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Upgrade Suggestion (CPU/GPU)

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June 24, 2013 6:55:13 AM

Hello all! I know this question gets asked a lot, but I believe I have a unique situation. I need some upgrade advice.

Currently I game on a old MSI Neo2 LGA 775 motherboard, 6 GB DDR2 RAM, with a Intel Q9550 cpu. Obviously its dated, but this old build has kept up for me. I currently have an overclocked NVidia 460 GTX strapped with a 600 watt psu. Most games run on a medium/high settings without an issue.

I have up to $600 put aside for possible upgrades. All I really want to achieve is a full 60 fps in newer games. For example, I can play the new Marvel Heroes with medium settings fine, but when I get into a 15 man group - the huge fights bring my rig to a slideshow. At first I thought it was my cpu that was causing the issues, but when I alt-tab out, my meter is only at 65%. So I am assuming here my graphics card is getting over worked.

So with all that in mind, what should I focus on as an immediate replacement? I was thinking that I should ditch the GPU in favor of something newer (Or possibly SLI/Crossfire). I know I am on a dated motherboard/cpu too though. The stats on the Q9550 arnt terrible (Quad 2.83 Ghz stock, 12 mb L2), and the board has two PCI-E x16 2.0 slots. Another reason I am leaning towards the gpu replacement first is that I was leaning on switching to AMD this round as the price tag on their 8 cores are amazing, but the motherboard manufacturers for the AM3+ socket is only utilizing PCI-E 2.0 still instead of 3. Not a huge deal, but if I am going to do a full rehaul I'd like to attempt to future proof it a bit better.

Any suggestions of my situation?
a b à CPUs
June 24, 2013 7:04:19 AM

i would upgrade to a asrock extreme 4 and i5-3570k and then get a 650ti boost if you havethe money left over
a b à CPUs
June 24, 2013 7:04:30 AM

but what is your power suply
Related resources
June 24, 2013 7:16:09 AM

GTX 460 isn't a bad card, you can see people running BF3 maxed out on this card and still get 30 fps. I would suggest getting new CPU, motherboard and ram.

CPU- i5 3570k: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($220)
Motherboard- ASRock Z77 Extreme 4: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($135)
Ram- 2x 4GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3 1600mhz: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($70)

You still have about $175 left. I would get a new PSU if the one you're using is more than 2 years old or you can sell your GTX 460 and get something like a GTX 660 Ti.
June 24, 2013 8:25:05 AM

Thank you for the input! As far as my PSU goes, I have no idea its brand/specs. It is old (2009) and I will probably be replacing it. This is probably a dumb question, but why go the 3570k route? Is there something specific that cpu does that increases performance so much? Especially in regards to my old Q9550, outside of the clock speed increase where is the big performance boost going to come from. Also that ASRock Extreme 4 seems to be popular, is this a good choice for a specific reason? On a side note - I also have noticed many users are not utilizing SLI or Crossfire as much anymore. Is it wise to buy a board that supports two PCI-Express 3 slots (like the one linked) or should I head over to a mini tower and create a micro atx build? Thanks again for everyone's reply.
June 24, 2013 8:45:09 AM

1) Q9550 is relatively old technology. i5 3570k outperforms the Q9550 on single core or multi core tasks. http://cpuboss.com/cpus/Intel-Core2-Quad-Q9550-vs-Intel...
Also you'll want DDR3 ram which means you'll need a new motherboard so you might as well just get a new CPU :) 
2)ASRock Extreme 4 is so popular because it's reasonably priced and gives solid performance
3)People still SLI and crossfire but a single modern graphics card can handle pretty much any games at 1920x1080 resolution. Also single graphic card setup is more stable.
4)I still prefer a normal ATX board because you have more room for future upgrades. A micro ATX works just as well, it's just... smaller :p 
a c 533 à CPUs
June 24, 2013 8:55:12 AM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD FX-8350 4.0GHz 8-Core Processor ($179.99 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: Xigmatek GAIA SD1283 56.3 CFM CPU Cooler ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock 990FX Extreme9 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($159.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 XT 2GB Video Card ($248.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $618.95
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-06-24 11:54 EDT-0400)
June 24, 2013 9:01:03 AM

