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Upgrading AMD System ($600-700)

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June 29, 2011 6:25:28 AM

So I'm looking for some input on some upgrades I'm going to buy for my existing amd machine. Originally I was planning to spend $1500 on a new sandy bridge computer, but I think I'm going to wait till Ivy Bridge and lga2011, and spend 2000 on a super system that will last me for quite a few years. In the meantime, I want to spend about $600 in upgrades for my current computer. These are my specs:


CPU: AMD Athlon II X4 640
RAM: 2x2 GB ddr3 1333mhz
Hard Drive: 1tb 7200rpm sata II
Video Card: HD 4770 512mb Direct X 10.1
Motherboard: Asus M4A785rd-v evo
PSU: 500w
Case: Xion 403
1xDVD Burner
1xDVD Drive


The only things I'm sure on is a new case, because mine is pretty cramped. I also probably need a new power supply, because I'll also need a new video card. I'm also looking into getting an SSD. Along with that a sata3 controller card because I only have sataII. Maybe a new cpu?

I'm starting to do some more gaming, and I'm on a 1080p resolution, and I lag on Flight Simulator X a bit on high settings. I play MineCraft, Age of Empires, and I am thinking of getting Call of Duty and possibly Team Fortress.

I'm saying $700 max because I need some money for my new build in 2 years! Thanks! (I prefer NewEgg, but Amazon works too!)
June 29, 2011 6:39:23 AM

Keep in mind ivy bridge is probably coming q1 2012. lga2011 will probably be ridiculously overpriced like the intel extreme edition processors, so dont wait for that (late 2011 anyway)

Of the games you listed, the only ones that are close to demanding are FSX and call of duty. You will need a better cpu for fsx and a better gpu for call of duty. For the other games you can probably already max out. Also please list your monitor resolution.

My suggestion is to go with just a graphcis card upgrade for now, get something like radeon 6850. Your cpu is still pretty decent considering how most games are mostly gpu-dependent. You wont even need a new psu. The rest of your money save for next year`s total system upgrade. i just dont feel you can get a worthwile upgrade without going intel, a phenom ii x4 955 would just not be a worthwhile upgrade.

so again, upgrading your graphics card will give you an enormous performance boost, your cpu i dont recommend changing. wait till ivy bridge i would say.
Related resources
June 29, 2011 6:48:24 AM

@Overclocked Toaster, I believe I mentioned I had 1080p resolution ;) 

@browsing the world, I oced it to 3.6 stable, but I believe I backed it off ro 3.4 to keep temps in mind. My case is cramped and is loud because it only has 2 80mm fans. It looks pretty nice however

So I should just upgrade my gpu for now you think?
June 29, 2011 7:24:31 AM

computernugget said:
here are my suggestions.

case Sentey black box
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

video card hd6870
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

and cpu phenom II x4 955
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ill come back with a power supply


edit: i guess one, (i dont know much about power supplies) antec earthwatts 650
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


These are terrible suggestions. You telling him to spend a ton more for very little improvement over just getting a GTX 460 1GB for $150 as I suggested above. The 460 can be easily overclocked faster than the 6870 and costs significantly less.

Why on earth would you suggest a new PSU when it can already handle an overclocked Athlon II and HD 4770? Why does he need a new case?

http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-r...

When they are both overclocked the 460 is 6% slower than the 6870 in overall performance but 1% faster at 1080p.
June 29, 2011 2:33:34 PM

I said I was looking for a new case. The one I have is very cramped, and loud because it only has 2 80mm fans!

Im thinking Ill get the gtx 460, the case he suggested, and maybe a new powersupply considering the gtx takes twice the power than my hd4770
a b B Homebuilt system
June 29, 2011 2:57:41 PM

Sounds good, on the cpu, you can go that route, but you may be able to get more out of the chip now by overclocking. I'm only running a 640 myself on an AM2 board with a GTS 450 and can max bfbc2 at 1680x1050, and most of my other games. At that point, I would grab the 460.

Case looks nice, never used that brand before.

I used one of these in a build I helped someone with and it was great to build in.

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

A little more than the other one, but was impressed.


*Edit* Also, don't count AMD out, you should have bulldozer chips coming out later this year too, so keep an eye out before just deciding on the newest intel thing.
June 29, 2011 3:01:30 PM

Yeah, that case looks very nice. I'm looking into getting a gtx 550 ti. It uses a bit less power than the 460, and has a much higher pixel rate which would be good for my 1080p resolution. And since it uses only 35 more watts than my hd4770, I can keep my psu. Oh, and it is cheaper!
a b B Homebuilt system
June 29, 2011 3:14:50 PM

I would not go 550ti. The 460 is going to be a faster card. For example....

