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Upgrading my pc. Need some opinions

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October 8, 2012 6:35:57 AM

Well guys. It's been 3 odd years since I built my system and it's time for a long overdue upgrade. Not that it matters but my current specs(not sure of the exact names etc but doesn't matter really since prettymuch everything is going to go):

CPU - AMD x2 6000+ 3ghz
Mobo - Asus m2a-vm(or something)
GPU- Palit geforce 9600gt
RAM-2 gb of some crappy DDR RAM
PSU-Coolermaster 500W
Cabinet- Coolermaster Elite 332
Optical drive- some LG DVD writer
HDDs-an old 80gb IDE(from my older system) and a 360gb SATA

Well I guess that prettymuch covers all of it and now you can see why I need an upgrade(I'm a gamer btw which should make it even clearer)

Ok moving on to my planned build, there are a couple of things you need to know before anything:

1. I live in India so the prices here are a little different, that needs to be kept in mind

2. I know everyone is going to tell me to go for an Intel i5 2500k instead of the AMD FX 8150 I'm planning to go for, but before you even think about it, please don't. The AMD is about Rs.2000 cheaper and that matters to me. As for performance it's still a bloody good processor so nothing I'm going to spend sleepless nights over.

Ok moving on to the planned build. I'm keeping the same cabinet because of two reasons. One, it's pretty decent and two, I simply don't have the money to spare for another cabinet. So what i'm upgrading is the PSU, Mobo, RAM, GPU and adding a couple of hard drives. Here it is:

CPU - AMD FX 8150
Mobo - Asus M5A97 with UEFI
GPU- Nvidia GTX 660 Ti
RAM-4GB DDR3 G.Skill RipjawsX 2133Mhz(will add another 4GB later)
PSU- Corsair TX650
Cabinet- Same as before
Optical drive- undecided/ haven't checked
HDDs-need suggestions for a 120 gb SSD or a 500GB Black edition or something(which is worth it?) and a regular cheap 2TB for storage

So my main question here is, will a Corsair TX650 be enough to power this build? I don't plan to overclock and even if I do, it's not going to be much(maybe push the CPU to 4Ghz or around that, nothing more)

So there it is guys, throw in all your suggestions and answers. Thanks in advance!

More about : upgrading opinions

October 8, 2012 9:40:09 AM

Where exactly are you going to buy these?
The i5-3450 is only Rs. 53 more expensive than the FX-8150.

The GPU is good, but if you want more performance for the same price, you can get the 7950.

You're on a tight budget, so I'm gonna say you're wasting money on that RAM. There isn't much difference between 1600Mhz and 2133MHz.

650w is actually overkill for your setup. 550w would be enough. :) 

I recommend a 128gb SSD among Vertex 4, Samsung 830, and Plextor M5S. They're all very good, so your pick. As for the storage drive, I suggest a 2TB WD Caviar Green 5400 RPM.
October 8, 2012 10:03:50 AM

excella1221 said:
Where exactly are you going to buy these?
The i5-3450 is only Rs. 53 more expensive than the FX-8150.

The GPU is good, but if you want more performance for the same price, you can get the 7950.

You're on a tight budget, so I'm gonna say you're wasting money on that RAM. There isn't much difference between 1600Mhz and 2133MHz.

650w is actually overkill for your setup. 550w would be enough. :) 

I recommend a 128gb SSD among Vertex 4, Samsung 830, and Plextor M5S. They're all very good, so your pick. As for the storage drive, I suggest a 2TB WD Caviar Green 5400 RPM.


excella1221 thanks so much for all the info! I'm going to be buying all these either online(flipkart or ebay) or from my local dealers in Bangalore depending on price differences. As for the 650W I don't mind if its a bit overkill cuz I always like to have a lil extra power in case I need it in the future :)  Are you sure about the RAM? I wouldn't mind coming down to the 1600 if there's really not much difference. What I want in the end is gaming performance.

