Upgrade recommendations

Building a new system? Need help choosing between parts? Then step in and let our trained gerbils assist you.

Moderator: JustAnEngineer

Upgrade recommendations

Postposted on Mon Aug 25, 2014 1:52 pm

I'm currently in the market to upgrade my current setup, but I haven't really been paying attention to the scene recently, so I'm not sure what my options are. I really don't have a lot of problems with my current setup, other than a few nitpicks here and there. I also, don't want to shell out the money for a completely new build, but will if absolutely necessary.

I don't game as much as I used to, but still very much enjoy it when I get the free time. My current system plays most of my games pretty well, namely the Batman: Arkham series, and Battlefield 3. However, I recently bought Battlefield 4 and noticed that it doesn't perform as well on my system as Battlefield 3 does. This is what actually made me think about upgrading in the first place. I know that the GTX 800s are coming out soon, and given my awesome experience (i.e. bang for your buck) with my GTX 460, I will probably want to grab a GTX 860 (or whatever it may be called) when it's released. If not, then I might just go ahead andg grab a GTX 760. I'm still using my Dell 24" 2407FP monitor from 2006/2007, so I'm currently maxed out at a 1920x1200 resolution. I've been eying a few monitors recently and will be biting the bullet soon enough, so my current resolution shouldn't be a deciding factor.

Other than heavy gaming (when I get the chance), I do a fair amount of transcoding videos via Handbrake, which are then fed into my Plex server running on the same machine. I haven't run into problems in regards to Plex streaming on the local network, or remotely, but I'm sure that a CPU upgrade would help when it comes to transcoding the large HD video files.

Here's my current rig, and I welcome your suggestions!

Motherboard: ASUS P7P55D-E Pro
CPU: Core i7-875K Lynnfield with Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus cooler
Memory: Corsair XMS 8GB (2x4GB) DDR 1600
Video Card: EVGA GTX 460 Superclocked
Hard Drive 1: Samsung 830 SSD - 128GB - OS drive
Hard Drive 2: Western Digital Red - 2TB - This is my media drive, storing my music, movies, and pictures (used primarily by Plex)
Hard Drive 3: Western Digital Green - 1TB - Stores my games (Origin & Steam), downloads, and documents
Case: Corsair Graphite 600T
Power Supply: Corsair TX650
Sound Card: ASUS Xonar DX 7.1
Speakers: M-Audio AV 40
Optical: LG WH10LS30 Blu-Ray Burner
Heavy is good, heavy is reliable. If it doesn't work, you can always hit them with it.
Dizik
Grand Gerbil Poohbah
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 3025
Joined: Sun Jan 02, 2005 3:57 pm

Re: Upgrade recommendations

Postposted on Mon Aug 25, 2014 2:15 pm

What resolution are you going to be getting next? That's important. Do you need your video transcoding to run faster?

You've already got an SSD, and you said you don't game all that much and only have trouble in one game. One could make the argument you don't need to upgrade yet, not for another year or two.

But if gaming is a priority, and you plan to step up your resolution, you're going to need some more muscle. Just buy a new graphics card.

If you decide you need a new processor too, you'll have to get a new motherboard to match. I wouldn't at this point, unless you have greater needs than you described.
Milo Burke
Gerbil Team Leader
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 224
Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2013 11:49 am

Re: Upgrade recommendations

Postposted on Mon Aug 25, 2014 8:39 pm

Dizik wrote: CPU cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus cooler
Memory: Corsair XMS 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600
Hard Drive 1: Samsung 830 SSD - 128GB - OS drive
Hard Drive 2: Western Digital Red - 2TB - my media drive
Hard Drive 3: Western Digital Green - 1TB - Stores my games (Origin & Steam), downloads, and documents
Optical: LG WH10LS30 Blu-Ray Burner
Sound Card: ASUS Xonar DX 7.1
Speakers: M-Audio AV 40
Case: Corsair Graphite 600T
Power Supply: Corsair TX650
Those existing components are all satisfactory to keep using, even if you make a major upgrade, but I might suggest moving your games from the 5400 rpm WD Green to a 7200 rpm hard drive like this or this.

