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Looking for Upgrade Advice

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June 25, 2012 3:28:47 PM

Hey guys, Im looking to upgrade a few things in my home built system. I recently swapped out the motherboard because ASUS M-Evo Sucked. So here is what im running:

-Windows 7 Professional 64-Bit
-Generic Orion 600w PSU
-ASRock 970 Extreme 3 MB
-Phenom II X4 945 Processor
-GTS 250 GPU
-6GB 1333mhz Ram
-500gb HD (Whatever the normal brand is)
- Voyager Case (Pretty crappy case)

Let me know, obviously im not trying to blow money here, but I have it to spend, thanks!

More about : upgrade advice

June 25, 2012 3:34:41 PM

I think it's time for a new gpu, I suggest something a little newer such as a radeon 6950 or a GeForce 560 or waiting for a 660 which should come out later this year.

If you feel like going on an adventure, go get yourself a new case! Something with nice airflow.
June 25, 2012 3:44:29 PM

Jrmint said:
I think it's time for a new gpu, I suggest something a little newer such as a radeon 6950 or a GeForce 560 or waiting for a 660 which should come out later this year.

If you feel like going on an adventure, go get yourself a new case! Something with nice airflow.



Yes, I just know the GTS 250 is practically the acclaimed 9800GTX, but I bought this card close to 2 years ago.

Give me some ideas that fall under the $150 price range that will work well with my system.

Also, What cases do you recommend? I know a good amount about the internal stuff but nothing about the cases.

Is my Processor still good at this time? That was also built close to 3 years ago in the system. Thanks!
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June 25, 2012 3:44:53 PM

Obviously a new video card is what you need.

What resolution is your monitor? What's your budget for video card?
June 25, 2012 4:00:20 PM

If you'll be purchasing a new video card though, I would not suggest you continue using that generic Orion PSU. I would not trust a new graphics card to some generic PSU that may spontaneously blow up one day.
June 25, 2012 4:02:23 PM

geekapproved said:
Obviously a new video card is what you need.

What resolution is your monitor? What's your budget for video card?



Im able to go to 1920x1080 I believe. Is that still alright in this day and age? I know the can go higher, I wouldnt mind upgrading that too. Finding good monitors for $100-$120 is easy.

And list me a few mid-range to mid-highrange cards. Thanks!
June 25, 2012 4:10:48 PM

eddieroolz said:
By midrange, I am assuming $150-$250. If so, this page of the article should do wonders for you:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-car...



Now with my other Parts, should I look to run Nvidia or AMD GPU?

Years ago Nvidia always seemed to be a clear favorite, but I heard they are pretty close now, any thing that would be better in my setup? Im also going to go buy a 4gb DDR3 to up to 10gb of ram.

Edit: Res is 2048 x 1152
June 25, 2012 4:26:04 PM

Get yourself a nice Antec Nine Hundred Two case. Holes to run your cables out behind the motherboard and out of sight, and EXCELLENT cooling with great build quality and EXCELLENT appearance. C:
June 25, 2012 4:26:59 PM

NVidia or AMD is mostly brand preference and the game selection now. At $250, as Tom's says the clear favorite is the clear favorite. Just keep in mind though, the GTX 660 is rumored to arrive in the next month or two, and a leaked image was posted online just recently that seems to confirm this timeline for GTX 660 launch.

The launch of GTX 660 should change the pricing landscape some more. Its a win-win for everyone.

Also, with respect to RAM; you can only have 4, 8 or 16GB. I'm assuming you want 4-8GB of RAM.

4GB is the baseline now for running everything, but to run them comfortably you should have 8GB. That will serve you well for gaming and productivity.

June 25, 2012 4:36:37 PM

eddieroolz said:
NVidia or AMD is mostly brand preference and the game selection now. At $250, as Tom's says the clear favorite is the clear favorite. Just keep in mind though, the GTX 660 is rumored to arrive in the next month or two, and a leaked image was posted online just recently that seems to confirm this timeline for GTX 660 launch.

The launch of GTX 660 should change the pricing landscape some more. Its a win-win for everyone.

Also, with respect to RAM; you can only have 4, 8 or 16GB. I'm assuming you want 4-8GB of RAM.

4GB is the baseline now for running everything, but to run them comfortably you should have 8GB. That will serve you well for gaming and productivity.



Well ATM I have 3x 2GB 1333 ram.

-So the cards I have been looking at are the GTX 460, and the HD6870, both look to run games well on High to Ultra graphics. Im going to throw in the same 2gb card to get 8gb. So will the prices of those cards change enough that I should wait? Also, what cases are good for the money, I need something with Lights, lol yea it needs to look cool.
June 25, 2012 4:51:10 PM

I suspect that prices will change based on the GTX 670 and GTX 680 performance. Both of those blew their competitors out of the water (GTX 670 - 7950 and GTX 680 - 7970) and people are expecting GTX 660 to do the same to the 7800 series. So if these are true, then the 7850 may drop another $20~$30 to remain competitive.

For a case, take a look at thedeathclox's suggestion for an Antec Nine Hundred. It was wildly popular a few years back, and it's still a very good case today. Or try an Antec Eleven Hundred which has clear side panels, a huge 200mm fan with LED.

