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Windows 7 planning on upgrading motherboard, cpu, and ram. just some simple questions about what to get.


New Member
Jun 12, 2011
So first off, my current computer was made about 6-7 years ago and these are the current specs.

Windows 7 32bit home premium.
AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ 3.1Ghz dual core
AMD Athlon 6850 1GB GDDR5

now this system has been great for me, and still is, i can even run skyrim on high and easily get 60FPS. But time has come that games are finally really requiring quad cores so it's time to do an upgrade.

Now i don't care about having 60FPS on ultra-insane-ihavewaytoomuchmoney setting. i just want to be able to play things on high/ultra and get 30-60FPS depending on the game. and have good performance for photoshop/illustrator and some 3d.

I'm planning on upgrading the motherboard, ram, and processor. I have about $400 to work with and i've been using cyberpowerpc.com as a way to base what i'm looking for, and i've pretty much decided on the motherboard and ram but i'll post them here in case anyone has any better suggestions within the same price range.

Motherboard: Asus M5A97
Amazon.com: ASUS M5A97 R2.0 AM3+ AMD 970 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard: Computers & Accessories

RAM: 8GB 4x2GB Kingston HyperX. i've always been told that more chips is better hence the 4x2gb, but if thats no longer true then i'll get the 2x4gb.
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Now processor, heres the real kicker for me, i've been looking at the AMD FX6100 and 6200 and i've seen many people bash both and praise intel and well i just don't like intel and i don't have the money to get the ones they recommend.

PC Gamer just gave the FX-6200 a 91/100 and an editors choice, so thats pretty much all i need, but i wonder if i really NEED the 6200 and if i'd be okay with the 6100 and saving $25. or if the boosts in the 6200 is really worth it. $25 isn't much, but it's still $25.

6100: Link Removed

6200: Link Removed

And lastly, any and all recommendations to help make the computer quiet. this thing gets insanely loud so i'm looking for any possible recommendations from silent fans, to possibly even some of the sound foam or anything.

So that went on for a bit but hopefully as with everytime i come here i'll get some nice help and suggestions. thanks in advance.
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A couple of comments. First, while it is true Intels tend to cost more, it is important to keep in mind the CPU is but one component you must buy. So after factoring in the cost of the motherboard, case, RAM, power supply, drives, operating system (and keyboard, mouse, monitor(s) and speakers), the difference between an AMD and an Intel system is not very much. And since Intels as a whole line (with a few exceptions, of course) tend to be more efficient and generate less heat, the cost can easily balance out over the life of the computer.

People bash things they don't understand or can't have, or because they think it trendy or cool to bash. That's silly as either AMD or Intel will make an excellent platform for your computer.

The important thing you need to remember is once you decide on a AMD or Intel, then decide on a motherboard, you need to look at the motherboard's QVLs (qualified vendors lists) of compatible CPUs and RAM. Understand you need to pick a CPU from the list, but there are too many RAM makers and models for mobo makers to test and certify them all. So for RAM, you need to buy RAM that matches listed RAM. Your QVLs are located here.
RAM: 8GB 4x2GB Kingston HyperX. i've always been told that more chips is better hence the 4x2gb, but if thats no longer true then i'll get the 2x4gb.
Well then, you've always been told something not true. Get 2 x 4Gb.

And lastly, any and all recommendations to help make the computer quiet. this thing gets insanely loud so i'm looking for any possible recommendations from silent fans, to possibly even some of the sound foam or anything.
Cooling and sound suppression are the responsibility of the case. So get a good case. I like the Antec Three Hundred. It is reasonably priced, very well built, sturdy, "true" (exactly 90° bends), lots of large (120mm or larger) fan support, including a 140mm “blowhole” (top) fan. It is not flashy, plus it has removable, washable air filters. I will never buy a case again that does not have removable, washable air filters. And I like a case to sit quietly and discretely off to the side and not draw attention to itself. Therefore, I don't like fancy facades that go out of style, or flashy bright lights that do nothing for performance, consume some power, generate some heat, and do nothing for performance - worth repeating. After all, I tend to pay attention to what's on my monitors, and not what my case is doing.

