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$300 upgrade for SW:TOR release need some guidance

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December 4, 2011 1:15:01 PM

Looking to upgrade my system for Star Wars: The Old Republic soon. I love to tank but had some poor fps when I ran beta. I am guessing I have a bottleneck somewhere but I figured upgrading is better than messing with it any longer. Its been far too long since I have done any serious upgrading and have completely fallen out of the loop. I was hoping to get some guidance. I am currently running this build.

-OS
Win7 x64 pro
-CPU
QuadCore AMD Phenom X4 Black Edition 9600, 2500 MHz (12.5 x 200)
-Motherboard
Biostar TA790GX3 A2+ (2 PCI, 2 PCI-E x1, 2 PCI-E x16, 4 DDR2 DIMM
-Motherboard Chipset
AMD 790GX, AMD K10
-System Memory 3328 MB (DDR2-800 DDR2 SDRAM)
DIMM1: Corsair XMS2 CM2X2048-8500C7 2 GB DDR2-800 DDR2 SDRAM (6-6-6-18 @ 400 MHz) (5-5-5-15 @ 333 MHz) (4-4-4-12 @ 266 MHz)
DIMM2: Corsair XMS2 CM2X2048-8500C7 2 GB DDR2-800 DDR2 SDRAM (6-6-6-18 @ 400 MHz) (5-5-5-15 @ 333 MHz) (4-4-4-12 @ 266 MHz)
-Video Card
DIAMOND 6850PE51G Radeon HD 6850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity (OC'd 950 Core Clock and 1000 Mem Clock, plan to unlock voltage and push it more if it turns out to be an issue after upgrade)
-PSU
CORSAIR Gaming Series GS700 700W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC High Performance Power Supply

I figured I probably need to change out the CPU, Mem, and Mobo. I am hoping to stay around a $300 dollars but I have some wiggle room if its worth the extra cash. Here is what I had in mind originally but i read a few post that didnt have real pleasant things to say about gaming with the new bulldozers

-Mobo
ASRock 970 EXTREME3 AM3+ AMD 970 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
$84.99

-CPU
AMD FX-4100 Zambezi 3.6GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) Socket AM3+ 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor FD4100WMGUSBX
$119.99

-Memory
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9Q-16GBRL
$76.99

Any help on this would be greatly appreciated!
December 4, 2011 1:30:26 PM

-Mobo
ASRock 970 EXTREME3 AM3+ AMD 970 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
$84.99

-CPU
AMD FX-4100 Zambezi 3.6GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) Socket AM3+ 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor FD4100WMGUSBX
$119.99

You can make that upgrade (I am assuming your current mobo will not support the new chip you are looking at?) I am not really up on the AMD chips but I seem to recall others saying that certain older chips will outperform the bulldozers in gaming and they cost less. Hopefully someone that is current on AMD will chime in.

But I would add another Radeon 6850 for $150 and xfire them for sure. With the above upgrades already listed it puts you a little over $300 but that second vid card will be your largest boost in performance. Though I just noticed you will need new ram because your old ram wont work with the new board. I would suggest a cheap 8gb kit instead of that 16gb kit. 8gb is more than enough unless you do really heavy encoding, CAD, or Photoshop. If you cannot swing the extra cost I would try to just find the fastest chip you can put in your old board and get the extra vid card.

Adding the second card for xfire and upgrading the CPU should give you the largest increase in performance you can get for the least amount spent.
December 5, 2011 10:43:26 AM

Thanks Energy96, after some feedback from you and a few others I decided just to make the switch to intel for the sandy bridge.

Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core
$219

CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
$47

BIOSTAR TZ68A+ LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
$94.00

With tax return coming around the corner I will defiantly pick up a SSD and either xfire the 6850's or just upgrade all together depending on prices at the time.
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December 5, 2011 8:32:44 PM

Good choice, I always recommend them over the AMD offerings, but your budget was so low I was not sure you would want to bump up to that.

Just keep in mind adding that extra vid card or getting a new one that is double the performance of your old one will give you the largest boost in games, I would do that before getting an SSD. The SSD will only reduce load times and maybe get rid of the random cache stutter from the HD, it will not affect FPS in games. They are really nice and I can't live without them now that I use them but I if I had to choose between an SSD or a new vid card I'd take the vid card without a second thought.

Just make sure your motherboard supports SLI or xfire (or both) incase you decide to add a second card.
December 5, 2011 11:55:00 PM

In my mind you really shouldn't be having any issues either way. I run the game on highest at 1080p on my 450gts and x3 455. But, your CPU and motherboard should have little to do with it. Save yourself the money and just buy a second graphics card. Once you see if that fixes your problems, then go for a new CPU, but you really shouldn't have any issues.
December 6, 2011 12:32:50 AM

Yeah I am kinda pulling my hair out about it. I quit Rift because I was only getting about 10-30fps on lowest settings no matter where I was. I know my pc is a little out of date but it shouldn't be that horrible. Same thing on SW:TOR beta 10-30 fps at min settings, even after I oc'd the 6850 to 840mhz Core Clock and 1100mhz Memory Clock. If I run WoW, Skyrim, Dead Island or any other game I can run close to max settings and not have an issue 40-60 fps. Bleh, I guess I will go ahead and wipe my pc, reinstall and try the second card and just wait on a full system makeover after the holidays.
December 6, 2011 3:32:51 AM

Ok this brings me to another question. After looking around at prices for the 6850 I found the 6870 is about the same price. Would I get better performance if i crossfire a 6870 with the 6850 instead or will it run better with the same 6850? From what I understand you can use the same family cards together in crossfire, but will it just be easier to get a matching card? Newegg is out of stock on my exact card but the 6870 is available for like $10 more.

HD 6850
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HD6870
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
a b B Homebuilt system
December 6, 2011 3:56:04 AM

You can crossfire the 6850 with a 6870 but the newer card will not give you any more performance than you would get with a pair of 6850's.
December 6, 2011 4:04:03 AM

Right on, thanks guys appreciate all your help.
December 6, 2011 9:07:07 PM

Plug your monitor into the newer card (put the new card in the first slot), it will be slightly better than if you plug them into the older one, but yes those two will work just fine.
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