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Time to upgrade or build new?

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February 25, 2013 2:56:35 PM

Hello, I have been lurking the forums for awhile and I finally decided to join up. Anyway, I have a question to ask everyone. I bought an iBuyPower PC in 2010 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...). I have been very satisfied but I notice the newer games are starting to strain the HD 5770. I figure I have one of two options:

Option 1:
Build a new system from scratch... I figure I would spend about $1000... but I would like to save some money.

Option 2:
Upgrade the current system. I figured I would slap an HD 7970 GHZ edition (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...) in the system, expand my memory up to 16gigs or so, add a SSD for my OS to run on, and perhaps update some fans (at load my computer sounds like it will take off).

Would it be worth it to upgrade my current system as opposed to just building a new one? I was originally going to build with the idea of setting up a CrossFire or SLI configuration but I have read that having one good video card is better than two Crossfired/SLIed. (I am only using one monitor and have no desire to use several at once) Would my current power supply of 700 watts be adequate? Oh and one more question, if I expand my RAM can I mix and match old with new or should I get all the same brand?

For general info I will be using it for gaming... especially Arma 2, Arma 3 when it comes out, X-Plane 10, perhaps the new SimCity, and Battlefield 3, etc. I would like to be able to run all of these games at their highest settings. My current system gets pretty bogged down when I put Arma 2 on higher settings. I will not be planning to OCing anything because I don't know how and exactly what it does.

Please let me know what you think (especially about the type of gpu I should invest into), and if you have any other opinions or comments. Thanks a bunch for any information you can provide.



Current specs:
General Spec:
Brand - iBUYPOWER

Processor - AMD Phenom II X4 965(3.4GHz)
Processor Main Features - 64 bit Quad-Core Processor
Cache Per Processor - 4 x 512KB L2 Cache
Memory - 4GB DDR3 1333
Hard Drive - 500 gb sata
Optical Drive - 22X DL DVD+/-RW Drive
Graphics - ATI Radeon HD5770 1GB
Sound card - Integrated
Ethernet - 10/100/1000Mbps
Power Supply - 700W
Case - NZXT Apollo Gaming Tower

Motherboard
Chipset - AMD 770

CPU
CPU Type - Phenom II X4
CPU Speed - 965(3.4GHz)
L2 Cache Per CPU - 4 x 512KB
L3 Cache Per CPU - 6MB
CPU Socket Type - AM3
CPU Main Features - 64 bit Quad-Core Processor

Graphics
GPU/VPU Type - ATI Radeon HD 5770
Graphics Interface - PCI Express 2.0 x16

Memory - 4GB DDR3
Memory Speed - DDR3 1333
Form Factor - DIMM 240-pin
Memory Spec - 2GB x 2
Memory Slot (Total) - 4
Memory Slot (Available) - 2
Maximum Memory Supported - 16GB

Optical Drive
Optical Drive Type - DVD±RW
Optical Drive Spec - 22X DL DVD+/-RW Drive

Audio
Audio Chipset - Integrated
Audio Channels - 8 channels

Communications
LAN Chipset - Integrated
LAN Speed - 10/100/1000Mbps

Front Panel Ports
Front USB - 2
Front IEEE 1394 - 1 x IEEE 1394
Front Audio Ports - 2

Back Panel Ports
PS/2 - 2
Video Ports - 1 VGA, 1 DVI, 1 HDMI
Rear USB - 8
Rear IEEE 1394 - 2
RJ45 - 1 port
Rear Audio Ports - 6 ports
S/P DIF - 1 x Coaxial S/PDIF Out
1 x Optical S/PDIF Out

Expansion
PCI Slots (Available/Total)
1 x PCI-Express x16
4 x PCI-Express x1
2 x PCI

Physical Spec:
Dimensions
21.10" x 8.60" x 17.30"
Weight
34.00 lbs

Thanks again!

More about : time upgrade build

Best solution

February 25, 2013 3:30:30 PM

Money-saver option:

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/FUAT
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/FUAT/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/FUAT/benchmarks/

Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($55.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Intel 330 Series 180GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($179.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB Video Card ($445.91 @ Newegg)
Total: $681.89
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-02-25 12:27 EST-0500)

NOW, having seen that....here's a build list I just created for another user that is a complete new system for only a couple hundred more.

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/FvyF
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/FvyF/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/FvyF/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($229.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($31.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V LK ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($134.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($55.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($104.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Intel 330 Series 180GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($179.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card
Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case ($65.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: SeaSonic S12II 620W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($80.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($24.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $909.88
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-02-23 18:30 EST-0500)
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February 25, 2013 11:40:47 PM

sharkbyte5150 said:
Money-saver option:

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/FUAT
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/FUAT/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/FUAT/benchmarks/

Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($55.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Intel 330 Series 180GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($179.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB Video Card ($445.91 @ Newegg)
Total: $681.89
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-02-25 12:27 EST-0500)

NOW, having seen that....here's a build list I just created for another user that is a complete new system for only a couple hundred more.

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/FvyF
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/FvyF/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/FvyF/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($229.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($31.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V LK ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($134.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($55.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($104.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Intel 330 Series 180GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($179.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card
Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case ($65.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: SeaSonic S12II 620W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($80.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($24.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $909.88
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-02-23 18:30 EST-0500)


Thanks for the reply, I really appreciate it. Do you think an Intel CPU is the way to go especially if I will be using this for gaming? I think I am going to build a new system after researching my current motherboard... it seems kind of limited. Any thoughts on the CrossFire/SLI set up instead of a one card set up?
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February 26, 2013 12:19:41 AM

I'm not a gamer but the 3570K is by far the most recommended CPU by gamers, and I don't know many that really push for Crossfire/SLI unless using a dual monitor setup.

