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Upgrading my current gaming computer

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October 25, 2010 9:50:16 PM

Hey guys! I'm new here and was hoping to get a good response as I've always been coming to this site for hardware benchmarks and info!

Anyways, I think it's time I upgrade my current PC's config.

Here's my xfire page with the specs info down at the bottom: http://www.xfire.com/profile/dabrainstabber/

I'll still post the relevant info:
Intel(R) Pentium(R) CPU G6950 @ 2.80GHz (2 CPUs), overclocked to 3.6GHZ
ASRock H55M MotherBoard (1156 socket... bummer I know)
Galaxy GTX 260+ (with 216 shaders I think)

I've been able to run ALL games on MAX settings (full AA/AF) that have been released until today (including Crysis and S.T.A.L.K.E.R Clear Sky and Call or Pripyat) on my old monitor 1280x1024.

I've recently upgraded to a 24" 1920x1080 (1080p) monitor which is EPIC but sadly, I think my system is put into test :( 

I can't run a few games out of the few I've tried with the new monitor on max (Full AA/AF) namely S.T.A.L.K.E.R Clear Sky (WTF that game is like 2008 or something!) where I get an average of 19FPS and I'd probably assume Crysis too though haven't tested that. I also tested Shadow of Call of Pripyat and that gives me around 20-25FPS so I can't play that on max either (Full AA/AF)

Far Cry 2 on this new resolution runs at an average of 35FPS so it's playable but obviously I'd like some more FPS. This game too I'm running on full AA/AF with all settings on max.

Weirdly, World in Conflict, Avatar and Mass Effect 2 are properly playable. WiC has an average of 40FPS (the benchmark gave a minimum of 17 though but an average of 37), Avatar is about 40FPS and Mass Effect 2 is a constant 60.

Basically, you've guessed it. I'm a sucker for the best of the best graphics for all games I play and I really want to crank as much graphics as possible for every game on my new screen.

So basically, what should I upgrade to? I want to upgrade to HD 5970 (when I can afford it) or perhaps the new high end ATI when it comes out or if Nvidia comes out with a good high end GFX card. I can probably save up for ONE card (no SLI/CF please). If you can give me a good recommended card that can run games for at least 2 more years on MAX settings and full AA/AF at 1920x1080 then it would be amazing!

Also, will I HAVE to upgrade my processor? I'd rather not as I don't have that much money saved up. If I DO get a HD 5970 or the new 6 series, will my current processor bottleneck the GFX card by too much?

Hoping for some good views on this... Thanks a lot guys! :) 
October 29, 2010 6:52:57 PM

No reply? :( 
a b B Homebuilt system
October 29, 2010 8:03:56 PM

Ummmmm, get a new ocmputer..... Pentiums are tooooo old to even be bothered to upgrade.
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November 1, 2010 10:03:05 AM

So you reckon I get an i7 or something? That would probably require me to change my motherboard to 1366 socket too won't it? Or does my current motherboard have support for a newer processor? I'd rather have as little cost as possible as I really don't have too much money to spare.

Thanks!
a b B Homebuilt system
November 1, 2010 10:08:12 AM

what is your budget?
November 1, 2010 12:19:51 PM

I'd say around 200£ especially if I can sell my old harware which you'll recommend I replace.

I think I can probably wait till I have enough for the HD 5970 or a GTX 295 (basically the 'best' card out there at the time) but if I'll have to also upgrade my current processor (and motherboard if newer processors need 1366 socket) then I'd rather not take this option.

What would you recommend? Could I even get another GTX 260 and a new motherboard that supports SLI and a newer processor or an HD5970? Whatever is cheaper ofcourse.

I think another info that might help is that I have a 650W power supply, in case you think SLI would be cheaper.

Awaiting your reply :) 
a b B Homebuilt system
November 1, 2010 3:36:25 PM

Your budget is too small for all this.
a b B Homebuilt system
November 1, 2010 3:38:43 PM

for 200 quid? we can probably upgrade your cpu, mobo, and memory for that price.

Or we could upgrade your video card
a b B Homebuilt system
November 1, 2010 6:40:12 PM

Not to any good stuff, I mean probably something better then a P4....
November 1, 2010 10:59:28 PM

Hmm... maybe if I wait for a year I can afford the following:

HD 5970 or the best single-slot GFX card at that time

OR

Another GTX 260 + newer Processor (i7 maybe?) and new mobo to run games in SLI


Which one do you guys is a better investment for playing future games on max graphics? :) 
a c 91 B Homebuilt system
November 1, 2010 11:43:23 PM

-_- 200 quid. :p  I mean I watch enough top gear to know, that's just not enough. Well it depends though, since your not in the US I wouldn't know how to do help you, unless of course you have a British seller that you trust. Then I could help you.

