Time to say goodbye to the Phenom II and finally upgrade

pigflipperpigflipper The Forgotten Coast Icrontian

It has been a long 10 years with this system, but, it is time to build a new rig. 10 years of LANs, TF2, WoW, Overwatch and multiple upgrades (thanks for the GPU @primesuspect !) The case is falling apart, I have to hotwire it every time I need to turn the system on and the headers no longer work; the GPU is really starting to struggle, even with older titles; the HDDs are starting to have bad sectors that won't allow me to update certain programs; and the MOBO no longer recognizes most external devices plugged into the USB ports. 10 years is a good run with the abuse I put this system through. Now I seek the advice of y'all on what I should go with next. Budget is ~$700 (+/- $50) and will need a new copy of Windows as well.

Things I don't need:
PSU - had to upgrade about a year ago, put in a 650w gold rated Corsair
Monitor- Still rocking my 1920x1200 Samsung SyncMaster T260HD, and while I would like a new monitor, it is definitely not a priority.
Keyboard/Mouse - what I have is fine and has chugged along since before this computer, hell, I think the keyboard is 15+ years old, the mouse is an OLD Intellimouse Explorer 3.0 and I have two more unopened in my closet.

Things I need: everything else!
I am thinking about a Ryzen5 based system. Don't need any fancy RGB crap, I already hate the light on my old Zalman HSF. Would like a decent GPU, but no need for anything close to top end. And the case, well, I was looking at NZXT, since I LOVE the one I have now, the layout is just about perfect, though it is so old that there isn't even a model number on the side/front/back.

I am going to do a couple of theory builds on different websites and post later what they are, in the meantime I am open to suggestions.



  • WinfreyWinfrey waddafuh Missouri Icrontian

    So I recently upgraded some pieces on my machine. I would add my recommendations:
    New CPUs have good stock HSF. I remember old days when mounting a stock cooler was jank as hell, not the case with AMD. Ryzen 5 is very nice.

    I picked a 8GB GDDR5 Video card that wasn't too expensive. Seemed like having the most memory led to the best price/performance marriage than anyting else.

    I did get the NZXT 510 case and it is super nice. Very easy to cable manage, only complaint is thumb screw usage which isn't bad just a little annoying (seems like we used to have thumbscrews to make things easy to screw and unscrew but I guess not anymore)

  • pigflipperpigflipper The Forgotten Coast Icrontian

    @Winfrey I looked at that GPU and case. Right now that case is my top pick unless someone has a better suggestion.

    Also, current specs that are being replaced:
    Phenom II 945 x4 (originally a Phenom II 720 x3)
    Gigabyte GA-890-GPA-UD3H motherboard (can't remember the original MOBO, but got this one at some point early on)
    6gig various ram scavenged from all over (kept having bad luck with RAM in the first 2-4 years)
    Sapphire Radeon 6870 2gig (originally was 2x7900GT in SLI, then an ATI, yes, an actual ATI, Sapphire Radeon 5850)
    1.5TB WD HDD
    2TB WD HDD
    NZXT case
    Zalman 92mm ultra quiet HSF

  • I'm still rocking an RX580 because I have not encountered a compelling reason to upgrade it. The card has been out forever but it's still a really respectable 1080P gamer for a reasonable price while you can still find them. https://www.amazon.com/Sapphire-Technology-11265-67-20G-Backplate-Graphics/dp/B083W2JP4W/ref=sr_1_10?dchild=1&keywords=RX+590&qid=1588100165&sr=8-10

  • On the case, I love the Fractal Mini C I have built in a couple times now for some of the reasons you stated, it's just simple and easy to build in and not loud with all the gamer bling. A B450 Micro ATX Board, the Ryzen 5 3600, 16 GB of DDR 4 an RX 580 and this case will bring you to around $550 leaving you budget to buy a fresh Windows 10 license, a extra fan if desired, upgrade heatsink. https://www.newegg.com/fractal-design-define-mini-c-tg-micro-atx-mini-tower/p/N82E16811352071

  • Straight_ManStraight_Man Geeky, in my own way Naples, FL Icrontian

    On the hd, I would look at the WD Blues, found at the 2tb SSD results on Amazon.

  • mas0nmas0n howdy Icrontian

    I loved my RX 580 when I had it, but if buying new for that price range, I'd probably consider RX 5500 XT as an alternative. Similar performance, but newer architecture and better fps/watt.

