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Upgrading advice

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March 4, 2010 6:02:03 PM

Hello all, i am getting to a point that i am thinking of upgrading my system and would like some advice from ppl that know what they are doing as to where best to start, I mainly use this system for online gaming.

current system build;
case; Apevia
Motherboard; Asus P5N-E sli
cpu; intel core 2 duo E6750 @ 2.66 GHz
ram; 3 gig
Video; Geforce 9600 gt 1gig
PSU; 650w

I am not sure of the model number of the case, it has 2 fans, top and rear a clear side panel with 2 vents and with the current configuration has plenty of extra room.

Starting out my budget will be right about $300.00 or less, any suggestions on the best bang for my buck place to start?

<edit> O.S. is windows vista home prem 64 bit

More about : upgrading advice

March 4, 2010 6:23:50 PM

and that cpu is compatable with my mobo?
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March 4, 2010 6:33:10 PM

oops, sorry, thought it was as they're both 1333fsb, but asus doesn't list it on their supported cpus list, get q6600 instead, is hard to find one in stock though
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 4, 2010 8:51:09 PM

Or you could get the 5770 or even a 5850 and overclock your CPU to 3+GHz for better performance. Changing to 4 cores of the same speed wont improve gaming performance much <except a few games like GTA4> but it would improve multitasking.

Swapping that fairly weak 9600 for a 5770 or 5850 will give a massive increase in gaming performance.
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a c 84 B Homebuilt system
March 4, 2010 9:54:06 PM

I would start with a video card upgrade.
It will give you the most gaming performance for the dollar.
Jump at least a couple of tiers in the graphics card, or you will be disappointed. Up to a GTS250 or GTX 260 at least.
There are good ati cards out there,, but it is simpler to stick with the same drivers.
Such a card will still be useful if you ever change out the motherboard or cpu.

I am a fan of large amounts of ram. If it is cheap enough, see if you can get to 4gb.
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 5, 2010 5:09:58 AM

Your CPU is here:
http://www.cpubenchmark.net/mid_range_cpus.html

Your score was 1661. My score was 1271.

Since both CPU's have two cores I can make an easier comparion than if it used four.

I did some calculations in the past and figured out than I'd be, on average, bandwidth limited by anything more than an HD4770. in otherwords a better graphics card would provide the same benefit.

I can tell you that World of Warcraft runs really great, possibly at its maximum settings on a 1600x1200 resolution (update: WOW runs close to MAXIMUM settings on an X2-4800+/HD3850/3GB). Other online games don't run nearly as well though they do tend to try to run nicely over a large range of hardware.

There are two choices I see:

1) An AMD4xxx card with the best bang-for-the-buck. Or:

2) A more expensive 5xxx card which provides future DX11 compatibility.

Keep in mind that DX11 won't come in quickly because most people won't have the hardware. When it comes in (like Dirt 2) it will initially add only some enhancements. In fact, unless you have a system that can already run the DX9-only code at maximum quality the power needed for DX11 might be best spent making DX9 look better.

By the time DX11 would make much difference to you, you might:

1) Build a new PC
2) Get a next-gen XBox (Christmas 2011 or 2012)
3) Buy a DX11 card when it is much cheaper (unlikely)

The HD4770 is newer in design than the HD4850; it uses much less power in idle and when performing but isn't quite as fast.

My advice thus is:
1) The HD4770, or
2) The HD5770, or

I hope this information helps you choose. If the extra money isn't a big deal you may wish to buy the HD5770. I suspect most games would be limited by your CPU with the HD4770 and probably all of them would be with the HD5770.

NVidia?
I doubt NVidia's launch on March 26th will change anything. They will have availability problems and I doubt their prices can match ATI's. The launch WILL bring down ATI's price but they'll have to be competitive.

It seems also that the first cards will be at the high-end so I wouldn't even bother. i just thought I'd bring it up.

Hardware video decoding:
You can offload the CPU to the Graphics card by doing this:
1) remove any codec packs or obvious codecs you installed (Control Panel, Add/Remove)
2) Download and install the latest K-Lite Codec Standard Codec Pack from www.free-codecs.com
3) Ensure MPEG2, AVC and VC-1 have DXVA enabled in MPC-HC, the video player
4) monitor your CPU (CTRL-ALT-DEL) with and without it enabled to see the difference (it makes a difference in CPU fan noise too)

Summary:
A video card is all you need. An HD4770 or HD5770 are the best choices. Use VSync. Monitor your game with FRAPs. It's better to have a higher framerate (at least 40FPS then better graphics.).
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 5, 2010 5:15:25 AM

RAM:
Keep your 3GB. Yes, there would be a very SLIGHT increase in general multi-tasking but there would be ZERO in-game performance for any online game.

