So I upgraded Zeus, the PC you guys helped me build in 2008

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So I upgraded Zeus, the PC you guys helped me build in 2008

Postby hercules71185 » Sat Mar 16, 2013 9:38 am

Back in 2008 I built a computer for less than $400. I was really being cheap because I didn't use it for more than the basics and some gaming. It lasted until now and it's still running strong and I have to say it really held up nice. But, because I have been building computer for some of my customers here at work I once again was hit with the upgrade bug. I'll post pics tonight when I am off work. I'll be giving a small review of the components I had and why I got them. Most of which are opinionated and not based on empirical evidence.

My PC motherboard combo.

I got a Asrock z77 extreme3, and a beautifully matching Core i5 2500k. I was thinking about going to the i7, but for what I use it for I couldn't vouch for spending the extra $150. I picked this CPU up off ebay in an auction for about $150. I got the motherboard from newegg.com (from ebay) for $100 in an open box. It came with absolutely everything and looked brand new.

Review of the CPU, I expected to hit 4ghz, obviously that's a minimal overclock. I researched and found the max voltage I should be using to OC, and then the hottest temperature. The results greatly varied so I went by the "mode" method of choice. I came back with the results 1.45 for the vcore. I know I overclock backwards it just seems easier to me. I also found that hitting 80C during a load test is supposed to be acceptable. So as long as my clocks let me hit that I was going to leave it there in the safe range and tweak it from there.

1st result, I ran a small xs bench from the program real temp. I got a score of 1150, my old cpu was hitting 1165. So stock I was slightly worried about my computers power. I understand it isn't a program which utilizes the quad core cpu so comparing my old dual core @4ghz was slightly unfair. However it was my base line to make sure my pc was doing ok and ready to run the stability test. It obviously passed and my temps even with the increased voltage hardly touched 55c.

Now for the limited version of the story so I don't bore you with trial and error. I was satisfied at 4.8ghz. However I'm going to get what I can under safe restrictions. Eventually my turbo multiplier was set at 54, leaving me a 5.4ghz overclock. Holy crap! Now to tell you how easy this was because it was too easy.
BIOS settings, vcore 1.45, turbo multiplier at 54. BAM done.... That's it. Now during stress my cpu was getting into the upper 70s. So time to dial back my vcore. I backed it off to 1.43 and dropped my turbo to 52. Viola, my temps under load went to 70c and my cpu was stable. So overall I'm extremely happy with my CPU. My Overclocked results on the xs bench were 2198, I couldn't get the extra 2 I tried running the test numerous times.

My motherboard, I can't believe how simple overclocking on this board was. The first time I turned in on I decided to start up with the auto turbo of 4.6 and it worked. But, I couldn't just leave that alone I had to play with it myself not someone elses preset.


My CPU Cooler

I went with the Corsair h50. Before anyone bashes it for not being a true water cooler and even beaten by a high end and cheaper air cooler. I didn't get it for that. I got it for silence and for looks. It REALLY opens up the case. It makes it look so much more modern than my old huge copper butterfly that I used to have.

Am I satisfied by the cooler or should I have upgraded? Honestly I can't say, knowing I could easily have went over 5.4ghz makes me think I would like to have upgraded. But, this CPU is far sufficient for me and for the cost of $39 I got off neweggs ebay site once again. I couldn't pass it up. For the $80 savings on the cheaper cooler vs the h100. I would have spent my money elsewhere even to an i7 2600k. So cost wise if you want more performance upgrade your CPU in my opinion.


My Video Card

I was online and did extensive research and so many people suggested the ATi route and I almost budged. But, Nvidia seems to always have better driver support. So I stuck with Nvidia even though the claims of brute power go to ATi. I haven't began to overclock my card yet, but the guy who I purchased it through said he ran it stable at 1200mhz. This thing is a beast my frame rates are unbelievable compared to my gtx 260.

Other purchases I can't really go too indepth with yet.

