Upgrade - $350 - 450 budget

Approximate Purchase Date: e.g.: with in the next month

Budget Range: 350-450 Before Rebates; Before Shipping

System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming, watching movies (Netflix), surfing the internet

Are you buying a monitor: No

Parts to Upgrade: CPU, GPU, RAM

Do you need to buy OS: No

Preferred Website for Parts:

Location: Kansas City area

Parts Preferences: None

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080, 1920x1200

Additional Comments: Dual Monitors - One VGA/HDMI; Second DVI/VGA/HDMI

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: Some system lag lately while streaming with netflix or watching a movie. Also want to add maybe a year or two more to the life of the PC and then build a new system.

AMDs Phenom II X4 series is reaching its EOL time between now and end of the year. With prices dropping I thought now might be a good time to pick up a little boost. Currently my system can handle all the games I play with streaming netflix with lowered settings, games playing Skyrim, Diablo 3, SC2, GW2, WoW. If I am not doing anything else other than gaming I can avg fairly decent fps in the games listed. I have searched but haven't found much for comments on upgrades from the Athlon x3 440 to anything else, if I missed something please point me in that direction.

For the CPU I was looking at --
AMD Phenom II X4 975 Black Edition

With a Hyper 212 EVO for the cooler

Memory, planning on using is another set of
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)

With these in mind I am stuck on a GPU, mainly what will bottleneck with the 975, and what will work with my current PSU.
I have looked at the 7850 as an option.

Over all question, Would it be a better course to wait and set the money aside and build a new system say in Jan/Feb 2013 or upgrade now and with longer for a new system. I want to thank ahead of time to anyone that takes time to look at this post and their time for commenting.

Current system - (providing full list to give a full understand of what I have and allow for all options to be looked at)

Rosewill CHALLENGER Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower

AMD Athlon II X3 440


G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)

SAPPHIRE Vapor-X 100283VX-2L Radeon HD 5770 (Juniper XT) 1GB 128-bit GDDR5

OCZ StealthXStream OCZ700SXS 700W ATX12V / EPS12V

Western Digital Caviar Black WD5001AALS 500GB

ASUS 24X DVD Burner

First Monitor - SAMSUNG S23A550H

Second Monitor - SAMSUNG 2333HD
6 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about upgrade budget
  1. You may have some software issues for the netflix lag, such as your download speed. A new cpu may not help that much. I would clean up your hardrive first, and be sure there's no stuff running in the background slowing you down. Sorry I can't help you there, but a fresh install of windows might help if it's been awhile.
  2. Have you given that rana an overclock and attempt to unlock the dormant core/possible l3 cache?
  3. +1 to o1die. Suggest you open 'resource monitor' on your second screen and watch netflix on the first. when you get lagsburst look at CPU consumption, look at netork arrival rate, look at service time on disk requests. If the disk service time is spiking into serious 30+ mils or the queue depth is greater than two or three then consider a second disk in raid 0.

    Also look at what processes are running at the time of the spikes, maybe something that downloads fixes is getting aggressive while you are watching netflix and comsuming your net bandwidth.

    Does pausing netflix at the begining and letting it buffer for a while make the stutters go away? Then run a few network speed tests and complain to your ISP if you are not getting the bandwidth you need.


    For gaming, your current system is nice. The 7850 would be an excellent huge upgrade over the already nice 5770. Then if you ever went to new MB/CPU you could reuse video. Not sure I'd upgrade the CPU in your current MB. This ref says you will not see that much improvement in the real world (number of tiers difference),3106-5.html
    Instead you could play with OC'ing current CPU a bit and later goto new MB/CPU.

    Grabbing another 4GB is cheap and won't hurt, especially if you tend to have several things running. For single gameplay 4GB and 8GB seem to play the same.


    Edit: Are you hardwired to your router or over wireless? "If using a wireless connection, move your router to a new location to improve signal strength. Walls and other electronic devices in the home may interfere with your wireless signal. You also might want to try changing the wireless channel your router uses, as this can avoid interference and boost signal strength."
  4. Sorry, I wrote my post very early this morning and should of been more clear. It's a performance issue with in games and with the system itself i believe. I will be streaming on the second monitor and playing on the main monitor, games like Skyrim and when netflix is loading new content is where I'm experiencing the most issues. Also another example, can be watching something in iTunes or Windows Media Player and it would be worse. During the last GW2 BWE had a slight issue also with that game.

    As for what things could be running, there are some background programs, examples - Steam (Skyrim), and the normal programs that run after a fresh start up.

    The connection to the computer I watch netflix on is hardwired, my laptop is the only thing wireless on the network and network is password protected to prevent unknown users.

    I haven't ran the resource monitor while runing game and netflix/wmp at the same time, and I will this evening.

    I have seen the CPU Hierarchy Chart and know the step up is only one tier.
    No I haven't tried to unlock dormant core/possible l3 cache. Should I look at maybe trying that? even if I tried it would still need to upgrade the CPU Fan, which is fine.

    As for the GPU, 7850 with my current CPU (AMD Athlon II X3 440), would it bottleneck? I do not believe I read somewhere it would but with it be a 'budget' cpu it might and want to make sure.

    Again sorry for the lack of information, I thought I typed it all out, but typing @5am not always a great idea.
  5. Best answer
    zinzeiz said:
    Sorry ... for the lack of information, I thought I typed it all out, but typing @5am not always a great idea.

    lol, your post was information dense. Normal post is "my computer is broken why won't you guys help me ?" "What's broken?" "The computer".

    Edit: If you decide to get the 7850 it will make your X3 440 the frame rate limit for most games. Here is a good ref showing that,2619-9.html However, the frame rate limit you hit will be above the playable limit, so you'll get teh combination of playable frame rates and full eye-candy. Then when you upgrade CPU & MB you'll have excellent video card. If you decide to stay with 5770 that's an outstanding card too. (( Lots of talk about Trinity -- your X3 with 5770 kills the fastest trinity without breathing hard. ))
  6. Best answer selected by zinzeiz.
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