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Upgrade i3 2120 system or build new pc?

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  • Video Editing
  • Build
  • Systems
Last response: in Systems
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July 17, 2013 8:26:46 PM

I'm a former gamer who has gotten into photo and video editing. Right now I mostly use Photoshop, but plan to start using programs such as After Effects and Zbrush when the new school year starts. My current pc seems to fulfill my photo editing needs, but I know my 3d modeling and Video editing is going to max out my current pc (which is nothing special) What I basically want to know, is would it be better to upgrade my current pc (add a 3rd monitor, SSD, more ram) or just sell my current pc tower (maybe for $2-300?) and use that towards a new pc build (I am also considering selling my canon t3i and accessories to help finance a new pc build)

Right now my pc specs are



Processor Intel(R) Core(TM) i3-2120 CPU @ 3.30GHz 7.1

Memory (RAM) 6.00 GB 7.5

Graphics AMD Radeon HD 6700 Series 7.4
Gaming graphics 3830 MB Total available graphics memory 7.4
Primary hard disk 793GB Free (917GB Total) 5.9
Windows 7 Home Premium

System
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Manufacturer Gateway
Model DX4860
Total amount of system memory 6.00 GB RAM
System type 64-bit operating system
Number of processor cores 2

Storage
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Total size of hard disk(s) 917 GB
Disk partition (C:)  793 GB Free (917 GB Total)
Media drive (D:)  CD/DVD

Graphics
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Display adapter type AMD Radeon HD 6700 Series
Total available graphics memory 3830 MB
Dedicated graphics memory 1024 MB
Dedicated system memory 0 MB
Shared system memory 2806 MB
Display adapter driver version 12.104.0.0
Secondary monitor resolution 1920x1080
Primary monitor resolution 1920x1080
DirectX version DirectX 10

Network
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Network Adapter 802.11n Wireless LAN Card
Network Adapter Realtek PCIe GBE Family Controller
Network Adapter Microsoft Virtual WiFi Miniport Adapter

Notes
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What do you guys think? Does it make sense to upgrade the i3 system or use my resources for a brand new build?




More about : upgrade 2120 system build

Best solution

July 17, 2013 8:46:09 PM

How much are your resources?
Your pc is decent, and the i3-2120 is a very good dual core.

One option would be to wait and see how you do. You may possibly find that you do not need more cpu cores, 6gb may be adequate, etc.
You should be able to replace the cpu with a quad if you need to, and add ram.
Being a prebuilt, you may find it difficult to replace the hard drive with a ssd.

On the other hand, a new haswell quad will allow you native attachment of three monitors, possibly negating the need for a discrete graphics card.
You will not get much for a used prebuilt.
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July 17, 2013 9:11:53 PM

geofelt said:
How much are your resources?
Your pc is decent, and the i3-2120 is a very good dual core.

One option would be to wait and see how you do. You may possibly find that you do not need more cpu cores, 6gb may be adequate, etc.
You should be able to replace the cpu with a quad if you need to, and add ram.
Being a prebuilt, you may find it difficult to replace the hard drive with a ssd.

On the other hand, a new haswell quad will allow you native attachment of three monitors, possibly negating the need for a discrete graphics card.
You will not get much for a used prebuilt.


Thanks for the reply! For the most part I've liked my performance from the pc except when it came down to rendering in after effects. I've never actually built a pc (although I've read and watched countless tutorials) but from what I gathered, the best bang for the buck would to add an SSD drive for my OS and applications,the HDD for storage, and max out the ram. I'm guessing I would need to buy a new motherboard if I were to go this route, which would also mean a new OS. Right now I'm on medical leave due to a motorcycle accident, so I only have about a grand to spend on upgrading/a new build for the time being. I like your idea about waiting, since I'll be back to work and will know more about how my pc handles applications like ZBrush (maybe I should download a trial and see how it handles it now).

I was also thinking I could upgrade parts I could use for a future system in the meantime, such as a better GPU or even another monitor/better case until I have more information on how its going to run a program like zbrush.

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July 18, 2013 1:56:27 PM

The license for windows is tied to the motherboard. You can freely change anything except that and use the same oem key for a cloan install.
You can do this with a borrowed windows 7 dvd since they are all the same.

Your motherboard should be able to support a much stronger socket 1155 quad core cpu. Possibly a bios update may be required.

But, with a $1000 budget, you have enough to build a very strong pc buying everything new.

How strong a graphics card you can use will be determined by the psu you have, and perhaps the space available in your case.
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