I got a case from NZXT, my only real gripes are the lack of thought put into simple things. If you have a typical aircooled heatsink and fan or even the closed loop water cooling systems, you can't use the two 140mm fan holes at the top of the case. If you have a CD/DVD drive on the top rack it hits the fan area as well. So basically I have dust holes on top of my pc. What I think I'll do is find 2 slim fit 140mm fans and put those in the top and move my DVD drive down. The stock case fans are great. They are quiet and move air. However the entire case is seemingly mesh patterned so you can't create an air current. What I think makes the most sense in this case is to have ever fan Blow inward and let the heat push out of the holes and rise to the top of the case where you have 280mm of holes. I do like the CPU cutout on the case and the way the wires can be hidden.

My Ram
I'm not really sure what the difference in cheap vs expensive ram is I've always seemed to have luck with cheaper ram by good brands. I got Kingston DDR3 1600. I got 2x4gb so I could still expand. When I benchmark this on PC mark it ranks extremely high. I'm not sure if the ram is locked or if overclocking overclocks your RAM as well like it used to do.

I also purchased 2 1TB drives to run in Raid, but unfortunately my older PSU only had 4 SATA power cables and an onslaught of molex connectors. So I'm just waiting for my other SATA cable. If I connect my DVD drive it uses 1 of the 4, but since the cable is daisy chained it won't reach anything else. So I have 3 usable cables.

So I'm setting up RAID 0 with 2 of the 1TB HDDs. I did this and I'm not expecting a huge increase in performance benchmarking. But in real world situations where I'm downloading stuff I am going to have all of my programs on those disks, and my downloads go on my 1TB slower hard drive. Everything should load much faster with the raid and limited disk usage from splitting the work load on 3 HDDs now instead of 1.


So there you have the basics. The Benchmarks and pics will be started tonight.

Totals

CPU - $150
HDD - $90 for both off ebay
Mobo - $100
GTX 660ti - $250 auction off ebay
Cooler - $40
Case - $50
PSU -$50 (purchased in 2008 seems to be strong still even under load)
Ram - $42
DVD burner drive - $13

Totaling -
After shipping $800


For what it's worth, an $800 gaming/mutipurpose PC with future proof power for at least the next few years.
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Re: So I upgraded Zeus, the PC you guys helped me build in 2

Postby Apoptosis » Sat Mar 16, 2013 12:55 pm

Glad to see you are still around! Haven't seen you post or be active here since 2009! Glad to see you are still building and enjoying desktops!

I'm not really sure what the difference in cheap vs expensive ram is I've always seemed to have luck with cheaper ram by good brands.


Really isn't one, so I advise to do what you did... By affordable memory from a big local company that can handle an RMA quickly if something happens. Can't go wrong with picking Kingston.

Can't wait to see the pictures!
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Re: So I upgraded Zeus, the PC you guys helped me build in 2

Postby hercules71185 » Sun Mar 17, 2013 11:19 am

Awesome, I'll get pics up soon. I got out of work late last night, and when I got home I couldn't find my Windows 8 disk, so I had to download and burn one so I could get my drives set up in Raid. I took all of the pics already, but I haven't got them uploaded anywhere yet.
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Re: So I upgraded Zeus, the PC you guys helped me build in 2

Postby KnightRid » Mon Mar 18, 2013 5:23 am

Nice looking system man.

Except....... ASRock SUCKS and I would have advised you to go with a real manufacturer like Gigabyte :mrgreen:
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Re: So I upgraded Zeus, the PC you guys helped me build in 2

Postby egloeckle » Thu Mar 21, 2013 10:30 am

hercules71185 wrote:My CPU Cooler

I went with the Corsair h50. Before anyone bashes it for not being a true water cooler and even beaten by a high end and cheaper air cooler. I didn't get it for that. I got it for silence and for looks. It REALLY opens up the case. It makes it look so much more modern than my old huge copper butterfly that I used to have.

