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Swapping Cases, Just making sure i'm up to date.

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December 4, 2010 3:25:55 AM

Due to some bad shipping had my PC case get purty dinged up as well as losing some misc parts so im thinking to find my pc parts a new home. Now I did get some beefy parts so really I just want to make sure there isnt something I'm missing out on.

Specs:
CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition (3.4GHz) (At the time this seemed like the best bang for my buck.
Motherboard: Asus M4A785TD-V EVO (Have question's about this guy, read on.)
RAM: A-Data 4G (2G x2) DD3 1600 Speed
Card: XFX ATI Radeon 5870 1G

Recently had to sell one of the 5870's due to money problems but honestly wasn't losing much (gained better results lol) by just having 1 card because A) 5870 is a beast and B) My motherboard's lower is only 4x......recently found that out. Playing older mmos (WoW, FFXI and even FFXIV) It seems that Crossfire and SLi are really just meh and uneeded with newer beefier cards like mine (Sadly I dont play a lot of Single player/hugely graphical open world games but im sure one 5870 is still just fine other than..........metro 2033 lolz)

The the topic of the discussion and most of my questions are centered around my motherboard and maybe a teensy bit of ram increase..... Question about my motherboard is if its good, I know a decent amount as far as GFX cards but literally know nothing about boards so at the time of building the computer on Ibuypower I skimped out with a 16x average joe motherboard.

My questions are:

-What am I gaining from upgrading my current board as far as speed/reliablity of my CPU/Card/Memory?
-I understand 2.0 usb slots the new shiney 3.0 is one of the features but is it really needed?
-What other features would i be getting with a newer motherboard than my current(outside of what i mentioned)?


My other thoughts on a upgrade are possibly more sticks of ram....now I do believe I have enough but Im curious as to what I would get with another say....2g Stick? Thats really about it other than maybe some thoughts on the CPU, I know some people like their intel and others like their AMD but once again the CPU I got at the time felt like i was getting the best bang for my buck.Would I honestly see any framerate increases if i went with Intel over my quad 3.4ghz? I honestly think going any higher than that Is really just overkill for a gaming computer (mid-high end Intel CPUS always felt more for 3D/Game Design computers rather than JUST for gaming.

I just guess that just knowing the only way to make my computer play games better would be a better GFX card.
December 6, 2010 8:34:44 PM

Well, Tom's had an article today on Cataclysm performance which suggests that Intel performs better than AMD, but I'm running pretty much the exact same setup as you, and it's more than adequate for WoW. An Intel/nVidia setup may be able to produce higher overall (theoretical) fps, but with a Phenom II X4/5870, you are already above 60 fps most of the time. Of course, that "most" is important, as you might be able to stay above 60 fps during raiding with Intel/nVidia, but whether or not that's worth the extra cost is really something only you can decide.

In fact, that article had a hint about enabling DX11 for performance gains, that you should check out.

There's really no need to go to 6 GB RAM, 4 is more than enough. If you really really want to add RAM, I would go to 8 GB. Either way, more RAM is certainly not going to hurt, but it's not likely to provide more than a 1-2% increase in performance, so it's not going to be noticeable.

I'm unclear about the motherboard questions. Is the 785 EVO you have listed your current, or a proposed new purchase? Generally, changing your motherboard isn't going to offer any additional stability or performance-related increases. Where it might be worth it is if you intend to overclock. Generally, spending more on a motherboard gives you more overclocking-oriented features, though budget boards can of course produce very respectable results.

AMD does offer the best bang for the buck. If you're thinking about buying a completely new setup, I'd suggest waiting until early January, to see how affordable Sandy Bridge is, and what it does to the rest of the processor market.
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December 6, 2010 8:46:39 PM

The one listed is my current board, I didnt figure going with a better board would give me much anyway. I'm really totally noob when it comes to overclocking also so I guess Ill just keep my board as it is. Thing is, im not talking about JUST WoW I also want this computer being top of the line for FFXIV, TERA and Guild Wars 2...My card rapes WoW and what is sandy bridge?
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December 6, 2010 8:53:12 PM

What resolution are you gaming at? That's really the most important question when sizing your graphics card.

