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Upgrading my computer

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April 22, 2010 4:20:25 PM

Hey just now im scouring the internet for hours on different products and what's better than what but ive decided to settle here to get some answers.. so hopefully i will get some :) 

I got a new pc last year which i thought was going to be great but well i'd say my knowledge was a bit blind so now im hitting myself on the head becuase of it even though it is still pretty decent...

I have a vista 32 bit computer by the manufacturer foxconn(planning to get 64 bit windows 7)
An Intel Core 2 Quad 9650 @3.00Ghz which ive amaturely overclocked to 3.1Ghz(Don't really know what im doing) .
I have a case which isn't exactly a great cooler but i had a friend tell me i'll be fine if i take a side off and put a fan next to my computer.. lol
I have a Nvidia 9800 GTX+ card (this is what i think i need to upgrade)
I have 4Gb DDR2 RAM (which isn't fully utilied as i have the 32 bit vista.. *facepalm*
No idea what motherboard i have and i have not actually had the time to open my pc to see its guts.
A main worry i have is im going to have to change my motherboard when im going to upgrade.
I have a new 1920x1080 monitor alongisde a old 1280x1024 monitor

I spend alot of time on computers and basically love computing... Im still at school at the moment though and have a limited budget.. The most i have to spend is probably about £500 which i hope is enough for a big performance boost.
For a round up of how my computer runs.. it can run Crysis at high fine with 0x AA but once i get beyond that it isn't playable at all or it cuts out...
Im looking to boost my performance enough to basically max the Crysis settings with the highest amount of AA i can acheive though ill also be playing other games ofcourse.

Im hoping someone can steer me in the right way for getting the most out of my money :)  Thank you
Happy to give more inofrmation on my pc if needed but i don't have any 3dmark vantage benchmark stuff and that...

More about : upgrading computer

April 22, 2010 4:26:05 PM

i say, invest that 500. that quad can and would still BARELY hold up this time. if you would save money and wait for the price drops of the coming hexacore. u could get a very good deal
April 22, 2010 4:26:33 PM

To be honest, I'd save up a little more (like 100 or more pounds) and just do a complete rebuild. The Core2 CPUs are on a dead socket that only uses the slower RAM, the case sounds like a lost cause, as does the motherboard. Chances are the PSU isn't quality either.

If you absolutely wanted to spend some money now, I would get the HD 5870 (about $400 in the US). Chances are that it won't run perfectly in the setup, but it would do a lot better with Crysis. After that, I'd be looking at either an AM3 build or an i5-750 to upgrade to.
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April 22, 2010 4:46:30 PM

oh my PSU is 600W and Hmm i was considering a HD5870 for about £250 and a bundle set containing a AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor ,
MSI 785GM-E51 AM3 AMD 785G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
AND
8GB (4x 2GB) PC3 1600 DDR3 1600MHZ 240 PIN 8 GB
PC3 12800 at the cost of £360.00

I think id manage to scrounge extra money off my parents lol.

Only problem is the case which is yes a lost cause.. and i have a bad feeling im going to have to upgrade from 600W and i have a feeling it is alot of hassle trying to move all your stuff from one case to another.

April 22, 2010 5:33:11 PM

you definetly don't need 8 gigs of ram
nor do you need 965
9its just overclocked 955)
April 22, 2010 5:36:19 PM

Should i go AMD if im getting a ATI card and if thats not needed then do you recommend the intel i7/i5 over the phenom 955
April 22, 2010 5:38:10 PM

You should go AMD simply because they're in your price range. The GPU has no bearings on what CPU you choose.

Considering your price range, you can't afford an i5 or an i7 without sacrificing GPU power. That would be a poor choice since the GPU determines gaming performance.
April 22, 2010 5:47:25 PM

Do i need any more or faster ram?(im guessing my ddr2 is only 800Mhz) and if i have a motherboard just now whats housing my quad9650 chip im guessing its unlikely that a 965 or 955 will have the right compatibility to fit in..?
April 22, 2010 7:30:04 PM

And im reading another ofrum now within this site which is fighting between the 5870 , the 5850 and the gtx470 and im torn between the three lol
April 22, 2010 7:37:21 PM

a1an said:
And im reading another ofrum now within this site which is fighting between the 5870 , the 5850 and the gtx470 and im torn between the three lol


5850 is sufficient at your resolution, you can always x-fire down the road. End of story. The 470 is too expensive. If you keep your PSU, make sure you have the right PCI-express connections. I think you need a 6+2 pin for the 5850...OEM PSU rarely have that connection.
Dont make this more difficult than it needs to be. Good luck
April 22, 2010 7:48:15 PM

The 5850 is sufficient for 1080p with the exception of Crysis. Every other game, the 5850 can play at max details, but Crysis will require lowered details. The 5870 can play Crysis with max details.

