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Small upgrade to my PC - Advice appreciated

Last response: in Systems
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January 17, 2010 3:57:02 PM

Right now, I've got an ok system.
Biostar TA790GX A3+
Athlon II X4 620
ATI Radeon HD 4650
Two 500gb hard drives
4gb 1333 DDR3
OCZ StealthXStream 400w

I'm looking to make an upgrade to the video card and power supply.
I had this in mind for the power supply:
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/ite...

But I don't know what to choose for the video card. I'm on a very tight budget, no more than $150 for the video card.
Does anyone have any suggestions?
January 17, 2010 4:34:59 PM

If you can find one in stock somewhere, a Radeon 5750 is a good upgrade, and at the top end of your price range.

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

That PSU looks almost too good to be true for the price though. I've just been extremely careful about purchasing power supplies since I had one go and take the rest of my system with it. Modular is always good for cable management, especially in a smaller case, and 600W should be enough for your system, but If I were you I would take a look around tigerdirect and see if you cant find something with a few more reviews (positive reviews that is). You can never be too careful when purchasing a power supply.

Also, I can't tell from the picture that tiger posted, but looking at the price, I'm going to assume that it has the cheap plastic clip in modular cables. I'd be extremely wary of these If I were you. Depending on the quality, these clips can break under a tiny bit of stress. If you want to go modular, I'd recommend getting one with screw in connections, just to avoid any possible accidents. Kingwin has a nice line of modular supplies like that, covering a large wattage range.

Like this one: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
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January 17, 2010 4:39:21 PM

Thanks, and that has happened to before also. I've mostly stuck with OCZ and corsair, and they have both served me well. I said the same thing when I saw that power supply, that there has to be a catch. But I'm not sure whether there is or not, so I'm gonna take my chances.
Also, that's one of the video cards I was considering, I just don't know how price/performance compares to other video cards as I haven't spent much time keeping myself up to date on video cards. Thanks for the answer.
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January 17, 2010 4:41:02 PM

Amantonas...just edited my message with more information. I think that might answer your question about a "catch"
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January 17, 2010 4:47:16 PM

amantonas said:
Thanks, and that has happened to before also. I've mostly stuck with OCZ and corsair, and they have both served me well. I said the same thing when I saw that power supply, that there has to be a catch. But I'm not sure whether there is or not, so I'm gonna take my chances.
Also, that's one of the video cards I was considering, I just don't know how price/performance compares to other video cards as I haven't spent much time keeping myself up to date on video cards. Thanks for the answer.



Well, for the time being, ATI seems to be superior to Nvidia in performance, and is the same, if not cheaper in most price ranges. This might all change in a few months when the new Nvidia Fermi cards get released, but we shall see. In addition, ATI's new 5 series cards include DirectX11 support, making them more futureproof IMO than Nvidia's PhysX.

In your price range, we could technically get a 4850 for about 110-125 depending on where you purchase, but I'm afraid you'd be spending too much money for not enough of an upgrade. A 5750 is a large upgrade from what you have, and only about 20-40 more than the 4850.
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January 17, 2010 4:49:31 PM

If I had more money, I really would go for something more like that. I do have some money reserved for this, and being 13, it's not going to get any higher anytime soon. I have the 150 for the video card, and about $90 left over for a power supply. If the kingwin was 10 dollars less, that would be what I was buying. I'm gonna keep on looking for a power supply on tigerdirect that fits my price range.

And for the video cards, thanks for telling me. That's probably the card I'm gonna go with.
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January 17, 2010 5:08:06 PM

amantonas said:
If I had more money, I really would go for something more like that. I do have some money reserved for this, and being 13, it's not going to get any higher anytime soon. I have the 150 for the video card, and about $90 left over for a power supply. If the kingwin was 10 dollars less, that would be what I was buying. I'm gonna keep on looking for a power supply on tigerdirect that fits my price range.

And for the video cards, thanks for telling me. That's probably the card I'm gonna go with.


