewhat secluded, having to blow it out frequently. Looking for a case with filters but good airflow.
6) How many fans should I have, to start? Guessing it is based on CPU temp?

Thanks in advance!
 

trents

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
I think it would be a wiser use of your money to get two more sticks of the RAM you have.

The Wraith cooler will be adequate for the FX-8350 if run at stock frequencies and votages, i.e. not overclocked.

But honestly, to drop more money into a socket AM3/DDR3 system seems foolish to me. What you are planning is more of a side step than an upgrade.

My recommendation would be to overclock your present CPU to squeeze as much out of it as possible and then start saving towards more current technology.

What are you cooling the X4 955 with?
 
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mpicasso

Registered
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Jul 6, 2019
I think it would be a wiser use of your money to get two more sticks of the RAM you have.

The Wraith cooler will be adequate for the FX-8350 if run at stock frequencies and votages, i.e. not overclocked.

But honestly, to drop more money into a socket AM3/DDR3 system seems foolish to me. What you are planning is more of a side step than an upgrade.

Memory - same thought, as I want to spend as little as possible, since, like you said, this is a sidestep, not an upgrade.

The FX has been bought (gifted cards paid for it) so planning to use it for the time being. Only other fan is one on top, due to excessive hair...so eventually, at least, will need new case.

Guessing I should just install FX, new memory, and call it a day for now, then?
 

trents

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
Well, if the FX-8350 is already purchased then it would seem that just getting more RAM would be a better direction for now. But you also asked about cases and a video card for the future. It would be helpful to us trying to answer your questions and give you guidance if we knew more specifically what you are working with now.

What is the make and model of your current case?

What video card are you currently running?

What is the make, model and wattage of the PSU you are currently using?

Also, you will get less intrusion of pet hair into your case if you configure your fans to create positive case air pressure. That means more air being pushed in than is being pushed out. Sounds like if you only have one case fan on the top, and if it is pulling air through the case from the front then you have negative case air pressure.

Edit: And with what you use the computer for, what makes you think doubling the RAM will improve performance? If you are not currently maxing out 8gb of RAM then adding more will have no impact on performance. Have you checked Taskmanager to see if your are in fact running low on RAM when you run your apps?

Edit 2: And if you really want to maximize your bang for buck, I would suggest picking up an SSD to improve your performance. It's the number one way of easily improving overall computing performance. And it's something you could carry over to a new system later on. I would probably do that before buying more RAM.
 
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mpicasso

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Jul 6, 2019
Well, if the FX-8350 is already purchased then it would seem that just getting more RAM would be a better direction for now. But you also asked about cases and a video card for the future. It would be helpful to us trying to answer your questions and give you guidance if we knew more specifically what you are working with now.

What is the make and model of your current case?

What video card are you currently running?

What is the make, model and wattage of the PSU you are currently using?

Also, you will get less intrusion of pet hair into your case if you configure your fans to create positive case air pressure. That means more air being pushed in than is being pushed out. Sounds like if you only have one case fan on the top, and if it is pulling air through the case from the front then you have negative case air pressure.

Edit: And with what you use the computer for, what makes you think doubling the RAM will improve performance? If you are not currently maxing out 8gb of RAM then adding more will have no impact on performance. Have you checked Taskmanager to see if your are in fact running low on RAM when you run your apps?

Edit 2: And if you really want to maximize your bang for buck, I would suggest picking up an SSD to improve your performance. It's the number one way of easily improving overall computing performance. And it's something you could carry over to a new system later on. I would probably do that before buying more RAM.

Respectfully, many of your questions were answered in the 1st post, so I will copy the info here:

MB: ASUS M4A89GTD Pro/USB3
Memory: G.Skill 2x4 DDR3-12800 (F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL)
HDD: WD 2TB Black
CPU: AMD Phenom II x4 955
GPU: Radeon HD 5770
Case: HAF-922
PSU: Corsair TX-650
Dual boot Win 10 Pro/Manjaro

With upgrade will be a Samsung EVO 860 2.5” SSD. Could not find any information supporting the idea that I could use NVMe for boot, let alone storage. WD Black will be for storage and eventually adding home network for backup (currently using external HDD’s)

For memory: Adobe Photoshop is an ABSOLUTE memory hog. New builds are recommended to use 32GB, though 16GB will work. Using 15” MBP, 16 GB, with Lightroom and CC, and though Lightroom does fine, definitely can feel computer working when using Photoshop.

