Upgrade Advice Please ~

So I've been planning on upgrading my system

Current system : (before you ask why I didnt make a PC part picker list, its because half the parts I have can't be found on there anyways, since I bought it at Best Buy when I just got out of high school)

 AMD Phenom II x4 820 2.8GHz,

in an HP microATX case,

with a Corsair CX600M power supply,

a HIS 7870 GHz edition,

1TB + 2TB HDD,

and 8GB DDR3 Ram (Speed: PC3-10600 MB/sec)


For awhile I was planning on upgrading my system in a sort of piece by piece fashion upgrading parts as I got the money for them until I had a monster that looked something like this. http://pcpartpicker.com/p/28JS9 . I would vary a little on things like Ram and which brand of 290 etc but you get the idea. 

So recently it was my birthday so I have all that money to spend on upgrades atm. Now I'm at the point where I'm ready to replace the CPU, MoBo and Case all together. I figure changing those 3 out all at once is probably best so I can test to make sure neither my MoBo or CPU are derpy out of the box.  Manufacturing warranties are cool and all but it's probably easier to deal with having the store replace it in the 15/30 day period right?

Unfortunately as it turns out I'm a bit short of being able to grab an 8350, Sabertooth and a Phantom all at once, but my birthday is conveniently placed next to nice sales so that helps =x

So I figured out of my aprx $340 budget, if I grabbed an 8320 (from micro center which is close enough to my house) for 110$ after taxes etc and the Phantom (from Amazon) which is also on sale atm for $110 after taxes etc I could probably convince my parents to loan me the $50+ to get the Sabertooth esp if it also goes on sale in the near future. 

My main goal is to game at pretty close to max settings on 1440p for the next few years.  I would also like testing the water with streaming and stuff but gaming is definitely my priority.  Once I get a better CPU cooler later down the line I'm willing to try OCing a bit to bring it closer to an 8350 but I won't be trying to ramp out every last drop of performance out of it.  I'd be pretty happy with myself getting it somewhere in between honestly. 

Now that you have my life story and all that jazz here are my main questions I've been stuck on.

  • Given my end goal should I compromise on getting something a little less nice then the Sabertooth since I'm dropping the 8350 down to an 8320 or is having a good MoBo even more important since I might end up OCing it up ?
  • When I do change out my internal HDDs to my new system am I going to have to reformat them?
  • If no, will my current version of Windows just transfer over as well?
  • Is it possible that I can just back it (Windows 7) up on a flash drive or something and load it onto my new system?
  • If these questions seem weird its because the only thing I really know about OS is that its saved on the HDD.
  • This ones a bit for shits and giggles but ~ Let's assume the worst and the 8320 I get has like zero OC headroom, would it be able to handle something like TWO 290s if I ever started making mad money - honestly if I got to that point I'd have money to sell and replace parts but I am curious =x

Tbh I would put Linux / Steam OS on my machine if I was more savvy and it would let me play ALL of my games, but since that's not an option atm I would probably acquire Windows through other questionable means (coughpiratecough) until I can pay for it if I can't just transfer it over >..>...

Annnd thank  you for reading my probably much longer then necessary blurb

When you change out motherboard and cpu you need to reinstall windows from scratch. Boot the cd/dvd/flash w/e you use to install and go that way.

One thing you should change is the ram never populate all your dimms like that 4 x 4. There is some sweet deals on ram at the 8GB x 2 config. Look for the 2133 or 2400 speeds.

If your going to over clock later look at getting some closed loop cooling like a corsair H series or the kraken x60s. 

Tweaked your build a little and saved up some money.


Ah main problem with that in terms of the OS is that it was pre-installed and thus no CD to load it from, which is why I'm wondering if there's a way I'd be able to back it up or something and install it that way

Why not use all of the dimms? One of the few things I know about ram is that 'dual channel' or running in pairs or whatever runs better but beyond that I just figured 4 is just two sets of 2 >..>....

I also put 4x4GB cause they seem to have better CAS latency and timings were lower which I remember Logan mentioning was better in a video somewhere. The actual model is more of a place holder cause it's one of the more expensive ones just so I know whats the most I should expect to pay when I finally get to upgrading my RAM.

Also why get 2133 or 2400 ram speeds when the the Sabertooth only supports up to 1866...? It would just downclock it to make it compatible right ? But what are the benefits in doing that?

The difference between 2 and 4 dimms when gaming is practically nill. Most games even BF4 only use about 2-3gb of ram. In the future if you want to upgrade you have 2 slots free. You always want the most ram in two slots first. The price was the same almost either way might as well fill 2 slots now and 2 slots later then fill all 4 and be stuck with only half the maximum memory.

That's my bad I thought the saber was the same as the crosshair v formula board. Same chip set funny why it supports only up to 1866.

Your current OEM install is tied to your old hardware. Even if you managed to transfer the hdd to the new system the OS would detect a new cpu and not boot. The old machine is the only machine that can have that copy of windows on it. Its in the EULA of that machine if you care to read it.