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Budget upgrade from ddr2 to ddr3 AMD based system?

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September 6, 2011 1:38:06 PM

Fella's

Im currently using AMD quad core 955BE cpu using DDR2 ram atm with a geforce 460se GPU and 500w psu.
I plan to upgrade my MB + RAM i would like to get DDR3 8gb just to play sc2 smoothly and deus ex revolution and for diablo3 (when its out)
Im looking for a budget upgrade to squeeze the life out of the AMD 955 cpu until it becomes obsolete, is it worth it to upgrade to dd3 or should i just go for the icore 7 based systems?

Im having trouble deciding on a budget board just so i can use DDR3 ram as i would prefer 8GB (4Gx2) 1600 G.Skill Ripjaws-X ($60 aud) i might even consider 16gb of ddr3 ram if its worth the upgrade interms of speed performance to 8gb.

The mainboard i choose is Gigabyte GA-970A-D3 AM3 970 DDR3 Motherboard ($105 aud)
i was even considering a $50 MB just to use ddr3 such as the ASUS M4A78LT-M-LE 760G AM3 DDR3 Motherboard, would it be better off getting a much cheaper board?

Would i also need a stronger PSU?

i would really prefer to spend about $100-150 total on just MB + RAM as i would prefer to make this pc last for diablo3 then trash it all and buy the monster icore 7 in the future (1-2yrs time)

Any help/thoughts would be appreciated.

More about : budget upgrade ddr2 ddr3 amd based system

a b B Homebuilt system
September 6, 2011 2:23:58 PM

I don't think DDR3 is important. With 4gb DDR2, I think you'll still be bottlenecked by the GPU.
A 500W PSU will be totally fine, *if* it's a good model.
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a b B Homebuilt system
September 6, 2011 3:00:55 PM

the performance difference beetween ddr2 and ddr3 ram is minimal (and i doubt you'll notice it in terms of real world performance). whats are your current full specs?
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a b B Homebuilt system
September 6, 2011 5:43:34 PM

It's not really worth it to upgrade just for the DDR3 capability. The performance difference isn't going to be that noticable. If you want a significant difference in performance you're going to need to upgrade your graphics. I would suggest, for that system, you get a Radeon HD 6950 or a GTX 560ti to improve your gaming performance. Of course, without knowing your system specs in detail that's just speculation.

However, any upgrade that you are planning now will be eclipsed by what is coming out in the near future. AMD is getting ready to release it's "Bulldozer" line of CPU's in the next month or so (hopefully). Intel is planning to release their "Ivy bridge" CPU's around the end of the year (again hopefully). Both AMD and Nvidia are working on new GPU technologies that they will almost certainly be releasing within the next 1-2 years. By the time you are ready to "trash it all and buy the monster icore 7 in the future (1-2yrs time)" that "monster icore 7" system might not look like much of a monster anymore. Case in point is the Core i7 990X Extreme edition processor. It's a beast with a $999 price tag but it's still eclipsed in performance by the current sandy bridge porcessors at a 3rd of the price or less.

I would suggest saving up your money now and then, when you're ready to go for the major upgrade, just do it. There is plenty of excellent advice available here when you are ready. In the long run you'll wind up happier with it.
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September 6, 2011 8:43:23 PM

system specs MSI k9a2
cpu AMD 955
DDR2 4gb 800
500w PSU icute
gforce 4 1GB 460 GPU.
2TB sata HDD

i had a feeling ddr3 might not be worth the upgrade, its just that they are dirt cheap can buy a cheap ddr3 MB for 50bucks and 8gb ddr3 ram for 50 bucks as well. The offer is tempting but if there is no major difference in performance then it isnt worth it.

I could always optional to just buy an i7 and chg full system specs, but i think nows not really the time to upgrade as current pc is still running sorta ok. sc2 does perform with a few bottle necks in team plays but solo play its smooth. Dues revolution is only about 90% smooth with lil jerkness when moving the view around but latter it smooth depending of situations ofcourse.

Anyone here have found that upgrading from ddr2 to ddr3 worth it?

and yes im waiting on i7 990x to drop in price for full upgrade :) 

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a b B Homebuilt system
a b À AMD
September 6, 2011 9:45:19 PM

it might never really drop. Completely obsolete core2Quad CPUs are still nearly $200, while their performance puts them at around a $90 Athlon II
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a b B Homebuilt system
September 7, 2011 12:07:16 AM

990x? That's crazy. The 2500K equals its performance in gaming or a fourth the price.
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September 7, 2011 1:04:12 AM

Just looking ahead in 1-2 yrs time kajabla. Infact 1-2 yrs time im sure the tech specs for pc's will be totally different by then.

Still not sure if its worth doing a minor upgrade to ddr3 tho.
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a c 136 B Homebuilt system
a b À AMD
September 7, 2011 1:18:54 AM

Intel charge the earth for legacy processors for some reason .

As for changing mb and ram to get DDR3 then this is a bad idea . You would get no measurable performance gain , and if your copy of windows is oem you are also going to be needing a new copy of that too .