Am I satisfied by the cooler or should I have upgraded? Honestly I can't say, knowing I could easily have went over 5.4ghz makes me think I would like to have upgraded. But, this CPU is far sufficient for me and for the cost of $39 I got off neweggs ebay site once again. I couldn't pass it up. For the $80 savings on the cheaper cooler vs the h100. I would have spent my money elsewhere even to an i7 2600k. So cost wise if you want more performance upgrade your CPU in my opinion.


I thought I was the only one who cared more about the thing being quiet than the super overclockability around here. The H50 is a great cooler, though the fans that come with it are somewhat loud. Swap out those fans for something a bit quieter and besides your video card the thing will be dead silent.
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Re: So I upgraded Zeus, the PC you guys helped me build in 2

Postby stopthekilling77 » Thu Mar 21, 2013 10:33 pm

egloeckle wrote:
hercules71185 wrote:My CPU Cooler

I went with the Corsair h50. Before anyone bashes it for not being a true water cooler and even beaten by a high end and cheaper air cooler. I didn't get it for that. I got it for silence and for looks. It REALLY opens up the case. It makes it look so much more modern than my old huge copper butterfly that I used to have.

Am I satisfied by the cooler or should I have upgraded? Honestly I can't say, knowing I could easily have went over 5.4ghz makes me think I would like to have upgraded. But, this CPU is far sufficient for me and for the cost of $39 I got off neweggs ebay site once again. I couldn't pass it up. For the $80 savings on the cheaper cooler vs the h100. I would have spent my money elsewhere even to an i7 2600k. So cost wise if you want more performance upgrade your CPU in my opinion.


I thought I was the only one who cared more about the thing being quiet than the super overclockability around here. The H50 is a great cooler, though the fans that come with it are somewhat loud. Swap out those fans for something a bit quieter and besides your video card the thing will be dead silent.


I'm a big fan of the Scythe S-Flex fans. Replaced my Antec TriCools with them and I've been enjoying a very quiet system. Of course then I upgraded my old 8800GTS 512 with a Thermalright T-Rad2 GTX to a stock GTX 650 Ti and now it's the loudest component in the box. The things we do for performance. Still, it's worlds quieter than it was at first.

Congrats on the upgrade! Looks like your $800 was quite well-spent!
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Re: So I upgraded Zeus, the PC you guys helped me build in 2

Postby hercules71185 » Fri Mar 22, 2013 1:21 am

Thanks for the input guys, I used the fan from the case for the h50, and it definitely was more quiet than the corsair one. I'm extremely satisfied so far. I want to make a full review and benchmarks. I wanted to make a well written review, I just have been busy with my new laptop, camera, work and playing with the system. I have my corsair fan as a pull configuration at about 25% of the speed while the case fan by nzxt is on full and I'm very impressed with how quiet it is. I'm looking for 2 140mm fans that are less than 25mm thick for the top of the case. Not even for flow, because it's definitely cool enough for my use. I just want to prevent dust with my gihugant air vent (hole) in the top of my case. I'd probably keep the fans at like 10% of the speed, so I'm not too concerned with sound. And for anyone out there looking at a system. I hear Asrock sucks. I haven't had a single issue what so ever with them though. I dealt with newegg and wasn't in a rush so getting a DOA wasn't too much of a concern and it was highly rated, with a caveat , a high quantity of DOA reviews. If anyone out there is looking for a decent system that can run Crysis 3 on very high settings, here ya go. The i5 2500k may not bench as high as an i7 overclocked to the same level. I assure you that you won't wish for more in an everyday use. I have done a little bit of photoshopping with it using raw files on my DSLR and I have not really had much of an issue with the processor being my limitation on speed. I'd say 90% of my wait is my hard drive configuration. Unfortunately I need 500GB at the least for hard drive space. A SSD is just not in my budget or cost justification at the time. And the Raid 0 with standard HDD, did make everything quicker. I'm completely satisfied with this budget system. I do want another video card just because I like having overkill. But, honestly the 660 ti and 2500k are a great combo for anyone looking for something that makes a console look like Atari. Hopefully tomorrow I'll edit my original post with pics to correspond with my post if I get an actual day off of work.
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