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-550-ti-...

Also, if you are pushing the power supply that close to it's limit, it's likely time for a new PSU. But higher pixel rate, check the frame rates, the 460 in the benchmarks many times is stronger than the 550ti.
June 29, 2011 4:44:09 PM

Alright. I may need a new psu than! I just calculated it and it suggested I get a 496 recommended. I may just buy a 750w, then I won't have to buy a new one when I do a new build next year.
June 29, 2011 4:45:20 PM

boeing114 said:
Yeah, that case looks very nice. I'm looking into getting a gtx 550 ti. It uses a bit less power than the 460, and has a much higher pixel rate which would be good for my 1080p resolution. And since it uses only 35 more watts than my hd4770, I can keep my psu. Oh, and it is cheaper!


Yes you should be able to run the 460 on your current PSU as a 35W increase is almost nothing.

Nobody here knows if you're pushing your PSU to the limit but the total power draw as max load of your system should be 300-350W. I wouldn't bother getting a new PSU until you try your current one out.

Read this and stop being obsessed with getting a new PSU:
http://www.overclock.net/power-supplies/715889-psu-arti...

Tom's is one of the worst places to get PSU advice. Google this: "site:jonnyguru.com tom's hardware"
June 29, 2011 4:46:49 PM

Alright. And I believe the hd 4770 only took 80 watts to the gtx 460's 160. According to hwcompare.com...
June 29, 2011 4:50:14 PM

I was about to say the 460 can use up to twice as much power... Either way your system doesn't use much juice.
a b B Homebuilt system
June 29, 2011 5:05:23 PM

Assuming the fact that you can use the RAM, DVD Writer and HDD from the previous build , here are my suggestions :

CPU: $220-i5-2500K

Motherboard: $115- MSI-P67 G43

Power Supply: $65- Antec EarthWatts 650D (Insufficient if a second card is added)

Graphic Card : $250- MSI Twin Frozr II 560Ti (Great Card for gaming )

Case : $50- Cooler Master Elite 430

Total : $700

An SSD may not be needed now. However if you want to add one , an OCZ Agillity 3 64Gb ($130 ) is worth considering.





June 29, 2011 5:05:27 PM

Alright. I'm actually finding out whether or not z68 is compatible with ivy bridge. If it is I will probably just build a cheap sandy bridge machine. I have someone who would buy this machine, so it would work out! Thanks for the suggestions though! I will definitely keep them in mind if I decide for sure that I want to upgrade this system!
June 29, 2011 5:23:06 PM

It's not like IB is going to offer any performance increases in games. Hell you won't notice the difference between a Lynnfield and a Sandy Bridge in 99% of gaming situations.

AMD is a different story since they are 2 generations behind and their Phenom IIs compete with Core 2s.

Just get the 460 1GB now for $150 and save your money. You can SLi them later and have the performance of a GTX 580.
a b B Homebuilt system
June 29, 2011 5:33:48 PM

browsingtheworld said:
Yes you should be able to run the 460 on your current PSU as a 35W increase is almost nothing.

Nobody here knows if you're pushing your PSU to the limit but the total power draw as max load of your system should be 300-350W. I wouldn't bother getting a new PSU until you try your current one out.

Read this and stop being obsessed with getting a new PSU:
http://www.overclock.net/power-supplies/715889-psu-arti...

Tom's is one of the worst places to get PSU advice. Google this: "site:jonnyguru.com tom's hardware"



I am only a member on this site, I don't work for Toms. So your argument may become invalid. Tell you what, you go buy a cheap no name power supply, and run your system with a GTX 460, tell me what the system looks like after your power supply goes out on that 350 watt supply. I personally burned up a board with junk power supply. Never again. Personally, I've been working on computers for about 10 years. If you want to chance your system on a 350 watt power supply, knock yourself out. Me, no way. The thing is, if you skimp on power supply, and it goes, it may take your system with it. Using a cheapo power supply like a 350 watt with a GTX 460 is like playing russian roulette with your pc. If you want to do that, go ahead, but don't come crying to us when your computer dies.
June 29, 2011 5:42:53 PM

Do you think a 500w will be sufficient? That's what I have currently...
June 29, 2011 5:45:06 PM

GTX 460 ran fine on a with a Phenom II X4 on a 10 year old Antec TP380.

