Upgrade Question

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Upgrade Question

Postposted on Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:27 pm

Hi,

I'm currently running:
Processor: Intel Q6600
MB: Abit IP35 Pro
Ram: 6gb
VC: GeForce 8800GT

Looking at my current rig, I've kinda lost perspective at where it falls in the hardware line of things as I bought the parts and built it almost four years ago and I've been tooling away with it happily since.

I was wondering if folks with a better idea of performance could tell me how it would compare in performance with the current Econobox in the system guilde (http://techreport.com/articles.x/21164/2)

Thanks :)
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Re: Upgrade Question

Postposted on Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:38 pm

Graphics card would be a nice (big) upgrade. Other than that, I wouldn't bother.
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Re: Upgrade Question

Postposted on Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:58 pm

You would notice a significant improvement in your gaming experience if you dropped a nice Radeon HD6870 in there.
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Re: Upgrade Question

Postposted on Tue Aug 09, 2011 1:37 am

Thanks! I'm trying to make it go as far as I can for as little for now (two more years till I finish my degree and can get a non-crappy paying position) but want to have a bit more headroom for upcoming games like Star Wars Old Republic.
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Re: Upgrade Question

Postposted on Tue Aug 09, 2011 7:06 am

Possible stupid question: my motherboard is a PCI Express x16 piece and from what I can tell newer graphics cards like the one mentioned are PCI Express 2.0 x32. Is that going to limit the case enough to matter?
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Re: Upgrade Question

Postposted on Tue Aug 09, 2011 9:43 am

After looking at the price of upgrading the video card and thinking about future use, I was wondering if this might be a good time just to throw down a bit more cash. I was thinking something like this:

XFX HD-687A-ZNFC Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit DDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9D-8GBRL (my ram is ddr2 so I'd want upgrade I'd think)
ASUS P8P67 LE (REV 3.0) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
Intel Core i5-2400 Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz (3.4GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52400

I've got a nice Cooler Master case I'd like to keep, as well as plenty o hard drives of various speeds/power draws and a decent DVD player. My PSU is a corsair 620 so I'm thinking that would be good.

Would the above be a good fit together and give a good upgrade for the money?
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Re: Upgrade Question

Postposted on Tue Aug 09, 2011 10:08 am

vidus wrote:Would the above be a good fit together and give a good upgrade for the money?

Kinda ironic that the majority of your list is what I actually went out and put together for myself...

I ended up going with:

case: Cooler Master HAF 932 Advanced (full tower) link $139
mobo: ASUS P8P67LE (same one you listed above) link $129
ram: corsair XMS3 8gb (2x4gb) link $59
cpu: intel core i5-2500k (3.3ghz/4 core) link $219
video: gigabyte geforce gts 450 (1GB 128-bit GDDR5) link $114
power supply: corsair gaming series GS800 800W link $129
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Re: Upgrade Question

Postposted on Tue Aug 09, 2011 10:38 am

thegleek wrote:
I ended up going with:

case: Cooler Master HAF 932 Advanced (full tower) link $139
mobo: ASUS P8P67LE (same one you listed above) link $129
ram: corsair XMS3 8gb (2x4gb) link $59
cpu: intel core i5-2500k (3.3ghz/4 core) link $219
video: gigabyte geforce gts 450 (1GB 128-bit GDDR5) link $114
power supply: corsair gaming series GS800 800W link $129


That video card is quite a bit cheaper (in my terms of budget). I may have to look into it as an alternative. As a graduate student with a 3 month old, my budget doesn't stretch far.
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Re: Upgrade Question

Postposted on Tue Aug 09, 2011 10:52 am

I ended up getting that ASUS mobo for $99 @ a local place we have here called Microcenter - but I think that mobo is not on sale there any longer...

