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Thinking of upgrading, need advice.

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January 6, 2013 4:20:50 AM

Hey, my old rig is well and truely done so I'm in need of a new setup, however I'm also trying to get the best value from my money and seeing as I don't have my finger on the pulse of new PC technology I'm hoping some of you fine chaps will be able to tell me if this rig would even work let alone run well. So here's my proposed rig, please tell me if you see anything that's stupid:

Edit:

After reading some of the helpful things below I've decided it would be a better idea to simply change motherboard entirely and move on to newer things, this is what I'm sure I want:

Radeon HD 7950 Boost - 3 GB GDDR5
Thermaltake Toughpower 700w GPU
Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo

However, I'm back to square one regarding motherboard, Ram and CPU to best take advantage of the graphics card. Could you suggest a CPU/Motherboard combo that would utilise the 7950 to it's peak and how much RAM I should consider putting into the system.


Thanks for reading and hopefully replying.
a b V Motherboard
January 6, 2013 4:49:57 AM

ddr 2 is not supported . buy ddr 3 ram.
My recamend is fill all slots dont see capacity. see mhz in board and ram.Reason mhz is the key to achive speed. if board support 1600mhz u insert 1333mhz its waste because not get full speed of ram slot. if board support 1333mhz u insert 1600mhz its also waste of money (1333mhz ram is cheaper than 1600mhz)also u not utilise full speed of ram. (2x4Gb=8Gb 1600mhz=3200mhz =3.2ghz) vs (2x8Gb=16Gb 1333mhz=2666mhz=2.6ghz).
January 6, 2013 4:57:35 AM

hytecgowthaman said:
ddr 2 is not supported . buy ddr 3 ram.
My recamend is fill all slots dont see capacity. see mhz in board and ram.Reason mhz is the key to achive speed. if board support 1600mhz u insert 1333mhz its waste because not get full speed of ram slot. if board support 1333mhz u insert 1600mhz its also waste of money (1333mhz ram is cheaper than 1600mhz)also u not utilise full speed of ram. (2x4Gb=8Gb 1600mhz=3200mhz =3.2ghz) vs (2x8Gb=16Gb 1333mhz=2666mhz=2.6ghz).


My motherboard won't support DDR2? It's using DDR2 right now. Or do you mean something else?

The only things I'm adding are the graphics card, the CPU, some ram and a slave drive maybe.
Related resources
a b V Motherboard
January 6, 2013 5:12:30 AM

stalgrim said:
Hey, my old rig is well and truely done so I'm in need of a new setup, however I'm also trying to get the best value from my money and seeing as I don't have my finger on the pulse of new PC technology I'm hoping some of you fine chaps will be able to tell me if this rig would even work let alone run well. So here's my proposed rig, please tell me if you see anything that's stupid:

8GB DDR-2 RAM
HD 7950 3072MB GDDR5
AMD Phenom II X4 Quad Core 965 Black Edition
Thermaltake Toughpower 700w GPU
M4N72-E motherboard

I also have a few questions:

Would I need to buy the same RAM I have now (geil black dragon 4gb ddr2 6400 800mhz) for the extra two ram slots in my motherboard or would any 4gb of ram do? would the specs for the ram need to be the same? Can I use this one: http://tinyurl.com/b4nvhxt because it would be SO much cheaper.

Also, is there any notable difference between these two graphics cards?

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=GX...

and

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=GX...

and is that difference worth the £40 difference in value?

Thanks for reading and hopefully replying.



It is generally recommended to stick to same kind of ram to avoid issues, mixing sets can work but if you buy different brands I believe the speed drops to slowest of the mixed set.

7950 is a great card, though it is overkill for your processor, it will be bottlenecked severely at stock settings, you will loose a lot of the performance of that GPU as the cpu will not be able to fully utilize it, you would NEED to overclock.

I suggest dropping down to something like a 7870 and save the difference to upgrade your cpu/motherboard at a future time.
January 6, 2013 5:18:37 AM

maxalge said:
It is generally recommended to stick to same kind of ram to avoid issues, mixing sets can work but if you buy different brands I believe the speed drops to slowest of the mixed set.

7950 is a great card, though it is overkill for your processor, it will be bottlenecked severely at stock settings, you will loose a lot of the performance of that GPU as the cpu will not be able to fully utilize it, you would NEED to overclock.

I suggest dropping down to something like a 7870 and save the difference to upgrade your cpu/motherboard at a future time.


How much would I need to overclock it to get the most out of it? and will the OCZ sticks, which are almost exactly the same, work?

