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Upgrading for better FPS.

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November 15, 2011 7:00:22 PM

Hey guys, I'm looking into upgrading my system to maybe go CrossFire, Upgrading my CPU or overclocking it. It's worth noting that if I would be overclocking I already have an Hyper 212 CPU cooler ready to install. Though I am looking for something to spend money on.

P.S.
This is a gaming rig.

Here are my specs:


Power Supply: Antec Earthwatts 650w
Motherboard: ASRock 870 EXTREME3
CPU: AMD 955BE
GPU: Sapphire Raedeon 6850 1GB
RAM: G-Skill RipJaw 2x2GB
HD: WD 7200rpm 1TB
Case: Antec 300 Mid tower case.


So I'm looking into some of the options:
-New CPU
-Additional GPU (+ A motherboard if required)
-Overclocking
-And any cooling needed for the above upgrades.
-Also if things fit properly in my case.


Additional info:
-I am trying to get better frame rates in games, for example 333fps in cod4 and the ability to play Skyrim on high settings easily.
I often feel like my CPU is bottlenecking me for example in cod4 if I turn the resolution down (therefore relying more on my CPU) I lose a lot of frames per second.


-I'm pretty sure that if/when I install the Hyper 212 CPU fan it will blow the air directly to the plate, so not out of the case. Is that a problem, would it be stupid to make a hole for the fan?



--------



I know this is a lot of detail and information but I have had nothing but great experience from users here at Tom's Hardware forums so I know I'll get some great suggestions and pointers!

Regards from Iceland, Emil.

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November 15, 2011 7:14:10 PM

Your CPU is fine, just overclock it as much as you can as long as temperatures and voltages are within spec.

You best option for graphics would be to get a second 6850 and run them in crossfire. Your 650w PSU should be enough since it's a good one. Your mobo supports 8x/8x in CF so you are good there too.

The Hyper 212+ should fit a Antec 300 without problems.
a b à CPUs
November 15, 2011 7:39:28 PM

Read this: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/269464-29-overclock-s...
if you want to overclock your current CPU.
Many people would suggest an Intel 2500K CPU and a dual x-fire or SLI MoBo which would be about $350-$400USD.
As for the HSF, if you have an Antec 300 case it has a top 140mm fan and a rear 120mm fan and you can mount the HSF blowing in any orientation. Just make sure you install the RAM sticks before the HSF.
As for x-fire, I've heard of 'stuttering' problems, crashing, etc. but don't really know about that. I'm sure some other people could address that issue or you could research it yourself.

Related resources
a b à CPUs
November 15, 2011 7:45:35 PM

Yes, a Hyper 212+ fits in an Antec 300 case with about 3/8" (9.5mm) clearance for the side panel. You can even fit a side fan as it will fit under the HSF.
November 15, 2011 7:58:04 PM

I think that you would be best off overclocking like those above me have said and getting a Radeon 6970. Yes, it is more expensive than a second 6850 like Delroy suggested, but that single card is all you will need, at least until you decide to get a second one for more power, but that shouldnt be for a while.
November 15, 2011 8:31:28 PM

dalmvern said:
I think that you would be best off overclocking like those above me have said and getting a Radeon 6970. Yes, it is more expensive than a second 6850 like Delroy suggested, but that single card is all you will need, at least until you decide to get a second one for more power, but that shouldnt be for a while.



So what you are saying is that a single 6970 would perform better then adding another 6850?

Price wise, I would disagree.

But maybe you are talking about that the 6970 would last longer considering the development in the "tech-universe"?


Hehe, I'm trying to figure out why you think I should go for the 6970 rather then the 6850? Did you consider that the 6850 is cheaper and a pair of them should do just as well or not better then a single 6970 and that for a better price?



I compared the benchmarks for the 6850Crossfire here:

http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...

And the benchmark from a single 6970 from here:

http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...




Regards, Emil.
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November 15, 2011 8:32:02 PM

if 333fps isn't enough in COD4 stop playing it. You can over clock the processor all you want. It's limited architecture will only allow so much. You didn't list a resolution.............. ??? skyrim will be extremely tough unless you make adjustments to the in game settings.... sacrifices.. You can upgrade the graphics card and get better playability but don't expect too much more in fps.....
November 15, 2011 8:52:18 PM

swifty_morgan said:
if 333fps isn't enough in COD4 stop playing it. You can over clock the processor all you want. It's limited architecture will only allow so much. You didn't list a resolution.............. ??? skyrim will be extremely tough unless you make adjustments to the in game settings.... sacrifices.. You can upgrade the graphics card and get better playability but don't expect too much more in fps.....




333fps is not needed to play the game, just to take advantage of the game engine. 125fps, 250fps and 333fps is what the game engine works best on, though 333fps is not even allowed on most servers..


And thanks for the tip about Skyrim.


November 16, 2011 3:46:23 PM

TheFamous said:
So what you are saying is that a single 6970 would perform better then adding another 6850?

Price wise, I would disagree.

But maybe you are talking about that the 6970 would last longer considering the development in the "tech-universe"?


Hehe, I'm trying to figure out why you think I should go for the 6970 rather then the 6850? Did you consider that the 6850 is cheaper and a pair of them should do just as well or not better then a single 6970 and that for a better price?



I compared the benchmarks for the 6850Crossfire here:

http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...

And the benchmark from a single 6970 from here:

http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...




Regards, Emil.


Yes, im aware that crossfire 6850s benchmark higher than a single 6970, and it would be cheaper right now, but the 6970 would benefit your more in the long run since you can get a second one when you feel like upgrading again. Depending on your resolution, a 6970 will let you play Ultra detail no problem, just turn off MSAA (Radeon cards have a hard time with MSAA.)

Also, any framerate above 60 FPS is not noticeable. 333 FPS on COD4? Any increase of that is pointless.
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November 16, 2011 4:46:40 PM



Also, any framerate above 60 FPS is not noticeable. 333 FPS on COD4? Any increase of that is pointless.[/quotemsg said:



although COD4 will run fine at 60fps there is a difference in fluidity in that and other games when the "magical" fps exceed 60. try a 60Hz monitor and a true 120Hz monitor. You'll never want to go back if your game can take advantage of it.

and the 333fps was a mocking of OP's beginning statement if some of you were "confused".
!