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New build/upgrade. Need Help!

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December 1, 2011 10:36:16 PM

Hi Everyone,

New to the forums here!

I had a few questions and I'd like to hear some opinions on what I should do. Currently I'm running a home-built pc that I've been gaming on for a few years now.

Specs:

AMD 64 x2 6000+
BFG 260 GTX
4 gigs PC6400 DDR2 Ram
Windows 32 Bit Pro
500gb WD HD.

Recently when the new Frostbite 2 games came out, and others (such as Skyrim) I have only been able to play them on medium to medium-high settings at 1920x1080. Before I was able to run games such as BFBC2 (frostbite 1) at maxed out Ultra graphics at that same resolution. I'm beginning to miss playing on maxed out graphics settings and am looking to spend some money on new parts. I'm already planning on making the switch to Windows 7 64 bit for this new build, but I was wondering what everyone would recommend I do with the Mobo, Cpu, Graphics Card, and Ram situation. I have about $500 to spend and would preferably get an AMD CPU (Phenom x4, x6, fx series) since it's what I've gone with in the past. I'm not big on overclocking much either. I am also looking into getting a new full or mid tower case (looking into either antec or cooler master if anyone has some recommendations for that) Thanks everyone!

More about : build upgrade

a c 84 B Homebuilt system
December 1, 2011 11:26:02 PM

You have a reasonably well balanced system.

I think you are looking at a bit more than $500, since only the case, dvd, and hard drive will be reusable.

A stronger graphics card might be in order now, and I suggest you try that first.
A limiting factor might be your current psu.
Here is what EVGA recommends for their graphics cards:

GTX550ti needs 400w with 24a on the 12v rails plus one 6-pin PCI-E power lead.

GTX560 needs 450w with 24a on the 12v rails plus two 6-pin PCI-E power leads.

GTX560Ti needs 500w with 30a on the 12v rails plus two 6-pin PCI-E power leads.

GTX570 needs 550w with 38a on the 12v rails plus two 6-pin PCI-E power leads.

GTX580 needs 600w with 42a on the 12v rails plus one 6-pin and one 8-pin PCI-E power lead.

GTX590 needs 700w with 50a on the 12v rails plus two 8-pin PCI-E power leads or 4 6-pin power leads.

For a significant jump over a 260GTX, you are looking at a GTX560ti or better.

If you need to replace your cpu, perhaps a Phenom X4 will be compatible, depending on your motherboard. Don't bother with 6 core and 8 core for gaming. Few games use more than two or three cores, making the extras irrelevant.
If you need to replace the motherboard, you will likely need DDR3 ram also.

If you replace the motherboard, do consider sandy bridge for the best gaming. They are faster per clock.
Read this on <$200 gaming cpu's:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-gaming-cpu-cor...
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December 2, 2011 12:35:52 AM

Thanks for the reply. In case you were wondering which psu I have, I have the Thermaltake TR2 W0070RUC 430W. The mobo I have is the DFI INFINITY NF ULTRAII-M2 AM2, so I would not be able to get 4 core without a new mobo (which would mean new ram also). Do you think I would get a significant increase in performance by getting a better mobo, cpu, and ram. Or would a new graphics card itself (and psu if necessary) suffice?
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a c 84 B Homebuilt system
December 2, 2011 2:10:36 AM

EMAN64 said:
Thanks for the reply. In case you were wondering which psu I have, I have the Thermaltake TR2 W0070RUC 430W. The mobo I have is the DFI INFINITY NF ULTRAII-M2 AM2, so I would not be able to get 4 core without a new mobo (which would mean new ram also). Do you think I would get a significant increase in performance by getting a better mobo, cpu, and ram. Or would a new graphics card itself (and psu if necessary) suffice?


To help clarify your options, run these two tests:

a) Run your games, but lower your resolution and eye candy.
If your FPS increases, it indicates that your cpu is strong enough to drive a better graphics configuration.

b) Limit your cpu, either by reducing the OC, or, in windows power management, limit the maximum cpu% to something like 70%.
If your FPS drops significantly, it is an indicator that your cpu is the limiting factor, and a cpu upgrade is in order.

It is possible that both tests are positive, indicating that you have a well balanced system, and both cpu and gpu need to be upgraded to get better gaming FPS.

You will always do better with a stronger graphics card. The question is, how much better before the cpu becomes to limiting? In some games, there is a big advantage with fast cores, in others, many cores, and in still others, the cpu does not matter much, it is the graphics.
It would not be wrong to do your update in two steps. Add a good psu(your psu won't power any big graphics card upgrade ) and graphics card. See how you do.

If you will upgrade the cpu/mobo/ram, then for a $200 cpu, the i5-2500K is far and away the best gaming cpu at any price.
If your cpu budget is $100-$ 130 then a i3-2120 will be the pick. In between around $140, you get phenom X4 of some type.
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December 2, 2011 2:37:16 AM

Well if you do pick up a motherboard a one capable of SLI/CF isn't too much about $100. Budget $150 for a phenom ll if you don't want to overclock or $220 for an i5-250k which is significantly better, but both can be upgraded in the future. Memory is only $25 for 4 GB of DDR3 or $40 for 8 GB. About $80-90 for a 750watt PSU after rebate (although depending on graphics you may want to go higher). Then graphics I would get below a HD 6950 or the GTX 560 Ti which will go over your budget.

Doing the upgrade in steps seems to be best option for you. Get a new PSU and GPU then when you have more money upgrade the motherboard memory and processor. I would even consider a SSD.
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December 2, 2011 2:49:04 AM

Best answer selected by EMAN64.
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