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Need advice for new CPU, GPU, Motherboard and RAM.

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June 26, 2012 5:39:31 PM

Hello,
I want to upgrade the CPU, GPU, Motherboard, RAM and hence the power supply of my PC.
But I am on a tight budget of $400 only.
I want to play games but not on ultra high resolutions. Maximum, I'll go to 1366x768. So please suggest me a rig.
I have been going through articles but i don't seem to understand the CPU-GPU bottleneck issues. I want to build a system in which the CPU doesn't limit the GPU's performance and vice-versa.
So kindly suggest me components.

P.S. - I am a troubled Dell XPS 15 user who can't play games anymore because of heating, games crashing, god knows what is with XPS 15.
So i would really like to play all those games (Crysis, Crysis 2, Battlefield 3 etc.) which i used to play once on my laptop. So suggest me a rig accordingly.
I spent a lot on my XPS and hence now i have a small budget for upgrading my desktop.
Kindly suggest.

Thanks
a b à CPUs
June 26, 2012 7:10:05 PM

May I ask, are you upgrading a prebuilt computer?

I ask because it is often not a good idea to upgrade a prebuilt computer. There will be a lot of potential hardware incompatibility issues (from makers cheaping out), potential reliability issues and airflow issues (as the case isn't designed for high heat components).

However, good news is that for gaming at 1366x768, you will not require much graphical horsepower. Which means less heat and you won't have to spend as much.

Keep in mind that at any price level, there will be bottlenecks. That's just the fact of life. At lower resolutions such as yours, CPU power becomes more important than GPU power, so keep that in mind.

I'd start here:
GPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$99 after $20 main-in rebate.

CPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$63.99

Motherboard: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$59.99

PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$59.99 on promo

RAM: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$48.99

Total: $332.95 after all rebates, no tax.

I tried to save you as much money as possible without sacrificing the components too much.

If you wanted to spend all of the $400, then you have about $70 leeway which you can spend on either CPU to get an i3-2100, or a better motherboard, or a better GPU.
a b à CPUs
a b V Motherboard
June 26, 2012 8:17:54 PM

ojasV said:
Hello,
I want to upgrade the CPU, GPU, Motherboard, RAM and hence the power supply of my PC.
But I am on a tight budget of $400 only.
I want to play games but not on ultra high resolutions. Maximum, I'll go to 1366x768. So please suggest me a rig.
I have been going through articles but i don't seem to understand the CPU-GPU bottleneck issues. I want to build a system in which the CPU doesn't limit the GPU's performance and vice-versa.
So kindly suggest me components.

P.S. - I am a troubled Dell XPS 15 user who can't play games anymore because of heating, games crashing, god knows what is with XPS 15.
So i would really like to play all those games (Crysis, Crysis 2, Battlefield 3 etc.) which i used to play once on my laptop. So suggest me a rig accordingly.
I spent a lot on my XPS and hence now i have a small budget for upgrading my desktop.
Kindly suggest.

Thanks


it would help to mention what components you have now, otherwise how do we know what an upgrade is? I googled Dell XPS15 and it comes up as a laptop.
Related resources
a b à CPUs
June 26, 2012 8:26:22 PM

He said he uses the XPS15 right now but has a desktop and he wants to upgrade that. I'm afraid he has an OEM PC however.
a b à CPUs
a b V Motherboard
June 26, 2012 11:44:54 PM

Ok but without knowing what his desktop is, who really knows what an upgrade is?
a b à CPUs
June 27, 2012 1:28:34 PM

That's true, I don't know his current system, but I tried to make recommendations assuming that he has one of those terrible OEM-built PC.

He does plan on replacing most of his internals though, so at least that removes some of the concerns of upgrading a OEM PC.
June 28, 2012 1:33:46 PM

Oh,
sorry I didn't mention the current specs of my desktop.
It has:
Intel Pentium 4 HT processor 3.06GHz
Seagate ST3802110AS 80GB 7200rpm SATA HDD (not sure if I should upgrade for speed, I have an external HDD for storage)
Intel D101GGC motherboard with ATI Radeon XPress 200 chipset
2GB DDR1 RAM
Intex 500W power supply.
I guess this much info will be sufficient.
I just want to be able to game so I guess I need to change the motherboard, processor, GPU, RAM and power supply.