You could look at the mainstream gaming case comparisons that Tom's published:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/eleven-hundred-stor...
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/mana-136-midgard-ii...

See which design piques your interest.
June 25, 2012 4:55:47 PM

eddieroolz said:
I suspect that prices will change based on the GTX 670 and GTX 680 performance. Both of those blew their competitors out of the water (GTX 670 - 7950 and GTX 680 - 7970) and people are expecting GTX 660 to do the same to the 7800 series. So if these are true, then the 7850 may drop another $20~$30 to remain competitive.

For a case, take a look at thedeathclox's suggestion for an Antec Nine Hundred. It was wildly popular a few years back, and it's still a very good case today. Or try an Antec Eleven Hundred which has clear side panels, a huge 200mm fan with LED.

You could look at the mainstream gaming case comparisons that Tom's published:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/eleven-hundred-stor...
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/mana-136-midgard-ii...

See which design piques your interest.



Okay will do thank you, what Do you think about the 6850 and 6870? They seem to be great for their price.
June 25, 2012 4:59:14 PM

I think Tom's recommended a 6850 for $170. If you could find a 6870 for similar prices, then by all means go for it. But a 6850 should perform nicely for you.

You haven't mentioned what games you play, so I'm merely going by speculation though.
June 25, 2012 5:11:28 PM

eddieroolz said:
I think Tom's recommended a 6850 for $170. If you could find a 6870 for similar prices, then by all means go for it. But a 6850 should perform nicely for you.

You haven't mentioned what games you play, so I'm merely going by speculation though.


Actually with a recent price drop I can pick up a 6850 for $130, or 6870 for $160. What do you think?

And as of right now the ever so popular blizzard games WoW, SC, D3. And Steam games. Dont mind getting into some new ones though either. I want to play blizzard games though with no lag on High to Ultra settings.
June 25, 2012 5:24:31 PM

obubdeno said:
Actually with a recent price drop I can pick up a 6850 for $130, or 6870 for $160. What do you think?

And as of right now the ever so popular blizzard games WoW, SC, D3. And Steam games. Dont mind getting into some new ones though either. I want to play blizzard games though with no lag on High to Ultra settings.


A 6870 would definitely give a healthy boost to an otherwise mainstream card.

For comparison, a 6850 achieves 39.6FPS average on SC2, Ultra, 8xAF on 1920x1080. SC2 really depends on CPU horsepower as well, so your mileage here may vary.

WoW:Cataclysm is even easier on hardware, with the 6870 pushing 85FPS paired to a i7-980X.

Blizzard games in general are quite forgiving on hardware so you shouldn't have trouble playing it. If anything, your CPU will eventually bottleneck the performance in the future.
June 25, 2012 5:29:18 PM

eddieroolz said:
A 6870 would definitely give a healthy boost to an otherwise mainstream card.

For comparison, a 6850 achieves 39.6FPS average on SC2, Ultra, 8xAF on 1920x1080. SC2 really depends on CPU horsepower as well, so your mileage here may vary.

WoW:Cataclysm is even easier on hardware, with the 6870 pushing 85FPS paired to a i7-980X.

Blizzard games in general are quite forgiving on hardware so you shouldn't have trouble playing it. If anything, your CPU will eventually bottleneck the performance in the future.



Well for now is my Quad going to be alright? And looking at these benchmarks, is their a single card less than $200 that can outperform the HD6870? I dont see anything on the benchmarks than can. So here is what I have in my Newegg cart:

-Antec 900 ATX Case
-HD6870 GPU
-2gb G.Skill Ram

Free (2) Day Shipping for $240 then $210 after Mail in rebates, good deal for that?


EDIT: I found 1 single card that could for $210 and thats a GTX 480... now I would need a new PSU thought, which ill end up paying $200 more than that HD6870, so what should I do? I just dont want to buy a card that will be considered "outdated" next summer

Best solution

June 25, 2012 5:38:36 PM
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Your Phenom II can hold for another year or two, if not more.

The 6870 is quite a card for its price and you're correct, there are no cards under $200 (on regular price) that can beat it.

I think $240 + tax for that is pretty good. Looks like you're getting a $20 rebate for the case too, which is a nice bonus. I'd say go for it.
June 25, 2012 5:44:26 PM

Best answer selected by Obubdeno.
June 25, 2012 5:46:38 PM

eddieroolz, I appreciate all of your help, I will be going with that setup! One last thing is the PSU...


What do you suppose I do, Im running on a very Low-brand quality that can run my system in its current state just fine. But I would like to get into overclocking and stuff. So please if you could help me with this last thing.

Am I ok with my Current PSU? Will the GPU need a better brand+ higher output, and should I buy any additional fans?

Thanks!
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June 25, 2012 5:48:01 PM

I've been seeing 6950's for $199.
June 25, 2012 5:49:12 PM

A 6870 doesn't asks for too much. The requirements are quite low - a $70 Corsair 600W PSU will be more than enough for overclocked Phenom and 6870:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


@geekapproved: I took a quick look at TigerDirect, Newegg and NCIXUS, but cheapest 6950 I could find is $219, which costs as much as the case, GPU and RAM that OP bought.
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