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Upgrade Advice

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March 26, 2010 12:26:56 AM

So I'm currently running the Socket 775 with a 9500GT and a Core 2 Duo E7400. I have a $350 budget and i can either divide by getting a 5770 and a Q9400, getting a Q9650 and sticking with the 9500GT, getting a 5850 and sticking with the Core 2 Duo, or if you have any suggestions, possibly that. What should I do? Thanks.

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March 26, 2010 12:46:52 AM

What is your monitor resolution you are gaming at?
  • If below 1920x1080, I would go with the 5770 and Q9400, since the 5770 will perform nicely at those resolution. The Q9400 will improve your overall system, as well.
  • If at or above 1920x1080, I would go with the 5850 and look to replace complete build with an AM3 or Core i5/i7 build when you have the cash and Crossfire your 5850. Your E7400 (overclocked... :)  ) will push your 5850 well enough to not cause a major bottleneck.
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    March 26, 2010 1:11:14 AM

    Okay, I run 1920x1080. So I'm guessing I should buy a pretty hefty cooler to OC the jesus out of the E7400, right? Then it should be fine?
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    March 26, 2010 2:43:06 AM

    Hmm interesting. If you get the 5850 and you aren't like crazy about wanting to upgrade too frequently, it should last you quite a long time. So to really juice your system for the next year all you would have to do it get a 5850. Then later on you could replace the guts of your system (mobo/ram/cpu). It's a 1 part noticeable upgrade, and that part you can bring with you into your new build whenevert you have the cash to do so.

    You know what i mean, a new vid card of that caliber should last a while. So it's not a wasted upgrade. Although i would wait a week til fermi releases and ATI drops the price of the 5850, or at least i would expect them to...

    On the other hand, you could price out your current parts on ebay, see what they sell for and sell them (ebay or craigslist). Always an option, and then replace the guts. Or see what you could sell the whole rig for as a unit and build a new one from scratch (this is the option I always end up landing on).
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    March 26, 2010 3:05:46 AM

    That's what I'm thinking, but I want to upgrade it to make it worth considerably much more. A 9500GT and a Core 2 Duo isn't worth half as much as a 5770 and a Core 2 Quad; it makes it much more valuable and that's what I'm shooting for.
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    March 26, 2010 3:13:50 AM

    What is value but subjective experience?

    Unless the plan is to sell the thing soon, I'm not sure how "value" plays into it.

    (I just built a new rig for the fiance with a phenom x4 955 and a 5770, i'm not knocking quads or 5770).

    I'm just not sure what value means i guess. For your $300 now you can put a monster card in your PC, that you can take with you when you upgrade.

    If you buy a quad for your 775, how long until you get the itch to upgrade to i5 or i7? Then you will have wasted upgrade money on your 775 CPU upgrade.

    You are at the end of the line of your socket. (me too I'm currently running an e8400). Figure out how long you will be comfortable with that 775 mobo, and base your decision around that.
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    March 26, 2010 3:52:36 AM

    Hmm in rereading what i wrote i realize I may have come off kind of annoying or harsh. I apologize. I was trying to get my confusion across about the concept of "value" and I think I came off as kind of a jerk. If I did I apologize.

    I guess my main point is that if you feel liek you are going to need to upgrade your 775 mobo and CPU in a year's time anyways. maybe investing in a 775 CPU isn't the best way to go.
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    March 26, 2010 3:57:14 AM

    If you have the case to fit the absolute monstrocity, the Xigmatek dark knight CPU cooler on my 775 e8400 does a fantastic job. If you decide to go the OC e7400 route for now.

    Another consideration is the PSU you are using. Will a 5850 require a PSU upgrade for you?

    And what types of games are you into too. For example, if you only play WoW, 5850 is such overkill...
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    March 26, 2010 9:20:56 AM

    Okay, you do raise a valid point. I will be using it for another 6-8 months until I sell it so I want to get it as high as I can within my budget. So eventually, if I were to get the 5850, the Core 2 Quad would soon follow. On the PSU front, I have a 650 watt, so I should be fine, unless I need more. And for the cooler I was thinking the Hyper 212 Plus, any objections to that?
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    March 26, 2010 1:31:26 PM

    Hmm.. may I ask why you are upgrading if you plan to sell in 6 months anyways?

    You might lose money on that turnaround. Buying $300 in gear now and then selling it in six months, you will not get that $300 investment back in the sale.

