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Upgrading some components, please take a look

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November 4, 2011 11:32:58 PM

Hey,

I have been a member on here for a while and posted a while back when the 4890 was a beast of a card. I have done a few builds and not too much has changed, but I would like some reassurance on the route I was thinking of taking.

Approximate Purchase Date: now


Budget Range: ~$600-750


System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, music, internet browsing, netflix, twitch.tv (game streaming)


Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, windows 7 HP 64-bit, HDD, DVD drive, case, 4GB DDR3 ram


Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg, amazon, etc.


Country of Origin: US


Parts Preferences: I know it is going to be a gaming rig, but I would like to have something energy efficient.


Overclocking: Maybe


SLI or Crossfire: Maybe


Monitor Resolution: 1680x1050, 1080p


Additional Comments: So basically I have quite a few components already. I built a lower end AMD build for ~$400 about half a year ago. I basically want to upgrade to an intel i5 2500k and a nice GPU. I already have 4GB of DDR3...not sure if I should get more. It is already 2 sticks (2x2GB). So, I the parts I would need would be as follows...a new PSU, CPU, Mobo, and GPU. Also, if getting more ram is recommended I can do that as well. Any advice would be greatly appreciated because I know that Z68 chipset is out and that intel are releasing some new processors this winter. What does z68 do better than everything else? Should I wait for ivy bridge, if that is what it is called? lol

As for games, I am thinking of playing a lot more story driven games such as Batman, Skyrim, Witcher 1 and 2, Mass Effect 3, Bioshock, and some shooters. Maybe some Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3 but I am not too sure about that.

Thanks! Looking forward to hearing some advice!

More about : upgrading components

November 4, 2011 11:41:39 PM

What is your current CPU anyway? Phenom II X4? if that is it I would wait for the Ivy Bridge.
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November 5, 2011 12:00:46 AM

I have a AMD Athlon II X3 435 CPU @ 2.9 GHz
I currently have no GPU. Do you think it would be easier if I just sold my complete tower and start over?

My case is an Antec P180 mini. I think I could get around $250-300 if I sold the tower completely. If I completely sold my tower I would extend my budget to around $900 max for a brand new tower. I would not need Windows 7 again because I do have an extra copy. Thanks
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November 5, 2011 12:52:08 AM

Quote:
Do you think it would be easier if I just sold my complete tower and start over?

I would do this.
EVGA GTX 580 500 dollars.
Nice Bump In RAM50 dollars
Power Supply 219

Now I shall explain why I go over budget by 50 dollars. First of all doubling the ram is a great thing to do. That graphics card is a BEAST and will rip apart any game placed in between its jaws. The power supply you could buy a 850 and have enough power, its just that you could never SLI. Not knowing what motherboard you have I don't know about it's capability to SLI. Thats what I would do...

.
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November 5, 2011 1:00:26 AM

Thanks for the reply.

That 580 is pretty beastly haha. However I don't know if I would be willing to spend $500 on just a GPU alone, especially since my current CPU isn't really that good. I think I want to spend around $250-300 max on a GPU, and use the rest for a new motherboard, CPU, and PSU. Or I could just start completely fresh and build a whole new tower.

My current mobo is nothing special, just a 1 slot x16 microATX board with integrated graphics. It is a mobo for HTPCs and it was around $70.

Battlefield 3 is not on my list of games to be played if that changes anything. I refuse to have it on my computer due to Origin. Just my personal preference.

edit: I would also be willing to wait for Ivy Bridge. Any info about that in terms of price and performance? I have been out of the loop for about a year in terms of hardware!!! :( 
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November 5, 2011 1:21:42 AM

waynec121 said:
Thanks for the reply.

That 580 is pretty beastly haha. However I don't know if I would be willing to spend $500 on just a GPU alone, especially since my current CPU isn't really that good. I think I want to spend around $250-300 max on a GPU, and use the rest for a new motherboard, CPU, and PSU. Or I could just start completely fresh and build a whole new tower.

My current mobo is nothing special, just a 1 slot x16 microATX board with integrated graphics. It is a mobo for HTPCs and it was around $70.

