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Sell and build a new, or upgrade?

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Anonymous
April 15, 2011 12:53:41 AM

Hi, Im hoping you can give me some advice on this. I will be getting a new ATI 7000 series card soon after they launch but i want to know if my system can handel one. I built it around a year and a half ago and have lost all touch with the scene. I will be purchasing a new monitor 24" 1080p and want to be gaming at that.

1. My main reason for getting a new PC is skyrim and something extra to do in the summer. I need to know what on my computer sucks. What do i need to upgrade. My main concern is the motherboard... will my motherboard effect performance of a 7000 series ATI card?

My aim is to play skyrim at 4X AA, 1920x1080, 16xAF, DX 11, with all details, shadows, everything on highest on my 24 inch monitor.

2. do i need to upgrade my CPU for skyrim? do i need to upgrade anything else. Is my computer ok to go along ahead with a new 7000 series graphics card or will they be bottle neck somewhere?

3. if i was to upgrade from my X4 955 phenom II to say a Intel Core i7-2600 3.40GHz what kind of game performance increase would i get. or will my 955 be able to handle skyrim at the above settings along side a new 7000 series card?

4.if i were to sell this rig how much should it go for?

here are my specs....

XFX ATI Radeon HD 4890 XTX XXX
AMD Phenom II X4 Quad Core 955 Black Edition "125W Edition" 3.20GHz
Asus M4A78T-E AMD 790GX (Socket AM3) PCI-Express DDR3 Motherboard
Crucial Ballistix 6GB
OCZ ModXStream 780W SLI Ready Modular Power Supply
Zalman CNPS9700-LED CPU Cooler
Hitachi Deskstar P7K500 500GB SATA-II 16MB Cache - OEM

So for me to be able to play skyrim on the above settings what will i need to upgrade. Oh and I am holding off till mid july before i upgrade.

thanks

More about : sell build upgrade

April 15, 2011 1:13:57 AM

I am not familiar with skyrim. Are you playing it now? If so how is your performance, and what resolution are you using.

Run these two tests to help clarify your issues:

1) Run your games, but lower your resolution and eye candy.
If your FPS increases, it indicates that your cpu is strong enough to drive a better graphics configuration.

2) Limit your cpu, either by reducing the OC, or, in windows power management, limit the maximum cpu% to something like 70%.
If your FPS drops significantly, it is an indicator that your cpu is the limiting factor, and a cpu upgrade is in order.

It is possible that both tests are positive, indicating that you have a well balanced system, and both cpu and gpu need to be upgraded to get better gaming FPS.

The motherboard has very little impact on gaming performance. The graphics card is all important, followed by the cpu clock rate.
If you are waiting for a 7000 series card, Be prepared to wait for next year. As a guess, at 1080P, a good single card like the 6970 or GTX570 would serve you well.

Is skyrim cpu bound? How many threads can it usefully utilize. Most games can not use more than 2 or 3 cores, and a clock rate of 3.2 is normally fine.

If the cpu is a limiting factor, then a 2500K is a good solution. It will be 20% more effective per clock than amd, and it can overclock to higher levels, like 4.4 or so. The 2600K is not a good deal if the extra $100 means anything to you. I suspect, though, that extra cash spent on the graphics card will bring the best results.

If you do upgrade to sandy bridge, sell off the old parts individually. A complete pc does not bring much as a rule.
April 15, 2011 1:19:07 AM

Your systems pretty balanced ATM, so upgrading the CPU now won't be that much of a help. Besides, Skyrim performance is still a mystery, it could be well optimized and run well, or lag even with high-end specs. Though with your setup, you'll more likely than not be able to play it at 1080p smoothly, perhaps with the settings notched back a bit.

However, since you're not upgrading until july and skyrims isnt going to be released until Q4, I would wait for bulldozer at least or even upgrade the GPU+CPU together, you might even be able to use your Mobo is all turns out good.

However, if you are wanting to sell that system, $500 would be a decent price for the system as a whole, and you might get more if you part it out.
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Anonymous
April 15, 2011 4:54:50 AM

why would i need to upgrade the motherboard? is there any way a motherboard can bottle neck a single card?
April 15, 2011 5:00:50 AM

no need to upgrade
with your current system and adding a HD6970 much less a 7xxx series
you could play almost every game maxed at 1080p
April 15, 2011 6:22:27 AM

I'd suggest waiting until closer to the time Skyrim is released. You can then buy a graphics card - if you're not going to be using it now to get the benefit (ie. if you're happy with your PC's performance right now) then there's little point in spending cash right now. For the same money later in the year, you'll either get a better card, or get a card you'd buy now for a few quid less.

Your motherboard spec looks fine, and if you really wanted you could upgrade your processor (X4 975?) and fund this by selling your current one. Not sure it would be worth it, but it would put a little extra headroom into your system. On the other hand Bulldozer may be compatible with your motherboard, so you could wait until it's released to see.
April 15, 2011 2:27:30 PM

Quote:
why would i need to upgrade the motherboard? is there any way a motherboard can bottle neck a single card?


The only reason to change a motherboard is to support a different processor. Or, possibly to add a second pci-e graphics slot to enable sli.

For a single graphics card, any motherboard with a pci-e slot can support the fastest graphics cards made today.

For the most part, dual cards(sli/cf) are needed only if you will be using a 2560 x 1600 monitor, or triple monitor surround gaming.

April 15, 2011 3:12:32 PM

^ all good points.
The two option are to Upgrade current system or go with a new one.
Upgrade:
You could just upgrade the GPU, system will handle it and if MB will support BD, you can upgrade CPU. And for gaming that would hold you for a year or two.
New:
I'd probably go with Intel (although I'm close to being and Intel fanboy, that is not the reason) although BDis also an excellent choice.
(1) Go for the cheaper I5-2500K (can not OC the 2600), it's cheaper and you can OC and beat the 2600. Newer Intel based Boards should be coming out shortly (ie Z68 chipset, which is what I'm waiting on).
(2) I normally upgrade the MB when I upgrade a Processor - Reason is by the time I want to upgrade, the MBs have also improved considerably, ie USB3 support and SATA III (6) support. The Sata III will be important if you opt for a new SSD. SATA III SSDs blow the doors off of a HDD. - Not much help for Games, but an outstanding upgrade in general computing experience.

On selling old system:
Probably the $500 est is about right.
Way this against the cost of replacing what you would reuse.
Also a valid point, If you reuse, and then decide to opgade a specify part (ie DVD drive) you have a Spare!!
Case, PSU, memory - Did not specify what speed/CL (I'd opt for adding a stick, most MBs use the DDR3 in daul channel mode, paired sticks - X58 excluded), HDD drive(s), and DVD drive(s), and possibly your HSF (would need a Kit to go from current cpu/socket to new.
A conserative est would be around $400->$500 to replace parts that could be reused - Your call.
!