Had a nice discussion on VAT earlier today, probably should just live in Japan for this thing. :P
Fair enough on the i5 3350P, makes more sense then. Very well, thanks for the advice. Although I take it that the power source thing is pretty much going for chance (which is fair enough, I guess).
Now, what you said about the OS earlier on made me a bit wary and I decided to ask a friend what he knew, though his prime experience is with Mac's. By what he said, it would seem that reinstalling a Windows is very likely on any MOBO upgrade even if it is not an OEM version? And, that, as I see it, might prove problematic since even though I don't have a Windows install (I believe you can get them from the MS site, no?) then the copy that I have has a bit of a history -- namely, I got this computer second hand, and from what I can see it was originally Vista (or that could just be the case, but unlikely) and was only later upgraded to a Windows 7 Professional.
Based on what I've heard, it seems unlikely I'd be able to use the same instance of it (as without changing the install) after changing the MOBO, and likewise there seems little chance for me to actually reinstall the same copy. Do you have any idea if this is a solvable issue (with what I have being the W7Pro notice that it is activated as well as the product ID)? Thus far there seems to be little actual consensus based on what I've read as to the actual effects of any certain re-alignment of hardware, so I would like to hear what the options are that I have there. Another friend suggested I do a Windows backup and just use that to restore the system in case it doesn't work well, but I have certain reservations about that approach (namely, I don't see why it would work).
Well now, that's a good question. It probably depends on whether the original Windows was an OEM license or not. OEM Windows is tied to a single computer, which Microsoft defines as a motherboard. New motherboard, new computer, new Windows purchase. Full retail versions, on the other hand, can be moved to as many new computers as you like (but only one at a time of course).
As for install discs, you can download an .ISO 100% legally and either burn it to a CD-ROM/DVD or put it on a USB flash drive. The only thing you need is the product code so you can actually activate Windows after installing. Otherwise you'd have to reinstall every week or something of the sort.
Here's a tutorial.
Ah, well, I now noticed that the product ID includes the fatal combination of letters, "OEM", in it, so I have to assume that is what my computer's OS is. From what I can see and read, that means a change of motherboard would make my computer useless. :P
The best I can find online right now is around a £90 for Windows 7 Home OEM, or £120 for 7 Professional OEM // 7 Home Retail. At that price range, it would either mean I need to factor it in when thinking of the overall price limit or just scrap the entire process. Lowering the limit would make the rest of the purchases that much worse (and, well, honestly I am unsure if I would like to get an OEM version if the same thing could easily happen in the future). [There also seems to be an offer for 7 Ultimate OEM at £140.] Altogether, the situation seems to look bleak.
I don't think there's any real way of going past this problem either, and substituting Windows for something else is not a real option when staying on the gaming track I think.
It would, however, look like it is possible to connect the GPU that we were thinking of, HD 7850, which requires a PCIe 3.0 slot to a PCIe 2.0 slot for a small loss in performance. So, maybe if there's no way of going past the OS issues it would make sense to go to 4 GB RAM (something like this though that is 800 MHz?) and the HD 7850 for no upgrades on the MOBO-CPU? Any idea how that would improve the performance of the system? Also would the fact that the 7850 is dual slot be a problem with this MOBO that I currently have (the previous one is single slot, I think)? [Interestingly enough it also mentions being AMD3 ready which confused me thoroughly when I found the meaning on Wikipedia, because I have no idea if it means that I could connect a AM3 unit with some trouble or could not at all.]
I had a very similiar experience:
Ran Vista retail mainly on a core 2 duo + intel X38 combo for a few years.
Upgraded Vista to Windows 7 OEM
Changed motherboard and cpu to Core i7 3930k + Intel X79 combo
I cloned my operating system partition before upgrading the motherboard. After the upgrade, I was asked to activate windows, and I did. The activation went ahead without a hitch.
In case it does not get activated, a friend who works at the local Microsoft office explained to me that you can call Microsoft and request a phone activation as long as you give a reason for the hardware change that is accepted (e.x I upgraded my cpu) and you don't call an unusual number of times (more than 10 times in a single week for example.).
I didn't test it out as I said the activation worked for me.
The HD 7850 supports PCIe 3.0, but it doesn't require it at all. The only major difference between PCIe 3.0 and 2.0 is twice as much bandwidth, and the 7850 doesn't even need all the bandwidth a 16-lane PCIe 2.0 slot makes available.
Still, the CPU itself would hold it back to some extent. It would end up waiting for information on what to draw next, because the CPU would be taking longer with the calculations of AI behaviour and physics etc. than the graphics card would actually drawing the frame.
Installing a dual-slot graphics card on your motherboard will block the regular PCI slot next to the PCIe slot, but that's not a problem as long as you don't need some PCI device installed there (and your case has an I/O slot by that PCI slot).
@Sakkura: Thanks; seems like a half-way upgrade in many ways then (as it really would be).
Now, based on this it would seem that upgrading everything would work without much trouble. Do you think it makes a difference whether the original Vista was OEM or Retail? And by cloning it, do you mean just a copy of all you had there or something more sophisticated?
Okay, that's a positive thought. As a final question (for now :P), would you say that a 7850 HD that's 2GB is worth a £7 price increase over the 1 GB version? How much does that actually change?
