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Windows 7: Is PC heart replacement practical?

15 Oct 2016   #1
AlanRR

Windows 7 - 32bit
 
 
Is PC heart replacement practical?

My pc is running out of power - or more precisely I am running ever increasingly more powerful video editing software - so I need to acquire more power.

8 years ago I built the system - and it still works just as perfectly as the day it was built. All I really need is more/faster memory and a faster more powerful processor.

I am thinking - can I replace motherboard processor and memory - and continue to use GPU card case PSU keyboard mouse 2xscreens speakers HDs etc?

It would be lovely to think that replacing only those items that it would all power up and continue running W7 as though nothing had happened, but I do accept that a W7 rebuild may be necessary (it lives on its own partition so that's not too much of an issue).

In time screens HDs spkrs etc may be replaced but the motherboard is the heart of the system so hence the title. I may also upgrade to 64bit but undecided atm.


Any thoughts out there? False economy? Compatability issues? Driver issues?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
15 Oct 2016   #2
Mellon Head

Win 7 Pro x64/Win 10 Pro x64 dual boot
 
 

You can definitely upgrade the motherboard, CPU and RAM and still use other, older components. Unless your video card has a PCI bus interface (which I doubt), you should be fine.

Keep in mind though that if you change the motherboard you will need to reactivate Windows. This is fine if you have a retail copy, but if you have an OEM version you may not be able to reactivate it. At least without a phone call to Microsoft. Even then, they may not allow you to reactivate Windows 7. Hopefully, you have a retail copy of Windows 7.

And if you change motherboards, and reinstall of Win 7 is the suggested thing to do. Sometimes you can get away with just updating the drivers and are good to go, but little gremlins can sneak in. I've always found it best to reinstall. If you reinstall, definitely upgrade to 64 bits.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Oct 2016   #3
AlanRR

Windows 7 - 32bit
 
 

Thanks for that. I have retail W7 so no problems there. My video card does have pci bus interface (Asus GT640) and I don't understand why this might be a problem. Do newer MB not support this any more? Sorry if dumb question.

Thanks for your help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

15 Oct 2016   #4
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

PCI Express is the common video card interface now.

Most current Intel CPUs have integrated video. You can build the PC without any video card at all and evaluate that and decide if you want to get a separate video card. I have not used a video card in 7 or 8 years.

If your power supply is say 5 or 6 years old, you might consider replacing it.

Your case should be OK assuming it is standard ATX. Your old drives should be OK unless they use the old-fashioned "ribbon" cables.

Are your current keyboard and mouse USB? Some current motherboards have both USB and PS/2 interfaces.

Generally--what you are trying to do is fine, assuming the older components other than CPU, memory, and motherboard still work as advertised and have the appropriate connectors/interfaces.

You'll have to decide whether you have over-clocking intentions to properly decide on a CPU.

Some Intel CPUs do NOT include a cooler, but most do. You can go with the stock cooler assuming you have no serious overclocking in mind and are not particularly sensitive to fan noise.

I don't know your budget, but cases have improved in the last 6 or 8 years. You don't see many 80 mm fan mounts on cases anymore. Many cases no longer have a DVD drive mount. But from a sheer functionality standpoint, your current case is likely serviceable.

I'd certainly go to 64 bit unless you had a really peculiar situation.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Oct 2016   #5
AlanRR

Windows 7 - 32bit
 
 

Thanks for your reply - re video card, I use GT640 to drive 2 monitors and hopefully soon to expand that to HDTV as well via the HDMI feed.

My psu is just coming up to 8 years and I am hoping that todays lower power requirements might mean he will do for the time being.

Case is standard ATX and all drives are sata (ribbons were IDE were'nt they?). Mouse and KB are usb cordless.

Still loads of spec details to consider inc mobo, cpu, quantity and speed of ram etc, and possibly psu if the loads don't work. This is not going to be cheap but to retain (for the time being) the bulk of the bits softens the build cost.

