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Upgrade or New Build?

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December 22, 2012 7:30:49 PM

I was wondering if I should just upgrade only some of the parts or do a new build. Well not a completely new build, more like a semi-new build.

Here are my current PC specs:

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 965 BE 3.4ghz (Stock)
Cooler: CM-212 EVO
MOBO: Asus M4A785TD-V EVO
GPU: Gigabyte 7970 (Factory overclock @1000Mhz
PSU: Corsair TX650W
RAM: G. Skill 4gb (2gb x2) F3-10666CL8D-4GBRM
CASE: Cooler Master HAF 922 (Mid-Tower)
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F2 1Tb
Monitor: Samsung 24 in. SyncMaster TA350 (Full HD @1080p)

Here is what I want to upgrade to for my current PC, but don't know which one to buy:

Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 8GB (4 x 2GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($79.98 @ Amazon)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($45.99 @ Newegg)

Storage: OCZ Vertex 3 Series – MAX IOPS Edition 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($114.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: OCZ Vertex 3 – MAX IOPS Edition 240GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($169.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 840 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($93.99 @ Mac Mall)
Storage: Samsung 840 Series 250GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($169.99 @ NCIX US)

Here is what I want in a semi-new build, if it's worth it:

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($129.99 @ Newegg) "OR" ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($119.99 @ Amazon) "OR" Gigabyte GA-Z77-D3H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($114.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Samsung 840 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($93.99 @ Mac Mall) "OR" Samsung 840 Series 250GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($169.99 @ NCIX US)
Memory: Any suggestions?

I am keeping my current case, psu, optical drive, ram (if compatible/works with either of the new mobos listed) and cpu cooler. My budget is $400-500 (For the semi-new build), but hope to use only $200-250 if I'm only upgrading my current PC. Primary uses will be gaming and schoolwork. Games I will be playing include AC3, BF3, Crysis 2-3, COD: BO2, Far Cry 3 and etc. I usually play graphic intensive games.

So what do you guys think? Should I just upgrade or do a semi-new build?

Thanks for the help Guys! :D 

More about : upgrade build

a b B Homebuilt system
December 22, 2012 8:15:50 PM

If you can afford it, go for the semi-new build. Your HD 7970 will certainly appreciate the i5. I'm rather sure the phenom x4 965 is bottlenecking your GPU.

I would grab an i5 3570k and the Gigabyte Z77 UD3H motherboard. Then I would upgrade my RAM to 8gb. Then, if there's enough room, add in a SSD.
December 22, 2012 8:23:52 PM

Much more to be gained from the second option. CPU, SSD, then RAM. I'm not sure those are the best options for SSD though. Are you able to get your hands on a Samsung 830? The 840 really didn't do much to improve on the 830 (in some areas it's worse). The 840 Pro was the real successor to the 830. 840 uses TLC NAND, which wears out faster than MLC NAND (half the write/erase cycles). It'll still last for years, but not as many years. Alternatively, the Crucial M4 and Vertex 4 are other excellent options if you can't find an 830 and don't want the expense of the 840 Pro.
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December 22, 2012 8:33:21 PM

DeusAres said:
If you can afford it, go for the semi-new build. Your HD 7970 will certainly appreciate the i5. I'm rather sure the phenom x4 965 is bottlenecking your GPU.

I would grab an i5 3570k and the Gigabyte Z77 UD3H motherboard. Then I would upgrade my RAM to 8gb. Then, if there's enough room, add in a SSD.


Would overclocking the 965 BE minimize the bottlenecks and make it less noticeable or is it just better to ditch it for the i5-3570K? How much of an improvement do you think I will get from an 965 BE to a i5-3570K?
December 22, 2012 8:37:06 PM

sam_p_lay said:
Much more to be gained from the second option. CPU, SSD, then RAM. I'm not sure those are the best options for SSD though. Are you able to get your hands on a Samsung 830? The 840 really didn't do much to improve on the 830 (in some areas it's worse). The 840 Pro was the real successor to the 830. 840 uses TLC NAND, which wears out faster than MLC NAND (half the write/erase cycles). It'll still last for years, but not as many years. Alternatively, the Crucial M4 and Vertex 4 are other excellent options if you can't find an 830 and don't want the expense of the 840 Pro.


Between Crucial M4, Vertex 4, or Samsung 830 series, which one would you go for, or can't go wrong with either one?
a b B Homebuilt system
December 22, 2012 8:37:39 PM

It's hard to say how much of an improvement there will be as there aren't very many benchmarks out there that compare the two. Personally, I would ditch it for the i5 3570k. I'm quite certain you're FPS will increase significantly.

What games are you currently playing? What is the average FPS you see in these games?
December 22, 2012 8:41:54 PM

+1. In CPU-intensive games at 1080p, you're looking at as much as 50% framerate gain with the i5. Overclocking will certainly help though.

