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To update or build new for primarily gaming build

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October 9, 2010 2:09:19 AM

Ok here goes...
I've got a nearly 4yr old homebuilt system that is finally hitting the wall with DX11 games and requirements.
I'm looking at updating my current system, unless costs favor building new completely.

Approximate Purchase Date: 1- 4 weeks

Budget Range: 600-800 Before Rebates (depends on which way I go obviously)


System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming, surfing the internet, home office productivity, watching movies


Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers


Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com, amazon.com, or other reputable website(s)


Country of Origin: US


Parts Preferences: by brand or type: I know AMD and it's what I currently have but if a new build is cheaper I'm open


Overclocking: Maybe, I've never really needed to but it's a nice to have


SLI or Crossfire: Maybe, I currently have SLI and it's let me stretch out my current build until now... if I can get better performance without it then I'm open!


Monitor Resolution: all of them but 1920x1200 if you force me! (e.g.: 1024x768, 1280x1024, 1440x900, 1600x1200, 1680x1050, 1920x1080, 1920x1200)


Additional Comments: Here are the specifics of my current setup

Monitor: Dell 2008WFP
Case: Thermaltake Armor Series VA8000BWS Black Aluminum / Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case
PSU: Antec TruePower 2.0 TP2-550 EPS12V 550W ATX12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready Power Supply
Mobo: ASUS M2N32-SLI Deluxe Wireless Edition AM2 NVIDIA nForce 590 SLI MCP ATX AMD Motherboard
CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual-Core Processor 4600+ Socket AM2 (89W) Retail
RAM: Corsair TWIN2X2048-6400C4 2GB (2X1GB) Kit DDR2-800 XMS2-6400 Xtreme Performance Memory Retail
GPU: Currently in SLI 2x - EVGA 256-P2-N584-AR GeForce 7900GT 256MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 SLI Supported KO Video Card
HDD: Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3320620AS 320GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive
FDD: MITSUMI Black 1.44MB 3.5" Internal USB 2.0 Internal USB 2.0 digital card reader with Floppy Drive
ODD: LITE-ON 16X DVD±R DVD Burner With LightScribe and 5X DVD-RAM Write Black ATAPI/E-IDE Model SHM-165H6S
TDK 16X DVD±R DVD Burner
OS: Vista 64 bit Home

I'm definately going to upgrade the PSU, OS and SSD combo.

PSU I'm looking at is
CORSAIR Professional Series AX850 850W ATX12V v2.31 / EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply


I intend to upgrade the OS to Win 7 64 bit Pro system builder version.

The SSD I'm looking at is
OCZ Vertex 2 OCZSSD2-2VTXE120G 2.5" 120GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

After that I'm still deciding on whether to upgrade the CPU with the latest BIOS 5002 to 4 cores
AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor HDZ965FBGMBOX

I'm still on the fence on the GPU... really depends on the setup I go with... utilize my current SLI set up with 2x GTS450's or maybe 1 GTX460 1GB for DX11 game or maybe 1 ATI HD5750... I just don't know about this really! Any ideas?

Of course if I build new I am limited in funds above my threshold above so the build would need to provide me my gaming fix as I build it.

TIA for any and all advice...
-CW
a b B Homebuilt system
October 9, 2010 5:17:29 AM

Negative on any ideas of SLI/CF on any AMD mobo prior to 2008 with the 1st 700 series AM2+ mobos, where they fully transitioned to PCIe gen 2.0 for their chipsets: those PCIex 16 gen 1.0/1.1 lanes would be awful!

Collated data: Gen 1.0/1.1 vs Gen 2.0 (CF) - study P35 vs X48 column


In summary i would just

1. Rana 445 + cheapo AM3 770/785G board (if u want to jump into DDR3 bandwagon) or

2. Rana 445 + update your current mobo BIOS to version 5002
http://www.asus.com/product.aspx?P_ID=0jMy2X8lKstYRvev&...
Quote:
Athlon IIX3 445( ADX445WFK32GM),3.1GHz,512KB,rev.C3,95W,SocketAM3 ALL
5002

stick to single GPU solutions

3. GTX 460/HD 5850 GPU upgrade


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October 9, 2010 12:53:16 PM

Thanks for the info... mind sharing the article where you got that info on Gen 1 vs. Gen 2? I'd like to know more about that.

As for setup, seems you've chosen a CPU I'm not familiar with... is there any reason you prefer it?

