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New upgrades

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July 21, 2011 6:30:00 PM

Sorry if this has been done before, I did search but i couldn't find any threads that helped me. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

So...............

It is the time of the year again for me to upgrade my system.

I have a budget of about £600 or $975 if thats what you like.


I currently run,

CPU: X4 955 @ 3.2ghz
GPU: ATI HD 5770
RAM: DDR3 4GB 1333MHZ
HDD: 1TB
MOBO: M4A79XTD EVO

I am running 3 displays in eyefinity mode @ (5760x1080)

Would spending my money on a x6 1090t give me improved gaming performance, or would there be little difference?

Would purchasing 2x ati 5870 for crossfire give me a value for money improvement in performance, or would anyone suggest a different GPU at around the same value, that will do a better job?

Is it worth purchasing 8gb of memory that runs at 1600mhz? Would this give me a gaming boast?

Should I get an SSD? Will that improve my gaming experience?

I am aware of the short comings of my Mobo, however USB 3 among other things doesnt seem to important to me right now.

Sorry for the hundreds of questions, just in the mood to splash some cash and I want to make every penny count.

Dave

More about : upgrades

a b B Homebuilt system
July 21, 2011 10:52:35 PM

Video cards will make the difference with your gaming. The 5770 is a great card but recent 6K cards are far better. Have you Xfired before? Not every game benifits from it andf some don't like it at all. I personally would go with
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
A single card is always better than a dual card set up, if you can get what you need from the single card.
Now Nvidia has some killer cards out too,
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I havent checked the charts but I would think the 6970 and the 570 would be fairly close in most games.
You didnt list your PSU, be sure to check it has enough power to run a bigger card if you decide to go that way.
BTW - I looked for 5870's and didnt see any. Anyway, couldn't find them to verify the price VS a single card solution
a b B Homebuilt system
July 22, 2011 1:31:58 AM

^@ pilsberry_dough_boy Dude, he wants to run 3 monitors and he has a crossfire board. Can't do that with a nVidia card and he can't use SLI (not without hacks anyway)

An SSD will improve your loading experience, but wont' exactly improve gaming. Your problem is your running 3 displays from a single 5770, which is too much for that poor little card. You need at least a 6950, but I'm guessing you have the cash so go with two 6970s. Also get a good CPU cooler to overclock your CPU. Changing over to an X6 won't help you much with current games.

Related resources
a b B Homebuilt system
July 22, 2011 1:57:39 AM

Eyefinity is an AMD-only option, so as megamanx00 pointed out, you'll need to stick to AMD cards.
There are a number of things you might do to improve your rig. The ones I would consider, in this order, are:
If you have a quality 550W-650W PSU, a single HD6950 or HD6970 would be an outstanding improvement. If not, you have plenty of money in your budget to buy a solid PSU. Cutting straight to the chase (because there are any number of decent options), get a Seasonic X650 PSU and be done with it. If you might want to run two cards, make it a X750. Regardless of any other improvements you make, the money spent on these two things will not be wasted.
Get a 2x4GB RAM kit, likely for around $70-$80. G.Skill (e.g. Ripjaw or Sniper) and Corsair (e.g. Vengeance) both offer some decent RAM. The difference may be slight now, but it's cheap future-resistance.
If you don't have one, get a decent $30-$40 120mm aftermarket cooler like a Xigmatek Gaia or Coolermaster Hyper 212+ and OC your CPU to 3.6GHz. Higher is certainly possible, but I think 400MHz would provide a visible boost in your games without unduly stressing anything.
Other than level-load times, it won't make any difference inside games, but your overall computing experience will be notably improved by getting a SSD. I'd suggest a minimum of 80GB depending on how many programs you want to load on it. Also pick up a copy of Acronis' TrueImage Home to keep it backed up and/or cloned in case it craps out on you (2/5 SSDs I bought did so; different brands, although I still think they're worthwhile).
Stop there and see how you like your system. The next step should wait until Bulldozer benchmarks are out, because that would be to replace your mobo and CPU, possibly a little beyond your current budget (depending on which and how many GPUs you bought, and whether or not you had to replace your PSU). If Bulldozer looks good, get a solid 900-series chipset AM3+ board like an Asus Sabertooth. If the benchmarks are disappointing, choose a Z68 board and a Sandy Bridge CPU. The PSU, GPU(s), RAM, and/or SSD would all be movable to the new system, so you won't have wasted any money.
July 22, 2011 2:13:05 AM

thank you for the input everyone.

as megamanx00 pointed out, the 5770 does struggle in eyefinity, but I get by.

the 69xx series seems like the path to follow, so it will be the 6950 with the flashed Bois or the 6970.

I already have a 850w psu with the right connectors, so no issues there.

FYI, I got the G.skill ripjaws ram and I will invest in a new after market cooler to see if I can squeeze 4ghz out of my 955.

once again, thank you for the input. I hope someone else finds this a useful resource in the future.
a b B Homebuilt system
July 22, 2011 2:29:58 AM

Yes, but is the 850W PSU a quality unit? If, for example, it is something like a Logisys or Diablotek, it needs to find its way into the garbage as quickly as possible. Otherwise, carry on!
July 22, 2011 8:40:12 AM

I have the Corsair TX850, I picked it off ebay.

