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New build, have questions

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a b 4 Gaming
November 21, 2013 8:02:35 AM




I have a budget gaming/school/autocad/solid works/media PC. My PC has replaced everything in my livingroom, I use it for everything from gaming now to watching movies and shows with the kids. I have 5 kids and no money but do want to upgrade my system slowly. So I have a few questions for you.

I have a AMD fx-8350 cpu, asus m5 a97 "le" r2.0, xfx dd hd 7870, corsair 55, Seagate 1 tb hhd x2, corsair xms 8gb ram, rosewill stallion 700w psu, inside a rosewill redbone case. All costed about $600 after windows, parts, keyboard/mouse, just everything said and done was about $600.

As far as my thoughts on upgrading components:
-case - its far to small, wont fit a decent radiator, its just far to limited
-mobo - its a le, 4 pin power, no vr cooling
-hhd - no ssd yet, and I have them in laptop and know theyre blazing fast
-gpu - its a mid-low end graphics, plays my games now but for how long

So 2 part question for you guys:
1) As far as saving and upgrading, which would make the most sense and in what order, as far as spending money and getting something from it. this build has been the best budget/performance I could find and got pretty much everything on a newegg combo for $500 after MIR. Not the parts I would've picked, but at a price point I couldn't even come close to.

2)I'm leaning towards mobo first and probably a sabertooth unless you guys can recommend a good mobo for overclocking that runs cheaper. I plan to OC and try and hit 5GHZ, will be getting custom liquid cooler eventually and don't plan to upgrade mobo 'again' after this.

But I also see hd 7870's going for $130 now down from $200, and realize theyre being phased out, so should I try and save quick and buy a 2nd gpu to sli while I can still get the card and cheap? or should I just wait for games to become unplayable on mine and then just get the best I can afford then? Mine now plays COD ghosts just fine on max, but for how long?

So if you guys could please just give me some input on what next steps to do, and keep in mind I wont be going out tonight and making any purchases, but would like to know which you think should be upgraded first, and/or what your other thoughts and opinions for me and my setup in general are.

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a b 4 Gaming
a b B Homebuilt system
November 21, 2013 8:29:25 AM

Cooling aside, overclocking a FX-8350 to a stable 5GHz would require you to have a really good chip. Even with water cooling, hitting a stable 5GHz is really tough. I just want you to know that.

Secondly, water cooling is expensive and requires a lot of patience, as with overclocking. So if you haven't got money to spend, I would not go this route. The money you waste on water cooling can be put to better use.

I have really just one question for you: what is a Corsair 55?

That aside, I would upgrade the motherboard, graphics card, and power supply. For the motherboard, I would go with an Asus M5A99X R2.0 EVO. For graphics card, I would recommend a single card like the R9 280X, which is a top-end card for a really good price of $300. You can try to sell your existing HD 7870 for some cash into the R9 280X. If not, CrossFireX is an option. And the Rosewill Stallion isn't a good quality PSU. It's built by Solytech, which has not been known as a quality PSU OEM. A quality 550W by Seasonic, XFX, Corsair, PC Power & Cooling, or Antec is sufficient for HD 7870 in CrossFireX configuration.
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a b 4 Gaming
November 21, 2013 9:13:38 AM

ksham said:
Cooling aside, overclocking a FX-8350 to a stable 5GHz would require you to have a really good chip. Even with water cooling, hitting a stable 5GHz is really tough. I just want you to know that.

Secondly, water cooling is expensive and requires a lot of patience, as with overclocking. So if you haven't got money to spend, I would not go this route. The money you waste on water cooling can be put to better use.

I have really just one question for you: what is a Corsair 55?

That aside, I would upgrade the motherboard, graphics card, and power supply. For the motherboard, I would go with an Asus M5A99X R2.0 EVO. For graphics card, I would recommend a single card like the R9 280X, which is a top-end card for a really good price of $300. You can try to sell your existing HD 7870 for some cash into the R9 280X. If not, CrossFireX is an option. And the Rosewill Stallion isn't a good quality PSU. It's built by Solytech, which has not been known as a quality PSU OEM. A quality 550W by Seasonic, XFX, Corsair, PC Power & Cooling, or Antec is sufficient for HD 7870 in CrossFireX configuration.


Yes, I realize 5Ghz is like the ultimate goal, with tweaking and a lot of time and patience, plus might never hit it. I'd just used that as a reference to why if/when I upgrade id like to get a mobo capable of hitting that mark. Why spend $130 now and possibly $180 again down the road. Learned my lesson which is why I have to upgrade 1 month in.

