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Suggested upgrade to future build advice/discussion sought

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  • Systems
Last response: in Systems
April 30, 2014 4:46:26 AM

First post, and hopefully what follows is clear. Having difficulty in deciding upon a potential new build and wanting advice from those who know better about my desired choices and actual needs (of which I am sure there is a discrepancy). Advice is much appreciated.

Approximate purchase date: upgrade: impending. New build: end of year (undecided)

Budget range: new build: approximately £600 (excluding cost of monitor) including OS.

System usage: gaming, word processing, internet browsing, DVD/Blu Ray. (General entertainment and work purposes.)

Are you buying a monitor: yes. (Likely a Dell Ultrasharp U2412M.)

Parts to upgrade:
Impending (temporary upgrade): GPU (r9 270x or GTX 750 ti), monitor (Dell Ultrasharp U2412M).
Full build: CPU, motherboard, GPU (from temporary upgrade), 8GB RAM (CPU and motherboard dependent), HDD (Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB), Noctua NH-U12S, OS (Windows 7 64-bit).

OS: required (likely Windows 7 64-bit); currently using OEM Windows Vista.

Websites for parts: Amazon.co.uk (often the cheapest for parts in UK); possibly ebuyer.com

Location: UK. (Few local stores for PC components, those that do stock are expensive compared to etailers like Amazon or ebuyer.)

Parts preference: none as such. Have heard problems with nVidia drivers from a friend which is a bit off-putting, though have also found updating drivers for my HD 4830 problematic (until I installed Steam). Would like lower power consumption.

Overclocking: unlikely, but nice to have the option.

SLI or Crossfire: unlikely (feels like overkill for my needs).

Monitor resolution: 1680x1050 (current); intend to upgrade to 1920x1080 (1920x1200 preferred).

Additional comments:
Current PC specs (general): Q6600, HD 4830, 3GB RAM, 1680x1050 monitor, Coolermaster SilentPro M (600W), 250GB HDD, Vista 32-bit, Blu Ray drive. Coolermaster HAF 922 case.

I have three particular new builds in mind: one Intel (1150), two AMD (AM3+ or FM2+). All will reuse my current PSU (unless inadequate), Blu Ray drive and case.

The Intel build (ideally centred around an i5-4670k) would be the most powerful, but also be too expensive I feel. Given I may not overclock (never have done), a k series CPU may (will?) also be wasteful (hence a Z87 motherboard may also be somewhat redundant except for other usable features).

Likely components for Intel build: i5-4670k, MSI Z87-GD65-Gaming motherboard.

An AM3+ build (likely FX-6300 based) seems to strike a good balance between performance and price. Though there seems to be no refresh of the chipset for the AM3+ socket, as such the 990FX chipset seems to limit the features available (compared to Intel build).

Likely components for AM3+ build: FX-6300, Asus Sabertooth 990FX revision 2 motherboard.

The FM2+ build is inspired by a GamersNexus article. Given some backwards compatibility I could buy an older CPU (still more powerful than my Q6600 it seems), with upgrade potential later should the new APUs become increasing powerful and Mantle being widely supported.

Likely components: Athlon X4 760k, Asus A88X-Pro motherboard.

As a result I have been stuck as to which option to go for in a new build. My first steps are the GPU and monitor as they can be reused for any new build I do ultimately decide upon (plus I could use them with my current PC).

GPUs considered are the r9 270x or GTX 750 ti. I like the GTX 750 ti due to its low power draw, but am aware the r9 270x outperforms it graphically.

I also intend to get a CPU cooler rather than use the stock cooler which comes with the CPU; likely the Noctua NH-U12S due to its size, performance and quietness according to reviews I've read. (Hopefully allow for some taller RAM so I don't have to worry about physical compatibility of components so to speak.)

I intend to purchase 8GB of RAM (speed is heavily dependent upon the motherboard; likely will run it on stock at 1600MHz).

My concern for the 1150 and AM3+ builds are the perceived limited futures of both sockets. Intel seems to use a new socket for a new generation of CPUs regularly (making upgrades limited in my mind), and AMD seems to be shifting towards their APU strategy (the current FM2+ socket and AM1) with the AM3+ being left behind it feels. With these two it feels like the idea would be to get the best possible build for that socket knowing I won't be able to upgrade much in the future; I'm uncertain that an upgrade to an i7 from an i5-4670k or from an FX-6300 to an FX-8350 is really worthwhile. Whereas with the FM2+ socket there still are upgrade options (from an X4 to a Kaveri, though this is reliant upon Mantle fulfilling its potential and being widely adopted; at least for the games I want to play on PC); computationally it isn't much compared to the i5 and FX but it's the graphically potential which I am drawn to (dependent on game developers).

