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Upgrade advice

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February 22, 2012 6:26:53 AM

Yeah, I just got 200 bucks from my pops and want to know what I should upgrade if anything at all... Although i'm pretty happy with my system, I don't need anything crazy and it currently is enough to get me by... I really don't like having to play BF3 on medium settings though (if its on high, I get decent fps for around 5 seconds then I get random fps spikes where it drops to 3fps)

My system runs decently cool, my monitor isn't the best though I am really debating whether I should upgrade that...

My current system is:

Case: Haf 912 (stock fans beside the additional 120mm at the bottom front (apevia green leds, don't have the part number handy... sorry.)
Mobo: ASRock A780LM-S
Ram: 4g DDR2 (some random patriot model, I never did figure out what EXACTLY it is, gray heat spreaders shiny, patriot name on the side (what I get in cpu-z: http://i.imgur.com/za8lH.jpg ))
CPU: Athlon 2 x3 445 rana (haven't even tried unlocking much, meh)
HDDs: Spinpoint F3 1tb as main, then 2 random IDE drives as data drives (1x320Gb and 1x120Gb)
PSU: 500w Antec 500d Green
Heatsink: Hyper 212+ Evo (cpu gets to a max of 31c)
GPU: 6870 Twin Frozr 2 (max of 81c in 2 hours of Furmark)

More about : upgrade advice

a b B Homebuilt system
February 22, 2012 6:34:40 AM

Ill buy a new AM3+ motherboard and DDR3 RAM.
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a b B Homebuilt system
February 22, 2012 6:54:19 AM

I would get a Core i3-2100 CPU, a Gigabyte H61 motherboard, and if you have 64 bit Windows, 8gb(2x4gb) DDR3 1333 ram. For 32 bit Windows, a 2x2gb kit. Should fit under $200 and give you a decent upgrade path on the CPU. The i3 will also match up well with the 6870. Right now the x3 is holding you back, and AMD has no chip better than the i3, even if overclocked. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-cpu-review-o...
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a b B Homebuilt system
February 22, 2012 7:14:20 AM

Same upgrade path, stick to AMD, get a new AM3+ Board, Processor and DDR3 RAM.
The Processor might not be upgradable in the present budget but you can get a really good mobo and RAM which will leave you with just the need to upgrade the processor a little later when your budget allows it.... the path I could suggest would be..
Mobo
ASRock 970 EXTREME4 AM3+ AMD 970 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard with UEFI BIOS
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
109$

RAM
Kingston HyperX Blu 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 Desktop Memory Model KHX1333C9D3B1K2/8G
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And CPU later
AMD Phenom II X4 975 Black Edition Deneb 3.6GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Desktop Processor HDZ975FBGMBOX
AMD Phenom II X6 1090T Black Edition Thuban 3.2GHz Socket AM3 125W Six-Core Desktop Processor HDT90ZFBGRBOX
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February 22, 2012 9:12:52 AM

I agree with most people in here, however... I just don't see an upgrade to a flop platform worth it, nor can I seem to rationalize the jump from an athlon 2 x3 to an i3-2100

I realize the i3 is undoubtedly faster in many things but I just don't see it as worth it

I mean, I can live with medium/high settings on one or 2 games and save 200 bucks, thanks for the advice though :) 

More ram would be nice but... ehhh

Still taking ideas though.
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a b B Homebuilt system
February 22, 2012 9:39:10 AM

"Flop Platform"? Could you be a little more precise about that, what makes you think that way and how you have come to the conclusion would be helpful. If you're looking to go the Intel way, that budget is not going to get you much other than RAMs IMO.
The AM3+ way will help you through the Piledriver way at the lowest possible cost... and it will be better if not the best :(  since the BD didn't do too well in the market.
We have a whole thread here and umpteen discussion threads that will shed more light on any doubts you may have between the Flop platform and future of the very same....
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February 22, 2012 4:14:25 PM

alyoshka said:
"Flop Platform"? Could you be a little more precise about that, what makes you think that way and how you have come to the conclusion would be helpful. If you're looking to go the Intel way, that budget is not going to get you much other than RAMs IMO.
The AM3+ way will help you through the Piledriver way at the lowest possible cost... and it will be better if not the best :(  since the BD didn't do too well in the market.
We have a whole thread here and umpteen discussion threads that will shed more light on any doubts you may have between the Flop platform and future of the very same....