Now coming to the i5-3450. From what I've read its kind of the cheaper, slightly less peforming cousin of the 2500k. I still prefer the 8150 because of two major reasons. Number 1, I believe those 8 cores will be a different beast altogether with windows 8(and doesn't 8 cores just sound so damn cool XD). Secondly, Intel based mobos are more expensive compared to AMD ones here, at least when it comes to mobos with the same/similar features. I'm open to discussion :) 
Related resources
October 8, 2012 10:13:07 AM

The FX 8150 is not an eight core. Its actually just 4 cores with 4 "modules". The modules are like half a core or something. Intel provides better gaming performance and Windows 8 seems to suck already from the beta so I wouldnt expect much.

+1 to everything excella said. :D 
October 8, 2012 11:02:19 AM

^That.
Windows 8 would probably be the next Vista from what I'm seeing so far.

I've helped alot of Indians here and found flipkart to have the best prices. :) 

650w is very overkill given your setup. The only upgrade you can do to make use of that much wattage is a 2nd video card, and judging from the motherboard you chose, you won't be SLI/CF-ing.

The FX-8150 just isn't the CPU for gaming, it's a good alternative though to an i7 if you're into heavy CPU-based things like video rendering.

And no, an H77 motherboard is on a price really close to the AM3+ you picked.
http://www.flipkart.com/search/a/all?query=h77+pro4&ver...
October 8, 2012 12:01:45 PM

Although if you really want AMD, I suggest waiting for Piledriver to come out.
October 8, 2012 1:22:02 PM

Wow now I'm really confused! I do plan on doing some video editing and other CPU intensive activities but then again knowing now that an Intel board is about the same price makes things a bit confusing and different. More so because I'm looking at even 2-3 years down the line where I might need the extra CPU grunt that the 8150 offers as a cheaper alternative to the i7s.

Now with this motherboard if I go for a 7950 I'll be able to Crossfire right? The specs say that it supports it. But then again I want the 660Ti because of PhysX and adaptive V-Sync. God this is gonna be a lot more complicated than I thought >.< Now if I do stick to getting the 8150, is there a board that's maybe not more than 1 or 2k more expensive that supports SLI? Are you absolutely sure about the power supply?? I want something that's quality and will be able to run a more powerful card in the future. Keeping that in mind, is it still overkill?

When is Piledriver going to be out? I was planning this upgrade for December anyway so if its around then I won't mind waiting a couple of weeks more. The only thing that honestly pushes me towards AMD is the pricing compared to Intel for similar performing CPUs..

I hope you guys are a little less confused than I am! And thanks for all the feedback so far!
October 8, 2012 1:34:55 PM

Eh. The i5 will still outperform the 8150. I suggest taking a look at some benchmarks out there, computer building needs research after all.

Im no expert when it comes to AMD, but as long as the board has 2 PCIe 3.0 slots that run at x16 or x8, it will support Crossfire, unless the manufacturer says nil. Again, research is a good thing to do. :D  Being an owner of a 660Ti, I regret getting one. The memory bus cripples it. 650W is good for single GPUs, but Crossfire, that will take the PSU to its limits. No OCing headroom and stuff.

Released already if I so recall. If not, not less than a few weeks time. AMD said Q3, so yeah. Although, it will not be on par with the newer Intel Ivy Bridge, let alone Intels new Haswell processors next year which will be on the 1150 socket.
October 8, 2012 2:33:25 PM

If you really want to go AMD you can get a 9xx series board that will support BD and more importantly PD and use a PhenomII chip right now. The "old" x4 and x6 chips are faster then BD for gaming. If PD comes out and its great, then just buy it and put it in. If not, at least you aren't stuck with BD. I'd only go this route if you save a lot of money by buying the x4/x6 instead of the the Intel CPU. If Intel is cheaper then just get them.

I too would get 1600 over anything else. I just did as a matter of fact.

