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Time for an Upgrade ?

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April 30, 2012 11:38:55 PM

Ive been out of the loop for a couple of years and Im looking for some suggestions concerning either upgrading my older
AMD Phenom II 920 system to the Newer Intel Sandy Bridge or Ivy Bridge config. Im not sure yet if I want to just go with
A new Chip and motherboard and some more/better RAM or just build again from scratch. My HD is pretty much at capacity
with my Audio and video files so Im considering letting it ride on my network doing server duty, but if I re-use this systems
accessories I understand the cost would be significantly less and that has me second guessing wich path to take. I recently
upgraded my older MSI R4890 OC edition to a newer Sapphire HD 7850 OC edition and I feel like my old AMD Chip might be
holding back the New GPU's potential in some games. I plan on mostly using this setup for gaming and basic internet use so
it will not be used for work related programs. My present system is a Micro ATX tower so that also has me wondering if I should
just start a new build. As of now Im leaning in favor of just getting a I 5 2500K chip and a decent Motherboard, along with 8 gigs
of ram. Any suggestions on components ? Would you upgrade or start fresh with a new build ? Also would you go with Ivy bridge instead ?
Cost seems to be about 30.00 bucks more for IB over SB and Ive seen a review or 2 that seem to think the newer chip doesn't OC as well
however I dont think I would be pushing my clock speeds past 4.2 anyhow. Im thinking that alone would be very big jump from the 3.5 or so
I ran the older Phenom chip at for awhile. These days I run it at stock speeds but since Im getting back into gaming again, its no longer
cutting it.

I would like to keep cost under $600 since I already have a new GPU and an extra Power Supply (550 watt). for a new build.
If I just upgrade my present system I would like to stay under $400. But Im not locked into a budget.
Any Ideas or suggestions on components or deals would be greatly appreciated. I apologize if Im asking in the wrong section.
Thanks.




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May 1, 2012 1:30:58 AM

tinsley6512 said:
Ive been out of the loop for a couple of years and Im looking for some suggestions concerning either upgrading my older
AMD Phenom II 920 system to the Newer Intel Sandy Bridge or Ivy Bridge config. Im not sure yet if I want to just go with
A new Chip and motherboard and some more/better RAM or just build again from scratch. My HD is pretty much at capacity
with my Audio and video files so Im considering letting it ride on my network doing server duty, but if I re-use this systems
accessories I understand the cost would be significantly less and that has me second guessing wich path to take. I recently
upgraded my older MSI R4890 OC edition to a newer Sapphire HD 7850 OC edition and I feel like my old AMD Chip might be
holding back the New GPU's potential in some games. I plan on mostly using this setup for gaming and basic internet use so
it will not be used for work related programs. My present system is a Micro ATX tower so that also has me wondering if I should
just start a new build. As of now Im leaning in favor of just getting a I 5 2500K chip and a decent Motherboard, along with 8 gigs
of ram. Any suggestions on components ? Would you upgrade or start fresh with a new build ? Also would you go with Ivy bridge instead ?
Cost seems to be about 30.00 bucks more for IB over SB and Ive seen a review or 2 that seem to think the newer chip doesn't OC as well
however I dont think I would be pushing my clock speeds past 4.2 anyhow. Im thinking that alone would be very big jump from the 3.5 or so
I ran the older Phenom chip at for awhile. These days I run it at stock speeds but since Im getting back into gaming again, its no longer
cutting it.

I would like to keep cost under $600 since I already have a new GPU and an extra Power Supply (550 watt). for a new build.
If I just upgrade my present system I would like to stay under $400. But Im not locked into a budget.
Any Ideas or suggestions on components or deals would be greatly appreciated. I apologize if Im asking in the wrong section.
Thanks.


i wouldnt really call the phenom II 920 an "old" chip, im running a phenom II 840 which is on a weaker architecture, and i have no issues on games like metro 2033 and skyrim, i would suggest getting a high end cooler (h80 area) and doing some overclocking on your phII chip
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a b à CPUs
May 1, 2012 2:55:46 AM

