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Update PC for 500€

Last response: in Systems
May 17, 2011 2:38:05 PM


First of all I want to thank everyone in advance.

I'm planning on updating my pc's motherboard, processor, ram and cooler. I bought a HD5770 (my old graphic card broke) not long ago and I had to update the PS to, so I would like to keep both of them. Since I've had some problems with my Ati card and my nvidia motherboard, I think the wisest thing is to upgrade all with AMD parts. So, I have this idea:

-CPU: AMD PHENOM II X4 975 3.60GHZ SKT AM3 8MB BOX 125W -> 175€.
-Mobo: ASUS M4A89GTD PRO AM3 DDR3 PCX HD4290 ATX -> 125€.
-Ram: 4 GB ( 2X2 GB) DDR3 1600 PATRIOT SECTOR 5 -> 70,56€.
-Cooler: THERMALTAKE JING 2 -> 75€.

That makes around 500€.

I choosed that CPU becouse I've seen at the charts that is the best AMD CPU for gaming. The rest of the component I choosed just to see an average of how much would it cost, so I have no real idea if they are good or not (specially the cooler)

What I would keep from my old computer is:

-Graphic card: Sapphire HD5770 1GB
-PSU: Nox Urano 600W (will 600W be enought for he CPU and HD5770)
-Case: Aerocool Zero Degree ATX
-Hardrives: The sata ones I have already.

I use the computer mainly for gaming, and I want to be able to play The Witcher 2 on high or ultra with a nice fps, but, above all, I want to be able to run nicely Guild Wars 2 and Battlefield 3 once they are released (I know we don't even have the specs yet, but well... let's guess :D ). I don't have the budget to change the graphic card right now, but maybe I can upgrade later, so I want to be sure I get a CPU/Mobo/Ram that would be allow me to play on max settings for quite sometime (if I have to I will replace the graphic card/PSU once GW2 gets released, maybe next year, but I want to be sure I will not have to change the CPU/Mobo/Ram again in quite some time)

Once again, thanks in advance :) 

More about : update 500

May 17, 2011 2:53:05 PM

I forgot and may be usefull: I'm not going to overclock and most likely not SLI (I guess by the time I upgrade de GPU it will be better to get a new single one instead of 2 HD5770).

Thanks :) 
May 17, 2011 6:38:37 PM

If you are not overclocking i would advise you cut the cpu cooler. AMD chips have a tendency to run very cool on there own.

Also with the extra 70 plus another 20 you could crossfire those 5770's and the 600W supply should squeak by with the two of them.

Also if you really dont wanna spend that extra 20, drop to the next phenom x4 whatever GHz that gives you the 20
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May 17, 2011 8:11:03 PM

Thanks a lot :) 

So, the mobo is ok or should I use another one in that price range? Thanks again.
a b B Homebuilt system
May 17, 2011 8:58:35 PM

Not sure why nobody mentioned this, but a X4 975 is the same exact chip as the X4 955. The 975 is just factory overclocked. You would save a ton of money by simply getting a Phenom II x4 955 and overclocking it a bit yourself.

To accomplish this, get one of these. It's cheaper than the Jing and still does a fine job.

Also switch the ram to some of this or similar and save a chunk of change.

I know it's daunting, but it's very easy nowadays to overclock.
May 18, 2011 8:44:00 AM

Thanks a lot. The price of the HD5770 is still 120€ where I can buy it, so I can't afford it even saving some on the other components. What I may do is get 8GB of ram instead of 4. Is it worth it? Will I notice an improvement while playing with 8GB instead of 4GB? By the way, I'm using Windows 7 64bits.

Anyway, my biggest concern is, is it worth changing the mobo/CPU now, or should I wait a bit longer? My current mobo is an Asus Striker Xtreme, the CPU is an Intel Core 2 Duo 4300 @1.80 GHz and I have 2GB of ram, so I guess it may be bottlenecking my 5770. I'm not sure how much improvement I can get changing only the mobo/CPU/Ram and keeping the HD5770. Do you think it will be worth it? May the GPU be bottlenecked right now and changing the CPU will take full advantage of it so I will get a real impovement in games?

Another thing that worries me is that I don't want to change it now just to find in a few months that I can't play games at max settings becouse of the CPU (as I said, I would change de GPU if needed in a few months, but I want to forget about the mobo/CPU for quite a while).

Thanks a lot again :) 
a b B Homebuilt system
May 18, 2011 2:20:46 PM

There will be no performance increase from 4GB to 8GB. In fact, there will not be any use unless you are doing some form of video editing or CAD. The GPU you have will most likely not be bottlenecked, as it is the norm to have more GPU power than CPU. This being said, I suggest you invest in overclocking your current CPU a bit. It will ensure that there are not any bottlenecks.
May 18, 2011 2:31:39 PM

Thanks a lot striker410. I only tried to overclock the cpu once and I got lots of bluescreens and errors. Do you know where I can find a good guide to overcloking?

