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Upgrading. Final decisions thoughts and opinions

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October 30, 2012 12:58:26 PM

A few days ago I was debating on whether to buy a new cpu/gpu/psu combo and stick with my old mobo and ram. After weighing my options I figured that my old mobo is going to really bottleneck me for future upgrades and decide to do a more complete system overhaul. I am going to buy the gpu/psu today then buy the cpu/mobo/and ram next week. I wanted to make sure that this psu will be good to power my system for now and down the road on any possible upgrades. If anyone has suggestions, I would appreciate the input.

GPU
PSU

Then next week I am buying:
MoBo/Ram
CPU

Along with this I already have a 2TB 7200rpm drive plus a 500gb backup with my current system that I will be using. Putting all this in an Antec 900 II. Any input is greatly appreciated. Thanks guys

**I would just buy all at once but the GPU has all ready gone out of stock once this week. I want to jump on it now and get that taken care of.
a b à CPUs
October 30, 2012 1:48:50 PM

Motherboard is only really suitable for single graphics card. If you want to add a 2nd, in future, you should get a Z77, like ASRock Extreme 3, or 4.
Assuming you are not going to add a 2nd card, PSU is more than you need, plus the V2's are not Corsair's best. You only, for one GPU, need 500w, 550w if you want a bit, in hand. Suggest either PC Power&Cooling Silencer MKlll 500w, or 550w, from Rosewill Hive (modular), or XFX (non-modular). If you want ability for 2nd GPU, and change mobo, suggest PC Power&Cooling, or XFX, or Corsair HX @ 750w. 700w would be plenty, but there aren't many good ones, at that wattage. You could, just about, be OK with 650w, but would recommend a bit more.
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October 30, 2012 2:22:47 PM

Thanks for the response. I have considered that adding a second gpu down the road might be a possibility and that's the one thing that I have been debating. I am going to look a bit more and weigh my options
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a c 344 à CPUs
October 30, 2012 2:33:22 PM

On the psu:
Here is a link to the psu requirements for various graphics cards. The 7870 needs only 500w.
Even a 7970 or GTX680 needs only 550w. Nothing wrong with 600-650w though.
http://www.realhardtechx.com/index_archivos/Page362.htm
Here is a link to psu quality tiers:
http://www.eggxpert.com/forums/thread/323050.aspx
Be alert to sales at this time of the year.
You can buy an Antec earthwatts 650 psu for $40 after rebate: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
A top quality brand like Seasonic usually will have a good sale about now.

On the cpu/mobo:
That is a reasonable combination.
But, for $15 more, I would buy the 3570K and a z77 based motherboard to preserve your option to OC.
A conservative and easy oc to 4.0-4.3 will give you 25% more power for peanuts.

I like the M-ATX format for motherboards. They cost less, and upgrading a single graphics card is much easier.

If you are upgrading, really try to find the budget for a SSD. A 120gb ssd for the os will transform your percieved performance.
Look to Intel or Samsung for reliability. Expect to pay about $100. Use your 2tb drive for bulk storage.
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a c 344 à CPUs
October 30, 2012 2:35:02 PM

anthony7389 said:
Thanks for the response. I have considered that adding a second gpu down the road might be a possibility and that's the one thing that I have been debating. I am going to look a bit more and weigh my options


Here is my canned rant on that:
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Dual graphics cards vs. a good single card.

a) How good do you really need to be?
A single GTX560 or 6870 can give you great performance at 1920 x 1200 in most games.

A single GTX560ti or 6950 will give you excellent performance at 1920 x 1200 in most games.
Even 2560 x 1600 will be good with lowered detail.
A single gtx690 is about as good as it gets.

Only if you are looking at triple monitor gaming, then sli/cf will be needed.
Even that is now changing with triple monitor support on top end cards.

b) The costs for a single card are lower.
You require a less expensive motherboard; no need for sli/cf or multiple pci-e slots.
Even a ITX motherboard will do.

Your psu costs are less.
A GTX560ti needs a 450w psu, even a GTX580 only needs a 600w psu.
When you add another card to the mix, plan on adding 150-200w to your psu requirements.
A single more modern 28nm card like a 7970 or GTX680 needs only 550W.
Even the strongest GTX690 only needs 650w.

Case cooling becomes more of an issue with dual cards.
That means a more expensive case with more and stronger fans.
You will also look at more noise.

c) Dual cards do not always render their half of the display in sync, causing microstuttering. It is an annoying effect.
The benefit of higher benchmark fps can be offset, particularly with lower tier cards.
Read this: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-geforce-stut...

d) dual card support is dependent on the driver. Not all games can benefit from dual cards.

e) cf/sli up front reduces your option to get another card for an upgrade. Not that I suggest you plan for that.
It will often be the case that replacing your current card with a newer gen card will offer a better upgrade path.
The GTX780 and amd 8000 series are not that far off.
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a b à CPUs
October 30, 2012 3:18:47 PM

