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New PC vs Old PC (Worth Upgrading?) Entire System or Just Video Card

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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June 2, 2014 7:00:13 AM

Okay guys, I am looking for some other Tech help and thoughts on what to do here. Let me give you a bit of information on what i have and everything.

I currently have the following computer build:

Dell XPS 420
Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Processer
7GB DDR2 Memory
GeForce GTX 295 graphic card

Now, with this I have also ran 3D Mark on it and got the following scores with it. (Cloud Gate = 8518, Ice Storm = 69557, and it is better than 37% of other scores).

So, I wasn't happy with this, so I upgrade the Video Card to a GeForce 660 and only saw a very slight upgrade in those scores above, so I returned the GeForce 660 and went to purchase an entire new system from Best Buy as many people told me that my Memory and CPU was bottlenecking my current system.

So I went and purchased this one - http://www.bestbuy.com/site/hp-pavilion-desktop-amd-a8-...

I also purchased a GeForce 660 to go in it....so I benchmarked it and got the following score in 3D Mark - (Cloud Gate = 9864, Ice Storm = 74658, and 45% higher that other scores)

Now, that is a $750 worth that I bought with the new computer and only saw about a 8% increase on scores.

So I have some questions I would love for others to help me answer.

1. Shouldn't I be seeing more than just a 8% increase with 3D Mark and Benchmarking?

2. People say my other CPU and Memory was bogging me down, is the original computer really that bad?

3. All test i have looked at from my GeForce 295gtx and current things like 650TI, 750TI, 660 show that the 295gtx basically almost is on par if not beats them in most all categories (exception of passmark score), so is it worth spending the month to get these newer ones?

4. I also currently play the MMO Rift and noticed that there is not really an increase in FPS or anything (maybe just like 4 - 5 fps) increase but that is it. It is kinda frustrating.
a b U Graphics card
June 2, 2014 7:27:25 AM


GTX 295 ---> GTX 660 is more of a 'slide-ways' move
(except in power consumption)

I get 87K+ in Ice Storm with an HD7870 and an OC'ed Athlon X4 750K (which is 'generally' the same chip you have). That's about right, though your GTX660 might be a touch low.

Your concern possibly could be focused on running that 660 on the OEM power supply (if that is what you are doing). I doubt that HP off-the-shelf has more than a 350w power supply -- that could be under-volting your GPU.

If you download and run OCCT, it will chart the power delivery in your system -- that could reveal any issues your may be having.

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a c 78 U Graphics card
June 2, 2014 7:29:34 AM

Direct 3D scores are irrelevant. they don't mean anything. You are trying to "upgrade" from a dual GPU to a slower single GPU. Your memory and CPU would bottleneck your correct card more that a 660...

You shouldn't be upgrading it unless you have a problem in a game and if you want better performance than what you have you are going about it completely wrong
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June 2, 2014 7:36:45 AM

Sorry, let me specify as well, I have a 650watt Cosair PSU as well.

I wanted better performance in the game as the game I am playing is quite slow, but not seeing any noticeable difference in these two systems that I have done.
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June 2, 2014 7:36:48 AM

Ultimately, the 295 vs the 660, while a significant upgrade, isn't the quantum leap you are expecting. A game like an MMO or other online games tend to be CPU bound, and the cpu you switched to isn't that great of a cpu. The AMD A series is good for its integrated graphics chip, but it is not a good processor itself. Although it may have a higher clock speed, and it is certainly better than your intel chip, again, it is not that big of an upgrade.

Pre-made PCs aren't made with video game performance in mind; especially not most HP PCs, which are marketed more towards casuals. The computer you bought was overall not that much better than the one you had before

Your $750 would have been better spent towards building your own computer, rather than buying a pre-made one, considering you were clearly looking to have better video game performance.

What people have said were true: Your CPU speed and Memory not being DDR3 were going to slow you down a bit, but the original computer was not that bad in comparison to your new one.

It would be in your best interest to look at the 3D Mark scores' Graphics performance rather than overall performance to see if your video card is that necessary of an upgrade.

A better, more bang for the buck route to go down would have been buying either an i5-2500k or i5-3670k/i5-4670k for the upper end, or an AMD 8350/6300, which would blow your current processor out of the water. I would say Ram was your LAST necessary upgrade when it comes to gaming performance. The GTX 660 is a fine GPU, but the results you got weren't unexpected.
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June 2, 2014 7:39:20 AM

SLInteractive86 said:
2. People say my other CPU and Memory was bogging me down, is the original computer really that bad?