Easy enough to understand. I like the FX-8350 myself, 8 cores for $179.99, gotta love it. My only setback with that build is that the motherboards are still putting out PCI-E 2.0, should I not concern myself with that as much?
June 24, 2013 9:04:50 AM

Not really. PCIE 3.0 gives you about 2+ FPS. There's not much real world difference.
a c 96 à CPUs
June 24, 2013 9:12:30 AM



Asus M5A99FX PRO R2.0 AM3+ AMD 990FX & Win7 64-bit
: $245 before $10 rebate
--OR--
Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3 AM3+ AMD 990FX & Win7 64-bit: $220 before $10 rebate

AMD FX-6300 Vishera 3.5GHz (4.1GHz Turbo) Socket AM3+ 95W: $120

No reason to sweat PCIe Gen3 over Gen2, but I did go with x16/x16 motherboards ... in reality, the Asus M5A97 R2.0 AM3+ for $100 would work just dandy for you. Throw in $70 worth of DDR31866 (or 2133MHz) and off yah go.

The M5A97 would leave you with over $300 for a new PSU, maybe an SSD, or my latest addition :D  the XFX Double D Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition for $220 (before $30 rebate with a copy of Crysis3)





June 24, 2013 9:15:16 AM

So in future proof terms, should I stick with the 3rd gen Ivybridge 3570k, or would it make sense to float over to AMD? It sounds like my 460 GTX isn't my issue and I'll gain steady frames more from the cpu/motherboard/ram swap. If I price out a micro atx board I can save a ton of money on both sides of the court. Is the AM3+ socket going to benefit me more?
June 24, 2013 9:45:20 AM

Also, in gaming perspectives, does the built in gpu on the 3570k give me any benefit?
a b à CPUs
June 24, 2013 9:46:58 AM

no you will never be using it it will be trashed even by a 7750
a c 96 à CPUs
June 24, 2013 10:43:37 AM


If you go with Intel, you should stick to Haswell - s1150 ... at least, you have a small shot at a future Broadwell upgrade (though not very likely at this point).

There are no guarantees, but a few AM3+ 95w FX-8XXX Piledrivers are on the market and a Steamrooler upgrade is a good possibility.

Your 460 is getting a little 'long in the tooth' so-to-speak. In the majority of gaming .... it's your video card. That's why I went with the FX6300.


edit: LOL at Steamruler :D 

June 24, 2013 5:41:02 PM

The 4th gen CPUs are 5%-10% faster than the 3rd gen CPUs. Either way it'll be a huge improvement from Q9550. That $334.98 is a really sweet deal, I would take that :) 
June 24, 2013 6:03:01 PM

I checked out some of the reviews on that PSU and a few people said it failed within the first month. I would never go cheap on the PSU, if the PSU fails it might fry all your other components (motherboard, cpu, hard disk etc). Corsair is a lot more reliable http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
June 24, 2013 6:27:22 PM

Understood. Ok with the 4th gen deal, the ram, and the psu you suggested, I'm at $499.76 as a total. Ill reuse my existing case, SSD, 460 GTX, and DVD Drive. Hopefully this brings me back to 60+ fps again.
a c 533 à CPUs
June 24, 2013 6:34:57 PM

Tier 5 - Other than the units listed above for any of these brands, NOT RECOMMENDED. Replace ASAP if you have one.

A-TOP Technology
Apevia
APEX (SUPERCASE/ALLIED)
Aspire(Turbo Case)
ATADC
Athena Power
ATRIX
Broadway Com Corp
Coolmax
Deer
Diablotek +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Dynapower USA
Dynex
EagleTech
FOXCONN
FSP Everest
HEC Orion
Hiper Type-R
Huntkey
I-Star Computer Co. Ltd
In Win
JPAC COMPUTER
Just PC
Kingwin Inc.
Linkworld Electronics
Logisys Computer
MGE
MSI
NMEDIAPC
Norwood Micro/ CompUSA
NorthQ
NZXT
Okia
Powmax
Q-Tec
Raidmax
Rocketfish
Rosewill
SFC
Shuttle
Skyhawk
Spire Coolers
Star Micro
STARTECH
Thermaltake Purepower NP
Thermaltake Purepower RU
Thermaltake TR2 (and TR2-RX)
TOPOWER TOP
Ultra X-Connect
Ultra X2 >greater than 700 watt
Ultra LSP
Wintech
XION
YoungYear
Zebronics
June 24, 2013 6:58:01 PM

SR-71 Blackbird said:
Tier 5 - Other than the units listed above for any of these brands, NOT RECOMMENDED. Replace ASAP if you have one.