  • pigflipperpigflipper The Forgotten Coast Icrontian

    First theory build from Newegg:

    GIGABYTE B450M DS3H AM4 AMD B450 SATA 6Gb/s Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - $73
    AMD RYZEN 5 2600 6-Core 3.4 GHz (3.9 GHz Max Boost) Socket AM4 65W - $148
    (AMD RYZEN 5 3600 6-Core 3.6 GHz (4.2 GHz Max Boost) Socket AM4 65W - $175 and a possible option)
    G.SKILL Aegis 16GB (2 x 8GB) 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 3200 (PC4 25600) Memory Kit Model - $68
    GIGABYTE Radeon RX 580 GAMING 8G (rev. 2.0) Graphics Card, PCIe 3.0, 8GB 256-Bit GDDR5 REV2.0 - $170
    WD Blue 3D NAND 500GB Internal SSD - SATA III 6Gb/s 2.5"/7mm Solid State Drive - $70
    NZXT H510 - Compact ATX Mid-Tower PC Gaming Case - Front I/O USB Type-C Port - $70
    Microsoft Windows 10 Home - Full Retail Version (USB Flash Drive) - $140

    Total = $739 before shipping (so add $15-$25)

    A little more than I want to spend, but not by much.


  • WinfreyWinfrey waddafuh Missouri Icrontian

    If I were to splurge on anything it would be for an m.2 ssd. You can get one for about $30-$40 more than the SATA 3 ssd but they are speedy speedy.

  • primesuspectprimesuspect Beepin n' Boopin Detroit, MI Icrontian

    Yeah dude I agree with FreeC8675: An m.2 SSD upgrade would be super noticeable and is not that much more. SO fast

  • pigflipperpigflipper The Forgotten Coast Icrontian

    Considering that I am using decade+ old 7200 RPM drives, anything is going to seem fast in comparison

  • pigflipperpigflipper The Forgotten Coast Icrontian

    Looks like I may just have to spend an extra $100 or so to get the m.2 and the 3600, newegg is sold out of the 2600

  • Straight_ManStraight_Man Geeky, in my own way Naples, FL Icrontian

    Given the specs, look at those please. there are 2 spec sets for m.2 drives-- the m.2Vme is fastest , but the blue series now available are almost the same. If you have a socket pair for 2 m.2 drives, I bet you can run your old drives also and upgrade to 2 m.2 drives later from 1 of those.

  • Straight_ManStraight_Man Geeky, in my own way Naples, FL Icrontian

    Um, I did some pricing and for the highest speed m.2 varieties (in low supply) they cost more by a factor of two than NAND SSD. I would say WD Blue SSDs if you have spare money, and note that they will save you enough for a decent UPS probably, and or a windows DVD or a pre-burned Ubuntu Linux USB stick.

  • pigflipperpigflipper The Forgotten Coast Icrontian

    @Straight_Man umm, huh?
    Western Digital Blue SN550 NVMe M.2 2280 500GB PCI-Express 3.0 x4 3D NAND Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) - $80

    only $10 more...

    I don't need a speed demon drive, I don't want to pay for a speed demon drive in a mid-low end system.

  • Straight_ManStraight_Man Geeky, in my own way Naples, FL Icrontian
    edited May 2020

    Ok, I bought 3 SSDs when I did my last build, I wanted lots of storage that was fast. the m.2 was just hitting the market.
    WD is selling off its blue series, just as the SSDs I bought were being sold off (marketting move to latest). I wanted a computer that could game and do text graphics, with large storage capacity and mid-speed throughput. Bought about 800.00 worth of computer including some help with the building it.
    Fastest to expensive for me, just reasonable as recent reasonable goes. The drives I bought are no longer available, but
    the Crucial m.2s are. You might try crucial.com and get in to the matcher, and see what they have left and then do the same for WD.com's matcher. I think we might have misunderstood each other.

  • ThraxThrax 🐌 Austin, TX Icrontian

    If you're just going to game, skip the Ryzen 5 2600. Get the Ryzen 5 3600, or the Ryzen 3 3300X (May 7 release).

  • pigflipperpigflipper The Forgotten Coast Icrontian

    @Thrax I am still a week or more out from buying the rig, but I have been reading up on the 3300X and it seems like all I will need at a lower price point than the 2600 or 3600. And yeah, this system is mainly going to be used for gaming, surfing, and watching streaming services (Hulu, Netflix, CBS, etc).

    As to video card, should I take a step up with the drop in the CPU price?

  • Straight_ManStraight_Man Geeky, in my own way Naples, FL Icrontian

    I would go with the first Internal SSD, the one in your theory build one. I did some more shopping and the SSD market is shifting to SSD dominance, and the quantity of 10,000 RPM HDs definitely becoming much harder to get. With that happening, and with folks wanting to install videos, the 1-2 TB 5-1/2 SSDs are the sweet spot right now as far as cost. I would wait and upgrade later to M.2 drives.