Anyone think it is worth changing that as well?
a b B Homebuilt system
July 22, 2011 9:39:15 AM

davethedavedave said:
thank you for the input everyone.

as megamanx00 pointed out, the 5770 does struggle in eyefinity, but I get by.

the 69xx series seems like the path to follow, so it will be the 6950 with the flashed Bois or the 6970.

I already have a 850w psu with the right connectors, so no issues there.

FYI, I got the G.skill ripjaws ram and I will invest in a new after market cooler to see if I can squeeze 4ghz out of my 955.

once again, thank you for the input. I hope someone else finds this a useful resource in the future.


have you thought about just Crossfiring your current 5770?

5770:
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
http://www.amazon.com/VisionTek-Killer-5770-Combo-90033...
single slot:
http://www.amazon.com/XFX-Radeon-HD5750-Single-HD575XZM...
http://www.amazon.com/XFX-Radeon-HD5770-PCI-Express-HD5...
a b B Homebuilt system
July 22, 2011 10:04:12 AM

That's an excellent PSU. Two HD6950 or HD6970 GPUs will not be a problem for it.
a b B Homebuilt system
July 22, 2011 3:35:34 PM

Buy a high end AMD GPU, or Crossfire what you have, I would go for newer high end like the 6950. Ram or an X6 won't do a thing for games that you will be able to notice.
a c 84 B Homebuilt system
July 22, 2011 3:48:46 PM

Some thoughts:

1) As good as the 5770 is, I think it will struggle with three monitors. A graphics upgrade is likely your best bet. But
To help clarify your options, run these two tests:

a) Run your games, but lower your resolution and eye candy.
If your FPS increases, it indicates that your cpu is strong enough to drive a better graphics configuration.

b) Limit your cpu, either by reducing the OC, or, in windows power management, limit the maximum cpu% to something like 70%.
If your FPS drops significantly, it is an indicator that your cpu is the limiting factor, and a cpu upgrade is in order.

It is possible that both tests are positive, indicating that you have a well balanced system, and both cpu and gpu need to be upgraded to get better gaming FPS.

2) The X6 cpu's are not good for gaming I suspect you actually would do worse. Most games can hardly use more than two cores, and certainly not more than 4. There might be a few exceptions.
The speed and effictiveness of the cores is much more important. That is why an OC'ed 2500K is the best gaming cpu available today.

3) Ram is cheap, there would be some value in going to 8gb:
http://blog.corsair.com/?p=65

4) I love the SSD. It will make your pc feel much more responsive, and level loads will be a bit quicker. I don't think the expense is worth it now, you have other more productive options.

5) If you decide that a graphics upgrade is in order, make it a big jump, or you will be disappointed. I think you are looking at cf with two 6950 cards.
a b B Homebuilt system
July 22, 2011 4:22:55 PM

If you go with a 6950 and want to flash it, make sure it is a model with Dual BIOS. Some of the newer 6950s do not have the BIOS switch that lets them use a back up BIOS in the event you screw up a flash. As far as flashing 6950s read a guide on how to make a custom BIOS. Seems like it's best to first flash it to enable the shaders, but keep it at 6950 speeds, then overclock it from there. If your 6950 uses lower spec RAM than what's used in a 6970, it's may be unstable at the speeds and voltages you flash it to.
a b B Homebuilt system
July 22, 2011 8:19:03 PM

geofelt said:
Some thoughts:

1) As good as the 5770 is, I think it will struggle with three monitors. A graphics upgrade is likely your best bet. But
To help clarify your options, run these two tests:

a) Run your games, but lower your resolution and eye candy.
If your FPS increases, it indicates that your cpu is strong enough to drive a better graphics configuration.

b) Limit your cpu, either by reducing the OC, or, in windows power management, limit the maximum cpu% to something like 70%.
If your FPS drops significantly, it is an indicator that your cpu is the limiting factor, and a cpu upgrade is in order.

It is possible that both tests are positive, indicating that you have a well balanced system, and both cpu and gpu need to be upgraded to get better gaming FPS.

2) The X6 cpu's are not good for gaming I suspect you actually would do worse. Most games can hardly use more than two cores, and certainly not more than 4. There might be a few exceptions.
The speed and effictiveness of the cores is much more important. That is why an OC'ed 2500K is the best gaming cpu available today.

3) Ram is cheap, there would be some value in going to 8gb:
http://blog.corsair.com/?p=65

4) I love the SSD. It will make your pc feel much more responsive, and level loads will be a bit quicker. I don't think the expense is worth it now, you have other more productive options.

5) If you decide that a graphics upgrade is in order, make it a big jump, or you will be disappointed. I think you are looking at cf with two 6950 cards.


he already has a 5770, adding another to give 2 5770s in Crossfire would give similar performance to a 6950

5770 vs a 6950 (add about 90% to the 5770 results for crossfire):
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/296?vs=293

crossfire 5770s would be able to handle 3 monitors quite well actually.
a b B Homebuilt system
July 22, 2011 8:21:36 PM

Considering what you have now, I don't think you should buy more than a single HD6950 and test that before buying anything else. If it is still a little slow, consider flashing it to a HD6970 (although it is important to note that there are NO guarantees this will work, and it is possible, however unlikely, that you might brick your new card), or you could add a second one for Crossfire.
!