Battlefield 3 is not on my list of games to be played if that changes anything. I refuse to have it on my computer due to Origin. Just my personal preference.

edit: I would also be willing to wait for Ivy Bridge. Any info about that in terms of price and performance? I have been out of the loop for about a year in terms of hardware!!! :( 

Gotcha! You could get a 560ti a 650 watt power supply (i'm going to recommend corsair because of their awesome reviews) and 8 gb of ram. That would be a nice upgrade and come in under budget.
MSI GTX 560ti
Corsair 850
Good Ram
That would be around 430 and would run quite nicely.

~Raptor
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November 5, 2011 11:52:06 AM

First of all, I missed a couple of things. The OP said he wanted to get a new motherboard and a i5-2500k, along with the other things. If you decide you don't mind your processor both cutebeans post and my previous post are viable solutions.
Quote:
You might want to get a 6870 since your res is only 1680 x 1050. $175
That would work well too.
Quote:
Corsair 500w. That's 850w is just overkill. $60

He is quite right a 850w is overkill. But 500w would limit future upgrades. With the 850w you could SLI or Crossfire and overclock your processor. It would let you run most things you put in your case without worry. Just no matter what don't cheap out on a PSU! Oh and johnyguru.com has really good PSU reviews.

After re-reading your original post I realized I missed some things.
Quote:
intel are releasing some new processors this winter

Yes, they are but I believe the base price for them will be around 300 dollars, and will be closer to spring. I am know expert on Ivy Bridge though.

Quote:
What does z68 do better than everything else
The Z68 combines the best from the other LGA 1155 chipsets, the H67\H61 and P67.
The H67 and H61 allow for use of the on-board graphics, but don't allow overclocking. The P67 allows overclocking but you can't use the onboard graphics. If you read this you'll get a better description.

If you are set on getting an i5-2500k here is what I would do.

i5-2500k
BIOSTAR Motherboard
Good PSU
XFX 6870

This would be a great upgrade coming from what you had before. If you buy this it would finish it off! Without the RAM and without rebates, the grand total was 650.06 :D 
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November 5, 2011 8:50:30 PM

raptorxrx said:
First of all, I missed a couple of things. The OP said he wanted to get a new motherboard and a i5-2500k, along with the other things. If you decide you don't mind your processor both cutebeans post and my previous post are viable solutions.
Quote:
You might want to get a 6870 since your res is only 1680 x 1050. $175
That would work well too.
Quote:
Corsair 500w. That's 850w is just overkill. $60

He is quite right a 850w is overkill. But 500w would limit future upgrades. With the 850w you could SLI or Crossfire and overclock your processor. It would let you run most things you put in your case without worry. Just no matter what don't cheap out on a PSU! Oh and johnyguru.com has really good PSU reviews.

After re-reading your original post I realized I missed some things.
Quote:
intel are releasing some new processors this winter

Yes, they are but I believe the base price for them will be around 300 dollars, and will be closer to spring. I am know expert on Ivy Bridge though.

Quote:
What does z68 do better than everything else
The Z68 combines the best from the other LGA 1155 chipsets, the H67\H61 and P67.
The H67 and H61 allow for use of the on-board graphics, but don't allow overclocking. The P67 allows overclocking but you can't use the onboard graphics. If you read this you'll get a better description.

If you are set on getting an i5-2500k here is what I would do.

i5-2500k
BIOSTAR Motherboard
Good PSU
XFX 6870

This would be a great upgrade coming from what you had before. If you buy this it would finish it off! Without the RAM and without rebates, the grand total was 650.06 :D 


Thanks for the great response and help.
So I found out I can get the 2500k at my local microcenter for $180.
Also, how does a 6870 compare to a 6950 or a gtx 560?
I am willing to spend the extra ~$50 if it is worth it, especially since I am saving some money on the 2500k!
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November 5, 2011 11:41:53 PM

Quote:
my local microcenter
:bounce:  :bounce:  :bounce: 
Sweet! I didn't realize you had one near you and they offer great deals. Definitely get your i5-2500k there, and my bet is that everything you want to get will be cheaper there.

Quote:
Also, how does a 6870 compare to a 6950 or a gtx 560?


First of all realize that there is the gtx 560 and gtx 560ti. The ti version is a little more expensive but will preform better.
Now, read this. The gtx560ti and 6950 are extremely close to each other as they are supposed to take the same price point, but the 6950 wins.
Quote:
It outperforms the GeForce GTX 560 Ti in enough situations, on average, to score the sole recommendation.


