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Intel i7-2600k processor and a Radeon HD 6950 card

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January 24, 2014 10:39:06 AM

My son built his own gaming computer a few years ago.It has an Intel i7-2600k processor and a Radeon HD 6950 card.He thinks he needs to upgrade.
He is a pretty heavy gamer, some video.
Any suggestions?
a b 4 Gaming
January 24, 2014 10:44:46 AM

Just upgrade the graphics to R9 280X or GTX770 or better.

Depending on how much memory is in the computer, if for example only 4GB, might want to go to 8GB or 16GB.
However 8GB is generally enough.

The i7 2600k should still be fine.
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a b 4 Gaming
January 24, 2014 10:48:44 AM

rvilk is correct! The 4770k is only slightly faster than the 2600k. The 2600k also overclocks like a beast! Get some aftermarket cooling for that sucker and OC it. 8GB of RAM is the sweet spot for gaming. And yeah upgrade that video card because those have improved a lot. The biggest difference with CPUs is the power draw, speed hasn't really increased.
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January 24, 2014 10:50:52 AM

he has 16GB. Looking at the GTX780.
Would adding an SSD improve gaming response?
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January 24, 2014 10:51:12 AM

I wouldn't bother, no CPU upgrade is needed. And even if going to a 4770K, you would only notice an improvement if you benchmarked and recorded the results. The difference in power consumption is negligible(95 vs. 84). Plus the soldered construction of the 2600K is superior. Intel has since switch to a cheap thermal paste.

A new graphics card generation is coming, 20nm. So you might as well wait as this point. The code name for the Nvidia cards is "Maxwell", with Radeon cards sure to come as well. Some of the 1st cards out(low end) may be built on the current 28nm process.

I'd look for the successor to the Radeon 7970/280X or GTX 680/770.
At this point the expensive 780 would be a terrible investment. It's likely to be graphically as powerful as a mid-range Maxwell GPU.
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January 24, 2014 10:51:29 AM

I would agree my 2600k holds well with direct comparison to my friends 4770k when we had the same gpu i would match or beat him in gaming type benches. So a new gpu or ssd would be worth while.
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a b 4 Gaming
January 24, 2014 10:56:17 AM

An SSD will help with load times but not FPS. However if you have an i7 you should get the SSD because they are fast and awesome. What resolution monitor is he gaming at? The 780 is overkill if your screen is only 1920x1080. If you have a 27" 2560x1440 though the 780 is well worth it. If its just 1080p get a 770 or R9 280x and save your self some money to spend on that SSD. 8)
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a b 4 Gaming
January 24, 2014 11:10:03 AM

You can compare the HD 6950 with the R9 280x (aka HD 7970) here:
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/product/508?vs=510

The upgrade should improve your fps by about 50%, give or take some depending on game/res/settings.
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a b 4 Gaming
January 24, 2014 11:20:50 AM

Nice!!! That's a 100% improvement then :) 
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Best solution

a b 4 Gaming
January 24, 2014 11:38:40 AM

Agree with the suggestions so far, the system is still a VERY capable one and with a suitable graphics upgrade your son will get at least another couple of years out of it, probably even more.
With money being tight all around you might want to consider the GTX760, it's still a big improvement but won't bite quite so deeply into the credit card.
The AnandTech comparison doesn't show either the GTX770 or 760, this review does: http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/NVIDIA/GeForce_GTX_7...
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a b 4 Gaming
January 24, 2014 11:55:31 AM

coozie7 said:
Agree with the suggestions so far, the system is still a VERY capable one and with a suitable graphics upgrade your son will get at least another couple of years out of it, probably even more.
With money being tight all around you might want to consider the GTX760, it's still a big improvement but won't bite quite so deeply into the credit card.
The AnandTech comparison doesn't show either the GTX770 or 760, this review does: http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/NVIDIA/GeForce_GTX_7...


And in case you want to use the same comparison tool to diff between 760 and the 6950, use GTX670 instead of the GTX760. Their performance is pretty much equal.
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January 24, 2014 7:14:31 PM

Wow, what an amazing response to my question. This is a great forum.
Well, after much discussion with my son, including reading through these posts, he wants to "invest" in the GTX 780ti. EVGA GeForce GTX 780 Ti Superclocked, 3GB, 3072MB,GDDR5 384bit, Dual-Link DVI-I, DVI-D, HDMI,DP, SLI Ready Graphics Card (03G-P4-2883-KR) Graphics Cards 03G-P4-2883-KR
Yeah I know, complete over kill. But it is his money. At least we convinced him to stay with the i7-2600k.
One of the posts here mentioned OC on the 2600. He is now off on that tangent. Any advice on that is of course appreciated.
Thanks again for the great responses.
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a b 4 Gaming
January 24, 2014 7:26:19 PM

Make sure your PSU can handle the GTX 780 Ti. You need something rated 600W or more and able to deliver 42A on the 12V rails.
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January 24, 2014 7:30:43 PM

He has a "Corsair Gaming Series 700-Watt 80 Plus"
that should do it.
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a b 4 Gaming
January 25, 2014 4:29:54 AM

Overclocking can be hazardous but like anything potentially hazardous it can be done safely if:
Overclocking pushes the hardware beyond its official limits and generates more heat, it is essential to get a better CPU cooler installed before beginning, which leads us to item 2.
Do research, don't just dive in and start making changes.
If in doubt, don't (good life advice as well). ;) 
Proceed carefully and methodically.
Make no changes to the voltages, at least to start with, this is the one change that can damage the CPU or RAM instantly.
Post for detailed advice in the Overclocking Forum or Google how to overclock that particular CPU.

Like you say, it's his money and the GTX780Ti is a massively powerful card but the non Ti version 780 is better value.
No problems with power, that Corsair has plenty, even for a overclocked system.

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January 25, 2014 6:01:38 AM

ChicoBEL said:
Wow, what an amazing response to my question. This is a great forum.
Well, after much discussion with my son, including reading through these posts, he wants to "invest" in the GTX 780ti. EVGA GeForce GTX 780 Ti Superclocked, 3GB, 3072MB,GDDR5 384bit, Dual-Link DVI-I, DVI-D, HDMI,DP, SLI Ready Graphics Card (03G-P4-2883-KR) Graphics Cards 03G-P4-2883-KR
Yeah I know, complete over kill. But it is his money. At least we convinced him to stay with the i7-2600k.
One of the posts here mentioned OC on the 2600. He is now off on that tangent. Any advice on that is of course appreciated.
Thanks again for the great responses.

Installing a new cooler and overclocking the CPU could be a good learning experience. It is certainly useful if he learns how to change coolers and learns how to do overclocking. He won't really feel the increase though. The i7 2600k has plenty of power for any game you throw at it.
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