I just meant how the current processors (BD) are just a complete fail in the current situation of gaming, in some games the intel system is beating it by as much as 30fps. Even the phenom 2 x4 is beating it in some categories.

For the price of a phenom 2 x4 vs a FX 8150 its just not worth it and seeing as how I can already put a phenom in my machine I just don't think upgrading to a AM3+ mobo without some hard evidence it isn't going to be such of a disappointment again.

Source: http://www.anandtech.com/show/4955/the-bulldozer-review...
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a b B Homebuilt system
February 23, 2012 1:30:13 AM

Well, that is like saying I'll wait 10 years to see if something better comes out and then decide.
These are the upgrade paths available to you in that budget, and, yes, they are upgrades not just one step above the Phenom IIs but quite a bit, you just need to be using it to it's potential, try to find a thread that tell you when the BD's get maxed out in anything... :)  and try the same for any Intel stuff.... that ought to speak for itself.
If you shift to Intel, then it's not an upgrade it's a changeover and an altogether different further upgrade route later. And in that budget, Intel is certainly not the way to go, it'll be like buying one wheel for a car you want to drive tomorrow but can't since the other 3 wheels are still needed.

You do realize that the anandtech article is from 10/12/2011
and tech is changing everyday right?

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February 23, 2012 2:11:54 AM

alyoshka said:
Well, that is like saying I'll wait 10 years to see if something better comes out and then decide.
These are the upgrade paths available to you in that budget, and, yes, they are upgrades not just one step above the Phenom IIs but quite a bit, you just need to be using it to it's potential, try to find a thread that tell you when the BD's get maxed out in anything... :)  and try the same for any Intel stuff.... that ought to speak for itself.
If you shift to Intel, then it's not an upgrade it's a changeover and an altogether different further upgrade route later. And in that budget, Intel is certainly not the way to go, it'll be like buying one wheel for a car you want to drive tomorrow but can't since the other 3 wheels are still needed.

You do realize that the anandtech article is from 10/12/2011
and tech is changing everyday right?


I was not aware of the date the article was written, kinda over looked that bit... a more recent article has it looking a bit more interesting: http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/AMD/FX8150/11.html

However I don't think its worth dropping 200 bucks on a mobo + ram upgrade where my fps stays the same, I realize there is a CHANCE PD might become something amazing, however I just don't see it happening since multiple sites have claimed that AMD is dropping out of the competitive market (unless this is all just hubbub and rumors)

Buying a new motherboard based on rumors of great things to come for a new cpu is how so many people got shafted when BD came out. I'm kind of attached to my money and I don't buy anything unless I see benchmarks first.

Thats like buying a car off ebay, you can't test drive it, sure the brand may be great but all manufacturers have there disappointing products.
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February 23, 2012 2:12:08 AM

I would improve the monitor. $200 will not help the system you have now because the cpu upgrade eats all the resources.

How about this?

ViewSonic VX2336s-IPS screen with LED backlighting - 23"
Newegg does not sell this. Google it and you can find it between $170 and $190 from many outlets.

I hope this helps,
Newf.

Edited for spelling...Duh!
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a b B Homebuilt system
February 23, 2012 2:21:41 AM

So from what I understand of your reply, you just want to improve the FPS and are willing to shell out 200 bucks that you're so attached to?
Wow.... Value for money is something I might have to rethink about.
Anyways, you could go in for another GPU to CF with the Board if you're targeting the FPS or a higher GPU....
But it will finally come down to needing a full rig upgrade/change over when you come close to trying to max out the GPU/GPUs....
New upgrade route would be, just get a Phenom II x 4 XYZ and that would bump up the FPS a bit... nothing killing but it will certainly change the Benches drastically.
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February 23, 2012 2:29:45 AM

Newf said:
I would improve the monitor. $200 will not help the system you have now because the cpu upgrade eats all the resources.