Again I recommend reading articles in the link I posted instead of listening to anyone on Tom's. Or better yet go to jonnyguru.

Can you please tell us which power supply you were using and what your setup was? It's not really believable that this actually happened when you're so vague. It's also hard to believe a 500W PSU can fry your system unless it has 40 amps over 12V (which is hard to find on crappy units).
June 29, 2011 5:50:27 PM

I just checked, it's actually 530w. It is a RAIDMAX HYBRID2 RX-530SS 530W
June 29, 2011 6:11:45 PM

It's not the best but solidly mediocre and should power a GTX 460 without any problem.
a b B Homebuilt system
June 29, 2011 6:43:33 PM

When I was younger and more foolish, I once used a Hercules branded 500 watt. If I remember right, it was like 17 amps on the 12v+ rail. I remember about a month after the build, the board stopped recognizing IDE/PATA ports. You learn quickly after that, lol.
June 29, 2011 7:23:50 PM

You shouldn't have even tried that in the first place since it's a 12 x 17 or 204W PSU. His PSU is fine for the 460.
June 29, 2011 7:46:16 PM

browsingtheworld said:

When they are both overclocked the 460 is 6% slower than the 6870 in overall performance but 1% faster at 1080p.



wow 1% faster at 1080p. ONE PERCENT! thast a HUGE increase in performance. Boeing, you should totally go ahead and go with trollingtheworld's suggestions. hes legit. :sarcastic: 
June 29, 2011 8:41:17 PM

computernugget said:
wow 1% faster at 1080p. ONE PERCENT! thast a HUGE increase in performance. Boeing, you should totally go ahead and go with trollingtheworld's suggestions. hes legit. :sarcastic: 

Yes he should save $40 to get a card that's just as fast.

Unless you're suggesting that he buys a card that has the the same performance for $40 or 27% more.

But yeah.... pay 27% more for 1% less performance. That's a great suggestion.
June 29, 2011 9:45:52 PM

Well, what about a 5850 or 5770 a 5770 is a little less powerful than the 460 and cost less, but a 5850 is about 150$ and is AWESOME in performing.
June 29, 2011 10:48:57 PM

Find me a 5850 for that price, they are all gone.

The 5770 isn't bad for $100 if you don't buy an overpriced model but the 460 is significantly faster. In fact overclocked 460 is faster than HD 5770s in CF.
June 30, 2011 12:55:06 AM

nvidia fanboy i see. such things aren't encouraged here at toms you know.
June 30, 2011 1:01:48 AM

For $161 shipped that's a good price but you apparently have to include a wrong statement even when you find something useful!
June 30, 2011 1:51:09 AM

I'm split on the gtx 460 and the hd 6790. Thoughts?
June 30, 2011 1:55:00 AM

@browsingtheworld

No matter what a 5850 will beat a 460 I highly doubt a 460 can beat a 5850, a 5850 is far superior when overclocked, but be a nvidia fanboy as ComputerNugget said and look at bench marks plus that card is in many different brands, gpu review is a great website http://www.gpureview.com/show_cards.php?card1=614&card2... Face it fanboy, the ati 5850 is better no matter what. Also where is the prrof a 460 gtx performs better than 2 5770? Or is that another lie you made to support NVIDIA?
June 30, 2011 2:13:04 AM

addison said:
@browsingtheworld

No matter what a 5850 will beat a 460 I highly doubt a 460 can beat a 5850, a 5850 is far superior when overclocked, but be a nvidia fanboy as ComputerNugget said and look at bench marks plus that card is in many different brands, gpu review is a great website http://www.gpureview.com/show_cards.php?card1=614&card2... Face it fanboy, the ati 5850 is better no matter what. Also where is the prrof a 460 gtx performs better than 2 5770? Or is that another lie you made to support NVIDIA?

This link clearly shows the 460 is faster than the stock HD 5850 when overclocked:
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Zotac/GeForce_GTX_46...
The 460 obviously beats the 5850 unless I'm reading this chart backwards :pt1cable: 

CF 5770s perform on par with a HD 5850:
http://www.overclock3d.net/reviews/gpu_displays/sapphir...
I just showed the overclocked 460 beating the 5850.

The HD 5850 doesn't overclock very well so the overclocked 460 will still have similar performance:
http://www.techspot.com/review/206-his-radeon-hd-5850/p...
June 30, 2011 2:16:10 AM

How does the 6850 line up with the gtx 460?
June 30, 2011 2:18:05 AM

addison said:
Get this instead it runs much cooler like 13c cooler which is good and out performs the 460. http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

:lol:  :lol:  :lol: 
The 6850 runs hotter than the 460:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-6870-rade...

