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Should I Upgrade?

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March 6, 2012 4:00:10 PM

Hello friends. I built my current rig about 3 years ago. I am trying to decide if or what pieces I might need to upgrade. I use the computer for MW3/Skyrim/SWTOR and sometimes Rift. The usual net surfing and whatnot also. I will list the parts I currently have and if someone could tell me some musts or needs that would be stellar.

CPU : AMD Phenom II x4 940 BE
MB: Asus M4A79 Deluxe 790FX
RAM: GeIL 8GB DDR2 800
HD: Velociraptor 120gb 10k RPM (Like 5+ Years Old =P)
Graphics: HIS H485QS1GP Radeon HD 4850 1GB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support IceQ4 Video Card
PSU: CORSAIR Enthusiast Series CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX12V v2.2 / EPS12V v2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply
Case : Corsair Carbide Series 500R
Fans: 2x ENERMAX UCTVD12A 120mm Blue/Red LED Case Fan and 1x XIGMATEK Cooling System XLF XLF-F2004 200mm White LED Black Case Fan
Monitor: Samsung 32" Full 1080p Television (Only 2 years old)

My current OS is Vista 64 Bit Home (Lawls).

Given a budget of $800 and a time frame of the next couple of months (Possible price drops due to Ivy Bridge/Piledriver for CPU ?) are there any glaring upgrades that I need? I was possibly thinking a SSD and Windows 7 might give me some bang for my buck?

Thanks once again for the help guys.

More about : upgrade

a c 92 B Homebuilt system
March 6, 2012 4:21:00 PM

Quote:
Given a budget of $800 and a time frame of the next couple of months (Possible price drops due to Ivy Bridge/Piledriver for CPU ?) are there any glaring upgrades that I need? I was possibly thinking a SSD and Windows 7 might give me some bang for my buck?


I'd definitely say yes to upgrading the OS to Windows 7 - you can get the OEM version for $99.

Quote:
Given a budget of $800 and a time frame of the next couple of months (Possible price drops due to Ivy Bridge/Piledriver for CPU ?) are there any glaring upgrades that I need? I was possibly thinking a SSD and Windows 7 might give me some bang for my buck?


Pile Driver will use a completely new interface and socket - it will essentially be the end of the line for AM3. I'd definitely look at getting an SSD and maybe upgrading your HD to a 2TB Samsung Ecogreen F4. Try this:
- SSD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- HD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This is what I would suggest upgrading:

- Motherboard to this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- CPU to this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- RAM to this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

That will be about $658 with the HD and SSD storage solutions. With that difference upgrade your GPU to this and it will come out to a little bit over $800 but not much:
- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 6, 2012 4:22:26 PM

Consider something like the build below. Your existing HD 4850 is fine until you decide to upgrade. The PSU and CASE are fine... This system is ready to be overclocked. If that doesn't interest you, then drop to the i5-2400 and skip the CPU Cooler.


MB - ASRock Z68 Extreme3 - $130
CPU - i5-2500k - $225
CPU Cooler - Hyper 212 EVO - $35
MEM - Corsair XMS3 4GB DDR3-1333 CL9 - $22 after MIR
GPU - Your existing HD 4850
SSD - Crucial M4 128GB - $175
HD - Seagate 1TBB - $115
OPTICAL - 24x DVD-RW - $18
PSU - Your existing Corsair 850w
CASE - Your existing Corsair 500R
OS - Windows 7 Home Premium x64 - $100

$820
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a c 92 B Homebuilt system
March 6, 2012 4:25:38 PM

sadams04 said:
Consider something like the build below. Your existing HD 4850 is fine until you decide to upgrade. The PSU and CASE are fine... This system is ready to be overclocked. If that doesn't interest you, then drop to the i5-2400 and skip the CPU Cooler.


MB - ASRock Z68 Extreme3 - $130
CPU - i5-2500k - $225
CPU Cooler - Hyper 212 EVO - $35
MEM - Corsair XMS3 4GB DDR3-1333 CL9 - $22 after MIR
GPU - Your existing HD 4850
SSD - Crucial M4 128GB - $175
HD - Seagate 1TBB - $115
OPTICAL - 24x DVD-RW - $18
PSU - Your existing Corsair 850w
CASE - Your existing Corsair 500R
OS - Windows 7 Home Premium x64 - $100

$820


Good suggestions but I do not like Corsair XMS RAM - it'd be better to go with Crucial or Kingston.
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March 6, 2012 4:26:25 PM

If your looking to save some money, go for an upgrade to your video card. That should get you into those games you want and not break the bank. Your other parts while not bleeding edge are still able to give you a few years of service.
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 6, 2012 4:30:13 PM

g-unit1111 said:
Good suggestions but I do not like Corsair XMS RAM - it'd be better to go with Crucial or Kingston.


Eh... As long as they pass MemTest. The important part is 1.5v and they on sale. The Kingston generics below are the same price as the XMS modules originally listed.

MEM - Kingston 4GB DDR3-1333 CL9 1.5v - $23
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 6, 2012 4:34:20 PM

price_th said:
If your looking to save some money, go for an upgrade to your video card. That should get you into those games you want and not break the bank. Your other parts while not bleeding edge are still able to give you a few years of service.


Not sure I agree... The AM2+ CPU would quickly become the bottleneck,whether overclocked or not, if paired with a high(er) end GPU. Not that some improvements wouldn't be seen while gaming, but it would be a bit unbalanced. The good part of this suggestion is that the new GPU would carry forward to a future build.
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March 6, 2012 4:36:54 PM

So would it behoove me to wait on a CPU and MB upgrade a while longer?

For RAM, how much should I grab? I have 8 but was wondering if 16 would be overkill.

For the SSD, I plan to load everything like I have on my current HD (OS/Games) I dont download pretty much anything and all my pics and videos are on flash drives. Would I still be ok if I did the OS and games on the SSD? Would I need to bump it up to 180gb or 240 gb?

Thank you so far for the responses, the guidance is awesome.
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 6, 2012 4:46:14 PM

CKnapp1120 said:
So would it behoove me to wait on a CPU and MB upgrade a while longer?

For RAM, how much should I grab? I have 8 but was wondering if 16 would be overkill.

For the SSD, I plan to load everything like I have on my current HD (OS/Games) I dont download pretty much anything and all my pics and videos are on flash drives. Would I still be ok if I did the OS and games on the SSD? Would I need to bump it up to 180gb or 240 gb?


An i5-2500k is fast by today's standards and will continue to be for a while to come (overclocked especially). Ivy Bridge will be faster, but the payoff over Sandy Bridge is TBD. We know they both are pretty fast, but FPS gains may be minimal to none when already in a high class of CPU.

Ideally, an SSD should maintain 40% / 50% free disk space to perform optimally. Check out what you are currently using or what you plan to install for their sizes. Installing apps on the secondary / storage drive is a good option as well. I would stick with the 128GB SSD size for price break reasons, then install apps on the 1TB drive if space is a concern.

8GB of memory is a lot. 16GB is probably overkill, however memory is cheap. Go with what your budget tells you.

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