Totally agree that for an initial design, one good GPU is almost always going to be better, than two lesser cards, in SLi/crossfire, with the possible exception, of a 3 monitor design.
On the other hand, if designing, initially, for one monitor, with the thought, in a years time, I'd like to get two more monitors, then it's worth giving yourself the "option". If someone's got an initial design, with more than a 600w PSU, it's worth asking what THEY'VE got in mind. Not much point in designing HALF a system, for crossfire.
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October 30, 2012 4:21:46 PM

I see what you're saying. I have never been a huge fan of the idea of Sli/Crossfire just because the drivers seem to be a pain. And like you guys have said it is never as easy as just buying a second card and throwing it together. Your whole system has to be built around the idea that two cards will be used. For now I am definitely sticking with the one card. It was a toss up between that 7870 and a gtx 660 but the consensus is that the 7870 is the way to go although everyone has their own opinions. I definitely want to look for the z77 boards and don't mind paying a little more if it's going to be more beneficial. Like geofelt said being able to oc and have the power gains for a couple more dollars is a good call.
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October 30, 2012 4:41:38 PM

+1 To finding a spot in your budget to toss in an SSD. It'd be one of the most noticeable upgrades on our computer. The snappyness of an SSD for loading your programs and such is well worth the money. You can often find a Crucial brand ssd for for around $70.
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October 30, 2012 4:54:46 PM

A SSD was another thing I have been considering but it's something that will probably be an upgrade closer to Christmas or maybe even black friday.

With the PSU I have actually been looking around at some PSU's that are overkill (for now) with what I am going with. I would like to buy one that has a little more than what I need so upgrading down the road wont be an issue. One PSU i found that I like was this Link and also THIS . If you guys think those are absolutely overkill or not worth it for the extra 40 or so dollars over the Antec that was posted a few posts up let me know.

I definitely dont mind spending the extra few dollars on my PSU if it will help avoid problems down the road.
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October 30, 2012 4:57:04 PM

Also taking your guys advice on the mobo, I found this combo for a bit more money: Mobo/Cpu
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a b à CPUs
October 30, 2012 6:30:55 PM

anthony7389 said:
I see what you're saying. I have never been a huge fan of the idea of Sli/Crossfire just because the drivers seem to be a pain. And like you guys have said it is never as easy as just buying a second card and throwing it together. Your whole system has to be built around the idea that two cards will be used. For now I am definitely sticking with the one card. It was a toss up between that 7870 and a gtx 660 but the consensus is that the 7870 is the way to go although everyone has their own opinions. I definitely want to look for the z77 boards and don't mind paying a little more if it's going to be more beneficial. Like geofelt said being able to oc and have the power gains for a couple more dollars is a good call.

The HD7870's are very good, and probably better value for money, over the spectrum, of games, than GTX660. On the other hand, certain specific games are optimised, for nVidia. They include BF3, Borderlands, Starcraft, Portal, so for those specfic games GTX660 is better. If you are particularly into one of them, and don't tend to play much else, then GTX660 probably the best choice. Either card is good, anyway; neither is "bad" at anything.

On the SLi/crossfire point, if you've got a system, with a Z77 mobo, at least you have your options open, for the future. Unless you are "planning" to have 3 monitors, I wouldn't worry about it. There's nothing wrong with getting an oversized power supply, if you want, provided it's a good one. A poor quality PSU will tend to be hopelessly inefficient, if not working at optimum load factor.
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October 30, 2012 6:53:26 PM

Haha now you got me second guessing myself with the 7870 because those are two of the main games ill be using this card for. Looking at 660's and seeing what's available
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a b à CPUs
October 30, 2012 7:20:16 PM

Here are comparative benchmarks between HD7870 and GTX660. <a http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/548?vs=660 /a>
To be fair, they are for "reference" settings. If you add around 5% to the HD7870's framerates, it will give a more realistic comparason, of "real" performance.
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a b à CPUs
October 30, 2012 7:23:41 PM

anthony7389 said:
Haha now you got me second guessing myself with the 7870 because those are two of the main games ill be using this card for. Looking at 660's and seeing what's available

If looking at GTX660s, the MSI (TwinFrozr), and Gigabyte possibly best.
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October 30, 2012 8:01:37 PM

Awesome malbluff. Thanks again. I think I am going to stick with the 7870. I haven't heard any negatives and for the price I like what I am getting.
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a c 344 à CPUs
October 30, 2012 8:48:23 PM

anthony7389 said:
actually after going over prices and figuring everything out I think I got my final down

CPU/Mobo: Link

GPU: Link

PSU: Link

RAM: Link


I think you are good.

If BF3 is your game, then it is not that demanding from a graphics point of view.
If you will be doing multiplayer, then the cpu becomes very important, and the 3570K will shine.
You see few benchmarks of multiplayer, simply because it is so difficult to do in a controlled manner.

On the graphics cards, do not beat yourself up about it. At every price point you get fair value and performance that is similar.
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a b à CPUs
October 30, 2012 9:33:12 PM

anthony7389 said:
Awesome malbluff. Thanks again. I think I am going to stick with the 7870. I haven't heard any negatives and for the price I like what I am getting.

You'll be fine, with that. There is no right, and wrong choice. Neither is BAD at anything, it's just minor differences, in different games.
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