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Upgrading computer...is this a good selection?

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May 23, 2010 11:30:06 PM

I've decided to update my computer after throwing in a 480 GTX (And since it's close to my birthday).

I was thinking of these upgrades...

Motherboard:

Asus Crosshair III (fyi I will not be doing crossfire\sli)
Hard-Drive: Raptor 300gb
CPU: Amd Phenom X6 3.2ghz

Ram: Muskin Enhanced 6gb DDR-1866 (max the MB seems it can take speed wise?)

Seem like a good upgrade? My current system is a 750w Corsair PSU, with a Asus M3A79-T Deluxe AM+2 Motherboard with a Phenom II 940 X4 oced to 3.5ghz (about two years old) and a normal Seagate Barracuda 320gb hd with a 1tb WD Cavair, Sound Blaster Xi-Fi and a Nvidia Geforce GTX 480, Ram is DDR2-1066 Reaper OCZ.

Thanks in advance! Just wanna make sure the processor can match this high ram speed and everything else.

May 24, 2010 12:54:47 AM

Updated the Motherboard\Ram that I'm looking at, please tell me if it's a good selection, plan to buy tomorrow.
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May 24, 2010 1:16:49 AM

Sounds like good upgrades cept for CPU. Phenom II x4 is better than x6 at gaming. Just an fyi
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a b B Homebuilt system
May 24, 2010 2:03:10 AM

Well, to be specific they were measuring the 965 versus the six core at stock rates.

In all seriousness with that overclock I see no point in upgrading. Maybe the mobo as long as you get a 8XX series chipset. And of course DDR3 RAM. Other than that it should already be plenty for gaming.

For the hard drive, just get either the 500 gig samsung spinpoint f3 or the 1 tb version. They're pretty fast. Hold off for a bit (months to a year) and get an SSD. I think you'd be happier with the performance then and now doing it this way instead.

Also it isn't possible to have a two year old phenom II. *looks it up* yeah I'm right. You must be talking about the AM2+ only one. (December of 08 does not count as two years) Ugh... that would be annoying. That means you can't bring it over, and since there will be literally either no difference or a negative difference in games (with the six core at stock) I'd say don't bother doing anything CPU/mobo wise. Wait till either something better for AM3 platform comes out or they come out with a new socket.

I can get wanting to upgrade, but there just isn't enough room for improvement to be worth it. You bought a super expensive CPU at the time, and with that OC it's performance should still be as good or better than a stock flagship 965, and there's nothing it can't do gaming wise.

Two questions, how were you getting to six gigs? AM3 isn't triple channel.
And how come you picked an nvidia card?

And that type of RAM "speed" is just overclocking, and you get to do it in the BIOS.
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May 24, 2010 3:31:37 AM

Yes I only have AM+2 like I stated above my current hardware is a AM+2 motherboard lol. Your telling me two years later...the new 6-Core top of the line Phenom II is hardly an improvement over my old (running hot) AM+2 cpu? O.o

I picked an Nvidia card because both the 5870's I had had MAJOR issues from TWO different suppliers, and the 480 is significantly better in the majority of games I play. I never had plans to crossfire\sli, and for the price, Nvidia makes a superior card.

I'm getting six gigs because that's the best deal in terms of price\performance.

Remember, I should be able to EASILY get a 6-core to 4.0ghz

Gathering up old benchmarks, in L4D @ 1680x1050 the Phenom II 940 @ 3.0 Ghz (stock) scored an avg of 64 fps on DDR2 1066 (my current setup).

The new Phenom II X6 @ 3.4ghz (stock) reports 127, almost DOUBLE what the old Phenom II 940 got, so the differences between them are quite amazing, I would\should "DOUBLE" my possible processing performance with th eII X6 @ 3.2hz, or even the 965 X4 which scores 126 fps (still double what my old X4 got)

So...there is clearly a big performance difference over-all if you look at my 2 year old Phenom II 940 AM+2 cpu, even over clocked, that is why I'm upgrading, that and it's my birthday excuse :o 
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a b B Homebuilt system
May 24, 2010 4:38:58 AM

There isn't that big of a difference, especially "for the money" as far as those graphics cards go.

You can have AM3 CPU's in an AM2+ mobo, you know, it's not obvious that it's a AM2+ only CPU just because that's the mobo its in. It's still not actually 2 years, it's not even been a year and a half. (barely)

You don't want six gigs... AM3 only has 4 slots, so either 4 or 8 gigs. Unless they started making 3 gig sticks while I wasn't looking.