So you're suggesting a card that costs $35 more, runs hotter and doesn't perform any better? In fact it's significantly slower when they are both overclocked as I showed.

I don't think anybody considers a HD 6870 at $200 a great deal. Lets not play the rebate game either.

Just click these links and it'll settle everything:
Head to head
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/291?vs=313

Overclocked performance
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Zotac/GeForce_GTX_46...
http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-r...

@boeing if you actually clicked the my links it would give you a clear perspective.
June 30, 2011 2:46:44 AM

You just said to me that the 460 overclock beats the 5850 obivisouly it does dude your pretty dumb, i've super clocked a 5850 and a 460 heats like crap.
June 30, 2011 2:54:20 AM

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/295?vs=313 for the most part the 5850 wins that not even overclocked overclocking is bad for a card runs way more hotter, and you can overclock a 5850 like a said your a nvidia fanboy deal with it.

Dude obviously you know a 460 overclock beats a 5850 stock but a 5850 overclock beats a 460 plus the x treme sapphire is over clocked, face it your a lyer.
June 30, 2011 3:16:09 AM

I probably won't be overclocking it :) 
June 30, 2011 3:52:27 AM

Good, much better off than a 5850 then 150 is a good deal what ComputerNugget posted, a 5850 is like a jet on a run way on call of duty MW2.
June 30, 2011 4:06:40 AM

Well im undecided at this point. :p 
June 30, 2011 4:55:36 AM

i found another version of the Sentey case i found only this one doesnt have the fruity knob thingy (fan control i guess) in the front, and the tool less thingies on the inside are blue i think.

lol nevermind, i just checked it and they sold out. it was that cool i guess. lol it was this one
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

heres another one though its a sentey optimus, it comes with a huge intake fan on the side.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

sentey is rather new i think, but apperantly they have some really cool stuff. i think ima get a sentey case too to build a bulldozer machine.
June 30, 2011 5:09:47 AM

addison said:
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/295?vs=313 for the most part the 5850 wins that not even overclocked overclocking is bad for a card runs way more hotter, and you can overclock a 5850 like a said your a nvidia fanboy deal with it.

Dude obviously you know a 460 overclock beats a 5850 stock but a 5850 overclock beats a 460 plus the x treme sapphire is over clocked, face it your a lyer.

Okay lets break this down.
Quote:
@browsingtheworld

No matter what a 5850 will beat a 460 I highly doubt a 460 can beat a 5850
, a 5850 is far superior when overclocked, but be a nvidia fanboy as ComputerNugget said and look at bench marks plus that card is in many different brands, gpu review is a great website http://www.gpureview.com/show_card [...] &card2=632 Face it fanboy, the ati 5850 is better no matter what. Also where is the prrof a 460 gtx performs better than 2 5770? Or is that another lie you made to support NVIDIA?


1. You said that no matter what the 5850 beats the GTX 460 when I showed an overclocked 460 beating a 5850.
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Zotac/GeForce_GTX_46...
2. You say an overclocked 5850 is beats an overclocked GTX 460 when they have roughly equal performance.
http://www.techspot.com/review/206-his-radeon-hd-5850/p...
The overclocked 5850 is slightly slower than the stock 5870.
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Zotac/GeForce_GTX_46...
The overclocked 460 is also slightly slower than the stock 5870.

Do you have anything worthwhile and factually correct to contribute?

Quote:
however if you will be doing crossfire then get an hd6000 series card since they crossfire much better.


If you're going to use dual GPUs in your future computer get 2 x GTX 460s since it's cheaper and performs just as well if not better than the HD 6850. You would save twice the money on two cards.
a b B Homebuilt system
June 30, 2011 5:56:20 AM

I'd like to point out no matter what card you choose out of 5850, or GTX 460 or even 6850 for $160 they offer great performance its only a matter of a few frames here and there.

Point that should be noted is if you plan to add a second card in near future a gtx 460 or 6850 is highly recommended due to better scaling
Crossfire of 6850

SLI performance of GTX 460

All these cards are capable of overclocking especially GTX 460. It all depend how much are you willing to tinker with the voltages.
There always an increase in power consumption when overclocked.
June 30, 2011 7:13:54 AM

its not always about overclocking though. sometimes you just wanna have things the way they are.
!