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Upgrade Question

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January 21, 2011 4:35:39 PM

I currently have

AMD Athlon II X2 245
2GB DDR3 1333
160GB HDD
GTX 460 768MB
Seasonic 520 Watt PowerSupply

I gonna change my display when i get my tax money to a 23" 1080p monitor from 17"

IS my graphic card ok to max out new games at 1080p resoltuion also i need of cpu/ram/hdd upgrade.

Any suggestion on all of them including the gpu

More about : upgrade question

January 21, 2011 4:52:57 PM

Max out? Probably not in all games... Ideally you would need to upgrade your CPU, memory, AND graphics card. However, I would start with just the CPU and memory and see where you stand while gaming. The good news is that you have an AM3 setup and memory is cheap. You can drop in an Athlon X3 455 or similar (higher clock speed AND more cores) and add another 2GB of memory. Stick with memory in pairs to take advantage of the dual memory controllers.
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January 21, 2011 5:04:02 PM

I meant high or very high in most games. i have crysis, battlefield bad company 2, call of duty black ops, just cause 2
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January 21, 2011 5:05:12 PM

Your GPU will be able to play new games WELL, but possibly not "maxed." As Sadams04 said though, you should first add RAM and upgrade your CPU. Get a 2x2GB kit and sell (or hold) your 2x1GB sticks. Then get a X3 or X4.
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January 21, 2011 5:06:37 PM

The 1GB version of the GTX460 would be much better for 1920 x 1080. And the dual core cpu with only 2 GB of RAM will hold you back a bit.
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January 21, 2011 5:07:07 PM

The 460 should do alright. It may struggle to play some games at maximum details at 1080p (the 1 GB model wouldn't have as much trouble), but I can't see a reason to upgrade it.

Is that a single 2 GB stick, or 2x1 GB? It's not recommended, but some people did buy a single stick to save money and make room for an easy upgrade.

Without knowing a budget, we can't really give specific advice. That said, here's what I'd look at getting any way I could:

CPU: i5-2500K $225
Mobo: ASRock P67 Extreme4 $153
RAM: A second set of whatever you already have
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB $65

If you were absolutely sure you wanted to upgrade the GPU, I'd look at getting a bigger PSU (650W would be fine, the quality ones are around $70) and a second 460. That'll put you back about $200, but you'd get more graphics muscle than if you used that $200 for a single GPU.
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January 21, 2011 5:16:09 PM

It 2x1GB

And I was leaning more toward a I5. I built a I5 750 Machine for a customer and i could run crysis at 60FPS on high with a 5770. I seen the power of them. I agree AMD cant compete with them now.

I would love SLI GTX460 if it was a good gain in perfomance. What supply do you suggest
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January 21, 2011 5:21:52 PM

I wouldn't even consider building anything without the new Sandy Bridge CPUs. The i5-2500 is about 20-30% more powerful than the old i5-760. The X4 955 competed with the i5-760 because the X4/AM3 was around $150 cheaper than an i5/P55 build, and it was only slightly less powerful. An i5-2500K/P67 build is still about $150 more expensive, but the power difference is in the neighborhood of 50-60%.

And a 5770 is NOT running Crysis on high at 60 FPS, regardless of what CPU you're using. Unless of course, the resolution was dialed down to something like 1280x720. The CPU really doesn't have that big of an impact on gaming.

I suggest the one I linked to, the Antec Earthwatts 650W.
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January 21, 2011 5:23:35 PM

MadAdmiral said:
I wouldn't even consider building anything without the new Sandy Bridge CPUs. The i5-2500 is about 20-30% more powerful than the old i5-760. The X4 955 competed with the i5-760 because the X4/AM3 was around $150 cheaper than an i5/P55 build, and it was only slightly less powerful. An i5-2500K/P67 build is still about $150 more expensive, but the power difference is in the neighborhood of 50-60%.

And a 5770 is NOT running Crysis on high at 60 FPS, regardless of what CPU you're using. Unless of course, the resolution was dialed down to something like 1280x720. The CPU really doesn't have that big of an impact on gaming.

I suggest the one I linked to, the Antec Earthwatts 650W.



^ +++

Sandy Bridge kills anything else by a WIDE margin. Best CPUs out there right now by far and almost just as cheap as an older i5 750/760 build.
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January 21, 2011 5:25:08 PM

You have an AM3 motherboard. The best performance / price spend would be to keep it and upgrade around it rather than build new. Upgrade your memory to 4GB, CPU to a Phenom X4, and slap in that 5770 THEN do that comparison... That type of AMD rig won't have any problems playing in higher detail. An Intel build is a good machine, but be careful comparing non-like machines like that.
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January 21, 2011 5:26:12 PM

Even Intel's $1,000 CPUs can't beat the new CPUs. They barely put up a fight at stock.

@sadams: That's why I asked about the budget. If the OP's got the money for a full upgrade (CPU, board), then I'd get the i5-2500K. If the OP is looking for a cheap quick way to get better gaming performance, then it's just replacing the CPU with a X4 955.

