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Looking for PC Upgrade

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June 26, 2014 5:54:07 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: e.g.: This Week

Budget Range: AU$500

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Video Rendering (1080p)

Are you buying a monitor: Yes /[b No[/b]

Parts to Upgrade: Mobo?, CPU( - It had an Intel Core i5 @ 3.2GHz?), Graphics Card,

Do you need to buy OS: Yes / No

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: (http://www.msy.com.au)

Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia

Parts Preferences: Brand: Intel, for the GPU & Mobo I have no prefrences

Overclocking: Yes / No / Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: Yes / No / Maybe

Your Monitor Resolution: 2 Monitors, 16:9 1920x1080, 4:3 1280x960

Additional Comments: I'll be using Sony Vegas to render videos, the games I'll be playing are Call of Duty: Ghosts, Counter Strike: Global Offensive, Garry's Mod.

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: I'd like to play more games, future proof it and because its an older build.

More about : upgrade

June 26, 2014 6:26:09 PM

A few questions:
- How much RAM have you got already?
- Is it possible to get your exact processor and motherboard (running "dxdiag" will usually tell you the processor and give you the "System Model" which is your MB chipset.
- What's your current graphics card? You can usually find that out from Catalyst Control Centre (if you have an AMD card) or Nvidia Control Panel (for Nvidia cards).

Any sort of Intel i5 processor is still pretty competent. You'd be better making sure you had a good video card and enough RAM. If you want system responsiveness (for things like loading your video editing programs), an SSD would make a massive difference to the subjective 'feel' of the system. Though it won't net you more frames per second, or render videos any quicker.

Post back those specs and I (or someone else) can make some better recommendations.
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June 26, 2014 6:33:06 PM

rhysiam said:
A few questions:
- How much RAM have you got already?
- Is it possible to get your exact processor and motherboard (running "dxdiag" will usually tell you the processor and give you the "System Model" which is your MB chipset.
- What's your current graphics card? You can usually find that out from Catalyst Control Centre (if you have an AMD card) or Nvidia Control Panel (for Nvidia cards).

Any sort of Intel i5 processor is still pretty competent. You'd be better making sure you had a good video card and enough RAM. If you want system responsiveness (for things like loading your video editing programs), an SSD would make a massive difference to the subjective 'feel' of the system. Though it won't net you more frames per second, or render videos any quicker.

Post back those specs and I (or someone else) can make some better recommendations.


Ah I'm sorrt, forgot to include thoes. :D 

RAM: 8GB
GPU: Gigabyte Nvidia GTX 460

I don't have the computer with me at the moment but I'll see if I can get the information later today.

Thanks for your reply. :) 
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June 26, 2014 9:10:59 PM

So a videocard upgrade is definitely in order then. That's a no-brainer.

I tend to think 8GB RAM is enough for light-moderate video editing and gaming. However, some video editing does benefit from 16GB RAM. Have you got spare RAM slots (i.e. can you just add another another Memory pair), or would a RAM upgrade require you to discard RAM you already have?

Also, how interested are you in an SSD? Like I say, massive subjective difference in system responsiveness, windows would boot and load programs much faster, but no difference to gaming or rendering times. Is that something that interests you or not?

If you answer the above questions about RAM and SSD, that'll determine the budget left for the video card upgrade.

One final question (as it also determines what video card you can get), is what's your Powersupply make and model. Video cards are the most power-hungry component in the system and we'll need to make sure your power supply is capable of feeding a new card.
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June 27, 2014 1:29:06 AM

rhysiam said:
So a videocard upgrade is definitely in order then. That's a no-brainer.

I tend to think 8GB RAM is enough for light-moderate video editing and gaming. However, some video editing does benefit from 16GB RAM. Have you got spare RAM slots (i.e. can you just add another another Memory pair), or would a RAM upgrade require you to discard RAM you already have?

Also, how interested are you in an SSD? Like I say, massive subjective difference in system responsiveness, windows would boot and load programs much faster, but no difference to gaming or rendering times. Is that something that interests you or not?

If you answer the above questions about RAM and SSD, that'll determine the budget left for the video card upgrade.

One final question (as it also determines what video card you can get), is what's your Powersupply make and model. Video cards are the most power-hungry component in the system and we'll need to make sure your power supply is capable of feeding a new card.


An SSD would be fine, would you recommend using it as the boot disk or storage for games/movies? The mobo only has 2 slots for RAM which both have been fitted with 2GB each. (Sorry, I realised it was 4GB total)

I've got the PC now so here is the list after running 'dxdiag':

System Model: MSI - MS-7680
CPU: Intel Core i5-2500 @ 3.30GHz

Edit: The power supply model is:

Thermaltake 450W Model: TT-450NL1NH-1

Also another question, I wanted to change the case of the computer. Would I need a new mobo if the new case has front panel USB 3.0 ports?
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June 27, 2014 4:17:42 AM

OK, there's absolutely nothing wrong with that CPU & motherboard, so that's a good start.

Unfortunately your Powersupply is far from the best, assuming it's the one they're discussing in the forum here: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/379153-33-this-power-... -
It's actually only provides 276W on the 12V rails, which should really be advertised as a 300W powersupply at best. So anything beyond a low end gaming videocard (which wouldn't really be a justifiable upgrade) is going to push it too hard. Unfortunately you'll need a new PSU.

Here's my suggested options... I've quoted prices off the current MSY parts list (http://www.msy.com.au/Parts/PARTS.pdf):

ESSENTIAL: Powersupply, Antec HCG 620W (made by seasonic): $99
OPTIONAL: RAM, 8GB( 2x4GB) GSkill Ares 1600mz $98
OPTIONAL: SSD, 120GB Samsung 840 Evo also $97

So, depending which of the optional components above you want, you have between $206 and $401 of your budget left for a graphics card upgrade.

The options I'd recommend you choose from:
$205 - AMD R7 270 - probably the saphhire OC one
$299 - AMD R9 280 -
$369 - AMD R9 280X - Those Sapphire-Varoprs are pretty good

Or, if you're an Nvidia fan, there's a Gainward 770 for $355 (though I find myself wondering why it's $50 cheaper than all the other 770s)!
A 770 trades blows with the 280X, but should be more efficient.

It's really your call as to whether you want to prioritise:
- a more expensive graphics cards (can dial up the settings higher in games),
- more RAM (will help game loads and make a significant difference for video editing tasks)
- or an SSD (will massively improve system boot times, updates, and program loads, makes system feel subjectively much more responsive).

I would expect even the cheaper $205 graphics card recommendation to be a decent step up from your GTX 460.
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June 27, 2014 4:20:23 AM

Oh, I recommended the Samsung SSD specifically because it comes bundled with data migration software.
You definitely want to run the OS off the SSD to get the best use out of it. Best this to do is reinstall the OS on the SSD, though admittedly that's a bit of a job! Or you can try out Samsung's software. I haven't tried it myself so I'm flagging as an option, not making a recommendation!
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