Contented?

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Contented?

Postposted on Fri Mar 07, 2014 12:54 am

I am looking at my 2011 build which has an i5 2500k, 16GB of RAM, 120GB SSD and a plethora of other old drives for storage. Had a Radeon 4850 die on me so that was upgraded to a 6950.

Ivy Bridge and Haswell have both arrived and previously I would have upgraded my computer every 18 to 24 months. It's now almost 30 months and I haven't found my current setup to be inadequate in any way. I look at today's options and nothing seems to entice me. Haswell isn't that much faster than my current Sandy Bridge CPU. RAM has increased in price since 2011! For the same amount of money I can't even get 16GB of RAM when previously an upgrade cycle got me double the ram for half the price. Just bought a new SSD and will be doing a reinstall of Windows. Even Windows has stagnated and I still haven't had the opportunity to use Windows 8.1. The 6950 pretty much runs the games I play anyway at full settings on my 27" Dell IPS monitor.

Well, there's no point to this post other than the fact that the PC world has become pretty boring of late when companies started chasing laptop sales (R&D for power efficiency instead of performance) and now they've moved on to tablets and smartphones.

I've been itching to upgrade for a while now but it just seems like a lot of cash for not much improvement. So anyone want to give me a reason to spend money? :)
*yawn*
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Re: Contented?

Postposted on Fri Mar 07, 2014 1:08 am

etilena wrote:So anyone want to give me a reason to spend money? :)

Buy another device. A tablet, a new smartphone (or even phablet)? Soon you may have a choice of all sorts of wearables. Those 1440p or even 4K monitors? How about that triple monitor setup that you have always been secretly wanting after seeing pictures of them? A real surround sound system? Those mechanical keyboards that people have been bragging about? Perhaps also play some more games? Upgrade your network infrastructure to gigabit (in case you haven't) and N/AC wifi? How about building a real file server, or that "backup thing" that you have always wanted to set up but have been playing with fire with your data?

Or, what about that desk that is curved because of age, or finally you have that much budget (for a computer) to get a really good ergonomic chair that you have always balked at its price?

Give me an amount and I can probably spend it all for you. ;)
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Re: Contented?

Postposted on Fri Mar 07, 2014 10:29 am

I'm running a 2500K, 16GB RAM, and a cheap-ass Samsung 840 SSD.
At work, I have access to i7-4770s with 32GB of RAM, the latest graphics cards and a huge variety of different SSD's, SAN storage - yet at no point have I ever felt that my home machine is any slower.

The way I see it, Ivy bridge was maybe 5% faster than Sandy Bridge and Haswell is barely any faster than Ivy Bridge.
The "improvements" have been in power-efficiency but that's practically a non-issue for desktops.

If you're happy with your graphics card, there's really nothing to upgrade. My only suggestion would be to improve your storage - a bunch of old disks might be noisy and slow, perhaps you could build a little NAS box and put a couple of modern 4TB drives in it? They'll be fast enough to saturate gigabit network and quiet, too.
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Re: Contented?

Postposted on Fri Mar 07, 2014 10:40 am

I'm not saying it's crazy, but this graph looks like more than ~5 percent to me.

http://techreport.com/review/24879/inte ... eviewed/16

And for me, it's more about the platform upgrades these days.
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Re: Contented?

Postposted on Fri Mar 07, 2014 10:44 am

I would have upgraded my computer every 18 to 24 months.


I little part of Intel just died then.
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Re: Contented?

Postposted on Fri Mar 07, 2014 10:47 am

I'm where you are; I am satisfied with my Sandy's speed, heat, etc., and have no desire to upgrade anything except to get an SSD.

Invest the money in an IRA or 401k for retirement?
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Re: Contented?

Postposted on Fri Mar 07, 2014 11:55 am

I'm at the same point... I could upgrade but I don't NEED to upgrade jsut yet.

Q6600 running at 3.3ghz
8 gig ddr2 ram @ 366 fsb
radeon 7870 (running 3 monitors 2 - 1280x1024 and 1920x1080)

The only thing missing is a 240gig ssd.

if I did a complete upgrade it would be to a fully unlocked core i5 (hoping to get 4.4ghz) and 16 gig ram.

I'd be keeping my 640gig and 1TB WD black drives.

With my 4870 I'm sure I can put that off for another 2 years if not more.
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Re: Contented?

Postposted on Fri Mar 07, 2014 12:06 pm

It used to be that software drove many improvements in PC hardware. The need to render higher resolution images in real time pushed the entire computation chain for speed and memory capacity.

Now that software (basically: game) development on the PC platform has been stagnant for quite some time, hardware developers have focused their efforts elsewhere. I'd do the same.

Maybe when there's a real financial incentive to develop beyond-the-cutting-edge game software, there'll be a need for more powerful platforms.
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Re: Contented?

Postposted on Fri Mar 07, 2014 12:08 pm

Aranarth wrote:radeon 7870 (running 3 monitors 2 - 1280x1024 and 1920x1080)

With my 4870 I'm sure I can put that off for another 2 years if not more.

