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PC Upgrade thoughts.

Last response: in Components
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November 18, 2013 3:29:58 AM

So this is my rig.

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 965 BE @ 3.8Ghz
GPU: Gigabyte HD 7950 Windforce 3X (GV-R795WF3-3GD)
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws 8GB (2x4GB) 1333Mhz
MOBO: Gigabyte GA-970A-UD3
PSU: Coolermaster GX 550W
HDD: Seagate Barracuda 500GB 7200RPM 16MB CACHE
CASE: GMC H-80

on a Philips 227EL 1920x1080 monitor.

I'm mainly using my pc for gaming, browsing, movies, some word/excel/powerpoint work (not extreme usage of them, just some basic staff).
The gaming experience I have with it (after upgrading from a GT640 to HD7950) is perfect, but I'd like to boost the overall performance of this computer.

So my thoughts are:

Should I go for a SSD?
Add more and/or faster RAM? Like adding 2x4GB @ 1600Mhz? (is that even compatible?)
or
Save my money on upgrading to a good CPU/MOBO combo?

What do you think?

More about : upgrade thoughts

November 18, 2013 3:51:06 AM

I had the 965BE running @ 3,7GHz and I used it with my current configuration: a 2GB HD6950 and the Sabertooth 990FX R2.0 paired with an Eyefinity configuration.
If I were you I would DEFINITELY add something like a 120GB(at least) Samsung 840 EVO. I own the 128GB 830 and the performance improvement is really noticeable.
Your motherboard supports SATA 6Gbps so you should enjoy the benefit of having an SSD. The 840 EVO is actually faster than the 830 so the performance delta should be even higher.
I upgraded to the FX-8350 and my gaming performance went up by about 20FPS in GTA IV @ 5040x1050 and that's only from upgrading the CPU (the Phenom wasn't overclocked).
After getting an SSD you could upgrade your CPU. Your motherboard supports the FX-8350.
Given the nature of your usage pattern, the SSD would improve a greater part of your everyday tasks. I also do video rendering & video+ audio editing - going from the 965 to the FX-8350 (or get the 8320 and O.C. it to 4GHz) improved performance considerably too - I would still recommend getting an SSD first and then a CPU.

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a c 130 À AMD
November 18, 2013 4:23:19 AM

What's the budget? I agree with 3ogdy about both the sdd and about the FX 8350 being great upgrades.

You could get a FX 6300 and a 120ssd for just barely more money than the 8350 alone. The FX 6300 would be a decent upgrade from your 965BE, or the 8320, which is a better value than the 8350 considering they are the same chips, just clocked differently. The 8320 is usually $30-40 cheaper.
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a c 130 À AMD
November 18, 2013 4:24:33 AM

Do not waste money on slightly faster RAM. You will notice zero difference.
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November 18, 2013 4:48:49 AM

Hmm. I just upgraded to 7950 so I don't have a budget right now.
I need ideas to know what should I save up money for.
Considering your thoughts (both of yours), I ended up in that conclusion.
Get a decent SSD (like the 840 Evo that 3ogdy mentioned), which is kinda cheap in my country (70 Euros, can find it slightly cheaper at a sales-period), then get a better CPU. The 8320/8350 seems a good choice (can't decide which one now, since they are pretty much the same chip as you said, just different clocks, will pick-up one considering my budget at that time) *BUT*
Since I'm pretty much -ok- with my current CPU right now, do you think I should wait for the new technology coming out from Intel? (I think it's called broadwell, might be wrong).
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a c 130 À AMD
November 18, 2013 4:54:28 AM

Get a ssd now, and if you're not in a hurry, wait to see what next year will bring in cpus(Kaveri, Steamroller, and Broadwell)

There is very little performance difference between any of the sata III 120/128GB ssds out there. Get which ever one is cheapest at the time, or get the one the best warranty if you're afraid of failure.
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November 18, 2013 5:05:20 AM

Well, the Kingston V300 is the cheapest one, but EVO is only ~5 Euros more, and according to the search I've made till now, the samsung's reliability is way bigger than Sandforce SSDs.
3 Years warranty is enough for me I guess, don't think it's really worth it spending 50/60 more euros on a 840 PRO to get a 5 year one.

Thanks for your answers guys, you helped me so much.
I'll swing an 840 EVO for now, and I'll wait for the new technologies to come out (as goes for the CPU pick-ups).
I might swing a quality psu in the meantime too :p 
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November 18, 2013 5:06:29 AM

Well, let me get something clear:
When it comes to SSDs, most offer about the same level of performance at similar pricepoints. We're talking reliability here - mix performance & reliability in the same product and you have your perfect choice. (which in my opinion would be the 120GB EVO - or any other higher capacity EVO drive).
If I were you I'd take advantage of AMD's situation - they assured us to release at least one more architecture for the AM3+ socket. Take advantage of that in Q2 2K14.
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