Dizik wrote: Motherboard: ASUS P7P55D-E Pro
CPU: Core i7-875K Lynnfield
This processor should be okay to soldier on into 2015, waiting for Broadwell desktop systems to arrive.

Dizik wrote: Video Card: EVGA GTX 460 Superclocked
Here's the culprit. While a GeForce GTX460 or Radeon HD5850 was good in its day, that day has passed. You need a new graphics card.

"Speed is money. How fast do you want to go?"
GeForce GTX980 (Maxwell GM204) will arrive next month at $550. Radeon R9-290X 4GB (GCN1.1 Hawaii) and Radeon R9-290 4GB (Hawaii cut down by 9%) are available today for $493 and $393, respectively. Radeon R9-285 2GB (GCN1.1 Tonga) will arrive next week at $250. The previous generation Radeon R9-280 3GB (GCN1.0 Tahiti cut down by 12½%) for $210 is a good value. What's your budget?
i7-4770K, H70, Gryphon Z87, 16 GiB, R9-290, SSD, 2 HD, Blu-ray, SB ZX, TJ08-E, SS-660XP², 3007WFP+2001FP, RK-9000BR, MX518
JustAnEngineer
Gerbil God
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 15526
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2002 7:00 pm
Location: The Heart of Dixie

Re: Upgrade recommendations

Postposted on Mon Aug 25, 2014 10:17 pm

Nothing in there jumps out at me as being much of a problem if you're not needing to play recent games maxed out. Two points to consider though, if you like spending money:

-As noted, Maxwell and a slew of affordable mid-high end AMD cards are about to roll out the door. The GPU is maybe your one weak area, might be worth picking one up especially if it's very power efficient since that equals monthly savings.

-Terabyte SSDs are finally starting to appear, and by Black Friday I expect there to be several reasonaly good choices hovering around the $400 range. This may be a worthy upgrade if you like fast data access.
NovusBogus
Gerbil Elite
 
Posts: 523
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2013 12:37 am

Re: Upgrade recommendations

Postposted on Tue Aug 26, 2014 5:25 am

The news of Tonga (R9 285) reminds me that graphics cards really haven't moved anywhere in the last few years.

If you're not desperate for TrueAudio and FreeSync support you can pick up a 7950/7970, R9 280/280x on Fleabay for very little now.
It'll be plenty fast enough for 1080p - BF4 and Crysis3 run pretty much flawlessly at 1080p and you can even get fluid framerates at 2560x1440 as long as you don't go for high instead of ultra settings
<insert large, flashing, epileptic-fit-inducing signature (based on the latest internet-meme) here>
Chrispy_
Minister of Gerbil Affairs
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 2065
Joined: Fri Apr 09, 2004 3:49 pm

Re: Upgrade recommendations

Postposted on Wed Aug 27, 2014 8:37 am

I know that my video card is definitely the easiest thing to upgrade, and the one thing that will give me immediate, noticeable results. I wasn't sure though, if my current motherboard and/or PSU limits my options.

One of the things that I forgot to mention earlier, i.e. one of my nitpicks, is my motherboard and its SATA 3.0/6Gbps ports. To start off, the motherboard only has two ports, and those actually don't run at the full 6Gbps. I can't remember what the speed is exactly, but off the top of my head, it's around 5.2 Gbps. I know it's pretty trivial, bet we are picking nits here. Anywho...the two ports are currently occupied by the Samsung 830 and the WD Red, with the WD Green and the LG Blu-Ray burner sitting on the SATA 2 ports. If I were to add a new hard drive, it would have to use SATA 2, um...too. The motherboard also only has two USB 3.0 ports.

