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Upgrading my old PC to top spec with a budget

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June 1, 2012 8:57:59 PM

New to forums, so hello.

My old PC is on its last legs. My BIOS settings won't maintain their levels (though my brother says this is probably a dead battery or something), everything is slow as hell even after various different defrags, clearing out the hardrive, scans of all kinds, running ccleaners, etc., and I'm struggling to play the most recent slew of games that have been coming out, such as Witcher 2 and BF3, not to mention Firefox is incredibly jumpy right now.

Anyway, there are a few pieces I have my eyes on and I was wondering whether anyone had any thoughts to add or opinions on whether they're compatible with each other or whether there are more cost-effective specs I could be looking into. Even though I'm a relative n00b when it comes to hardware, I have spent quite a bit of time researching this stuff and have no doubts that it should run any game I throw at it, but I would still like to build a fluid PC.

Anyway, I'm going to keep my shell, power supply - I can't find the spec sheet right now, but it's 700 watts or something like that - disc drive, and other peripherals that aren't essential to a high-speed PC. Basically, I need an operating system, motherboard, graphics card, RAM, processor and hardrive. These are the units I'm interested in so far:

-Windows 7 64-bit
-Intel Core i5-2500K 3.30GHz
-Kingston 8GB (2 x 4GB) HyperX DDR3
or Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 (should I get double that)
-Saphire Radeon HD 6950 (I heard this one doesn't like Intel processors)
or Sapphire ATI Radeon 6850 HD 775MHz
or Gigabyte GeForce GTX 560 Ti 900MHz
or Zotac GeForce GTX 560 Ti 822MHz
or Asus GeForce GTX 460
or Asus ATI Radeon 7850 870MHz
-Sabertooth 990FX motherboard
-2TB hardrive (no idea on what brand or model)

So what are your thoughts?


http://www.dabs.ie/products/asus-amd-ultimate-bundle--i...

Also, is that bundle anything worth its salt?

I've been reading that the Sabertooth motherboard, hence why it's on my list, is very good, but the AMD FX-8150, with its 8-cores, is not that good.

Thanks!
June 1, 2012 9:17:26 PM

The Sabertooth is a good mobo, but considering you're going Intel, I would reccomend either the:

MSI Z77MA-G45
http://www.dabs.ie/products/msi-z77ma-g45-s1155-intel-z...

or the

ASRock Extreme4
http://www.dabs.ie/products/asrock-z77-extreme-4-s1155-...

For the Graphics card, the 7850 is the way to go, as it overclocks better than any of the other cards, keeps lower temps, and uses less power than most of the other cards you listed.

The bundle does not save a whole lot of money, and I think the i5 will do better in gaming than the FX-8150.

Finally, it would be very helpful if you gave a definite budget to work with for the parts.
June 1, 2012 9:26:02 PM

Thanks, man.

I forgot to add a budget, sorry, and the forum won't let me edit the OP. Anyway, I guess my budget for the lot would be around €600/£500. If I need to go over that then I guess that's what I'll need to do. My last PC has lasted almost three and a half years, and like any PC has been through some rough patches, but if I need to spend €650 or even €700 to get a top-notch PC for another three years, then so be it. €700 is the max, though.

I'm not terribly interested in overclocking abilities as I have never actually learned how to do it. My brother who has built PC's before will be helping me with this upgrade/build, and any complex procedures - or what I currently consider complex based on my lack of knowledge - will be done by him. But still, I'll talk to him about it and see what he says on that particular regard.
Related resources
June 1, 2012 9:32:28 PM

AngryGoldfish said:
Thanks, man.

I forgot to add a budget, sorry, and the forum won't let me edit the OP. Anyway, I guess my budget for the lot would be around €600/£500. If I need to go over that then I guess that's what I'll need to do. My last PC has lasted almost three and a half years, and like any PC has been through some rough patches, but if I need to spend €650 or even €700 to get a top-notch PC for another three years, then so be it. €700 is the max, though.

I'm not terribly interested in overclocking abilities as I have never actually learned how to do it. My brother who has built PC's before will be helping me with this upgrade/build, and any complex procedures - or what I currently consider complex based on my lack of knowledge - will be done by him. But still, I'll talk to him about it and see what he says on that particular regard.

Ok, will you be ordering all your parts from dabs.ie? Also, the 7850 is still a great card without OC. Btw,not sure on how much windows 7 costs in euros, so could you enlighten me? :p 
June 1, 2012 9:38:21 PM

Windows 7 64-bit is €85 from dabs.

