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Which CPU and what is the best graphics card to last a long while?

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June 11, 2013 6:10:29 AM

I'm upgrading my HP Pavilion p7-1245 to run better for gaming. I'm not in the budget to buy a full out gaming computer like I'd like, but I am in the budget for upgrades.

Here's the sepcs:
http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/Document.jsp?objectID=c03168381&lang=en&prodSeriesId=5187022

I've decided to go with:
Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2x4GB) for RAM
Corsair Enthusiast Series for power supply

But am now trying to decide on two things:

What graphics card would be the best upgrade, not for now but also later down the road, right now I have the Raedon 7450 and am hoping to stick with AMD. I've looked at the 78xx and the 79xxs, any suggestions? And which company? I'm looking at the 2gb.

As for processor I've looked at i7-2600 (recommended by HP) and FX-4300, but for that I'd have to switch out my motherboard.

My question is would it be worth it to just switch out the motherboard to something better and get a better processor? If so, what else would need to be upgraded? And would it even be worth it? Or should I just stick with the recommended or...

Thanks for the help. It's greatly appreciated.

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June 11, 2013 6:16:52 AM

If you have an intel MB, the i7-2600 is not bad...if you want to switch to AMD, look at the FX6350 and a 970 series MB.

For the most future proof card at this time, I would say the HD 7990, if you don't want to drop $900-1000 on a GPU, then go with the HD 7970 GHz edition. It will be quite impressive for some time to come.
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June 11, 2013 6:24:16 AM

For gaming, i5 2500 offers better performance/price ratio. As for VGA, I'm more concerned about what PSU are you using.
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June 11, 2013 6:27:48 AM

napoleonwrasse said:
I'm upgrading my HP Pavilion p7-1245 to run better for gaming. I'm not in the budget to buy a full out gaming computer like I'd like, but I am in the budget for upgrades.

Here's the sepcs:
http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/Document.jsp?objectID=c03168381&lang=en&prodSeriesId=5187022

I've decided to go with:
Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2x4GB) for RAM
Corsair Enthusiast Series for power supply

But am now trying to decide on two things:

What graphics card would be the best upgrade, not for now but also later down the road, right now I have the Raedon 7450 and am hoping to stick with AMD. I've looked at the 78xx and the 79xxs, any suggestions? And which company? I'm looking at the 2gb.

As for processor I've looked at i7-2600 (recommended by HP) and FX-4300, but for that I'd have to switch out my motherboard.

My question is would it be worth it to just switch out the motherboard to something better and get a better processor? If so, what else would need to be upgraded? And would it even be worth it? Or should I just stick with the recommended or...

Thanks for the help. It's greatly appreciated.


According to the motherboard support page the best processor you can buy that is currently selling retail is the i3-2120.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The fast quad core selling for Sandy Bridge is the i5-2380P but I did not find any information on compatibility with your motherboard. You can also buy the i7-2600 used from Ebay or Amazon. Buying the i7-2600 would be your best bet if you didn't want to make major upgrades/changes to your system.


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June 11, 2013 7:50:57 AM

You can buy the i5-2500 for $248 at Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004EBUXI0

It's actually more expensive than the i5-2500k which goes to show that CPU prices can actually increase after the production run has ended. This is not because Intel decided to increase the price or demand retailers to sell above street price so that Intel benefits from price gouging. Intel only makes money on the CPUs shipped to OEMs / ODMs / and retailers. What they charge to their customers is their business.

The most logical reason I can come up with is that retailers know that most PC sold are from brand names and they do not allow you to overclock the CPU and the motherboard's BIOS only supports specific CPUs.

I would Google around to see if the less expensive i5-2500k ($220) can be used with your HP PC. You will absolutely not be able to overclock it, but perhaps someone out there decided to install the i5-2500k simply because it is cheaper than the vanilla i5-2500.
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June 11, 2013 8:08:34 AM

As for the GPU, that ultimately depends on:

1. The PSU you are buying
2. Your expectations
3. Your budget
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June 11, 2013 8:33:22 AM

Thanks for all the advice.

I think I'll go with the i5-2500 then.

For PSU I was looking at this one:
here

For graphics card I want a card with at least 2gb Video Memory and I'm not going to need to replace it in 3 years (if possible).
I was mainly looking at the
7850 vs the 7970
And trying to decide which brand.
Amazon has a good deal on the Sapphire 3gb 7970 (I have yet to look else ware), but I've also heard good things about the 7850.

Is there a best brand to buy from?

My budget is flexible. I'm upgrading as I have the money and am willing to spend the extra cash if it'll last longer and is more reliable.

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June 11, 2013 8:37:48 AM

Sapphire, Asus, and HIS are probably the 3 best vendors for AMD...and of course...AMD itself as well. Though they haven't done much beyond the HD 7990 and HD 7970 GHz edition as far as I know this generation.

The 7970 GHz Ed. would be the most "future proof" The second nomination I would make would be the HD 7870XT (Same GPU as 7970 with lesser specs). Both of those would be good.
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June 11, 2013 8:51:51 AM

I think the 7970 Ghz ed. it is then.
There seem to be some prices under 500, so that should work out.

A PSU of 650 should be plenty then? Or would it be better to just go for the 750?

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June 11, 2013 8:54:46 AM

750W would give you a bit of "breathing room" for the future...650W would be enough...but if you upgrade later you may want to look at going to a higher wattage PSU.