I thought about replacing my motherboard with another one with more SATA 3.0 ports, but I've had zero luck finding LGA 1156 motherboards that are worth a damn. I guess that I should have waited for LGA 1155 prior to building my current setup, but hindsight is 20/20. To get a motherboard with full SATA 3.0 functionality, as well as more USB 3.0 ports, my only option would be to buy a new motherboard. That would then then require a new processor. At that point, I might as well buy some new memory and make it a whole new build.

As far as upgrades are concerned, I really don't have a budget. If I don't have the cash for it now, I can easily save for a little bit and then buy what I want. Given that I don't game 7 days a week, I've never had much use for a high-end card (i.e. GTX 780, Titan, etc.), but wouldn't be against getting one to help minimize future upgrades. I'm going on 4 years with my GTX 460, and would like to be able to do that again with my next video card.
Heavy is good, heavy is reliable. If it doesn't work, you can always hit them with it.
Dizik
Grand Gerbil Poohbah
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 3025
Joined: Sun Jan 02, 2005 3:57 pm

Re: Upgrade recommendations

Postposted on Wed Aug 27, 2014 10:26 am

The only thing worth plugging into a 6Gb/s SATA port is an SSD. Move the WD red to a SATAII port instead, you won't notice any difference whatsoever because the WD Red can't even come close to the 3Gb/s limit of SATAII

A 6Gb/s device will work just fine in a 3Gb/s port and vice versa. Worst case scenario is that your SSD's max sequential speed is reduced to about 265 MB/s if you plug it into a SATAII port, but sequential speed isn't the most important thing about SSD performance (though it is nice).
<insert large, flashing, epileptic-fit-inducing signature (based on the latest internet-meme) here>
Chrispy_
Minister of Gerbil Affairs
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 2065
Joined: Fri Apr 09, 2004 3:49 pm

Re: Upgrade recommendations

Postposted on Wed Aug 27, 2014 10:40 am

You an easily OC the 875k to 3.6-4.0 GHz range to get some more power out of it. You really just need to upgrade your GPU and it can keep on truckin'.
i7 3820 @ 4.4, Custom Water Loop | ASRock X79 Extreme4 | 8GB G.Skill 1638mhz
GTX 970 @ 1465 | BenQ 24" 120Hz | Samsung 840 250GB | 2x2TB Toshiba | Win 8.1 Pro x64
X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Pro | Sennheiser HD555 | Corsair TX850V2 | Fractal Arc Midi R2
Prestige Worldwide
Gerbil Elite
 
Posts: 507
Joined: Mon Nov 09, 2009 10:57 pm

Re: Upgrade recommendations

Postposted on Wed Aug 27, 2014 10:46 am

There's no such thing as future-proofing with computing hardware. If you're trying to prevent future upgrades by spending 2-3x the cash now ... well, that's just silly. Buy what you need now, or slightly more, and save the cash. Earn interest on it even. :) Then use it to replace your hardware when it's no longer quick enough.

I second Chrispy, don't worry about having mechanical drives on SATAII. And do you have more USB 3 devices than you have USB 3 ports? If not, fret not.

Get a GPU soonish. If you plan to upgrade your gaming resolution in the near future, get a beefier GPU. And in a couple years, you can replace your motherboard and CPU. Potentially go DDR4 and M.2 at that point.
Milo Burke
Gerbil Team Leader
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 224
Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2013 11:49 am

Re: Upgrade recommendations

Postposted on Wed Aug 27, 2014 11:30 am

You can stop worrying about the SATA 6Gbps thing. A lot of 1156-era boards had that Marvell controller for 6Gpbs (because Intel's chipset did not have native support back then) which had problems to begin with. I refuse to plug anything to those ports on my non-Pro version of your board and it is quite fine. This actually allowed me to get the cheaper (and a tiny bit slower) Crucial SSD.

I am saving to look for either Haswell-E or desktop Broadwell as my next major platform overhaul.
Image
The Model M is not for the faint of heart. You either like them or hate them.

