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What to upgrade..? Advice Please..!

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September 30, 2011 5:21:44 PM

I'm doing a system upgrade..!! :D  yay..!

I've got around £600 to slosh around, but if I don't need to spend all that then I happily won't.

So my specs are;

AMD Phenom II X6 1090T (Overclocked to 3.6GHz on stock cooler :o )
ASUS M4A88TD-M EVO
3x2GB XMS 3 1333MHz RAM.
1TB HDD WD Corsair Blue
ZOTAC GTS 250 - This is probably my priority to upgrade :p 
Then a terrible optical drive I don't care about
and A Wi-Fi and USB3 card I like..

So, Suggestions for my £600..?

or what to upgrade as a priority..?

Thanks in advance :D 

Deanie

More about : upgrade advice

September 30, 2011 5:28:57 PM

i assume you are talking about upgrading for gaming? what resolution do you game at?

your CPU, HDD, mobo and RAM is fine

you can obviously upgrade your GPU for a better gaming performance and if needed your PSU (you did not state what it is)

i would also get an aftermarket cooler. there are many choices from all in one liquid coolers (corsair H80, Antec 620, etc.,) to bargain coolers like the cooler master hyper 212+.

optical drives are starting to go the way of floppy drives with most software now installed digitally. if you can deal with it, i would not upgrade it unless you just feel like spending $20 on an OEM drive.
September 30, 2011 6:13:19 PM

2 Screens.. one's 27" or 23" probably 1920x1200 and the other is 1400x900 or something like that.

my PSU is a corsair TX650. Which I think is fine.

Yeah, I want an aftermarket cooler.

My case is a Thermaltake Armor A30, so space is tight. <90mm!! and silence is ideal..!

Any ideas?

nah, I'll stick to my optical Drive :D 
Related resources
September 30, 2011 6:32:33 PM

Also, someone said something about AMD chips only like dual channel RAM..? So would getting an identical stick to the other 3 and putting it in create 2 dual channels and work nicely,..?

Thanks :D 
September 30, 2011 6:38:29 PM

MrDeanie said:
Also, someone said something about AMD chips only like dual channel RAM..? So would getting an identical stick to the other 3 and putting it in create 2 dual channels and work nicely,..?

Thanks :D 


yes and no, yes you would be back in dual channel since you only have one stick in your second channel. would you see any real world difference and a big jump in game FPS? not really. but DDR3 ram is so cheap now, if you are willing to spend the money you may as well get it.
September 30, 2011 6:40:30 PM

if anything I'd have 8gb instead of 6... and it's only about £10 now so I'll go for it..

I want to spend about £250-£300 on a graphics card for gaming. Any ideas?

Opinion on watercooling?

September 30, 2011 6:46:49 PM

Yeah aftermarket cooling and a new GPU is what you need. Oh, and I agree go for dual channel RAM.

I'd suggest the Antec water cooling, um something 620 :p  It's the same as Corsair's but cheaper. And 6950 or GeForce equivalent depending on which is cheaper in your area.
September 30, 2011 6:51:04 PM

what sort of overclock would I be looking at with Antec Water Cooling..? Just as a rough guess?

Any preference on Graphics Cards, It's a minefield for the amateurs...
September 30, 2011 6:56:19 PM

MrDeanie said:
if anything I'd have 8gb instead of 6... and it's only about £10 now so I'll go for it..

I want to spend about £250-£300 on a graphics card for gaming. Any ideas?

Opinion on watercooling?


*you need a 120mm port (or more) for an all-in-one cooler. correct me if I'm wrong but doesn't the A30 have 1 - 90mm front, 1 - 230mm top, and 2- 60mm rear fans?

graphic card wise you would be in the AMD 6950-6970 range. With Nvidia you would be looking at the GTX570. All are good, depends on on weather you want to spend closer to 250 or to 300. I would personally go with the Nvidia GTX570 but I tend to lean more to Nvidia. the AMD are also very good and I do own an AMD gpu in one of my PCs, performs great.

I assume you mean all-in-one water cooling since you have a rather tough case to install a full water kit for a person new to water cooling. all-in-ones are fine but they cost more then air cooler and offer similar performance. they also create the same noise since both rely on a fan to disperse heat. you can eaily get the same performance and noise from a CM 212+ @$30 that you can get from a corsair H60 @$70. if having a water cooled CPU sounds cool and you are willing to spend the money, they perform well and most are not very loud.
September 30, 2011 7:01:02 PM

so your 2 ideas for CPU Cooling are the 2 you linked earlier..? OK, Thanks. I'll have a look.

The nVidia card looks cheaper, how do they perform comparatively?
and if I do go for the GTX 570, any ideas for which supplier is best? I.E. Zotac vs Gainward vs eVGA, etc etc

Thanks
September 30, 2011 7:24:11 PM

anandtech's benchmark tool allows you to compare various video cards, see what each card does at the games you like to play.

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/331?vs=306

as for brands, go for the one with the features you like the best. be it a better warranty, better price, aftermarket cooler, factory OC (although you can easily do this yourself), free game. etc.,
September 30, 2011 7:40:27 PM

The nVidia seems to come out on top. I think I'll go for that one. Hefty Price though..!

I'll have a look at those then. Thanks.

Any other advice on after market CPU Coolers?
September 30, 2011 9:09:47 PM

If you have the room and clearance I do suggest getting the biggest air cooler you can. I have a Scythe Ninja 3 which is awesome in terms of price/perf. I somehow got the impression you couldn't fit a proper aftermarket air cooler... But if going w/c here's the Antec I mentioned http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... I believe it offers the best bang for buck in its segment. Depending on your case it might fit in the top or rear fan slot.
October 1, 2011 6:17:55 AM

I've only got 90mm of CPU fan space.. Small case. So I thought maybe WC for high performace/low profile.

Also, he problem is my case doesn't have a 120mm exhaust fan. So that could be a non-starter.

Thanks for your input
October 1, 2011 6:51:39 AM

Also, any thoughts on getting an SSD to boost performance? Slam a few core programs on their and go for it?
October 1, 2011 7:07:27 AM

Also, sorry, for all the posting.

My current HDD says 600Mbps, and all the SSD's say there 600Mbps, but all the websites say SSD offer a massive performance increase in terms of Read/write speeds.

So am I missing something out here? Should I go for it?
October 1, 2011 7:18:34 AM

Sorry, it won't let me edit my posts :( 

I only play Games, such as Black Ops, Crysis, Just Cause 2, etc. Would I benefit from a SSD enough to make it worth it?
October 1, 2011 8:49:42 AM

You won't gain any fps from a SSD, it just makes your system snappier to use. What is your case? What are its measurements? Fan slots?
October 1, 2011 12:27:06 PM

Well, that's for you to decide. You need to read up on SSDs. Look up some reviews on this site, Reviews->Storage. The 600MBps on your HDD is continuous sequential reads. SSD won't speed up that so much (f.ex. copying a DVD.iso) but it will speed up most other reads and especially writes.
October 1, 2011 12:33:05 PM

Ok, I think I'll get some more slow storage. Probably a Spinpoint F4.

Thanks for all your help guys. :D 
October 1, 2011 12:34:52 PM

oh, what's the best way to go on cpu coolers under 90mm..? CoolerMaster Geminii S is 88mm... Best way to go?

If I did get that the air is pulled in through the top, so it could struggle to pull air through the 2mm gap...
!