Water cooling is expensive and requires patience, but im a full time student now, 6months -1yr down the road price will not be an option.

I've looked and liked that mobo, and it goes on some decent sales, would you know the differenece between the R2.0 evo and the pro? And what the major difference between those and a sabortooth, as believe the sabortooth to be the beast, so is it worth the added $50 if your already spending $130?

Corsair H55, sorry about that, its the water cooler I have. I had purchased and received the corsair H100i with my build, but now way was it going to fit in the case no way no how. So ran to local Best Buy and all they had was a H55 which I grabbed so I could finish build and not leave it half assembled for a week or so waiting for shipping on a better cooler.

Yes saw the R9 280x and price and wished I would've waited, that said mine does play every game ive tried at full 1080p max setting and good frames, fraps 65-85. If it were just as easy as selling mine and buying that one I would do it. But I do not have $300, trying to scrape up $100-150 for an single component upgrade now, so id either have to sell mine first, then not have one at all until I bought and installed a new one. My house doesn't have cable, and we use Netflix, hulu, plus I have a couple thousand DVD's, most of which are ripped onto HHD.
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a b 4 Gaming
November 21, 2013 9:18:30 AM

Oh, and as for PSU, I've just learned today that it wasn't good, I thought it was. I don't think its the best thing to be upgrading now, but I have added it to my list and will be upgrading when I can. Really makes me feel bad that I thought this pc bundle was a good deal and just upgrading the case was the only con, now found mobo to be crap, case is still crap, psu is junk, graphics card is a mid-low which I knew so that's good I guess, ram is slow, so pretty much I got a decent processor, hhd, and cd rom. haha, wow def glad I bought this over building the one I picked all components for. This bundle was $500, vs the intel with what I thought was similar specs $900. Thought the main dif was i5 and fx which neck and neck blow for blow. Boy was I wrong. Ill spend at least the money saved on upgrading junk parts on this bundle, to decent ones. Lesson learned
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a b 4 Gaming
a b B Homebuilt system
November 21, 2013 9:50:09 AM

The Pro can run dual GPU configuration in x16/x16 vs the x8/x8 for the EVO. There's currently no bottlenecking in x8/x8, so you're fine with that. The Sabertooth would allow you to overclock a bit better. How much so, I don't know. But it definitely isn't worth the price IMO. Especially when you're in a price/performance mindset.

The Corsair 300R or Cooler Master HAF 912 are great budget cases that have plenty of room and good build quality.

I don't think RAM speed affects your performance a lot. Most apps are not memory-sensitive. If you're looking for a snappy computer, then a SSD would be a good upgrade option. Of course, not a must so it's probably the last thing you'll upgrade to.

As time goes on, all builds will go through the same upgrade paths. Really comes down to your needs. The R9 280X is a great card for a very strong competitive price, but it's not your only option. The GTX 670, which is a strong card, can be bought for about $250.
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a b 4 Gaming
November 21, 2013 12:36:39 PM

ksham said:
The Pro can run dual GPU configuration in x16/x16 vs the x8/x8 for the EVO. There's currently no bottlenecking in x8/x8, so you're fine with that. The Sabertooth would allow you to overclock a bit better. How much so, I don't know. But it definitely isn't worth the price IMO. Especially when you're in a price/performance mindset.

The Corsair 300R or Cooler Master HAF 912 are great budget cases that have plenty of room and good build quality.

I don't think RAM speed affects your performance a lot. Most apps are not memory-sensitive. If you're looking for a snappy computer, then a SSD would be a good upgrade option. Of course, not a must so it's probably the last thing you'll upgrade to.

As time goes on, all builds will go through the same upgrade paths. Really comes down to your needs. The R9 280X is a great card for a very strong competitive price, but it's not your only option. The GTX 670, which is a strong card, can be bought for about $250.


Again, thank you, I think since the pro is only a $10 difference normally I will probably go that route then, since you say the sabertooth really isn't that big of a step up for the price difference. So thanks for saving me some money there. I see the evo and pro are on a good sale now on new egg, don't think I have enough yet, but will watch for those deals again when I have a little more $. Looked at both cases and like the direction your going with those.

As far as the graphics card, I'm currently happy with mine but thought they might be phasing them out for the new ones. But found only the 7900's are being phased so I will probably just wait on gpu until the one I have now starts bottlenecking my gaming, which I guess at 1080 is fine now and I can always play on 720 for a while if I don't have the means to upgrade that right away.

But again thanks for all your help, you definitely earned the best answer award from me, and saved me money in the process.
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