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Upgrade time - What to get?

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September 19, 2010 11:03:41 PM

So I've been thinking about upgrading this computer I built a little while back. It's pretty good right now, so I don't think the upgrade will be for a while, but when prices drop on some newer components.

Right now I'm running a Phenom II 3.0 Ghz Quad core CPU w/ stock cooler, 512 MB Radeon 4850 GPU, Gigabyte 770 northbridge MOBO with 1 PCIe x16 slot, 4GB DDR3 1600 RAM, and all of it stuffed in an Antec VSK-2000 with all the fan slots filled.

Things I've been thinking of doing:

Upgrade HDD to 60-64 GB SSD boot drive. $150-$250
Upgrade to 5850 (maybe 5870) graphics. $250-$370
Upgrade to new motherboard for chipset, USB 3.0, SATA 3, eSATA port, and more PCIe x16 to allow other upgrades. $150
  • 2x 4850 graphics or 2x 5770. $100-$350
  • new six core phenom II 2.8 Ghz-3.2 Ghz (read in a review that both are exactly the same, just overclock 2.8 to 3.2 and save $$, not sure though). $250-$300
    Get 4 GB more RAM, DDR3 1600. $100
    Upgrade case to Antec 300 (except Eric also has the 300...) or CoolerMaster RC 690 for more cooling, room, and looking better. $60-$80
    Upgrade CPU cooler and overclock it. $30-$60

    Looking for the one that will make the biggest difference.
  • More about : upgrade time

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    a b B Homebuilt system
    September 19, 2010 11:25:47 PM

    The best choice depends on what kind of improvement you want.

    If you want better performance in gaming, you should look at improving your graphics setup first. Your Phenom II X4 shouldn't be bottle-necked by a Radeon HD 4850; an HD 5850 is a much better match for a Phenom II X4. Two HD 4850s in crossfire would be comparable in performance to an HD 5850 and cheaper to set up, all things considered. Down the road, though, the HD 5850 will show its edge in DX11 games.

    http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/2010-gaming-graphics...

    If you want more processing power, get a CPU cooler and overclock higher. You should be able to get quite a bit more performance out of your Phenom II X4. The Cooler Master Hyper 212+ is the best value around.

    Only if you use really processor intensive, well threaded applications (not just gaming, browsing, productivity), should you consider upgrading to a six core Phenom II or 8GB of ram.

    An SSD will give you the obvious benefits of faster start-ups, shutdowns, loading times, and file transfers, but it won't improve gaming performance noticeably.

    I don't see the point in upgrading your case unless you want to get something really high end. The differences between the Antec 300 and VSK-2000 aren't really big enough in my opinion to warrant upgrading (especially if you already have yours filled with fans). Your setup doesn't really need a top of the line cooling setup yet, either.

    SSD
    OCZ Agility 2 60GB Sandforce (top of the line) SSD for $127 after rebate:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
    Total: $127

    Graphics Upgrade
    XFX HD 5850 w/lifetime warranty for $240 after $15 rebate:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
    If you sell the HD4850 on ebay, you could make back ~$65 (after fees and shipping).
    Total: $185

    Motherboard
    ASRock 870 EXTREME3 ATX AMD Motherboard (SATA III, USB 3.0, 8x/8x PCI-E mode for crossfire) for $93
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
    You should be able to get at least $30 for the motherboard you have on ebay (after fees and shipping).
    Total: $63

    Motherboard & Crossfire
    ASRock 870 EXTREME3 ATX AMD Motherboard (SATA III, USB 3.0, 8x/8x PCI-E mode for crossfire) for $93
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
    PowerColor Radeon HD 4850 512MB for $87 after a $15 rebate
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
    Again, you should be able to get at least $30 for the motherboard you have on ebay (after fees and shipping).
    Total: $150

    Processor
    AMD Phenom II X6 1055T for $198
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
    You should be able to get at least $85 for the processor you have on ebay (after fees and shipping).
    Total: $113

    CPU Cooler
    Cooler Master Hyper 212+ for $30
    http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-RR-B10-212P-G1-Univ...
    Total: $30
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    a b B Homebuilt system
    September 20, 2010 3:08:53 AM

    Agreed. 5850 if gaming is your main priority. The x6 is a slight waste of money if you ask me, any quad at that clock speed will be fine for a good while.
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    a b B Homebuilt system
    September 21, 2010 8:34:21 AM

    Best upgrades alternative for you is only the SSD
    I prefer wait untill AMD Buldozer, Intel Sandy bridge and AMD/ATI HD6000 comes to market for upgrading the proc, RAM and/or GPU.
    You might wanna get the new ones or enjoy the price cut on todays components.
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    September 28, 2010 11:56:20 PM

    Best answer selected by I_Cant_See_It.
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