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We can rebuild it... We can make it stronger... (Gaming/Streaming rig)

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February 22, 2013 10:51:08 AM

So, I built this rig roughly 4-5 years ago and I'm starting to see it's age.

My main issue is that I'm having a tough time streaming my games at a good quality.
I'd like to ask the community what I should update and what I should update to.

I don't want to turn this into an Intel vs AMD argument, I'm not shy about going from one to the other if the improvement warrants it.

Do realize that I've attempted to upgrade over time and the thing honestly feels more like a Frankenstein hodgepodge and the bottle necking I'm seeing is kind of bugging me.

Present build
*CPU: Intel i7 920 @ 2.67GHz
*Motherboard: EVGA X58 132-BL-E758
Memory: DDR3 Corsair 16GB (4GB x4) @ 1600
Main Storage: OCZ Agility 4 256GB SSD
Second Storage: WD Black 2TB HDD
*Video Card: x2 EVGA GTX 550ti (SLI)
Case: Antec 900
Power Supply: Corsair TX 750w
**Monitor: ViewSonic V3D231 23" Wide
* Things I definitely think should be updated
** Using an older monitor for my secondary monitor and TV for my third.
** The TV can easily be taken out of the rig system as it's only used for movies

Games
Borderlands 2
League of Legends
Arma 2 (DayZ)
Planetside 2
Mechwarrior Online
World of Tanks
Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion
*I can easily play all of these 1920x1080 on my main screen.
February 22, 2013 11:24:26 AM

You have a triple channel IMC which you're not utilizing. Not a huge problem but a bit weird.

Your CPU is still powerful though it does need an overclock. Invest in a nice cooler and 3.5 GHz is trivial, even 4.0 GHz and beyond is possible.

GPU upgrade would be great for gaming. Two low end cards in SLI is hardly optimal.
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February 22, 2013 3:20:13 PM

FinneousPJ said:
You have a triple channel IMC which you're not utilizing. Not a huge problem but a bit weird.

Your CPU is still powerful though it does need an overclock. Invest in a nice cooler and 3.5 GHz is trivial, even 4.0 GHz and beyond is possible.

GPU upgrade would be great for gaming. Two low end cards in SLI is hardly optimal.


I have no doubt that the CPU could be overclocked, but I shamefully have to say that I don't know how to go about it.

Aside from asking "how 2 ovrclock????", what sort of cooler should I go for? I'm using the included fan at the moment and as much as I'd like to try one of sealed liquid coolers, I don't think my motherboard and case arrangement would allow for it space wise.

And lastly, still trying to think about this somewhat budget wise, but should I upgrade to a GTX 660 or something else?
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February 22, 2013 3:29:24 PM

One other thing I'd like to add. I actually have 24GB RAM (See opening post for specifics), the motherboard can take it, as can the chip. The issue is Windows 7 Ultimate says that there's "Installed memory (RAM): 24.0 GB (16.0 GB usable".

Is this simply a voltage issue that can be resolved by overclocking?
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February 22, 2013 3:59:30 PM

usually 16GB limit is from win 7 home premium.... i dont know if it happens on ultimate

btw before we recommend cpu+mobo+graphic card for you. will you OC? this can affect parts selection
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February 22, 2013 4:11:24 PM

AMD Radeon said:
usually 16GB limit is from win 7 home premium.... i dont know if it happens on ultimate

btw before we recommend cpu+mobo+graphic card for you. will you OC? this can affect parts selection


It isn't supposed to happen on Ultimate but apparently it's going to be a pain like that...

And I would OC if I could figure out how to do it. This is essentially my first build so I'm still rather new to all of this and I'm kind of learning as I go and on my own.
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February 22, 2013 6:12:33 PM

if you have no limit on budget, here is your upgrade :) 

six cores of awesomeness from intel
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-3930K 3.2GHz 6-Core Processor ($499.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 SE2011 CPU Cooler ($80.44 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock X79 Extreme6 ATX LGA2011 Motherboard ($197.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 680 2GB Video Card ($439.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1218.41
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-02-22 15:11 EST-0500)
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March 2, 2013 11:53:07 AM

AMD Radeon said:
if you have no limit on budget, here is your upgrade :) 

six cores of awesomeness from intel
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-3930K 3.2GHz 6-Core Processor ($499.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 SE2011 CPU Cooler ($80.44 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock X79 Extreme6 ATX LGA2011 Motherboard ($197.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 680 2GB Video Card ($439.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1218.41
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-02-22 15:11 EST-0500)


I do have a bit of a budget and as much as I'd loooove to upgrade, I think I might be able to get some good bang out of my present build if I were able to overclock.
My question now is... How do I do that?

