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Which is a Better Upgrade?

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June 17, 2012 9:00:59 PM

There is a deal at Microcenter right now where I can get an I5-3570K for $189.99. Also If I bundle it with one of these Motherboards I can get the Biostar TZ77A 1155 ATX for $49.99 or the Gigabyte GA-Z77Z-UD3H for $109.99.. in which I would need a new Motherboard since I am coming from AMD but my question is, is it even worth upgrading to an I5-3570K from my current set up? I have exactly $417 so would I be better off just going with a new Video Card? Any input would be greatly appreciated, thanks.

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June 17, 2012 9:30:26 PM

I'd go for the i5 and ud3h. Your current Athlon will bottleneck 6870 in crossfire.
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June 17, 2012 9:38:23 PM

Or you could upgrade your Athlon to maybe a 1090t or something and then crossfire if your board allows it.
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June 17, 2012 9:42:46 PM

I am not planning on going crossfire for right now.. I was thinking of a 670 but I think my current CPU would bottleneck it.. what do you think?
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June 17, 2012 9:44:12 PM

The board does allow it, the problem is finding a 1090T, they're almost impossible to find now in new condition. I'd say you could drop a Phenom II 965 on your mobo and overclock it, but if you have the money to spend, the i5 with a new mobo is going to net you better performance in the long run. The shame of it is, is your mobo isn't exactly old, but meh.
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June 17, 2012 9:45:01 PM

Yes, the Athlon II x3 will probably limit a GTX 670.
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June 17, 2012 9:50:03 PM

Which would give me better gaming performance? Upgrading to Intel or getting a 670?
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June 17, 2012 10:04:54 PM

Intel + 6870 crossfire ftw!
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June 17, 2012 10:34:27 PM

If you have $400 to spend I recommend getting a really good video card
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June 17, 2012 10:40:14 PM

deadmangaming said:
If you have $400 to spend I recommend getting a really good video card



Hi :) 

VERY good advice ^^^^^^^....card only...

All the best Brett :) 
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June 17, 2012 10:51:01 PM

Penley54 said:
Which would give me better gaming performance? Upgrading to Intel or getting a 670?


I'm going to say that the best thing you could do, is upgrade the Athlon II x3 to a Phenom II x4 965. If your budget is 400 dollars.. *smack* to the intel people who aren't taking into consideration that you currently only have 1 6870 and would need to buy a new mobo to buy the $240 dollar Intel CPU when you already have a perfectly good and reasonably new AM3+ motherboard.

Heres what I would do.. Add a 2nd 6870 in crossfire, and Phenom II 965, That should give you about 300 dollars in upgrades with change to spare. Instead of a GTX 670 is what I'm saying btw.

An Athlon II is basically a Phenom II without an L3 cache, the lack of this cache can make as little as 5 percent difference in gaming performance or as great as 20 percent depending on the game.
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June 17, 2012 11:04:59 PM

MicroCenter Pricing-
$100 Phenom II 965
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

$37 212 Hyper evo cooler
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

Newegg, free shipping:
$150 after mail in rebate- 6870
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This is based on strictly a price vs performance ratio. Yes the 3570K is a stronger CPU, but since from MicroCenter you'll be paying twice over twice as much with a 3570K + a motherboard, the question I personally would ask is, since it costs twice as much is the performance of the 3570K going to be twice as good? The answer is no. But go with whatever you think fits a budget you can be happy with, thats what I'd do in your situation.
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June 18, 2012 12:25:46 AM

I will most likely just go with a better Card. If I do I will most likely save up for a 680 since Im already putting this much $ into it.. will my PSU be able to handle it though? It is a 600W.. it is in my signature.
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June 18, 2012 12:29:11 AM

You can do that if you like, but I think the Athlon II x3 is going to limit some of the higher end video cards, like the 680/670s etc from their full potential. Technically so would a Phenom II 965, but not quite as much.

Yes, I think you PSU will handle it just fine.
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June 18, 2012 12:41:30 AM

nekulturny said:
You can do that if you like, but I think the Athlon II x3 is going to limit some of the higher end video cards, like the 680/670s etc from their full potential. Technically so would a Phenom II 965, but not quite as much.

Yes, I think you PSU will handle it just fine.

How much do you think it will be limited?
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June 18, 2012 12:47:06 AM

I wouldn't care to say without the aid of benchmarks for reference. I can only say that a GTX 680 with an Athlon II x3 wouldn't be a very good balance. Thats my best educated guess, sorry I can't get any more specific.
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June 18, 2012 12:53:52 AM

Hi :) 

It will be fine...buy a big card now...play games quite happily, and upgrade mobo and cpu at a later date if you wish and take the big card with you into new upgraded machine...

All the best Brett :) 
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June 18, 2012 1:12:47 AM

Your OCZ ModXStream Pro 600 PSU does not have enough pci-e power cables for 2x 6870's and I also don't think I would dump that much money on a newer card to just hold it back by a cpu bottleneck.
You will be losing a good portion of the performance your looking to gain with your current setup using it with a 680.
IDK rough spot to be in...
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June 18, 2012 1:15:11 AM

^The last point there from Brett is well-taken. Whatever you spend on a high end video card won't be wasted, as you'll be able to move the card to a new system.
I should point out that your current 970 board is NOT suitable for Crossfire, because it runs the second PCIE slot at x4; ideally you'd want x16/x16, but x8/x8 is also acceptable.
What you should do depends a lot on the games you want to play. If BF3 multiplayer is one of them, you probably need to bite the bullet and go Intel. Otherwise, there may be some life left in your X3.
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June 18, 2012 1:16:00 AM

Brett928S2 said:
Hi :) 

It will be fine...buy a big card now...play games quite happily, and upgrade mobo and cpu at a later date if you wish and take the big card with you into new upgraded machine...

