Question At what point do you buy a new computer?

Jan 6, 2020
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Hey guys, so I have another thread here:

https://forums.tomshardware.com/threads/troubleshooting-possibly-dead-computer.3562396/

Intel Core(TM) i7-4770 @ 3.40GHz
Intel 8 Series Chipset SATA AHC1 Controller
NVIDIA GeForce GTX780
Realtek 8821AE Wireless LAN 802.11ac PCI-E NIC
Realtek PCIe GBE Family Controller
WDC WD5001FZWX-00ZHU SCSI
Kingston RBU-SC4 SCSI
Matshita BD-CMB UJ160 CdRom
500w power supply
Windows 7

My computer is very unstable; locking up, restarting, losing signals to the monitor etc. Anything more strenuous than Youtube quickly causes failures. I cannot pinpoint the issue, and the general consensus seems to be that it'll need replacement hardware; maybe new PCU, maybe new GPU, who knows. I do not have any spare parts on me, though, and there's no gaurantee the issue will be resolved even if I buy new components.

So, my question for this thread is: at what point do you just say screw it and buy a new PC?

This particular computer is seven years old.
It's running Windows 7, which was recently discontinued.
The CPU is very outdated.
The GPU is outdated, possibly faulty, and has very little driver support.
The PCU may be faulty.
Internal wiring may be faulty.
The PCIE may or may not be faulty; caused some problems earlier, seems to be fixed now.
Two of the four USB ports are finicky.
The SSD seems fine, but it's seven years old.

If you were in my position, what would you do? Would it be worth buying new components and trying to repair this device? Or should I spend a little extra money and get a new, mid-range replacement? (nothing fancy; 1080p and VR capable)
 
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Barty1884

Titan
Moderator
At what point do you buy a new computer
When an existing system is no longer fit for purpose, and you can afford a new one.

This particular computer is seven years old.
It's running Windows 7, which was recently discontinued.
The CPU is very outdated.
The GPU is outdated, possibly faulty, and has very little driver support.
The PCU may be faulty.
Internal wiring may be faulty.
Two of the four USB ports are finicky.
The SSD seems fine, but it's seven years old.
In terms of your components, a 4770 while older, is still a great chip.
Similarly, a 780, while dated, is still a solid 1080p card.

Based on your previous thread, I'd buy a new, quality PSU and see how you fare.
It may revive the old(er) system, it may not.... You shouldn't be considering reusing the old PSU anyway, so you'll be buying a new one if you go the new build route - and if it revives the old(er) system, it's still got some decent life left in it.

If you can revive it, you should still be able to upgrade to Windows 10 for free, clean install your OS and (maybe) upgrade the GPU.
 
"at what point do you just say screw it and buy a new PC? "
Probably before the point you're at. ;)

When I look at all this>>>
"
It's running Windows 7, which was recently discontinued.
The CPU is very outdated.
The GPU is outdated, possibly faulty, and has very little driver support.
The PCU may be faulty.
Internal wiring may be faulty.
Two of the four USB ports are finicky. "

That's just too much I would want to deal with....plus it's all getting older by the day.
 
Jan 6, 2020
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W7 can still be upgraded to W10. Both the CPU & GPU are still respectable 1080p performers, and a 4770 will pair well enough with stronger GPUs.

Every component is getting older by the day 🤣

Yeah, I guess that's true. I haven't really had much issue with 1080p gaming over the course of this computer's lifetime (at least, not until recently). All in all, this has been one of the best longterm performance devices I've had.

However, I've also got a Vive, and while I can handle some low-end VR productivity stuff just fine (art projects and the like), would the 4770 be up to heavier lifting with a newer generation GPU?

If you can revive it, you should still be able to upgrade to Windows 10 for free
Can I? Microsoft offered a free upgrade a long time ago, but I told them no.
 
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Barty1884

Titan
Moderator
However, I've also got a Vive, and while I can handle some low-end VR productivity stuff just fine (art projects and the like), would the 4770 be up to heavier lifting with a newer generation GPU?
To a point, yes. I'd have to do a bit more digging to see what the upper limit of viability is, but IIRC the minimum requirements for a Vive on the CPU front is/was an i5-4590.

Can I? Microsoft offered a free upgrade a long time ago, but I told them no.
Yes. While it officially expired a long time ago, the free upgrade still works - and ideally, you'd perform a clean OS install of 10 after successfully upgrading and ensuring you're still activated.
 
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Barty1884

Titan
Moderator
A quality 550w would be more than adequate. You could almost certainly get by with a quality 450-500w unit too, but for the minor price difference, I'd shoot for 550w.

The CX550 is probably the most 'budget' I'd recommend in terms of a budget price. Good quality though.
https://pcpartpicker.com/product/FdRFf7/corsair-cx-2017-550w-80-bronze-certified-atx-power-supply-cp-9020121-na

EVGAs "B3" lineup would be worthwhile option too, but looks like most of their cheaper (450-550w) units are sold out in most places, leaving the few available drastically over priced.
 

Barty1884

Titan
Moderator

Barty1884

Titan
Moderator
I'd stay away from it. It appears that this line SeaSonic isn't making themselves, but outsourcing to RSY, so I'm definitely avoiding recommending it sight unseen without a proper teardown.
Yeah, that;s how I feel about it too. While I would probably use one, trusting Seasonic and the fact they have oversight on the outsourced product, I'd stop short of recommending one without trusted reviews of the unit.
 
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Jan 6, 2020
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Non-modular or semi-modular for the CX550?

https://www.newegg.com/corsair-cx-series-cx550m-550w/p/N82E16817139147

Also, I'm not sure if it ships with a new external power cord; should I buy one separately?

-edit-With discounts and lower shipping costs the two were about the same price. I ordered the semi-modular CX550, which shoudl arrive next week. I'll see if it resolves the instability.

If problems persist, should I open a new thread?
 
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Jan 6, 2020
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Problems. Tried listening to some music this afternoon, and a number of things happened.

First the computer went into a very long reset/reboot cycle. Turned on for a second, turned off. Turned on for a second, turned off. I had to cut power at the wall to stop it. When I restore power, the computer "booted" into the same issue I'd had a few nights ago - no monitor signal, power on, power button was nonfunctional, and depressing it would not shut off PC. Had to cut power again.

I noticed a burning smell, so I unplugged everything, moved it to my repair room, and am not plugging it in again.

I think the burning smell was unrelated (might have been something outside, a neighbor perhaps); the reason being, when I got the computer into the other room, there was no smell. I popped the case open, took a look inside, and couldn't see anything obviously wrong. However, I'm not an expert on dying computers, and don't really know what I'd be looking for IF some component was getting fried.

Does this sound like a PSU failure? Will there be any way to tell if the failing component has damaged my PC via visual inspection?
 

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