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Looking to upgrade due to limited gaming experience, need some advice!

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May 7, 2014 3:23:39 PM

Hey everyone, long story short i'm looking to upgrade my computer as the games I am running don't seem to be as good as they could be. The games i'm running aren't that intensive and the typically sit around 50 FPS, but drop to 25 and sometimes reach 60, if i'm lucky. I'm hoping that someone can take a look at the parts I currently have and see something I need to upgrade, or any advice at all would be great. Let me know if you need any more information and thanks in advance for all the help

Processor: AMD FX-6300 Vishera 3.5GHz (4.1GHz Turbo) Socket AM3+ 95W Desktop Processor

Motherboard: ASRock 970 PRO3 R2.0 AM3+ AMD 970 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard with UEFI BIOS

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL

Graphics: GIGABYTE GV-R797OC-3GD Radeon HD 7970 3GB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card

SSD: Crucial m4 256GB 2.5-Inch (9.5mm) SATA 6Gb/s Solid State Drive

HDD: Seagate Barracuda ST1000DM003 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive Bare Drive

Power: Rosewill Stallion Series RD600 600W ATX12V V2.3 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Power Supply

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May 7, 2014 3:28:40 PM

The power supply is an OEM one and it only has an 1 year warranty. I have no idea about rest of the parts however everyone else will be recommending builds with better components.

Please provide them with a budget to work with and they will be using http://pcpartpicker.com/
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May 7, 2014 3:29:18 PM

The processor is probably your biggest bottleneck right now, but I don't think upgrading to an 8320 or 8350 would be worth the money. What's your budget?
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May 7, 2014 3:46:29 PM

You should mention the games you play...

The FX 8320 + would be a wasted upgrade... If you want improved performance go with a i5. There are so many games that the FX chips fall flat in, which a intel chip will power through.

*How do I know this? I own a FX6300 / FX8320 / i74770k. The improvement can really depend on the games though, some drop fps on both fx chips and intel, others such as "Skyrim" drops as low as 38 maxed with a FX chip, yet holds 60 at all times on this i7.
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May 7, 2014 3:55:42 PM

Oh, tip... If you are monitoring FPS and the such, "STOP"... This causes poor frame timing. Allow programs to control their settings, not the GPU. Disable all monitoring programs.

I do monitor temps, but really even that isn't needed after you know your hardware isn't going to suddenly jump to crazy temps.

You'd be amazed at how badly monitoring too many things can affect gaming performance.
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May 7, 2014 4:25:46 PM

chargeit, i don't do much monitoring at all. i have temp monitoring and i just did the fps one today because i was getting bothered with the games not running as great as they should be. from the sound of it whats being recommended is new processor which would need a new motherboard as well, if i went with an i5 or i7. I think id say my budget is around $500 for upgrades right now, recommendations would be greatly appreciated!

Some games I have been playing include the amazing spiderman 2, when swinging through the city the frame rates drop the most (from about 45-50 down to 25, on the second highest graphics setting with AA turned down to 2x) , and I just started batman origins. it seems to be ok so far other than a few spots where it stutters pretty bad and then corrects itself. this is running on high. those are a couple of examples of lately. other than that if i run fallout 3 or skyrim on lower settings like med - high it seems to stutter every once in a while but overall is ok. Crysis 3 was a bust entirely, was running on low and getting lots of stuttering. I just figured with a 7970 i'd be able to run things better on higher settings.
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May 7, 2014 4:35:27 PM

twofold48 said:
chargeit, i don't do much monitoring at all. i have temp monitoring and i just did the fps one today because i was getting bothered with the games not running as great as they should be. from the sound of it whats being recommended is new processor which would need a new motherboard as well, if i went with an i5 or i7. I think id say my budget is around $500 for upgrades right now, recommendations would be greatly appreciated!

Some games I have been playing include the amazing spiderman 2, when swinging through the city the frame rates drop the most (from about 45-50 down to 25, on the second highest graphics setting with AA turned down to 2x) , and I just started batman origins. it seems to be ok so far other than a few spots where it stutters pretty bad and then corrects itself. this is running on high. those are a couple of examples of lately. other than that if i run fallout 3 or skyrim on lower settings like med - high it seems to stutter every once in a while but overall is ok. Crysis 3 was a bust entirely, was running on low and getting lots of stuttering. I just figured with a 7970 i'd be able to run things better on higher settings.