You will need new DDR3 RAM if you upgrade to an AM3 build.

For the 5850 and above, you need 2x PCIe connectors.
April 22, 2010 8:58:09 PM

Do you recommend getting a proper case optimized for gaming like with fans over it ect..
April 22, 2010 9:00:59 PM

AM3 build because it fits ur budget. and a antec 300 or haf 922 would suffice
April 22, 2010 9:07:29 PM

I'd say you're pretty much looking at an entirely new build (case, PSU, everything).

This doesn't have to happen right away, but you should probably start planning it.
April 22, 2010 9:52:02 PM

my mum and dad would be like wtf if i was to get a entire new build lol.. im trying to do it in the way they don't see it as that aha. All of it was supposed to last about a couple of years...somehow O.o
April 22, 2010 10:25:14 PM

xurwin said:
AM3 build because it fits ur budget. and a antec 300 or haf 922 would suffice



Hmm what is the best case between the two? and i think i may actually go for the antec 900... Btw guys i can sell this system for about £450 which brings my budget up :) 
April 22, 2010 11:12:16 PM

The HAF 922 is possibly the best case ever made. It's huge, fairly cheap, keeps everything very cool, offers great cable management and other features.
April 22, 2010 11:16:53 PM

^+1 mad is right. haff 922 would be the best
April 22, 2010 11:58:48 PM

if i have a budget of about £900 do i still stick with the AM3 build?
April 23, 2010 12:11:29 AM

yeah.. or maybe you can go to an i5 750 route
April 23, 2010 12:24:38 AM

Definately get a quality PSU. That is pretty much the most important thing to get. If you have a cheapass PSU chances are that it wont perform properly, or worst case simply blow up and take the rest of your PC with it.
April 23, 2010 12:26:51 AM

Well if i have a budget of £900 could i have a good intel set up with a hd 5870 card? and suitable ram for gaming and a high enough PSU to ensure future proof if i wanted SLI in the future..and ofcourse that haff922 case which would be able to keep the i5 stable at about 3.8ghz? I don't need mouse,keyboard,bluraydrive,monitor or hardrive
April 23, 2010 12:34:08 AM

a1an said:
Well if i have a budget of £900 could i have a good intel set up with a hd 5870 card? and suitable ram for gaming and a high enough PSU to ensure future proof if i wanted SLI in the future..and ofcourse that haff922 case which would be able to keep the i5 stable at about 3.8ghz? I don't need mouse,keyboard,bluraydrive,monitor or hardrive


Probably, yea.
April 23, 2010 12:38:13 AM

a1an said:
Well if i have a budget of £900 could i have a good intel set up with a hd 5870 card? and suitable ram for gaming and a high enough PSU to ensure future proof if i wanted SLI in the future..and ofcourse that haff922 case which would be able to keep the i5 stable at about 3.8ghz? I don't need mouse,keyboard,bluraydrive,monitor or hardrive


No you cant. 5870 cost almost $400. you cant get a quality mobo cpu psu ram.

and about that i5 to 3.8 with haff. you can. with also a good cooler. maybe a corsair h50 or cm hyper 212
April 23, 2010 12:39:49 AM

would it dominate all demanding games coming out about now? like highest spec and with some AA thrown in?
April 23, 2010 12:42:55 AM

i would say yes. but the 5850 would max out nearly all games.sooo 5870 would c r u s h them :) . i really dont know what would happen if 8x aa. but i think it will play. max or high. see the benches
April 23, 2010 1:11:46 AM

xurwin said:
No you cant. 5870 cost almost $400. you cant get a quality mobo cpu psu ram.

and about that i5 to 3.8 with haff. you can. with also a good cooler. maybe a corsair h50 or cm hyper 212



Just FYI. £900 = $1385 american.
April 23, 2010 1:16:20 AM

Given that 900 pounds is about $1,400, you can likely get the 5870 and an i5. It may be possible to get an AMD build with a 5970 though...

The 5850 can play most games with max details at 1900x resolutions. The main exception is Crysis. So right now, the 5850 is good enough for current games. That's not likely to continue to be the case for several years.

The 5870 can play every game with max details at 1900x resolutions. No exceptions.

