At what point do you have to stop upgrading and build a whole new pc

Discussion in 'PC Purchasing Help' started by TomRL, Apr 23, 2015.

  1. TomRL

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    How long can I keep upgrading the processors and ram in a pc? How long does a motherboard type last before it's usurped by newer architecture?
     
  2. digitalwanderer

    digitalwanderer Dangerously Mirthful
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    It varies depending on the mobo, but you can upgrade that too.

    I've had the same computer since 1999, and she's rocking GTA V. :cool2:
     
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  3. Silent_Buddha

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    My main PC has been continuously updated since 1990. That's not a typo. I haven't built a complete new computer for my main PC rig in approximately 25 years. None of the current components are still the same as that original PC build, of course. But it's been a continuous upgrade process.

    As for just CPU/RAM. Depends on the platform and whether new platforms support older hardware. For example, Skylake is supposed to support both DDR4 and DDR3. So you likely wouldn't have to upgrade your RAM if you didn't want to. Whether it will work in current MB's, however, I don't know. Depends on if it supports the same socket and whether the BIOS for the MB has support for the CPU if the socket type doesn't change.

    Regards,
    SB
     
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  4. Blazkowicz

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    I've had the same motherboard since 2007, with one big CPU upgrade but it has fallen behind the times. Not good enough for modern Windows games, but it can play HD videos on the CPU.

    But some CPUs (read Intel) are good enough to last for years even for high end use, e.g. the i5 2500K is well known for this.
    Let's say you've had a socket 2011 motherboard with an i7 3820K, and now change the CPU for an i7 4930K (go from quad core sandy bridge to six core ivy bridge, both with two threads per core) then it may be good enough for the mobo to last up to ten years.
    On socket 1150, you may get a Haswell i3 and then upgrade later to a Broadwell i7 ; if you start with a Haswell i7 there's no point in upgrading it.

    But really, it depends on the use case.
    If you want to visit beyond3D's forum, use e-mail and play locally stored music (and perhaps divx movies) a CPU and motherboard from 1999 can do that. (use a linux OS with a desktop such as lxde or fluxbox). To be on the safe side I'd stick with 100Mb wired networking and HDDs up to 2 TB.
     
  5. homerdog

    homerdog donator of the year
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    I started over from scratch back in early 2012 with a completely new build, but my old rig that I built in high school (upgraded many times since then) is still going strong. Right now it has a QX6700 @3GHz, 6GB DDR2-800, 120GB SSD, GTX670, 500W Corsair PSU, in a cheap but good NZXT case. I let friends use it.

    Then I have a side project mITX build I put together in late 2012 from mostly spare parts. i5-3550, 16GB DDR3, 256GB SSD, HD7950 blah blah. Not as good as my main rig but still awesome and I let my brother use it.
     
  6. iroboto

    iroboto Daft Funk
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    There's about 3 reasons I can think of when it's time to build entirely net new, that may have happened at everyone's point in PC building:

    a) Your power supply went and totaled your system ;) This was probably a bigger issue in late 90s to early 2000s unless you were about buying power supplies that would protect your components if the PSU surged and died.
    b) Your PC has completely fallen below minimal requirement specs, GPU and CPU. Usually if you've waited this long, you're going to be swapping out a new CPU which will force you to get a new mobo and you'll need a new GPU anyway, possibly better ram, I guess it depends when you got your DDR3. Then if you don't have a SSD, it might be good time to get one.
    c) You are building a PC for a very specific purpose. For instance gaming PCs can be a bit Frankenstein, you're looking for the most performance for the least amount of cost. But building a PC for serving, or rendering etc, something that's has a specific function other than your day to day. You'll want to put that PC together differently, things like power requirements come to mind because your PC is on all day etc.

    That being said, answer to your question is probably (b). I'm actually at (b) right now. PhenomII X2 955 (unlocked to X4) with a Geforce 660, that I didn't get enough use out of. I'm just waiting for the latest hardware specs and proper DX12 FL12_1 cards to be within that price/power range and I'm overhauling my entire system. If you get the top of the line parts however, your system lasts a hell of a lot longer with no additional upgrades required.

    Luckily the consoles serve as a decent stop gap (for their price) and will for maybe a couple more years.
     