A 5870 should be more than adequate for most games currently out (except perhaps Crysis, Metro 2033, etc.) at 1920x1080 and below. It probably won't be enough at higher resolutions.
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December 6, 2010 9:01:31 PM

I play at 1920x1080, im considering to get a 6900 ATI card when it releases or picking up a 5970 when the price lowers from the 6900 card coming out. Im just making sure my processor wont fall short when those games come out (remember, mostly MMO's)So now my only question remains, how much of a performance boost am i lookin at from some of the new intel processors? My understanding the higher the resolution = the more it comes from the processors and the lower the resolution the more from the gfx cards. Is that right?
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December 7, 2010 1:26:02 AM

A 5970 is going to be overkill for 1920x1080. A 69xx series may or may not be. Furthermore, the article I linked earlier suggests that a 5970 doesn't do all that well for WoW. The 5870 is still pretty strong, I don't know that I'd go out and replace it with a 69xx series until some benchmarks come out indicating how much performance improvement there is.

Darkfalz89 said:
My understanding the higher the resolution = the more it comes from the processors and the lower the resolution the more from the gfx cards. Is that right?


Nope, that's backwards.

Generally, at a high resolution, the graphics card is the limiting factor. At low resolution, the CPU is usually the limiting factor. This is why many CPU gaming benchmarks are done at low resolutions, to highlight the differences between processors that tend to disappear (to some extent) at higher resolutions.

There isn't a lot of solid benchmarking data on the new Intel processors yet. They're reported to be about the same performance as the current i7 series, but the speculated prices are closer to the current i5 CPUs.

If I understand you correctly, your current system is a Phenom II X4 965 and a 5870. That is more than adequate for now. I would only consider upgrading if/when you start to experience significant slowdowns in whatever game you're playing (not in heavily-populated areas like Dal/Org/Stormwind, that's slow for everyone). It should at least last you for the next 6 months, at which point you could consider upgrading to either the new Intel processors, or the new AMD processors that are coming out Q1/Q2 2011...whichever offers better performance/value.
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December 7, 2010 3:01:32 AM

I d like to say thanks for all the input and tips but while I know my card is great for wow but as I keep mentioning, I'm not only playing wow. I plan to play all of next years mmos and while I know my card will hold up well id like to always be on top as far as gfx cards go due to me being an antiailiasing whore...... once you see the smoothness, amazing lighting and shadows you can't go back.....
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December 7, 2010 3:43:02 AM

I understand that you're not just playing WoW. But there's no way to tell what new games are going to require. MMOs are traditionally not that demanding for hardware requirements, in order to appeal to a larger audience.

How about I put it this way?

Right now, the 5870 is still near the top of the heap when it comes to graphics cards. Any upgrade will be very expensive, and will likely not be worthwhile compared to the money you put into it.

Take a look at this chart. The recommendation on that page is not to upgrade unless you can go 3 steps up. You cannot yet go 3 steps up from a 5870. If the 69nn series is significantly better than the 5970, then it might barely be worthwhile. But even then, it's probably not worth getting in on it right away, I'd wait a few months until the prices come down a little.

As far as processors go, you're fine for now. Save your money and upgrade in 6 months, when both Sandy Bridge and Bulldozer are out. Pick whichever one offers the best value (or performance if your budget can handle it).

It's your money, you're welcome to do whatever you like with it, but my opinion is that right now is not a wise time for you to upgrade, as your machine is already very good compared to average.
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December 7, 2010 3:52:47 AM

Thank's cold, I think ill do that and i take it that sandy bridge and bulldozer are new processors?
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December 7, 2010 3:57:55 AM

Yes, Sandy Bridge is the new processor from Intel, to be released in early January. Supposedly it's going to be mainstream priced (think current i5ish), but have performance approaching/exceeding current i7s.

Bulldozer is going to be AMD's new enthusiast processor, and there isn't a lot of info out about it yet. It's planned for release sometime in Q1 or Q2 of 2011, my personal guess is around April. It's supposed to be competitive with/beat Sandy Bridge, but that's all speculation so far, no one will really know until closer to the release.

Both are going to be on new sockets, which will obsolete AM3 and 1156, so spending a bunch on a new motherboard/CPU right now if you can avoid it (and you can) is a good idea. Might as well wait a few months and get in on the new tech. That may also result in nVidia bringing out some more 5nn series cards, which would presumably be a little more affordable than the GTX 580.

If you really have money burning a hole in your pocket, you might consider buying a 90 GB or 120 GB SSD. Something like an OCZ Vertex 2 or Mushkin Callisto.
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December 7, 2010 4:26:05 PM

I was actually thinking about getting a SSD, thanks for reminding me.
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