EDIT: And 30-35% more for non-gaming stuff.
December 22, 2012 8:46:14 PM

DeusAres said:
It's hard to say how much of an improvement there will be as there aren't very many benchmarks out there that compare the two. Personally, I would ditch it for the i5 3570k. I'm quite certain you're FPS will increase significantly.

What games are you currently playing? What is the average FPS you see in these games?


I mainly play Max Payne 3, AC3, and Far Cry 3. But I do play other games just not as frequently as I do the three I mentioned. I usually get about 55-58 fps, since I've OC my 965 BE.

EDIT: But not all settings are @ MAX though.
December 22, 2012 8:46:17 PM

jsagaga02 said:
Between Crucial M4, Vertex 4, or Samsung 830 series, which one would you go for, or can't go wrong with either one?


Vertex 4 would have the lead in pure performance, though only slightly above the 830. Since OCZ drives are generally a bit less reliable, I'd take the 830.
December 22, 2012 8:53:35 PM

I'd opt for the 8gb of Corsair Vengance, 16gb is overkill for anything but the I7 really.
+1 to the Samsung 830, I'm currently running a 256gb one, and its plenty fast. However, with the hard drive you have, a 128GB one is good (and cheaper), but with the downside being able to put less games on there (faster drive=shorter load screens).

Overall, a new build would be better, but the upgrading (with maybe a larger overclock on the CPU) also seems to be ok, with some minor bottlenecking from the CPU
a b B Homebuilt system
December 22, 2012 9:00:27 PM

Wow! And I'm assuming you're playing at 1920x1080 res?

You should be seeing FPS well in excess of 60.



Source: http://www.techspot.com/review/546-amd-radeon-hd-7970-g...

I would definitely go with the i5 3570k. It'll unlock the full potential of the HD 7970. You should be playing those games on max settings at a consistent 60 fps. Far Cry 3 is the only exception; it may prove to be a little more difficult to run.
December 22, 2012 9:10:54 PM

DeusAres said:
Wow! And I'm assuming you're playing at 1920x1080 res?

You should be saying FPS well in excess of 60.

http://static.techspot.com/articles-info/546/bench/MP3_01.png

Source: http://www.techspot.com/review/546-amd-radeon-hd-7970-g...

I would definitely go with the i5 3570k. It'll unlock the full potential of the HD 7970. You should be playing those games on max settings at a consistent 60 fps. Far Cry 3 is the only exception; it may prove to be a little more difficult to run.


Yeah, I noticed when I maxed out the settings for Far Cry 3. I do play all games @ 1920x1080. Sorry, I didn't clearly state that the FPS I mentioned is what I get for Max Payne 3 with all settings maxed out. I think I get a bit more with AC3, but I'm not sure by how much. Is it weird that my FPS isn't reaching what is expected even with a 965 BE?
a b B Homebuilt system
December 22, 2012 9:17:21 PM

jsagaga02 said:
Yeah, I noticed when I maxed out the settings for Far Cry 3. I do play all games @ 1920x1080. Sorry, I didn't clearly state that the FPS I mentioned is what I get for Max Payne 3 with all settings maxed out. I think I get a bit more with AC3, but I'm not sure by how much. Is it weird that my FPS isn't reaching what is expected even with a 965 BE?

No, that's not really weird at all. It's usually expected from AMD processors. You get what you pay for. However, the phenoms are still a great budget processor.
December 22, 2012 9:20:32 PM

DeusAres said:
If you can afford it, go for the semi-new build. Your HD 7970 will certainly appreciate the i5. I'm rather sure the phenom x4 965 is bottlenecking your GPU.

I would grab an i5 3570k and the Gigabyte Z77 UD3H motherboard. Then I would upgrade my RAM to 8gb. Then, if there's enough room, add in a SSD.


Do you know what the Gigabyte Z77x-UD3H mobo has more/better than the ASRock Extreme 4 doesn't? Just wondering if I benefit more with one or the other.
a b B Homebuilt system
December 22, 2012 9:46:09 PM

jsagaga02 said:
Do you know what the Gigabyte Z77x-UD3H mobo has more/better than the ASRock Extreme 4 doesn't? Just wondering if I benefit more with one or the other.

Not really any difference between the two. Just go with whatever you like best. They're both excellent options. I believe the Gigabyte board is a bit thicker and more durable than the ASRock board. I'm not completely sure of this though. My suggestion would be to just go with whatever is cheapest.
December 22, 2012 9:56:12 PM

I've decided to go with the semi-new build. Thanks for all the help guys! Happy Holidays!! :D 
December 22, 2012 9:58:11 PM

Pleasure, and same to you :-)
!