Just guessing at prices over there, but here's what I would look at building:

CPU: i5-750 ($200)
Mobo: Asus P7P55D-E Pro ($190)
RAM: Any non-OCZ 2x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 sticks ($115). Non-OCZ because they have compatibility issues with a lot of boards, especially Intel boards.
HDD: Seagate 7200.12 1 TB or Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB ($90) (also available in 500 GB models for $55). The newer drives are a lot faster than old ones. I'd recommend spending a little bit to get a new drive.
GPU: HD 5870 ($400)
PSU: 750W from Antec, Corsair, Silverstone or SeaSonic ($90)
Case: HAF 922 ($80)
HSF: Coolermaster Hyper 212 Plus ($35)

That should add up to about $1,200. Don't forget that you'll likely need a new copy of Windows (usually about $100). Check the prices on all that and see if that's in the budget.
April 23, 2010 2:18:42 AM

feriluce said:
Just FYI. £900 = $1385 american.


oh,my bad. i didnt know. i was so stupid xD. well
April 23, 2010 12:50:54 PM

the i5 750 better than the i5 650? though 650 is set at a stock of 3.2ghz...
April 23, 2010 1:04:04 PM

The i5-650 is a dual core. And I would NEVER recommend it because it's as expensive as the i5-750 quad core and doesn't offer anything special.
April 23, 2010 1:04:52 PM

ignore that last pot.. didn't realise it was dual core.. so is the 920 out of my pricing range or is it just not as efficient in bang for your buck wise.. and if i was to overclock my cpu how high would i be able to overclock it while still being stable with the stock coolingof the haff 922 case?
April 23, 2010 1:13:46 PM

also going with the i5 solution it'll mean ill probably have to buy a new motherboard next time i switch.. due to LGA1336 being the top dog, the 1156 won't limit the 5870 card would it or if i was to have 2 of them running at the sametime...?
April 23, 2010 1:24:03 PM

The i7s are out of your price range. And they're not that great of a value anyway.

Going with Intel means you'll have to switch boards for the next upgrade. Intel just annouced their next sockets (LGA1155 and LGA1365 I believe).

No current CPU will limit the GPU nowdays.
April 23, 2010 1:46:17 PM

hmm i managed to find a complete 920 pc setup(with 6gb ddr3 ram) minus the harddrive and OS for £918 :) 
April 23, 2010 1:49:34 PM

not sure if the harddrive i got at the moment is probably the sane speed unless this increase in speed is really recent...
April 23, 2010 2:07:27 PM

and i just looked up an i5 build and its like £892 lol... so not really a big price difference considering the extra ram.. and better motherboard and cpu..
April 23, 2010 2:46:18 PM

The technical speed (i.e. 7200 RPM) might be the same, but the operating speed isn't. The newer drives use 500 GB platters, so the data density is a lot higher. That means faster speeds.

I guarantee that the i7-920 setup does not have a better motherboard. An equivalent board to the one I put in the build is the Asus P6X58D Premium, which is over $100 more than the Asus P5P55D-E Pro. Coupled with equivalent RAM and the CPU, the price increase is going to be in the neighborhood of $300 for an equivalent system.

Besides, the i7-920 isn't better than the i5. They're about the same.
April 23, 2010 2:50:35 PM

Ok :)  But yeah whe going with i5 setup it still isn't that much a dramatic cut down in price so even then i can't really manage to cut it down in price unless im looking in wrong place but ive been using google shoppng and going across price ranges... Doesn't the hyper-threading what the 920 has count as sometihg against the i5 btw?
April 23, 2010 2:52:42 PM

^ um mad can u i ask? is i5 better than i7 860?or i7 930? for rendering. HT would help right? but for the $1k budget. wat would u say?
April 23, 2010 2:58:15 PM

or am i better getting an AM3 build with a hd5970 or dual hd5870's?
April 23, 2010 3:00:36 PM

am3 build with hd 5970
April 23, 2010 3:03:58 PM

the only thing is i heard AM3 motherboards can sometimes bottleneck high end graphic cards such as the HD5970.... A recommended AM3 build would be really sweet :) 
April 23, 2010 3:04:09 PM

Hyperthreading is only going to be useful for heavy rendering and processing builds. Neither of which the OP has indicated he does.

Picking a CPU really depends on what you're doing. For gaming, the i5 is better than all the i7s because of it's similar performance and lower price. For rendering, the i7s would be better. I'd steer away from the i7-8xx simply because they don't offer much over the i5.

You wouldn't be able to afford the 5970 (it's a good $700). And I don't think it's worth it to start a build with Crossfire. The 5870 is more than enough to play every game right now. Why waste money and not get anything for it?
April 23, 2010 3:12:36 PM

And is the i5 that much better than the 955 if im only going to overclock to about 3.6-3.8ghz?
April 23, 2010 3:15:18 PM

The i5 is better than the X4 955 at pretty much everything, especially if overclocked.
April 23, 2010 3:17:07 PM
April 23, 2010 3:18:30 PM

MadAdmiral said:
The i5 is better than the X4 955 at pretty much everything, especially if overclocked.


It's better than it at everything but is it that noticable in gaming and just everyday things? i web browse alot.
April 23, 2010 3:33:20 PM

And if it is the case then ill go for the i5 750 build you recommended earlier in the thread.. but could you maybe link the products to suit the price? Would be very grateful and @zurwin im grateful that you went through the bother of finding them links :) 
!