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Time to upgrade

Last response: in Systems
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July 26, 2011 10:34:03 PM

Sorry I have multiple threads on this forum, I have minor OCD and editing a thread to something completely new drives me crazy.


Intel i7-950 OC'd @ 3.8
Sapphire Radeon 6870
CM HAF 932
Asus P6X58D-E
Windows 7
CM 120mm Heatsink
Corsair 750w
Light on 24x DVD
1 TB Western Digital
6g Corsair DDR3
2x ASUS 23" monitors
Logitech G510
Razer Naga


Thats my current system, I just ran into a bit of money so I'd like to upgrade. I'm modding the case, but before I finish the mod I need to decide if I want watercooling or fans. Anyway I know I don't need water cooling, but I would love to have it for looks and as a bit of a hobby type of thing.

Anyway, if I were to spend $500 on that, what would you upgrade? I'm thinking maybe crossfire 6870s, and some more RAM? Or watercooling, better heatsink so I can overclock further. I even heard an SSD would be great, I'm really not sure! What do you think I should do?


$500 is loose, if its a bit more its fine. If you wanted to go to the extreme and name $1000 worth of upgrades, maybe i'll even do that!

Thank you! I appreciate it.

More about : time upgrade

a b B Homebuilt system
July 27, 2011 2:01:44 AM

Adding more RAM will give you the best bang for your buck! Get identical matching RAM if possible.
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July 27, 2011 11:26:55 AM

Ubrales said:
Adding more RAM will give you the best bang for your buck! Get identical matching RAM if possible.


My friend actually just got 16g of RAM for $130, I got my 6g for 130 a year ago haha. I honestly don't exactly understand RAM and what it does, so I'll have to research that more before buying it! (When I built this I really didn't know much at all, now I'm learning and getting better)

I don't like the idea of getting identical sticks though, these 2g sticks are a bit limiting compared to 4g.

Either way, I'm most likely going to get more ram but thats only $150, what else should I get?

Thanks for the reply
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 27, 2011 1:43:48 PM

Yes, 4 GB RAM modules are better. But buy them as a matched set.

The remainder of the money spend on wine and women! :) 
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 27, 2011 1:49:23 PM

adding more ram to a system with 6gb is going to be a completely worthless upgrade for most users. The addition of another hd6870 ($180) is easily going to be the most cost effective upgrade for a gamer, as those cards have excellent crossfire scaling.
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July 27, 2011 8:22:02 PM

Wine and women..hm I'm 20 so not much of a wine drinker, and computers are a lot less frustrating than most women :-p

Another 6870? I've thought about that but then I would need to upgrade my power supply, wouldnt I? (Corsairs website said I would)

Even with that though Its still under my budget!

I appreciate all the posts

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a b B Homebuilt system
July 27, 2011 8:33:28 PM

no, a corsair 750w is more than enough for 2 6870's. you could do it with 650w.
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July 27, 2011 10:25:44 PM

genghiskron said:
no, a corsair 750w is more than enough for 2 6870's. you could do it with 650w.



Really? Thats great news! Thanks
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 28, 2011 2:43:41 AM

The Corsair 750 watts will handle crossfire.
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July 28, 2011 11:43:35 AM

Would I need another SAPPHIRE 6870? Or would XFX 6870 work with a sapphire 6870?
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 28, 2011 12:48:44 PM

For Crossfire (or SLI), the Graphics cards must be identical.
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 28, 2011 1:08:21 PM

I agree with adding another 6870, a ssd would also help to make the system feel snappier.
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July 28, 2011 1:58:09 PM

I've only ever had fans but one thing I've always said is that if I had the money I'd put it into watercooling. If you're modding your case you might as well do the watercooling along with it. Of course, that's after upgrading your RAM and adding a 6870. Certainly a SSD would be a nice luxury item as well (try and go for the 80GB at least).

$150 ram
$200 6870
~$90 watercooling (anywhere from $70-$120) ish
Spend whats left on your SSD (this'll put you over $500 but not by too much)

All prices are in CAD so they might be slightly off.
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 28, 2011 2:04:54 PM

Quote:
Would I need another SAPPHIRE 6870? Or would XFX 6870 work with a sapphire 6870?


Quote:
For Crossfire (or SLI), the Graphics cards must be identical.