Not sure if current BIOS is set to AHCI. If it is NOT on AHCI, do I change BIOS BEFORE the install of SSD, or after installing, but before installing Windows? Guessing when I install the CPU will not matter, with regards to BIOS, correct?

Only reason I had thoughts of changing video card - using an older Sceptre 24” monitor to surf. Will be pushing 2 screens, thinking 1-32” and one either 24 or 27”, one for photo viewing, other for working.
Old: https://www.sceptre.com/overview-193.html

Monitors I am considering:
EIZO ColorEdge CS2420 24.1" Hardware Calibration IPS LCD Monitor 1920x1200 (CS2420-BK) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01BMD8R2G/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_tai_-oIiDb3C8K5YR

Eizo EV3285FX-BK 4K Ultra-Slim Frame Design, 31.5" Wide Screen TFT IPS LCD https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07D58QQ9N/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_tai_VnIiDb6HZV07W

Case/fans: do I need to change the fan’s direction? Add fans in different areas? Would guess you are correct in that it is probably a negative system, as it sucks a lot of hair in, especially for the area it is in (off the floor, in a corner, in low traffic area). Regardless of what case I choose, though, how do I also go about changing from negative to positive pressure?

Thanks in advance!
 

UltraTaco

Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2017
Ahci before installation of operating system. Otherwise you'll get blue screen. There is a workaround in registry, but easier to just enable ahci right away and install windows.
 
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mpicasso

Registered
Joined
Jul 6, 2019
Ahci before installation of operating system. Otherwise you'll get blue screen. There is a workaround in registry, but easier to just enable ahci right away and install windows.

Seems much easier to do BIOS vs Regedit...thank you for clarifying!
 

trents

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
Sorry, I was in a hurry to get somewhere in my last post. Yes, you did have a more complete list of components in post #1 than I gave you credit for. I think you are doing a cost effective upgrade by adding in the Evo SSD for OS and Programs and for Photoshop the extra memory will serve well.

My suggestion would be to clone the current system drive using the MiniTool Parttion Wizard. It is free, lines up the first sector correctly and proportionately adjusts partition sizes up or down automatically as long as none of the source drive partitions are more full of data than can be fit into the downsized partition. Otherwise, you would need to remove some data to a backup drive.

No, your motherboard was produced long before NVME technology was out so you would need to stick with SATA. As Taco explained, you would need to change your registry storage parameters to AHCI before making that change in bios or it won't boot into Windows. Easy to do and there are tutorials on the internet to explain how to do it.

Samsung Evo drives are great products but expensive. You will get very nearly the same performance with less expensive SSD products.
 
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mpicasso

Registered
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Jul 6, 2019
Sorry, I was in a hurry to get somewhere in my last post. Yes, you did have a more complete list of components in post #1 than I gave you credit for. I think you are doing a cost effective upgrade by adding in the Evo SSD for OS and Programs and for Photoshop the extra memory will serve well.

My suggestion would be to clone the current system drive using the MiniTool Parttion Wizard. It is free, lines up the first sector correctly and proportionately adjusts partition sizes up or down automatically as long as none of the source drive partitions are more full of data than can be fit into the downsized partition. Otherwise, you would need to remove some data to a backup drive.

No, your motherboard was produced long before NVME technology was out so you would need to stick with SATA. As Taco explained, you would need to change your registry storage parameters to AHCI before making that change in bios or it won't boot into Windows. Easy to do and there are tutorials on the internet to explain how to do it.

Samsung Evo drives are great products but expensive. You will get very nearly the same performance with less expensive SSD products.

Good to know I am headed in the right direction. Have 2 HDD now but one is for OS and the WD is strictly storage...no migration necessary! Do need to figure out how to make it so files can be available to both Linux and Windows...