So you've got about $240 Total for the PSU\GPU then ??

IF so I'd go with the following :

HIS 5770 ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ) $163 includes shipping and is much better performancwe than the 5750 !!

which still leave $77 left for the PSU so you could stay with the original PSU you were thinking of ! (OCZ makes good PSU's and that is a good price for it and with the lower power draw of the 5xxx series cards will be plenty for your system.
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January 17, 2010 5:09:16 PM

Well, I like the Aspire simply because of all the positive reviews it has, but the OCZ one has an 80plus silver rating on it, which is definitely a huge positive for me. PSUs with 80plus certifications are said to be >80% efficient, meaning that they will draw less power from your wall socket than a PSU of the same wattage, but without the certification. This efficiency also means that the PSU should run cooler, and subsequently last longer, with less chance of catastrophic malfunction.

Therefore, given those two choices, I would go probably go with the OCZ one, even without any reviews.
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January 17, 2010 5:13:54 PM

That's what I was thinking. And to JDFan, thanks for the suggestion. I didn't even see that there.
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January 17, 2010 5:14:39 PM

JDFan said:
So you've got about $240 Total for the PSU\GPU then ??

IF so I'd go with the following :

HIS 5770 ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ) $163 includes shipping and is much better performancwe than the 5750 !!

which still leave $77 left for the PSU so you could stay with the original PSU you were thinking of ! (OCZ makes good PSU's and that is a good price for it and with the lower power draw of the 5xxx series cards will be plenty for your system.


A 5770 would be better, but assuming he gets the 80 dollar OCZ PSU here, the 5770 puts him a little over budget.

Personally, Id rather see hm not skimp on the PSU, and get a 5750. The 5750 should be just fine for most gaming applications.

Also, theres not that much of a difference between the 5750 and the 5770. The 5770s clock speeds are a tad bit higher, but other than that, the feature sets are virtually identical. Take a look at the specifications sections for both cards in the links below

5750
5770
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January 17, 2010 5:16:56 PM

For the price your the original choice in psu is the better one for your use - It is a semi-modular case meaning the wiring that is always used (ie. the MOBO connectors and a few others are not modular but the Molex and PCI-e etc. are modular) and for your system it provides plenty of power.
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January 17, 2010 5:29:15 PM

djg9205 said:
A 5770 would be better, but assuming he gets the 80 dollar OCZ PSU here, the 5770 puts him a little over budget.

Personally, Id rather see hm not skimp on the PSU, and get a 5750. The 5750 should be just fine for most gaming applications.

Also, theres not that much of a difference between the 5750 and the 5770. The 5770s clock speeds are a tad bit higher, but other than that, the feature sets are virtually identical. Take a look at the specifications sections for both cards in the links below

5750
5770


Well if he goes with the 5770 the 650 Watt OCZ would be more than he needs and the $50 600W one he had originally would be fine leving him at his budget and not skimping on either !!

And actually there are a number of differences as well :

720 vs. 800 stream preocessors
36 vs. 40 texture units
25.2 G\texels fillrate vs. 34 G\texels
11.2 Gpixel\sec fillrate vs. 13.6 Gpixel\s
73.6 GB\s memory bandwidth vs. 76.8 Gb\s

So overall the 5770 is a much better perfoprmer for only $20 more !!
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January 17, 2010 5:39:11 PM

Well, according to the specifications -
Quote:
System Requirements 450 Watt or greater power supply with one 75W 6-pin PCI Express power connectors recommended (600 Watt and two 6-pin connectors for ATI CrossFireX technology in dual mode)

I actually have a 400w power supply with no pci-express power cables.
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January 17, 2010 5:39:39 PM

I'm not worried about providing enough power to the components. Either the original 600W PSU or the 650W one will be more than enough power for everything hes got in there.

Like I said before, cheaper PSUs have a much higher rate of failure, which in the case of power supplies, can be devastating to a system, regardless of the load. Purchasing a PSU with an 80plus certification is essentially purchasing peace of mind that your PSU will run cool, and be less likely to fail.

