Upgrading a little..


Jul 21, 2009
Here's my system, now a little over 3 years old. Links included for parts I may upgrade.

Asus p6t s3 motherboard
i7-920 + Corsair Hydro H60 cooling
Corsair XMS3 6GB DDR3 1600
HD: Western Digital Black 7200RPM 1TB 32MB Cache SATA 3.0
Older Seagate 120GB holding the OS (temp fix from a failed SSD :cry: )
PSU: Xigmatek 650W

Firstly, I was having some freezing issues. After experimenting with removing my dual monitor setup, I have seen a temp drop and no freezes. Apparently this can be fixed by having the second monitor working at the exact same resolution and refresh rate. Different problem for a different day, but this card runs *hot*. So a cooler running card will be nice. My case has good enough airflow. It's not great but it's good. CPU idles at a brisk 38c (Though I attribute all of that to the Corsair cooler), and first gen i7s run really hot. Motherboard and HD temps are fine.

So first up, PSU.
I think this guy is still working just fine. Maybe 650W is a little low, especially if I'm upgrading the graphics card and running dual monitors. Sometimes when I start up it runs for a few seconds and shuts down. Sometimes the computer never posts and I notice the front fans LEDS flickering. I checked and checked and checked, there's no shorts. So just maybe the PSU needs a bump, but I'm hoping not.

HD: Thinking of adding another TB for storage, and then swapping the crappy Seagate for a Corsair SSD. I had an OCZ Vertex2. It went to sleep one day and never woke up. Last I checked this was an issue with the Sandforce Controller. I haven't done much research lately but I'd like to be able to use sleep mode, and I suppose I'd love to stay away from the Sandforce Controller.

GPU: Needs an upgrade for sure. Just get a new GTX or is Crossfire a decent option these days? My motherboard supports Crossfire, not SLI.

Ram: I want to go to 12gb. This kit is hard to find now. I'm trying to keep the voltages, timings, and CAS latency the same. Any opinions here? My 6gb is a triple channel 3x2gb. Still have 3 slots.

Thanks =]


You don't really need a more powerfull power supply.You need a more reliable one.
Either way this one is both more powerfull and reliable.
It's cheap too.
Or if you want something even better, take a look at this one

For the hard drive you can't go wrong with another Caviar Blue.
They are great drives and they're prices well too.

About the ram... finding a kit like yours is very, very hard.
So i think it's best to buy this kit instead
And increase it's voltage to 1.65V
There is no way that this can cause instability or any problem at all.

Or there's a second option.
Don't buy more RAM.Im pretty sure 6GB's are enough.

And lastly the graphics card.Your graphics card is pretty much as powerfull as a GTX 650 so i understand why you'd want something better.

I'll just make a list of cards and sort them by their performance.

Ultra High End

Option 1
Crossfire HD 7970 OC

Option 2

Option 3

Option 4

Option 5
Crossfire HD 7950 OC

High End

All of the single GPU cards above, in the same order


Option 1
HD 7870

Option 2
HD 7850

Lower End
GTX 650 Ti OC

Any of the cards listed here will be a good upgrade from the one you've got now, but since you have a pretty high-end PC i suggest you go for a HD 7870 or higher.


Jul 21, 2009
Thanks for the advice guys.

I'm going to consider the ram a little more. I never had reason to feel that I needed more, I just thought it was affordable enough these days that I could do it with little thought. Turns out I was wrong, at least in regards to triple channel kits.

I'm not sure if the power supply is the reason I was experiencing startup issues. Either way I'm due for a reformat in a few weeks so I'll revisit that when I know the OS is clean. I've never been able to trace any PC issues to this PSU and the reviews are pretty impressive for some time now. Little reason for me to doubt this unit, they're just not the most popular is all.

Another Caviar Blue is the way I'm gonna go. Not yet sure if I'll toy with any RAID setups. I've never been a fan but I heard there have been some advances in the technology. Slightly more reliable writing in regards to large drives, apparently. I'm not gonna try to understand because I probably just don't care that much :p

I may end up going a little more top-end on the graphics card than I initially intended. If my 920 has stood the test of time, then maybe I should think more long term with the graphics card. I was initially thinking this was just to get me by for another year or so, but this processor is blazing fast and cool, the ram is fast, and there really hasn't been any big technological advances that would make me need a motherboard upgrade so what the heck, let's shoot mid-high.

Maybe an HD 7870 or 7950. Or GTX 670 if I stay loyal to nvidia.

Probably gonna snag a SSD afterall. I don't need a big one. Maybe 128 GB or a 256, depending on prices. I care a whole lot more about reliability here than anything else, but the idea is of course to be super fast :p



Get a samsung 830 series 128gb or 256gb. Highly reccomend the 256gb as you will be able to store alot more games on it :D. The 7870 is a very nice card and can play almost any game on ultra, if not high