I only perused Amazon when I looked for the Samsung SSD but a 500Gb was $77 with the cheapest I saw being $49. If there was a bigger gap, I would 100% agree to use something different. But this will carry over to next build and at the cost of lunch for 2, I was not sweating it. If there was another reason you would not suggest Samsung, definitely all ears.
Samsung SSD 860 EVO 500GB 2.5 inch SATA III Internal SSD (MZ-76E500B/AM) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0781Z7Y3S/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_W0NiDbCZADHTZ

Thanks in advance!!!
 

trents

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
If you can afford it, get PWM fans so that you their speed is automatically controlled by the motherboard as temps rise or fall. Best of both worlds that way, quiet when you aren't working the system hard and lost of air flow when you are. But PWM fans require that the motherboard has PWM fan headers to connect to. Most motherboards have at least one but smaller and less expensive boards may not have enough of them for all the fans you want to run. If you are using more PWM fans than the motherboard has headers you can drive more than one fan off each header using an inexpensive splitter. Also, most motherboard fan headers are limited to 1 amp of power draw. Very large or very powerful fans can exceed that but just keep it in mind. It's not normally a problem except with extreme enthusiasts who insist on wind tunnel cases.

The basic idea is that you want more push of air into the case from the fan or fans in the front panel than you are getting push out from the fans at the top and rear. This can be accomplished either by having more fans in the front panel than in the top and rear (assuming they are all of similar strength) or using a more powerful fan in the front than in the top or back. I would also suggest going with fans that have the fluid dynamic bearing type (or some similar technology) as opposed to sleeve bearing fans since the sleeve bearing fans don't last as long. There are many good choices in fans these days. Too many to recommend any particular ones but I have given some general guidance here. As far a positive case air flow, just do the math as you plan intake vs. exhaust. Fans have a CFM ratings.

Noise vs. airflow is another issue. As you research fans look at their decibel rating. Personally, I find that fan noise starts to become irritating at somewhere aournd 30 decibels but it is really a very individual thing. So some compromise is in order between airflow and noise level, especially if you are not using PWM fans.

Concerning filters, you can get fans that come with filters but most don't and so that narrows down your choices. You can also separately buy aftermarket filters that mount with the fans. They have holes in the corners where the fan screws go or are magnetically mounted. It is better to have a case with slide out removable fan filters than fans with filters. Much easier maintenance.

Looks like your case has nice mesh panels in front of the fans that would filter out most large air born things like pet hair. The trouble with adding more filtering for the fans is it will also cut down on air flow. An air compressor is extremely valuable tool for computer maintenance. I have a 6 gallon pancake compressor that I use to blow out my case and CPU cooler/radiator about every 6 months. We no longer have pets, however so your mileage would vary.
 
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mpicasso

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Jul 6, 2019
As far a positive case air flow, just do the math as you plan intake vs. exhaust. Fans have a CFM ratings.
Continually reading that it is not a direct matchup of CFM, especially if filters are involved. Last I saw, all things equal, it was either 2 intake, 1 exhaust, or 3 intake, 2 exhaust. Does this sound about right?

Noise vs. airflow is another issue. As you research fans look at their decibel rating. Personally, I find that fan noise starts to become irritating at somewhere aournd 30 decibels but it is really a very individual thing. So some compromise is in order between airflow and noise level, especially if you are not using PWM fans..

Have been reading though, that people have dB of less than 30, and say it is still loud. Is that the design of the case? Because the fan is running at full capacity?
1 x CPU Fan connector
1 x Power Fan connector
1 x Chassis Fan connector (4-pin)
1 x Chassis Fan connector (3-pin)
The 4-pin is PWM correct?

It is better to have a case with slide out removable fan filters than fans with filters. Much easier maintenance

Lioking at the Fractal-Design, NZXT, and Lian-Li. Falling under the assumption that I am buying now, for later. Have the room for a full ATX but have a mid, now. 4 HDD, 1 2.5" SDD, 1 single slot video card, and maybe an audio card in new system. Do not know enough about liquid cooled vs air, to decide at this point but most of these cases seemed supportive of radiators and AIO. With regards to cases, any preference on PSU location?

Looks like your case has nice mesh panels in front of the fans that would filter out most large air born things like pet hair.

It helps but have 3 dogs and 3 cats right now...and the side vent has large holes and no filter. But cleaning case out every couple of months, at minimum...worse, when they are blowing coat.
 

trents

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
If all the fan manufacturers used the same testing method for determining air flow (which they don't) then CFM ratings would be a reliable measure of their comparative ability to move air though an open space like a case. Now if we are talking about pushing air through the fins of a heat sink, that is a different story. In that scenario, static pressure is the important measure. But as far as case air flow, unless you buy them and test them yourself, CFM is about all you have to go by when shopping; that and customer reviews, for what they are worth.

Yes, all things being equal (like all the fans are the same), more fans in front than back and top will give positive case air pressure.