Are you even using a aftermarket cooler? If you're saying it's running hot I doubt it, grab the cooler master hyper 212+

But yes that's what I'm saying. They're from the same exact generation. What you got was just what they were tossing out there before the AM3 platform was ready and they said so.

There are two sides to gaming, CPU and GPU, back when they were testing the CPU you have they had nowhere near the GPU horsepower. That's why there's such a big difference. Most games are only really dual core capable. They only improve with a 3rd core so that it can hog 2 by itself while the system runs on the third. A fourth would just sit there. So, obviously, would a 5th and a 6th. That's why the difference between the 965 and the six core is negligible enough to call the same. Total horsepowerwise? Sure, it'd have more. But it'd have more unused and pointless horsepower, especially for gaming. You just need enough CPU to feed the GPU. And you've got it already.

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May 24, 2010 5:52:01 AM

For the money? My 5870 Vapor-X 2gb cost me 509$ my GTX 480 which on avg gets a 20% boost in AVP\Far Cry\GTA (for some reason) cost me 500$.


I ended up going with a Gigabyte motherboard since locally it is on sale here for 109$ vs 160 on newegg, got the 6-core and a Corsair H50 to oc it to 4ghz, as well as 4gb of Corsair DDR3.

I am using a Arctic Cooling Xtreme, which when I get the six-core and install tomorrow I will be changing to that "epic" Corsair H50
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a b B Homebuilt system
May 24, 2010 6:19:22 AM

Oh, special editions don't count. Not when you're comparing to the vanilla of the other.

And don't be surprised when not much changes. (besides, you know video editing and the like)

At least sell the old stuff to recoup some of the money.
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May 24, 2010 7:24:47 AM

The two games I mainly play, GTA IV and BC2, are heavily cpu dependant, and I can almost promise you my current processor is necking the 480gtx in those games, esp when you look @ the old benchmarks and the current am3 processors are getting DOUBLE the fps my current one gets, and yeah i already have someone I'm selling the old parts too :p 
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a b B Homebuilt system
May 24, 2010 7:35:50 AM

The old benchmarks would have been running 4850's and 4870's at the most. That's all that was out then. The 5xxx line wasn't out till late 2009 and the fermi stuff wasn't out till mid this year.

That's why the benchmarks are different. That's why it's double - the graphics performance is.

Just a socket and a RAM change to DDR3 is only like 5-8% different.

Yours still is a current CPU, it's still a part of the phenom II line. It's not an original phenom or an athlon 64 dual core. The fact that it happens to be a AM2+ CPU is irrelevant.

Do some benchmarks on your system now and after you rebuild it. That will show you what your hardware really gets.
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May 25, 2010 1:40:00 AM

Installed everything today, the Corsair H50 is AMAZING. At stock speeds it kept my 6-core idleing at 20c, versus my old quad idleing @ 45c on the Arctic cooler. With a simple .25 volt increase I am at a stable 4.0 ghz w\ all 6 cores. The raptor HD is BLAZING fast compared to my old one, so over-all a noticeable improvement, but I'll report back later with gaming changes.

Currently my CPU is @ 30c with this amazing cooler with a 800mhz over clock, so I'm quite happy :D 

When you buy ram for AMD processors, if I'm correctly you should either buy a pack of two, or four right? Four utilizies two dual channels, and 2 uses one dual channel setup? kinda like how Intel's use 3 and 3? Thanks in advance!

here's a pic!
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a b B Homebuilt system
May 25, 2010 1:45:08 AM

Yeah, that's what I was saying about the RAM. And really 4 gigs should be plenty.
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May 25, 2010 2:05:32 AM

Gotcha...I guess I'll stick with 4gb unless I find some better deals around, but just so I do understand, with the AMD Phenom it's supposed to be either 2 sticks or 4, no 1 or 3 right? Thanks
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a b B Homebuilt system
May 25, 2010 5:41:49 AM

Yeah that's so it can run dual channel. If you don't want dual channel for some reason then you can just use 1 or 3 but it's not really a good idea.

As a general rule of thumb, if it's multicore then you can look at the mobo. If it has 2 or 4 slots that's what you should use, or 3 or 6 that's what you should use. I'm pretty sure only socket 1336 has triple channel right now, but that may change.
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May 28, 2010 6:43:28 PM

Alright, cool. And to report the difference, in CPU intensive games like GTA, I've noticed EASILY around a 20% increase in performance with my 1090t @ 4ghz, it's around the difference of going from my Phenom 9950 BE (2.8ghz was oced to 3.0) to the Phenom II 940 @ 3.0. It REALLY increased my FPS in games and the general performance, I never averaged 60 FPS in GTA until now, and that's with everything maxed out, GTA utilizes about 70% of this processor.
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