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upgrade cpu/ram/mobo/hdd/ssd or just GPU

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July 16, 2013 3:12:44 PM

trying to game crysis 3 max 1080p single monitor and metro last light with no SSAO but physx on.Also BF4 , BF3, witcher 2, upcoming releases

What would get me the best benefits now? i only have about $530 max i wanna spend. Ill spend whatever I dont get now in a few weeks to completely upgrade.

my current rig is:

Phenom 965 stock 3.4ghz
4gb ddr2 corsair
Gigabyte mobo
150gb hdd
Gtx 560ti
650watt antec earthwatts psu
Corsair h60 cooler


This is my question basically for all you guys, do these upgrades listed below seem like ill get the most bang for my buck , or should I just get a GTX 770, and upgrade cpu/mobo/ram/hdd/ssd later?

HD - Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200 RPM HDD
MOBO - ASrock z77 Extreme4 1155
CPU - I5-3570K Ivy Bridge
RAM - Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB DDR3 SDRAM 1600 (PC3 12800) Low profile timings 9-9-9-24
SSD - Crucial M4 64GB SATA III


****All this comes to 518 on Newegg with the free RAM deal w/ z77 mobo****

Solid choices? I think so. lemme know what you guys think :D 

many thanks

a b à CPUs
July 16, 2013 3:17:54 PM

Well, if you upgrade only to a 770, your cpu will bottleneck it for sure.
Are you overclocking?
Can you list the exact motherboard? The model and such.
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July 16, 2013 3:23:08 PM

i cant suggest gpu upgrade because there will be bottleneck from phenom

i cant suggest your combo too
HD - Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200 RPM HDD
MOBO - ASrock z77 Extreme4 1155
CPU - I5-3570K Ivy Bridge
RAM - Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB DDR3 SDRAM 1600 (PC3 12800) Low profile timings 9-9-9-24
SSD - Crucial M4 64GB SATA III

no haswell and z87, no 128GB ssd
believe me, you dont want 64GB ssd
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a b à CPUs
July 16, 2013 3:23:34 PM

Looks like a good list to me, except Crucial m4 is over-priced. It's the lowest performing modern SSD. Samsung 840 and Sandisk Ultra Plus are faster and actually cheaper too! You can see benchmarks on Anandtech. No need to buy the fastest SSD, but silly to spend extra for a slower drive.

Chaos is right about bottlenecking, though you absolutely need a GTX770 for maxing Crysis 3 at 1080p. A GTX560 Ti with the other upgrades won't cut it. So I'd say grab the card and hopefully bottlenecking won't be too excessive. Like I say, a GTX560 Ti will never do it (even with new CPU etc), but a GTX770 MIGHT do it.

EDIT: And +1 on SSD capacity - I didn't even notice that's a 60GB! I'm using an old 80GB and after MiB/MB conversion, installing Windows, few basic bits of software and over-provisioning I'm left with 30GB for games.
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July 16, 2013 3:25:13 PM

realchaos said:
Well, if you upgrade only to a 770, your cpu will bottleneck it for sure.
Are you overclocking?
Can you list the exact motherboard? The model and such.


I turned back my 4.2 ghz oc on my 965 BE recently cuz it was going for a few years and then started blue screening a ton !!!! My current mobo is the gigabyte ga-ma790x ud4p
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July 16, 2013 3:26:02 PM

you're in a rough spot.

what about a high end amd cpu ( list board as stated ) and a bigger card? and maybe double up on the ram?

the items you listed are better but you need to either spend more or upgrade what you have.

list operating system and current ram.
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July 16, 2013 3:27:37 PM

sam_p_lay said:
Looks like a good list to me, except Crucial m4 is over-priced. It's the lowest performing modern SSD. Samsung 840 and Sandisk Ultra Plus are faster and actually cheaper too! You can see benchmarks on Anandtech. No need to buy the fastest SSD, but silly to spend extra for a slower drive.

Chaos is right about bottlenecking, though you absolutely need a GTX770 for maxing Crysis 3 at 1080p. A GTX560 Ti with the other upgrades won't cut it. So I'd say grab the card and hopefully bottlenecking won't be too excessive. Like I say, a GTX560 Ti will never do it (even with new CPU etc), but a GTX770 MIGHT do it.