Budget-wise the FM2+ build entices me the most. For under £600 I could get an SSD as well.

Any CPU upgrade I will eventually make is an improvement upon my current Q6600, as is any GPU upgrade given the age of my core hardware.

Reasons to upgrade:
PC was originally store bought and intended as pure work orientated which did the job (previous PC had slowed to a halt). Work is just basic document work (so Microsoft Office).

Didn't start gaming on PC until about 2010 with Dragon Age: Origins, which I had to upgrade the GPU and PSU (and case), and that upgrade did the job satisfactorily. Currently into Skyrim which seems to test my current PC. Future games I will be interested in are likely from BioWare (so Dragon Age: Inquisition), Bethesda, and CD Projekt (Witcher). I have no interest in the FPS genre like Call of Duty and the likes (tried, can't get into them).

Wanting to use PC for general entertainment now, but not as a HTPC form factor (though I suspect my requirements has that leaning), with an emphasis on games. Need a new monitor to watch Blu Rays (or any HD stream due to HDCP and whatever DRM they throw our way) as current monitor is VGA input only. Given the audio issues I am having there is a possibility the motherboard is on its way out (a lot of crackling, buzzing and booming from speakers). This may hasten the need to build a new PC.

A quiet(er) PC at load would also be good.

More about : suggested upgrade future build advice discussion sought

April 30, 2014 5:00:22 AM

Well for 600, you should get into 1080p. Try an Asus 24 inch 1080p, 1 or 2ms, 60Hz monitor
With a bit of luck you can keep that Coolermaster power supply. It's 80plus Bronze certified and made by Enhance Electronics.

The R9 270X is the more powerful between it and the 750Ti.

Your Intel build will be further upgradeable. But not the FX6300. You'd need at least an 8320 to be able to hang onto it for long.
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April 30, 2014 5:13:11 AM

If your intended time frame is end of year - many new/refreshed cpus/mobos will be out by then. You will have to revisit before you purchase.
-Bruce
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April 30, 2014 5:21:43 AM

i7Baby said:
Well for 600, you should get into 1080p. Try an Asus 24 inch 1080p, 1 or 2ms, 60Hz monitor
With a bit of luck you can keep that Coolermaster power supply. It's 80plus Bronze certified and made by Enhance Electronics.

The R9 270X is the more powerful between it and the 750Ti.

Your Intel build will be further upgradeable. But not the FX6300. You'd need at least an 8320 to be able to hang onto it for long.


Thanks for the reply. I have some reservation of my PSU (age mainly), and I'll likely have to get a new one at some point. I am hoping it holds out long enough (which is why the GTX 750 ti is attractive).

I agree the FX-6300 is probably somewhat limited in power and for future games.

What further upgrades would you suggest for the Intel build? (Is it a bottlenecking issue between CPU and GPU?)
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Best solution

April 30, 2014 5:27:21 AM

http://uk.pcpartpicker.com/p/3Bgpx

4570 instead of 4670k since you are not likely to over clock
Cheaper Z87 MB
8GB RAM
WD 1TB hard drive
770 instead of 270X or 750 ti = lots more graphics power
LG Bluray reader/ DVD/CD writer

Total:
598.94 pounds

Did I miss any thing?
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April 30, 2014 5:27:37 AM

dish_moose said:
If your intended time frame is end of year - many new/refreshed cpus/mobos will be out by then. You will have to revisit before you purchase.
-Bruce


Yes, I am aware of that. Part of the time frame is dependent on how long my motherboard will hold out as I suspect it to be on its last legs. Whilst new CPU architecture and accompanying motherboards would be nice, I have to admit I haven't been an early adopter for tech in a very long time.
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April 30, 2014 5:32:11 AM

Alpha3031 said:
http://uk.pcpartpicker.com/p/3Bgpx

4570 instead of 4670k since you are not likely to over clock
Cheaper Z87 MB
8GB RAM
WD 1TB hard drive
770 instead of 270X or 750 ti = lots more graphics power
LG Bluray reader/ DVD/CD writer

Total:
598.94 pounds

Did I miss any thing?


Thanks for the reply. I had considered the i5-4570 (due to lack of overclocking need), or even the i5-4670. I may revisit that alternative non-k Intel build. (I admit I liked the MSI gaming boards for the mSATA possibility, which I might just use if I decide to up my budget.)
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