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Motherboard Help – How to most effectively upgrade

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September 4, 2012 3:53:06 PM

So I purchased a cheap refurbished HP PAVILION P6310Y DESKTOP and quickly regretted not building my own.
Thus, slowly but surely I have been replacing components as money permits.
I just purchased an SSD (the OCZ) from newegg on sale for quite cheap.

After this purchase I realized how much my mobo is probably hindering the performance of my PC. The most demanding tasks I use it for is probably recreational gaming (will most likely never use 2 monitors).

Now I want to purchase a new mobo but am not sure what would be best to do.
I could:

A – purchase a new motherboard right now (price range below 100USD)
B – wait and purchase a new motherboard and CPU (price range below 200USD)

Mobo recommendations would be helpful as well.

Specs. Below---------------------------------------------------------------

MOBO: mATX M2N78-LA (Violet6) (crap HP mobo that came with my unfortunate purchase of a “HP PAVILION P6310Y DESKTOP”)
CPU: Athlon II X4 630(2.8GHz)
PSU: corsair enthusiast series tx650
GPU: Sapphire Radeon HD6870 1G DDR5 PCIE
RAM: 6GB DDR3 (some cheap HP provided memory)
HDD: 1TB HDD Western Digital 5200k (also came in the HP Desktop)
SSD: 128g OCZ vertex4
Case: Corsair Carbide 400R

Best solution

a c 717 V Motherboard
September 4, 2012 4:12:19 PM

The only thing that replacing your MOBO can do is to allow OC'ing.

However, the biggest bottleneck is your CPU, an Athlon II X4 630 is a very slow CPU regardless of how much you can OC or what folks otherwise think. Some games aren't that affected by the CPU but the majority are affected quite a bit.

If I were you, save up for both a new CPU & MOBO.
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September 4, 2012 4:29:34 PM

In your opinion would you then go intel instead of AMD (I know this is a lot like talking about religion, or maybe even more touchy)?
Is it possible to get a decent mobo and Intel processor under 200USD?
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a c 717 V Motherboard
September 4, 2012 4:44:16 PM

Intel unless AMD magically has a new CPU that kicks Intel's butt.

About the cheapest CPU I can recommend is the Intel i5-2400 which cost ~$190 and cannot be OC otherwise I typically recommend the ~$200 i5-2500K or the newer ~$220 Ivy Bridge i5-3570K. None of those will bottleneck but only the (K) can be overclocked; neither the i5-2400 or i3-2100 can be overclocked.

My standing recommendations are:
$220 CPU: Ivy Bridge i5-3570K
$115 MOBO: ASRock Z77 Extreme4
$35 Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO
=====
$370

Here's a good article for sub-$200 CPU's -> http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-fx-pentium-a...
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September 4, 2012 5:33:45 PM

I do have a 212+ (not the EVO)
However it looks like I'll need to save for a bit longer in order to upgrade to the new mobo and cpu.
Not the news I wanted to hear, but probably the best advice... :) 
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a c 717 V Motherboard
September 4, 2012 6:07:36 PM

Either Cooler Master HSF is fine, I list the newer and slightly better EVO but the 212+ is fine for the money.

I rather see you wait and do it right than waste money and be aggravated. Meanwhile hopefully the prices will go down!!!
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September 13, 2012 7:49:04 PM

jaquith said:
Intel unless AMD magically has a new CPU that kicks Intel's butt.

About the cheapest CPU I can recommend is the Intel i5-2400 which cost ~$190 and cannot be OC otherwise I typically recommend the ~$200 i5-2500K or the newer ~$220 Ivy Bridge i5-3570K. None of those will bottleneck but only the (K) can be overclocked; neither the i5-2400 or i3-2100 can be overclocked.

My standing recommendations are:
$220 CPU: Ivy Bridge i5-3570K
$115 MOBO: ASRock Z77 Extreme4
$35 Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO
=====
$370

Here's a good article for sub-$200 CPU's -> http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-fx-pentium-a...


Out of curiosity, why do you recommend the Ivy Bridge vs the Sandy?
It seems like from what I have read, the performance increase is from 3-6%
and voltage increase leads to a lot of extra heat?

PS: correct me wherever I am wrong as I am looking for answers that I obviously do not have :) 
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a c 717 V Motherboard
September 13, 2012 8:57:48 PM

$220 i5-2500K vs $230 i5-3570K and 3%~6% is on the low side. $10 the load efficiency alone makes up for the $10 alone; energy savings. The vast majority of the folks even with the 'K' don't OC or only they play with OC, and then you're still left with performance gain.

In the beginning folks were overvolting the IB in their review 'OC,' and when combined with improved BIOS (UEFI) the OC's are more efficient and stable with lower voltages.

Listen I'm not a fanboy of the IB and my expectations were hampered by Intel's TIM change and Tri-gate heat capture, but in the end the IB is indeed a step, not leap, forward.
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September 14, 2012 4:02:25 PM

That makes sense.....thanks for your patients to explain it to me :) 
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September 15, 2012 12:13:16 AM

One more question...i just found out that my RAM is DDR3 1066 =(
Is that going to be a problem once I upgrade my mobo and CPU ???
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September 21, 2012 2:09:39 PM

Best answer selected by Loren_ha.
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a c 717 V Motherboard
September 21, 2012 2:23:29 PM

Loren_ha said:
One more question...i just found out that my RAM is DDR3 1066 =(
Is that going to be a problem once I upgrade my mobo and CPU ???

To some degree, but that's only about 1%~3% of a hold back. Most e.g. Z77's support DDR3 1600/1333/1066 MHz memory modules. Ideally though for Gaming is the amount of RAM, and I really recommend 8GB minimum.

Here's a decent comparison review (the DDR3-1066) wouldn't be far off (review the entire article, I linked directly to the Gaming page) - http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/memory/2011/01/11/the-...
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