Of course just straight off the bat, 5970 not even worth it. If you are posting right now, I'd expect you to know that Cayman is coming out, and even a 6870 or 6850 would be an improvement, but an improvement not needed yet. Wait a year.

In a year you'll have a whole bunch of budget options, i7 will be outdated. SB (Sandy Bridge) will have the i5 2400S which, if they follow the current pricing, it surpasses the performance of the i7 880. So That'll be an improvement, an i7 for (lets say you double quid for your budget to 400 quid) isn't for such a small budget.

To reiterate, wait for SB or wait for AMD's bulldozer (expected to be a game changer) and see what's the best pick. For current games your build is decent, not the worst. Overclock a bit and hold out till next year.
a b B Homebuilt system
November 2, 2010 1:51:02 AM

200 quid is roughly 400$.... Not enough for an i7. You should wait
a c 91 B Homebuilt system
November 2, 2010 1:55:13 AM

Isn't that what i said? XD
November 2, 2010 11:05:22 AM

aznshinobi said:
-_- 200 quid. :p  I mean I watch enough top gear to know, that's just not enough. Well it depends though, since your not in the US I wouldn't know how to do help you, unless of course you have a British seller that you trust. Then I could help you.

Of course just straight off the bat, 5970 not even worth it. If you are posting right now, I'd expect you to know that Cayman is coming out, and even a 6870 or 6850 would be an improvement, but an improvement not needed yet. Wait a year.

In a year you'll have a whole bunch of budget options, i7 will be outdated. SB (Sandy Bridge) will have the i5 2400S which, if they follow the current pricing, it surpasses the performance of the i7 880. So That'll be an improvement, an i7 for (lets say you double quid for your budget to 400 quid) isn't for such a small budget.

To reiterate, wait for SB or wait for AMD's bulldozer (expected to be a game changer) and see what's the best pick. For current games your build is decent, not the worst. Overclock a bit and hold out till next year.


Thanks for that reply... I will wait I think :) 

But what about graphics cards? I could save up for a better processor but GTX 260 will not be able to last too long :( 

I will wait for about a year I think and I think I'll have enough money for one of these:

HD 5970 or the best single-slot GFX card at that time (with same pentium dual core processor I currently have, even though it is overclocked to 3.6GHz)

OR

Another GTX 260 + newer Processor (Bulldozer or SB) and new mobo to run games in SLI as I already own a GTX 260.

Which do you reckon will be the best option to play all games on max with Full AA/AF in about a year's time?
a b B Homebuilt system
November 2, 2010 12:14:45 PM

I'd try to save up to about 400 pounds. With that you should be able to get a quad core Athlon II or Phenom II, 4 GB DDR3, a low-end mainstream graphics card (GTS 450 or HD5770), 320-500 GB Hard drive, a reliable power supply and cheap case.
a c 91 B Homebuilt system
November 2, 2010 1:04:47 PM

^ That's smart, however moltenice you act like the 260 is a crappy card. Most games still recommend running on a 260. Like how the 4850 is the best budget build card now. The 260 is a still in the playing field for at least another year. With console porting don't expect the 260 to die out so fast.

BTW just because it's a powerful card, the 5970 would bottleneck you, or you would bottleneck it because of your cpu. Take screwy's route, or wait and get a 68xx or when it comes out 69xx which is expected to be 20% better than the 480. I think I've said this already. Anyway the 6950 if following the 5850 pricing should only be 300$ so... Yeah. Then save a year and get SB or BD.
November 2, 2010 7:00:31 PM

aznshinobi said:
^ That's smart, however moltenice you act like the 260 is a crappy card. Most games still recommend running on a 260. Like how the 4850 is the best budget build card now. The 260 is a still in the playing field for at least another year. With console porting don't expect the 260 to die out so fast.

BTW just because it's a powerful card, the 5970 would bottleneck you, or you would bottleneck it because of your cpu. Take screwy's route, or wait and get a 68xx or when it comes out 69xx which is expected to be 20% better than the 480. I think I've said this already. Anyway the 6950 if following the 5850 pricing should only be 300$ so... Yeah. Then save a year and get SB or BD.


