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Worth upgrading my rig?

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July 30, 2012 9:45:48 AM

Hey guys as the name suggests, was wondering if you think its worth upgrading my current rig.
At the moment im running:

i7 950 @ 4.5ghz cooled with corsair h80
patriot sector 7 2000mhz 24gb ram
1 gb 6950 graphics card oced
msi x58 mobo

I was thinking of buying a 7950 at first, then i thought ill just run two 6950s instead. And change the cpu to a i7 970 or even 990x since ive seen quite a few for around 200-400 and 500-700 dollars respectively. Would it be better to do that or to upgrade to a whole new system like ivy bridge?

I use my computer for allrounders, but mostly gaming.

Cheers guys

More about : worth upgrading rig

July 30, 2012 9:49:16 AM

This topic has been moved from the section CPU & Components to section Systems by Mousemonkey
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July 30, 2012 1:27:27 PM

got a SSD? if not get one of them instead, or as well as.

i tend to upgrade when i start getting stuttering or fps drops. with your setup you should not be having that happen, making an upgrade a bit pointless. - unless you have money to burn.
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July 30, 2012 2:20:20 PM

hilltopmonk said:
got a SSD? if not get one of them instead, or as well as.

i tend to upgrade when i start getting stuttering or fps drops. with your setup you should not be having that happen, making an upgrade a bit pointless. - unless you have money to burn.



That i do not have! I was actually looking into buying a 128gb patriot wildfire for 185 dollars. As for the other upgrades i guess you're right, the upgrade would be pointless, just bf3 tends to have sudden frame drops for a split second, unless the gpu is oced via afterburner. Another 6950 would solve that. Do you think its worth getting an i7 970 though? seen quite a few for cheap so was wondering if that would be a good investment.
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July 30, 2012 2:30:00 PM

I suggest getting another 6950. SSDs are honestly in my opinion for those who are impatient. Me, I don't mind waiting a couple extra seconds. And I'm always down for the better Graphics.
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July 30, 2012 2:49:58 PM

This is for gaming, right? What's your resolution? In general I think you should upgrade if you're dissatisfied with your framerate or settings or whatever. But how you should best upgrade depends on your resolution. For 1080p @ 60Hz, a second 1GB 6950 could be a good choice. But I think I'd probably wait a little while and grab a next-gen card at a lower price. 1GB of VRAM is the past, not the future, and the 6950 is still plenty fast for me for now.

(Your processor is fine for now--gaming performance is far more affected by GPU than CPU anyway.)
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July 30, 2012 3:00:53 PM

The computer is used for gaming 50% of the time, photoshop, video editing and the normal stuff like fb, hotmail, uni work the other 50% of the time. Yea i was considering a new 6950, my current one plays all games at 1080p without a problem, apart from bf3 which lags from time to time (no biggie). Im running 1080p 60hz via hdmi. But yea im leaning more towards another 6950, few 2gb ones on ebay for 150 second hand.

I did a bit of an experiment earlier and underclocked my cpu to 1.5 ghz, played bf3 and it made no difference what so ever, still 100% playable on max settings. Did the same test on gta4, however that was not playable at all on 1.5ghz. Anti analysing and msaa was on max for both games, guess the cpu malinly focuses on artificial intelligence than everything else. Either that or bf3 wasnt coded to utilise the cpu
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July 30, 2012 3:15:59 PM

if your getting an SSD id say Samsung 830, damn fast. - same price as the competition.

i'd wait for the graphics card price drop that'll be happening soon if i were you.

as for the cpu, no point unless your running 3 way sli or xfire.
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July 30, 2012 3:58:33 PM

Well if you wait another few weeks (probably), the next round of nvidia mid-range cards will be out--the 650 and the 660 Ti. They may be great cards, and they'll also probably cause some downward price pressure on the 7850 and 7870, which are already good cards and pretty decent values (especially the 7850).

For comparing current cards, it's generally more useful to use the anandtech benchmark I linked above than the Tom's hierarchy chart. Nothing wrong with the chart, but it's less detailed. (Note though that the anandtech benchmark may be based on an older set of drivers, which means that new cards may be better than that bench has them at.)
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July 31, 2012 10:32:19 AM

