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What would be the recommended Upgrades/changes to make to my PC

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June 28, 2012 6:28:10 AM

Hey! I built a pc last year for gaming and I was somewhat on a budget so I bought a cheap bare bones kit that I thought look well and bought some components off to the side to add to it.. well as it turns out its not as powerful as I anticipated and its been a year so I am thinking of upgrading but when I took another look at the full specs of the pc it seems that my system might be limited in multiple ways so that led me here to ask if it is limited enough to effect my gaming performance and if it is what would be some recommended changes I could do.. I was thinking of Upgrading my GPU and PSU but I dont want to invest alot of money in this system if it wont be worth it.. id just rather save up and make a new system for that matter.. My budget for total upgrades is 200 - 300$ (cheaper is better cause I have 200$ in my wallet at the moment and my jobs only a summer job {still in school :( }) anyways thanks in advance! (system specs are below)

CPU - Phenom II x4 840
Mobo - MSI GF615M-P33 (full specs -> http://www.msi.com/product/mb/GF615M-P33.html#/?div=Det...)
HD - all i know is its at 5900rpm and 1 TB (i dont mind it being 5900)
GPU - XFX 5570
PSU - Diablotek 420W
RAM - 8gb at i think is 800mhz DDR3 (max speed support by mobo is like 1333)

More about : recommended upgrades make

a c 118 B Homebuilt system
June 28, 2012 7:00:53 AM

Well the video card was weak from day one, thats where the problem was.

As far as upgrading, don't forget you can always take your new video card and put it into a new system. Here is what I could do, and yes, the performance difference with this card will be a whole new world for your 840 Propus. (Although you'll probably want to upgrade that some time in the future, as those were the Phenom IIs that didn't have an L3 cache, and should have properly been called Athlon IIs)

Video card- Very decent, with massive overclocking potential $225 after mail in rebate Radeon 7850
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power Supply upgrade $59.99 after mail in rebate:
Corsair CX600. 5 year warranty and ready to follow you with your other upgrades
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


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June 28, 2012 8:04:16 AM

nekulturny said:
Well the video card was weak from day one, thats where the problem was.

As far as upgrading, don't forget you can always take your new video card and put it into a new system. Here is what I could do, and yes, the performance difference with this card will be a whole new world for your 840 Propus. (Although you'll probably want to upgrade that some time in the future, as those were the Phenom IIs that didn't have an L3 cache, and should have properly been called Athlon IIs)

Video card- Very decent, with massive overclocking potential $225 after mail in rebate Radeon 7850
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power Supply upgrade $59.99 after mail in rebate:
Corsair CX600. 5 year warranty and ready to follow you with your other upgrades
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Thanks for your answer! (still going to wait for others too see all other responses) I also wondered if you can answer where could I get an upgraded CPU for am AM3 board.. As I looked on Newegg and what not and they have some nice CPUs but I was in specific looking for a 1090t or 1100t which is supposedly both deactivated stock on newegg and tigerdirect.. Would a Phenom II of the 900 line up do alright or by the time my 840 is out of its time should I just make a new system?
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a c 118 B Homebuilt system
June 28, 2012 8:47:24 AM

You're welcome.

Honestly it depends. The lacking L3 cache only really affects gaming performance in CPU intensive games, really it would depend on what games you're playing (The difference can be anywhere from 5 to 20 percent).

I'd see about overclocking the 840 propus and see if you're happy enough with the performance from the video card upgrade before throwing money into the CPU. As far as 1090T/1100Ts they'd be great to have, but almost impossible to find these days, as Phenom IIs were discontinued early this year. Even though the 840 has a locked multiplier you should be able to push it up a little bit via the reference clock. a CPU cooler would be a hot idea, CoolerMaster 212 Evos priced at $30 from Newegg is a decent investment, and its also something that can be used again, as the cooler comes with adapters for both Intel and AMD CPUs of many kinds.

There are some quad core Denebs left at newegg, if you wanted to get one, I'd get the Phenom II x4 965 Deneb model, priced at $120. Like I said, it really depends on what kinds of games you're getting into if its a worthwhile upgrade.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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a c 118 B Homebuilt system
June 28, 2012 9:01:58 AM

Taking a closer look at the motherboard, actually, I wouldn't recommend putting a Deneb on it. The board doesn't support the 125 watt TDP, at least its not on the CPU support list that I can tell.

Which means, you'll most likely want a new motherboard. I would suggest a quad core CPU for a modern system in 2012 the reason I bring this up is because Intel actually makes better CPUs than AMD, the problem is they cost a lot more.