Also, the more I read the forums the more it seems the i5 2500k is the way to go for gaming right now, but I'm not sure if there may be some problems with an ATI card (I had some problems with the nvidia mobo and the ati GPU). I think I can afford this:

Intel® Core™ i5-2500K
G.Skill DIMM 4 GB DDR3-1600 Kit
Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus

would that be better than the AMD I said earlier?

I will give the OC a try before I get anything anyway. Thanks a lot again
a b B Homebuilt system
May 18, 2011 2:53:57 PM

Do you need the quicksync feature in z68? you may or may not, I don't know your needs. If not, it would be better to get a p67 board, since those are tried and true. I only say this because the first shipment of Cougar Point boards had a massive issue with the 3GB/s ports not working after time. There could be something similar in the future for Z68.
Anyway, here's a good cheap board for p67: It's an excellent value and has a good featureset.

Here's a little encouragement for OCing your current processor ;)
a b B Homebuilt system
May 18, 2011 2:57:03 PM

Within some 3 weeks AMD will release a new socket and new CPUs. It's worth waiting IMO even if you buy Intel, the prices should drop.
May 18, 2011 3:12:24 PM

wow... I'm gonna try 8x400 with the memory at 800Mhz and 4-4-4-12 timing with the default voltages... it's sopoused to be stable with the stock cooler and I have a better (not much) cooler than that :) ) I'll let you know how it goes :)  Thanks again.

Thanks Mosox too, I will most likely wait a couple weeks then and try OCing a bit :) 
May 19, 2011 3:46:51 PM

Hi again!!

Yesterday I tried OCing a bit and the PC did not post... I reset the bios and set it all as it was before and everything is fine, but I can't help but feel I shouldn't be touching what I don't truly understand :) )

So, I think I will upgrade my computer :)  As striker410 said, I'm aiming for this:

-ASRock P67 Extreme4
-Intel® Core™ i5-2500K
-Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus
-G.Skill Kit DIMM 4 GB DDR3-1600

Is it ok? No botlenecks or anything? Also, is this better for gaming than the PHENOM II X4 975 combo I choosed at the begining? May it have any problem with my hd5770 (with my striker extreme I can only use the default GPU drivers, with any newer drivers I get bluescreens :S)?

Thanks a lot again
a b B Homebuilt system
May 19, 2011 3:55:33 PM

It looks good, although the only bottleneck I can see is your 5770. It will work just fine, but it might be worthwhile to drop down to an i5-2400 and h67 board and get something like a 6950.
On the other hand, you would lose the ability to OC and Crossfire.
I personally would get what you have above, and when you can afford it get another 5770 for Crossfire.
a b B Homebuilt system
May 19, 2011 4:28:06 PM

It's fine, that should take care of your mobo/CPU/RAM for quite a while. That is, if you can't wait for a few weeks.

Cheaper faster RAM

AM3+ alternative:

AMD Phenom II X4 955
ASUS EAH6850 DirectCu/2DIS/V2
The RAM above

398,79 €

That AMD mobo doesn't have crossfire support.

a b B Homebuilt system
May 19, 2011 4:36:30 PM

^That ram you linked isn't faster, although it's a better deal. 1600MHz gives better performance in gaming than CL7 ram. Also, I think he decided on going Sandy Bridge. You might want to look at the more recent posts.
a b B Homebuilt system
May 19, 2011 5:01:26 PM

All the RAM will work at 1333 unless he overclocks the RAM. 1155 has issues with OCing the RAM. The latency is more important BTW.
May 19, 2011 5:12:56 PM

Thanks a lot to you both. My first idea was to go AMD, but looks like everyone is recommending the i5 2500k as the best CPU for gaming right now, isnt it?

Also, there shouldn't be any problems with the i5 and the HD5770, should be?

My main concern is to get the best CPU/Mobo so I can forget about it for quite some time, thats why I changed my mind and went i5.

About waiting a few weeks, i'm still thinking about it, but The Witcher 2 is already out and i'm really looking forward it :)  Also, in Spain it may get sometime until the shops at my town get the new CPU and prices :( 

The problem now is that the stores at my town may not have that mobo/cooler/ram...
a b B Homebuilt system
May 19, 2011 5:29:37 PM

Intel has the best CPUs for gaming only the video card is much more important in the games than the CPU, so that AMD + a HD 6850 will be better in gaming than the Intel with a HD 5770. If you want to forget about the CPU and stuff for some time get Intel, you'll get a new video card later.
May 19, 2011 5:36:28 PM

Thanks a lot again :)  I bough the HD5770 just some months ago (my old nvidia just stoped working...), that's why I don't want to change it yet. But my cpu is quite old (E4300) and most of the games requires more than that these times. So, that's my plan, change the CPU/Mobo to the best posible and forget for long and buy a new GPU next year :) 
a b B Homebuilt system
May 19, 2011 5:44:20 PM