I saw a few benchmarks using the anandtech benchmark on the 7850 and 7870, they seem to have very similar fps to my current 6950, also has a similar price tag. Another 6950 seems to be a better investment at the moment. But i will wait another month and see if anything changes. As for now ill purchase that SSD. 120gb should be enough you reckon? Just for the operating systems and mainstream programs (not games)
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July 31, 2012 11:55:16 AM

im willing to spend 200 max on a ssd, ive seen a few from new egg but the bad reviews turn me off. Alot of people seem to have problems with the ssd's firmware etc, rather purchase it retail so i can return it quick and easy if i have problems. Leaning towards the wildfire due to its high benchmark score, but Samsung has caught my eye as well, i also love intels reliability on their ssds, Mushkin offer very cheap prices on their ssds, i saw a 240gb for 200 on amazon and new egg. Might do a little more research before i pick one, but i have been wanting the wildfire for a while. Honestly ive confused myself
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July 31, 2012 12:26:35 PM

Depends on how many games you play and how much media you have sitting around, but you COULD conceivably just have a single 240 GB SSD, or that and whatever ancient hard drive you have from an old build for music. 240 is enough for a fair number of games, especially if you're using steam or similar and are wiling to uninstall old stuff you're not playing any more.

Also, I'll make a point they've made in SSD reviews here--the biggest difference is between HAVING an SSD at all and not having one. The gap in performance among the "good" SSDs isn't that large as a ratio, but it's also not that much in terms of real-world time--we're talking fractions of a second for most daily uses. So I think benchmarks are less important for SSDs than for GPUs and CPUs, where the performance gaps show up in game frames.
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July 31, 2012 2:18:49 PM

@verbalizer - Yea i know exactly what you mean, guess its good to have that extra space if you need it though. like those one or 2 games you frequently play

@motorneuron - You are absoloutly right, i didnt consider how much those benchmarks would mean in real time. Ill probs go for storage space over benchmark score in that case. Cheers for the input guys!

Ive asked too many questions, hard to determine the best answer since i have a fair few good answers.
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Best solution

July 31, 2012 2:35:41 PM

I realize I failed to answer the original question. Are you gaming at 1080p? Adding a second 1GB 6950 would destroy any current game, and if you got a used one (there aren't that many new 1GB models that I can find) you could probably get it for around $150--that's a big upgrade for a low price. Since the video card is the biggest determinant of game performance, that's probably your best bet if you want to upgrade right now.

If you're above 1080p or are just itching to get a new card, the 7950 is a great choice. But I don't think I would recommend getting one right now. Things may change, both in pricing and in terms of what seems like the best card, when the 660 Ti comes out. Better to wait if that's your plan.

Meanwhile, your processor is fine; no point in upgrading that yet for game performance. It will make virtually no difference, especially given your overclock.
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July 31, 2012 3:37:57 PM

motorneuron said:
I realize I failed to answer the original question. Are you gaming at 1080p? Adding a second 1GB 6950 would destroy any current game, and if you got a used one (there aren't that many new 1GB models that I can find) you could probably get it for around $150--that's a big upgrade for a low price. Since the video card is the biggest determinant of game performance, that's probably your best bet if you want to upgrade right now.

If you're above 1080p or are just itching to get a new card, the 7950 is a great choice. But I don't think I would recommend getting one right now. Things may change, both in pricing and in terms of what seems like the best card, when the 660 Ti comes out. Better to wait if that's your plan.

Meanwhile, your processor is fine; no point in upgrading that yet for game performance. It will make virtually no difference, especially given your overclock.


Yes i am, 1920x1080p. I might get into 3D gaming soon as well, invest in a 3d monitor. But yea thats what i was thinking too, just add on another 6950, cause right now my 6950 runs everything on max settings just fine. Just had issues with bf3 here and there when it comes to massive explosions and smokey screens. Ive found 2 cards on ebay for 150 dollars which are 2gb 6950s. 750watt should be sufficient to run dual crossfire...shouldnt it? Even though its powering a overclocked cpu?

Sorry about all the questions, clearly im noob at whats the best and latest.
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July 31, 2012 3:38:12 PM

Best answer selected by azed3000.
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July 31, 2012 4:07:01 PM

750 should be sufficient if your PSU is a good brand and if you aren't OCing the 6950s much. (The OC on the processor won't be a big power draw, relative to the two video cards.) 2x 6950s should handle 1080p @ 120 Hz well, too. Be sure to check game-by-game compatibility though; some people prefer nvidia for 3D.

(Also, as you probably know, you can crossfire the 1GB 6950 with a 2GB 6950, but the 2GB card will only use half its memory, so you still get effectively 2x 1GB. So just get whatever you can find for cheap.)
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August 1, 2012 12:19:43 PM

Alright that settles it, another 6950 and an ssd it is! Oh i didnt know that, thought it would use the full 2gb, ahh well cant complain, still would be pretty decent. Ive heard the nvidia was really good in 3D gaming, even the old gtx580. Anyways cheers for the help guys! appreciate it a lot.
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August 1, 2012 12:28:39 PM

haha my bad, i meant previous generation, definitely not old!
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