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What are the weak parts of this system?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I have an upcoming LAN party with a group of gamer friends of mine. There's one friend in this group who lost his job early in the year, right after he decided he wanted to save up for a gaming computer. As an attempt to include him in the LAN (he is a good friend of everyone going) we decided to try to build him a usable computer out of spare parts we all had lying around from our own upgrades or salvaged things from when our school dumped all their old computers. The system we have to is as follows:

CPU: AMD Athlon 64 3800+
MB: ECS MCP61PM-HM (Nettle) Rev 1.0A (HP locked BIOS)
CPU Cooler: Stock from a Phenom II x4 955BE
RAM: Misc DDR2-533 RAM sticks (2x1GB + 2x512MB)
Hard Drive: 1x Seagate SATA 80GB Barracuda + 1x WD 80GB Caviar (I'm partitioning these with a 10GB boot partition, 2x70GB in software RAID0, and a 10GB partition for whatever)
GPU: Powercolor Radeon HD6670 1GB

So if I were to tell him "If you want to spend a little bit to improve this, replace/add this" what should it be? I'm thinking either CPU with a cheap Athlon x2, or add an SSD. Also, if anyone happens to know what PLL/Clock Generator is on that MB it would be much appreciated so I can try OC using setFSB.
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Phenom II x4 955 BE ASUS M4A87TD-USB3 Powercolor Radeon HD6870 1GB 4x GeIL Value 2GB 1600MHz 
Hard DriveHard DriveOSMonitor
WD 7200RPM 500GB Misc 80GB SATA Hard Drives Windows 7 Home Premium x64 Samsung Syncmaster 940N 
PowerCase
Antec HCG-620 Thermaltake V4 
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My System
(14 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Phenom II x4 955 BE ASUS M4A87TD-USB3 Powercolor Radeon HD6870 1GB 4x GeIL Value 2GB 1600MHz 
Hard DriveHard DriveOSMonitor
WD 7200RPM 500GB Misc 80GB SATA Hard Drives Windows 7 Home Premium x64 Samsung Syncmaster 940N 
PowerCase
Antec HCG-620 Thermaltake V4 
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post #2 of 13
Don't even consider an SSD with that machine,

I'd do a whole motherboard-CPU-Memory combo on that. I mean do you have a budget in mind because you could get a whole second hand setup for around $200 which should net him a nice 2500k or something.

Comps
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Second hand computer gear doesn't work to well here in Perth. Except for the few system builders that sell their stuff through the classifieds the only stuff that pops up on my classifieds are parts that are from the early 2000s, and full systems that are either incredibly old and overpriced, damaged, or loaded with bulk illegal software. Mind if I ask what to get if he were to spend ~$100, and if he were to spend ~$200? Preferred retailer is PLE, but for parts where things are less likely to be broken I could possibly risk MSY (Their warranty is dodgy at best, they've been fined a few times for lying about it).
My System
(14 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Phenom II x4 955 BE ASUS M4A87TD-USB3 Powercolor Radeon HD6870 1GB 4x GeIL Value 2GB 1600MHz 
Hard DriveHard DriveOSMonitor
WD 7200RPM 500GB Misc 80GB SATA Hard Drives Windows 7 Home Premium x64 Samsung Syncmaster 940N 
PowerCase
Antec HCG-620 Thermaltake V4 
  hide details  
Reply
My System
(14 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Phenom II x4 955 BE ASUS M4A87TD-USB3 Powercolor Radeon HD6870 1GB 4x GeIL Value 2GB 1600MHz 
Hard DriveHard DriveOSMonitor
WD 7200RPM 500GB Misc 80GB SATA Hard Drives Windows 7 Home Premium x64 Samsung Syncmaster 940N 
PowerCase
Antec HCG-620 Thermaltake V4 
  hide details  
Reply
post #4 of 13
Ah you're in AU, thought you were in the states...ok

CPU - http://www.ple.com.au/ViewItem.aspx?InventoryItemID=608176&CategoryID=235

Motherboard - http://www.ple.com.au/ViewItem.aspx?InventoryItemID=607419&CategoryID=629
I would prefer this one http://www.ple.com.au/ViewItem.aspx?InventoryItemID=607421&CategoryID=629

Memory - http://www.ple.com.au/ViewItem.aspx?InventoryItemID=609949&CategoryID=728

Now, i've gone over, quite a bit to be honest, but that's the best upgrade you can do for a reasonable price. I feel sorry for you dude your prices are shocking.

BTW http://www.ebay.com.au/sch/i.html?_nkw=amd+FX&_sacat=164&Number%2520of%2520Cores=Quad|!&_sop=15&Brand=AMD&_dmpt=AU_Components&_odkw=amd+phenom+ii&_osacat=164&_trksid=p3286.c0.m270.l1313

Check out those, you might get a good deal.

C
Edited by compuman145 - 10/26/12 at 4:21am
post #5 of 13
For the price, (free), I think it looks pretty good as is. In fact, a nicely balanced spare-part-bin machine IMO!