  7. Blazkowicz

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    I was "lucky" at that time, the crap PSU (300W) had its 12V drift up to 13 volts and more, so it was increasingly unstable and I had to get rid of it before it cooked the PC.
    I somehow had gotten rid of the older case and with it the older PSU. I learned that a 235 watt PSU is better than a 300W one.

    I'll add to a) : your motherboard went, and it's not really practical anymore to hunt for a compatible one. But motherboard reliability has gone way up.
     
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  8. TomRL

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    Thanks for all the answers. I didn't know the motherboard could be upgraded too. But I'm guessing if you upgraded it your old cpu/gpu's might not be compatible?
     
  9. Grall

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    Skylake needs its own new socket, just like Broadwell before it, even if you get a mobo supporting existing DDR3. ...Except of course that Broadwell has been so damn delayed now that Intel will never really get the opportunity to nail any desktop users with forced upgrades. Moving the voltage regulators onto the CPU die was a masterstroke for them, now they can force a new socket (and hence, mobo) on their customers every single generation, because the slightest change to specs will screw up backwards compatibility...

    Then again, the generations are getting longer now than in the past, so net sum might not be all that different though. ;)

    Of course, with USB 3.1 10gbit superspeed, USB-C reversible jacks, Sata Express connectors and other evolutionary improvements might also be compelling reasons to trade up to a new mobo. This summer, my current main rig will be two years old (except for the GPU, which is only about one year old), and I'm really starting to feel the upgrade itch. :p Another six months, unlocked skylake-k chips out on the market equipped with crystalwell eDRAM L4... I don't see how I could NOT want to upgrade, heh!
     
  10. Arwin

    Arwin Now Officially a Top 10 Poster
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    I build a new PC every five years or so. These days less building, more buying, because I just pass the old ones down to someone else (usually my wife). When I get the new one, I get parts that suit each other well and are still affordable, and then upgrade two or three things as they come into the right price-performance curve, and that's about it. Last time I got a slim PC and that was a great deal (quad-core, 4GB for just 399 or so), so it took a long time before a new PC of the same price could even really match it very well. I upgraded the GPU on that once, but as it required low-profile, that wasn't really enough to get it to a decent gaming level. I think I'll upgrade that one once more with an SSD once Windows 10 comes out, as right now that's its main bottleneck I think.

    I'm also thinking about upgrading my Mac Mini from 2009 to 4GB and SSD, as apparently that can still take it and that would make a huge difference. Apple still allowed me to upgrade it, but right now with 2GB and the built in HDD its near unusuable.
     
  11. Davros

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    I have a case that unfortunately is unusable
    why? because it has a sticker on it that says "OMGWTFBFGSAUCE" :(
     
  12. Blazkowicz

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    The CPU is mostly not compatible ; except in limited cases you want to change the motherboard to get support for a new, incompatible CPU. (in older times, Intel changed electrical specifications for socket 775 while staying backward compatible, so you could get a new motherboard that supported your older CPU and supported a CPU one or two generations newer ; AMD did something similar but changing the socket names from "AM3" to "AM3+" and "FM2" to "FM2+")

    The GPU on the other hand is always compatible, since the switch to PCI Express a decade ago. A few times, a new graphics has trouble working in an old or very old mobo, or it works flawlessly after a BIOS upgrade. Otherwise an older graphics card is virtually guaranteed to work in a new mobo.
     
  13. Silent_Buddha

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    I've upgraded MB mid-generation before while keeping CPU and memory. Due to launch motherboards sometimes not being as capable or supporting as many things as mid-generation MBs. These generally happen when new technology is introduced around the same time as a new CPU architechture.

    This seems to happen a lot with Intel. For example, USB 3.0 coincided with the launch of a new CPU arch., but Intel didn't support USB 3.0 for the chipset for that arch. Mid generation Intel introduced a chipset with USB 3.0 support.

    We're going to see something similar with the new USB reversible connector. I likely won't jump on early motherboards with the connector, so I'll likely upgrade motherboard mid-generation to one with support for the new USB port (assuming USB devices with that new interface are plentiful at the time).

    Regards,
    SB
     
  14. Davros

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