    It might be better to try to sell it now and start from scratch. Pull a few hundred out of the system now, instead of trying to up your sale price by a temporary upgrade. It might be worth looking into that is all. Say you sell your current system for $300. Add your $350 budget and you are well on your way to a brand new system!

    plus if you really like your case and your PSU, you could buy a cheap case+PSU combo and rebuild you current system into that to sell. Then use your current case and 650w PSU for the new build. You can get "pretty" cases with PSU's for like $60 on newegg that people buying a used old gen gaming computer would be fine with I imagine.

    Just brainstorming!
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    March 26, 2010 7:00:00 PM

    The problem with that is that I paid $600 for my current build so I'd be losing $300 if I were to sell it for that low of a price. Plus 6 months is a long time to go with a shitty graphics card.
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    March 26, 2010 7:39:12 PM

    When did you build that system? You can't expect to sell a used system for what you paid for it of course. hence why spending $300 to upgrade a system you will be selling in 6 months is going to just be tossing money away.

    And i was using $300 to be very conservative. Check out craigslist in yuor area for "gaming pc" or "gaming computer" and see what people are trying to sell their old systems for. maybe by you it's more like 400 or 500 dollars?

    People who aren't comfortable building their own rig pay considerably more for less quality gear, and they dont even know it...

    Obviously if you sell your current system entirely, you aren't waiting 6 months, start picking out parts today, you know?

    or just do what you seem to be heavily leaning towards and get the quad and 5770. the important thing is that you do what will let you sleep peacfully at night. Don't take my advice if you will regret it. i've just had good luck building a system for $700 or so, then selling it for $500-600 a year later and upgrading the whole rig. Done that 3 years in a row. and its been good experience.
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    March 26, 2010 8:18:47 PM

    So what would be a good system to upgrade to for around $700 or 800, not including OS, HDD, monitor, speakers, mouse, and keyboard? It's mainly for gaming and Photoshop.
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    March 26, 2010 8:36:09 PM

    You would be crazy to use an old HD for Photoshop use. Photoshop relies very heavily on HD speed. In fact, you would be well served to get two fast drives for the new build, one for the system drive and another to use as the scratch drive. Anyway, here's a nice build that includes a HD in your price range. You could even add another HD and still be under $800.

    AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    GIGABYTE GA-890GPA-UD3H AM3 AMD 890GX HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $279.98 (CPU + motherboard combo)

    G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBRM - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $114.99

    Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3500418AS 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $54.99

    SAMSUNG CD/DVD Burner Black SATA Model SH-S223C - OEM
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $19.99

    Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    Antec NEO ECO 520C 520W Continuous Power ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $109.94 (Case + PSU combo)

    SAPPHIRE 100283-3L Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $159.99 - $10.00 MIR

    Total - $739.88 - $10.00 MIR
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    March 26, 2010 8:44:42 PM

    I'm planning to upgrade to Crossfire, if you could work that in that'd be great. I think an $800 budget is fine, so that will add some room.
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    March 26, 2010 8:50:22 PM

    The only thing that needs to change to allow Crossfire in the future is a slightly more powerful PSU. If you swap out the case + PSU combo for this one it only adds $20 and will allow Crossfire. The motherboard already supports Crossfire.

    Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    Antec EarthWatts EA650 650W 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $129.98
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    March 26, 2010 10:06:45 PM

    Is there any place it could be scaled down so I could throw in a 5850? Thanks.
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    March 26, 2010 11:18:53 PM

    yes scale the mobo away from 890gx and save $30-$40. Get a cheaper case that has more features than the antec 300 (save another $30), take a shot at an OCZ PSU and save $30 there too. I just got an OCZ modxstream and its working out fine.

    Cheap brand name case option:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    PSU where the combo pays for the optical drive:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

    MOBO and CPU combo:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

    See what I'm saying look how fast the savings add up.
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    March 26, 2010 11:22:00 PM

    The antec 300 is nice cause its antec. But for the price of the antec 300 you can get a case with many more features. Even the HAF 922 is only $10 more than the antec 300...

    The case I linked is an example of a rediculous deal when finding good rebates. Plus it has ample cable management slots, tooless design, and CPU heatsink access. Just so many more features and for <$30. Would need to buy a couple fans though I suppose. Just linking to show there are many options for a case if you're ok spending $50-$80. Don't force yourself into an Antec 300 with no cable management options at all.
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    March 27, 2010 12:00:16 AM

    This also raises the question of if I should Crossfire 2 5770's or get one 5850 and wait a while for Crossfire. Which one should I do? And that is a good case, nice call.
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    March 27, 2010 12:53:24 AM

    Here's a build I whipped up, let me know if there are any discrepancies or if you have a better suggestion.