If I end up changing the Mobo, then I'm probably going to want to get something completely new with all the bells and whistles of today... either Intel or AMD, not really sure on the route just direction. So I can go another couple of years before I have to upgrade or build new. :D 

As for the GPU, besides the price of two is there really no advantage of SLI/CF?
I understand my SLI setup might not do anything by today's standards, I guess it was wishful thinking I might still get some use out of my current setup with today's new cards in SLI.

Last questions for the time being...
If I do go the route of a single GPU, will this mean the PSU I was looking at not really necessary? I'm thinking the costs would mean I could get the SSD, OS, new CPU, more RAM, and one GPU.
Does this look like my PSU would handle a 5850 and new CPU?
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Related resources
a b B Homebuilt system
October 9, 2010 1:34:39 PM

HD 4870 CF on P35 -- P45 --X48 Chipset - OCF Testing
http://www.overclockers.com/forums/showthread.php?t=571...

CrossFire Comparison: Intel X38 vs. P35
A pair of lesser GPUs: HD2900XT CF
http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/graphics/2007/10/12/cr...
Quote:
We would recommend avoiding virtually every P35 board that sports CrossFire as a feature, but that's not to say you should avoid P35 boards as a whole though - it's just CrossFire on in this situation is financially stupid. Why pay for a cheaper P35 board and then fork out for two expensive graphics cards when you can't get the most out of them?

For a rig w/o need for more firepower (no render/encode) the AthlonII X3 is arguably the best bang for buck if u just want to game
Your current PSU may not be 80+ but it would be ok for up to a single HD 5850 i would say ^^
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October 9, 2010 4:02:56 PM

Sounds like I could simply replace my SLI setup for the HD5850 and be done for at least another year or so...
And it would be the only other piece besides maybe my case and maybe the HDD (for storage) that wouldn't need to be replaced next time around.

I'm thinking I could just overclock my current CPU a little and maybe reduce some of the bottle neck I'm going to have. That'd save me a little $$ upgrading the CPU until I get a newer setup. I'm a noob at OC'ing, so if I'm wrong in my thinking correct me...

Ok, minus any corrections I need in my thinking above, I just have to consider direction of a future build.
Which way should I go, AMD or Intel?!? I don't have a preference per se... just have had AMD's because of price/performance at the time of my builds.

Last question and I should be done for now...
The SSD I mentioned above, will it give me the signficant improvement of read speeds without the fast SATA 6gb port?

Again appreciate your help!
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Best solution

a b B Homebuilt system
October 9, 2010 4:46:58 PM

OCing would help but with a HD 5850 your current X2 4600+ OCed and let's face it they aren't exactly legendary clockers - it's looking a CPU upgrade is in order but yes with your current platform a single beefy GPU is the way to go ^^

As said - just the AthlonII X3 + GPU upgrade and you'd be fine

Share
October 9, 2010 5:04:41 PM

Thanks appreciate the input on my assumptions...

Any leanings on the future build direction, AMD vs. Intel?

Also thoughts on bringing in an SSD to my current setup?
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October 26, 2010 12:30:43 AM

Best answer selected by firehawk_19.
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October 26, 2010 12:53:18 AM

batuchka said:
OCing would help but with a HD 5850 your current X2 4600+ OCed and let's face it they aren't exactly legendary clockers - it's looking a CPU upgrade is in order but yes with your current platform a single beefy GPU is the way to go ^^

As said - just the AthlonII X3 + GPU upgrade and you'd be fine


You were right about the GPU awesomeness of the 5850... blew the doors off my old setup night and day... though I'm still CPU bound with the old AMD X2 4600+...
The OC'ing just wouldn't work in any discernable way, as you said it probably wouldn't, I was still getting the same or lower FPS and overall performance dropped while trying.

I play a variety of games from COD:MW2, World in Conflict, ME2, DragonAge, Civ 5, Fallout 3/NewVegas, WH40K 2, Batman:AA, AC2, to name a few...
I'm looking to pump up the resolution and fps slightly so I'll take the leap with the 445 proc if it will help me in that instance, or is that another build completely?
I'd really like to "see" the difference.

Also I'm looking to move up monitor wise... found out I'm actually limited with my Dell 2005WP(it's not a 2008WFP as I was led to believe) and can't really reach the 1920x1080 threshold the GPU can achieve. Any ideas?
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