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Possible upgrades (and is it worth it?)

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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June 22, 2012 7:46:42 AM

I have just upgraded from an ageing Q6700 to an i5-3570K and have seen a reasonable improvement in benchmarks with my HD6970.

My questions are:

1. What would be a worthwhile upgrade from a 6970 with a budget of £300 - £400?
2. Whilst a monitor runs at 60Hz, is there really any advantage being able to pump more fps than 60 (besides having headroom and some future-proofing)?
3. I run at 1920x1200 with no real prospect of going for a larger (higher res) monitor. I know some of the really high end cards only shine at higher resolutions, so this would need to be a consideration (that I'm never going to run higher than 1920x1200).
4. An nVidia card with the ability to run PhysX would be nice, but is there much of a handicap of framerates using PhysX? I looked into running a cheap nVidia card for PhysX only but it requires far too much trouble to get it working with an ATi GPU.

Thanks

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June 22, 2012 8:02:08 AM

a 6970 is good. Anything else above that will be future proofing. Depends on you. If you don't care about wasting money, get a gtx 670, but I wouldn't.

You can crossfire your 6970 if you have your mobo to support it and your power supply provides enough wattage.

If I were you, I'd just keep the money or crossfire the 6970
June 22, 2012 8:58:42 AM

1) Nothing really worth while. With the declining prices of the the 6000 series, I'm with mazchazo on the CFX set up.
2) The only conceivable advantage I can think of would be V-Sync/Tearing. If you're pumping out more than 60FPS without any dips below, you can have V-Sync on to reduce tearing. But if you already have V-Sync on and getting more than 60FPS, there is no advantage. It's outperforming the monitor.
3) this ties in with two, but if you were to upgrade to a 120Hz refresh rate monitor, and had a GPU to put out that frame rate, you would get a slightly smoother experience, as well as the ability for 3D. Personally, I'd stick with the current monitor.
4) If you don't have a dedicated PhysX card, there can be a pretty substantial hit, depending on much the PhysX is used and how powerful the card is. I don't think the GTX 670/680 would have much of a problem with PhysX, but then again, it's compute logic is pretty hindered. Personally, I don't think enough games support it to make a worthwhile investment.
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a b U Graphics card
June 22, 2012 9:51:01 AM

Yeah. Any upgrade from the 6970 is nice but not needed. Unless you want to play ultra on most graphically demanding games.

If you still do not have SSD, then that is where some of the money can be spent to get better experience.
June 22, 2012 12:23:56 PM

Thanks for the replies. Looks like it's best to stick with what I've got. May OC the processor a little as it's currently stock.

I've considered an SSD but the size/cost would only make it viable for the boot drive. My games are stored on a 500GB HDD which I'm just about to upgrade to a 1TB newer SATA 6Gb/s drive. The games are really the only thing I would consider spending money to improve, and SSD for just the OS doesn't really interest me as the machine is fairly snappy as it is.
a b U Graphics card
June 22, 2012 12:33:13 PM

OS boot is nothing. It is once per usage. But with games it's totally different. A 128GB will fit the OS & up to 5-6 games depending. If the games are installed in the SSD, the start up times are very fast & makes reloading very snappy when your character dies! :)  The time when you want to get back to the games really fast is where the SSD truly shines...
June 24, 2012 12:39:47 AM

nomisco said:
Thanks for the replies. Looks like it's best to stick with what I've got. May OC the processor a little as it's currently stock.

I've considered an SSD but the size/cost would only make it viable for the boot drive. My games are stored on a 500GB HDD which I'm just about to upgrade to a 1TB newer SATA 6Gb/s drive. The games are really the only thing I would consider spending money to improve, and SSD for just the OS doesn't really interest me as the machine is fairly snappy as it is.


There isn't much comparison to an SSD. It's faster in every respect, and noticeably too. My first SSD was an 60GB OCz Agility 3, and ever since I've never gone back. I now use SSD's in my netbook, laptop, and gaming desktop (Crucial M4 64GB, Corsair Force F60A, and OCz Agility 3 repsectively). There is a lot that an HDD is holding back.

If you aren't ready to make the jump, I would suggest at least getting a SSD cache to augment the performance of your HDD. You'd only a small 32-64GB SSD, which are very affordable.
June 24, 2012 2:53:29 PM

I think I may get an SSD for the OS and Origin (that means BF3 should load much quicker). Until the price drops further though my Steam games ~600GB will be stuck on a mechanical HDD :( 
June 25, 2012 8:25:19 AM

randomkid said:
Yeah. Any upgrade from the 6970 is nice but not needed. Unless you want to play ultra on most graphically demanding games.

If you still do not have SSD, then that is where some of the money can be spent to get better experience.


He runs on a 1920 res. the 6970 runs max on BF3 and ready for future games. What more does he need?

I'd keep the 6970 and crossfire it when games become more demanding.

Yeah SSD is worth it. You could think about liquid cooling, since you have the money to do so. This means quieter computing, OC your graphics card, cpu with good temps. Consider liquid cooling.
June 25, 2012 5:51:27 PM

I actually just removed a dual radiator setup when I dumped the Q6700. When I went from a 4890 to the 6970 I was sent the wrong block, but because I thought the card was quite quiet, I didn't bother getting the right one, just left it on air. I also couldn't be bothered with the hassle of getting another block for the new CPU (though I'm running a Freezer 7 Pro which does the job).

So in the end I bought a cheap Sandforce 120GB SSD (awaiting delivery) for the OS, BF3 and some Steam games. I found some discussion on how to create links for some steam games and so don't need the whole Steam folder on the SSD. Thanks for your advice.

Steam game discussion http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/262456-14-guide-tra...
June 26, 2012 9:41:19 AM

nomisco said:
I actually just removed a dual radiator setup when I dumped the Q6700. When I went from a 4890 to the 6970 I was sent the wrong block, but because I thought the card was quite quiet, I didn't bother getting the right one, just left it on air. I also couldn't be bothered with the hassle of getting another block for the new CPU (though I'm running a Freezer 7 Pro which does the job).

So in the end I bought a cheap Sandforce 120GB SSD (awaiting delivery) for the OS, BF3 and some Steam games. I found some discussion on how to create links for some steam games and so don't need the whole Steam folder on the SSD. Thanks for your advice.

Steam game discussion http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/262456-14-guide-tra...


That's useful to me lol. GJ going with an SSD, you can't go wrong there.
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