Is there anything I'd need to do to overclock it other than change the settings? Like buy a new heatsink or something? If you could suggest one that'd be great.
a b V Motherboard
January 6, 2013 5:30:19 AM

stalgrim said:
How much would I need to overclock it to get the most out of it? and will the OCZ sticks, which are almost exactly the same, work?

Is there anything I'd need to do to overclock it other than change the settings? Like buy a new heatsink or something? If you could suggest one that'd be great.



Yes you would need to overclock to at least 4ghz, and even then you would not see the full performance out of that video card.

The cheapest cooler that would let you hit 4ghz on that cpu would be a cooler master hyper 212:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If the ram are both same brand and have similar specs and voltages it will probably work.


January 6, 2013 6:44:51 AM

maxalge said:
Yes you would need to overclock to at least 4ghz, and even then you would not see the full performance out of that video card.

The cheapest cooler that would let you hit 4ghz on that cpu would be a cooler master hyper 212:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If the ram are both same brand and have similar specs and voltages it will probably work.


How much would I need to overclock it to get the most out of it, if that's even possible and would my PSU be able to handle all of the upgrades?

Also which AMD CPU right now would get the most out of that graphics card?

Also, would this: http://tinyurl.com/b4nvhxt

work with these I already have? http://tinyurl.com/bano5fr

a b V Motherboard
January 6, 2013 7:55:39 AM

stalgrim said:
How much would I need to overclock it to get the most out of it, if that's even possible and would my PSU be able to handle all of the upgrades?

Also which AMD CPU right now would get the most out of that graphics card?

Also, would this: http://tinyurl.com/b4nvhxt

work with these I already have? http://tinyurl.com/bano5fr



Could you post the voltage and the specs of the ram you already have installed?

If you don't know, install this to find out:

http://www.maxxpi.net/pages/downloads/maxxmemsup2---pre...


To find out the ram voltage look in the bios.
a b V Motherboard
January 6, 2013 8:06:15 AM

stalgrim said:
6400
800mhz
CLl 5-5-5-15
DC kit



Ok cool now go into your bios and find out what your current ram runs at as far as voltage is concerned.


If it is also 2.2v then they should have no problem running together at 5 5 5 15.

January 6, 2013 8:27:29 AM

maxalge said:
Ok cool now go into your bios and find out what your current ram runs at as far as voltage is concerned.


If it is also 2.2v then they should have no problem running together at 5 5 5 15.


I found a reasonably priced pair of 2gb black dragon ram sticks on ebay, so that's taken care of.

Now, back to the overclocking and my PSU.

How much would I need to overclock to not bottleneck the 7950 and can by 700w psu handle it?
a b V Motherboard
January 6, 2013 10:31:41 AM

stalgrim said:
I found a reasonably priced pair of 2gb black dragon ram sticks on ebay, so that's taken care of.

Now, back to the overclocking and my PSU.

How much would I need to overclock to not bottleneck the 7950 and can by 700w psu handle it?



You can't overclock enough, 4ghz would just reduce the bottleneck.

On that processor 4ghz will most likely be max oc.

700w will be more than enough.
January 6, 2013 11:07:49 AM

maxalge said:
You can't overclock enough, 4ghz would just reduce the bottleneck.

On that processor 4ghz will most likely be max oc.

700w will be more than enough.


Alright, more importantly:

Is the DDR2 RAM I'm using going to be OK for me to overclock the CPU to 4.0 GHZ using the aftermarket fan you suggested?
January 6, 2013 2:13:13 PM

What kind of a bottle neck will the CPU put on this GPU, does anyone know?
a c 147 V Motherboard
January 6, 2013 2:32:25 PM

The idea of buying more DDR2 RAM for an older Socket AM2+ board is extremely suboptimal. That board in particular only supports one DIMM per channel anyway.
If you already have the CPU, buy an AM3 board to go with it. You want a 900-series chipset board too, NOT one of the older 760, 880, or "fake" 970 boards that use the 710 Southbridge; the Southbridge should be a 950.
Avoid MSI; a lot of their AMD boards in particular have weak VRMs that pop if you overclock much, or at all: https://spreadsheets.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?key=0Ag...
Without regard to budget, I would choose Asus > ASRock >= Gigabyte >>> anyone else. On a budget, ASRock tends to have more features, but check specs carefully because they've got some of those "fake" 970-designation boards that do NOT have the 950 Southbridge.
a c 147 V Motherboard
January 6, 2013 2:38:44 PM

If that Thermaltake Toughpower is a newer unit, with some level of 80+ certification, it is probably ok. If it's their older Toughpower, and has a little voltage switch on it, it's probably not a good unit. Seasonic (or anything they build, like XFX), Antec, NEW Rosewill (e.g. Capstone and Hive), or Enermax/LEPA are better, safer choices. High-end Corsair units are also built by Seasonic, but the V2 Builder units are not.
January 6, 2013 4:08:34 PM

Onus said:
If that Thermaltake Toughpower is a newer unit, with some level of 80+ certification, it is probably ok. If it's their older Toughpower, and has a little voltage switch on it, it's probably not a good unit. Seasonic (or anything they build, like XFX), Antec, NEW Rosewill (e.g. Capstone and Hive), or Enermax/LEPA are better, safer choices. High-end Corsair units are also built by Seasonic, but the V2 Builder units are not.