And yeah, I hope to order them all from dabs as it will be cheaper for shipping, but pixmania and komplett.ie would also work, or anyhere really. I have no preference as long as they're good and not overpriced.
June 1, 2012 9:46:23 PM

Ok, here is what I've got so far:

If you decide to overclock:

Intel Core i5-3450S
http://www.dabs.ie/products/intel-core-i5-3450s-s1155-2...

If not, stick with the 2500k.


Asus ATI Radeon 7850 870MHz
http://www.dabs.ie/products/asus-ati-radeon-7850-870mhz...

ASRock Z77 Extreme 4
http://www.dabs.ie/products/asrock-z77-extreme-4-s1155-...

Kingston 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3
http://www.dabs.ie/products/kingston-8gb--2-x-4gb--ddr3...

That comes out to about 550 Euros. The main problem I have is that HDDs are incredibly expensive over there, and I'm searching for a good one atm.

Edit:

Lol, I'm stupid:

Seagate 1TB Barracuda SATA 6Gb/s
http://www.dabs.ie/products/seagate-1tb-barracuda-sata-...

I know it's too expensive atm, I will edit as soon as I find the time. :/ 
June 1, 2012 10:30:58 PM

Thanks a lot, mate. This is all very kind of you!

I had hoped for a 2TB hardrive, but I do have an external 1TB hardrive that I bought very recently that will serve as a backup. 1TB should be enough for most of what I have without becoming too full (I hate having a full hardrive - it's the OCD in me).

Actually, the Intel Core i5-3570K is only €10 more than the 2500, and it seems to be the next step in the evolution, so to speak. Is that a worthwhile upgrade?

Also, what's the difference between the 1600MHz RAM I suggested and the 1333MHz you posted?
June 1, 2012 10:31:58 PM

I say it is, but a lot of people here will disagree with me.
June 1, 2012 10:35:39 PM

Are they simply traditionalists because the 2500 has done so well? I mean, I'm not slaggin' them for that, not even a little bit. I mean, I have my moments like, too, but I've learned not to take the words of anyone, particularly on the Internet, as gospel.
June 1, 2012 10:41:33 PM

No, it is because IB has been proven to have some heat issues and that it doesn't OC as well when pushed. I think of it this way: 4.2 GHz IB is 4.5 GHz SB. Anything over 4.5 GHz SB or 4.2 GHz IB will not have much of an effect on performance (nothing noticeable anyway). There have been many people on OCN that have gotten to 4.2 GHz IB with stable temps.
June 1, 2012 10:45:39 PM

Sorry for my lack of knowlegde regarding the jargon, but what does IB and SB mean?
June 1, 2012 10:46:28 PM

AngryGoldfish said:
Sorry for my lack of knowlegde regarding the jargon, but what does IB and SB mean?

SB = Sandy Bridge.
IB = Ivy Bridge.

The i5-2500k is an SB CPU and the i5-3570k is an IB CPU.
June 1, 2012 10:49:03 PM

I've read that Ivy Bridge is faster, but only a small percentage faster than the Sandy Bridge 2500. That's enough for €10, IMO. If it was a substantial amount more in price then I wouldn't bother because I know the 2500 would be fine, but for an extra few quid the extra performance and upgrade will be a welcome addition.
June 1, 2012 10:55:38 PM

AngryGoldfish said:
I've read that Ivy Bridge is faster, but only a small percentage faster than the Sandy Bridge 2500. That's enough for €10, IMO. If it was a substantial amount more in price then I wouldn't bother because I know the 2500 would be fine, but for an extra few quid the extra performance and upgrade will be a welcome addition.

It's definitely faster, and again, Ocing past 4-4.2 Ghz will not have much of an effect on anything unless you do heavy photo/video editing or 3D modeling stuff (dont have a lot of knowledge about that though). I cut it simply because my build will exceed your budget if I threw that in. :p 
As far as I know 1333Mhz and 1600Mhz don't make much of a difference in real life, and only really shows differences in benchmarks.
June 1, 2012 10:55:49 PM

Yes, that is worth it. IB is around 7% faster than SB, now that actual benchmarks are out and people have tested it more thoroughly. Most people, when it comes to IB, think "runs way too hot" without considering the 4.2 GHz equalling 4.5 GHz SB bit I wrote (it is true btw).
June 1, 2012 11:03:25 PM

OK, so this is what I've got:

ASRock Z77 Extreme 4 (€135)
http://www.dabs.ie/products/asrock-z77-extreme-4-s1155-...

Intel Core i5-3570K (€220)
http://www.dabs.ie/products/intel-core-i5-3570k-s1155-3...