Rodhimas said:
Thanks a lot again :)  I bough the HD5770 just some months ago (my old nvidia just stoped working...), that's why I don't want to change it yet. But my cpu is quite old (E4300) and most of the games requires more than that these times. So, that's my plan, change the CPU/Mobo to the best posible and forget for long and buy a new GPU next year :) 

Sounds like a good deal. A 5770 is still able to hold it's own, especially in Xfire :) 
May 19, 2011 8:52:35 PM

Now that I've taken a decision I've seen that the memory I choose is not on the list of the mobo supported memory :S Options:

-Change mobo for an Asus P8P67 PRO
-Change the memory to one supported that is avaliable at the shop (most of them are kingston 9-9-9-27, by the way, is it worse than 9-9-9-24?)

Is the Asus mobo as good as the ASRock?

Thanks again :) 
May 19, 2011 10:10:41 PM

I think I'm getting this memory with the extrem4 G.Skill Kit DIMM 4 GB DDR3-1600 ECO.

It is supported on the extreme4 website and have better timings than the RipJaws X. Maybe it's not really worth the extra cost, but it is a better ram, isn't?
a b B Homebuilt system
May 20, 2011 1:50:26 AM

Rodhimas said:
I think I'm getting this memory with the extrem4 G.Skill Kit DIMM 4 GB DDR3-1600 ECO.

It is supported on the extreme4 website and have better timings than the RipJaws X. Maybe it's not really worth the extra cost, but it is a better ram, isn't?

Not worth it. It's better, but definitely not worth the cost. Low Cas Latency and the 1600MHz helps, but ram is not an area where you should pay a premium unless you have a high budget.

I would take that money and spend it on something like the GPU. Go with the ripjaws, they have a good price/performance ratio.
May 20, 2011 6:25:02 AM

And the Asus mobo? Is the ASUS P8P67 PRO Rev 3 better than the ASRock Extreme4? I can get the Asus for 20€ more. Is it worth it if I can afford it?
a b B Homebuilt system
May 20, 2011 6:32:45 AM

to be honest, there isnt much difference. I honestly cannot tell you what makes them different... But hey, why pay for what you don't need?
After comparing the specs, the only big difference I can see is warranty, The PRO has a 3 year, while the extreme4 has a 2 year. There are minor differences like click bios and bluetooth that the PRO has also. If you have a bit of extra cash, go ahead and get it. It's $5 more here with shipping included in cost.
May 20, 2011 8:18:28 AM

Ok, so this is it!

ASUS P8P67 PRO Rev 3
Intel® Core™ i5-2500K
Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus
G.Skill Kit DIMM 4 GB DDR3-1600 (F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL, Ripjaws-Series)

And I'm using my old:

Sapphire HD5770 1GB
Nox Urano 600W
Aerocool Zero Degree ATX
My old Sata Drives

Things for the future:

-A SSD for OS
-A better GPU or dual HD5770

Thanks a lot again to everyone :) 
May 20, 2011 9:41:30 AM

Nooo now that it was decided the shop tells me they can't get that cooler master... are any of these as good as the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus?:

Corsair A50


Thanks again :( 
a b B Homebuilt system
May 20, 2011 3:25:19 PM

Aw, that's to bad. But, you won't need any aftermarket cooler as long as you don't want to overclock to the extreme. You can easily get to near 4GHz on stock cooling. If you really want to go higher, you will need an aftermarket cooler. So I guess what I'm saying is, do you really need the 212+?
May 20, 2011 3:47:10 PM

I'm not really planning to OC, at least not soon, but if it is as easy as seems to OC a 2500k and with the mobo I can try OC easily (I guess you can manage the bios from windows now...), well, maybe I will give it a try.

Mostly I wanted to be sure I don't have any overheating problems... it gets really hot in summer where I live, so I will be "safer" with a cooler :)  So, any of those would be good enough for some minor OC? Thanks again
a b B Homebuilt system
May 20, 2011 3:58:51 PM

Either of those will work. I would prefer the A50, just because of proven track record. Also, the Contac 29 is much smaller than the A50, meaning it can't radiate as much heat. Go with the A50, it's the better cooler in my opinion.
May 20, 2011 6:01:55 PM

Ordered!! It should be here next week :)  Thanks a lot

By the way, is not gonna change anything, but the guy at the store told me the only diference between a 2500k and a 2500 is that the 2500k has "a graphic card in it, but if you use your own graphic card it gets desactivated and it exactly the same as a 2500". Does it makes sense?
a b B Homebuilt system
May 20, 2011 6:12:25 PM

This is correct, but the 2500k also has the ability to overclock extremely high. Since it's $15 more, the 2500k is definitely the way to go. He was referring to the fact the K series has the Intel 3000 series integrated GPU's. The standard ones also have an integrated GPU, but they aren't as good. Think of it as super crappy and slightly less crappy :p