Yeah it's starting to seem to me like it'd be pointless to use this motherboard. But my powersupply is 2/3 years old and is 80+.
January 6, 2013 4:33:17 PM

Updated my origional question.
a c 147 V Motherboard
January 6, 2013 5:17:09 PM

Ok. If you particularly enjoy overclocking and tweaking, you might still get satisfaction from AMD. For anyone else, especially if you really don't care about overclocking, or don't want your PC to use any more power than needed, then Intel is the way to go. For games, an overclocked AMD CPU will typically match an Intel i3.
In your place, I'd probably look for a H77-chipset Intel board, then get the best non-"K" CPU I can comfortably afford. If money is not a significant issue, then I'd get a Z77 board instead, with a "K"-series chip.
Unless you get an unlocked CPU like the i5-3570K, the only thing an aftermarket cooler will do for you is reduce noise (but the stock Intel cooler is pretty quiet). Make sure you need it before buying, and if you do, check out the Xigmatek Gaia. Here, it is $20 vs. over $30 for the Crappermaster, and according to Frostytech's reviews it is quieter. That's what I have on my systems (one Intel, one AMD), and I am happy with them.
As to the RAM, make sure it operates on 1.5V or less; the Intel IMC (the integrated memory controller) will be significantly stressed by higher voltage. I think one of my systems has 1.35V RAM in it. There is only a little speed difference between DDR3-1600 and anything faster, if only because CAS latency will often be higher on the "faster" RAM. The difference between DDR3-1333 and DDR3-1600 is also pretty small, but so is the price. Look for CAS9 or better.
January 6, 2013 6:33:04 PM

Onus said:
Ok. If you particularly enjoy overclocking and tweaking, you might still get satisfaction from AMD. For anyone else, especially if you really don't care about overclocking, or don't want your PC to use any more power than needed, then Intel is the way to go. For games, an overclocked AMD CPU will typically match an Intel i3.
In your place, I'd probably look for a H77-chipset Intel board, then get the best non-"K" CPU I can comfortably afford. If money is not a significant issue, then I'd get a Z77 board instead, with a "K"-series chip.
Unless you get an unlocked CPU like the i5-3570K, the only thing an aftermarket cooler will do for you is reduce noise (but the stock Intel cooler is pretty quiet). Make sure you need it before buying, and if you do, check out the Xigmatek Gaia. Here, it is $20 vs. over $30 for the Crappermaster, and according to Frostytech's reviews it is quieter. That's what I have on my systems (one Intel, one AMD), and I am happy with them.
As to the RAM, make sure it operates on 1.5V or less; the Intel IMC (the integrated memory controller) will be significantly stressed by higher voltage. I think one of my systems has 1.35V RAM in it. There is only a little speed difference between DDR3-1600 and anything faster, if only because CAS latency will often be higher on the "faster" RAM. The difference between DDR3-1333 and DDR3-1600 is also pretty small, but so is the price. Look for CAS9 or better.


Hey, thanks for this advice, I've decided to skip AMD and overclocking and just get an Intel, would you say the I5 was anygood and can you say anything for this: http://tinyurl.com/aa58k8m



a c 147 V Motherboard
January 6, 2013 7:12:13 PM

The i5-3470 is an excellent CPU. The Asus H61 may or may not be suitable. Many H61 boards won't support Ivy Bridge CPUs (like the i5-3470) without a BIOS flash. You'd need a Sandy Bridge CPU, even a cheap one, on hand to boot the board to do that flash. They also don't support SATA 6Gb/s, which will matter if you ever get a SSD. If the seller is prepared to guarantee compatibility to you, right out of the box, it may be a decent deal. Otherwise, I went to http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/Intel_Socket_1155/P8H6... and the i5-3470 is NOT on the compatibility list, even though some other Ivy Bridge chips are (since BIOS revision 0701). You might be able to take the board to a local shop, pay their service fee, and they could flash it for you, but again the CPU isn't on the QVL list, so it may still not work.
!