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Which upgrades would be worth it? / Bottleneck?

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Last response: in Systems
June 29, 2010 8:16:22 PM

Hello, I recently finished building my computer, and I'm quite happy with it. However, I still wouldn't mind upgrading to make it even better, if it is worth the money. The system that I have:

Antec 902 case
Gigabyte GA-P55a-UD3 P55 R motherboard
1 TB Spinpoint F3 harddrive
Tuniq 120 Extreme CPU cooler
XFX Radeon 5850 graphics card
Intel core I5 750 processor
Corsair XMS3 4 GB DDR3 RAM
Corsair 750-TX power supply
A Sony DVD drive
WMP600N wireless card
Windows 7
Asus VH2336H
and a little bit of love

With the exception of the Tuniq fan, the case has no additional fans installed, excluding the 2 intake and 2 exhaust that come with the case, and it runs at between 30-45 degrees.

I was thinking about upgrading to 8-12 GB of RAM, or maybe getting another harddrive, but I don't want to use RAID 0 because I don't want the risk of losing that much data.

What upgrade would you suggest/where would the bottleneck be on this system?

More about : upgrades worth bottleneck

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June 29, 2010 8:31:33 PM

Assuming this is a gaming computer, more RAM is unnecessary. If you intend to use it for something else, such as audio editing or something, then it might be worthwhile.

Currently, your biggest true bottleneck is the hard drive. However, SSDs are still relatively expensive, and not really an ideal upgrade, as they don't really alter your gaming experience much.

If you're gaming at 1920x1080, then the 5850 is the first bottleneck that affects your fps. Your options are either: upgrade to a 5970 or crossfire another 5850. If both of those are out of budget, then just keep on with the 5850 for now, and consider upgrading later. EDIT: Just noticed that you can't crossfire. Your only real option then is to upgrade to a 5970 or a 480, neither of which I would really recommend for being cost-effective.

I'd say that you should just enjoy your computer for now, save your money, and consider an upgrade in 6 months to a year.
June 29, 2010 9:03:58 PM

1920x1080 actually makes the screen a little too small for my taste, so I have it set at 1600x900. I don't like the way that it has black bars at the top and bottom, but I don't like it as small as it was.

I don't do audio editing, just gaming. I figured my hard drive was a problem, but an SSD seemed unreasonably expensive.

I can't crossfire? I was under the assumption that I could... Maybe I bought the wrong motherboard, that'd suck, :whistle: 

If there's nothing I can do to make it faster for a reasonable price, I can live with it. This is the fastest computer I've ever had, and first that I've ever built. I'm quite happy with it, I'm just addicted to building now :) 
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June 29, 2010 9:10:04 PM

If this is your motherboard, then it doesn't appear to support CrossFire. I couldn't find anything else on newegg that matched the description you gave above.

If you have a different board than the one I linked that can CrossFire, then getting another 5850 is the best option for better gaming performance.

Other than that, I don't see anything that would be a cost-effective upgrade. As far as hard drives go, you've got a perfectly fine one. The WD Velociraptors are faster at random reads/writes, but they're almost as expensive as SSDs these days. I would simply wait until SSDs come down in price, hopefully sometime within the next year.
June 29, 2010 9:16:49 PM

Yep, that's the one, I looked at it on amazon and it said it had xfire, I looked at the first review on that link you posted and the guy said that it can run xfire, just not well. Oh well, looks like a new motherboard is gonna be needed eventually if I ever want that.

Thanks for your help!
June 29, 2010 9:17:00 PM

Best answer selected by whoisme555.
June 29, 2010 9:24:14 PM

Yeah, I suspect technically you could technically crossfire, but at 16x/4x, which is reported to have a pretty severe dropoff compared to 8x/8x or 16x/16x.

In all likelihood, by the time that your graphics get too slow to deal with, there will be a new generation of cards out, and you might be best served by upgrading to the new generation. I look at the ability to crossfire/SLI as a nice-to-have, but there's almost always a newer card out by the time that most users feel the need to crossfire/SLI.