Just make sure you get something that's at least 80+ Bronze Certified, the efficiency is well worth it.
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June 11, 2013 8:54:55 AM

napoleonwrasse said:
I think the 7970 Ghz ed. it is then.
There seem to be some prices under 500, so that should work out.

A PSU of 650 should be plenty then? Or would it be better to just go for the 750?



For just 1 7970ghz/gtx770 or even a GTX780 ( your motherboard doesn't support xfire/SLI anyway ), the TX650 would be more than enoug.
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June 11, 2013 9:01:37 AM

I think, I'll take the breathing room since I'l probably upgrade later down the road. The price is 30 bucks more on Amazon. Worth it.

Thanks every one for all the help!

I think the i5-2500 and the 7970 GHz ed.
Is what I'll go with.
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June 11, 2013 9:22:41 AM

Based on Newegg prices, the least expensive Radeon HD 7970 sells for $360 after rebate. It has 3GB of RAM. It also comes with 4 free games; Tomb Raider, Far Cry 3, Blood Dragon and Bioshock (I assume it's Bioshock Infinite). However, it is not the 1GHz version, the clockspeed is 925MHz.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


It's direct competitor is the recently released GTX 770 which sells for $400. No bundled games and no rebate. It is overclocked.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



The GTX is the more powerful graphics card as shown in the following performance chart which is basically a summarized performance of all games tested at 1920x1200 resolution. The link to the review is below as well. Basically the Gigabyte GTX 770 OC card is the baseline at 100%. A Radeon Radeon HD 7970 has overall 82% of the performance of the OC'ed GTX 770, while the 1GHz Radeon HD 7970 has 93% the performance of the OC'ed GTX 770.

Review: http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Gigabyte/GeForce_GTX...



Flipping those numbers around, that basically means the OC'ed Gigabyte GTX 770 is 22% faster than the Radeon HD 7970, and is 7.5% faster than the 1GHz Radeon HD 7970.

Based on the lowest priced Radeon HD 7970 ($360) vs. the OC'ed GTX 770 ($400); the GTX 770 costs 11.1% more, but you get a 22% overall performance gain. Therefore, the GTX 770 offers the better price / performance ratio. Click the link to the review I provided above to view the specific game benchmarks.

Below is the least expensive 1GHz Radoen HD 7970 I was able to find on Newegg which sell for $400 (plus the 4 free games).

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Since both the OC'ed Radeon HD 7970 and GTX 770 are selling for the same price ($400), the GTX 770 still offers the better price / performance ratio since it is 7.5% faster overall.

The one thing that AMD has an advantage over nVidia is the game bundle. If you already have them or if you are not interested in them at all, then it does not make a difference. However, if you are planning to buy any of those games, then it might make a difference. In the long term though from a performance perspective, the GTX 770 will last you longer the Radeon HD 7970 which mean you may replace your graphics card later rather than sooner if you were to go with the HD 7970, thus saving money in the long run. However, don't forget the games AMD is dangling before you.
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June 11, 2013 10:03:33 AM

I seeing the numbers really helped thank you.
Switching to Nvida hadn't crossed my mind.
I just read a few articles. I see what you mean. I also like that it's quiet.

The games are a moot point, I'm looking for long term function.
It's all about the numbers. And those are better.

A few questions:

When buying Nvidia is there a company that is the best?

I'm thinking about TX750 PSU, will this serve me in the long run (the card requires 600) if I upgrade or should I go for the 850?

Thank you for taking the time to point this out and run the numbers. I really appreciate it. It has really helped make the choice much simpler.
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June 11, 2013 10:16:45 AM

eVGA is the best brand in my opinion.

If it make any difference at peak power and maximum power, an OC'ed GTX 770 consumes 40w less power than the 1GHz Radeon HD 7970.
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June 11, 2013 10:39:11 AM

Thanks. I'll go with them then.

750W should be more than plenty then. And by the time I end up upgrading who knows what we'll need.

Everybody thank you very much for all your help. I think I've sorted this out.
Thanks again.
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June 11, 2013 12:02:15 PM

The 750w PSU is fine.

------------------------------------------

I also want to correct an error in my above comparison post. The 1GHz Radeon HD 7970 actually only has 89% the performance of the OC'ed GTX 770. I had originally stated it was 93% (for the stock speed GTX 770). That means the OC'ed GTX 770 is almost 12.4% more powerful than the OC'ed HD 7970.
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June 11, 2013 12:24:16 PM

You can buy the XFX HD 7970 GHz Ed for $389.99 + like 4 games. You can buy the EVGA GTX 770 OC for $419.99 + 0 games. 9% increased cost for about 10% performance...? I would say that comes down to preference...it's not like either one would be noticeably different.

Besides...the HD 8970 is around the corner, and it's supposed to be 30% faster than the 7970. If you're comparing apples to apples, AMD's '12 GPUs still compare to Nvidia's '13 GPUs...but the new AMD GPUs are going to be considerably better...again.
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June 11, 2013 1:11:40 PM

I read both these to get a little more info.
770
7970

Would it be better to wait then for the 8970?
Just upgrade my processor and RAM, now and hold off on the other upgrades.


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June 11, 2013 1:27:26 PM

You could...HD 8970 is coming 3rd-4th Quarter.
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June 11, 2013 1:57:57 PM

I might, because that will last longer than the current cards because it is a future card.
Thanks.
Oh it'd probably be easier sticking with AMD since my computer is set up for it.
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June 11, 2013 1:59:27 PM

No problem man...Good luck :) 
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