Think that cpu is holding your 7850 back.
Upgrading your system wont be so hard, better to start over than waste money on older tech that wont give you a huge performance increase.
If you intend on not doing a huge overclock then Ivy Bridge would be a good upgrade or go for the i5 2500K, the prices appear to be dropping on them and you can get a good deal, you will notice a big increase in performance to what you currently have.
Have a look at the current Micro atx motherboards and choose one that is in your budget and that suits your needs, ram is quite affordable these days, you should be able to do this upgrade for around 500 bucks and use your 7850 to its full potential.
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May 1, 2012 3:20:19 AM

My Phenom II handles 2X 6950's with unlocked shaders to 6970's just perfectly fine so I really don't understand how you could be holding back one 7850, I think you are fine.
If you still want it to be faster than OC your Phenom II, after all that is what they are for ...
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May 1, 2012 12:15:29 PM

The Phenom II 920(not a Black edition) is a bit of a pain to OC, unlike some CPU's I had to do most of it manually. I think the most I got out of it was around 3.4 or 3.5 with stock cooling.
Is it possible that my DDR 2 ram is causing the bottleneck ? Im able to play most games ok . There is a problem with this setup holding its OC settings and it will occasionally reset to default, so these days I just leave it there. Im hoping to see some improvements across the board with some newer generation hardware.
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May 1, 2012 3:19:01 PM

My apologies a I misread and was thinking you had a 965. Losing OC settings is indicative of a faulty motherboard at one level or another. Do you live near a microcenter ?
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May 1, 2012 6:01:37 PM

No Microcenter's here in Tn, I wish there were. Its been quite awhile since I had the 920 overclocked but I believe it hung on bootup and reset to default or I may have had to reset it , I cant remember for sure. Ive had this machine running 24/7 for over 2 years doing double duty as my home server and all my Audio/Video and gaming needs. Its been worked fairly hard for most of its current service time.

I think I might just let it ride as my server with maybe another drive attatched and start a New Build. Is there a list of recommended components here somewhere?
I mean I think I want to try building an Intel Machine this time around and other than the CPU what other components are getting good reviews for the money.
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a b à CPUs
May 1, 2012 6:32:18 PM

tinsley6512 said:
The Phenom II 920(not a Black edition) is a bit of a pain to OC, unlike some CPU's I had to do most of it manually. I think the most I got out of it was around 3.4 or 3.5 with stock cooling.
Is it possible that my DDR 2 ram is causing the bottleneck ? Im able to play most games ok . There is a problem with this setup holding its OC settings and it will occasionally reset to default, so these days I just leave it there. Im hoping to see some improvements across the board with some newer generation hardware.


all you have to do is change the cpu/nb ratio, i dont really see how thats bad lol
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a c 123 à CPUs
May 1, 2012 6:40:51 PM

tinsley6512 said:
Would you upgrade or start fresh with a new build ? Also would you go with Ivy bridge instead ?

I usually go "tick-tock" with my upgrades... CPU+Motherboard+RAM on 'tocks', everything else on 'ticks' with resulting spare parts trickling down through my other older systems.
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May 1, 2012 7:39:29 PM

InvalidError said:
I usually go "tick-tock" with my upgrades... CPU+Motherboard+RAM on 'tocks', everything else on 'ticks' with resulting spare parts trickling down through my other older systems.


So Ideally to do an upgrade with an existing machine would you just put all your existing media files Audio/Video on an external then wipe the HD with a clean install
after adding the new hardware ? Im guessing when I change out the Motherboard/CPU and Ram I will have to reinstall my OS correct ? My current HD is about maxed out
with around 750 gigs of Media files wich are the only files I really need to keep. Everything else I can reload as needed. I just want to make sure Im going about this upgrade the right way before I throw in some new hardware. I dont have anything backed up at the moment.
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Best solution

a c 123 à CPUs
May 1, 2012 11:58:49 PM

2520639,11,520437 said:
Im guessing when I change out the Motherboard/CPU and Ram I will have to reinstall my OS correct ?

You can upgrade the hardware without re-installing Windows but Windows might get somewhat confused in the process. I have done that a few times and ended up having to re-install a few weeks/months later to resolve all the glitches.

When I don't feel like messing around and/or simply don't have enough room elsewhere to do a backup before re-installing Windows, I simply throw in a new HDD and copy stuff over on an as-needed basis. The old drive either ends up in an external drive enclosure or simply left disconnected inside the case between uses.
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May 7, 2012 7:26:49 PM

Best answer selected by tinsley6512.
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