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Upgrade suggestions?

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January 4, 2013 4:52:23 PM

Hello! I put together a system a couple of years ago that I need a bit of upgrade advice on. Trying to hold off on doing a full rebuild until next year but am way out of the loop on where things are now (in terms of processors, motherboards and graphics cards, etc). Any cheap & easy upgrade suggestions y'all might have to maximize my gaming experience until then would be greatly appreciated...

Should I take my RAM up to 16GB? Get another graphics card for some CrossFire action, or replace my current card entirely? Upgrade the processor on my current MoBo? Or do y'all recommend a cheap MoBo & Processor that would still work with my power supply, RAM, etc?


Here's what I have now…

ASRock 870 EXTREME3 AM3 AMD 870 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard

AMD HDX925WFGMBOX Phenom II X4 925 AM3 45NM 95-Watt 2800 Mhz Box C3 8 MB

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model

ASUS EAH6850 DC/2DIS/1GD5/V2 Radeon HD 6850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity

XFX XXX Edition 650w Modular Power Supply

Samsung 1 TB Spinpoint 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.5 inch Bulk/OEM Desktop Hard Drive HD103SJ

ASUS VH236H 23 Inch Widescreen LCD Monitor


Thanks for any thoughts or advice!

More about : upgrade suggestions

a b B Homebuilt system
January 4, 2013 5:09:28 PM

If I were you, I would wait if you plan on upgrading later this year. You could build a better computer than that for a pretty decent price now. But I am pretty sure that a lot of gpu's would get a bottleneck from that cpu.
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 4, 2013 5:24:12 PM

Really, with what you currently have I'd just wait on upgrading. Amd just came out with their latest gen. cpu's, but Intel is about 4 months away from replacing Ivy Bridge. Hold out for Haswell and read the reviews. You only *need* a new motherboard/cpu. If you are itching to ugrade NOW, look at an Intel 3570k cpu for roughly 215 dollars, and a motherboard around 120 - 150 dollars. If you want to overclock the cpu, add another 30ish dollars for a cpu cooler(Hyper 212 Evo). You can still use your ram in your new build. Optimally you'd swap to 8gb's of ram, but for now you could just defer the cost and hold onto your 4gb's.

That video card isn't a slouch either.

So, wait for Haswell, then decide what cpu/motherboard to buy.
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January 4, 2013 7:20:21 PM

Thanks to you both!

It is really the first half of the year that I have time to game, so sounds like I need to figure out whether my current system will last me until 2014 -- or if I should just bite the bullet and do the 3570k w/ motherboard upgrade now for ~$375.

Hmm....
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 4, 2013 7:43:26 PM

Well, if you got a 3570k, you would be set for a cpu for a pretty long time. It will be old in a few years, but I'd think it would still be able to handle games fine. Why can you only play the first half of the year?
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January 4, 2013 7:50:22 PM

Cool. Think that 6850 will last me for a while too?

I run a festival in November -- things start getting pretty hectic in July, though I do still sneak in some game time. Just not as much as I'd like...
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 4, 2013 8:04:26 PM

Well, it depends on what you like gaming on. If it is high settings, I'd be surprised if that still worked. If you like medium to low, you should be fine for at least a year or 2.
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January 4, 2013 8:14:20 PM

I have 2 x 6850s, they perform well on current games at 1080p, but it can't run some with all the settings turned up. 1 Single card (not running xfire) and it dogs pretty good on most titles, as I am sure you are aware. For the price ($130) you could seriously upgrade the gaming power of that PC. You'd have to spend $250 on a 7870 or 7950 to get near the same performance.

Didnt look at your mobo to see if it is 16x16 or 8x8 or 16x4, may be a small factor in performance.
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 5, 2013 2:35:31 AM

If you could sell off your 6850 to get the new ones it would be worth it. You could also wait for the prices to go down a bit.
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January 8, 2013 8:25:07 PM

Alright -- went ahead and got a 3570k with a Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H motherboard...

Can I use my current system drive, or do I need to do a fresh install of Windows? Would be great to not have to reinstall everything...

Thanks again!
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January 8, 2013 9:24:25 PM

If you plan on a full upgrade later it is stupid to spend money on parts that will not be used in the new system. Stick to buying parts that you can and will cannibalize into the new upgrade. These include video cards, additional harddrives, optical multi-drives, etc. Things like cpu's , coolers, mainboards & memory are all very match/socket specific parts and in any significant upgrade they are always swapped out in whole complete groups. That is expensive so wait on those until you are ready for the big one.
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 8, 2013 10:47:00 PM

You might need to do a fresh install. I had to.
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!