Which is it?

Anyway if you held out this long, I'd wait a bit longer for Nvidia's high end Maxwell parts and build a PC around that.
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Re: Contented?

Postposted on Fri Mar 07, 2014 12:35 pm

Same boat here, almost exactly; 2500k, 16GB, SSD. I already upgraded to a larger SSD, but otherwise have no need for more performance. Maybe I'll get a new video card eventually....

You might branch out a bit. E.g. I recently build an HTPC with Haswell, which was fun; small form factors and mini-ITX stuff are getting more interesting. I may get around to doing a more gaming-centric HTPC/SteamBox out of the RVZ01/ML07, or whatever else is coming.

Or, if you've got a bunch of storage, you might build a DIY file server. It's a different kind of challenge as well.
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Re: Contented?

Postposted on Fri Mar 07, 2014 12:44 pm

Nearly the same boat -- i2500k, 16GB RAM, Intel 320 SSD, couple Spinpoint F3s for bulk storage, BRD optical, Windows 7. And still using an MSI n460GTX Cyclone that I won from a TR contest a couple years back. System still does everything I want/need right now and does it quick, so reasons to go through the upgrade hassle are thin on the ground.

I finally picked up a larger monitor near the end of last year, so there's that.
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Re: Contented?

Postposted on Fri Mar 07, 2014 12:50 pm

I was completely content with my Q9450 but then I ran into BF4 and needed a CPU upgrade (picked up a 4770k).

I don't think I'll need to upgrade for at least 5 years now though unless they find some sort of paradigm leap.
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Re: Contented?

Postposted on Fri Mar 07, 2014 1:15 pm

sluggo wrote:It used to be that software drove many improvements in PC hardware. The need to render higher resolution images in real time pushed the entire computation chain for speed and memory capacity.

Now that software (basically: game) development on the PC platform has been stagnant for quite some time, hardware developers have focused their efforts elsewhere. I'd do the same.

Maybe when there's a real financial incentive to develop beyond-the-cutting-edge game software, there'll be a need for more powerful platforms.

I had always hoped that the improvements would come as better Artificial Intelligence and game design. The AI would finally start to require more CPU power. Unfortunately, there's been barely any progress whatsoever in the past 10 years, and improvements here don't even seem to be on game developers' radar.

As far as PC hardware, I'm in the same boat as you guys. System was built in 2011, and aside from GPU upgrades, I don't even see myself upgrading 2 years from now unless something changes. My money will probably be spent on a new G-Sync monitor like the Asus ROG PG278Q and probably a GTX770 or whatever they call the lower-high end big Maxwell chip.
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Re: Contented?

Postposted on Fri Mar 07, 2014 1:19 pm

DancinJack wrote:I'm not saying it's crazy, but this graph looks like more than ~5 percent to me.

http://techreport.com/review/24879/inte ... eviewed/16

And for me, it's more about the platform upgrades these days.


You're not crazy, it's probably 10-15% across everything including the synthetic tests. I was referring to gaming, in particular which sees the least benefit of around 5%. I'm assuming (perhaps incorrectly) that is what the OP is interested based on his opening statement.

I agree on platform upgrades being useful, but Sandy is new enough that a Sandy motherboard has SATA3, USB3, UEFI graphics BIOS, and pretty much everything except PCI-express 3.0 and Thunderbolt. PCI-e 3.0 is unnecessary outside of multi-GPU usage, and Thunderbolt appears to be an expensive solution to problems that don't (yet) exist. Time will tell if Thunderbolt ever gains traction outside of the Apple RDF, but so far the evidence suggests it's not doing very well.
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Re: Contented?

Postposted on Fri Mar 07, 2014 5:23 pm

I do have some side projects that just haven't taken off since they still work. I have an old Shuttle cube from 2007 with a C2D in it and a basic Radeon to decode 1080p to my TV, so that's been my HTPC for the last 3 years after I stopped using it as my main PC. Other than taking forever to logon to Windows and being a little noisy, it works just fine. Been looking at mini-itx builds or even Intel's NUC as a replacement.

The other side project which I will probably attempt this weekend is to build an upgrade to my QNAP NAS. I acquired a HP NL54, which is a 4 bay micro server, for a really cheap price during Christmas but haven't got round to setting it up yet. I plan to remove one of the older drives from my desktop to use as a boot drive and am slowly migrating my data to 4TB drives. I haven't had a drive fail on me yet (touchwood) but my preference is not to let important data sit on drives for longer than 2 to 3 years, and one of them at least is coming up to 4 years old.

I've been wanting to upgrade the HTPC as well, any suggestions on bang for buck? The most I need is 1080p and DTS decode for now, 3D is a gimmick for me and I am still a while away from a 4k TV sitting in the living room.
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Re: Contented?