Also, the HD 5770 is a DOWNGRADE from a 460, even if it's the smaller 768 MB version. Of course, you'd be able to Crossfire the 5770 with an AMD board, but then you're talking about spending over $300 to improve performance. At that price, you'd do better to just drop in an HD 6950 for $270ish.
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January 21, 2011 5:29:43 PM

Yep with Sandy I can no longer even recommend Any AMD chips except for tight budget computers/internet boxes. It is too strong and cheap to recommend AMD for a gaming machine if you can at all get around it.
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January 21, 2011 5:34:48 PM

Im not sure on my budget. I come up with about $630 with i5/4GB/second GTX460/MB.

the antec earthwatts only has 1 6 PIN and one 6+2 pin. can you suggest one with 4 6 pin. i dont want to use adapters
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January 21, 2011 5:36:19 PM

@MadAdmiral - Good call on the 5770 being a downgrade. I was mixing threads... Knowing a budget would be nice as you noted as well. I would build a SB machine if going with a new rig, but the base is there for a respectable AM3 machine at a lower cost. To each their own... Its not our money. :-)
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January 21, 2011 5:40:17 PM

Just want it to last for a least 2 years. I used AMD forever like to try Intel for this build seeing it new technology.
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January 21, 2011 5:44:56 PM

$ 750-1000 for budget
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Best solution

January 21, 2011 5:56:50 PM

Might as well build entirely new with that...

CPU: i5-2500K $225
Mobo: ASRock P67 Extreme 4 $153
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws 2x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 $65
HDD: Spinpoint F3 1 TB $65
PSU: Antec Earthwatts 750W $80
Case: HAF 922 $100
GPU: HD 6950 $270 after rebate. Flash the BIOS to make it a 6970.

Total: $958
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January 21, 2011 5:58:11 PM

^ = Very solid build! ...or use your old case and spend that money on an aftermarket CPU cooler and OC the 2500K.
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January 21, 2011 6:01:47 PM

Best answer selected by brpeden82.
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January 21, 2011 6:09:07 PM

How much perfomance iwould i get if add a Phenom X4 955/4GB/1TB
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January 21, 2011 6:19:57 PM

Not much in gaming. Gaming performance is mostly driven by the GPU. A CPU upgrade won't drastically improve performance.
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January 21, 2011 6:36:17 PM

what about i5/4GB/1TB/MB
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January 21, 2011 7:04:24 PM

Again, not much in gaming. However, if you switch to an Intel CPU, you will be able to SLI the 460. AMD chipset don't natively support SLI.

New RAM and a new HDD aren't going to have any impact on gaming, but it's something you should do anyway, so I'm going to assume you do that regardless.

To try to sum up your options to see a large gaming performance increase:

#1: Upgrade your PSU and get a big new GPU.
#2: Replace current GPU with an ATI card, upgrade PSU and buy a second ATI card (assuming your motherboard supports Crossfire right now)
#3: Upgrade the CPU, PSU and GPU (AMD CPU)
#4: Upgrade the CPU, motherboard, PSU and GPU (Intel CPU, can either SLI the 460 or get a new GPU)

With #1 and #2, you're looking at a farily substantial upgrade, costing probably around $400-$500. You'll soon begin to be restricted by the CPU. With #3 and #4, you're basically building something new already, as that's the largest chunk of a build's budget. The AMD CPU upgrade option would eliminate the future upgrade needs of options #1 and #2, but would easily make the cost of the upgrade $600-650. At that price, you could be getting a completely new build with the i5-2500K.

What I would do if I had the budget you do is take the build I put together above. However, instead of buying the HD 6950, I'd buy a second GTX 460 and SLI them. That would save a good $150 or so, making it much easier to swallow. Also, if you have a decent case you currently like, you could leave out the HAF as well. If you go that route, you'd only be spending around $700 total.
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January 21, 2011 7:18:41 PM

how does SLI'd GTX460 768MB compare to a 6950
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January 21, 2011 7:23:10 PM

It should be more powerful. I don't know any benchmarks off the top of my head, but SLI GTX 460 1 GB are roughly equale to the HD 5970, and the 5970 is more powerful than the 6970. Keep in mind that when I talk about the 6950, I'm really talking about the 6970. The 6950 has the ability to be turned into a 6970 with a BIOS flash, which is fairly easy and free.

The main benefit to getting the 6950 would be that you could add a second one for Crossfire later. That wouldn't be an option with an SLI setup, as a third card wouldn't do anything, even if you had a motherboard that supported it.
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January 21, 2011 7:28:04 PM

My Current board is Crossfire Compatible but is only 16x and $x and too close togther to crossfire 6950 in the future
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January 21, 2011 7:53:49 PM

4x is useless for Crossfire, so that upgrade path is not an option.
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January 21, 2011 7:56:32 PM

well let see amd cpu/6950/psu/4GB/hdd is $638
and i5/second gtx460/psu/4GB/hdd/MB is $718

which one would u do?
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January 21, 2011 10:36:50 PM

I honestly have no idea. I like the i5, as that option will be more powerful and more future proof. However, I like the value of the AMD option. It's your money, so it's up to you at this point...
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January 21, 2011 11:47:14 PM

what s powersupply do i need to run a hd6950. will that be overkill if dont chnage my monitor. i mean stay with a 17"
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January 22, 2011 12:08:21 AM

I would first get 4gig ram(2x2) and see where you stand, and if you still have problems, probably best to build a new Sandy Bridge system.
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January 23, 2011 4:40:04 AM

A quality 550W would be enough to run a single 6850. The 750W I included in the build would be enough for dual 6850s.
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February 23, 2012 8:49:20 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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