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Not sure if I should build a new system or not

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November 5, 2012 3:25:40 PM

hello all...

after lurking and being a silent reader for a long time here, I decided to join and ask. Pardon me for my English since it's not my native language :D 

my current system is as below:

CPU: Intel Core 2 Extreme X6800
Motherboard: Asus P5E3 Premium
RAM: Kingston KHX1333 2x2GB
GPU: HD 4830 (died, currently I use a borrowed HD 6870)
PSU: Antec True Power Trio 650W
Case: none (Yes, I need a new case)
Monitor: AOC 20" (1600x900)

I built the system around 2007-2008. And then I used it until 2010 before I moved to a temporary house where I can't use my pc due to power limitation. So I can only use my notebook.

Having used to do everything on my notebook, my pc was kinda neglected. But then, I decided to use my pc again around last year (I already got back to my home). But for no reason, it didn't boot. Sure it was powered on, but showed nothing. After several tries with no luck, I gave up.

Seeing my friends bought new systems, and my notebook started to show its limitation (the GMA X3100 struggled to play bluray rips and heavy h264 videos. gaming is of course impossible), I planned to buy a new system. But I still limited by my budget. And suddenly I remembered my old system.

Last week, I decided to give it a go again. Several tries, including changing motherboards, RAMs, and graphic cards. I found out that the HD 4830 was the problem (at first I used a HD 4670 as a backup and it booted). So now the pc is back up again with the current setup above.

I normally use my pc for browsing (though I still can do it on my laptop), some gaming like MW3, CS:GO, not sure what else. Maybe DIRT3, Skyrim, and Sleeping Dogs if it still can play them. And I sometimes do some video encoding like encoding music videos from HD or bluray source to my handheld with Handbrake.

So, my questions are:

1. I know that the X6800 will hold any mainstream to high end GPUs nowadays. But, can it still give me and acceptable performance like around 40-50 fps with maximum settings? I already tried the DIRT3, and the HD 6870 was bottlenecked quite a lot. I can't get past 60 fps (30ish fps average, 50ish max)

2. Should I get a GPU or a mainboard+cpu combo first? If I have to use my current CPU, I planned to get a HD 7850. Otherwise, I planned to get 3570K+Z77 board or FX6100+990FX/970. But if I choose the CPU+board combo, I have to save for another months to get the GPU since to budget is really tight. I will use the HD 4000 IGP while saving for discrete GPU.

3. I got my PSU around 2007-2008, so it's already 4-5 years old now. Is it still sufficient for the newer systems? Or should I get a new PSU too?


need your opinions regarding questions above. And I have some plans:

A. Use the current CPU (although it's bottlenecking badly) and get a new GPU (HD 7850), PSU (optional), and maybe RAM (tried a gskill are 4GBx2 kits, not worked. it gave me BSOD. But worked if only use 1 stick and combined with my current RAM. So I still get 8GB in total. But this option is temporary since the gskill is also borrowed :p ) ------> lower cost

B. Get a 3570K and Z77 motherboard, but use the IGP. And also get new RAM (planned to get a 2x8GB kits) and new PSU (optional). ----------> more cost

C. Get a FX-6100 and 990FX or 970 motherboard. Not really sure about this.

D. yea rite. I have to buy a new case for any option above :D  possibly new hard drive too.


the budget allocated is around US$600-700 max, but lower is better :D 

any opinions, suggestions are very welcome.


thank you very much :D 

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November 5, 2012 6:05:02 PM

You say get new CPU/ mobo and use iGPU til you get new GPU. What's wrong with the HD6870. Slightly outdated, compared with latest offerings, but still pretty competant.
Assuming PSU is still in good order, would be fine. If it's four or five years old it may be worth getting a new one, you don't want a failing PSU damaging new components, but that's a "judgement call".
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November 6, 2012 3:18:24 AM

malbluff said:
You say get new CPU/ mobo and use iGPU til you get new GPU. What's wrong with the HD6870. Slightly outdated, compared with latest offerings, but still pretty competant.
Assuming PSU is still in good order, would be fine. If it's four or five years old it may be worth getting a new one, you don't want a failing PSU damaging new components, but that's a "judgement call".


thanks for the response.

nothing wrong with the HD 6870. Yes, I know the HD 6870 is still powerful compared to the new series. But the HD 6870 was borrowed from my friend. When he asks it back, done. :D 

So I put the IGP as my main option if I have to get the new CPU. I don't think I can put the HD 6870 as the fixed system because it's not mine :) 


any other suggestions? :) 
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November 6, 2012 11:24:42 AM

Certainly, I would prefer i5-3570K and Z77 board, as a good foundation, for a system, especially if you don't want to upgrade again for a while. I don't know the situation, with your friend, but, presumably, if he's lent you it, he doesn't have an immediate need for it, and may sell it to you. Would prefer, assuming it's OK, to pay say $50 for a 2nd hand HD6870, than buy what I could get new, for the same money. The alternative, as you said, is to wait for more funds, to buy a good GPU, but then you're talking $200 to get anything much better than the HD6870. I suppose it's a question of how much, how long.
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November 17, 2012 3:03:57 AM

thank you for the response. sorry for the late reply :( 

yeah, I think I'm going to have a good base first, since I'm gonna use this PC for at least 3 years (maybe). I'm gonna get 3570K and Z77 first. For the board, I'm thinking about getting Gigabyte GA-Z77X-D3H, is that good for its price?
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November 22, 2012 3:54:01 PM

Best answer selected by chanelight.
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