Also got that i5-2500k for $179... Not to say I got the best deal that I could have, but I did enough research and sent in all the rebates for satisfaction.
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Re: Upgrade Question

Postposted on Tue Aug 09, 2011 11:32 am

vidus, if you're going to spend the money on an i5-2400 then I highly recommend you spend a few more percent of your total cost to jump to the i5-2500K. That'll give you insta-overclock and meaningfully extend the lifetime of your system.
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Re: Upgrade Question

Postposted on Tue Aug 09, 2011 1:20 pm

vidus wrote:After looking at the price of upgrading the video card and thinking about future use, I was wondering if this might be a good time just to throw down a bit more cash. </snip>


Given that Bulldozer and Southern Islands are supposed to be out in September (Bulldozer at least, SI is technically "this year" still), I wouldn't go for a full system upgrade just yet. You also won't see a huge benefit in games aside from the gfx upgrade.
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Re: Upgrade Question

Postposted on Tue Aug 09, 2011 1:27 pm

flip-mode wrote:vidus, if you're going to spend the money on an i5-2400 then I highly recommend you spend a few more percent of your total cost to jump to the i5-2500K. That'll give you insta-overclock and meaningfully extend the lifetime of your system.

I ended up looking at the locked chip since I have an unlocked SLACR variety of the Q6600 and never really got around to overclocking it much. Had some case circulation issues and generally just wanted it to run stable for what I was doing. (When you do graduate work on the machine, you don't want it to be unstable and since it just worked as is, I never really poked around into OC, even though I have monster heat sink I bought for such things).

arsenhazzard wrote:
vidus wrote:After looking at the price of upgrading the video card and thinking about future use, I was wondering if this might be a good time just to throw down a bit more cash. </snip>


Given that Bulldozer and Southern Islands are supposed to be out in September (Bulldozer at least, SI is technically "this year" still), I wouldn't go for a full system upgrade just yet. You also won't see a huge benefit in games aside from the gfx upgrade.


My goal is to get an upgrade that'll last me running games decently for around three to four years. That's what I've gotten from this machine, and I've been very happy with that type of upgrade cycle. I tend to run MMOs, RTS, and the occasional game like Skyrim or Diablo 3. I'm asking for advice currently because I plan on watching pricing over the next two months or so. I would optimally pull trigger on a purchase in late October. I find having a guide beforehand helps me see when good deals come and when prices are going down, etc.

Also got that i5-2500k for $179... Not to say I got the best deal that I could have, but I did enough research and sent in all the rebates for satisfaction.


That is a great price!
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Re: Upgrade Question

Postposted on Tue Aug 09, 2011 3:02 pm

Given your time frame, you're looking at upgrading around the time that AMD will be launching their new GPUs.

Honestly, if you're budget constrained, I'd look at just upgrading the GPU to start, see how that works for you, and then go for the CPU/Mobo/RAM afterwards if needed. I waited until I knew my games were getting constrained by the CPU before I did the whole platform upgrade.
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Re: Upgrade Question

Postposted on Tue Aug 09, 2011 6:02 pm

emorgoch wrote:Given your time frame, you're looking at upgrading around the time that AMD will be launching their new GPUs.

Honestly, if you're budget constrained, I'd look at just upgrading the GPU to start, see how that works for you, and then go for the CPU/Mobo/RAM afterwards if needed. I waited until I knew my games were getting constrained by the CPU before I did the whole platform upgrade.


Goodnto know on the AMD front. I would be willing to wait but just found out a few hours ago my dads pc has had some failures and was looking to use my mobo, CPU, GPU, and ram to replace his internals. I figure I could boost myself for acouple of years and ten do a super upgrade/new build when I'm, Lord willing, in a tenure track job.
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Re: Upgrade Question

Postposted on Wed Aug 10, 2011 7:21 am

vidus wrote: I ended up looking at the locked chip since I have an unlocked SLACR variety of the Q6600 and never really got around to overclocking it much. Had some case circulation issues and generally just wanted it to run stable for what I was doing. (When you do graduate work on the machine, you don't want it to be unstable and since it just worked as is, I never really poked around into OC, even though I have monster heat sink I bought for such things).