You'd be looking at about $180-220 for an Intel Quad i5 CPU depending on which model, and $120 ish for a motherboard of respectable quality. Or alternatively, a Phenom II 965 for $120, and a decent board for $100. I don't care what people say (we get a lot of AMD vs Intel fighting on these forums), neither of the rigs in my sig do anything special that the other can't.
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 28, 2012 1:59:18 PM

I agree with the 7850/CX600 combo. Your GPU is really the weak point in the setup you have now. The GTX 660 is supposed to be releasing...sometime...so there may be shifts in the market due to that.

Quote:
You'd be looking at about $180-220 for an Intel Quad i5 CPU depending on which model, and $120 ish for a motherboard of respectable quality. Or alternatively, a Phenom II 965 for $120, and a decent board for $100. I don't care what people say (we get a lot of AMD vs Intel fighting on these forums), neither of the rigs in my sig do anything special that the other can't.


If you consider replacing the CPU and mobo completely, I would go Intel. An i3 and motherboard will run you the same price as an AMD quad core setup, but it will drastically outperform it. The i3s can outperform even the Phenom II X6s; AMD's cores lose clock-to-clock when compared with Sandy Bridge.
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a c 118 B Homebuilt system
June 28, 2012 4:18:05 PM


That I don't agree with, i3s do not "drastically" outperform Phenom IIs, not even in gaming they perform about the same really. The i5 2400 in my sig doesn't drastically outperform my Phenom II. i3s game a little better (1 to 6 FPS at stock to stock) only because most games only use 2 cores. Phenom II quads and 6 cores smoke i3s in programs that are coded to use more than 2 cores. Not to mention an i3 will fall flat on its face in BF3 multiplayer, which is currently one game coded to use more than 2 cores, however like I said previously, this is 2012, a quad core is the way to go, not only for things other than gaming, but in case someone else makes a game like BF3 again.

Clock to clock is completely irrelevant. CPUs run at what they need to run at. Comparing clock to clock in benches with 2 different CPUs designed completely different is "grasping at straws".
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a c 118 B Homebuilt system
June 28, 2012 4:32:37 PM

i3 vs Phenom II x4 at 3.7 (they can go to 4.2-4.4GHZ btw)
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/289?vs=362

Stock 1100T vs i3 (1100Ts can overclock as well)
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/289?vs=203

Bottom line in terms of actual gaming experience is no noticeable difference. And any application that is going to use more than 2 cores the i3 will be eating dust.

As far as clock to clock performance. Again, nobody is going to downclock their processor below the stock settings except someone running benches. You can't overclock an i3 anyway, so down is the only way you can go with it, who would downlclock their processor to play a game? You go up, not down lol.,
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 28, 2012 5:09:00 PM

Considering Intel's "Low-end" dual core CPU still beats the X6 in most of the benchmarks overall, all of the gaming benchmarks, and is extremely close to almost every single work benchmark is seriously embarrassing for AMD.

Quote:
Comparing clock to clock in benches with 2 different CPUs designed completely different is "grasping at straws".

Actually, it isn't. The reason this is a valid argument is because almost all applications take serious advantage of Intel's core design/architecture. Say all you want about dual vs. quad/six core CPUs, but the Intel Sandy Bridge architecture is a very compelling reason to go Intel, even for a dual core.

If the OP is intending to play BF3 quite heavily, then by all means, invest in a quad+ core CPU. For any other games (and many other uses), an i3 will do the job very capably.
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a c 118 B Homebuilt system
June 28, 2012 5:11:52 PM

Eh, I don't care that much as its not my computer and I'm not the one that has to live with it. But I'm sorry, comparing clock to clock is silly. Yes, it gives you a look at the architectures, but it has absolutely no purpose for comparing what the products can do at their factory recommending settings (or higher if the CPU is capable) Thats like putting Mike Tyson in the ring and telling him "even though you have 2 hands, I'm tying one behind your back, you can only punch the guy with one". It might be amusing to look at, it might show you how well Mike Tyson can fight with only one hand, but it really doesn't offer anything useful in terms of real world use.

But I've had this debate too many times on this forum about i3s vs Phenom IIs, all I can say is theres at least 2 members on this forum who have Tech certifications who agree with me (I'll have mine next year). Both of them own Intel as their main rigs.

Bottom line to reiterate buy a quad, this is 2012, and software technology will only catch up to hardware, and its a safe bet you will see more applications (not necessarily games) preferring quad core CPUs. Go for the i5-2400/2500K if you can afford it, if not the Phenom II is a cheaper alternative.

