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Stuck on What my next Upgrade Should be?

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June 21, 2012 11:36:02 PM

I am stuck on what my next upgrade should be for my PC.. I made $437 for my birthday and My PC will be used mainly for Gaming only. My Specs are also in my Signature. I am debating on upgrading my Motherboard/CPU or GPU. In my case, Microcenter is having a sale where I can the Intel I5-3570K for $189.99 and pair it with a Biostar TZ77A for $49.99 adding up to $239.98 plus tax. I am running on an AMD Athlon II x3 (Ik its bad) and I cant unlock the fourth core (Cant boot into Windows). My other choice is GTX 670/680 (Not sure which is better for price/performance) and I know it would be bottle necked by my CPU but not sure by how much.. What do you guys think I should do?

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a b à CPUs
June 22, 2012 12:18:36 AM

I'd go with a new cpu+mobo. Your GPU is good and upgrading it further would not make much sense with that athlon
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a b à CPUs
June 22, 2012 12:30:14 AM

Yep, get an i5 + LGA 1155 mobo and watch that HD 6870 fly.
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June 22, 2012 12:46:41 AM

jessterman21 said:
Yep, get an i5 + LGA 1155 mobo and watch that HD 6870 fly.

Is that CPU/Motherboard Combo Good? Just wondering because I haven't heard much about Biostar.. Here is the actual link to it ---- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ---- Although I will be getting it for $49.99 from Microcenter. I can also get this ---- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ---- but I would be spending an extra $60 that I would like to save. Also I just got an SSD a couple of weeks ago and installed Windows 7 on it so I lost everything and I would rather not do that again so if I upgrade to Intel, will have to do that?
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June 22, 2012 1:47:36 AM

And if I upgrade to that Processor, will I really even notice a difference in gaming?
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a b à CPUs
June 22, 2012 2:10:47 AM

I honestly haven't heard many good things about Biostar, though I'm sure the mobo is serviceable. Microcenter rocksssssss... Yes, you'll probably have to reinstall when you get the new motherboard and call MS to reactivate.

And yes you will definitely notice a difference in gaming with an i5. Those dips in framerate you've seen while you're playing will disappear, and everything will run much more smoothly.

Check out the difference between the Athlon X3 and the i5s in this chart: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-fx-pentium-a...

At least 40% better average framerate, and at least 50% better minimum framerate.
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June 22, 2012 2:28:14 AM

jessterman21 said:
I honestly haven't heard many good things about Biostar, though I'm sure the mobo is serviceable. Microcenter rocksssssss... Yes, you'll probably have to reinstall when you get the new motherboard and call MS to reactivate.

And yes you will definitely notice a difference in gaming with an i5. Those dips in framerate you've seen while you're playing will disappear, and everything will run much more smoothly.

Check out the difference between the Athlon X3 and the i5s in this chart: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-fx-pentium-a...

At least 40% better average framerate, and at least 50% better minimum framerate.

Okay sounds good.. I will go with the Biostar and hope for the best. Also I have heard a lot of people saying that the I5-3570K is a pretty good Overclocker, although I have no Overclocking experience.. how difficult is it to Overclock it? Would it be a good idea to even try to not uninstall windows again? Also would I still be able to use my SSD as my Primary Boot drive for Windows on that board? And lastly will it support SLI? Later on (Most likely around Christmas) I plan on upgrading to a GTX 670/680 and would to put those in SLI sometime in the future..
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June 22, 2012 3:41:01 AM

Just a second ago I was looking at the specs for the Biostar Motherboard I am thinking about getting and I saw something that said it supports Intel Smart Response Technology and says that it will combine my SSD and HDD. What exactly does that do and how would I use it?
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June 22, 2012 4:59:34 AM

Any Ideas?
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a b à CPUs
June 22, 2012 5:26:06 AM

I think it uses your SSD as a cache between your HDD and system. It tries to make better performance from a HDD so you can have a lot of capacity with high performance. I don't know about how well this works or its real world benefit, but nothing beats just getting an SSD for your OS and Applications. SSD's are extremely cheap, you can get a 120GB for as little as 70-bucks....I've seen a 180GB intel for $130.

I know its more expensive than HDD's, but 3 years ago I paid $300 for an 80GB SSD...

Quote:

I will go with the Biostar and hope for the best.


Its not like the Biostar board won't work haha. They are still okay boards, they just are not known for their features and bells/whistles as much as boards like Asus are.

Your choices between boards are not between good and bad...its between good, better, and best. Product as a whole is generally good.

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how difficult is it to Overclock it?


