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Upgrade advice

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April 15, 2012 1:55:55 PM

Nearly a year and half ago I built my first PC, I feel it's time for an upgrade but I'm not sure on what to upgrade too.

Here are my current specs:

MB: Gigabyte GA-MA770T-UD3 MA770
CPU: AMD Athlon II X3
GPU: GTX 460 Cyclone OC 1024MB
RAM: 4GB
PSU: 530W

I was thinking of getting the following:
https://www.aria.co.uk/WishList/Uz2mkE7glMxYQ5zzAAnTiQ,,

Opinions?

More about : upgrade advice

April 15, 2012 3:23:07 PM

Don't do it.

The GPU is only mildly faster than your currect card. 16GB of RAM is way too much. Check your current usage, I'll bet you never even use the 4GB, and if you do then another 4GB will solve the issue. 16GB is overkill.

The 960T is a worthwhile upgrade, but it probably won't make a huge difference unless you do a lot of heavy multi-tasking.

If you really want to go faster (or at least feel like it) then you need a 120GB or larger solid state drive (SSD) as your primary storage device. Samsung, Intel, Mushkin and Crucial make some great stuff.
a c 78 B Homebuilt system
April 15, 2012 3:28:23 PM

I am guessing this is a gaming computer?

I usually like to see people with 2x 4GBs RAM (CT2KIT51264BA1339 in particular), but if you are on a restrictive budget I could understand sticking with 4 GBs. Also, if you are using a 32 bit copy of Windows you can't use more than 4GBs anyway.

In any event, if it is a gaming computer you don't want 16 GBs, 8 at the most. Any more than that and it only helps you with stuff like audio/video editing.

What maker and model is that PSU? You may need a different one if you end up getting a better video card.

Better processor - Most games only use 2 cores and you already have 3. No games use 6 cores so most of the upgrade would be wasted if you spent money here. Only a couple games can use the 4th extra core and none beyond that. I would stick with what you have here to be honest.

Anyway, I would focus the majority of your efforts on a better video card and possibly another PSU as well, depending on whether the current one can handle the new video card or not.

The 560 isn't a huge step up from the 460. Indeed, nothing from the 500 series is much better than the 400 series equivalent.

I would stick with a new series card from either ATI or Nvidia, either the 7000s from ATI or the 600s from Nvidia.

Here is a really good one I would suggest for you that probably won't need a different PSU.

http://tinyurl.com/86qzfhw

It should give you about 50% better FPS in games.
Related resources
a c 118 B Homebuilt system
April 15, 2012 3:46:18 PM

The GTX 460 is a pretty good card, even though its a couple years old. I'd leave it alone. My boyfriend has one in his rig and it works just as well as my newer 550 TI.

I would consider a CPU and RAM upgrade though, Athlon IIs are Phenom IIs without an L3 cache basically. That kinda nerfs your gaming performance. This would be better than the 960T

https://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Processors+-...

The motherboard you have, unless I pulled up the wrong model number on Gigabytes website looks like it takes DDR2 RAM, you have DDR3 on your wishlist.

https://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Motherboards...

With that motherboard, CPU and the RAM you already picked out, you could leave the GTX 460 alone and see maybe 20-25 percent increase in gaming performance.
a c 118 B Homebuilt system
April 15, 2012 3:50:29 PM

87ninefiveone said:
Don't do it.

The GPU is only mildly faster than your currect card. 16GB of RAM is way too much. Check your current usage, I'll bet you never even use the 4GB, and if you do then another 4GB will solve the issue. 16GB is overkill.


16Gigs is overkill, but I can burn up 5 gigs in Windows Task Manager pretty easy.
April 15, 2012 4:21:33 PM

Doing what? I'm running 64-bit Windows 7 and I see 2-3GB of use 95% of the time. Maybe 4GB during gaming on high/ultra at 1080p.

The only time I ever see >4gb in use is during photo/video editing. Even then I've never maxed the 6GB or 8Gb in my machines.
a c 118 B Homebuilt system
April 15, 2012 4:29:12 PM

2 windows of Firefox Nightly, one running Netflix streaming and the other Runescape, Skype, YIM and my background processes. Then again, to be fair, I have my Java Runtime set to 3GB. So it sets that much aside whether its using it or not.
a c 78 B Homebuilt system
April 15, 2012 5:14:03 PM

Windows is very good about moving things not immediately in use to the page file in order to keep RAM free. That is why it is really hard to use up 8 GBs.

Also, browser tabs are getting a lot better at releasing their RAM back to Windows after they are done loading pages. It is 75 MBs per tab (750 MBs for 10 tabs, 1.5GBs for 20 tabs, etc) after they have loaded. Most all of that is given back to the OS pretty quickly after the page is done loading these days.

Back on topic, the 460 is two generations old now and yes it does equal a 550 TI, but that isn't really a gamer's card either.

It really depends on the game being played since higher than ~46 FPS is hard to notice and higher than 60 FPS is really hard to notice and higher than 72 FPS practically impossible (micro-stuttering aside) to notice.

If the games they are playing are in/around 30 FPS, I would definitely say they should go for a HD 7850.

If his games are old enough or the monitor small enough that a 460 gets 60 FPS on everything then yes it would be a completely wasted expense.
a c 118 B Homebuilt system
April 16, 2012 3:31:32 AM

Quote:
Back on topic, the 460 is two generations old now and yes it does equal a 550 TI, but that isn't really a gamer's card either.


Maybe not when you consider there are cards out there that cost twice as much and perform way better, but it does Skyrim, Mass Effect 3 and and a slew of other new games my guy brings home, and as far as I know hes able to play them in high detail with a GTX 460.

Either way, I really think the lacking L3 Cache of an Athlon II is probably holding back the 460 card.

This article is pretty outdated, especially the price points, and the test system being used. but theres a clear advantage of the missing cache, slight as though it may be.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/athlon-l3-cache,241...

They downclocked the Phenom II 965 to match the Athlon, so the OP is aware of, a 965 will perform even better than whats shown if its set to its stock 3.4ghz.
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