EDIT: And +1 on SSD capacity - I didn't even notice that's a 60GB! I'm using an old 80GB and after MiB/MB conversion, installing Windows, few basic bits of software and over-provisioning I'm left with 30GB for games.


Thanks for the reply ! :) . I'm curious as to if there's a better ssd you could recommend to keep the budget under 530? Or rather just scratch it all and get the hgpu and HOPE bottlenecking won't be too much of an issue
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July 16, 2013 3:27:48 PM

Here's some CPU benchmarks for Crysis 3:

http://www.techspot.com/review/642-crysis-3-performance...

Your Phenom II X4 965 is very close to the 980 listed here. Performance isn't too bottlenecked at all. GTX770 is a little faster than the GTX680 here though this is testing medium settings - ultra should shift the load more to GPU anyway.
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July 16, 2013 3:30:22 PM

swifty_morgan said:
you're in a rough spot.

what about a high end amd cpu ( list board as stated ) and a bigger card? and maybe double up on the ram?

the items you listed are better but you need to either spend more or upgrade what you have. "


Current ram is gskill ddr2 800 4gb.

Windows 7 - 64bit
list operating system and current ram

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July 16, 2013 3:44:57 PM

highc1157 said:
swifty_morgan said:
you're in a rough spot.

what about a high end amd cpu ( list board as stated ) and a bigger card? and maybe double up on the ram?

the items you listed are better but you need to either spend more or upgrade what you have. "


Current ram is gskill ddr2 800 4gb.

Windows 7 - 64bit
list operating system and current ram



you run raM IN PAIRS?

what is the motherboard?

if you up the ram ( eventually ) and put a 8350 on the board ........... if you check local prices we can work on a card.
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July 16, 2013 3:45:20 PM

Update, I only have about $350 to spend
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a b à CPUs
July 16, 2013 3:47:49 PM

Save another $50 and grab that GTX770. Check out the CPU / bottlenecking benchmarks I linked ^
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July 16, 2013 4:12:39 PM

sam_p_lay said:
Save another $50 and grab that GTX770. Check out the CPU / bottlenecking benchmarks I linked ^


thanks! from what it looks like the bottlenecking wont be too bad if i get the 770 and keep my 965. Ill OC it moderately to about 4 and see how that goes with games like Crysis 3 and Metro last light maxed out
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a b à CPUs
July 16, 2013 4:21:32 PM

buying a 770 with your current processor is a waste of money.
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a b à CPUs
July 17, 2013 1:15:24 AM

swifty_morgan said:
buying a 770 with your current processor is a waste of money.


Somebody hasn't checked their facts. Take a look at that link. GTX680 with Phenom II X4 980. They're using medium settings too which will shift far more bottleneck to CPU than the ultra settings the OP is intending (which shift bottleneck to GPU).
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July 17, 2013 1:29:45 AM

I am still very confused what to do ! So many different opinions ! :) 
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July 17, 2013 1:35:33 AM

sam_p_lay said:
swifty_morgan said:
buying a 770 with your current processor is a waste of money.


Somebody hasn't checked their facts. Take a look at that link. GTX680 with Phenom II X4 980. They're using medium settings too which will shift far more bottleneck to CPU than the ultra settings the OP is intending (which shift bottleneck to GPU).


what facts? that the 965 can't push the 770? I don't care what settings he's playing at. A 7850 or a 7870 would be a more balanced card for that system.
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July 17, 2013 1:39:11 AM

I'd recommend saving your money up. Right now you're at 350$. You can't afford top notch stuff or close to it so you won't really be "future" proofing. You'll be able to afford one or two things then you're still not going to reach your goal. I'd say save, if you don't like that option get the 770 and save for the rest of the parts.
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July 17, 2013 1:56:30 AM

swifty_morgan said:
sam_p_lay said:
swifty_morgan said:
buying a 770 with your current processor is a waste of money.


Somebody hasn't checked their facts. Take a look at that link. GTX680 with Phenom II X4 980. They're using medium settings too which will shift far more bottleneck to CPU than the ultra settings the OP is intending (which shift bottleneck to GPU).


what facts? that the 965 can't push the 770? I don't care what settings he's playing at. A 7850 or a 7870 would be a more balanced card for that system.