ScrewySqrl said:
I'd try to save up to about 400 pounds. With that you should be able to get a quad core Athlon II or Phenom II, 4 GB DDR3, a low-end mainstream graphics card (GTS 450 or HD5770), 320-500 GB Hard drive, a reliable power supply and cheap case.


Thanks for that response guys! I think that's what I'll do. And yeah GTX 260 is a great card still, I think I'll play all the games I own ATM that my card can run smoothly on full settings and when the future comes I'll upgrade my motherboard and CPU, and if I have money to spare prolly get an upgrade for my gfx card then, probably the 69xx series :) 

For a motherboard upgrade, which slot would you recommend? 1156 or 1366 or a newer one if one exists? Could you also give me a link to a good gaming motherboard? I have seen a few motherboards that support sli but the second one is only run at 4x or 8x even though it's 2.0. Why is that? Would that bottleneck the second card? I think to keep future costs cheaper I'll probably stack up on cards rather than upgrading to the next best card.

Also, is a 650W power supply enough for 2-way SLI? At least for 2 GTX 480s or something? (I ask that because I think they take a lot of power anyways, just want to know if I'll have to spend more money on a more powerful PSU or not)

Let me know :bounce: 

Thanks for all your help until now guys! :) 
a b B Homebuilt system
November 2, 2010 7:17:02 PM

I'd get a 1155 (SB) and whatever slot BD is gunna be.

X4 barely bottlenecks a GTX 480....

650 is no where near enough for 2 480's.

Actually, if you buy two older card vs one newer, you are actually behind, because you can always get another one of the new ones, and it costs more to upgrade from the two, because they are most likely junk afterwards.
a c 91 B Homebuilt system
November 2, 2010 9:36:09 PM

Well like I said and atotalnoob said, GET SB OR BD! I don't know how many times I have to reiterate this for you. I've probably said it like 3 separate times in the thread.

Gigabyte just previewed their Lineup for 1155, so you should draw that it'll be the expected drop date of Q1 of 2011. So basically near Jan. of next year is when SB will come out.

As for 650w... No way in hell. Unless of course the 650 is a completely seperate psu for JUST the 480s. That'd be a stupid decision anyways, because 69xx is coming out. THAT will be more powerful than the 480s by 20% and that should consume less power. Why do you plan so far ahead with such expensive cards when you have such a small budget XD
a b B Homebuilt system
November 2, 2010 9:56:37 PM

Quote:
Well like I said and atotalnoob said, GET SB OR BD! I don't know how many times I have to reiterate this for you. I've probably said it like 3 separate times in the thread.
Finally someone actually agrees with me, I get TONS of PM flames..... D,=...
Hey we all miss stuff in our posts

Quote:
Gigabyte just previewed their Lineup for 1155, so you should draw that it'll be the expected drop date of Q1 of 2011. So basically near Jan. of next year is when SB will come out.
Their lineup looked horrible, it was X4 slots for PCI-e x16.

Quote:
As for 650w... No way in hell. Unless of course the 650 is a completely seperate psu for JUST the 480s. That'd be a stupid decision anyways, because 69xx is coming out. THAT will be more powerful than the 480s by 20% and that should consume less power.
yeah what he said!
Quote:
Why do you plan so far ahead with such expensive cards when you have such a small budget XD
+1

a b B Homebuilt system
November 2, 2010 10:14:39 PM

I know, that's why I said X4 is as low as you want, look above.
a b B Homebuilt system
November 2, 2010 10:14:47 PM

still isn't cool.
a c 91 B Homebuilt system
November 2, 2010 10:36:06 PM

Oh
a b B Homebuilt system
November 2, 2010 10:52:09 PM

aznshinobi said:
Oh

lol, win =D...

Coolness is cool, trust me.

ok, that sounds.... different, somehow, I dunno why, just does (IMHO)

Edit:I like that "Coolness is cool, trust me." Imma change my quote the that, XDDD.
November 8, 2010 5:54:21 PM

Thanks a lot for your reply guys! :) 

I saw that webpage stating how 4x doesn't affect performance less than 4% and I'll also wait for a year to upgrade my processor.

Take care :hello: 
a b B Homebuilt system
November 8, 2010 8:39:36 PM

you too =D

a c 91 B Homebuilt system
November 8, 2010 11:58:28 PM

Alright good luck.
!