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    March 27, 2010 2:23:59 AM

    What pops out to me is the RAM you chose. It doesn't even list timings. Essentially, it seems like its not gaming caliber memory. for the extra $10 I'd go here:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    As far as the dual 5770 vs single 5850... I think it makes more sense to go single GPU. two 5770's while being pretty sweet, leaves you no where to go later on. if you got a single 5850, that would certainly be eough for high end gaming. then later on 12-18 months down the road, maybe the price drops heavily and you can CF two 5850's. If you start with 2x5770, the only way to upgrade is to dump them both and start anew. Plus you'll be costing yourself electric bill money by running two I would imagine, even with the small footprint.

    Are you utilizing combo deals? your cart doesn't show any... or is that because you can't put combos in linked wishlists?

    Lastly, your MSI 790X doesn't support DDR3 1333 or DDR3 1600, according to the newegg specs.

    If you are going with the beta evo remember you will need to buy at least 1 120mm fan for the exhaust, but getting a second for the top would be ideal. they have the diamond 5850 in stock at tigerdirect.com, and orders over $100 ship free. so you could get your 5850 there, and throw in some fans from TD to avoid silly fan shipping charges. Or look for different cases too i suppose. It just seems like a hot case for so cheap.

    again if you need to save more money, you could pass on the hyper 212 for a while and just use the stock cooler. since it looks like you might get a casewith a CPU cutout, you could always replace the stock HSF later (without breaking apart your system) when more money is available.

    The OCZ PSU deals are pretty much ridiculous right now. Assuming you get the rebate (be fricken meticulous about the rebates...) its a 700w modular PSU for $53, plus a $20 combo with a handful of different HDD or optical drive options. If you aren't planning to CF 5770's you could even look at the 600w version to save a few more bucks.

    I don't know what it is about your thread but it makes me incredibly verbose...
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    March 27, 2010 3:04:45 AM

    Haha, it's cool, it's a good think tank thing going on. But I couldn't find any combo deals with CPUs/mobos that didn't have a price-increasing copy of MW2 in it. I'll look for other mobos and a combo with CPU/GPU.
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    March 27, 2010 3:25:56 AM

    if you don't plan to crossfire. get this mobo/cpu combo with a single 5850:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

    If you might want to crossfire get this combo:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

    IMO. didn't fermi release today? nvidia's GTX 470 and 480? 5850 prices might be getting cut soon.

    heres the link from tiger direct i was talking about. considering newegg has zero XFX 5850's, if thats what you wanted:

    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
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    March 27, 2010 4:02:57 AM

    A few things: with that motherboard that you suggested for Crossfire, would the dual-link x8 lanes hamper performance? Should I go for one that has 32 lanes? Also, the prices did go down quite a bit, so they're back at around $280-320. So what about that?
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    March 27, 2010 4:21:07 AM

    dual x8 lanes is more than enough from what i have read over the last few months. Only the 5970 used that bandwith if I remember correctly.

    I always assumed I would crossfire my gtx 260 core 216. I figured ..."I'll get one now, and later I can SLI". But I never did and probably never will.

    Do some googling on dual x8 lanes and see what experts have to say. Why dump more $$$ on a mobo for features that are not necessary or might never be used?

    I just bought that ASUS motherboard for a single 5770 build. For what its worth, the board works fine and looks super sexy through the glass. Meh.

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    March 27, 2010 4:40:50 AM

    So two 5850's should be fine in Crossfire on it? There won't be any bottleneck or anything like that?
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    March 27, 2010 3:10:33 PM

    I just googled around the difference between x16-x16, x16-x8, x8-x8, and x16-x4.
    1.) Never do x16-x4
    2.) x16-x16 obviously is best
    3.) x16-x8 won't have any measureable bottlenecking
    4.) x8-x8 has 5 FPS bottleneck in 2560x1600 resolution. And since you don't have a $1000 monitor...

    Do a little research. I wouldn't worry about it, but I'm not the one living with your system.
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    March 27, 2010 3:31:47 PM

    ^+1... well put :) 
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    March 27, 2010 7:45:19 PM

    Haha, thanks, no one's really explained the difference to me before. I'm fine with x8-x8 in that case. Anything else I should consider about this theoretical new build?
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