I am worried about bottlenecks and potential incompatibility issues because I am suffering from those in my XPS 15. The Intel on board chip limits the nVidia GT540M and so far the only solution I have come across is downclocking the GPU. But that is a waste of money. I have the Intel core i5 2410M and apparantly, the i7 processors that Dell offered with the XPS 15 didn't cause any such problem, so the problem is specific to the core i5 2410M.
Here - http://en.community.dell.com/support-forums/laptop/f/35...
But that is not the point of discussion, i just want a reliable desktop for myself now.
So I don't want any critical limiting/bottlenecks/incompatibility issues. I tried to search for hardware myself but in the sub $400 price segment, there are low to mid range components available, so I am really worried about one component limiting the other. Ofcourse the overall performance will not be top-notch since i am low on budget but I want to make the most of my $400. I mean, i want a system that runs harmoniously. I hope you all get my feeling.
So I really need some advice.
Thanks
June 28, 2012 1:49:31 PM

eddieroolz said:
May I ask, are you upgrading a prebuilt computer?

I ask because it is often not a good idea to upgrade a prebuilt computer. There will be a lot of potential hardware incompatibility issues (from makers cheaping out), potential reliability issues and airflow issues (as the case isn't designed for high heat components).

However, good news is that for gaming at 1366x768, you will not require much graphical horsepower. Which means less heat and you won't have to spend as much.

Keep in mind that at any price level, there will be bottlenecks. That's just the fact of life. At lower resolutions such as yours, CPU power becomes more important than GPU power, so keep that in mind.

I'd start here:
GPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$99 after $20 main-in rebate.

CPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$63.99

Motherboard: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$59.99

PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$59.99 on promo

RAM: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$48.99

Total: $332.95 after all rebates, no tax.

I tried to save you as much money as possible without sacrificing the components too much.

If you wanted to spend all of the $400, then you have about $70 leeway which you can spend on either CPU to get an i3-2100, or a better motherboard, or a better GPU.



What about the Core i5 2120? Will it be good for the HD6770 or will it give some considerable bottleneck issues? Also, I don't have a ASRock service centre in my country (I am from India). So I'll have to go with ASUS, Gigabyte, BioStar, Intel, Zotac or MSI. Also, i was hoping to have USB 3.0 ports as my external HDD is a USB 3.0 one. So can you help me there by suggesting the most cost-efficient product?
Similar case for the GPU. I'll have to choose from the makers i mentioned above.
So any recommendations?
I can push to $500 maximum.
a b à CPUs
June 28, 2012 2:35:12 PM

Quote:
What about the Core i5 2120? Will it be good for the HD6770 or will it give some considerable bottleneck issues?


I think you meant the i3-2120. That is a good CPU for the budget, and is quite powerful despite its low-end status. It will work very well with a 6770. Of course the i3-2120 can handle more than a 6770 or 6850, but in the end you must look at your finances first.

Quote:
Also, i was hoping to have USB 3.0 ports as my external HDD is a USB 3.0 one. So can you help me there by suggesting the most cost-efficient product?


USB3.0 will add some cost to the motherboard. I fond a few cheap motherboards with USB3.0 support. I'll list one from BioStar, Gigabyte and ASUS below:
BioStar: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Gigabyte: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
ASUS: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


They all have decent ratings.

Quote:
Similar case for the GPU. I'll have to choose from the makers i mentioned above.
So any recommendations?
I can push to $500 maximum.


With a $500 maximum, you can afford a 6870. Most of the models come in at $20 below $200, which will give you room for shipping/tax costs.

ASUS 6870: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So the total breakdown looks like this:

CPU: i3-2120, $125
Motherboard: One of the above, $70
RAM: Kingston HyperX, $49
PSU: Corsair CX500, $60
GPU: ASUS 6870, $175

Total: $479
June 29, 2012 2:37:56 PM

eddieroolz said:
Quote:
What about the Core i5 2120? Will it be good for the HD6770 or will it give some considerable bottleneck issues?


I think you meant the i3-2120. That is a good CPU for the budget, and is quite powerful despite its low-end status. It will work very well with a 6770. Of course the i3-2120 can handle more than a 6770 or 6850, but in the end you must look at your finances first.

