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Thinking about upgrading...

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October 18, 2010 10:40:17 AM

Hi there, figured I'd come to Tom's after getting some great help building this PC a few years ago but I have become frustrated with the performance in my games.

Specs:
OS: Windows 7
MOBO: Gigabyte p35-ds3l (LGA775 socket)
CPU: Intel e4600
RAM: 2gb mushkin
GPU: ASUS RADEON EAH5770

I have become fed up with not being able to get decent framerates in games. For example, in Team Fortress 2 (running on 1920x1080 with everything else on low settings [no aa]) I can only squeeze about 25fps out during fights and 45fps otherwise. I suspect that my CPU is bottlenecking the GPU substantially so I have two options: Upgrade or OC. SC2 on medium-low settings in 4v4 games (around the mid-game) is horrible for framerate - I can't watch teamfights without lagging horribly. Even in Heroes of Newerth on medium-low settings, during 5v5 teamfights the framerate drop is noticeable.

The CPU runs at around 40C without load using a stock cooler.

My budget is around $200-$300 but of course I would like to see significant framerate gains.

The way I see it is I could stick with this LGA775 mobo or upgrade the mobo and processor (which would cost alot more i suspect).

I anxiously await your opinions :) 

More about : thinking upgrading

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October 18, 2010 11:22:37 AM

You can switch over to
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboBundleDetails.aspx?I...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboBundleDetails.aspx?I...

To anyone of these and they'll drop the CPU bottle neck considerably....
And to top it all you can mix and match a few of the combo things and remove what you may not need to upgrade certain other parts :) 

Or then the separate part list could go like
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... :Mobo
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... : Processor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... : RAM

And a 30$ or more rebate......
It wouldn't be too pressing on your budget I think.... and will go a long way.....
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October 18, 2010 11:36:05 AM

alyoshka said:
You can switch over to
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboBundleDetails.aspx?I...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboBundleDetails.aspx?I...

To anyone of these and they'll drop the CPU bottle neck considerably....
And to top it all you can mix and match a few of the combo things and remove what you may not need to upgrade certain other parts :) 


Thanks for the suggestions, but I won't need half of that stuff listed in the bundles and im not too sure how to 'mix n match' the items..they seem preset.

So you're suggesting a new mobo and going AMD - what do others think? :D 
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a b à CPUs
October 18, 2010 11:41:17 AM

I mentioned the combos so that you get an Idea of what you need if you want to upgrade, I know you'll not need half of the things, but a combo gives you an estimate as to how much to expect with what budget....
And then you have the time to browse for the perfect product or combination that you want and can afford.... :) 
I really can't say much about intel cos they are pretty limited when it comes to upgrading, lookig at your budgetary allowance, I think AMD would be a better way to go cos if you think of re upgrading later on , it'll work out a lot more value for the buck.....
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October 18, 2010 11:52:07 AM

alyoshka said:
I mentioned the combos so that you get an Idea of what you need if you want to upgrade, I know you'll not need half of the things, but a combo gives you an estimate as to how much to expect with what budget....
And then you have the time to browse for the perfect product or combination that you want and can afford.... :) 
I really can't say much about intel cos they are pretty limited when it comes to upgrading, lookig at your budgetary allowance, I think AMD would be a better way to go cos if you think of re upgrading later on , it'll work out a lot more value for the buck.....


Okay thanks. I should also make note that I the computer will be built with gaming in mind (not sure if that will affect my CPU choice too heavily, although I hear that games are starting to make more use of more than 2 cores).
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a b à CPUs
October 18, 2010 12:05:46 PM

Yup, quad is the way to go these days, hexa is still good but the prices need to go down and games need to utilize them better. Surely you can't opt for a dual core anymore.... not when it comes to gaming.... it's better to go the AMD CF way since hardware is really changing at an amazing pace and luckily gaming is not being able to keep up with the pace, very few good games coming out very fast. So that makes having a system basically gaming on older games that would really benefit from Quad core and CF/SLI stuff, making the AMD way a lot more consumer friendly...
Of course people will opt for the Core i5 and that is also a nice way to go but the budgets change pretty much going the intel way....
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October 18, 2010 12:40:47 PM