The GPU needs to be exactly the same (same chip). Identical hardware specs (VRAM, specifically) also matter, but clock speeds don't (i.e. you can pair a factory OCed version with a non-OCed version - the system will default to the lower of the two speeds).

Brand does not matter as long as the specs match up, so the XFX and Sapphire cards should work.

Personally, I'd get another 6870 and another monitor for Eyefinity. Plus, having 3 monitors is just nice, and I hate looking directly at a bezel.
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 28, 2011 2:25:37 PM

I missed the WC reference in the OP! :D 

Quote:
I've only ever had fans but one thing I've always said is that if I had the money I'd put it into watercooling. If you're modding your case you might as well do the watercooling along with it. Of course, that's after upgrading your RAM and adding a 6870. Certainly a SSD would be a nice luxury item as well (try and go for the 80GB at least).

$150 ram
$200 6870
~$90 watercooling (anywhere from $70-$120) ish
Spend whats left on your SSD (this'll put you over $500 but not by too much)


Adding more RAM is just a waste of money - 6GB is more than enough for games, so 12GB would never even be touched. I had 9GB in my old i7-930 system only because I use a lot of computational math codes at school. I got 16GB in this one for the same reason, because I needed more than 8GB and another 8GB kit was more cost effective - I'll always use more RAM, but a gamer won't.

I believe the OP is referring to true watercooling, not something like the closed-loop Corsair systems for the CPU. A good system will cost about $150-200 for the base items and accessories (pump, reservoir, fittings/clamps, tubing, radiator(s)), and then about $65 for the CPU block and ~$100 per GPU block. The system in my signature costed ~$400 to WC, though I got many of my parts used on forums.

If your performance is still good (~60 FPS at your highest settings), I would go straight for WC and forget the second GPU. If not, get the second GPU and work your WC budget around that. Rubix_1011 will more than likely comment on any post you make in the watercooling section (the guru there), and we'll be able to help you out more one that side without getting off topic here. I recommend reading the watercooling stickies before posting a thread in that section, as your first few responses will be in regards to reading the stickies. It saves everyone time if you do it beforehand. :D 
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July 28, 2011 9:10:13 PM

So many answers! I appreciate it!

About the third monitor, I want it more than anything but I don't have room for it :( 

I got two different answers on this, If i were to crossfire could I crossfire a XFX HD 6870 with a SAPPHIRE HD 6870?

I want RAM because the price dropped, but if it seems pointless I'll skip that.

Nervous on an SSD, I heard theyre not reliable and I wouldn't know how to put my OS and such on it!

Thanks for the help, the more replies the more it helps me decide :) 
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 29, 2011 3:02:52 AM

It's always tempting to upgrade the RAM, but in reality your system wouldn't take advantage of it (in this day and age, you think it should though, huh?). I've been there :) 

You have to get the right SSD. The Intel 320s are very good drives, as are the OCZ Vertex/Agility 3 series. Setting up is pretty simple, but with an existing system you'd need to back up important files and then do a fresh installation on the SSD. Then you just need to set up the SSD as the OS drive and the hard drive as your data drive (really, just install programs to the right locations).
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July 29, 2011 9:04:15 PM

Soundcard? I've never heard of one! I honestly don't usually game with sound on, but I have music playing about 90% of the time I'm on my computer.

What about a wireless network card? I feel like one of those would be really handy.

I appreciate the tips! It really is helping me out
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 29, 2011 9:41:49 PM

Jvass said:
Soundcard? I've never heard of one! I honestly don't usually game with sound on, but I have music playing about 90% of the time I'm on my computer.

What about a wireless network card? I feel like one of those would be really handy.

I appreciate the tips! It really is helping me out

An excellent wireless card is Linksys WMP600N - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I have 3 desktops running with this card - over 18 months each.
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 29, 2011 10:49:08 PM

lol BF2 sounds = fail (the game as a whole = ultra win). the gunshots sound like someone is tapping a spoon on a table.
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 29, 2011 11:30:50 PM

A sound card will really make a difference, but only with good headphones or speakers.

I have the Roccat Kave 5.1 headphones and an HT Omega Striker 7.1 sound card (needed the Dolby Digital Encoding for true 5.1 - I don't like using the virtualization software in most cards). Cooler Master just revealed a headset with more speakers than the Kave (8 vs 6), and it's about the same price (~$130 USD). My music, games, and movies sound incredible, and having a dedicated subwoofer channel in my headset makes everything better :) 
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