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June 28, 2012 7:17:56 PM

I think at this moment in time I will be running a new GPU and PSU. A margin of 5 - 20% game performance won't be able to convince me to invest in a complete new system YET. Plus I am hoping to see trinity Blow people away and when I make a new system I will just use a trinity APU but I am also tempted into building a FX 8150 rig.. I am a heavy support of AMD so I kinda can't go intel.. Not that intel sucks or anything its just I always liked AMD since I switched and the Price/performance ratio is pretty epic.. But as for what type of games I play ---> I am getting GW2, I play alot of MMOs, I play alot of RPGs and I usually enjoy playing Coop type of games like Borderlands and terraria.. I don't do heavy gaming usually but if I am able to it does certainly help.. I game at 1080p. I mainly built this pc as a way to break into PC gaming but it didnt put that oompf into games as I had to run them at fairly low quality and low res.. But I am looking at a OCed version of that 7850 by saphire that I have heard was good.. its 250$ would that be a good place to start? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... I have heard that its a good card running BF3 at high settings 1080p in the 50+ fps range or would it be better to get a regular edition and overclock it myself?
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a c 118 B Homebuilt system
June 28, 2012 7:33:56 PM

You can go with the 7850 Oc'd if you like, but honestly you could spend less and overclock it yourself with MSI afterburner, and you can overclock it further than that factory OC'd one is overclocked to. Its up to you.

As far as MMOs, no you'll be fine with the 840 propus for awhile..

As far as trinity APUs, they're looking pretty promising, but you'll want to look for PileDriver for a pure gaming rig. (The CPU side of things will be the same architecture) but since you already have a powerful video card in the 7850, you don't need Trinity's onboard graphics. We're at least 10 years off for discrete video cards not being the norm for a gaming system. I'd wait til the end of the year that way you can buy a very decent motherboard and pair it with a PileDriver 8 core (model number as far as I know will be FX-8320s and 8350s)

As far as FX-8150s is concerned, like I said, I'd hold off for Piledriver, but if you did, you'd do well to get an 8120. Its the same CPU as the 8150, its just clocked lower. Since both of them are fully overclockable theres no real advantage to paying more for the 8150.

As far as benches go of AMD v Intel, yes as I said before Intel does make stronger CPUs, what isn't mentioned in the game benchmarks is these sites (like this one) deliberately use games that are known to be more CPU intensive than others, which is understandable, they want to see how well the CPU performs.

The problem is, the vast majority of the 1000s of games on the market are not CPU intensive, and the most limiting factor is almost always going to be your video card. For example, I run Modern Warfare 2 and 3 at 100FPS average with my 550 TI (overclocked 100mhz over), hell my monitor only shows 60FPS (since its a 60hz), thats your typical game, limited by the video card not the processor.
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 28, 2012 8:18:33 PM

I'd go for a GPU upgrade first and then move towards a new platform (general recommendation for all upgrading gamers), since the GPU really makes the biggest difference in terms of perceived performance.

I'd say BF3, Metro, and (still) Crysis (original, not the second) are easily the most demanding games on the market, so if you can handle those to a degree you're comfortable with, you're pretty much good to go.
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a c 118 B Homebuilt system
June 28, 2012 8:34:59 PM

Faif nuff.. Metro 2033 in my opinion is just badly coded, Russian made game lol. The FPS rates are all over the place no matter what CPU or GPU you use. I've benched it myself (I play in 720p- I think, hell I'm sure, I do know I don't have a 1080 monitor) but even so the frame rates are fine in ultra high quality.

Crysis I can't speak for, BF3 I know can use all 8 cores of an FX CPU in multiplayer it actually does a teensy bit better than 2500Ks and 2700Ks for some reason, I know bizzare innut?
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 28, 2012 8:54:18 PM

Yeah, even with my GTX 670 Metro still has issues. Antialiasing just flat out kills the framerate, but I think it's a driver issue. Full DX11 looks pretty amazing, not gonna lie :D 

Crysis still separates some of the smallest hardware differences. As far as benchmarks go, it's one of the most consistent for determining relative performance.

I don't have any issues with BF3 (seeing as I have a 670 and a 2600K @ 4.5 GHz), though I get a ton of lag in MP. I'm pretty sure I need to move off of the USB adapter I have and go dedicated Wifi card.

