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Computer upgrade

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June 27, 2012 2:26:01 PM

I've been upgrading my computer slowly for the past couple of months, buts nothing major(just fans graphics cards, SSD) and i decided this summer i would do something big. Originally I wanted to do a huge upgrade and get everything new and get a 2700k etc... But I decided I didn't want to stay home all summer saving every single penny. So im thinking of just getting a new processor heat sink and case, but im not sure my PSU will be able to power everything. My psu is a corsair cx600 and I have a Phenom II x4 925, but my big concern comes from the GTX 480.

So right now my rig is:
phenom II x4 925
AData 2x2 ddr3 1600
crappy gigabyte mATX AM3
evga GTX 480
wireless adapter
OCZ Onyx 32gb SSD
Western digital caviar 500gb 7200rpm
Corsair cx600
4 120mm case fans
NZXT Gamma
Nzxt fan controller


I included everything because I fell like Im pushing my PSU to its limit, and that every watt counts.
Im looking to upgrade my 925 to a 975 BE($120 on newegg) and pair that with a hyper 212+ which would end up being $150, And then in a couple weekes transfer everything into a NZXT Phantom. I'm just hoping my PSU can handle this so I can focus on the "exciting" upgrades. And I do plan on upgrading my motherboard and PSU I would just prefer to get a new processor and case first.

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a b B Homebuilt system
June 27, 2012 2:51:27 PM

Your pushing it but should be ok til you can upgrade the psu, just no overclocking, or you could even underclock the 975 until you get a new psu.

I see no point in upgrading a motherboard that you'll never be able to put a faster cpu on, that makes no sense.

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a c 83 B Homebuilt system
June 27, 2012 3:02:19 PM
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What do you wish to accomplish with these upgrades?

Because you have a GTX480, I might assume it is gaming.
For gaming, the best upgrade will usually be the graphics card.
The GTX480 is quite good, but you are right, the GTX480 is pushing the capabilities of the CX600 which is also a very good psu.
The CX600 advertises 40a, but I think it can deliver more. That is good because EVGA suggests 42a for your card.
If you upgrade the card, you need to make it a big jump, or you may be disappointed. You are looking at a $400 card, less what your GTX480 will bring. A GTX670, or 7970. The good thing is, that these newer 28nm cards do not need much power, and your current psu will do fine.

If you are going to upgrade the cpu, I think you need to consider Intel of some sort.
On the current tom's list of best gaming cpu's for the money, there are, unfortunately, NO AMD chips.
You would do better with a dual core i5-2120 for less than a X4 975. Read this report on <$200 gaming cpu's. The benchmarks were done with a GTX480:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-gaming-cpu-cor...

I see nothing wrong with your NZXT gamma case. What are you looking for here?
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June 27, 2012 3:14:34 PM

geofelt said:
What do you wish to accomplish with these upgrades?

Because you have a GTX480, I might assume it is gaming.
For gaming, the best upgrade will usually be the graphics card.
The GTX480 is quite good, but you are right, the GTX480 is pushing the capabilities of the CX600 which is also a very good psu.
The CX600 advertises 40a, but I think it can deliver more. That is good because EVGA suggests 42a for your card.
If you upgrade the card, you need to make it a big jump, or you may be disappointed. You are looking at a $400 card, less what your GTX480 will bring. A GTX670, or 7970. The good thing is, that these newer 28nm cards do not need much power, and your current psu will do fine.

If you are going to upgrade the cpu, I think you need to consider Intel of some sort.
On the current tom's list of best gaming cpu's for the money, there are, unfortunately, NO AMD chips.
You would do better with a dual core i5-2120 for less than a X4 975. Read this report on <$200 gaming cpu's. The benchmarks were done with a GTX480:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-gaming-cpu-cor...

I see nothing wrong with your NZXT gamma case. What are you looking for here?


I personally would not take a dual core over a 4 core processor. In terms of gaming you may see a little bit better performance but overall, you will like a 4 core processor for everyday activity. There are plenty of amazing deals on newegg at the moment. One being the FX-6200 6 core processor that is on par with an i5-2500k. For only $150.
a b B Homebuilt system
June 27, 2012 4:13:04 PM

The GTX 480 is a power hungry part for sure but I don't believe for a second it's pushing your 600W Corsair PSU.
a b B Homebuilt system
June 27, 2012 4:32:26 PM

Quote:
I personally would not take a dual core over a 4 core processor. In terms of gaming you may see a little bit better performance but overall, you will like a 4 core processor for everyday activity. There are plenty of amazing deals on newegg at the moment. One being the FX-6200 6 core processor that is on par with an i5-2500k. For only $150.