I do recommend 4GB if building a system from scratch of if you only have 2GB and a 64-bit system. I just think the money is best spent elsewhere (like an HD5770 instead of an HD4770 or second drive like the WD 1TB Green for storage and backing up etc.)
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 5, 2010 4:09:49 PM

photonboy said:
Your CPU is here:
http://www.cpubenchmark.net/mid_range_cpus.html

Your score was 1661. My score was 1271.

Since both CPU's have two cores I can make an easier comparion than if it used four.

I did some calculations in the past and figured out than I'd be, on average, bandwidth limited by anything more than an HD4770. in otherwords a better graphics card would provide the same benefit.

My Athlon 64x2 5400 would have a score around 1600 (im overclocked from 2.8 to 3.2 so maybe a bit higher) and I got a substantial FPS increase (roughly 50%) when I replaced my 9800 GTX+ with a 5770. Overclocking the CPU would help, as would a GPU up to a 5770.

If you are going to get a 4770(1GB) you might as well get a 5750 for about the same price. You get a substantial increase for not much more money moving to a 5770, though.
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 7, 2010 11:10:47 PM

It seems the general consensus is an HD5770 1GB. Vapor-X if available. Again, the CPU would likely be the limiting factor on most games but you have to draw the upgrading line somewhere.

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March 17, 2010 11:10:57 PM

Best answer selected by jim45682.
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March 17, 2010 11:21:39 PM

ok i finally found my original build sheet, so i will update whats really in there in more detail, i think i will prolly go the vid card option only and maybe with the help of some of you OC my cpu a bit <i have never done that, the extent of my experience is plugging in things and inserting cards> so here is whats in my case;

CU-189-302 INTEL C2D E6750 2.66G 1333FSB
HD-404-107 320GB SATA II 3.0GB HARD DRIVE
RM-312-114 MUSHKIN 1024MB DDR2 PC6400 MEMORY x3
FA-104-101 CASE FAN
FA-108-112 COOLERMASTER LGA 775+ 3.6GHZ FAN
CS-219-101 BLACK X-CRUISER CASE
CD-124-175 BLACK SONY 20X DVDRW
MR-104-101 12-IN-ONE INTERNAL CARD READER
MB-316-103 ASUS P5N-E SLI NFORCE 650I SLI MB
SC-102-133 CREATIVE LABS AUDIGY SE
VC-169-102 EVGA GEFORCE 9600GT 512MB PCI-E
PS-109-118 ULTRA LIFETIME SERIES 600WATT PS

after alot of hunting i think i am narrowed down to either a 4850, 4870, or gts 250

<edit> can you just software OC this cpu? and if so whats the best way?
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 18, 2010 5:34:08 PM

You can software overclock the GPU, but the CPU is done in the Bios.

The 4870 is about the same speed as the 5770, which is about 50% faster than a 250 or 4850. The 4850 and 4870 are disappearing and may not be available if you wait much longer (or the price may vary wildly as remaining stock is sold out).
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March 19, 2010 1:35:07 PM

dndhatcher said:
You can software overclock the GPU, but the CPU is done in the Bios.

The 4870 is about the same speed as the 5770, which is about 50% faster than a 250 or 4850. The 4850 and 4870 are disappearing and may not be available if you wait much longer (or the price may vary wildly as remaining stock is sold out).



the difference between the 4870's 256 bit memory interface and the 5770's 128 bit doesnt effect the perfomance? if not then it looks like i will order a 5770, next question, is there a better brand, or what brands should i stay away from?
edit> also does it matter that this motherboard doesnt list a pci-e 2.0 slot? it has 2 pci-e x16 slots but neither are 2.0
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 19, 2010 4:46:02 PM

A pcie x16 2.0 card will work in a x16 v1 slot.

The performance in actual gaming is about the same between a 5770 and 4870 <individual games vary>.

The 5770 has the narrow interface but faster memory. I believe it means turning memory intensive features like AA off do more to boost performance on a 5770 than a 4870.
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November 7, 2010 10:31:39 AM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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