Don't quote me on this, but I remember reading something about the first spiderman game having poor performance.

OK, if you do want a new CPU, I'd suggest a i5-4670k (Or whatever the newest version of it is), and a solid mobo. The one I have is around $200 and works great. I do hear good things about this one GB mobo that is around $175... Give me a few min and I'll see if I can't dig that one up.


***Are you going to overclock? Not as needed with these CPU btw... I stopped when I got this i7.
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May 7, 2014 4:35:44 PM

With $500 you could get basically the best CPU/motherboard combination. I didn't use the full budget because, in my opinion, anything more would be wasting money.

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/13cyg
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/13cyg/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/13cyg/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i5-4670 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($204.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock Z87 Extreme6 ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($134.99 @ Micro Center)
Total: $339.98
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-05-07 19:34 EDT-0400)

You could fit in an i7 or more expensive motherboard with your budget, but I don't think it's worth it.
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May 7, 2014 4:36:49 PM

chargeit said:
twofold48 said:
chargeit, i don't do much monitoring at all. i have temp monitoring and i just did the fps one today because i was getting bothered with the games not running as great as they should be. from the sound of it whats being recommended is new processor which would need a new motherboard as well, if i went with an i5 or i7. I think id say my budget is around $500 for upgrades right now, recommendations would be greatly appreciated!

Some games I have been playing include the amazing spiderman 2, when swinging through the city the frame rates drop the most (from about 45-50 down to 25, on the second highest graphics setting with AA turned down to 2x) , and I just started batman origins. it seems to be ok so far other than a few spots where it stutters pretty bad and then corrects itself. this is running on high. those are a couple of examples of lately. other than that if i run fallout 3 or skyrim on lower settings like med - high it seems to stutter every once in a while but overall is ok. Crysis 3 was a bust entirely, was running on low and getting lots of stuttering. I just figured with a 7970 i'd be able to run things better on higher settings.


Don't quote me on this, but I remember reading something about the first spiderman game having poor performance.

OK, if you do want a new CPU, I'd suggest a i5-4670k (Or whatever the newest version of it is), and a solid mobo. The one I have is around $200 and works great. I do hear good things about this one GB mobo that is around $175... Give me a few min and I'll see if I can't dig that one up.


***Are you going to overclock? Not as needed with these CPU btw... I stopped when I got this i7.


After about $120, motherboards don't get any better. You're paying for cool color schemes and huge heatsinks.
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May 7, 2014 4:43:13 PM

The mobo I use...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The GB one I keep hearing good things about...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Suggested CPU...

if overclocking...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Without overclocking...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Intel is coming out with the revisions of these soon. (don't think they are out yet though) Not sure how big of a difference they are, since I didn't look into it.



If not overclocking, you can get the 4670 and that GB mobo for $385 before "MIR". Not too bad. It would be less after.
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May 7, 2014 4:47:21 PM

zeph_yr said:
chargeit said:
twofold48 said:
chargeit, i don't do much monitoring at all. i have temp monitoring and i just did the fps one today because i was getting bothered with the games not running as great as they should be. from the sound of it whats being recommended is new processor which would need a new motherboard as well, if i went with an i5 or i7. I think id say my budget is around $500 for upgrades right now, recommendations would be greatly appreciated!

Some games I have been playing include the amazing spiderman 2, when swinging through the city the frame rates drop the most (from about 45-50 down to 25, on the second highest graphics setting with AA turned down to 2x) , and I just started batman origins. it seems to be ok so far other than a few spots where it stutters pretty bad and then corrects itself. this is running on high. those are a couple of examples of lately. other than that if i run fallout 3 or skyrim on lower settings like med - high it seems to stutter every once in a while but overall is ok. Crysis 3 was a bust entirely, was running on low and getting lots of stuttering. I just figured with a 7970 i'd be able to run things better on higher settings.


Don't quote me on this, but I remember reading something about the first spiderman game having poor performance.

OK, if you do want a new CPU, I'd suggest a i5-4670k (Or whatever the newest version of it is), and a solid mobo. The one I have is around $200 and works great. I do hear good things about this one GB mobo that is around $175... Give me a few min and I'll see if I can't dig that one up.