That is from good old Tom's hardware itself. It is all up to you though. I'm personally a nvidia guy, but if you want to do multi-monitor gaming, go with AMD 6950 because of Eyefinity. I would spend the extra money for the extra preformance.

~Raptor
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November 6, 2011 1:30:19 AM

The 500w doesn't limit him from future upgrades since the next gen cards are supposed to have less power consumption.

You can easily max any games at your res with the 6870. The 6950 would be more futureproof though and add a few more months to the rig's life.
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November 6, 2011 10:46:14 AM

cutebeans said:
The 500w doesn't limit him from future upgrades since the next gen cards are supposed to have less power consumption.

You can easily max any games at your res with the 6870. The 6950 would be more futureproof though and add a few more months to the rig's life.

Right the NEXT generation will be. What about crossfire of the 6950? That WOULD limit him. Plus PSU's run at better efficiency when at half to 3/4's load. And remember Bulldozer was supposed to be more energy efficient than it was. What if the same thing happens with the next generation graphics cards?
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November 6, 2011 11:06:03 AM

I have to disagree with the expensive GPU recommendations like the GTX 580. You have to keep in mind that PCI-E 3.0 (Gen 3) GPUs are on the horizon and they have the potential to be 2-3 faster and more powerful than the current PCI-E (Gen 2) GPUs. It makes no sense at all to blow $500 on a 580 right now when it will be out-classed and outdated in a few months.

As far as PSUs, I totally agree that an 850W PSU is the MINIMUM. You want to spec your PSU to run at approximately 50% capacity because it will be much more efficient, more quiet and it will run cooler. With the low cost of high-end PSUs, the days of maxing out your PSU to save $20 are gone (though quite of few posters in this forum still mistakenly think this way). And we DON'T know whether the new Gen 3 GPUs will use less power. Yes they will be more efficient but I am sure that manufacturers will increase the number or transistors per card and make the cards much more powerful.

You could have got the Corsair HX 850 PSU for just $125 two days ago on Newegg. If you have your choice, the Corsair AX1200 is the best PSU on the planet right now for SLI and CF builds and it frequently goes on sale for $250 or less. Last week it was on sale for $240 at Newegg.

Both the HX850 and AX1200 come with seven year warranties and so they will be around for several builds. They both run at about 92% efficiency at 50% capacity (the AX1200 is at 93% actually). They are both modular and are a joy to build with.

For a GPU, a single 6950 would be a very good stop-gap until the Gen 3 GPUs come out. You can play any game with it (not all of them on the highest settings) and they hover around $200.

Also get a Gen 3 motherboard - this is very important. With your budget you don't need to wait for the high-end Ivy Bridge boards that are coming out soon. The AsRock Extreme 4 or Extreme 7 boards are both good boards and the Asus Gen 3 Pro V is worth looking at.

Good luck for your build.
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November 6, 2011 1:08:57 PM

I know some people have hinted at it with their suggestions, but I'll be a bit more explicit: Your CPU is not the newest thing out there, but it doesn't really need to be updated yet. I'd put it off at least a year.

If you are set on a 2500k, make sure your RAM can run at 1.5V. Also, you won't see a big jump from 8GB RAM, but RAM costs come in cycles, and it may well be more expensive in the future.

If I were in your shoes, I'd get a 6850 and an SSD.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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November 6, 2011 2:59:39 PM

raptorxrx said:
Right the NEXT generation will be. What about crossfire of the 6950? That WOULD limit him. Plus PSU's run at better efficiency when at half to 3/4's load. And remember Bulldozer was supposed to be more energy efficient than it was. What if the same thing happens with the next generation graphics cards?


Ok. I'm tired of arguing with you.
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November 6, 2011 10:46:04 PM

Quote:
Ok. I'm tired of arguing with you

Sorry... Just trying to prove a point. :na: 

Quote:
I have to disagree with the expensive GPU recommendations like the GTX 580. You have to keep in mind that PCI-E 3.0 (Gen 3) GPUs are on the horizon and they have the potential to be 2-3 faster and more powerful than the current PCI-E (Gen 2) GPUs. It makes no sense at all to blow $500 on a 580 right now when it will be out-classed and outdated in a few months.