Gerbils unite! Fold for UnitedGerbilNation, team 2630.
Flying Fox
Gerbil God
 
Posts: 24514
Joined: Mon May 24, 2004 2:19 am

Re: Upgrade recommendations

Postposted on Wed Aug 27, 2014 11:35 am

For what it's worth, my Core2 system is on its fourth graphics card and it has ZERO usb3 ports and ZERO 6Gb/s SATAIII ports. It still boots in 15 seconds and plays all the current games at high/1080p settings because it's a quad core with a decent graphics card. That's all that matters unless you are a childish bragger who wants to boast about the high specs of their kit.


Main PC Rarely gets used because it feels like a workstation. Oh wait, it is my workstation:
(i7-3770 non-K @4.4GHz thanks to Asrock being cool/32GB DDR3-1600/dual R9 280X/2x 4TB WD RED/Samsung 840 256GB/dual QH270-ISPB 2560x1440p IPS screens on gas-lift VESA mounts)

Most awesome PC ever because it has a sofa in front of it:
(smelly old Core2Quad on a super-cheap MSI board/8GB of slow DDR3-1066/no-name GTX660/OCZ Agility3 240GB that hasn't exploded yet/55" 1080p television/couple of XB360 wireless gamepads)



Man I feel boastfully childish ;)
Seriously though, for most day-to-day tasks you can't feel any difference in speed between the two machines, and they're worlds apart in terms of specs.
<insert large, flashing, epileptic-fit-inducing signature (based on the latest internet-meme) here>
Chrispy_
Minister of Gerbil Affairs
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 2065
Joined: Fri Apr 09, 2004 3:49 pm

Re: Upgrade recommendations

Postposted on Wed Aug 27, 2014 6:17 pm

As someone that upgraded from X58 to Z87, I can tell you a few things. In everyday use you will not notice the difference between the same SSD plugged into an Intel SATA 3Gb/s port vs a 6Gb/s port. If you are transferring data from the SSD to a HDD, the HDD will almost always be the bottleneck, not the actual the SATA 3Gb/s port.

You WILL notice the improvements brought about by a UEFI mainboard though, such as <20 second cold boot times and <10 second reboots. But since my system reboots less than once a week, it didn't really end up being as big a deal as I thought it might be.

And since you have an SSD, you won't notice the CPU upgrade when browsing or generally using the system. I only notice the difference from a 920 to a 4770 with very demanding programs, Civ V, benchmarks, or distributed computing projects. As others said, just use the slower Intel 3Gb/s ports as the performance can actually be higher than 6Gb/s Marvell ports, not to mention way less buggy.

I'm using a GTX 480, and I'd say it was borderline for recent games (I don't play BF4 though). Much depends on your monitor resolution, but I'd recommend a GPU upgrade while holding onto the rest for awhile longer. Wait until after Sept 10th if you do, supposedly when NVIDIA is hosting a launch event then. Even if you don't buy an 800 series part it should drop prices on everything else.
Kougar
Gerbil XP
 
Posts: 399
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 2:12 am
Location: Texas

Re: Upgrade recommendations

Postposted on Wed Aug 27, 2014 7:33 pm

Dizik wrote: If I were to add a new hard drive, it would have to use SATA 2, um...too.
That's not too terrible. You could move your 5400 rpm Western Digital Red drive to a SATA 2 port and put another SSD or a 7200 rpm hard drive on the SATA 3 port that it is currently using, but there are other solutions to this problem.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6815287028

Dizik wrote: The motherboard has only two USB 3.0 ports.
This is also a surmountable problem.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6815256004
i7-4770K, H70, Gryphon Z87, 16 GiB, R9-290, SSD, 2 HD, Blu-ray, SB ZX, TJ08-E, SS-660XP², 3007WFP+2001FP, RK-9000BR, MX518
JustAnEngineer
Gerbil God
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 15526
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2002 7:00 pm
Location: The Heart of Dixie


Return to System Builders Anonymous

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests

cron