A-TOP Technology
Apevia
APEX (SUPERCASE/ALLIED)
Aspire(Turbo Case)
ATADC
Athena Power
ATRIX
Broadway Com Corp
Coolmax
Deer
Diablotek +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Dynapower USA
Dynex
EagleTech
FOXCONN
FSP Everest
HEC Orion
Hiper Type-R
Huntkey
I-Star Computer Co. Ltd
In Win
JPAC COMPUTER
Just PC
Kingwin Inc.
Linkworld Electronics
Logisys Computer
MGE
MSI
NMEDIAPC
Norwood Micro/ CompUSA
NorthQ
NZXT
Okia
Powmax
Q-Tec
Raidmax
Rocketfish
Rosewill
SFC
Shuttle
Skyhawk
Spire Coolers
Star Micro
STARTECH
Thermaltake Purepower NP
Thermaltake Purepower RU
Thermaltake TR2 (and TR2-RX)
TOPOWER TOP
Ultra X-Connect
Ultra X2 >greater than 700 watt
Ultra LSP
Wintech
XION
YoungYear
Zebronics


Wow thanks for the heads up. I sure dodged a bullet.
a c 533 à CPUs
June 24, 2013 6:58:35 PM

Your welcome!!!!!!
a c 96 à CPUs
June 25, 2013 8:47:07 AM


Not to beat the ol' dead horse, but in the big scheme of things, your GTX 460 is likely holding you back more than your CPU. You are spending a great deal of cash with a marginal return in your frame rates if you continue to use that card.

I mean, you're in Radeon HD 7950 territory (with a new PSU!) or even Radeon HD 7970 or GTX 770 territory (GASP!) ...

June 25, 2013 10:15:20 AM

That is what I immediately thought - too late now. I already purchased the new intel bundle, ram, and psu. I have a bit of cash left over but a new gpu may have to wait.
a c 96 à CPUs
June 25, 2013 10:52:16 AM


:pfff: 

June 25, 2013 6:00:57 PM

Nah don't worry about it. Just YouTube GTX 460 Crysis 3/ Battlefield 3 and you'll see tons of people running those games at max settings and still getting 30+ fps. I reckon the GTX 460 can get you through 2013. If you want to upgrade then get the GTX 760, it's suppose to be $250 (cheaper than 660 Ti but faster).
a c 96 à CPUs
June 26, 2013 7:11:51 AM


Deal with it ...

You gave him terrible advice.

June 28, 2013 6:55:21 AM

If anyone is curious, my cpu/mobo/ram swap absolutely did the trick. I ended up getting the suggested RAM, PSU, and my combo with Newegg (4670k and Z87). Jokyteddy was correct when it came to my graphics card. It's not new, but it's not dated yet. My old LGA 775 board was dragging me down hard. My raids are running at 60 fps, it was amazing to see all the graphics from Marvel Heroes actually smoothly running. I don't push the effects all the way, I leave some darkness effects off due to annoyance, but beyond that everything is smooth. The new Bioshock game runs with max settings at a smooth 60 fps and League of Legends ARAM map can now run at a full 60 fps with maxed settings as well.

I do believe I will need to swap the 460 next year. Good advice there. There will be something new I am sure that will demand even more, and without a doubt I am pushing this thing to its limits.

Overall, I am very impressed with the 4670K. I know I can overclock it, but as of right now I am leaving it at stock speeds. I probably could have gotten the base 4670 (difference of like 20 bucks?), but at least I have the option now.

Thanks everyone! Great site and great forums, you guys rock!
June 28, 2013 8:54:16 AM

Glad we could help :)  Enjoy your new build!
!