I also can't see any good reason to upgrade to the 5770 other than "It's better." Well, yes, it is, but what does that extra 20 bucks buy you? A few more Mhz...maybe a couple more FPS.

I guess in this situation it might be helpful to know what size monitor your running, at what resolution, and what kinds of games your planning on playing.

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January 17, 2010 5:44:05 PM

19 inch monitor, try to run at 1280x1024, if not it's not devastating. Very light games - WoW, Dragon Age: Origins, The Sims, Burnout Paradise etc. I really think that the 5750 is the way to go for me, and it would give me peace of mind to buy a higher wattage power supply. It's been bothering me for quite some time now. :p 
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January 17, 2010 5:44:50 PM

amantonas said:
Well, according to the specifications -
Quote:
System Requirements 450 Watt or greater power supply with one 75W 6-pin PCI Express power connectors recommended (600 Watt and two 6-pin connectors for ATI CrossFireX technology in dual mode)

I actually have a 400w power supply with no pci-express power cables.


You can get a 4pin molex to 6pin PCIe adapter, and sometimes, this adapater will even come with the card. Still though, just because you *have* an open molex connector for this adapter on your 400W PSU, doesn't mean you *should* connect it, as it might put too much strain on the PSU. And while technically a 400W PSU should be able to power what hes got, plus a PCIe connector (through an adapter), keep in mind that not all PSUs are rated by their continous wattage output, but rather by their peak wattage output. Therefore, a PSU advertised as 400W might actually peak there, but provide continous power somewhere in the 350W range.

I know I'm being super nitpicky, but I'd just rather be safe than sorry.
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January 17, 2010 5:47:15 PM

amantonas said:
Well, according to the specifications -
Quote:
System Requirements 450 Watt or greater power supply with one 75W 6-pin PCI Express power connectors recommended (600 Watt and two 6-pin connectors for ATI CrossFireX technology in dual mode)

I actually have a 400w power supply with no pci-express power cables.


The card will come with a Molex to 6 pin adapter so you can use it if your PSU has no 6 pin connector - also the maximum that the 5770 can use is 108W so the 450W spec is overstated since many PSU's do not output what they are rated so the vendor adds in alot of headroom !!
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January 17, 2010 5:48:59 PM

JDFan said:


And actually there are a number of differences as well :

720 vs. 800 stream preocessors
36 vs. 40 texture units
25.2 G\texels fillrate vs. 34 G\texels
11.2 Gpixel\sec fillrate vs. 13.6 Gpixel\s
73.6 GB\s memory bandwidth vs. 76.8 Gb\s



All of which will be overkill for running games like WoW at 1280x1024

By the way, check this link out for more PSU information if you're still not convinced:
http://www.jonnyguru.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1036
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January 17, 2010 5:52:51 PM

As I said earlier, I don't need the 5770. Even the 5750 is sorta overkill for the minor things that I do. But I would like to have the 5750 if I ever need to do anything that requires GPU power. I might buy a new monitor next, I don't know. My monitor is a pretty big piece of crap (1000:1 Contrast ratio Blegh). And, while it may seem that I was putting emphasis on wattage, I was definitely not. I am completely trying to pick a high quality PSU, and maybe get a higher wattage while I'm at it. And the only reason for the 1280x1024 is that is my pile of crap's max resolution :p 
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January 17, 2010 6:00:07 PM

amantonas said:
As I said earlier, I don't need the 5770. Even the 5750 is sorta overkill for the minor things that I do. But I would like to have the 5750 if I ever need to do anything that requires GPU power. I might buy a new monitor next, I don't know. My monitor is a pretty big piece of crap (1000:1 Contrast ratio Blegh). And, while it may seem that I was putting emphasis on wattage, I was definitely not. I am completely trying to pick a high quality PSU, and maybe get a higher wattage while I'm at it. And the only reason for the 1280x1024 is that is my pile of crap's max resolution :p 


Which is exactly the reason I suggest the 5770 vs. the 5750 - IF you do buy a new monitor the standard nowadays is moving to 1920x1080 for full HD playback and at that resolution the 5750 really begins to struggle where the 5770 is still adequate so spend the $20 now to ensure you'll have the strength you need at that point.

