Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Finally upgrading my CPU

Last response: in CPUs
February 13, 2013 1:52:13 AM

So I've been using a I3 2100 for a while now, and after a disappointing showing in Skyrim I think it's time I threw in a new CPU.

I have a Gigabyte Z68MA-D2H-B3 (rev 1.3) motherboard
EVGA GTX 560 Ti 448 FTW Video Card (NOT UPGRADING)
8 GB Crucial DDR3 1866
OZC Vertex Plus R2 120GB Sata II
WD Caviar Green 1 TB (sata II)
WD Caviar Green 1 TB (sata III)
and a few other goodies, like a 1000W Corsair HX1000 PSU.

I know I can take up to a 3770K (I have the latest Bios, F10) but I am wondering if it would be worth dropping $300+ on that? I do a fair bit of Virtual Box work, and more threads is always better. I am not really feeling the Overclocking vibe any more (although I have done it, just not on any SB/IB CPU's, so it might take some re-learning) If I have to I'll drop a little cash on a cooler. Something that will allow me to hit 4.5 GHz on air (so probably a CM 212+ or is it called the EVO now?)

Can someone help me out and hopefully I won't have any more hiccups. I use my Caviar Green 1 TB Sata III for my steam games.

Thanks in advance!

More about : finally upgrading cpu

a b à CPUs
February 13, 2013 2:12:04 AM

Get the i5-3570k if you want to overclock the cpu, if you don't get the i5-3470.
The motherboard supports both, since you have the latest bios, it will work.
No point in getting the i7 for gaming, just get the i5, better value, same performance in gaming, the HT of the i7 doesn't make a significant gap in gaming, by the contrary.
a b à CPUs
February 13, 2013 2:36:44 AM

The i5-3470 can reach 3.6 ghz with turbo boost, it's not a bad value, most games don't take advantage of the higher clock except a few cases.
February 13, 2013 4:16:17 AM

I'm assuming you don't live near microcenter :( 

No, it would not be worth buying a 3770k for a gaming rig. That's silly.

Get a 3570K or 2500k. I wouldn't pay more than $40 more for a 3570K. Which is more than powerful enough for multi-threaded stuff. Doing a 'fair bit' of virtual box does not mean you need an i7.

There's not much to relearn on overclocking. I would frankly recommend the 2500K, unless you are comfortable with the idea of delidding (maybe not now, maybe in the future) or could get the 3570K for the same price or similar.

It's definitely worth a 1-1.8ghz increase in speed just by overclocking though.

As for cooling, they are all the same... It's not about which cooler to get, it's about price to performance. The H50, Megahalems, H60, H70, H80, Kuhler 620, they all cool just about the same (some might be slightly worse or better, ie the H50 beats the H70 in identical fan configurations, the h80 is better than all but not worth paying much more for since you can usually find high end cooling at the same price, etc).

$20 or less for low end cooling
$20-40 for mid-range
$40-60 for high end cooling.

With that in mind, you'll find a great cooler at a great price if you watch for sales. The LQ320 was $39 on shell shocker a few days ago, it beats the H100, best closed loop out there right now. Now, it's like $100 and a total jip. All high end coolers cool similarly, so you get whichever one is on the right sale (obviously, you might pay like $5, maybe $10 more for phanteks over an hr-02 macho, so dont pay $60 for a macho, but you would for phanteks).

Just read reviews and benches to see what's what, what a heatsink is comparable to. Be aware that all fans on heatsinks below $60 suck - for example the H70 is worse than the H50, but because it comes with 2 loud fans instead of 1 mild fan, it gets better cooling results at stock and then bad review sites say it's a better cooler when it's not.

Also remember peripherals - thermal paste is a great way to boost performance for cheap. you can find 1.5g quantities of high end thermal paste that'll drop temps for you about 5-10*C on a good cooler, which is more than $30 more in a heatsink would do. So understand that maybe a midrange cooler + $5 in PK-3 and $5 for an extra fan, might cool better than a high end cooler that's $20 more expensive.

and that's why the hyper 212 EVO is a terrible cooler, don't buy that. It's basically a lapped 212+ with a louder, more powerful fan (unless you live in europe, in which case its same fan). A hyper 212+ with a 2nd fan and some decent paste will outperform the evo and cost less. If you think "why dont i just buy the evo and get good paste and a 2nd fan', don't, because then you can just afford a mid-range cooler that'll outperform that (evo borders on the price of mid-range cooling with the performance of low end cooling).

What cooler you need is based on your needs and what your chip does. Bin your chip, and buy a cooler after you figure out how good it is (see how low a voltage it can operate at stock, compare to results online, and if its a great chip get a great cooler, if its a bad chip, just get some low end cooler).

No, unfortunately the Santa Clara store closed about 5 months back. Sad times. I like the answer, but I was being a little more modest than I should have been. I use Virtualbox extensively for testing different releases of Linux (my icon is the Ubuntu Circle of Friends, a big tip off) I usually have 3 machines open at once and one core dedicated to the host OS (mostly Windows, but sometimes Debian Mint) So more threads might be a really good thing. I also do a lot of video encoding and database work, and all of that would be much faster with the right amount of horsepower. I game on this machine, but I also do a lot of work on this rig as well.

Having said all of that, I will consider what you and others have said about getting an i5. I know that I can overclock the K series, but I really don't want to right out the gate. Maybe in a few months or even a year from now I would look into it. But I appreciate all that you folks have laid out! Any more ideas?