Quote:
Also, i was hoping to have USB 3.0 ports as my external HDD is a USB 3.0 one. So can you help me there by suggesting the most cost-efficient product?


USB3.0 will add some cost to the motherboard. I fond a few cheap motherboards with USB3.0 support. I'll list one from BioStar, Gigabyte and ASUS below:
BioStar: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Gigabyte: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
ASUS: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


They all have decent ratings.

Quote:
Similar case for the GPU. I'll have to choose from the makers i mentioned above.
So any recommendations?
I can push to $500 maximum.


With a $500 maximum, you can afford a 6870. Most of the models come in at $20 below $200, which will give you room for shipping/tax costs.

ASUS 6870: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So the total breakdown looks like this:

CPU: i3-2120, $125
Motherboard: One of the above, $70
RAM: Kingston HyperX, $49
PSU: Corsair CX500, $60
GPU: ASUS 6870, $175

Total: $479



Thanks a lot :) 
I enquired price of the Radeon HD6770 from a store today and the store guy asked me not to go for Radeon. He said some games work properly only with PhysX support and not on Radeon cards. Doesn't make sense to me. Is it the truth? And if it is, what options do I have in nVidia?
Also, do I need to change my HDD or will the current one be sufficient?
a b à CPUs
June 29, 2012 2:49:33 PM

No. PhysX is a somewhat-enticing addon, but games work just fine on Radeon. It would be a suicide for gaming studio to program only for Nvidia cards considering the market is split pretty much equally.

The truth is that some games run better on Nvidia and some run better on Radeons. For example, many of the Nvidia-partner games supposedly run better on GeForce hardware, and some are true. But other games like Crysis now work better on Radeon hardware. It really comes down to your choice of games.
June 30, 2012 12:09:07 PM

eddieroolz said:
No. PhysX is a somewhat-enticing addon, but games work just fine on Radeon. It would be a suicide for gaming studio to program only for Nvidia cards considering the market is split pretty much equally.

The truth is that some games run better on Nvidia and some run better on Radeons. For example, many of the Nvidia-partner games supposedly run better on GeForce hardware, and some are true. But other games like Crysis now work better on Radeon hardware. It really comes down to your choice of games.



Oh, okay.
And what about my HDD? Should I get a new one?
a b à CPUs
July 2, 2012 7:50:31 PM

If your current HDD has enough space left, then you won't need one for some time.

It would be nice to know the details of your current HDD however. What's the make and model?
July 3, 2012 12:40:01 PM

eddieroolz said:
If your current HDD has enough space left, then you won't need one for some time.

It would be nice to know the details of your current HDD however. What's the make and model?




Seagate ST3802110AS 80GB 7200rpm SATA HDD (not sure if I should upgrade for speed, I have an external HDD for storage)
a b à CPUs
July 3, 2012 1:27:45 PM

That is indeed quite old. A newer 500GB 7200rpm model will run you about $70 + tax. Performance improvement is definitely going to be there, but not as pronounced as your GPU, CPU and RAM upgrade. However, if you're installing Windows 7 then you'll definitely need to pick up a larger drive. On the other hand, if Windows XP is your thing then you may be able to get by with your current drive for another few months while you save for a good HDD.

Some HDDs in the $70 range:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


August 7, 2012 4:24:02 PM

Thanks a lot :) 
So I have bought the core i3 2120, Transcend 2x8GB DDR3, Gigabyte GAB75MD3H, WD Caviar Blue 500GB
And I want to go with the nVidia GTX 560Ti, so can you suggest a PSU suitable for these components?
August 7, 2012 7:48:18 PM

eddieroolz said:
That is indeed quite old. A newer 500GB 7200rpm model will run you about $70 + tax. Performance improvement is definitely going to be there, but not as pronounced as your GPU, CPU and RAM upgrade. However, if you're installing Windows 7 then you'll definitely need to pick up a larger drive. On the other hand, if Windows XP is your thing then you may be able to get by with your current drive for another few months while you save for a good HDD.

Some HDDs in the $70 range:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...




Thanks a lot :) 
Talking of PSU, will the Corsair 600CXV2 be sufficient for a core i3 2120, GTX 560 Ti, WD Caviar Blue 500GB?
!