If budget allows, the Antec Nine Hundred Two V3, with its monster, but silent 200mm "blowhole" (top) fan is hard to beat - even with its blue LEDs.

I don't see a PSU listed. Don't try to cut budget corners with a budget power supply. Make sure you buy a supply from a reputable maker and that it is Link Removed certified. I prefer Corsair and Antec PSUs.

Lastly, I don't see an operating system listed. A common mistake is some users assume they can use their old Windows license on a new computer or when upgrading their motherboards. Understand only a "boxed" full Retail license can be transferred to a new computer (or upgraded motherboard). It is illegal to use an OEM license that came with or was purchased for one computer on another computer. A disk “branded” with a computer maker’s brand name, or is labeled with “OEM/System Builder”, “Upgrade”, “Academic Edition”, or "For Distribution with a new PC only", is not transferable to a new PC (or upgraded motherboard) under any circumstances. These OEM licenses are inextricably tied to the "original equipment". So if that is the case, I recommend 64-bit Windows 7 or one of the many free Linux alternatives. Just ensure it is 64-bit since you have selected 8Gb of RAM. Note I am just the messenger stating the facts here. This is all in the EULAs we agreed to abide by when we first used our OEM software.
Guess i should of mentioned but i already have a case and PSU, the only things i'm planning on upgrading is the cpu, motherboard, and ram. The case i have is an Alienware Predator 2. bought it off their site a couple years ago when they still sold them, and replaced the previous and very loud/open case i had before. And i love this case and it is much quieter, but it could still be quieter still. And mostly i think it's just the case fans making the noise because even when i'm just sitting on desktop not doing anything it's loud, an i can barely here the CPU/video card fans when playing games. Though it does raise the temperature in the room pretty good lol

The case came with it's own powersupply that i believe is around 650, i'm not 100% sure if there is anyway to find out i'd check and let you know.

i don't have the money to do everything, and i really want to keep my current case. Honestly the only reason why i'm even doing this now is because some games are finally requiring quad-cores so it's finally time to upgrade. i have a budget of only $400 for everything so for me it's just the 3 items and thats it.

Kinda glad to know what that the RAM thing isn't true as 2x4GB is almost $15 cheaper.

Since you have so many fans in your case, is there a particular one you recommend, since I'm looking to try and replace both in my case with quieter fans.

I was not aware that changing a motherboard would require a new OS but i guess that does make sense. I was planning down the road a bit to get an OEM windows 8 since my system is currently 32bit and i'll need to do a full installation anyway to get 64bit. guess i'll have to look into that for now.

Honestly i didn't want to do any of this until next summer, but the computer is starting to have some issues. photoshop is crashing and having trouble saving large files, couple new games require quad cores, and the computer keeps freezing when i try to put it to sleep which i've read is usually a hardware problem. and since my current motherboard is prone to issues (didn't know at the time) i'm assuming thats the culprit and i want to just get everything upgraded now.
I was not aware that changing a motherboard would require a new OS but i guess that does make sense.
It has actually always been that way, but often ignored. The reason why is because the motherboard is really the heart and soul of the computer. So when the motherboard is upgraded, it is considered a new computer.

As for your fans, there are many quality brands to choose from. The main thing is the bearings. Sleeve bearings tends to be cheaper, wear out faster, and make more noise. Precision ball or fluid bearings are quieter.

The better fans actually use aerodynamics to maximize flow with a minimum RPM - thus reducing noise. Antec makes quality fans. Since more and more PCs are being integrated into home theater systems, "silent running" PCs have become popular. You might have a look here:

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Quiet PCs | Quiet & Fanless Computers
yeah that does make a lot of sense and i don't doubt that it's been ignored. Well luckily i'll be upgrading to windows 8 anyway, just evidently a lot sooner.

Good to know, i'll be sure to look for those types and thank you very much for the links. i know on my case theres only so much i can do but at this point when it's louder than all the ambient noise, i kinda want to do what i can.
Well, certainly better fans well help. And getting the largest fans your case will support makes a huge difference because larger fans move more air, but at a much slower RPM.

But more fans does not automatically mean better cooling. More fan can create turbulence when what you want is flow - typically front to back flow through the case.