That depends on a lot of things, each chip is a bit different, one may require more voltage than another. When it comes to providing stable voltage other system components come into play. Either way, if your purpose is gaming than overclocking really isn't going provide you any benefit, the 3570k is already @3.4Ghz.
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June 22, 2012 5:48:10 AM

Quote:
That depends on a lot of things, each chip is a bit different, one may require more voltage than another. When it comes to providing stable voltage other system components come into play. Either way, if your purpose is gaming than overclocking really isn't going provide you any benefit, the 3570k is already @3.4Ghz

So if I was to Overclock it to 4.0+ Ghz I will not see a difference in gaming at all? If I would see a difference, is it decently easy to overclock it? If so should I try it on my current CPU first so I get some experience with it?
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a b à CPUs
June 22, 2012 6:22:53 AM

Its not really experience, its about following steps for safety and checking for stability. And unless you have

3 GTX690's in quad SLI with a third for Physx processing, gaming at a resolution of like 3000x3000 + then I doubt a 3.4Ghz Ivy Bridge CPU turboed to 3.8 will ever bottleneck. I just cant see it happening.
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June 22, 2012 6:46:37 AM

blackhawk1928 said:
Its not really experience, its about following steps for safety and checking for stability. And unless you have

3 GTX690's in quad SLI with a third for Physx processing, gaming at a resolution of like 3000x3000 + then I doubt a 3.4Ghz Ivy Bridge CPU turboed to 3.8 will ever bottleneck. I just cant see it happening.

I have a Xigmatek Gaia SD1283 Cooler -- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... -- and it says it will fit an LGA 1155 Socket type although in the direction it says for LGA 775/ 1156 / 1366 and there is no 1155 directions.. so is it the same? I also only have the screws etc. for my current processor and LGA 2011 so will the screws for the LGA 2011 or am3 work for LGA 1155? Also what do you mean "turboed to 3.8"?
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a b à CPUs
June 22, 2012 7:21:58 AM

Check if the cooler has adjustable screw holes, where you can move the screw in groves. My CPU Cooler officially doesn't support LGA1155 because it came out long before, but if you move the screws in the groves inwards it fits perfect. I don't know if that works for other coolers also.

Just make sure it aligns with the holes and the backplate...if that happens you are good to go. You don't need directions for CPU cooler installation. Believe it or not, the hardest coolers I think to install are intel stock ones, because you have to press them in and it can be really annoying when it gets stuck. I much prefer a backplate with screws.

Quote:

Also what do you mean "turboed to 3.8"?


When given enough load, it will automatically overclock itself to 3.8Ghz but that can be disabled/enabled in Bios. I doubt it will ever do this, because your games will doubtfully put any significant load on this CPU.
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June 22, 2012 8:41:30 AM

blackhawk1928 said:
Check if the cooler has adjustable screw holes, where you can move the screw in groves. My CPU Cooler officially doesn't support LGA1155 because it came out long before, but if you move the screws in the groves inwards it fits perfect. I don't know if that works for other coolers also.

Just make sure it aligns with the holes and the backplate...if that happens you are good to go. You don't need directions for CPU cooler installation. Believe it or not, the hardest coolers I think to install are intel stock ones, because you have to press them in and it can be really annoying when it gets stuck. I much prefer a backplate with screws.

Quote:

Also what do you mean "turboed to 3.8"?


When given enough load, it will automatically overclock itself to 3.8Ghz but that can be disabled/enabled in Bios. I doubt it will ever do this, because your games will doubtfully put any significant load on this CPU.

Okay, I understand. Now I see an AMD Phenom II x4 965BE.. does that compete with an I5-3570K? What would be the fps difference between the two? The only reason I ask is because I would rather spend $100 than $239.99. Also how bad would a 965 bottleneck a high-end GPU Such as a GTX 670?
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a b à CPUs
June 22, 2012 9:22:55 AM

For gaming purposes AMD has nothing that can beat a 2500k much less a 3570k.
Check out benchmarks/comparisons online. There are even some charts here on Tomshardware.You can be looking at 15FPS difference at least
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June 22, 2012 11:42:21 AM

I don't know really know if a 965 will bottleneck a 670, but it may very well could at higher resolutions. If you push a 670 to its limit which is most likely a lot of eye candy at high resolutions with intensive games then a 965 may very well bottleneck you. A 3570 is much faster. On passmark's tests alone it scores 84% faster off the bat.
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June 22, 2012 12:41:59 PM

Just go for the i5-3570K and worry about figuring out overclocking later. Also, with Intel Smart Response, you turn a 64GB or smaller SSD into a giant/fast cache for your HDD boot drive. If you have the cash for a 128GB or larger SSD, then use that as your boot drive, it will give you better performance. The Phenoms are only 75% as good for gaming as an i5, and won't really be a worthwhile upgrade to your Athlon X3.
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June 22, 2012 8:32:40 PM

Okay so I will be getting an I5-3570K with a TZ77A Biostar Motherboard. Since I just re-installed Windows, will it recognize the new Hardware so I wont have to re-install it again? My friend just got a new CPU, Motherboard, RAM, Case and GPU and his Windows Still recognized it and he didnt have to re-install but will this be the case for me since I just got an SSD? If not and I would have to re-install windows, how would I clear the SSD and re-install Windows back to it? Thanks.
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June 22, 2012 11:18:17 PM

Also I just read a review from Microcenter about the TZ77A Motherboard -- http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml... -- and the guy said "It also groups the HDD in a boot priority on its own, you can't choose individually which drives go first, second, etc." When I installed my SSD to my Current set up, I had to change the Boot Priority to My SSD first, then my HDD next but from what he said, it sounds as if I cant do that.. is this correct? If so, is there a way to set it up like that? Thanks.
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