  • Straight_ManStraight_Man Geeky, in my own way Naples, FL Icrontian
  • MrTRiotMrTRiot Northern Ontario Icrontian

    I upgraded from an SSD to a 1TB M.2 drive recently and I gotta say, its pretty awesome. I would definitely recommend picking one up if your budget allows

  • I'd like to see this card drop to under $250 and maybe I'd pull the trigger on finally swapping out my RX 590. It's efficient and I know this particular varient is quality and has the improved VBios. I know the 5500 XT was mentioned but I don't think it's a particularly exciting part against a polaris card unless it's dollar for dollar the same or less. It's 15% slower for 5% or so more money though more power effieicnt. It's a weird scenerio part that I guess fills a gap for some builders. If you are going to step up at 1080P I only see three options, The 5600 XT, the 1660 Super and the 2060. The 2060 get's you Ray tracing support for about $350. The only game I've seen that I kinda want it for is Quake 2. It's not going to be enough card to run a new AAA title with Ray tracing but if you are into tech demos and pretty versions of older games with less geometry that's your card. The 1660 Super lives in a weird market spot. It's older archatecture like the RX 580 / 590 and really I see it as a more direct competitor to those aging cards than I see it against the 5600 XT, you are useually looking for $240 or so for one of those, it's about 15% faster than an old RX 580 for an extra 30% or so, meh, you could, but at that point, get yourself the 5600 XT and start planning on a high refresh rate monitor. I didn't think 144 Hz was going to make that big a difference until I started playing Overwatch on it regularly. Going back to 75 Hz is painful.

  • pigflipperpigflipper The Forgotten Coast Icrontian

    So right now I am just waiting on the new Ryzen3 to be released before I pull the trigger on a build. My monetary situation has actually improved, so I am going to throw that extra $100 into a better SSD/m.2 and/or GPU. Still not sure as to which GPU I will get but I am leaning towards the 5600XT.

    Will do another theory build as soon as the CPU hits the market.

  • Straight_ManStraight_Man Geeky, in my own way Naples, FL Icrontian
    edited May 2020

    Note that WD has both 2.5 and m.2 as at the same price-- last I looked they were $119.99 (same) and they are 3D NAND drives of 1TB size. WD has 2 TB drives on sale and has an m.2 drive of 2 TB for $206.99 Crucial is waiting for more Micron modules that could be formed into a 2 TB m.2 drive. Crucial is not predicting when such modules will be in the US. WD is headquarted in the US and does a lot of US mfring.
    The prices I am giving above are from mfr.

  • pigflipperpigflipper The Forgotten Coast Icrontian

    I am probably going to go with the WD Blue 3D NAND 1TB Internal SSD - SATA III 6Gb/s M.2 2280 Solid State Drive @ $120

    Now to figure out the GPU, though I am really leaning towards the 5500XT 8gig unless someone has a better suggestion at that price point (Sapphire Pulse ~$210). I really want the 5600XT but the price is at a point that I am having serious doubts about it being even close to my revised budget (~$850 +/-$50)

  • Straight_ManStraight_Man Geeky, in my own way Naples, FL Icrontian

    well, I would take into account heat-- the 2.5" version of that is all the same except cooler usually-- cooler yields more time between failure on average. yes as to blue, but 2.5" form factor.

  • pigflipperpigflipper The Forgotten Coast Icrontian

    Hmm, I will consider that and look more into that issue. Current cart on Newegg has me @ $860 with shipping, that is with a copy of Win10, the 5500XT, Ryzen5 3600, 16GB RAM, 1TB m.2, NZXT 510 case, and Gigabyte B450M DS3H mobo. Kind of glad I splurged on the 650w gold rated Corsair PSU last year when my old 800w PSU died on me; just wish I had gotten a modular setup since I am going to need a lot less cables with this build.

  • SonorousSonorous F@H Fanatic US Icrontian

    @pigflipper stick to m.2 for the boot drive.

  • ThraxThrax 🐌 Austin, TX Icrontian

    The WD Blue m.2 is nice. Good choice.

  • pigflipperpigflipper The Forgotten Coast Icrontian

    Still waiting on the Ryzen3 3300X to release so that I can justify going with a 5600XT GPU, other than that the rig is pretty much set with components I want. I might go with a 500GB m.2 for now, just to bring the price down to something a bit more in budget but not sure on that move.

  • MrTRiotMrTRiot Northern Ontario Icrontian

    @pigflipper storage is fairly simple to upgrade later on so dont be too worried about going with a 500 gig. The crucical 1TB NVMe m.2 drive I got is specifically for my game collection.

    Games seem to be going to larger and larger single file sizes which is why I went with NVMe over SATA.

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