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Oh Legendary PC Builders I need your aid

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October 29, 2012 3:27:32 PM

Hey guys long time lurker here. I'm looking at giving my old gaming rig new life. I recently bought some DDR3 RAM and discovered it didn’t fit in the mobo and realized I needed to replace my mobo and thus my CPU. I have learned a lot reading here at Tom's but I realize I still need to learn more before I plunge into my new build.

Current PC:
CPU: AMD Athlon X4 620 @ 2.6 GHz
Mobo: Stock HP DDR2 ATX
HDD: 7200 RPM 500 GB
GPU: Radeon 4770 512
Ram: 4x2GB DDR2 (Own Gskill DDR3 4X4GB 1600 RAM)
PSU: Thermaltake 650W

Looking at this for my new build:
CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz ($200) (Want to OC maybe to 4.0 GHz, never tried it so I’m not sure about Mobo compatibility/fan situation/etc)
Mobo: ASrock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA 1155 ($140)
SSD: Samsung 830 128 GB 2.5 ($110) (Might go 256GB version)
GPU: Sapphire Radeon HD 7850 2GB ($220) (might dual card later)
RAM: Gskill DDR3 4x4GB 1600 (Own already)
PSU: Thermaltake 650W (Own Already)
Monitor: Honestly I don’t know much about them. Mine right now runs 1600X900 resolution natively

It will mainly be for a variety of games: GW2, Fallout New Vegas, Borderlands 2. I don’t play BF3 so it doesn’t need to be blazing fast, not really sure how much machine I need.

Any input would help! Ideas on compatibility, bottlenecks, better components for the price, or whatever comes to mind would be great!

More about : legendary builders aid

October 29, 2012 3:41:02 PM

might want to look at the GTX 660 Ti no?
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October 29, 2012 3:52:45 PM

Friend, i dont suggest going to dual cards. I had crossfire once, and after 2 many weird expiriences, i found out that multicard is actually quite crappy since it fails often.

From another point of view:
Carefull with the OC a bit. Your PSU can handle a single gpu and OC, but 2 cards and a CPU OCed... not so sure. Investigate this plz so you dont damage your componenets.

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October 29, 2012 3:57:19 PM

GTX 660 Ti because of SLi or mobo? I'm a noob sorry.

Also found a post with some other info I missed:

Approximate Purchase Date: Probably this week
Budget Range: $600-$800
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Internet, Netflix
Are you buying a monitor: Maybe later, open to recommendations
Do you need to buy OS: Yes Prob Win 7 OEM
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com, tigerdirect.com
Parts Preferences: Intel, Samsung, (Quality and stability)
Overclocking: Probably
SLI or Crossfire: Don't Know
Your Monitor Resolution: 1600x900 wanting to go to 1080
Additional Comments: Would like quiet but not a necessity
Why Are You Upgrading: Current build can no longer handle Good FPS on max graphic settings. Also can't handle my Minecraft server.
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October 29, 2012 3:58:40 PM

At 1080p, you won't need more than one card. I suggest you spend some extra money and get the 7870, and overclock it, and that will max any game out now. If you're overclocking, a cooler is imperative. I recommend the Hyper 212 EVO for overclocking.
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October 29, 2012 4:53:14 PM

Thanks for the input so far I think I've got a closer idea of what I need:

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($169.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($26.82 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($134.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Samsung 830 Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($109.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7870 2GB Video Card ($209.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($91.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $743.77

This would let me do some safe OC'ing with my current PSU and the more I'm reading I don't need the performance of dual GPUs.

Any input on the GPU manufacturer or the Mobo?
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October 29, 2012 5:30:22 PM

If you're going through Microcenter, it'd make a great deal of sense to get the motherboard there as well as the processor. Along with having the lowest price on the CPUs, you can actually get an additional $40 off the motherboard when you buy them as a bundle. Definitely something worth considering.

As far as the GPU is concerned, contrary to what others have said, there isn't anything wrong with dual GPU setups (CrossFire or SLI). I've had both over the past 4 years and have only ran into one instance where the setup had an issue. Crossfire wasn't initially compatible with the Battlefield 3 Beta when it was released. For that, I had to disable CrossFire or play in Windowed mode (which also disables CrossFire). Other than that, I haven't had a single issue over the probably 20-30 titles I've played since starting to use a dual GPU setup.

In terms of future proofing, definitely get a 2GB card. 1GB is really pushing it at 1080p now, and in Battlefield 3, it'll easily go over on higher settings. 2GB should be plenty for quite a while yet.
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Best solution

October 29, 2012 5:42:48 PM

I think you are good.

The graphics card is the real engine of gaming.
If you can spend more, buy the best card you feel comfortable paying for.
Something like a 7950 or GTX670 would be appropriate.

If, in the future, you want more, the amd 8xxx and GTX7xx series will be here, and will take no more power.

The psu you need is gated by the graphics card, and you are good to go on a newer 28nm card as strong as a GTX680 or 7970.
Here is a handy chart: http://www.realhardtechx.com/index_archivos/Page362.htm

A OC does not add significantly to your power requirements.
An OC to 4.0 is very conservative and trivial. Just raise the multiplier from 34 to 40 or even 43 and leave the voltage and ram on auto.

If you are considering a larger ssd, then buy it.
A larger ssd will perform a tad better. A ssd can slow down as it nears full.
Samsung and Intel are the good ones today.
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October 29, 2012 5:43:48 PM

More ram for your old machine would not speed it up. As long as you do not max the capacity, it will not make things faster. It is unlikely that you use more than 4gb. If you are on a budget, you can get an amd A10 for $130. It has a decent processor and built in graphics chip. It can play all games on medium to low settings. The whole machine would cost you under $550.
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November 5, 2012 12:15:49 PM

Best answer selected by CrionLord.
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