I also agree about the PSU. Its to much for a single card, and you'll have to make sure SLI is supported to know if its a good idea for dual cards. The 660s cards aren't very power hungry so a good 650W is enough for that.
October 8, 2012 3:10:24 PM
October 8, 2012 3:43:15 PM

sorry about posting the first mobo link on both the last posts, that's a 970 and 990X chipset so don't even consider it(who am I to tell you anyway?) Also before you say anything about there not being PCIe 3.0, the performance drop from 3.0 to 2.0 is about 1%, barely noticeable. So forget about that
October 9, 2012 12:14:25 AM

We're fully aware about that. :p  No AMD motherboard currently has PCIE-E 3.0, and yes right now there's no real benefit to it. It futureproofs your board though incase the time comes that GPUs would make use of the increased bandwidth.

Idk if it's just me but all the links you gave were out of stock.

My suggestion for an easy upgradable AMD build?
Phenom II x4 965
ASRock 970 AM3+

That CPU is currently the best AMD for gaming. The motherboard is AM3+ which the Bulldozer currently uses, and I believe it's most likely to be used by Pilederiver.
October 9, 2012 12:37:47 AM

Excella like I said, that one is a 970 chipset and not a 990fx, so I won't be able to upgrade. Sorry about posting it by mistake.

And no it's not just you :)  They're out of stock but since I'm not planning to upgrade right away its ok. Just wanted to get a look at the options and prices.
October 9, 2012 4:23:21 AM

Oh, right. Sorry, I've actually just woken up at the time of posting that.

I'd like to point out that it's the socket type you need to worry about when futureproofing, since chipsets are most(if not all) the time backwards compatible with new CPUs. And I'm 95% sure AMD will come up with a new chipset for their Piledriver series.

Though yes, the 990FX has a lot more features so if you don't mind shelling out some extra Rs.3000, it's a great buy.
October 10, 2012 6:50:47 AM

A 970 should be able to run BD/PD from what I know. Even most 8xx boards can and I think some 790 boards should as well. Which to get is up to you, budget, and if its in stock. Frankly I'd just get an Intel setup if you have the cash. From what I've seen from gaming benchmarks a SB/IB based CPU at stock can beat a BD chip, even if its OC'd.
October 11, 2012 3:59:40 AM

Hi guys sorry I took so long to write. Work's been hectic to say the least! Ok I think I'll go with a 990fx mobo for the better features etc to futureproof my build better. Do you think the price of the 8150 will drop once the 8350 releases? Only if that happens will I go for it. Otherwise I'll go for a Phenom II.

As for the GPU, I just read about Zotac's new 660ti AMP! Extreme Edition which sounds really good. The AMP! Edition in itself was the best performing 660ti across all the reviews I've read, so the extra core clock boost on the Extreme Edition should be well worth it. My sister's boyfriend is going to be in New York for 4 weeks starting Monday, so I think I'll just get him to pick up the card there.

Question: Is it available there yet? If so what's the price? The regular AMP! Edition is Rs.10,000 or so cheaper in America(that's right, 10,000!!! That's roughly $190 cheaper at current exchange rates) I know I won't get warranty coverage but I can live with that considering the difference in price. So I'm guessing the Extreme Edition should be about $10-20 more expensive than the AMP! Edition which should be fine if thats the case.

Right now I'm looking at somewhere around Rs. 46,000 which is around $890. Maybe less if some prices drop by December
October 11, 2012 4:15:47 AM

I'm pretty sure it'll drop, yeah. But what's the point of buying a controversial 8150 when 8350 is already out?
October 11, 2012 4:15:49 AM

You could get a Phenom II now and wait till Piledriver releases and see how they perform.
Its quite noisy, but it is one good card. :D 
It should be available unless it was only released a day or so ago.
October 12, 2012 3:54:01 AM

excella1221 said:
I'm pretty sure it'll drop, yeah. But what's the point of buying a controversial 8150 when 8350 is already out?


