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Upgrade or new system?

Last response: in Systems
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June 25, 2010 6:52:19 PM

Hello,

My current rig stands at:

Motherboard: Intel something....

CPU: intel core 2 quad q6600 @ 2.4ghz

GPU: ati radeon HD 5770

PSU: 500w

RAM: 4gb DDR2

I'm considering getting an asus P45 chipset motherboard so that I can overclock the q6600 to 3.0ghz or higher and then get a 2nd HD5770 and run crossfire but this will set me back around £200 (I live in the UK) I think.

Should I go with this upgrade path or just save money for a new system?

More about : upgrade system

June 25, 2010 8:48:50 PM

If you have the money to go for something like a P955/965 BE, go for it. If not: make ur upgrade.
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June 26, 2010 3:03:02 AM

Upgrading can be a slippery slope. First, you get a new mobo and new CPU, then you may want to push more power so you get a new PSU... You can build a new strong rig fairly cheap with prices the way they are...
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June 26, 2010 7:44:18 AM

If I was to go with a p45 motherboard, which one should i get? I want to be able to run crossfire with 2 HD5770. I hear that the asus P5Q PRO is good, is this alright? Or should I spend more money for the P5Q deluxe? Also just wondering what is the difference between the 2?
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June 26, 2010 8:03:59 AM

Been doing a bit more research, apparently the X38 and X48 chipset motherboards are better for crossfire. Is it worth me spending more money and getting this board?

ASUS P5E Deluxe Ai Lifestyle Series - motherboard - ATX - iX48 - LGA775 Socket
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June 26, 2010 9:18:54 AM

I believe P45 is more than enough for 2 x 5770s, a single 5770 will not saturate the bandwidth of 8x PCI-E 2, and the P45 is more power efficient (45nm vs 65 nm for the x38/x48) if you care about such things. And I believe the ASUS P5Q Pro is a good and reputable board, never tried it myself though!
One more thing: Specify the model of your PSU so we can advice you if it's enough for your new upgradw or not.
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June 26, 2010 3:02:48 PM

Personally, I'd save for an all new setup. To keep prices reasonable, you might go with an AMD 955 BE or for a few pounds more, one of the new 6 core AMD chips, like a 1090T. The cost is more than just getting a new motherboard for your Q6600, but will be worth it in the long run.

I'm also not sure about the 500wt PSU that you currently have. If its a solid, quality brand it may run, but it will be borderline. It would be better to look towards a good 650-750wt PSU if you intend on having two 5770 cards.

Just my two cents worth.
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June 26, 2010 4:24:12 PM

Thanks for the reply,
Is this memory saturation that you are talking about?
I am not too familiar with this topic could you elaborate or link me to somewhere that will give me further information on this.
Erm its a cheap no brand power supply :p  shame on me but i'm going to buy a new one soon.
If it is memory bandwidth that you are talking about, the HD5770 has bandwidth of 76.8GB/s and PCI-express x8 has bandwidth of 8*16 = 128GB/s?
Thanks for this information as it is new to me and very helpful
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June 26, 2010 4:28:32 PM

I would save for a new system, but I want to be able to say that my rig runs crysis 2. :D  Also looking at Tom's CPU heirachy list, the 955 BE is only 3 tiers higher than the q6600, I dont really want to build a new system thats only marginally better, might as well wait till the future and upgrade to jump more tiers
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June 26, 2010 6:18:05 PM

swoj11 said:
I would save for a new system, but I want to be able to say that my rig runs crysis 2. :D  Also looking at Tom's CPU heirachy list, the 955 BE is only 3 tiers higher than the q6600, I dont really want to build a new system thats only marginally better, might as well wait till the future and upgrade to jump more tiers


From my experience, taken from the fact that I have both a computer with a 955 BE and one with a QX9650, the 955 BE is a little better than the QX9650. Not much better, but a little better. I intend to upgrade the 955 BE to a 6 core 1090T in a couple months. Take a look at this list from Toms:

http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/2009-desktop-cpu-cha...

This supports that the 955 BE scoring at 1046 is marginally better than a QX9650 at 1034, while being substantially better than a Q6600 at 831. A 1090T scores 1091. OK, these are performance charts and not gaming ones, and I use my mainly use my computers for things other than gaming. For a gaming perspective, using 3Dmark 1.0.2 CPU score, look at this chart:

http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/2009-desktop-cpu-cha...

Here a 955 BE scores 36382, a QX9650 scores 37323, while a Q6600 scores 32363. A 1090T would boost the score to 41025. So a QX9650 does do a little bit better than a 955 BE, but is nearly 2,000 points behind a 1090T.

My point is that the 955 BE would be more than "only marginally better" than a Q6600. Then again, a 1090T is better yet. To go to a yet higher level, you have to go to the i7 series chips and then they cost quite a bit more money. But as I said before, I think building a computer with a 1090T is worthwhile and it doesn't cost as much money as going all the way to an i7 one. As to the memory/ram question, yes, DDR3 will provide more bandwidth and thus better performance. In the end, its a bit of the old dilemma, "How fast can you afford to go".
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June 26, 2010 9:57:05 PM

Thanks sailer for the information.

Just been doing some maths and it seems that it would be better for me (in terms of price-performance) to buy a whole new system based on the Phenom II X6 1055T.

I want to run this with 2 HD5770 in crossfire. Can someone recommend me a PSU and motherboard that I should buy for this set-up.

I've considered the cost of getting DDR3 RAM and although it would be most beneficial for me to get 2000mhz ram so that it matches the FSB of the 1055T, it is simply too expensive and I will have to get 1066mhz RAM to keep costs down and upgrade at a later date.
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June 26, 2010 10:42:38 PM

I don't know exactly what's available where you live, so I'll name a few PSU companies that I have found good. They include Antec, Corsair, PC P&C, and the Thermaltake Toughpower series. No doubt there are others, but these are ones that I've had good experience with. Here is a review guide to power supplies, both good ones and ones to avoid.

http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...

As for ram specs, I use PC 1600 ram with my 955 BE. It would be good for a X6 1055T as well, and for the 1090T that I'm planning on buying, for that matter. The higher spec ram is mainly lower clocked ram that has been factory overclocked with more voltage required to support it, so don't worry about 2000mhz ram. The 1066mhz ram you mention probably can be overclocked to 1600mhz with a bit more voltage than standard.

As to a motherboard, my favorite company has been ASUS, with Gigabyte after that and then MSI. I don't know what's available where you are or what the prices are. Since you are planning to run two cards, make sure the lanes are balanced, not having one lane PCIe at 8 and one at 4, for instance. Look for a board that is running two PCIe 16 lanes. I'd recommend either a 790FX or 890FX board for best performance with a X6 chip.

Just some more thoughts.
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