The article I linked. It's testing exactly what we're talking about with almost identical hardware at settings that INCREASE CPU bottlenecking. Have you even followed the link? And have you even read the initial post? OP wants to max Crysis 3 at 1080p. You think a 7870 will do that? You really need to start looking at benchmarks and not just coming up with baseless theories. Let's try and stick to benchmark-based facts.
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July 17, 2013 2:52:44 AM

OK swifty_morgan is now sending me abusive PMs (seriously, one was just name-calling and nothing else). He's also admitted he hasn't even looked at the evidence I've given (claims there's too much on the Internet to bother reading everything). So I wouldn't take him too seriously. He disappeared for ages the last time the regulars kept proving him wrong. He kept making himself look like an idiot by continuing to argue when irrefutable facts and benchmarks proved him wrong. And then he gets angry and starts name-calling.

How old are you anyway swifty? I'm just curious.
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July 17, 2013 2:58:58 AM

yeah lets just be real, if your wanting to play one of the best looking games out right now on max settings youre going to need to upgrade more than just your gpu. The 560 isnt a terrible card per say but for what youre looking for in gameplay youre gunna need a liitle beefier of a build. 4gb of ram is mimimum too 8 would help alot
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July 17, 2013 4:51:04 AM

Another suggestion would be replace your CPU/Mobo it'll be around 350-400 range (With a haswell and z87). Keep your current card and upgrade once the new 800/8000 series or 700/7000 series. If you're that limited with funds upgrade slowly and don't expect the best FPS or quality until you're done upgrading.
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a b à CPUs
July 17, 2013 12:01:15 PM

The phenom will bottleneck the GTX 770, especially if you don't overclock the phenom.
It's just not right to pair an $80-90 cpu with a massive $400 gpu.
Look at this: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/crysis-3-performanc...
It's being paired with a GTX 680, which is nearly the same as the 770.
It didn't bottleneck as much as I thought it would, but it still bottlenecked. Even the i3-3220 (duo core) processor performed better.

As stated in the article and I quote, "We can't recommend anything less than a Core i5 to gamers building a PC capable of handling this game"
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a b à CPUs
July 17, 2013 1:06:07 PM

This tells a very different story:

http://www.techspot.com/review/642-crysis-3-performance...

Wonder why the results are so different? That's a 980 instead of a 965 but they're almost identical - AMD just bumped up the clocks a bit (by 8%). You can see from the FX8350 overclocks/underclocks they did that an 80% clock speed increase and it only gave 10% framerate increase. So with 8% clock difference, the two Phenoms are gonna be near identical.
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a b à CPUs
July 17, 2013 1:27:46 PM

No. The results are different because it's medium quality.
The results from Tomshardware uses high quality, which makes it more cpu and gpu heavy.
Again, it still seems wrong putting a $400 gpu with a $90 cpu. You can ask anyone here. If you have a gpu that costs 4x more than your processor then you're doing something wrong.
The OP can get a GTX 770 now but it won't be running at 100%. However, it'll still provide great fps.
After awhile, the OP can get a new processor, motherboard and ram which will bring much more fps due to no bottlenecking.

Also, I think you're mis-interpreting the FX-8350. The 80% clock increase (2.5ghz - 4.5ghz) gave more than a 10% fps increase. It gave a 40% fps increase (48-67). The 10% listed in the article is the 4ghz to 4.5ghz.
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July 17, 2013 2:16:43 PM

You're absolutely right - that's much better scaling :-) Though that would still suggest a only a 4% framerate boost from an 8% clock speed boost.

The difference has to be down to quality settings like you say. And typically, increasing quality settings shifts bottleneck away from CPU towards GPU (where you want it). That's why CPUs are generally tested at lower quality and lower resolution so the bottleneck is squarely on the processor. That said, it does seem that Crysis 3 enables some CPU-intensive stuff as you step up the quality settings.

I agree about the GTX770 now to enjoy most of its potential, and then unlock the rest of its performance later with a new platform.
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