Price! :S If the 8150 comes down to around 10k I think that's great value for money. But if the Piledriver releases for around the same price as the 8150(around 12k) then I think that's great because pre-release benchmarks are showing 10-15% performance increase over Bulldozer. Essentially Piledriver is looking like what Bulldozer was meant to be. That kind of performance for around 12k would really be worth it IMO. Don't get me wrong though! I want to be proved wrong if I am! :D  After all I just want the best bang for my buck

Nw333 said:
You could get a Phenom II now and wait till Piledriver releases and see how they perform.
Its quite noisy, but it is one good card. :D 
It should be available unless it was only released a day or so ago.


I'm planning for this build in December so Piledriver will definitely be out :D  I still need to see benchmarks and of course the price of PD. About the Zotac 660 ti AMP! Extreme Edition, I really really hope its available cuz its a little beast!

Can anyone help me with the price of the Zotac 660 ti AMP! Extreme Edition in USA if you can find out?? It's already released apparently but I don't have access to ebay, Amazon etc at work so I can't check. Besides, if its not out on ebay etc then I don't really have any other way to find out the price
October 12, 2012 5:39:05 AM

Again, the FX-8150 is a bad CPU for gaming. :p 
October 12, 2012 12:08:00 PM

Um, if its quite late to say this, I would not recommend the 660 Ti compared to the 7950. AMD just beats nVidia when it comes to value nowadays. The memory bus cripples the 660 Ti anyways, whilst the 7950 has a much bigger memory bus and more vRAM for multi-monitor/high res gaming.

+1 to excella. If you were going to go Bulldozer, I wouldnt think twice about dumping it. If prices were to drop because of PD, chances are, Ivy will also go down in price.
October 12, 2012 12:29:10 PM

I know the 7950 is better overall but it costs more. At least here. And benchmarks are showing that it performs better than the 7950 in some games and almost at par in others. Anyway main reason I want it is physx and adaptive vsync
October 13, 2012 12:32:32 AM

PhysX is a gamble and the only games you will notice it is in Borderlands 2 and Batman Arkham City. Some games are optimized for nVidia video cards, but if your game is an open world like Minecraft, you want an AMD card for OpenGL. Its your decision. (Games like BF3 are coded for nVidia, btw.)
October 13, 2012 2:31:01 AM

Nw333 said:
PhysX is a gamble and the only games you will notice it is in Borderlands 2 and Batman Arkham City. Some games are optimized for nVidia video cards, but if your game is an open world like Minecraft, you want an AMD card for OpenGL. Its your decision. (Games like BF3 are coded for nVidia, btw.)


Like I said, its a more expensive card but even so, the 660ti is performing on par with it in most games. I don't think I can get better value for money at this price. Besides, I'm getting the Zotac AMP! Extreme Edition which has an overclocked memory clock as well as core clock and will be even faster than the 66ti in the video I posted

October 13, 2012 2:54:43 AM

Dear, no it doesn't. The 7950 outperforms it on MOST games. I don't know which benchmarks you are looking at.

Though if you REALLY want Nvidia and don't mind spending extra cash for a card outperformed by another at the same price, then I won't stop you.
October 13, 2012 3:12:42 AM

Look at the video I posted excella. And I don't know how you're saying they cost the same? The 7950 is a more expensive card. Besides, I know the 7950 is a more powerful card overall but the 660 ti is performing almost on par and better in some games so its the best value for money I see in addition to physx and adaptive vsync which I want. I'm not making a blind decision here. I have looked at all the facts and variables
October 13, 2012 3:25:50 AM

The 7950 is selling for between $330-360 whereas the 660ti is around $299
October 13, 2012 3:43:28 AM

Have a look at this review. With the exception of Crysis Warhead where it performs a bit slower than the 7950, the 660 ti(Zotac AMP! Edition in particular since that's what I'm getting) is on par and even better than the 7950 in the other games. Especially looking at 1080p framerates since I won't ever be playing on a higher resolution than that. In a couple of the games its at par or even beating out the 7970!
October 13, 2012 3:49:46 AM

$30 more is a lot for a marginal increase in performance in some games and not having physx support and adaptive vsync(I hate screen tearing!) Benchmarks aside, real world gaming performance its on par and even beating the 7950 in some games. I don't ever use more than 4x MSAA so anything more than that doesn't matter to me. The fact is that the 660 ti is even competing with the 7970 in some games! And I'm getting all this at Rs.1600 less than the 7950. I still don't see a good reason to spend that much more on a 7950..
October 13, 2012 3:59:30 AM

That review is comparing non-reference and not to mention OC versions of the 660 Ti with a reference 7950. You're kidding yourself.