***Are you going to overclock? Not as needed with these CPU btw... I stopped when I got this i7.


After about $120, motherboards don't get any better. You're paying for cool color schemes and huge heatsinks.



Keep telling yourself that. :bounce: 

*Though you are right that the mobo I have is more then I needed. Haswell is more Chip dependent then other CPU, since the VRM are on the chip. My old AM3+ cpu benefited heavily from a better mobo.
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May 7, 2014 4:54:14 PM

You guys are great, i really appreciate the suggestions. Any other recommendations as far as specific motherboards/ CPUs ?

the only overclocking i really do is just the one that is in the CCC for the graphics card. nothing on the CPU
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May 7, 2014 4:57:31 PM

The one I recommended supports overclocking, SLI, Crossfire, USB3, has 10 6gpbs ports, 32GB RAM @ 2800mhz... What more are you going to get from a motherboard that costs twice as much? The only thing the Maximus VI Hero has that's better is support for 3000mhz RAM. Bottom line, you don't need a $200+ motherboard unless you are doing some extreme stuff on it.

I agree with you on the processor choice though. 4670 for no overclocks, 4670k for overclocking (although you will also have to buy a CPU cooler).
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May 7, 2014 5:02:48 PM

zeph_yr said:
The one I recommended supports overclocking, SLI, Crossfire, USB3, has 10 6gpbs ports, 32GB RAM @ 2800mhz... What more are you going to get from a motherboard that costs twice as much? The only thing the Maximus VI Hero has that's better is support for 3000mhz RAM. Bottom line, you don't need a $200+ motherboard unless you are doing some extreme stuff on it.

I agree with you on the processor choice though. 4670 for no overclocks, 4670k for overclocking (although you will also have to buy a CPU cooler).


I think ill probably end up on the 4670, and ill probably end up choosing the cheaper motherboard you recommended as well, as long as itll fit in the case. Is the RAM that I have good enough for now or do I need more, and
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May 7, 2014 5:05:45 PM

zeph_yr said:
The one I recommended supports overclocking, SLI, Crossfire, USB3, has 10 6gpbs ports, 32GB RAM @ 2800mhz... What more are you going to get from a motherboard that costs twice as much? The only thing the Maximus VI Hero has that's better is support for 3000mhz RAM. Bottom line, you don't need a $200+ motherboard unless you are doing some extreme stuff on it.

I agree with you on the processor choice though. 4670 for no overclocks, 4670k for overclocking (although you will also have to buy a CPU cooler).


You are right about the mobo too. I did pay for brand name, and looks. =D I still suggest that he looks into that "GB" one I posted, since it's $144 after "MIR", and comes highly recommended.

But yea. if you're not OC'ing, that 4670 is a very good choice that you'll be happy with.


**I was looking at "Asus Formula VI"... It was $300, and makes me forget that my mobo is considered expensive.
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May 7, 2014 5:13:30 PM

I would take a GTX770 over the 7970.

AMD CPU are perfect for budget PC for up to 1440p. Keep the money that you are saving with AMD to put on GPU. You will get way more performance increase than going Intel with lower GPU.

I would try to get my hands on an MSI mobo with Killer Lan controller if you are playing online.
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May 7, 2014 6:28:22 PM

redgarl said:
I would take a GTX770 over the 7970.

AMD CPU are perfect for budget PC for up to 1440p. Keep the money that you are saving with AMD to put on GPU. You will get way more performance increase than going Intel with lower GPU.

I would try to get my hands on an MSI mobo with Killer Lan controller if you are playing online.


He already has the 7970.

Yeah, the Gigabyte board will work as well. I haven't had much experience with GB, but they're popular and have good ratings so I so no reason not to buy. Gigabyte, Asus, and ASRock all make great boards. I tend to stay away from MSI and Biostar.

The RAM you have is fine and will work well with your new Haswell i5.
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May 7, 2014 6:38:58 PM

Errr, what case do you have? I thought I verified that it'll work but it appears no one's asked... If it's "ATX-spec" it should work.

Edit: Nevermind, you have an ATX motherboard. Everything should fit!
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