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What upgrade path should I take?

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Anonymous
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December 13, 2009 6:50:00 AM

So at the moment I am torn on this matter. I run 2 rigs (see signature). Both OC'd and both aren't breathing particularly hard at the moment. (Not being worked much, since I rotate them I never run them at the same time. Apartment is too small for that.) I am strongly considering an upgrade on my AMD machine to a Phenom II X4 BE 955 since the newer 965 is, from what I can tell, more power hungry (at least the c0 stepping, I hear the c2 is going to be better) and basically the same chip as the current 965 (c0). Just with a higher multiplier.

At the moment the AM3 chip I am running is a Phenom II X3 720 on a GA-790GP-UD4H motherboard. It's being cooled with a push/pull configuration on a Corsair H50. It stays below 35 C when stress testing with OCCT and Prime95 (Small TFF's I believe?). And it's running 8 GB (4x2GB) DDR2 1066 (Patriot). So I am leaning towards just putting in a new 955 and calling this computer done for the next year. And it's running XFX 4770's (With Reference design cooler) and seems to handle the types of gaming I do. WoW, TF2, GTA IV and SFIV.

Concurrently the 775 chip I am running is a Q8200 OC'd to 2.91 Ghz and paired with an Intel Extreme DP45SG with 4 GB of 1333 DDR3 (Patriot, 4x1GB) that I scaled back to 1066 speeds for a better overclock. I know this Intel board has limited OC capability (all Intel Brand boards do, not to be confused with intel CHIPSETS. This is a Intel BRANDED board. Uses the p45 chipset) and so upgrading the processor in this would probably be a moot point. I was toying with the idea of a Q9400 but that might be a little out of my price range. Also I am told that a 775 chip with DDR3 is pretty much a waste. In my own experimenting I found it difficult to get a stable OC running the memory at 1333. And that the 1066 speed worked best (and pardon me if I am wrong, but isn't 1066 pretty much the top end for DDR2 unless you OC it?) Just for information's sake, this computer is running a single Diamond (I know, I know...) Radeon 4890. It's slightly overclocked, but only to the XOC specs for this card.

Anyhow I am working with about a $200 budget as I just want to upgrade the CPU. Nothing else. What would you all recommend?

Also on a slightly different thought, I recently picked up 2 hard drives. 1 western digital Caviar 1 TB (32 MB Cache) GREEN and 1 western digital Caviar 1 TB (32 MB Cache) BLACK. I was wondering if these would be OK to run a RAID 0, but from my reading using a Black edition is not recommended. Any thoughts on this as well?

More about : upgrade path

December 13, 2009 7:05:04 AM

I would upgrade the AMD to a X4 965 or X4 955. LGA 775 is dead and is not worth throwing money at anymore. I'm impress that you were able to get the Q8200 up to 2.91Ghz. I can only got mine up to 2.6Ghz before I sold it.
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Anonymous
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December 13, 2009 7:11:25 AM

masterasia said:
I would upgrade the AMD to a X4 965 or X4 955. LGA 775 is dead and is not worth throwing money at anymore. I'm impress that you were able to get the Q8200 up to 2.91Ghz. I can only got mine up to 2.6Ghz before I sold it.

Yeah, well I think the DDR3 memory might have helped because I under clocked it to 1066 and when I ran up the FSB to 415 it basically maxed out my memory to 664 Mhz (Stock would have been 666 with a 2T timing, if I am understanding this jargon correctly!) and thus hitting the 1333 (roughly) FSB that the RAM runs at stock speeds. The really exciting thing is I didn't need to adjust voltage at all to get this stable. Then again this motherboard is noted for being particularly picky on memory, so in order to guarantee stability from it (even with the CPU at stock speeds) I had to over volt it from the 1.5V to 1.7V. Other than that no voltage was applied. Not bad for a noob to OCing to figure out (I hadn't really OC'd before this build!)
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December 13, 2009 8:51:56 AM

keep what you have get a better board and cpu cooler and enjoy
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December 13, 2009 9:00:19 AM

So you got two good systems that you dont use the same time. Alt back and forth. That doesn't make much sense and is a waste of money.


You seem to be happy with both systems performance and yet you still want to spend 200 bucks to upgrade the cpu on a system that handles the games you play.