But in the end it is your decision so go for the one you want - either one will work great for you at present on the 1280x1024 resolution I was just providing another alternative.
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Best solution

January 17, 2010 6:11:58 PM

Just take a look at this chart. Even playing graphically intensive games, AT 1920x1200 resolution, WITH all settings turned to the max, the 5750 stays mostly above 50fps. And where it doesn't, the 5770 struggles as well.

Tom's Hardware - Benchmark The Last Remnant
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January 17, 2010 6:14:23 PM

Thanks guys, but I'm going to get the 5750 and the OCZ power supply as there is no huge difference for 15 dollars.
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January 17, 2010 6:17:44 PM

Quote:
If you feel that the 5750 is overkill save money and buy the Nvidia GTS 250 or ATI 4850, they are like $100!!


I would also recommend either a GTS 250 or an ATI 4850 for the time being, BUT, you've gotta think about future-proofing here. A 5 series ATI card will get you DX11 capabilities, as well as be much better suited for higher resolution should he decide to get a new monitor.

And hell, future-proofing is another good reason to buy a better power supply. If/when he decides to start a new build from scratch, that's one less component he'll have to buy new.
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January 17, 2010 6:21:14 PM

djg9205 said:
I would also recommend either a GTS 250 or an ATI 4850 for the time being, BUT, you've gotta think about future-proofing here. A 5 series ATI card will get you DX11 capabilities, as well as be much better suited for higher resolution should he decide to get a new monitor.

And hell, future-proofing is another good reason to buy a better power supply. If/when he decides to start a new build from scratch, that's one less component he'll have to buy new.



LMAO - And yet you fight about spending the extra $20 to do the same with the video card !!! When even by your Benches there is a definite 5-10 FPS improvement in every single game.
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January 17, 2010 6:32:04 PM

Quote:
The 5770 or faster card is my first choice. I feel the 5750 for the moment should just be avoided due to similar performing cards that are cheaper, when the 5750 drops to sub $100 it will be a bargain though.


Though with the release of the $99 5670 I have a feeling the 5750 will live a short life since it is pretty much left without a price point as the 5670 will fill the low end and the 5770 will fill the middle as the lower end 58xx and 59xx series appear to fill in the $150 - $300 price point and the 5770 also drops to near $120 !
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January 17, 2010 6:54:58 PM

I do want to save money! It's just that I plan to run crossfire in the future, and I know that my 400w power supply will either wimp out or be on the edge of wimping out.And with specific components, the concept of future proofing makes sense, at least for me, because I am not going to be building a new system for the next 3+ years.
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January 17, 2010 7:20:42 PM

amantonas said:
Thanks guys, but I'm going to get the 5750 and the OCZ power supply as there is no huge difference for 15 dollars.


thanks for the link, i did not know that ocz 600 was on sale. answering these posts can be very subjective, its cool if advice gets challenged or not taken. you [we] do our part just by replying so it is all good. thanks for this great forum it is the best one i have found.
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January 17, 2010 7:42:57 PM

WaterRabbit said:
thanks for the link, i did not know that ocz 600 was on sale. answering these posts can be very subjective, its cool if advice gets challenged or not taken. you [we] do our part just by replying so it is all good. thanks for this great forum it is the best one i have found.



Well said - because everyone is going to interpret things differently and getting the various opinions can help in making a decision but in the end you are the one that knows what it is you are looking for and must analyze the choices and make a decision because in the end it is you that will be using the system and we only know a part of the equation.
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January 27, 2010 9:38:08 AM

Best answer selected by amantonas.
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