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Looking to upgrade, need help

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June 19, 2011 5:09:36 AM

ok so, when it comes to computers, i'm not that great. I mean i'm not oblivious, but obviously dont know everything since im asking you guys for help:) 

so here is what I have:

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
Intel(R) Core(TM) i5 CPU 760 @ 2.80GHz (4 CPUs), ~2.8GHz
Asus P7H55-M/CSM LGA1156
Mushkin silverline DDR3 1600Mhz 4GB Dual Channel
Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200rpm 32MB 3.5" SATA II 3.0Gbits/s
NVIDIA GeForce GTS 450
600w powersuply

I download a lot, watch movie and play MMO's, so im looking to optimize for that.

Cant replace whole thing, so suggestion on what would be best bang for buck to upgrade... almost full on my hard drive, so thinking about getting another, can i run a SATA 6Gbits along side a 3Gbits one? also, can my system run 6Bits? and is it worth it to get a SSD for a boot drive?

thanks a lot for any input you have

More about : upgrade

a b B Homebuilt system
June 19, 2011 5:27:51 AM

Hi there, welcome to the forums.

I see you have not a bad system! It's LGA 1156, but still not bad.

So I'd like to address your first question about a Sata 6Gb/s HDD drive. DONT BUY ONE! The drive you have now is plenty fast, and you will see 0% performance change in upgrading the HDD. Why? SataII (3.0Gb/s) has PLENTY of bandwidth for hard drives. Even the fastest hard drives are well away from breaking this barrier. When sata III matters is in SSD's.

Now let's talk about SSD's. As I'm sure you know, they work as a boot drive. If you have the cash, might be worth it. But let's talk about some other stuff first.

Your GPU needs and upgrade. Right now, your cheapest option would probably be add a GPU for SLI. Can you link me to the power supply please?

And the other thing you might consider is OCing the CPU. It will give you a hefty performance boost on the cheap. You need a good cooler though.

So once we buy a cooler and GPU, then you can consider an SSD. Not before.
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June 19, 2011 5:35:08 AM

Well thanks a lot for the welcome and for the response!

interesting info on the sata III, thanks.

So, the GPU. My power supply is: OCZ StealthxStream 2 600w. As far as the SLI goes, you think its better to buy a 2nd GPU and run both rather than buy a good one?

and I'd like to overclock, but dont even know where to begin, and how much cooling I would need.

Once again thanks for the help and hope to hear more from you!
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 19, 2011 5:44:49 AM

Ahh thank you for that. Nice PSU.

Now here's the good news. You can buy a GTS 450 for about $120. 2 GTS 450's give almost the performance of a GTX 560 Ti, which is $230. So you can save $100 haha.

Here's the OTHER good news. According to Guru3d, the power consumption for the WHOLE SYSTEM peaked at 400w. And their system uses WAY more power than yours. This gives you a good 250w overhead. Here's what I'm talking about: http://www.guru3d.com/article/geforce-gts-450-sli-revie...

And for OCing, it's pretty simple. What you need is a good CPU cooler, like a Hyper 212+. They are $30-35 on amazon. What case do you have? I wanna make sure it fits :p 

Hope that helps ya a bit!
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June 19, 2011 5:51:02 AM

Man, you rock, so grateful for your help
and saving 100$ is pretty awesome! that guru of 3d thing is cool, gotta love people that do testing!
case is a thermaltake V3 black edition VL80001w2z
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 19, 2011 6:05:19 AM

And here's some more benchies to ogle.
560 Ti BC2
http://www.guru3d.com/article/geforce-gtx-560-ti-review...
450 SLI BC2
http://www.guru3d.com/article/geforce-gts-450-sli-revie... As you can see, they perform similarily. Not bad for $120, eh?

And even MORE good news! The 212+ appears to fit in the V3, with room to spare! Take a look at this thread on these very forums: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/298991-28-best-cooler...