Dual core?? Who said anything about a dual core???

The FX6200 is on par with a 2500K? On par in what? POV ray benchmark? LOL


Thanks for the daily laugh.



Anyways, I see no point in upgrading your motherboard or going Intel, buy the 975BE and you'll be set for a couple years more.
June 27, 2012 5:00:45 PM

geekapproved said:
Quote:
I personally would not take a dual core over a 4 core processor. In terms of gaming you may see a little bit better performance but overall, you will like a 4 core processor for everyday activity. There are plenty of amazing deals on newegg at the moment. One being the FX-6200 6 core processor that is on par with an i5-2500k. For only $150.


Dual core?? Who said anything about a dual core???

The FX6200 is on par with a 2500K? On par in what? POV ray benchmark? LOL


Thanks for the daily laugh.



Anyways, I see no point in upgrading your motherboard or going Intel, buy the 975BE and you'll be set for a couple years more.



No sorry, I was quoting previous poster talking about the i3-21xx series. The FX-6100 will out perform it. Did not mean the i5-2500k cause obviously that is on the 8150 level =/
a c 83 B Homebuilt system
June 27, 2012 5:23:09 PM

obubdeno said:
No sorry, I was quoting previous poster talking about the i3-21xx series. The FX-6100 will out perform it. Did not mean the i5-2500k cause obviously that is on the 8150 level =/

Anandtech bench does not have a comparison of the FX6100 or the i3-2120.
But, they do have a FX8150 and i3-2100 comparison.
In that, the 2100 is comparable to the 8150 for the 4 games tested:
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/434?vs=289
June 27, 2012 5:29:14 PM

Thanks for all of the replies, I pretty much built the PC for gaming and just bought cheap components at first. I tried to overclock my 925 but it was a nightmare on my crappy motherboard. So I decided that it would be best to get a new CPU since mine bottlenecks the GTX 480 (which btw is overclocked to 875 mhz from 700 with stock voltage) And it plays games amazingly, its just kinda frustrating knowing that my processor is holding back my GPU.


And I defiantly plan on sticking to AMD because it is the easiest and cheapest upgrade route. because I have a AM3 board so for $120 I can upgrade my processor instead of having to buy a new motherboard as well. The reason I planned to buy a new motherboard is so i can upgrade to Piledriver once it comes out and because my current motherboard is a micro atx and is filled by a network card and my GPU. And I would like to open up the possibility of SLI.


And lastly I want to upgrade the case to a phantom because it looks cool, I would like to have the extra space of a full size case and hopefully I can avoid the clusterfuck of wires (my cable management in my gamma is shameful) And it would help to have extra airflow


SO, just to clarify, My CX600 should be adequate to power all of my components at least for a couple months before I upgrade my PSU?

EDIT:And also when I upgrade my motherboard it will be AM3+ so it will support Piledriver so its not just a waste.


This paragraph is a random rant on my thoughts about AMD vs Intel, but another reason I like AMD is from an enthusiast point of view. Almost any of the bulldozer or sandy bridge CPUs you can get are more than powerful enough to run games maxed out. This may sound stupid But I would prefer to have a 8 core 8150 overclocked to 4ghz or higher then a i5 or i7. Even if at stock clocks the Intel cpu beat the 8 core, I would rather have the 8 core. Because I dont use my computer for anything besides gaming or photoshop or web browsing, so I wouldn't notice the difference in my games. And especially because five years ago I just had a crappy pentium 4 computer and spent hours online lusting after better computers. This sparked my interest in computers and I wanted nothing more then a dual core processor. So to think that just five years later I could get a cpu with 7 more cores and twice the clock frequency is amazing. Another thing is AMD motherboards are much cheaper. And the price point for a nice AMD gaming board is The same price point that Intel boards start to even consider supporting things like SLI or crossfire.
June 27, 2012 5:32:26 PM

geofelt said:
Anandtech bench does not have a comparison of the FX6100 or the i3-2120.
But, they do have a FX8150 and i3-2100 comparison.
In that, the 2100 is comparable to the 8150 for the 4 games tested:
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/434?vs=289



Looking at this review the FX8150 is more compared to the i5-2500k.
http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/AMD-FX-8150-vs-C...


Edit:
Your benchmarks were running on vista, with old gpu's. And different ones for that matter, so that doesnt really help to compare them.
a b B Homebuilt system
June 27, 2012 5:34:50 PM

Quote:
No sorry, I was quoting previous poster talking about the i3-21xx series. The FX-6100 will out perform it. Did not mean the i5-2500k cause obviously that is on the 8150 level =/


Outperform it in what? Certainly not gaming.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-fx-pentium-a...



a c 83 B Homebuilt system
June 27, 2012 5:37:47 PM

For multi core enabled apps, like photoshop, the FX-8150 is a fair value.
But until I know what piledriver actually offers, I would wait. For gamers, bulldozer was generally a disappointment.

