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Please help with my upgrade

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November 17, 2012 1:26:40 PM

Hey everyone,

I'm looking to do some upgrading to my PC and could use some advice on what parts to replace. Here is my build:

CPU - AMD Phenom II X4 955
Graphics - ATI Radeon HD 6850 GDDR5 1gb
HDD - Seagate 1TB
RAM - Crucial Ballistix 4gb x2 (8gb)
Motherboard - ASUS M4A785TD-V EVO
PSU - 750w something or another lol
OS - Windows 7 64-bit

I'm a gamer as much as the next guy and want to stay on top of the latest games without too much struggle out of my tower, or breaking the bank. I would greatly appreciate any direction on how to upgrade further. Thanks guys!

More about : upgrade

November 17, 2012 1:32:41 PM

I would start with upgrading your gpu to a 7850 2GB. Thats the best value in cards right now. Next I would upgrade your cpu. I am not sure if your motherboard is compatible with the new Piledriver cpus from AMD, you should check that. If not a 1055 Phenom x6 is a great cpu upgrade for you, if you can find one on eBay. Figure out exactly what psu you have.
November 17, 2012 1:52:38 PM

Are you noticing any lag in games? I mean, a quad core with a 6850 GPU should be pretty darn nice for gaming and everything else.

If you are looking to upgrade just to do it, I'd go with the i72600k if you plan to overclock to the limits. If no overclock is planned, pick the i7 3770k leaving the option open for an OC later. It's just that IB doesn't go as far as SB when it comes to ramping up the clocks.

Some will say an i5 is "good enough" and yeah... it kinda is if you are coming from a dual or single core. But why spend money on an upgrade going from a 4 core 4 thread CPU to another 4 core 4 thread CPU? Spend the extra 100 bucks and be happy with one of the best chips on the market.

The GTX 660 is a great value now if you're looking to upgrade your GPU. Also, an SSD is a must; The best upgrade I've even done in over 17 years of building my own rigs.

If your PSU is old, I'd pick up a new Seasonic unit. Don't want your nice new stuff going up in smoke because of an old power supply.
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 17, 2012 2:16:14 PM

monitor/resolution, budget, games ?
November 19, 2012 8:27:00 PM

Yeah I am getting some lag from my games and been having a b**** of a time pinpointing its source, but beyond that I just feel its time for a nice upgrade.

I can pump around $500 into this round for the fellow asking my budget.

I was thinking a new mobo and an i7 processor would be a solid investment, personally. Are Solid State Drives really that great?
a b B Homebuilt system
November 19, 2012 9:01:41 PM

you're too intent throwing money away. please answer my question above.
November 19, 2012 9:43:50 PM

I apologize for not fully answering your question, I got caught up in the other parts of my response. The monitor is an LG (can't seem to locate the specific model) but the resolution goes up to 1920x1080.

As for games, Borderlands 2, Dishonored, Black Ops 2 and the new Hitman are among the many I plan to get and hope to be able to handle. I currently play Torchlight 2, Skyrim, Fable 3, and Deus Ex: HR - all of which are suffering from some chop and stuttering. Sucks..
a b B Homebuilt system
November 19, 2012 9:50:34 PM

the 1gig video card is probably the culprit. not enough vram and the textures are being swapped out. Try lowering the game settings ( not the resolution ) and run the games again. what happens ?
November 19, 2012 10:04:37 PM

I've tested it with a few games.

Skyrim - There's some stuttering here and there when ran on high and ultra, but its pretty much eliminated when set to low quality. Though the difference in performance isn't really that big to be honest.

Fable 3 - Runs like crap whether its high or low in all the settings.

Deus Ex: HR - Also gets choppy no matter the settings, and at random too it seems.

Torchlight 2 - Ran a bit sluggish at high settings, but completely smooth when set to low.

Dungeon Siege 3 - Another game that ran like crap no matter what I did.
a b B Homebuilt system
November 19, 2012 10:17:11 PM

did you install motherboard drivers off the disc that came with it ?

did you try windows update for whatever your machine might need ?

is the memory running right ? have you done any memory testing ? have you tried running with 1 stick and then the other ?

have you checked the monitor refresh rate ?
November 19, 2012 10:43:29 PM

1. Yes I installed everything off the mobo disc.
2. I do windows update once a week.
3. I don't know how to test memory, sorry :( 
4. My monitor refresh rate is set at 60
a b B Homebuilt system
November 19, 2012 11:46:04 PM

I wish I was more familiar with some of those games. in the games that did giv e you trouble after lowering settings......... play better with lower settings and lower resolution ?.

still think most of the problem is because of limited vram.
November 20, 2012 12:17:15 AM

Nah, it was weird that the lower settings *and* resolution didn't change really anything for those couple games. If you really do think its the vram then that makes a couple people pointing towards a new video card so far. I didn't think my HD6850 was going to be a weak link.

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a b B Homebuilt system
November 20, 2012 12:46:28 AM
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if you want an i5 build it. I have one. is it better ( playing games ) than my quad 775............... ?? maybe more frames ( not always ) and I really can't tell the difference because it never spits and sputters.... neither machine.

True, the old 955 lags behind the 775 but until gaming becomes difficult there's no reason to upgrade.

The limiting factor -for me- has always been the video card.

I also run a 1090t......... same thing, FPS don't matter but if the card doesn't deliver gaming "sucks".

right now I run ( for gaming ) a 2gig 6950. High end, no, but I don't need it either. Again, the limiting factor, until now, low vram. any card above that would be better than what you have. If you consider 'performance" to mean only FPS, then you need to build from ground up. Can you afford it ? the i5 and the 6850 will give you more FPS ( not always ) but you're still going to find it limiting.
November 20, 2012 8:24:08 AM

Best answer selected by ubernova.
November 20, 2012 8:30:09 AM

Thank you for the advice. Maybe I'll nab a better card while the sales are going this month I think, maybe a 7850 like someone suggested - I'll do some reading on a few different kinds first. I'll be able to get a feel for what I may or may not need from there.

Seem like a good plan?
!