Please refer to my above post where all items were reference-material, and the link that shows both are about the same pricing.
October 13, 2012 4:02:51 AM

I would like to point out that there is absolutely nothing wrong with Nvidia, and you can buy it if you want simply because you want it. I've bought other items in the past over less-expensive ones just because of the brand and it's completely NORMAL.; but save us the biased reviews because a reference 7970 outperforms a reference 670.
October 13, 2012 4:07:08 AM

I was referring to the link you posted excella. $30 more like I said. And look at the link I posted as well from anandtech. I'm not talking from blind faith or any such thing. Only from the numbers I've been seeing.

My point still remains: why pay $30 more when the 660ti(OC or no doesn't really matter cuz I'm still getting a factory overclocked card for $30 less and since I won't have warranty I'm not even going to go anywhere near overclocking myself) is on par and even better in a lot of cases, especially at settings that I'm going to be playing at(1080p and 4xMSAA), and has physx and adaptive vsync that the 7950 doesn't? I just want to know why I should pay that $30 more when I can get 4 more gigs of RAM for that money
October 13, 2012 4:37:21 AM

I already commented on that link. And most 7950s you will buy from a non-reference brand will have a different stock clock as well, OC or not. The point remains that the benchmarks in the Anandtech review you posted compared a non-reference 660 TO A REFERENCE 7950.

The Tom's Hardware benchmarks I gave were ALL REFERENCE CARDS, and that's where you'll see the true differences without any optimization done to the card.

The 7950 btw goes for $309 on Sapphire, that's only $10 more compared to the cheapest 660 Ti there for something that outperforms it by alot.

I am not saying you have blind faith, though it may seem I implied it.
I will also repeat- Buy the 660 Ti if you want it. I'm not stopping you. It's still a great card for what it is.
October 13, 2012 4:58:15 AM

I understand your point. Though I want to look at the fact that the tweaked card is what I'm getting anyway for $300 so those benchmarks are what are moat applicable to me. Performance aside, I am not denying that the 7950 is a more powerful card end of the day, but the real most driving factor that is influencing me to go for the 660 ti is that in addition to the competitive performance in comparison to the 7950, it has physx and adaptive vsync, both of which are important to me. Believe me if it was just pure performance, I would have chosen the 7950. It's just those driving factors I mentioned in addition to the fact that a lot of games are optimised for nvidia chipsets with physx support and such. Whether its a good decision or not I will only really know a year or so down the line most probably. So good luck to me I suppose :D 
October 13, 2012 5:00:27 AM

But the one thing I can't agree with is the point about the 7950 outperforming the 660 ti by a lot. Clearly its very close when its between a cheaper factory overclocked 660 ti and a more expensive stock 7950
October 13, 2012 5:03:40 AM

Believe me I'm not buying it for the brand, just for what the brand has to offer :) 
October 13, 2012 6:54:08 AM

Dont pay for something you can do yourself. OCing the 7950 will give you better performance, ofc. Its also very easy to do.
October 13, 2012 7:04:49 AM

Like I said before, no warranty, which is why even though I know how easy it is to overclock, I'm not going to even try. All the factors put in: price, not having warranty, performance, power consumption, physx, adaptive vsync and majority of games being optimised for nvidia, is why I'm getting the 660ti(Zotac's AMP! Edition or AMP! Extreme Edition)
October 13, 2012 7:12:17 AM

Oh and btw, the Anandtech review did not just pit a stock 7950 against overclocked 660ti's. It also pitted them against the 7950B. You're forgetting that AMD released the 7950B with boosted clockspeeds, simply because they had to. That was the only way they could keep ahead of OCed 660ti's.
October 13, 2012 7:24:30 AM

Honey, do you even understand the meaning of reference and non-reference...? I believe you don't and this is where all the confusion is coming from. Otherwise, I'm gonna take back what I said and say that you really are buying on blind faith.