What OS will be installed?

A 10GB boot partition might not be BIG enough. I know win7 64 bit is like a 25GB install, not sure about others...

I wouldn't personally bother with the RAID setup but hey, if you want to take the time to do it, i suppose it might improve the game loading speeds a tiny bit but I would personally just install windows on 1 of the drives, and install games on the other and be done with it.

If you wanted to throw a few bucks at it, I would start with the CPU, the Athlon 64 X2 as you mentioned is the best upgrade path for the machine since pretty much everything these days will see a major boost going from 1 to 2 cores.

SSD ONLY if you can get it really cheap.

A couple 2GB DDR2 sticks IF and ONLY IF you are installing a 64 bit OS, otherwise 3GB should be fine as is.
     
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
FX-8350 990X EVO R2.0 Sparkle GTX460 768MB ballistix tactical 2 x 8GB 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Toshiiba THNSNH 256GB Enterprise RE3 1TB Asus BD combo drive Artic A30 
OSMonitorMonitorMonitor
Manjaro Linux Samsung 21.5" LCD E2009WFP E2009WFP 
PowerCase
Seasonic G 550W Modular Fractal Design Core 3500 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
FX-6300, 4.7 GHZ@1.43V GA-970A-UD3P GTX 460 768MB Mixed DIMMs. 2x4GB + 2x8GB @ 1600-8-8-8 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Toshiba THNSNH 19nm 256GB 1TB Spinpoint F3 WD RE3 1TB WD RE3 1TB 
Optical DriveCoolingOSOS
yes CM Seidon 120V SolydK OpenSuse 13.1 
OSOSMonitorMonitor
Linux Mint 9-32 bit // Linux Mint 17-64 bit  Manjaro Xfce Samsung 21.5" HannsG 21.5" sideways! 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
A10-6800k 4.8GHZ @ 1.375V, 1.2GHZ iGPU Gigabyte GA-F2A85XN-WIFI HD8670D Ripjaws 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Seagate ST1000DM003 Asus BC-12B1ST/BLK/B/AS Zalman CNPS5X Linux Mint 15 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
LG IPS224V-PN Logitec K360 FSP 400W Aurum S 80+ gold Prodigy 
Mouse
logitec M235 
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
FX-8350 990X EVO R2.0 Sparkle GTX460 768MB ballistix tactical 2 x 8GB 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Toshiiba THNSNH 256GB Enterprise RE3 1TB Asus BD combo drive Artic A30 
OSMonitorMonitorMonitor
Manjaro Linux Samsung 21.5" LCD E2009WFP E2009WFP 
PowerCase
Seasonic G 550W Modular Fractal Design Core 3500 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
FX-6300, 4.7 GHZ@1.43V GA-970A-UD3P GTX 460 768MB Mixed DIMMs. 2x4GB + 2x8GB @ 1600-8-8-8 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Toshiba THNSNH 19nm 256GB 1TB Spinpoint F3 WD RE3 1TB WD RE3 1TB 
Optical DriveCoolingOSOS
yes CM Seidon 120V SolydK OpenSuse 13.1 
OSOSMonitorMonitor
Linux Mint 9-32 bit // Linux Mint 17-64 bit  Manjaro Xfce Samsung 21.5" HannsG 21.5" sideways! 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Sticky ATNG Rosewill Green 630W NZXT Gamma Basic Microsoft corded 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
A10-6800k 4.8GHZ @ 1.375V, 1.2GHZ iGPU Gigabyte GA-F2A85XN-WIFI HD8670D Ripjaws 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Seagate ST1000DM003 Asus BC-12B1ST/BLK/B/AS Zalman CNPS5X Linux Mint 15 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
LG IPS224V-PN Logitec K360 FSP 400W Aurum S 80+ gold Prodigy 
Mouse
logitec M235 
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post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by compuman145 View Post

Ah you're in AU, thought you were in the states...ok
CPU - http://www.ple.com.au/ViewItem.aspx?InventoryItemID=608176&CategoryID=235
Motherboard - http://www.ple.com.au/ViewItem.aspx?InventoryItemID=607419&CategoryID=629
I would prefer this one http://www.ple.com.au/ViewItem.aspx?InventoryItemID=607421&CategoryID=629
Memory - http://www.ple.com.au/ViewItem.aspx?InventoryItemID=609949&CategoryID=728
Now, i've gone over, quite a bit to be honest, but that's the best upgrade you can do for a reasonable price. I feel sorry for you dude your prices are shocking.
BTW http://www.ebay.com.au/sch/i.html?_nkw=amd+FX&_sacat=164&Number%2520of%2520Cores=Quad|!&_sop=15&Brand=AMD&_dmpt=AU_Components&_odkw=amd+phenom+ii&_osacat=164&_trksid=p3286.c0.m270.l1313
Check out those, you might get a good deal.
C
That's Perth for you, and except for MSY where warranty is optional, PLE has the best prices you'll find here frown.gif I was ecstatic when I discovered it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdocod View Post