How about this?

ViewSonic VX2336s-IPS screen with LED backlighting - 23"
Newegg does not sell this. Google it and you can find it between $170 and $190 an many outlets.

I hope this helps,
Newf.


Interesting, do you personally have this monitor? how are the viewing angles? My current monitor is this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=24-009-...
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February 23, 2012 2:51:07 AM

mouse24 said:
Interesting, do you personally have this monitor? how are the viewing angles? My current monitor is this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=24-009-...

No, my monitor is similar to yours.

This one is brand new. A budget IPS.
Looks like a great deal. I saw a review on it at Maximum PC.
Here's the online version: http://www.maximumpc.com/article/news/viewsonic_launche...

OEM source: http://www.viewsonic.com/products/vx2336s-led.htm

I did not know how "old" your monitor was. If it was a CRT or a small LCD then this is a no-brainer.
Given what you have, maybe you should save up that $200 for now and add a new box after Ivy Bridge processors are released...

Newf.
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February 23, 2012 2:55:35 AM

alyoshka said:
So from what I understand of your reply, you just want to improve the FPS and are willing to shell out 200 bucks that you're so attached to?
Wow.... Value for money is something I might have to rethink about.
Anyways, you could go in for another GPU to CF with the Board if you're targeting the FPS or a higher GPU....
But it will finally come down to needing a full rig upgrade/change over when you come close to trying to max out the GPU/GPUs....
New upgrade route would be, just get a Phenom II x 4 XYZ and that would bump up the FPS a bit... nothing killing but it will certainly change the Benches drastically.

It's hard to crossfire a board with only one PCI-E 16 slot.
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a b B Homebuilt system
February 23, 2012 3:01:52 AM

I know that's why the Mobo upgrade was suggested in the first place, since we know you're not going to spend 500 or 600 buck on a single card dual GPU setup.
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February 23, 2012 8:21:26 PM

Hmmm, I'll have to negotiate with my parents about getting more money, upper limit is about 320 total I suppose... we're not rich but we did just get our tax return so...

well anyways this is what I was thinking

Mobo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Ram: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

(i'm trying to get them to buy my current mobo + ram + cpu + 5670 off me for 120 to replace there 2Gb ram + Celeron D + integrated graphics :)  )

We'll see how negotiations go. Any ideas are welcome...

I figured a Phenom 2 x4 OC'ed to 3.7ghz ish should would be a nice step upwards. aswell as an extra 4Gb of ram. (my current cpu at stock settings gets to a max of 31c in 2 hours of prime95)

The one bad thing about that board, is the lack of IDE slots... I need them or I'm out 440Gb of data storage :(  I checked for converters and there like 20 bucks each -.-

I guess I could chuck in this 10 dollar IDE card ... hmmm... question is it possible to use a dual IDE cable (2 plugs on 1 cable as is almost standard) I see reports saying the drives have to be master/cable select... etc... mmmm http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... -.-

Edit: and yes I know this does go against almost everything I've said in this thread but lets be honest... she really needs an upgrade -.-
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a b B Homebuilt system
February 24, 2012 2:11:27 AM

That's a good upgrade.

You could use a dual IDE cable that's standard, but you could connect only one device to it.
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February 24, 2012 4:23:53 AM

alyoshka said:
That's a good upgrade.

You could use a dual IDE cable that's standard, but you could connect only one device to it.


Interesting, I take it this is a limitation of the sata slot only thinking there should be a single device hooked up? ( as there are no dual sata cables that functionality is kinda moot )
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a b B Homebuilt system
February 24, 2012 4:35:18 AM

Yup, it's a SATA limitation.
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February 25, 2012 12:52:44 AM

Mouse24

You are working very hard to spend money on very small improvements to your system.

