Advise on upgrade

Hey Guys,

At this time I am considering upgrading my system. I have built my last two rigs, but basically I want to improve my gaming rig. I am ready to buy something that really can take on high end games and be able to be upgraded again in the future.

Approcimate Purchase Date: Within one to two months.

Budget Range: Around $800 would be reasonable, if it was worth it I can go higher. I really have to watch my budget.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, surfing the web, and general computer usage.

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS, Power Supply

My present rig consist of the following:

Cpu: AMD Phenom II X4 965
Mobo: ASUS M4A78T-E
VGA: Sapphire HD 5830
RAM: Kingston 4GB DDR3 1333
P/S: Corsair HX 750
HDD: WD Caviar 750GB sata HD 7200
OPTICAL: Plextor PX-850SA-SW
CASE: Corsair 600T

Preferred Website(s) for Parts:

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences: I'm partial to AMD CPU & ASUS motherboards. But any suggestion would be welcome.

Overclocking: Maybe, if I knew what I doing.

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe, If I can see an improvement over the use of only one card.

Monitor Resolution: 1680x1050, 1920x1080.

Additional Comments: I'm not really into a lot of bling and I'm satisfied with my present case. However, with the games coming out I like future proof my system.

presently, I like to upgrade my motherboard, ram, video card, cooler, and in the future a new cpu.

I am considering purchasing the following:

ASUS Crosshair V either formula or extreme

Gskill 8GB ddr3 1600mhz

ATI HD 6870

Corsair H60

Now for a future CPU purchase, I'm waiting to see what AMD is going to put out with their bulldozer series. But, like I said I will be doing this within the next one to two months and looking for any discounts I could find. I might even buy a new hard drive, if the price is right. Please any advise on how to improve my system within budget would be welcome.
8 answers Last reply
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  1. Unless you really really want that case, id suggest going something much cheaper and upgrading the GPU to a 6850 or 6870.


    Sorry first post is confusing, what parts exactly do you have?
    And what parts are you buying new?
    And what is your budget for the new parts?
  2. AdrianPerry, thanks for replying. Now to your question my present system consist of the folowing:

    Cpu: AMD Phenom II X4 965
    Mobo: ASUS M4A78T-E
    VGA: Sapphire HD 5830
    RAM: Kingston 4GB DDR3 1333
    P/S: Corsair HX 750
    HDD: WD Caviar 750GB sata HD 7200
    OPTICAL: Plextor PX-850SA-SW
    CASE: Corsair 600T

    What I want to buy is:

    Asus Crosshair V motherboard
    Ati HD 6870
    Gskill 8GB ddr3 1600mhz memory (F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL or 8GBRL)
    Corsair h60 cooler

    I'm presently will have a budget of least $600 to $800 to use for new parts. I'm hoping to buy a new amd cpu later on when the amd bulldozier comes out, but that is a wait and see.
  3. $239 ASUS CrossHair V

    $55 G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB)

    $30 Hyper 212 Plus

    $250 ($220 after rebate) XFX Radeon HD 6950 1GB
    (You could crossfire these in the future with your 750w PSU)


    $360 ($340 after rebate) SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 6970 2GB
    (Would need an 850w PSU to crossfire)

    You could even get a cheaper, but still SLI ready motherboard:

    and then have room to buy an SSD aswell:
    $192 Crucial M4 128GB SATA III
  4. personally, i dont see anything wrong with your current system, save maybe a gpu upgrade to game with out issue at 1080. if you wanted to upgrade anything, i would pick the gpu, and probably get a 6870/6950. there is really no reason to go higher unless you are chasing benchmarks imo. the 6950 is a bit better than a 5870, and in my case, (i have 2 5870s, but used only one for a bit) it ran everything i threw at it at 1920x1200, except of course Metro 2033 (which i think wasnt that good anyway).

    but indeed, wait and see what bulldozer looks like, and further, keep saving your money till the 7000 serries sti cards and do a nice big upgrade to really make your eyes sparkle.
  5. I suggest you consider doing an upgrade in two parts; a graphics upgrade now, and a cpu upgrade later, if you need it.

    1) Unless you are playing cpu intensive games, your 5830 is the weak part of your rig. It is still a very good card, so you need to jump a couple of tiers in capability to keep from being disappointed whit the improvement. That means to me at least a 6950 or 6970. Ot the Nvidia equivalents GTX560ti or GTX570. I would avoid the cf option. cf will give good FPS benchmark improvements, but it would be best to avoid the associated microstuttering issues.

    2) With bulldozer for the desktop due to be released in a month or so(finally!) I suggest you wait to see what it offers. My suspicion is, that it will be more suited to multi core workstation apps than gaming. Gaming needs two or three fast cores for the most part. CPU performance is directly related to the cpu, and not the motherboard. I do not see any logic in changing a motherboard now when the cpu issue is unresloved. I know you favor amd cpu's, but today, the Intel sandy bridge 2500K is the king of gaming.
    your 965 has a passmark of 4287, but compare it to 7361 for a 2500K. And, that is before any overclocking. The 2500K will overclock higher to boot. Will that change with bulldozer? Possibly, but reports I have read indicate that bulldozer will not have the greatest per core clock rate or efficiency, just more cores. If you think you want more cpu power, take a second look at Intel sandy bridge.

    3) 8gb of ram is good, and ram is cheap. here is some justification for an increase:

    4) The reason for a better cooler is for overclocking, or to reduce noise under load. To my mind, a simple tower type cooler with a 120mm fan will do the job about as well.
    A $30 cm hyper212 or Xigmatek gaia is really all most of us need.

    5) If you have some funds to spend on improving performance, I suggest a 80-120gb SSD for the OS and some apps. Plan on $2 per gb. Today, Intel seems to have the fewest returns:

    6) If you love the case, keep it. If you hate it, or want a different one, then sell it and get the new. A case is one thing which you see and touch every day; you want to have one you love.
  6. Microstutter really is such a MINOR thing. Most people probably dont even notice it. Untill the news article popped up on TOMs frontpage, it had never been mentioned on these forums before, at least that i ever noticed.
  7. Your set up is not bad at all. If you mostly play games only thing that you really need to get is better graphic card.

    I recommend 2GB 6950 which can be flashed to full 6970.That is all you need to play all the games on max with the set up you have.

    In addition if you want to upgrade the looks just get the tower you like and that is all.
    In the mean time bulldozer might be out and you will be glad that you have waited.

    Good luck
  8. Hey Maxinexus, thanks for the reply. I might be getting ahead of myself, but your recommendation for a 2GB 6950 sounds good, which manufacturer would you recommend. I read that the 6950 made by sapphire had issues with fan breakages and xfx with customer support problems. You are right about bulldozer, a wait and see game right now would be the best course. again thanks
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