Thanks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Oct 2016   #6
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Yes, power requirements are falling. The typical PC under heavy load isn't likely to go much beyond 100 watts exclusive of the video card. I've got a powerful processor (6600K) and no video card and couldn't use 200 watts under any conditions and rarely even 100.

Yeah, ribbons were IDE.

You'll probably end up with DDR4 RAM. I went with 8 GB since I never use more than 4 or 5. Most people will point you to 16 GB. Re RAM speed--there's a point of diminishing returns and somewhere near 2666 seems to be the sweet spot, assuming you aren't in a "money is no object" mode.

I'd personally be wary of an 8 year old PSU, depending on brand/model, regardless of anticipated load. Is that Corsair an AX, HX, CX, or??

You appear to have an SSD for the OS, so you should be set with that.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Oct 2016   #7
AlanRR

Windows 7 - 32bit
 
 

PSU is 520W Corsair HX series modular psu - one careful owner

Not quite in a 'money no object mode' but pc is such an important part of our lives - runs all day most days - saves us a lot of money and would be totally lost without it. Actually saves us more money a year than its running costs (inc broadband) and plans are to go fibre connection at very similar net costs in near future.

You're correct - SSD holds OS and may consider more as older HDDs need replacement - no moving parts has a certain appeal.

Your comments and help very much appreciated.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Oct 2016   #8
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

I think the Corsair HX 520 is made by Seasonic, a premier manufacturer, so it may well be fine for years yet to come.

I'd probably come to a decision on budget, CPU, and overclocking and then find a motherboard from Asus/Gigabyte/Asrock that had the features I needed. Then decide on RAM believed to be compatible with that specific motherboard.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Oct 2016   #9
chefduane

Win 7 Home Prem x64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by AlanRR View Post
My pc is running out of power - or more precisely I am running ever increasingly more powerful video editing software - so I need to acquire more power.

8 years ago I built the system - and it still works just as perfectly as the day it was built. All I really need is more/faster memory and a faster more powerful processor.

I am thinking - can I replace motherboard processor and memory - and continue to use GPU card case PSU keyboard mouse 2xscreens speakers HDs etc?

It would be lovely to think that replacing only those items that it would all power up and continue running W7 as though nothing had happened, but I do accept that a W7 rebuild may be necessary (it lives on its own partition so that's not too much of an issue).

In time screens HDs spkrs etc may be replaced but the motherboard is the heart of the system so hence the title. I may also upgrade to 64bit but undecided atm.


Any thoughts out there? False economy? Compatability issues? Driver issues?
What you want to do is pretty much exactly what I did to my machine last year. I started with SSD's then upgraded the MB to the Asus M5A97R2, AMD FX6350 Vishera 3.9ghz, fans/cpu cooling stack, bumped up the memory to 16g, PS to 750w, and then the GPU. I took a few days to let each component burn-in before I moved to the next. The only thing that remains from my previous machine is the case. Everything went pretty smoothly and I was able to do a clean install of W7SP1. Nice clean fast machine I now have. Also... sold off the other components to defer some of the costs of the new stuff. Just take your time, have a plan AND budget, and since you have previously built a system, all should go just fine.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Oct 2016   #10
AlanRR

Windows 7 - 32bit
 
 

Thanks for those words of encouragement - I think nerves is the biggest issue to overcome as I'm basically playing with a system that's not actually dead and still works as well as it ever did - and you know what they say about things that are not broke....

My prime motivation is more power to handle video editing, video encoding, ISO creation. Should this be steering me towards any particular flavour of mobo/cpu or would a good dose of raw power (Core-i7 DDR3/4 ram) pretty much do the job? Playing videos and very much most other tasks I do are handled quite adequately with the present kit. From time to time I get into ray-tracing which I guess would also benefit from the upgrade.

Back to the mobo hunt and the cpu hunt and the memory hunt - spec checking - vendor selecting etc.

All words of encouragement / caution / advice etc are very welcome.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Is PC heart replacement practical?




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