If you want better gaming performance just replace the graphics card

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a b B Homebuilt system
September 7, 2011 1:21:42 AM

evilgummybear said:
Still not sure if its worth doing a minor upgrade to ddr3 tho.


No, it's not. The upgrade will not be "minor." In order to get from DDR2 to DDR3, you need a new motherboard. That also means reinstalling your OS, which besides being a pain in the ass, means if it's not 64-bit already you'll need a new OS in order to use more than 4GB.

Also, the difference between 4GB and 8GB for gaming purposes remains minimal, as does the difference between DDR2 and DDR3. Overall, I'd say you're looking at a 2-3% performance increase (which you won't even notice) for a couple hundred bucks, plus ripping out the guts of your system and essentially reassembling the whole thing from scratch. You're much better off waiting and doing a full upgrade.

And if you were thinking of getting a new AMD motherboard for DDR3, if you must buy one, please, PLEASE get an AM3+ socket, not the dead-end AM3. Then you at least leave yourself an upgrade path.
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a b B Homebuilt system
September 7, 2011 1:39:19 AM

evilgummybear said:
Just looking ahead in 1-2 yrs time kajabla. Infact 1-2 yrs time im sure the tech specs for pc's will be totally different by then.


And the i7-900s will be even more outdated, and Ivy Bridge will give even better performance for the money. Just saying, it's rarely a good idea to go legacy on a high-end build.
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September 7, 2011 2:39:38 AM

personally i think getting an am3+ socket board is a waste of money. The new bulldozer amd cpu isnt out yet so why get an am3 socket, might as well just wait it out until amd releases the new cpu or go intel. The new am3+ mb are in the $200 mark, not really worth it when intel i7 is the better way to go in terms of speed.

I guess the answer is now simple, ddr3 is not worth the upgrade from majority of posters here. Would be interested to find out if someone has done it and noticed any perfomance differences. AMD 955 is still a kick ass CPU, but for me to get a stonger VDU card i need a stronger PSU lol. I suppose it is a better option than ram upgrade.
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a b B Homebuilt system
a b À AMD
September 7, 2011 3:03:51 AM

A stronger PSU and faster GPU are things you should be able to take with you to a new build, so chosen wisely, they won't be money wasted.
Unfortunately, a budget of $150 isn't going to do it. I'm not sure of the exchange rate now, but if I had to guess, you're probably looking at twice that, or a little more. Something like a 650W Earthwatts and a GTX560ti would be a nice upgrade.
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September 7, 2011 3:36:17 AM

Isnt raedon more ahead for GPU than nvidia?
the 69xx are nice cards
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a b B Homebuilt system
a b À AMD
September 7, 2011 3:57:32 AM

they generally trade blows. IMHO, your buid with the 460 & 955 is a solid enough gamer for at least another year.

Save up and build something in summer 2012.
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September 7, 2011 4:00:18 AM

yeah my cpu + GPU is enuf for another yr, but i do feel at times a lil bit of bottle neck. SC2 lags big time in 3v3 games, thats why i was thinking about ddr3 upgrade.
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a b B Homebuilt system
a b À AMD
September 7, 2011 4:15:24 AM

tru a light overclock of both the 460 and the 955
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September 7, 2011 4:25:38 AM

wouldnt i need a better HSF + PSU for over clocking?
hows it done anyways?
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a b B Homebuilt system
a b À AMD
September 7, 2011 4:27:46 AM

with the 955, on the stock cooler and no change in voltage, you can probably get up to 3.6 GHz just upping the multiplier from 16x to 18x. you do it in the bios.
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September 7, 2011 4:32:53 AM

thx, will give it a go 2nite
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a b B Homebuilt system
a b À AMD
September 11, 2011 8:01:02 PM

Blizzard games (like SC2, the one you've mentioned) run better on nVidia cards. A good upgrade would be similar to what I suggested before, a GTX560ti and a 650W Earthwatts.
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a b B Homebuilt system
September 11, 2011 8:33:32 PM

^a 600 would work
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September 12, 2011 10:02:02 AM

is there that much of a big difference between the 460se and 560ti in terms of speed?

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a b B Homebuilt system
September 12, 2011 1:50:25 PM

i would say he should go with an AMD/ATI card even though games like SC2 will perform better on an Nvidia card, simply because his board supports crossfire. (depending on the version of the board he has).
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a b B Homebuilt system
September 12, 2011 10:45:59 PM

^I think it would be a good idea to decide in advance whether Xfire/SLI is in the future, and decide the motherboard based on that, not the other way around. No reason to be limited by components that haven't been purchased yet :p 
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September 13, 2011 12:46:43 AM

xfire/sli is nice, but would rather a full system upgrade if i was going down that path. Plus not sure if they are worth it with my current specs.
unless u get 2x 460se and sli it, i wonder if thats worth it or not.
But i think My MB doesnt support sli's.
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a b B Homebuilt system
September 13, 2011 7:19:01 AM

evilgummybear said:
xfire/sli is nice, but would rather a full system upgrade if i was going down that path. Plus not sure if they are worth it with my current specs.
unless u get 2x 460se and sli it, i wonder if thats worth it or not.
But i think My MB doesnt support sli's.


yep your mobo doesn't support SLI only crossfire.
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