Well, I don't want to push you in a direction you don't want to go, but if you're sitting on an unlocked CPU that's running idle and you're looking for any more CPU performance... why not try putting some overclock to the thing? Abit IP35 Pro is a really fine mobo IIRC... You could just go with a new GPU, maybe a case with better airflow, and see what you can wring out of that CPU.
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Re: Upgrade Question

Postposted on Wed Aug 10, 2011 9:02 am

vidus wrote:
thegleek wrote: video: gigabyte geforce gts 450 (1GB 128-bit GDDR5) link $114
That video card is quite a bit cheaper (in my terms of budget). I may have to look into it as an alternative. As a graduate student with a 3 month old, my budget doesn't stretch far.
The GeForce GTS 450 is much less effective at gaming than the Radeon HD6870 in the deal that I linked. I would not recommend anything less than a Radeon HD6850 for a new gaming GPU.

You can see how even the factory-overclocked "AMP!" version of the GeForce GTS450 lags behind the rest of the cards in this review:
http://techreport.com/articles.x/20573/4
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Re: Upgrade Question

Postposted on Wed Aug 10, 2011 9:33 am

JustAnEngineer wrote:The GeForce GTS 450 is much less effective at gaming than the Radeon HD6870 in the deal that I linked. I would not recommend anything less than a Radeon HD6850 for a new gaming GPU.

I wasn't aiming to get the best video card for gaming. To help you understand the gaming I do is small stuff like Steam (TF2, Limbo, Terraria, Portal), and other games like Dawn of Discovery/1404, Minecraft, etc...

I also prefer the Nvidia cards over Radeon based on the linux friendlyness of the drivers. I'm sure linux has progressed immensely over the years with Radeon support, but I've had real bad luck in the past with any Radeon vidcard when it came to installing linux with it.
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Re: Upgrade Question

Postposted on Wed Aug 10, 2011 10:03 am

I'm using ATI GPUs on both of my primary Linux systems (home and work). Granted these are older GPU tech, so I can't really speak to the driver quality for the current cards; but things are indeed better than they used to be on the ATI/Linux front.

Work: Discrete Radeon HD 3600, using ATI's proprietary driver.

Home: Integrated Radeon HD 3300, using the stock Open Source driver.

Both are running dual displays on Ubuntu 10.04. IIRC I had some problems early on with one of them sometimes forgetting which monitor was the primary display, but I don't recall what I did to fix that. Aside from this minor glitch, they've both been fine.

Edit: The issue where the system would sometimes forget which monitor was the primary display was on the system running the ATI proprietary driver. The fix was to configure my desktop session to automatically run the command "xrandr --output DVI-0 --primary" on login.
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Re: Upgrade Question

Postposted on Wed Aug 10, 2011 10:28 am

thegleek wrote:
JustAnEngineer wrote:The GeForce GTS 450 is much less effective at gaming than the Radeon HD6870 in the deal that I linked. I would not recommend anything less than a Radeon HD6850 for a new gaming GPU.

I wasn't aiming to get the best video card for gaming. To help you understand the gaming I do is small stuff like Steam (TF2, Limbo, Terraria, Portal), and other games like Dawn of Discovery/1404, Minecraft, etc...

I also prefer the Nvidia cards over Radeon based on the linux friendlyness of the drivers. I'm sure linux has progressed immensely over the years with Radeon support, but I've had real bad luck in the past with any Radeon vidcard when it came to installing linux with it.


I'm glad you mentioned that. I almost forgot about my drivers for Linux. I use the Linux side of things to do CMS development for my program's course websites, and I think I'd be rather upset if I couldn't get my video drivers to work with Ubuntu. (And it'd be doubly sad because I have both pc's at the parents house running Ubuntu due to its incredibly high learning curve for system-destroying programs...its the only OS my father can't manage to get full of malware within a week...and I like having screen sharing from my own copy of Ubuntu)

just brew it! wrote:I'm using ATI GPUs on both of my primary Linux systems (home and work). Granted these are older GPU tech, so I can't really speak to the driver quality for the current cards; but things are indeed better than they used to be on the ATI/Linux front.