For the price, (free), I think it looks pretty good as is. In fact, a nicely balanced spare-part-bin machine IMO!
What OS will be installed?
A 10GB boot partition might not be BIG enough. I know win7 64 bit is like a 25GB install, not sure about others...
I wouldn't personally bother with the RAID setup but hey, if you want to take the time to do it, i suppose it might improve the game loading speeds a tiny bit but I would personally just install windows on 1 of the drives, and install games on the other and be done with it.
If you wanted to throw a few bucks at it, I would start with the CPU, the Athlon 64 X2 as you mentioned is the best upgrade path for the machine since pretty much everything these days will see a major boost going from 1 to 2 cores.
SSD ONLY if you can get it really cheap.
A couple 2GB DDR2 sticks IF and ONLY IF you are installing a 64 bit OS, otherwise 3GB should be fine as is.
I'm using a cut down version of windows 7 home premium 32 bit. Most of the reason for the RAID is because he is lazy and not tech inclined and unless I make the second drive unnoticeable he won't use it, and I know from experience that 80GB really only lasts so long (I forgot to budget hard drives on my sig rig, used misc RAID 80GBs until I could afford a new one. Next week Thailand floods and prices double). I could probably just JBoD it or dedicate a drive to program files but I like the performance boost I got from the RAID I use for file storage so I don't see any good reason not to RAID if the computer's only a temporary solution so loss of data isn't an issue.
My System
(14 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Phenom II x4 955 BE ASUS M4A87TD-USB3 Powercolor Radeon HD6870 1GB 4x GeIL Value 2GB 1600MHz 
Hard DriveHard DriveOSMonitor
WD 7200RPM 500GB Misc 80GB SATA Hard Drives Windows 7 Home Premium x64 Samsung Syncmaster 940N 
PowerCase
Antec HCG-620 Thermaltake V4 
  hide details  
Reply
My System
(14 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Phenom II x4 955 BE ASUS M4A87TD-USB3 Powercolor Radeon HD6870 1GB 4x GeIL Value 2GB 1600MHz 
Hard DriveHard DriveOSMonitor
WD 7200RPM 500GB Misc 80GB SATA Hard Drives Windows 7 Home Premium x64 Samsung Syncmaster 940N 
PowerCase
Antec HCG-620 Thermaltake V4 
  hide details  
Reply
post #7 of 13
The obvious major weakness is the CPU. But it doesn't seem to me that it can be upgraded on the cheap
    
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post #8 of 13
To be honest, that rig is actually pretty decent for the amount that you put into it. I don't think I could pull something that good together from stuff I've got sitting around.

But, I think the better play here if you're wanting to improve it, is to simply replace the core machine. This is mostly because while the machine would benefit from a new processor, and ram, you'll be paying a premium for outdated hardware. So for the same investment, I think you could get better performance from a new cheapo mobo, cpu and ram.

So, in short if he wants to improve it... I'd just tell him to sit on the cash until he has enough to make an upgrade to a new platform. The trick is how much he wants to spend.

I'd say as a buddy of his, you have done great. If he wants to take it from here, its going to be an investment.

Good luck man smile.gif.
post #9 of 13
If I were you I would definitely take out that CPU and if you can put a Phenom 1 X4 in it.

Would give you much better performance for the pesky CPU intensive games.
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by chatterbox272 View Post

I have an upcoming LAN party with a group of gamer friends of mine. There's one friend in this group who lost his job early in the year, right after he decided he wanted to save up for a gaming computer. As an attempt to include him in the LAN (he is a good friend of everyone going) we decided to try to build him a usable computer out of spare parts we all had lying around from our own upgrades or salvaged things from when our school dumped all their old computers. The system we have to is as follows:
CPU: AMD Athlon 64 3800+
MB: ECS MCP61PM-HM (Nettle) Rev 1.0A (HP locked BIOS)
CPU Cooler: Stock from a Phenom II x4 955BE
RAM: Misc DDR2-533 RAM sticks (2x1GB + 2x512MB)
Hard Drive: 1x Seagate SATA 80GB Barracuda + 1x WD 80GB Caviar (I'm partitioning these with a 10GB boot partition, 2x70GB in software RAID0, and a 10GB partition for whatever)
GPU: Powercolor Radeon HD6670 1GB
So if I were to tell him "If you want to spend a little bit to improve this, replace/add this" what should it be? I'm thinking either CPU with a cheap Athlon x2, or add an SSD. Also, if anyone happens to know what PLL/Clock Generator is on that MB it would be much appreciated so I can try OC using setFSB.

What to upgrade on this?

...........

Everything. About the only things you could pull from this system is the 6670 and DVD drive.. sorry man, that system is just old and had its day. I'm surprised that thing doesn't run off coal tongue.gif Something which shouldn't cost alot to upgrade to would be;

Athlon 2
AM3+ board
2x4GB PC12800 (G.Skill)
500GB HDD (Western Digital)
600w PSU (Corsair, Seasonic, Enermax, any brand such as these are good)
Edited by ketxxx - 10/26/12 at 5:33pm
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