And now, my canned rant on cf/sli:

a) How good do you really need to be?
A single GTX560 or 6870 can give you great performance at 1920 x 1200 in most games.

A single GTX560ti or 6950 will give you excellent performance at 1920 x 1200 in most games.
Even 2560 x 1600 will be good with lowered detail.
A single 7970 or GTX680 is about as good as it gets.

Only if you are looking at triple monitor gaming, then sli/cf will be needed.
Even that is now changing with triple monitor support on top end cards.

b) The costs for a single card are lower.
You require a less expensive motherboard; no need for sli/cf or multiple pci-e slots.
Even a ITX motherboard will do.

Your psu costs are less.
A GTX560ti needs a 450w psu, even a GTX580 only needs a 600w psu.
When you add another card to the mix, plan on adding 150-200w to your psu requirements.
A single more modern 28nm card like a 7970 or GTX680 needs only 550W.
Even the strongest GTX690 only needs 650w.

Case cooling becomes more of an issue with dual cards.
That means a more expensive case with more and stronger fans.
You will also look at more noise.

c) Dual cards do not always render their half of the display in sync, causing microstuttering. It is an annoying effect.
The benefit of higher benchmark fps can be offset, particularly with lower tier cards.
Read this: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-geforce-stut...

d) dual card support is dependent on the driver. Not all games can benefit from dual cards.

e) cf/sli up front reduces your option to get another card for an upgrade. Not that I suggest you plan for that.
It will often be the case that replacing your current card with a newer gen card will offer a better upgrade path.
June 27, 2012 5:39:06 PM

geekapproved said:
Quote:
No sorry, I was quoting previous poster talking about the i3-21xx series. The FX-6100 will out perform it. Did not mean the i5-2500k cause obviously that is on the 8150 level =/


Outperform it in what? Certainly not gaming.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-fx-pentium-a...




No...for overall computer usage, not everything comes down to gaming. Ill go with the 6 cores for everyday use, rather than the 1 fps difference in games
a b B Homebuilt system
June 27, 2012 5:53:54 PM

ibower, I got a nice AM3+ board in anticipation of Bulldozer, and that turned into a sucking buzzkill; none of them would be a worthy upgrade over my overclocked 970BE. While I'm hopeful that Piledriver will indeed be worthwhile (even if slower than Intel), if it isn't I'll be planning an Intel build almost immediately.
I also have a prior-generation hyperthreaded dual core, the i5-650. While it is a decent backup machine, I am inclined to agree than four real cores will often be better than hyperthreaded cores. Even so, the superiority of Intel's SB over AMD in IPC may make that no longer true.
I think you'd be better served by getting a decent Intel mobo, preferably a Z68 or Z77 in anticipation of future overclocking. Even if you had to start out with a "lowly" Pentium, it should still outperform your current 925, especially in games.
Keep your GTX480 for now. Wait until the GTX660 is out before deciding on a graphics upgrade, either to that or to a HD78x0. Any of those should run just fine on your PSU.

Edit: Nice analysis from geofelt on multiple cards. I agree with every point.
June 27, 2012 6:37:30 PM

I figured my GPU should be fine for a while, considering I max out all of my games and never dip below 45fps, and I only play on one 1080p display so I shouldn't need to upgrade for at LEAST a year. That being said if I see a GTX 480 go on sale in the future (its already 200) I'm not sure ill be able to resist buying it. Even if SLI is impractical, causes more noise and causes problems in some games, theirs something about having 2 cards in my computer that is extremely appealing. And SLI can sort of increase the lifespan of a card, and it is a cheaper alternative. Instead of paying $400 to get a new card I could potentially pay 150-200 to add another 480 and (hopefully) keep my computer maxing out games.

and jtt283, its probably a good idea to put off buying a motherboard until piledriver is released. And if it is a huge flop I'll try to go the Intel way also. But for now I think i'm going to stick with AMD and get a 975BE because I Already have a board and I can't bring myself to buy anything below a quad core (Even if i3s beat AMD in gaming, I would still prefer the quad core)
June 27, 2012 6:39:52 PM

Best answer selected by ibower12.
a b B Homebuilt system
June 27, 2012 8:14:14 PM

obubdeno said:
No...for overall computer usage, not everything comes down to gaming. Ill go with the 6 cores for everyday use, rather than the 1 fps difference in games


It's more like 10fps. Honestly an i3 will beat a FX6100 in a lot of things, not just gaming.
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