Postposted on Sun Mar 09, 2014 10:39 am

Since I haven't been a gamer for quite a few years, I figure my current FX-8320 will last me a very long time. Barring any disasters natural or unnatural (lightning damage, failing capacitors, etc.) I just don't see a reason to replace this system anytime soon. I suppose if I ever get around to teaching myself OpenCL I might want to beef up the GPU a bit to dabble with my fractal rendering stuff some more (current GPU is a passively cooled Radeon HD 6450, so rather low-end).

I do plan to do a significant upgrade to my file server soon, but other than the hard drives, all hardware for that will come out of my spares pile. I will probably use an old AM2+ or AM3 CPU and mobo, as I have a couple extra of those (and a sufficient supply of compatible ECC DIMMs) already laying around.
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Re: Contented?

Postposted on Sun Mar 09, 2014 10:50 am

This is what happens when chip makers are running out of ideas on how to make their chips faster and software makers run out of ideas on what to do with all the computing power available to them.
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Re: Contented?

Postposted on Sun Mar 09, 2014 2:52 pm

Same boat. 2500K, 16GB but a 256GB SSD. I am replacing my motherboard though as I don't like the port options... Installed a GTX 670 a little while ago but that's all I've done to it otherwise. I have other high end systems at home that I use for testing purposes and top of the line equipment at work too but as Chrispy_ pointed out, I don't see any difference between those systems and my personal PC. Mer, I foresee using this PC for at least another year or two honestly.

Flying Fox is on to something with spending it elsewhere. Sometimes just getting a new chair or desk feels pretty awesome, even if your FPS didn't change.
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Re: Contented?

Postposted on Sun Mar 09, 2014 2:55 pm

Convert wrote:Mer, I foresee using this PC for at least another year or two honestly.

Yeah, I was thinking I'd probably get another 2-3 from mine. And it is already over a year old.
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Re: Contented?

Postposted on Sun Mar 09, 2014 3:22 pm

Welcome to the maturity of PC technology, folks. I have a 2500k and don't expect to upgrade it until at least Skylake, after which it'll probably be 10-15 years before an upgrade/replacement becomes necessary. I do need to improve the GPU sometime as my 650Ti won't cut it for Star Citizen--I'm looking at a hypothetical Maxwell-powered "760 Ti" with a similar size and power profile to what I have now. And a 1TB SSD pair if/when those become reasonably affordable.
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Re: Contented?

Postposted on Sun Mar 09, 2014 4:16 pm

I'm still on C2D. With an SSD, desktop work is quick enough, still quicker than most machines I see in the wild. I don't game much these days (although my Steam library keeps growing) but I did get a 660.

When I get out of school I am planning an upgrade. I am thinking more of ECC RAM and ZFS than I am of gaming, to be honest. I might just build a separate NAS and keep my current machine until it really dies.
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Re: Contented?

Postposted on Sun Mar 09, 2014 4:53 pm

I am running a i5-3570k, 32GB ram, GTX 680 GPU, 2X 512GB Samsung 830 SSD's, and a 1TB HDD. It works great as is. The only real change I am even considering, aside from more storage space, is going to a i7-3770k for HT. This would give me four more cores to toss at some distributed computing projects I am running without having to do a motherboard upgrade to a socket 2011 board. Those six core i7's are tempting but not very tempting considering the price.

Nothing out there to upgrade the GPU to besides a 780, 780Ti, or one of the Titan variants. I can't justify the costs involved when the 680 is doing a fine job as is.
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Re: Contented?

Postposted on Sun Mar 09, 2014 5:17 pm

Every so often I flirt with upgrading from my Q6600, first temptation was the 2500K, then 3570K and most recently 4670K but I still haven't pulled the trigger. It would be a big boost in single thread performance for me but I don't really have much use for it, other than the horribly single-threaded game DayZ - I can't justify an upgrade for a single title.

At this point my Q6600 is 5 plus years old and has been overclocked for most of that time, the motherboard is slightly older. The only thing that has failed on this PC was an Intel X25-M SSD of all things. Frankly I'm curious to see how long she can last.
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Re: Contented?

Postposted on Sun Mar 09, 2014 6:42 pm

mako wrote:I am thinking more of ECC RAM and ZFS than I am of gaming, to be honest. I might just build a separate NAS and keep my current machine until it really dies.

I am thinking along the lines of ZFS as well. The only things really stopping me are A) I know MD/LVM fairly well, but ZFS is new ground for me; and B) ZFS probably won't be part of the mainline Linux code base any time soon (its license is incompatible with the GPL), so you can't rely on your distro's repositories for bug fixes or updates.
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Re: Contented?

Postposted on Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:37 pm

Yeah, I don't have a whole lot of experience with ZFS or BSD for that matter, and Btrfs doesn't sound like it's ready for prime time either. I had some wild ideas about a ARM-based ZFS subsystem that could fit in a 5.25" bay, or plug in like a RAID card...
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Re: Contented?

Postposted on Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:48 pm

ZFS requires lots of RAM to work well; apparently the recommendation is 1 GB of RAM per TB of ZFS disk array. This probably rules out using an ARM based system.
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