They didn't *have* to release the Boost, the stock 7950 already outperforms the 660 Ti. It was like adding insult to injury. I don't know where you got that.

Why don't you just admit that you want to buy the 660 Ti only for the PhysX and adaptive vsync. No one in the right mind here would agree with you that the 660 Ti can match the 7950, not to mention the 7970. And you can COUNT the number of games that are Nvidia-optimized. There aren't that many so I don't know where you got "majority of games beging optimized for Nvidia" thing.
October 13, 2012 7:26:03 AM

Its your money. I myself bought a 660Ti because I mostly play BF3 and Borderlands 2, (they are optimized for nVidia) its on you.
October 13, 2012 7:40:22 AM

"With the launch of the GTX 660 Ti we can finally shed some further light on this week’s unexpected announcement of a new Radeon HD 7950 revision from AMD. As you’ll see in our benchmarks the existing 7950 maintains an uncomfortably slight lead over the GTX 660 Ti, which has spurred on AMD to bump up the 7950’s clockspeeds at the cost of power consumption in order to avoid having it end up as a sub-$300 product. The new 7950B is still scheduled to show up at the end of this week, with AMD’s already-battered product launch credibility hanging in the balance.

For this review we’re going to include both the 7950 and 7950B in our results. We’re not at all happy with how AMD is handling this – it’s the kind of slimy thing that has already gotten NVIDIA in trouble in the past – and while we don’t want to reward such actions it would be remiss of us not to include it since it is a new reference part. And if AMD’s credibility is worth anything it will be on the shelves tomorrow anyhow."

G
October 13, 2012 7:40:30 AM

Got it from there
October 13, 2012 7:42:30 AM

And yes I would expect the stock 7950 to outperform the stock 660ti, otherwise it would just be silly for it to be more expensive.

Noone needs to agree with ME excella, it's the numbers that are doing the talking. The OCed 660ti's are competing with the stock 7950s and even surpassing it in some games. AMD needed the Boost to stay ahead and justify being more expensive.

If I was only buying a card for physx and adaptive vsync, I would have settled for a 660 instead of a 660ti.
October 13, 2012 8:13:26 AM

That quote reinforces my point- "As you’ll see in our benchmarks the existing 7950 maintains an uncomfortably slight lead over the GTX 660 Ti"; They did not need do it to STAY AHEAD because they were still AHEAD, albeit slightly. The Boost is also a free UPDATE. You don't need to PAY for it, and when updated, the new stock clock becomes OFFICIAL. I quote "it would be remiss of us not to include it since it is a new reference part".

You also did not answer my first question.

You misunderstood my point on the agreeing thing. What I was trying to say was everyone here knows the 7950 beats the 660 Ti on MOST games out there, save the Nvidia-optimized ones.

Also, as I pointed out earlier, even though you ignored it, the price difference isn't $30, it's $10.

Cheapest 660 Ti
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Cheapest 7950
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
October 13, 2012 8:19:29 AM

from the benchmark we can see that hd 7950 isn't totally faster than gtx 660ti in every game... some faster... some don't.. although i still take hd 7950 a notch better than gtx 660ti for its 3gb vram and wider 384-bit memory bus... the only thing that i dislike about gtx 660ti is its ROPs reduced from 670/680s 32 to 24... and also its memory bus from 256 to 192 bit.. and this will certainly hurts the performance when cranking up details and resolutions... i wouldn't bother with physx since not much game that implements it... i would really like to try out hd 7970 given the recent driver boost but sadly no $$$ plus i already had 670 now...

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/647?vs=645
!