Kingston 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1333MHz (€40)
http://www.dabs.ie/products/kingston-8gb--2-x-4gb--ddr3...

Asus ATI Radeon 7850 870MHz (€255)
http://www.dabs.ie/products/asus-ati-radeon-7850-870mhz...

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-but (€85)
http://www.dabs.ie/products/microsoft-windows-7-home-pr...

Seagate 1TB Barracuda SATA 6Gb/s (€85)
http://www.dabs.ie/products/seagate-1tb-barracuda-sata-...
June 1, 2012 11:07:58 PM

AngryGoldfish said:
OK, so this is what I've got:

ASRock Z77 Extreme 4 (€135)
http://www.dabs.ie/products/asrock-z77-extreme-4-s1155-...

Intel Core i5-3570K (€220)
http://www.dabs.ie/products/intel-core-i5-3570k-s1155-3...

Kingston 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1333MHz (€40)
http://www.dabs.ie/products/kingston-8gb--2-x-4gb--ddr3...

Asus ATI Radeon 7850 870MHz (€255)
http://www.dabs.ie/products/asus-ati-radeon-7850-870mhz...

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-but (€85)
http://www.dabs.ie/products/microsoft-windows-7-home-pr...

Seagate 1TB Barracuda SATA 6Gb/s (€85)
http://www.dabs.ie/products/seagate-1tb-barracuda-sata-...

It thought your budget was max 700 euro? :p 
That will last 2-3 years though.
June 1, 2012 11:08:52 PM

Perfect!
June 1, 2012 11:12:05 PM

Yeah, my budget has been totally smashed. :lol: 

What can I slim down on? It's the damn windows 7 and hardrive. They're so annoying because they add nothing to the computer in terms of advancements. I know I'm being unrealistic and daft, but it's just not as fun to buy those things when they cost that much. :pfff: 
June 1, 2012 11:15:28 PM

With such a big difference in price between the two builds, I honestly don't know what to trim out. :( 
June 1, 2012 11:18:13 PM

Ok,cut the mobo to this:
http://www.dabs.ie/products/gigabyte-z77m-d3h-s1155-int...

I've heard good things about it, though I haven't used one myself, it should still be a solid mobo while saving 30 euros.

Normally I would cut the Hard Drive after this, but since you need the space, knocking down the CPU to a 3450 or 2500k would be my next step to save money.
June 1, 2012 11:22:24 PM

Atm, an i3-2120 can play current games without bottlenecking the GPU. With an i3-2120, I'd cut down to a Radeon 6870.
June 1, 2012 11:24:59 PM

azeem40 said:
Atm, an i3-2120 can play current games without bottlenecking the GPU. With an i3-2120, I'd cut down to a Radeon 6870.

Sadly, a 6870 will not future proof you for more than 2 years, though dropping to i3+6870 would save a hell of a lot of money (€200ish).
June 1, 2012 11:27:09 PM

Yeah, but that is the only way he can get to his 500 euros budget. :( 
June 1, 2012 11:27:17 PM

I can't do that. I need quad-core for multi-tasking. I think the decision back three and half years ago to buy dual core was a bad one. At the time no games required quad-core, and it's now that they do run a lot better with them, but it was day-to-day tasks that a quad-core would have been better for.
June 1, 2012 11:28:18 PM

Then how will you get to 500euros?
June 1, 2012 11:29:13 PM

If we could get it down to €700 then I would be happy. I wasn't expecting to be able to get the PC I want with just €500, but I had hoped it to be €650. €790 MIGHT be possible, but if anything went wrong with it then I'd be an unhappy chappy.
June 1, 2012 11:31:49 PM

Your build sits at 1020 euros.
June 1, 2012 11:33:41 PM

I see €820. I thought it was €790, but it's €820.
June 1, 2012 11:34:56 PM

Wow, I added way wrong. So you still need to go lower?
June 1, 2012 11:35:27 PM

That means I can get it to €740.
June 1, 2012 11:36:29 PM

AngryGoldfish said:
That means I can get it to €740.

Ehmm, pretty much out of ideas at this point. If you cut all three of those, you'll be sitting at around €690.
June 1, 2012 11:36:49 PM

Hmm, you COULD get the Radeon 6870 and an i5-2500k along with the ASRock Pro3 Gen3 Z77 board if not CF/SLIng?
June 1, 2012 11:39:17 PM

Yep, if you want the OC, Azeem's option is better. If you want better Gaming Performance at stock, go with mine. :) 
June 1, 2012 11:43:32 PM

So, are you going to run multiple GPUs?
June 1, 2012 11:48:09 PM

OK, so revision:

-Gigabyte GeForce GTX 560 Ti 900MHz (€205)
http://www.dabs.ie/products/gigabyte-geforce-gtx-560-ti...