Any more questions? Feel free to ask.
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June 19, 2011 6:36:19 AM

sweet looks like it fits no problem:D 
i think ill get another GTS 450, andything i need to know about putting in a 2nd card?
also, once i have the 212+ how do i make my CPU OC?
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June 19, 2011 6:41:14 AM

Oh, so yea, should be able to go buy the 212 and card tomorrow probably:D  after i set up the SLI and 212, whats next SSD or a bigger HDD?
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 19, 2011 6:44:47 AM

Yeah, that you can't..... facepalm I forgot to check the mobo for compatibility, Didn't see the M on the end.. It would appear that your mobo doesn't have a second PCI-e slot, meaning only 1 card. Damn, sorry for missing that. Amateur mistake.

However, I could not find your exact model. Could you look inside and check for a second PCI-e slot? It's longer and closer to the board than a standard PCI slot. However, I doubt it does.....

Sorry about misleading you, I thought you had a board like this in my head: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... My bad, I'm sorry for not double checking. Maybe I should get some sleep -_-
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 19, 2011 6:55:48 AM

Unforntunately I am correct. That second, light blue slot is actually PCI, not PCI-e. Sorry about the confusion. In that case, here's my other recommendation:
-Sell the GTS 450. What model do you have? Should be able to easily get $60-70 on ebay, cutting the price of a GTX 560 Ti down quite a bit.

Again, I would like to apologize for leading you astray. For that reason, make sure to pull in some more opinions before deciding anything.

Any more questions?
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June 19, 2011 7:02:13 AM

dang, thats too bad:(  umm, Radeon DH 5770 1GB 128bit

hmm, could i buy a new mobo without a CPU that has 2 PCIe slots, and just switch my CPU over? or at that point would it just make more sense to buy a whole new rig?
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June 19, 2011 7:02:43 AM

also, if i dont do anything, is it still worth it to get the 212+ and OC?
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 19, 2011 7:09:38 AM

And no, don't buy a new mobo. Windows ties itself to a mobo, meaning you'd also have to buy a new copy.

What was that about the 5770?

And yes! grab the 212+. It's an easy performance upgrade. Just do your research before hand!
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June 19, 2011 7:17:35 AM

lame at buying a new copy, and disregard the 5770 comment, brain not working you asked for GPU model, that was the box i looked at, but its from another computer, i cant think of what my model is atm:( 

so get 212+, and just a new GPU in general.. you suggest the GTX 560 Ti? anything else or just that one?

once again, thank you so much for the help:D 
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June 19, 2011 7:22:40 AM

im super confused as to why it is so cheap, all the other GTX 560 Ti's are like 200+$
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 19, 2011 7:24:24 AM

Well, you have options. Depends how much you wanna spend. I made a little chart for you...

Striker's made up GPU hierarchy chart: (based on facts, google is you friend ;)  )
Cards over GTS 450, stopping at 6950

GTS 450: $120. Current card.
GTX 460: $169. Decent improvement, not enough to warrant an upgrade.
ATI 6850: Nice upgrade, maybe not worth it $165
ATI 6870: For sure an upgrade, worth the money $188
GTX 560 Ti: Worth it for sure. Double performance $229
ATI 6950: same as 560 Ti. Worth it $229

It goes in order of cost. Any of those GPU's is an excellent choice, but I would not upgrade to anything lower than a 6870. In fact, I'm gonna say the 6870 is the way to go. Cheap and awesome.
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 19, 2011 7:26:03 AM

ansamech said:
im super confused as to why it is so cheap, all the other GTX 560 Ti's are like 200+$

Heh, that's not a 560 Ti. It's a 5670, which is WEEAAKKsauce.
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June 19, 2011 7:28:12 AM

hmm the specs say GPU : GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) so im confused, but ill take your word for it!

could i get something thats better than my GTS 450, but maybe not quite as expensive as the GTX 560 Ti?
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June 19, 2011 7:28:47 AM

woops didnt see your other post
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June 19, 2011 7:35:21 AM

hmm well that's a lot to consider, thank you so much for your info:)  deff gonna get the 212+ tomorrow, and gonna think about a new card:D  basicly, comes down to new card or new monitor, from 19" to 24" lol
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 19, 2011 7:40:01 AM

ansamech said:
hmm the specs say GPU : GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) so im confused, but ill take your word for it!

lol, so they do. It's a typo. Notice the low price, the "5670" In the title, and the TINY cooler? There's no way it's a 560 Ti. Trust me on this one.
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June 19, 2011 7:41:57 AM

haha i belive you:p  it does look too small
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June 19, 2011 7:50:45 AM

what would you pick? new 24" led monitor or the card?
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 19, 2011 7:59:47 AM