Depends on the game. In some, yeah, its that bad. MMOs like Rift tend to be very CPU-intensive, whereas they tax video hardware relatively less. That's not to say that Rift does or doesn't need a faster processor than the Q6600, but I think its more likely than the GTX 295 to have been what was limiting your performance.

And like the others said, your GTX 660 is only a bit faster than the GTX 295. You're comparing an ultra-expensive, ultra-high-end video card from years ago to a modern low-ish/mid-range one. Before you consider purchasing a video card, you should definitely be checking this list that Tom's publishes. It ranks video cards in a hierarchy by their performance in games. They recommend upgrading to a card that is at least three tiers better than your old one. The GTX 660 is only one tier above the GTX 295 on this list.

On a side note, I'd caution against an over-reliance on oversimplified, synthetic benchmarks. Benchmarks based on real games are an awful lot more useful.
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a b U Graphics card
June 2, 2014 7:39:30 AM

Look down the road a few years, i would say, start building a good base for a new system, MOBO, PSU, CPU.

I couldn’t get the link you have to work so I have no idea what the build looks like, so take with a grain of salt when reading this. The problem with buying computers from places like best buy, they normally are not set up with high end gaming in mind, they lean more towards an all around PC, home office with minimal gaming power, they don’t have high quality hardware, i.e. PSU, mobo, ect. So it is hard to upgrade them with high end components later on, without swapping out more components then you originally wanted.
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June 2, 2014 7:40:40 AM

Thanks so far.

So, let me make sure I understand you guys correctly and please feel free to let me know if I am wrong on this assumtion.

With the 295gtx that I have, I could get a very nice upgrade just buy getting a better mobo, cpu, and memory, say something like the following, would give me a much better performancing enhancement:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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June 2, 2014 7:52:19 AM

Let's be clear: You're not going to see a HUGE increase in performance just by upgrading your processor and ram. However, if you want to build a baseline for a bigger upgrade in the future then you are doing the right thing. I would wait for a sale before pulling the trigger on any of those. I've seen the 8320 for around 80 bucks before - usually around $100. 8 gb of ddr3 ram can be had for like 60, and the motherboard doesn't really matter unless you plan on doing a bunch of overclocking. Just pick the cheapest of the same type that has the features you want.

If it were me, i'd splurge on an i5-4670k before settling for an amd 8320 that wasn't on sale. You can get the superior 8350 for that price on a regular basis.
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June 2, 2014 7:55:24 AM

mjranew said:
Let's be clear: You're not going to see a HUGE increase in performance just by upgrading your processor and ram. However, if you want to build a baseline for a bigger upgrade in the future then you are doing the right thing. I would wait for a sale before pulling the trigger on any of those. I've seen the 8320 for around 80 bucks before - usually around $100. 8 gb of ddr3 ram can be had for like 60, and the motherboard doesn't really matter unless you plan on doing a bunch of overclocking. Just pick the cheapest of the same type that has the features you want.

If it were me, i'd splurge on an i5-4670k before settling for an amd 8320 that wasn't on sale. You can get the superior 8350 for that price on a regular basis.


Okay, this brings up a good point I would like to find out about......With the 8320 or the 8350 being 6+ Cores and the i5's being only Quad Core,do you believe the i5's are better?

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June 2, 2014 8:02:22 AM

That same debate is what led me to get a 4770k vs a 4670k, but realistically, you're not going to see much of a difference with more cores with the video card that you have as of right now. No game really currently really uses enough cores for it to matter. The 4670k vs 8320 or even 8350: The 4670k trumps both cards with single core performance, which is what you will be using most of the time, especially in a game like Rift.

In the future? Maybe games will start to use all 8 cores. Either way, you will not see a performance disparity that would make the 8350 win heads-up vs the 4670k.
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June 2, 2014 8:04:41 AM

ChrisR83 said:
http://cpuboss.com/cpus/Intel-Core-i5-4670K-vs-AMD-FX-8...
check this out just something to consider


Pretty much just said what I said. Unless you plan on overclocking heavily, which would require a better case than the one Dell or HP would provide, there is no way for the 8350 to win. However, if you can find an 8350 on sale for like 130, i'd buy that in a heartbeat over spending like 220-250 on a 4670k. It is really all about how much you're willing to spend.
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