As far as PSUs, I totally agree that an 850W PSU is the MINIMUM. You want to spec your PSU to run at approximately 50% capacity because it will be much more efficient, more quiet and it will run cooler. With the low cost of high-end PSUs, the days of maxing out your PSU to save $20 are gone (though quite of few posters in this forum still mistakenly think this way). And we DON'T know whether the new Gen 3 GPUs will use less power. Yes they will be more efficient but I am sure that manufacturers will increase the number or transistors per card and make the cards much more powerful.

You could have got the Corsair HX 850 PSU for just $125 two days ago on Newegg. If you have your choice, the Corsair AX1200 is the best PSU on the planet right now for SLI and CF builds and it frequently goes on sale for $250 or less. Last week it was on sale for $240 at Newegg.

Both the HX850 and AX1200 come with seven year warranties and so they will be around for several builds. They both run at about 92% efficiency at 50% capacity (the AX1200 is at 93% actually). They are both modular and are a joy to build with.

For a GPU, a single 6950 would be a very good stop-gap until the Gen 3 GPUs come out. You can play any game with it (not all of them on the highest settings) and they hover around $200.

Also get a Gen 3 motherboard - this is very important. With your budget you don't need to wait for the high-end Ivy Bridge boards that are coming out soon. The AsRock Extreme 4 or Extreme 7 boards are both good boards and the Asus Gen 3 Pro V is worth looking at.

Good luck for your build.


Listen to him... :D  +1
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November 7, 2011 1:16:24 AM

^Let me play the impartial arbiter here.

Case 1: If in the future, when the OP wants to upgrade it would be more economical to buy a second video card rather than selling and replacing the current card then a large PSU makes sense.

Case 2: In the much more likely scenario that the build is either not upgraded, or the single card is sold towards a newer card, then the large PSU would be excessive.

Corrolarry (sic?) A: If the OP were to find two or three years out in 2014 that it is a good idea to buy another 580 (unlikely) PCIE 3 will be useless. (And honestly, it prob won't be a huge bottleneck for several years with most new cards...Although there isn't a real price premium for the PCIE3 boards, so why not...)
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November 7, 2011 4:40:51 AM

etk said:
^Let me play the impartial arbiter here.

Case 1: If in the future, when the OP wants to upgrade it would be more economical to buy a second video card rather than selling and replacing the current card then a large PSU makes sense.

Case 2: In the much more likely scenario that the build is either not upgraded, or the single card is sold towards a newer card, then the large PSU would be excessive.

Corrolarry (sic?) A: If the OP were to find two or three years out in 2014 that it is a good idea to buy another 580 (unlikely) PCIE 3 will be useless. (And honestly, it prob won't be a huge bottleneck for several years with most new cards...Although there isn't a real price premium for the PCIE3 boards, so why not...)



Read some reports about the Gen 3 PCI-E 3.0 slots. They are something like 2-3 times the bandwidth and bandwidth is everything when you consider that our current crop of Intel CPUs and our GPUs already can max it out. There is zero chance of PCI-E 3.0 GPUs not being faster than the Gen 2 GPUs.

I don't want to come across as arrogant, or presumptuous, there are enough blow-hards in the world. But the simple math appears to be pretty conclusive. Afterall, we spend endless amounts of time trying to find the motherboards that maximize the bandwidth (16 x 16 lanes as opposed to 8 x8 lanes) in order to get the maximum performance from our GPUs. This is why the NF200 bridge exists (that is in more expensive motherboards) - to maximize bandwidth.

This is why it is important to point prospective buyers to Gen 3 components. Also, Ivy Bridge promises to be 30% faster than the 2600K and I think that the top end 8 core CPU will be more than that. So a Gen 3 motherboard is a must.

Right now I believe it is not the most efficient use of a budget to blow it on high-end GPUs that will have less than 50% of the bandwidth available that the Gen 3 GPUs will have access to.

I also believe in purchasing a long-term PSU instead of buying a smaller, cheaper one and then going to the expense of upgrading later. At that point you can pretty much throw your cheapo PSU away because it is not worth anything near what you paid for it.

Conversely, if you wait and get the Corsair AX1200 on sale for $240, yes you are out the extra $100 that it costs over an 850W PSU. However you get an absolutely brilliant PSU that will run at 93% efficiency up to about 70% capacity ( which is near platinum efficiency).