OR
Sapphire Technology ATI Radeon HD 6870 900MHz (€170)
http://www.dabs.ie/products/sapphire-technology-ati-rad...

-Intel Core i5-2500K 3.30GHz (€210)
http://www.dabs.ie/products/intel-core-i5-2500k-3-30ghz...

OR
Intel Core i5-3450 (€180)
http://www.dabs.ie/products/intel-core-i5-3450-s1155-3-...

-ASRock Z77 Extreme 4 (€135)
http://www.dabs.ie/products/asrock-z77-extreme-4-s1155-...

OR
Asrock Z77 Pro3 (€100)
http://www.techdirect.ie/default/components/motherboard...

-Kingston 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1333MHz (€40)
http://www.dabs.ie/products/kingston-8gb--2-x-4gb--ddr3...

-Windows 7 Home Premium 64-but (€85)
http://www.dabs.ie/products/microsoft-windows-7-home-pr...

-Seagate 1TB Barracuda SATA 6Gb/s (€85)
http://www.dabs.ie/products/seagate-1tb-barracuda-sata-...


azeem40 said:
So, are you going to run multiple GPUs?

I'm not sure.
June 1, 2012 11:49:29 PM

With the cheapest options selected there, I can get it down to €660.
June 1, 2012 11:52:29 PM

Yeah, go for the €660 build, then throw in a new graphics card in a year or so.
June 2, 2012 12:02:30 AM

If I were to upgrade one (or two) parts to make up €700, which would it be?
June 2, 2012 12:07:08 AM

AngryGoldfish said:
If I were to upgrade one (or two) parts to make up €700, which would it be?

Tough one. I'd go with the GTX 560 Ti, but it's not that much of a performance increase, so imo you're still better off saving the excess money for future upgrades/software.
June 2, 2012 12:11:45 AM

Would upgrading the graphics card in the future require a better motherboard or processor than the cheapest ones I have listed? So, for instance, if I wanted the Radeon 7850 next year, would I need the Intel 2500K or above, or would I need the ASRock Z77 Extreme 4 instead of the Asrock Z77 Pro3, the cheaper one? In other words, are they future proof as far as upgrades?
June 2, 2012 12:19:49 AM

AngryGoldfish said:
Would upgrading the graphics card in the future require a better motherboard or processor than the cheapest ones I have listed? So, for instance, if I wanted the Radeon 7850 next year, would I need the Intel 2500K or above, or would I need the ASRock Z77 Extreme 4 instead of the Asrock Z77 Pro3, the cheaper one? In other words, are they future proof as far as upgrades?

I believe the Pro3 is fine for the 7xxx series, however any future ones probably won't be supported.
June 2, 2012 12:40:14 AM

I've been finding cheaper prices on certain things, but being in Ireland limits me compared to being in the UK or the States. However, even by picking and choosing different shops then the price on shipping inevitably goes up.

I've got the 2500K for €200 and the ASRock Z77 Extreme4 for €125, which has saved €20. Komplett also has the Sapphire RADEON HD 6870 for €10 less than dabs.ie, and it seems they have free shipping. It seems that's about as cheap as I can find.
June 2, 2012 12:43:44 AM

the i5 is great the z77 sabertooth is aamazing mobo, the 7870 is a awesome card
June 2, 2012 12:46:20 AM

I've got it down to €695!

Intel 2500K
Radeon HD 6870
ASRock Z77 Extreme 4
Windows 7
Seagate 1TB Barracuda
Kingston 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1333MHz


ToKiiNz said:
the i5 is great the z77 sabertooth is aamazing mobo, the 7870 is a awesome card

Unfortunately the 7870 is well out of my budget. I had been looking at the 7850, though.
June 2, 2012 12:55:01 AM

azeem40 said:
The 560ti is a pretty big improvement over the 6870.
www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/540?vs=547

For Skyrim at 1920x1200, it is a 13fps difference. For BF3, it is close to 13.

It would bring the price up, though, by a good €45, unless I went with Zotac as a brand, which is only a €25 increase. I think it would be worth it, though, for games like Skyrim and BF3 based on that benchmark test, which are two titles I have yet to buy.
June 2, 2012 12:58:45 AM

So the question is, is 10 fps worth €40 to you?
!