To everyone else, thank you to those that answered my question however I've decided I'm going to update my...

Case: NZXT SWITCH 810 ($179.99 @ newegg)
CPU Cooler: NZXT Kraken X40 ($94.99 @ newegg)

The reason I'm going with these is because a friend recommended them and desperately need a larger case for cable management. The mid-tower I have just isn't spacious enough for me to try to cram my extra wires without a hassle. Seriously, it looks like a rats nest in there...

If anyone would suggest anything better, then I'm open to suggestions, however...

I am on a $500 budget! And even that's more than I'd like to spend on upgrades...

As I said before, if anyone could help me figure out how to overclock my Intel Core i7-920 2.66GHz 4core, I'd greatly appreciate it. If I can get the results I'm going for by simply overclock, then that should hopefully save me some cash until I can shop up a new rig.

Seriously though, AMD Radeon, that i7-3930K is like eye candy... I'm drooling over here...

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March 2, 2013 1:09:04 PM

Alright, if you're getting that case and cooler, that leaves you $225 to spend on a graphics card.

That puts you comfortably in range of a 7850 or 650Ti, and barely within reach of the cheapest 7870. You can't quite get a 660Ti.

Given those options and the fact that you have 550Ti SLI, I don't think I'd upgrade right now. You'd probably see some improvement in some games from the 7870, but not enough to be worth blowing almost half your upgrade budget on it.

On the other hand, you physically can't upgrade your processor on that budget (you'd need a motherboard too, and any cpu/mobo combo would be a downgrade).

So I think what I would do (if you're really set on the case and cooler) is put that $225 aside and wait until you can come up with another $175 to get a 7970 (or whatever the top $400 card is then).

But you could get a cheaper case with good cable management for $80-100, a $20 air cooler that will do fine for OCing, and have $380-400 left over for a 7950 or 7970. The Corsair 300R and 400R are fantastic cases and not at all expensive.
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March 2, 2013 1:21:47 PM

kaels said:
Alright, if you're getting that case and cooler, that leaves you $225 to spend on a graphics card.

That puts you comfortably in range of a 7850 or 650Ti, and barely within reach of the cheapest 7870. You can't quite get a 660Ti.

Given those options and the fact that you have 550Ti SLI, I don't think I'd upgrade right now. You'd probably see some improvement in some games from the 7870, but not enough to be worth blowing almost half your upgrade budget on it.

On the other hand, you physically can't upgrade your processor on that budget (you'd need a motherboard too, and any cpu/mobo combo would be a downgrade).

So I think what I would do (if you're really set on the case and cooler) is put that $225 aside and wait until you can come up with another $175 to get a 7970 (or whatever the top $400 card is then).

But you could get a cheaper case with good cable management for under $100, skip the cooler, and have $400 left over for a 7970. The Corsair 300R and 400R are fantastic cases and not at all expensive.


Thanks for the reply :D 

Yeah, that doesn't sound like a bad idea to be honest. However, i'm really trying to go for a full tower that way size won't be an issue come future builds. But do you think I would be able to stream/record games with that build with the OC'd i7 920?
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March 3, 2013 1:38:09 AM

mystickypants said:
Thanks for the reply :D 

Yeah, that doesn't sound like a bad idea to be honest. However, i'm really trying to go for a full tower that way size won't be an issue come future builds. But do you think I would be able to stream/record games with that build with the OC'd i7 920?

Likely yes, if you can get a decent OC. If not, the 7970 will at least give you a great gaming experience.

Keep in mind that not all mid-towers are created equal. Corsair's mids are pushing full-tower territory. They're kind of hulking, really. Here's my 500R being cavernous:
http://pcpartpicker.com/b/AtN

The 300R and 400R are pretty much identical inside.
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