The X3 you have now is a pretty good gamer cpu. Newer cheap AMD cpus offer better compute capability but don't help gamers much.
See Tom's best gaming cpu articles if you don't believe me.

The video card you have drives gaming performance. The one you own is kick ass. To improve on it costs more than you have.

Unless a lot of time passes, or you come up with much more money the system you have is darn good.
It's not new, but the gpu drives gaming and the cpu is not holding you under water. OC it if you can to keep you going.

Yes, the IDE issue will annoy you. All you have to do is come up with a small SSD on your next build and add a $20 IDE card and life is good. You get to keep your drives.
Maybe by then hard drives will be cheap again.

Save your money and wait awhile.

Both Intel and AMD are going to release next generation products soon.
By waiting and saving you can go up the quality curve instead of always looking for the cheap fix to get by with.

Need a shopping fix? How about looking for a good deal on a G500 mouse?
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February 25, 2012 3:08:21 AM

Newf said:
Mouse24

You are working very hard to spend money on very small improvements to your system.

The X3 you have now is a pretty good gamer cpu. Newer cheap AMD cpus offer better compute capability but don't help gamers much.
See Tom's best gaming cpu articles if you don't believe me.

The video card you have drives gaming performance. The one you own is kick ass. To improve on it costs more than you have.

Unless a lot of time passes, or you come up with much more money the system you have is darn good.
It's not new, but the gpu drives gaming and the cpu is not holding you under water. OC it if you can to keep you going.

Yes, the IDE issue will annoy you. All you have to do is come up with a small SSD on your next build and add a $20 IDE card and life is good. You get to keep your drives.
Maybe by then hard drives will be cheap again.

Save your money and wait awhile.

Both Intel and AMD are going to release next generation products soon.
By waiting and saving you can go up the quality curve instead of always looking for the cheap fix to get by with.

Need a shopping fix? How about looking for a good deal on a G500 mouse?



A new mouse would be amazing, but im sorta attached to the peripherals I have

Mouse: MI PD430P (MI - product brand)
Keyboard: some random semi gel half button compaq keyboard, its really nice

I've had em for about 4-5 years, My aim is fine, dunno why people tout higher dpi mice -_- mines only 400dpi

And yes I agree im spending the money kind of frivolously, but I intended to upgrade the mobo at some point anywho, I can't OC on the one I have now at all (no heatsinks on the mosfets/VRMs.)

A phenom 2 x4 @ 3.7ghz will allow me to crank up the settings a bit more on CPU bound games like BF3 and GTA IV

(not to mention I personally hate having a 2 generation old board (AM2+) really makes me feel annoyed when people point out I have DDR2 (they know nothing about pcs or how ram speed doesnt really mean anything) (I don't feel like explaining it to them, meh)

And that pure black board just looks sweet, not to mention for that price grabbing 2x 16x cross fire and 8+2 power phase vrms, yum.
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a b B Homebuilt system
February 25, 2012 3:14:34 AM

Yeah, I know that feeling, love my M3N SLI Deluxe Mempipe edition too. Can't think of getting rid of it in a long long time.
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February 25, 2012 3:23:33 AM

alyoshka said:
Yeah, I know that feeling, love my M3N SLI Deluxe Mempipe edition too. Can't think of getting rid of it in a long long time.


*giggles* hehe, why are the color schemes on some boards so "interesting"

and holy jeez, get enough free stuff with that board? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

whats that little copper bit for? in the picture.
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a b B Homebuilt system
February 25, 2012 3:45:16 AM

"Interesting".. :)  this board was especially made to make kids (Like Me) go ahead and buy it...
Loads of Free stuff.... I still have most of it just lying sealed in it's bag.

That 'L' shaped lil'bit of copper is the Memory Heatsink....
This is how it looks at my place
:) 


Here's that lil'bit of copper attached in it's place


More like GoogleMyPC View


Zoomed in :) 

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