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Upgrade help please??

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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May 29, 2012 7:26:51 PM

Hi all,

I had my workstation built about 4 years ago now for £1000 but as I do a lot of intensive modelling/rendering (2D and possibly animation) I am thinking it is about time to upgrade some specs, I am thinking without spending a fortune its probably going to be the GPU, RAM and I would also like some advice on whether it is worth/safe to overclock my existing system??

What I am in essence trying to improve is rendering speed and being able to render and multi-task on the likes of Photoshop etc.

Here are the details:

Approximate Purchase Date: Anytime this is solved within the next 3 months.

Budget Range: £500 (but obviously it is all about value for money.)

System Usage: 3D Modelling/Rendering (No gaming whatsoever really)

So here is what I already have:

- Case: Black Trident case + 2 front USB
- Processor (CPU): Intel® Core™2 Quad Q8200 (4 X 2.33GHz) 1333MHz FSB/4MB Cache
- Motherboard: ASUS® P5Q WS: DDR2, SATAII, PCI-e x16, 1 PCI, 2 x PCI-e x1
- Memory (RAM): 4GB CORSAIR XMS2 800MHz (2x2GB)
- Graphics Card: 512MB QUADRO FX1700 PCI Express + 2 x DVI + HD-OUT
- 2nd Graphics Card: NONE
- 1st Hard Disk: HITACHI 1TB 32mb SATA 7200rpm HDD
- 2nd Hard Disk: MAXTOR 320GB SERIAL ATA II HARD DRIVE WITH 8MB CACHE (7,200rpm)
- Power Supply: 450W Quiet Dual Rail PSU + 120mm Case Fan
- Processor Cooling: 22dBA TRIPLE COPPER HEATPIPE CPU COOLER
- OS: Windows 7 64bit


Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Any really, as long as suitable for UK.

Overclocking: Would like to yes if this is worth doing/ not going to kill my hardware.

SLI or Crossfire: Not entirely sure what this means tbh sorry, from what I can gather this would be using two GPU's?? Does this mean I can run my original quadro & another as well??

Monitor Resolution: 2 X 1920x1080

Additional Comments:
- Reducing power consumption is bonus but not critical at all.
- Any general advice on what might be best to upgrade would be really helpful.
- Am I right in thinking my maximum RAM is 2GB per slot totaling 8GB?
- Again, advice on overclocking would be appreciated.
- Advice on whether to stick to QUADRO for my 3D work, or whether now times have changed is it worth me switching to a gaming card for better value?? I do run a lot of AUTODESK software, I think they prefer nvidia??
- I presume there is no point in upgrading the motherboard or CPU as this would be too costly??

Thanks in advance for all of your help.

More about : upgrade

May 30, 2012 10:36:05 AM

Hi there.

The CPU could do with alittle overclocking to improve overall performance. Overclock to 2.6 or 2.8GHz and you will notice a huge increase in performance. Make sure to check temps before sticking with the overclock.

As for RAM you could do with an extra 2GB considering you use photoshop.
As for the GPU i suggest this card.

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

However if you really want a HUGE increase in performance upgrade the CPU cooler and overclock to 3.2GHz, upgrade Powersupply to good 500-600w. And stick with the graphics card i added in the link. The biggest problem here tough is probably the CPU. Its quad which is very good however its only at 2.3GHz so a overclock will make everything run flawlessly. Hope i helped
May 30, 2012 6:29:24 PM

Sorry i forgot to answer your question about Crossfire & SLI.

SLI is when you have two nvidia cards running together.
Crossfire is the same but with two ATI (AMD) Cards.

SLI meaning "Scalable Link Interface", a small cable connects directly to both GPU's for extra performance. Instead of one GPU Processing frame after frame, 1 GPU processes 1 frame and the other processes the next, giving each card that split second intervill between each frame so overall each single GPU does not have to do so much processing so you get better Frames per second, or FPS. Usually you only benefit using SLI or crossfire if your a gamer but even for your usages it could come in handy. Hopefully that was understandable & helpfull.
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June 1, 2012 11:21:49 AM

I agree completely with wonder44, and if you do intensive 3d rendering, i would HIGHLY reccomed a better cooler, and overclock. Plus, a Vapor-X/IceQ/Direct Cu (these are all additional cooling factors made by the respective vendors- Sapphire/HIS/Asus) Version of the HD 5770/6770 would suit you better (MUCH cooler, and only $10 more). Keep in mind- The HD 6770 is essentially a repacked 5770, hardly any difference. Heres a link: ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... )
June 3, 2012 5:29:39 PM

Great help and advice from both of you thanks!

kau1997, regarding you recommending a cooler, any advice on that, i have a 120mm at the moment?

I'm looking at getting the i7 2700k and overclocking that to 4.5ghz, a z77 mobo and 16gb ram. Been told that my 450w psu should be ok, do ypu agree with this?
July 13, 2012 3:07:53 PM

Real sorry for late reply dude. Im not great with cooling, but i dont really think your processor needs to be liquidcooled or overclocked, its not gonna bottleneck. i Have a sandybridge i7-2600, works like a charm. i was talking about OCing the GPU. You Can, OC procssor, it will DEFINITELY HELP but whatever, your call. Make sure if its air cooling theres like 1-2 fans pulling air in, and 1-3 fans pushing it out. Keep it in an OPENISH space, not bottled in, its gonne heat you whole room up. Ive shifted my CPU and have seen it go from 80 to 69-75 under load. NEVER compromise on PSU, get a good brand, my opinion , a 520W SEASONIC or 600/650/700W Corsair. NO COOLERMASTER. Seasonic is THE best, my 350w psu (SS0 gives over 400W.A Coolermaster 600W failed to get over 450W without blowing up. (dotn believe me, google). If ya wanna save money, i head an i5-2500k is excellent as well.
!