Sorry but you have already wasted plenty of money by having both of those systems in the 1st place. Upgrading the cpu in the AMD system will just be more money wasted.
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December 13, 2009 2:24:00 PM

someguy7 said:
So you got two good systems that you dont use the same time. Alt back and forth. That doesn't make much sense and is a waste of money.


You seem to be happy with both systems performance and yet you still want to spend 200 bucks to upgrade the cpu on a system that handles the games you play.


Sorry but you have already wasted plenty of money by having both of those systems in the 1st place. Upgrading the cpu in the AMD system will just be more money wasted.

I think we have found where Scrooge is hiding this Christmas.

How do you get out of Greeneman's post that he seems to be happy with both system's performance?
How do you know what games he plays? What other applications he uses?
Without knowing that, how do you know upgrading the AMD will be money wasted? On some benchmarks for those CPUs, the 955 runs 30% to 50% fast on some applications.
In addition, beyond the practical, it seems that Greeneman might enjoy tinkering with his system. Is $200 too much to spend on a hobby, especially with one that may have practical benefits? How can you consider that money wasted?

Although it would be interesting to know Greeneman's motivation - whether he is trying to achieve a specific performance target in some games or other applications, or justs wants to tinker, or just gets some other intangible benefit from having a faster system. But if he chooses to spend his money that way, who are you to say it is wasted? Should he instead spend it on 20 tickets to bad movies, or clothes, or one extra day hotel bill on vacation, or a couple of expensive dinners? Now if he said he were doing it to achieve a specifc target in some game play and would not see any tangible advantage in game play - then maybe you can say it is wasted, but only if you know his objective and the upgrade does not achieve what he is trying to do and you ignore any ancillary benefits.
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Anonymous
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December 13, 2009 6:33:07 PM

rockyjohn said:
I think we have found where Scrooge is hiding this Christmas.

How do you get out of Greeneman's post that he seems to be happy with both system's performance?
How do you know what games he plays? What other applications he uses?
Without knowing that, how do you know upgrading the AMD will be money wasted? On some benchmarks for those CPUs, the 955 runs 30% to 50% fast on some applications.
In addition, beyond the practical, it seems that Greeneman might enjoy tinkering with his system. Is $200 too much to spend on a hobby, especially with one that may have practical benefits? How can you consider that money wasted?

Although it would be interesting to know Greeneman's motivation - whether he is trying to achieve a specific performance target in some games or other applications, or justs wants to tinker, or just gets some other intangible benefit from having a faster system. But if he chooses to spend his money that way, who are you to say it is wasted? Should he instead spend it on 20 tickets to bad movies, or clothes, or one extra day hotel bill on vacation, or a couple of expensive dinners? Now if he said he were doing it to achieve a specifc target in some game play and would not see any tangible advantage in game play - then maybe you can say it is wasted, but only if you know his objective and the upgrade does not achieve what he is trying to do and you ignore any ancillary benefits.


Overall my motivation is simply getting more speed. I know the AMD AM3 chips at the moment seem to be having a hard time breaking the 4 Ghz barrier so I might actually consider going with an i5 750 since they seem to be good at getting 4 Ghz OC's with a little bit of work. Someone already mentioned that 775 is a dead end. I believe it, and I sort of don't believe it. I mean I could wait things out and try for a QX9770 but that might be a long wait for a train that never shows. My loving wife made the comment "Just buy the best one you can afford, because knowing you if it ISN'T the best you'll want to buy a new [CPU] in 3 months anyhow!" LoL. Wives are great, aren't they? I wonder if she realizes that's like granting me cart blanch to do whatever my little heart desires.

I know there is an ad on at the moment for an i5 750 combined with a Gigabyte p55 motherboard and I believe I can re-use my ddr3 memory.
I just want to hit 4 Ghz with a quad core so that way the computer will last at least a year of gaming. The games I play are World of Warcraft (barely uses beyond 40% of my current AMD) GTA IV (Uses about 80% of my AMD) and SF IV (Uses about 60% of my AMD) Not sure how much CPU usage my AMD gets from TF2.

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Anonymous
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December 14, 2009 5:43:38 AM

Ended up going with a i5 750 and a gigabyte ga-p55a-ud3 motherboard. It was on sale for $260 for both, so I couldn't pass that up. The board supports Sata 3 and USB3 as well. I'm pretty happy so far and I was able to re-use my DDR3 1333 with no problems.
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