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Looking for help on partial new gaming build while using "old" parts.

Last response: in Systems
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February 12, 2014 1:17:14 AM

Hey there, first time poster, be gentle :) 

Anyway, with my tax returns coming in a couple of days I really want to upgrade my current gaming rig. This build was put together on about an $800 budget, and it's really served me well so far. However, I'm noticing some glaring problems lately, which I think are primarily due to my motherboard being a bit on the cheap side of the spectrum. Anyway, I'll give a parts list, then explain some more.

Motherboard - ASUS M5A78L-M/USB3
CPU - AMD FX-8350 Black Edition
RAM - Patriot Signature 8GB (2x4gb) DDR3-1600
Hard Drive - Seagate Barracuda 2TB 7200RPM
GPU - Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3gb
Case - BitFenix Merc Alpha Black
PSU - XFX 550w 80+ Bronze
Single LG 1080p monitor

Now, for the most part this build will play games fine, but with this motherboard overclocking is just completely not an option. No matter what I do, I can't change the voltage on my CPU, and it runs stock at 1.4888 volts. No matter if I change it in BIOS or use another program to do it, it will not go any lower without complete instability in the system.

Anyway, what I would really like to do is keep the FX-8350 around, and maybe add another 7950 in Crossfire. Of course, this would mean upgrading not only the motherboard, but the power supply as well. I estimate my budget to be around $600~ for this upgrade, but I wouldn't want to go any higher than $700. Alternatively, if there is a better suggestion to fix my unstable gaming issues, feel free to suggest fixes. Would it be plausible to just upgrade to one of the newer AMD cards without causing some sort of bottleneck? Or am I safer moving over to the Intel side of things and picking up an i5 and new motherboard and just work from there? I'm really not sure what to do here, as the temperatures and volts on this 8350 make me fear for its life. I'm almost positive the motherboard is crap, rookie mistake in picking that one up to save a little cash.

Oh, and I do not need any peripherals (monitors, mice, etc), so that's not factored into the price. The parts I'd like to keep from above for sure are:

Case - BitFenix Merc Alpha Black
RAM - Patriot Signature 8GB (2x4gb) DDR3-1600
Hard Drive - Seagate Barracuda 2TB 7200RPM

Everything else is interchangeable, whatever would be the best upgrade for the price. Thanks for reading, hope to get some good answers soon :) 

a b V Motherboard
a b 4 Gaming
February 12, 2014 1:29:06 AM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

Motherboard: Asus M5A99FX PRO R2.0 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($119.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Crucial M500 240GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($122.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: PowerColor Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card ($339.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast 850W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($109.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $692.95
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-02-12 04:28 EST-0500)
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a b V Motherboard
February 12, 2014 1:29:30 AM

everything you have should run fine, but the motherboard doesnt look the best

Take a look at this motherboard. your GPU should be able to smash most games, dont see the need for crossfire

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/hmhk
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February 12, 2014 3:44:31 AM

MurrayA said:
everything you have should run fine, but the motherboard doesnt look the best

Take a look at this motherboard. your GPU should be able to smash most games, dont see the need for crossfire

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/hmhk


Yea, it should run fine, that's why I don't really understand what's going on. I see pretty big discrepancies in games that I know should be running optimally. For instance, this rig can't run League of Legends on maximum settings, which I would think should not be so difficult. On the flip side of that, Battlefield 4 multiplayer runs nigh flawlessly on Ultra, although it does push my temperatures a little higher than I would like. I do think it would be a good quality of life upgrade to only replace the motherboard, but I'm just not sure how much of a difference it will make. I've never JUST upgraded the motherboard and kept the rest of the components, so I'm not sure what to expect as far as the difference it will make in the quality of the rig. Some insight on this would be great.
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