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What to Upgrade? (i.e. what's my bottleneck)

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November 9, 2010 4:39:18 PM

A little over a year ago I built this system:

Foxconn A7DA-S 3.0 AM3 790GX mobo
XFX Radeon 4890 1Gb gpu
AMD Phenom II X4 955 3.2Ghz CPU
8Gb DDR3 Kingston RAM
500GB WD Caviar Black HD
OCZ 600W 600MXSP PSU
NZXT Guardian 921 case

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit
23" Acer X233H LCD screen (1920x1080)


I haven't made any modifications since, and am getting a little antsy. Besides work-related things (I'm a neuroscience grad student, so that involves a good amount of data analysis, simulations, etc.) I primarily use the system to play WoW.

With cataclysm coming I'd like to do a few upgrades, but I'm not sure what would get me the most bang for my buck. The game generally runs around 40-60FPS (maxes out at 60 with vertical sync and tripple buffering) depending on area population.

The obvious answer I think is to upgrade the gpu (simplest answer anyway)...but I don't know to what. I'm not playing on a giant screen, so I don't know if waiting for the new radeon 6900s would be worth it or if I should just get a 5870 (probably still wait for 6900 to be released since there will probably be a price drop for lower cards).

The other option is to upgrade the CPU, but I rarely see it worked to its max. I aslo don't want to have to replace the mobo, so need to stick with the AM3 socket (kind of annoying AMD is changing that for their new CPUs, but whatever).

At some point I'm going to get a SSD, maybe for christmas, but yeah...beyond that I don't know.


Thoughts?


More about : upgrade bottleneck

November 9, 2010 5:08:42 PM

Unless you are playing other games - the 5870 is WAY overpowered for WoW. Go with the 6850 if you want something more powerful than your current one, but still at a good price. And yes, you could even wait until the new 69xx ones come out to see a price drop.

All your other hardware is just fine.
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November 9, 2010 5:11:12 PM

What size monitor do you play on and at what resolution?

Might want to consider one of the new 6870's, they perform around the same as the 5870 and cost much cheaper or you could get a GTX 470, both are pretty close in performance...
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November 9, 2010 5:49:21 PM

jonpaul37 said:
What size monitor do you play on and at what resolution?

Might want to consider one of the new 6870's, they perform around the same as the 5870 and cost much cheaper or you could get a GTX 470, both are pretty close in performance...


posted above, it's a 23" monitor at 1920x1080

it's actually probably the cheapest part of my rig (besides my HD)...maybe I should just get a nicer monitor lol
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November 9, 2010 5:59:51 PM

ahhh..., i guess i missed that. Then yes, i would go with the 6870 or GTX 470 or better to see a good improvement on that monitor.
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 9, 2010 6:05:05 PM

For the money, I think that any upgrade is going to be a little underwhelming right now.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-rad... - recommend against upgrading unless you're moving up 3 tiers. 4890 -> 6870 = 2 steps.

I'd suggest waiting for the 69xx series, see how they benchmark, and then possibly get one of those or a 5870, depending on the price.
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