All the best Brett :) 

Thats what I think Im going to do.. should I save up and get a 680 or just go with a 670?
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June 18, 2012 1:18:29 AM

Penley54 said:
Thats what I think Im going to do.. should I save up and get a 680 or just go with a 670?



Hi :) 

The more you spend the better card you get....

All the best Brett :) 
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June 18, 2012 1:22:29 AM

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Your OCZ ModXStream Pro 600 PSU does not have enough pci-e power cables for 2x 6870'


I think most cards come with molex to PCI-e adapters. At any rate, Brett is right, you can always move the card to a new system I spose.

Uhh, as far as the 670 vs 680, there doesn't seem to be a substantial difference.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-670-rev...
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June 18, 2012 3:24:26 AM

I tend to try and stay away for molex to PCI-e adapter cables....But that is just me!
Although I do agree buying a newer card now and saving for a better cpu and m/b later is the way to go.

I personal feel the 670 would be the way to go when it comes to price vs. performance.

May I ask what res you play at?
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June 18, 2012 3:31:08 AM

Raidur said:
Intel + 6870 crossfire ftw!


This would be a nice combination of power and performance. 2 6870's in Crossfire do perform very well.
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June 18, 2012 4:05:17 AM

MouseTrap said:
I tend to try and stay away for molex to PCI-e adapter cables....But that is just me!
Although I do agree buying a newer card now and saving for a better cpu and m/b later is the way to go.

I personal feel the 670 would be the way to go when it comes to price vs. performance.

May I ask what res you play at?

I play at 1080p
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June 18, 2012 4:18:01 AM

You really should look at the 965 and 7950 I linked earlier, can buy those, sell your 6870 and pick up a decently sized SSD if you dont have one, or upgrade something else. Youll end up quite a bit ahead going that route rather than getting a 670 now and waiting however long to get a CPU and mobo.
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June 18, 2012 7:50:56 AM

GTX 680 isn't worth the $100 premium over the GTX 670. 25% cost for 10-15% performance. Especially considering you'll be bottlenecked either way.

I'd throw a Phenom II X4 in there with the saved money and overclock the hell out of it. That would leave you with a much more balanced system and could be a good choice.

I must say, (with the type of money you have to spend) if I was you I'd drop a second 6870 in there and switch to Intel. Simple because AMD has no viable upgrade path on that platform anywhere near the Intel's current options. This would leave you room to upgrade your GPUs in the future without worry for quite a few years. Not to mention those non-GPU bound games will show a very significant increase. Remember, you're running a CPU with a little less performance than Intel 4 generations ago (Kentsfield). Since then we have seen Yorksfield, first gen i-core (Nehalem, Lynnfield, etc), Sandybridge, and now Ivybridge. That's 2 major arch changes and AMD has yet to keep up with core per core performance (which is the major factor in games due to their lack of multi-threaded efficiency).
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June 18, 2012 3:27:51 PM

Quote:
I must say, (with the type of money you have to spend) if I was you I'd drop a second 6870 in there and switch to Intel. Simple because AMD has no viable upgrade path on that platform anywhere near the Intel's current options. This would leave you room to upgrade your GPUs in the future without worry for quite a few years. Not to mention those non-GPU bound games will show a very significant increase. Remember, you're running a CPU with a little less performance than Intel 4 generations ago (Kentsfield). Since then we have seen Yorksfield, first gen i-core (Nehalem, Lynnfield, etc), Sandybridge, and now Ivybridge. That's 2 major arch changes and AMD has yet to keep up with core per core performance (which is the major factor in games due to their lack of multi-threaded efficiency).


I must agree^^^

At 1080p how bad is your current game-play? I cant imagine it to be all that bad in less your already being held back by your CPU.

I have two rigs running MSI 6870's with i7 950's and there is not much if anything they will not play or do at 1080.
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June 18, 2012 5:41:59 PM

MouseTrap said:
Quote:
I must say, (with the type of money you have to spend) if I was you I'd drop a second 6870 in there and switch to Intel. Simple because AMD has no viable upgrade path on that platform anywhere near the Intel's current options. This would leave you room to upgrade your GPUs in the future without worry for quite a few years. Not to mention those non-GPU bound games will show a very significant increase. Remember, you're running a CPU with a little less performance than Intel 4 generations ago (Kentsfield). Since then we have seen Yorksfield, first gen i-core (Nehalem, Lynnfield, etc), Sandybridge, and now Ivybridge. That's 2 major arch changes and AMD has yet to keep up with core per core performance (which is the major factor in games due to their lack of multi-threaded efficiency).


I must agree^^^

At 1080p how bad is your current game-play? I cant imagine it to be all that bad in less your already being held back by your CPU.

I have two rigs running MSI 6870's with i7 950's and there is not much if anything they will not play or do at 1080.

My current gameplay isn't that bad but in games such as bf3 and arma 2 it struggles a little.
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June 18, 2012 5:55:48 PM

Penley54 said:
My current gameplay isn't that bad but in games such as bf3 and arma 2 it struggles a little.


Can I ask what your avg. fps are in BF3 and what settings you are running just to compare what I see on the i7 950?
I have had no problems in BF3 and would say the MSI 6870 card I have tends to do pretty well.
Also what is the clock speed/model of your 6870?

I ask this more for personal comparison than anything.
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June 18, 2012 7:19:11 PM

MouseTrap said:
Can I ask what your avg. fps are in BF3 and what settings you are running just to compare what I see on the i7 950?
I have had no problems in BF3 and would say the MSI 6870 card I have tends to do pretty well.
Also what is the clock speed/model of your 6870?

I ask this more for personal comparison than anything.

Here is the link to my Card ----- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ----- I run on high settings and dependent on which map I run around 30-80 fps.
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