I think AMD is a great solution for people trying to maximize performance with a limited budget but in this price range I've never seen anyone suggest AMD over Intel.
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February 26, 2013 4:01:55 PM

Thanks again for the feedback. I believe I am going to go with the 3570k. Do you think it would be worth investing in an HD 7970 instead of the 7950? Any suggestions on the brand of the card? Oh and if I do get the 7970 will i need a bigger power supply?Should I invest in more/better fans for the case?

I have adjusted the items that I have stated above: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/G8WA

Obviously this is a bit more than I want to spend. Is there anything you see is overkill that is not worth getting?
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February 26, 2013 10:10:32 PM

Like BYO says, if you can afford the 7970, go for it.

Regarding the build link you put up, the change to the more expensive Seasonic 650W is unnecessary, the 620 one was fine for either graphics card; I've used 3 of them in the past 6 months (in 3 different new builds, just to clarify). Here's a list with the 620 PSU and a different 7970, difference of $100 right there...

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/Gdqs

You could even save another $20 by changing case to Cooler Master HAF 912, unless you just really like that NZXT.
Keep in mind, I did choose a modular PSU since the NZXT has a side window.
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February 27, 2013 9:07:32 AM

BYOGamingPC and SharkByte, again thank you so much for your input and feedback.

I have adjusted somethings and here it is http://pcpartpicker.com/p/Gjxy

I have dumped the GHZ edition and just went with the plain 7970. Furthermore, I realized that if I am unsatisfied in a couple of years I can slap another, newer, card in there.

Additionally, with the interest of saving some money, I noticed that NewEgg will throw in 8gb of memory (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...) with the purchase of the motherboard. What are your thoughts with going with the promotional memory instead of the G.Skill?

Oh, I do love that case so I think I will stick with it and I have a 500gb hard drive to use.

Thanks again, I truly appreciate the help.
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February 27, 2013 1:37:21 PM

byogamingpc said:
I agree, 650 is a bit overkill but I always prefer more than I need in case I decide to add peripherals or go Xfire/SLI or some random combination of the two.



I agree about having some reserve power for upgrades for sure, but since he said it was more than he was wanting to spend I picked the two easiest ways to save $100 without compromising any performance.
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February 27, 2013 1:51:39 PM

Thanks you again for the replies. do you think the case that I have selected will be large enough, especially with the after market CPU fan?
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February 27, 2013 2:40:31 PM

You should be fine, I think the 212 was designed to fit in nearly any mid or full tower.
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February 27, 2013 2:42:53 PM

So everything should fit in that case then. I was thinking about getting a fan for the front of the case. Running with the i-5 and the HD 7970, at load, should I be worrying about overheating, or will they be fine? Again I really really appreciate all of the help/advice.
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February 27, 2013 2:44:38 PM

A front intake fan always helps, Xigmatek 120mm fans work great and are silent.
I've always had at least a front, rear and CPU fan in my system.
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February 28, 2013 8:08:38 AM

Well here it is. http://pcpartpicker.com/p/GxFu I plan on ordering either today or tomorrow. I did place a monitor in there because I realized my current one is not 1080p. Any advice on a monitor?

Also I have been reading about the rumored release of the HD 8xxx series soon... do you think I should wait for that or just go ahead and get the 7970? If I do wait I can save more and perhaps get the 8970. If the release is in Q4 or Q3 I will just get the 7970.

Oh and bummer, I missed the free RAM with the motherboard promotion so I picked some out. I noticed there are still motherboards with the free RAM promotion. Should I stick with the Asus? What do you guys think?

Thanks again!
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February 28, 2013 10:37:07 PM

byogamingpc said:
Unfortunately, nobody really knows when they are releasing the 8xxx series quite yet. It could be in a month or a few. I'd just go ahead and get the XFX Double D HD 7970 Black Edition 3GB DDR5: $399.99 - $30 rebate = $369.99 http://amzn.to/YxUYX1 . You can always wait until the next series come out but with that thinking you will never get a new computer. =) The 7970 is a great value right now with the $30 rebate.

For a monitor I'd recommend this one. It's an IPS monitor and a great deal ASUS VS239H-P 23-Inch Full-HD - $169.99 http://amzn.to/WmXhlQ. I'm a big fan of ASUS and use a lot of their products so I do recommend their motherboards since it is currently what I have. They are very stable and overclock well if you plan to do so.
ASUS P8Z77-V LX - ​​$119.99 http://amzn.to/YxWRTF

Also, if you are going to purchase the products that I've listed please use the links I've provided. =) I'm an affiliate of many of the e-tailers and get a small %age when you do. Thanks! =)



He already chose an ASUS motherboard, the LK (same one I use) and an ASUS monitor (also same one I have which is excellent).
I didn't realize Toms became a site for pushing links to make a buck.
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February 28, 2013 11:52:19 PM

Best answer selected by RhinoGamer.
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March 1, 2013 1:30:11 PM

Thanks guys! I have ordered the parts and am simply waiting. I have been reading up and it sounds like my OEM code for windows 7 will not work on my new rig. Now my most pressing decision is whether to get Windows 7 or 8.
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March 2, 2013 4:12:54 PM

windows 8 boots so much faster (under 7-8 seconds with a standard 7200 rpm hard drive) than windows 7 (over a minute on my same rig). I'd go windows 8 (and did go win 8) for that one reason. the learning curve is pretty small, just use the desktop option for most things and it's like win 7. (the settings and search bars are contextual to what you have open, so if you want mail settings, you need to have mail open. that was my only problem)

win 8 is also more secure.
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March 2, 2013 7:07:36 PM

Win8 may load faster but something must be wrong with your rig if Windows 7 takes over a minute to load. I have Win7 Pro on my SSD and I'm at the desktop in under 10 seconds.
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