[Also, just to be sure, you're speaking of the Windows Backup feature inherent in 7, yes? Not the system image / system repair disk thing?]
By now the budget is well and truly gone. What would be a good second-hand higher graphics card though (and what are good second-hand hardware sellers) for a similar price (£120-140)?
Useless eBay ended up, well, not that well. :P As in price heading higher and higher...
Unfortunately your current set up is beyond salvaging.
The cpu is so outdated that a new gpu wouldn't be enough to make all modern games playable, which means you need a new cpu, which means you need a new mobo, which means you need new ram.
See if you can reuse your case/psu/hdd/dvd reader/windows copy.
The basic bang for buck upgrade rule: (assuming each part you use is of a baseline quality/performance of course)
GPU >>>>>>> CPU >>>>> RAM (assuming you have 2GB or more) > HDD
It's a shitty time to buy a rig imo, at least compared to 2008-2011.
HDD's are double overpriced, there is nothing in the 150-200 euro midrange gpu range that is faster than anything in the 200 euro gpu range a year and a half ago, gpus overall have seen a massive pricehike due to lack of competition, your best bet for cpu land is still something equivalent in both price and performance to what you could have found a year and a half ago.
Basically, you'll spend the same if not more(hdds) you would have in early 2011 and you won't get any more performance than you would have back then if you go mid range :\
Pretty grim times in hardware land especially for those interested in a price/performance midrange build. There is no value to be had right now.
Last edited by Finicky; 05-10-2012 at 09:52 PM.
200€ price range year and a half ago... that's an HD 6870. Today, it's a 7850 or maybe a GTX 660. There is a difference at least on that component.
HDDs still aren't nearly as cheap as they should be due to the floods, but it's gotten better, especially at 1 TB and up. CPUs are very meh, no significant changes since Sandy Bridge launched (spring 2011).
There's an interesting article about the HDD prices here. One pic below.
Last edited by Sakkura; 06-10-2012 at 12:13 AM.
Here is why HDD prices are high :
Seagate bought the samsung HDD division
WD bought the Hitachi HDD division
The HDD market is basically a duopoly right now (the very reason for the aqcuisitions)
Seagate saw a huge jump in quarterly profits in Q4 2011, if the flood were hurting them so badly and causing a real shortage their profits would have dropped, not jumped up.
Hours after the news of the flooding, retailers everywhere jumped on the opportunity to triple prices of their current stock (everyone who checked prices that day will know this)
Seagate and WD chose to lower production and increase prices to retailers as a reaction (huge increase in quarterly profits as evidence despite losing part of their stock and factory up time to the floods).
Since there is no competition in the market (WD and seagate control it) there was noone to piss in their price fixing cornflakes by undercutting, hence why prices continue to remain sky high.
The only competition left now is in the retail business, and to get rid of their stock they have slowly been undercutting eachother, but since neither WD or seagate are lowering their distribution prices this can only go so far.
In a way it is still poetic justice (at the cost of the consumer) , greed driven retailers who jumped at the opportunity for huge profits on their stock at the time of the flood are now seeing decreased turnaround and profits compared to before the floods , as they still have to compete with one another and WD/seagate continue to limit production and keep distribution prices high.
WD/seagate are happy to produce less and sell at a double premium, the floodings were just a chance opportunity for them to raise prices faster due to the change in perception of value (aka the pseudo shortage, I've never once seen any retailer here go out of HDD stock, but all that matters is what people will accept).
Until we see some renewed competition through another buyout or new HDD player (unlikely), hdd prices will remain inflated, WD/seagate stockholders will remain happy, and capitalism will continue to show that it only works as long as the industry allows for competition.
SSD are at a dead end density wise (and therefor capacity wise) so they will never become a real competitor for storage. HDD's will remain in demand as storage drives even when every OEM pc comes with an SSD boot drive.
Maybe in a few years if and when IBM manages to bring memristor drives to the market, competition to the storage market will return (or rather HDD's will become an obsolete medium like the floppy disk) and consumers can get some value in return for the profits of the industry again.
Even if the floods had never happened, the Samsung and hitachi aqcuisition would have ensured a rise in HDD prices and a stall in competition.
There is a reason why there still isn't a real successor to the spinpoint f3 after 2 years.
Last edited by Finicky; 07-10-2012 at 01:12 AM.
The floods spiked the prices. That they've been somewhat slow to recover can be partially blamed on a lack of competition, yes, but also on the very thin margins there's been on HDDs in the last few years.
Also, there is still a fifth/third player out there in Toshiba, so it's not a perfect duopoly. Yet.
Besides, a 2 TB HDD costs the same as a 128 GB SSD. They're still decent value, even if it sucks to see a price hike.
Small profit margins (hello competition and free market, meet Sakkura) justify doubling the price? May I perhaps interest you in buying a bridge?
SSD's are extremely poor value/storage capacity compared to HDDS, again this does not justify doubling the prices.
The amount of rationalising in your post, jesus christ...
HDD's are currently extremely poor value (not so much as SSDs, but the two aren't mutually exclusive), full stop.
Last edited by Finicky; 07-10-2012 at 03:52 AM.