Like I said, what is noisy to one is quiet to another. You don't have to read many customer reviews to find that out. That's why PWM fans are so useful. Yes, case design certainly has an impact on fan noise. Some cases have baffles that act like mufflers. Distance from your ears is another key factor.

Positive air pressure inside the case will eliminate much or most pet hair from getting into the case. You can probably vacuum the outside of the fan mesh to remove what accumulates on the exterior.
 

EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
I'd save for a more substantial update, honestly. While the FX-8350 will be an improvement if only by sheer core count, I worry a bit about that motherboard and overclocking.

That platform doesn't support M.2 NVMe SSDs in the first place so the fastest storage you can get is SATA (without dropping more coin on a PCIe riser card and then NVMe drives - which as you said, not sure if you can boot off it - though it should be able to be used as a storage drive).

RE: Fans and such. I try not to live in the minutia. Front/sides = intake, top/rear = exhaust. Everyone has an opinion on which is better, more CFM intake than exhaust or more exhaust CFM than intake. I prefer to run with more exhausting as dust isn't an issue in my house (I have one dog that does shed). Outside of dust not getting in the through cracks there isn't a significant benefit to either. That said, it also depends on the case and orientation of parts inside. If it is a typical setup as most are, it won't matter much. The key is airFLOW, not pressure (which it isn't a sealed case so there are negligible pressure changes).

Since the case has the open sides, more CFM intake could benefit or tape over them. Those ports are pretty useless without fans in them anyway and thwarts airFLOW.

But yeah, honestly, if you are about to plunk down a couple/few hundo, you are already halfway to a new CPU/Mobo/Memory combo that will run circles around that old and slow for its time even, FX CPU.
 
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mpicasso

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Jul 6, 2019
I'd save for a more substantial update, honestly. While the FX-8350 will be an improvement if only by sheer core count, I worry a bit about that motherboard and overclocking.

That platform doesn't support M.2 NVMe SSDs in the first place so the fastest storage you can get is SATA (without dropping more coin on a PCIe riser card and then NVMe drives - which as you said, not sure if you can boot off it - though it should be able to be used as a storage drive).

But yeah, honestly, if you are about to plunk down a couple/few hundo, you are already halfway to a new CPU/Mobo/Memory combo that will run circles around that old and slow for its time even, FX CPU.

Sadly, as I was thinking about what trents said earlier, I started contemplating a new case, awas ready looking at an SATA SSD, etc. Came to the realization that maybe the best thing to do IS to give up on this project, as it will not be worth the cost. That said, also in need of a server...any chance I can use some of the stuff on here, for that? Have a 500Gb Seagate I boot off of, 1 WD Black, and planning on getting another, for RAID configuration.
Thanks for helping me realize what I knew from the beginning...and I do mean that seriously.
 

EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
You can use anything for a server... what exactly will the server be doing?

I would only use RAID if you need it as it can add unnecessary complications to your setup. It also won't carry over to any other PC (the RAID array) unless you use a RAID card and move it.
 

trents

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
I would still look at getting a SATA SSD ven though you can't go all the way to NVME. The real world performance difference between SATA SSD and NVME SSD is negligible most of what there is happens during boot. That said, a SATA SSD will boot way faster than a platter-based hard drive and load programs much faster. A SATA SSD would transform your current machine performance and could be carried over into a new machine once you can afford to build an updated system. SATA SSDs are still very relevant compared to NVME and less expensive in the sense of storage amount per dollar. And they are dirt cheap right now. Never seen prices this low on SATA SSD storage before.
 
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mpicasso

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Jul 6, 2019
You can use anything for a server... what exactly will the server be doing?

I would only use RAID if you need it as it can add unnecessary complications to your setup. It also won't carry over to any other PC (the RAID array) unless you use a RAID card and move it.

I built this computer about 8 years ago and has served me well. Bought a newer DSLR recently and finding myself wanting to take even more pictures. Plan had been to retire this computer and make it a server, but hoped I could stretch another year out before doing so.
As far as the RAID, need the redundancy for photos/videos. Have a backup online, with about 150Gb of pictures alone. Historically, when I do a shoot, load everything to desktop and then plug in to an external drive but with 3-400 RAW images, it takes a little while. Will be doing the same thing, just different forms of it, with more protection.

Planning to run either a RAID 1 or 5, software only (Manjaro)...nothing major. The only thing I can see doing from here, forward, is adding in a fan or 2, just to change the pressure.