At this budget, AMD is the way to go, highest I'd go is a Phenom 955. Lowest I'd go is an Athlon X3.
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October 18, 2010 1:19:50 PM

Alright, most likely I'll go for the X4 Phenom 955. Any suggestions for MOBOs?
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a c 81 à CPUs
October 18, 2010 1:30:11 PM

Why do you want to switch platform.? Just get a core 2 quad along with another 2gigs of ram and settle up for another year or so.. You wont even have the hassle of a windows and reinstall and setting everything up like before.. Moreover, the performance is similar.. If you need, just look at the gaming CPU hierarchy chart..
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a b à CPUs
October 18, 2010 1:32:49 PM

Yeah, if you go ahead and upgrade with just the processor and ram and no clean install, we'll be expecting a lot of new questions from you here at Tom's...... :) 
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October 18, 2010 2:25:23 PM

It's a tough decision because the AMD cpus seem to have much more bang-for-the-buck. At around $180:

Intel: http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item...

AMD: http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item...

The AMD has 0.90GHz higher clock speed AND more cache for a lower price. A comparable Intel CPU (from the hierarchy chart Emperus mentioned) is around $300, nearly double the price:
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Of course the benefit with that is I'll get to stick with my mobo. So I guess it's a matter of how much hassle I'm willing to go through. Blowing my mind that intel cpu = amd cpu + mobo basically. Or am i missing something?
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a b à CPUs
October 18, 2010 2:35:38 PM

Whats the idea of hanging onto the same mobo?
Earlier you were getting Bottle necks cos of the processor if you upgrade that, you're going to get bottle necks cos of DDR2 which the old mobo supports...... :) 
I believe if you want to get the job done right (No bottle necks Higher Frame rates) it's better to go with AMD and the Board has the capability of adding more cards in CF so you're not going to have bottle necks from the board or the processor and if you want to upgrade the frame rates you can always opt for another 5770 later on say 6 months from now? I bet they'd be dirt cheap by then...:) 

Haven't you heard " No Pain , No Gain" :) 
And this is just a 45 minute pain with Windows..... that's not too much looking at what you gain from it later............
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a c 81 à CPUs
October 18, 2010 8:34:59 PM

Maximu5 said:
It's a tough decision because the AMD cpus seem to have much more bang-for-the-buck. At around $180:


Its a bang for the buck situation only when building a completely new system or upgrading from a hopeless rig..

Maximu5 said:
The AMD has 0.90GHz higher clock speed AND more cache for a lower price. A comparable Intel CPU (from the hierarchy chart Emperus mentioned) is around $300, nearly double the price:
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...


Its an awesome processor which will keep you hooked up for another year and even more..

Maximu5 said:
Of course the benefit with that is I'll get to stick with my mobo. So I guess it's a matter of how much hassle I'm willing to go through. Blowing my mind that intel cpu = amd cpu + mobo basically. Or am i missing something?


You forgot to add RAM.. You'll need to purchase DDR3 RAM to work with the AMD system..

P.S. - With no apparent future releases, both (LGA 775 & AM3) sockets are almost a dead end.. The top end C2Q's and the top end Phenom II X4's are similar in performance virtually across all benchmarks (real life and/or synthetic).. You are safe with any decision you make.. Actually, if i had been in your place, i'd have got myself a C2D E8400 along with 2GB of RAM (making it a total 4GB)..

Bottom Line - If you can make some cash by selling your current mobo, CPU and RAM, then surely think about a platform sweep..
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October 18, 2010 9:54:19 PM

I'm indecisive because I'm not sure how the physical framerate gains would compare between buying a decent Intel C2Quad and platform sweeping for a high end AMD X4 or even sticking with a high end C2D like Emperus mentioned. The performance in processors itself is one thing, but I know the motherboard and RAM come into play as well.

I guess I'm just saying I'm not sure if the gains of switching to AMD and paying a bit more will be worth it. Thank you for all the replies so far, I haven't been keeping up with the PC hardware scene so unfortunately the mixed opinions are making me indecisive lol :) 
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October 19, 2010 9:24:32 AM

Both switching platforms with something like a 955 and sticking with what you've got are viable options. Either should more or less fix your bottleneck for a while to come.

Upgrading now means that it'll be a bit longer before you encounter this again. but will inevitably cost a bit more.
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