I've had some limited success with newer ATI cards on Ubuntu myself. I built and use an Ubuntu box in my office at the university (which was a process in itself...had to order the parts separate so campus IT wouldn't have a cow...and had to call them spare parts apparently). That box has an ATI card, and does alright, but it tends to have graphical weirdness every so often on boot up. However, as a caveat, the machine is running on a spare Apple display that's at least 30 inches.
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Re: Upgrade Question

Postposted on Wed Aug 10, 2011 10:40 am

just brew it! wrote:I'm using ATI GPUs on both of my primary Linux systems (home and work). Granted these are older GPU tech, so I can't really speak to the driver quality for the current cards; but things are indeed better than they used to be on the ATI/Linux front.

Work: Discrete Radeon HD 3600, using ATI's proprietary driver.

Home: Integrated Radeon HD 3300, using the stock Open Source driver.

Both are running dual displays on Ubuntu 10.04. IIRC I had some problems early on with one of them sometimes forgetting which monitor was the primary display, but I don't recall what I did to fix that. Aside from this minor glitch, they've both been fine.

Edit: The issue where the system would sometimes forget which monitor was the primary display was on the system running the ATI proprietary driver. The fix was to configure my desktop session to automatically run the command "xrandr --output DVI-0 --primary" on login.

I could be wrong, I think Radeons up through the 4000 series have essentially excellent support. Last time I checked, the 5000 series wasn't up to that level, but it has been several months since I checked. I'm doubtful that the 6000 series is gold-level yet, unless you get a FirePro card and use the proprietary FirePro drivers. Dunno.
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Re: Upgrade Question

Postposted on Wed Aug 10, 2011 10:45 am

vidus wrote:I built and use an Ubuntu box in my office at the university (which was a process in itself...had to order the parts separate so campus IT wouldn't have a cow...and had to call them spare parts apparently).

Heh heh... many of us out in the business world are familiar with this procedure as well. When you make rules like "all purchases over $500 need to be approved by a VP at corporate HQ", people figure out creative ways to work around the red tape in order to get their jobs done. :wink:
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Re: Upgrade Question

Postposted on Wed Aug 10, 2011 11:44 am

If you're dead-set on supporting NVidia's proprietary features, then a GeForce GTX560Ti or GTX560 would provide good gaming performance. The older GeForce GTX460 could be adequate. I still wouldn't bother with the GeForce GTS450.
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Re: Upgrade Question

Postposted on Wed Aug 10, 2011 11:55 am

JustAnEngineer wrote:If you're dead-set on supporting NVidia's proprietary features, then a GeForce GTX560Ti or GTX560 would provide adequate gaming performance. I still wouldn't bother with the GeForce GTS450.

Agreed. The GTS 450 is roughly equivalent the the Radeon 5770, which is the card I have. It's a card that is, at this point, not powerful enough to buy as a serious gaming card but too powerful for non-gaming use.
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Re: Upgrade Question

Postposted on Wed Aug 10, 2011 1:38 pm

So if I spent $114 on my 450... How much more do I have to drop to upgrade to a 560?

However, playing only steam games and minecraft, do I really need it?
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Re: Upgrade Question

Postposted on Wed Aug 10, 2011 2:02 pm

thegleek wrote:So if I spent $114 on my 450... How much more do I have to drop to upgrade to a 560?

However, playing only steam games and minecraft, do I really need it?


I would rather spent on HD6790 which is available at $130
Or HD6850 which is available at $155 for better kicking.
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Re: Upgrade Question

Postposted on Wed Aug 10, 2011 2:09 pm

Was REALLY hoping I could have won the $300 Zotac GeForce GTX 480 video card that Damage so generously donated to this year's TR BBQ. Who ever took 1st place in the cornhole (bean bag toss) tourney won it... And sinze both z-man and idchafee were not present... myself, frobozz, and dposcorp thought we had it made... but some newcomer (josh's friend Andy) snookered us all and stole the top prize! I wonder who'd be better... Andy or z-man?
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