You get a PSU with a 7-year warranty from a company with legendary customer service. It will surely power several builds and STILL be under warranty. It is fully modular so you won't have the absolute jumbled mess of cheaper PSUs. The AX1200 will run nearly silent so you won't have the absolutely obnoxious noise of a cheap PSU on high fan. It won't heat up your case or blow up like cheaper PSUs and most importantly, it is so stable it will not damage your very expensive components.

I doubt that in the future that your going to get much more efficient than 93% and let's say you just want to run one GPU - you are still sitting pretty with the AX1200 because at about 20% capacity it is already running at 88% efficiency.

For the money, the Corsair HX850 and the AX1200 are the best out there.
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November 7, 2011 11:17:08 PM

flong said:
Read some reports about the Gen 3 PCI-E 3.0 slots. They are something like 2-3 times the bandwidth and bandwidth is everything when you consider that our current crop of Intel CPUs and our GPUs already can max it out. There is zero chance of PCI-E 3.0 GPUs not being faster than the Gen 2 GPUs.

I don't want to come across as arrogant, or presumptuous, there are enough blow-hards in the world. But the simple math appears to be pretty conclusive. Afterall, we spend endless amounts of time trying to find the motherboards that maximize the bandwidth (16 x 16 lanes as opposed to 8 x8 lanes) in order to get the maximum performance from our GPUs. This is why the NF200 bridge exists (that is in more expensive motherboards) - to maximize bandwidth.

This is why it is important to point prospective buyers to Gen 3 components. Also, Ivy Bridge promises to be 30% faster than the 2600K and I think that the top end 8 core CPU will be more than that. So a Gen 3 motherboard is a must.

Right now I believe it is not the most efficient use of a budget to blow it on high-end GPUs that will have less than 50% of the bandwidth available that the Gen 3 GPUs will have access to.

I also believe in purchasing a long-term PSU instead of buying a smaller, cheaper one and then going to the expense of upgrading later. At that point you can pretty much throw your cheapo PSU away because it is not worth anything near what you paid for it.

Conversely, if you wait and get the Corsair AX1200 on sale for $240, yes you are out the extra $100 that it costs over an 850W PSU. However you get an absolutely brilliant PSU that will run at 93% efficiency up to about 70% capacity ( which is near platinum efficiency).

You get a PSU with a 7-year warranty from a company with legendary customer service. It will surely power several builds and STILL be under warranty. It is fully modular so you won't have the absolute jumbled mess of cheaper PSUs. The AX1200 will run nearly silent so you won't have the absolutely obnoxious noise of a cheap PSU on high fan. It won't heat up your case or blow up like cheaper PSUs and most importantly, it is so stable it will not damage your very expensive components.

I doubt that in the future that your going to get much more efficient than 93% and let's say you just want to run one GPU - you are still sitting pretty with the AX1200 because at about 20% capacity it is already running at 88% efficiency.

For the money, the Corsair HX850 and the AX1200 are the best out there.


I think the best compromise for this person might be to wait. That way they can catch your favorite PSU on sale, and get the newest technologies. Unless they need it now this might be the best idea. BTW where did the OP go?
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November 7, 2011 11:40:41 PM

raptorxrx said:
I think the best compromise for this person might be to wait. That way they can catch your favorite PSU on sale, and get the newest technologies. Unless they need it now this might be the best idea. BTW where did the OP go?


I agree because the OP has a limited budget. If they can wait for sales they will get about 33% - 50% off of their HDD, their case, their PSU and they can get 15% off of their CPU and Windows 7.

Also, Ivy Bridge is coming out in less than two months and they will improve their options by waiting.

And, motherboards will continue to improve over the next two months also and give them more choices.

The OP should look to buy their PSU, their case, their CPU cooler and their HDD all when they go on sale and then decide if they want to wait for Ivy Bridge.

Alternatively they could build a 2500K system on a Gen 3 motherboard like the AsRock Extreme 4 Gen 3. This would allow them to upgrade just the GPU and the CPU a year from now to take advantage of PCI-E 3.0 rocket fast speeds.
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November 15, 2011 12:10:09 PM

woah! i wasn't getting any email notifications for some reason lol. this is a lot of replies. i am actually going to head to work in a minute so i will have to read all of these when i get off. thanks everyone :) 
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