Hmm. Tough one. Depends on monitor resolution....
I think I would go screen. A new HD LCD monitor is only about $129, so I would grab that and until I can afford a new card just tone down the settings on demanding games.
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June 19, 2011 8:07:23 AM

hmm fair enough:)  thanks for the input!
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 19, 2011 8:09:53 AM

Might I ask what your screen res is now? If it's under 1440x900, definitely monitor. If it's that or over, might go for GPU......
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June 19, 2011 8:13:23 AM

its currently 1440x900
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 19, 2011 8:15:14 AM

Umm, I think GPU then. That's me though :p  (graphics buff/benchmark junkie) It's up to you. You could always wait and upgrade the GPU for BF3 ;) 
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June 19, 2011 8:16:10 AM

haha true:p  hmmm, may come down to a coin toss
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 19, 2011 8:21:55 AM

Well think of it this way. If you have and HDtv, your new gpu could power that AND a monitor, AT THE SAME TIME :o  (granted the GTS 450 can, but work with me :p )
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June 19, 2011 8:25:57 AM

haha yea, if i pick the new monitor, ill be running both, and i do really want 2.... ill probly get the monitor, then wait for the price to come down in a few months on the GPU
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 19, 2011 8:28:54 AM

Alright, sounds good. I'm glad you got it worked out! Hit me up in the morning if you have any more questions.
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June 19, 2011 8:39:54 AM

will do! have a good night man!
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June 19, 2011 5:27:33 PM

The 450 is a die-shrunk 260. The 450 comes fitted with a small cheap cooler. Putting a larger cooler on it would let you overclock lots more.
With the larger cooler you could also increase the gpu voltage, a 50% overclock is not out of reach here, most budget cards overclock lots more than the larger flagship cards.
A 3rd party driver should work without having to resort to gpu bios mods and flashes. A bit of extra voltage to the gpu should help it clock higher.
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 19, 2011 5:34:14 PM

I don't know about the OP, but there's no way in hell I'd risk using 3rd party drivers.... I'm not letting anything mess with my voltage unless it's an official release. Besides, A good cooler would cost $80-100, and it would probably not get to the 50% overclock, and even then you're not getting the best value.

But do you have any aftermarket coolers in mind?
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June 19, 2011 6:44:25 PM

It's a under $100 card new and only worth like $60 used. True i might be cautious with a $300 card.

Something like rivatuner should work well here, its a well known 3rd party driver.

Instead of putting a large cooler on it and cranking the speeds up, the card maker instead put a $5 cooler on it and down clocked it to make it work with the cheap cooler so they can sell the card in that lower price range. There is lots of overclocking headroom in those budget cards. Most flagship cards already have large coolers on them and come stock already pushed close to their max stable speed. The opposite is true with the budget cards.


It is best to find a cooler at a local computer store, so you can make sure it fits.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

someone posted about that cooler "Went from 67 C to 55 C under load.

Glad it fit on my GTS450 even though it's not advertised as being able to.

Cons: Took about 45 minutes to put together, carefully. Don't rush it and remember to put the RAM coolers on first."


http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$5.99 MASSCOOL FDV12025L1L34 120mm Case Fan

It can't hurt to jam a large fan on a big passively cooled heatsink can it?

It is possible to mod the bios as well. I have done this and it's fairly easy to do.
http://www.insanelymac.com/forum/lofiversion/index.php/...

-Save your old bios so you can flash it back to stock before you sell the card.
-Keep the old cooler to put back on when you get a new card. There is a good chance the cooler can be reused on the next card.
-A used cooler might work too, something like a used cooler from a 8800gtx or 250, or maybe from a 4870? it's pretty common for people to change the cooler and sell the old one. You would have to just try it and see if it fits.

-PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS ALL CARIES RISKS AND YOU COULD FRY OR KILL YOUR CARD. PLEASE BE CAREFUL.
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June 30, 2011 2:28:54 AM

hey, sorry for not coming back to check, life has been hectic. so i got the heatsink, and am now overlocking to 3.6Ghz, i also bought the moitor. gonna just save the hassle and buy a new graphic card soon probly GTX 560 TI
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