I think the CPU gets loaded so much in MP because it has to handle the huge amount of network traffic that those big maps require - hell, loading a regular map takes a good 2-5 minutes in Origin before the game loads the map within the BF3 program. I'm not surprised that the CPU takes such a hit...
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June 28, 2012 11:56:01 PM

Best answer selected by amdjsg.
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a c 118 B Homebuilt system
June 29, 2012 6:03:13 AM

Aww dude lol, I wouldn't even bother with Wi-fi if you're a hard core online gamer, go wired. Decent Wireless cards cost too damn much.
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 29, 2012 12:26:23 PM

Yeah, the only problem is I'm at home with my parents over the summer (managed to get a job near home, and I'm in-between undergrad and grad schools). I'll have a wired connection when I get to my new apartment, and I'll probably pull out my old Killer Xeno to help combat the BF3 data as well :) 
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July 1, 2012 1:01:33 AM

Not to keep this post rolling too long but I think i might muster a step up and get this -->http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Reason being that a HUGE storm came through and took power out so I kinda went out and worked yard work all day and I got handsomely paid so now my range is around 300 - 400$ and with that my dad also said if I work around the yard at our house (we have a large yard) he would pay for the PSU itself so the cost of a PSU is out of the equation.. and My friend is building an i5 rig with a 560 ti in a couple weeks and I want to get a card that will completely clear his so I can have some bragging room ;)  so I think I will order a 7870 OCed here in a few days when I cash my checks and do a little more work.. they also say that the 7870 I posted also has more head room to OC so at 310$ I don't think i will be complaining much.. thus next year the only components I will have to Upgrade probably will be the CPU and mobo and maybe fast RAM but other than that I am set. Also I kinda wanted to end on much thanks for everyone one who helped making my decision so Thanks guys I appreciate the help!
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a c 118 B Homebuilt system
July 1, 2012 1:06:39 AM

7870 would be pretty hellacious. Poor friend of yours with the i5. Too bad, he could have bought a Phenom II 965 and spend that extra $100 on a video card like that instead of the 560 TI. A little learning is a dangerous thing, I blame Tom's Hardware, they tell you which CPU is "better", but fail to fill in the rest of the story about gaming performance. :lol: 

Off topic, I know I'm about a year too late, but what the hell is with these Zombies in COD? :o 
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 1, 2012 3:18:08 AM

Yeah, I hate seeing people invest in 2500Ks and have to settle with a 6770 or something. There isn't really a guide that explains how to balance your rig effectively to maximize your budget.

You should try the zombie mod for ArmA II. That game is hard enough in normal mode, but in the mod you start with nothing and have to find equipment and other people. It's difficult and completely random.
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a c 118 B Homebuilt system
July 1, 2012 3:59:50 AM

Yea, and thats why I always seem to end up in a "turf war" with people lol. Its not that I'm an AMD fanboy (although I don't hide the fact that I prefer AMD for my own use), but theres no way I'm recommending a dual core for a modern system in 2012. If Intel didn't have such a huge price gap between their duals and quads they'd be better off.

I guess the guy would do worse than a 560 TI, I just think theres better cards out there for that price range. In my defense for using a 550 TI, I'm not a heavy gamer, I mainly just putz around on Runescape, any video card can handle that. As far as the i5 rig, I take no responsibility for it! Its not my work :lol:  Max had a local shop put that together for him last year, not bad for $700 bucks at the time tho.

I know this is sad, but the zombie thing actually creeped me out a bit. Too many horror movies, or its just COD is the last place I expected to find zombies. I'll check the mod out tho, thanks!

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July 4, 2012 9:00:00 PM

As of now I just ordered off newegg I ended up deciding upon the 7850 as I have read that they have more OC headroom than a 7870 and can easily surpass it if needed so I got a 7850 sapphire stock clock (thought two fans are better than one) and I ended up catching an Antec Green earth 650w PSU on sale so I grabbed it instead as it seems to have overall better specs and was 2$ cheaper than the corsair recommended and has a 50 more watt gain. Thanks for the recommends! I am not to fond of OC but will if I am unsatisfied. As I understand that as long as you don't increase your voltage you really can't harm your card in most circumstances. The most I would push my card is probably around a 1000Mhz core, 1250Mhz Memory which as of reading I believe it can safely hit that clock and without a Volt increase either. What would be a safe clock you guys say or should it be fine at stock?
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 4, 2012 10:24:11 PM

The Antec should serve you well - I had the first generation 650W Earthwatts and it ran smoothly.

As for the OCing, it really depends on the card. Most of them will OC pretty well, but there's no guarantee on any of them.
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July 15, 2012 7:06:47 AM

Ok guys I got all the good and all of them are running fine.. I slightly OCed the 7850 to 1000Mhz core, 1250mhz mem.. it idles at 36C and under stress test (1080p Furmark 15 mins) it runs hottest at 77C. I was wondering if thats a safe temp at 77C underload? I have experienced no artifacting so i think im in the clear and also the temp in my PC that my mobo reads is like 59C is that too hot also.. my CPU is at 48C under load btw.. I just wondered what your opinoins of the temps are.. are they safe? my room is probably around 75F..
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