Building a new desktop after 5 years

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Building a new desktop after 5 years

Postposted on Fri Aug 29, 2014 5:52 pm

Hi,
I am thinking of making a new system, since my current one is about 5 years old now but looking at the parts available in market, I have come to realize that I am woefully ignorant in regards to what I should use. In the past I used to keep up with the CPU/GPU releases, but for the past few years, I haven't been doing a good job of it.

Currently I got:
Intel i7 860
Gigabyte p55-ud3
AMD Radeon 5870
750Watt Cooler Master PSU.
Corsaid 4x2GB XMP-1600 Memory.
Asus Rog Swift 27 Monitor.


Since I recently bought a monitor, I intend to buy GTX 880 when it releases, hopefully in the next 2 months. That got me thinking that maybe I should get a new CPU as well, since I don't want to buy a new GPU, only to find out that my CPU is the limiting factor in games now. Till now, I was waiting to see what the Haswell-E platform would offer, but based on the gaming review along with the high prices for DDR4 memory and x99 motherboards, I am pretty convinced that I don't want to go that route.

I don't really have too specific a budget, but I would like to save money where I can. For the CPU, I was thinking about i7-4770k since it seems to be available for less than $400 and has a 4/4.4 Ghz clock speed. What I need to know is, are there 2 versions of this CPU? I noticed there is a review for this CPU dated 2013, and then there was one more done recently, and this one was called Devil's Canyon. Can someone clear that up for me please. And is it 5th gen or 4th gen?

I have no idea on what motherboard to get. From what little I could tell, the z97/h97 chipsets is what I want to be looking at. Usually I do not overclock my CPU/GPU, nor do I use SLI/Crossfire or multi monitors. That said, I wouldn't mind being having the ability to overclock the CPU if there isn't much of a price premium. Basically its not needed, but if its available, its nice to have.
In the past, I have bought cheap Gigabyte motherboards, but sooner or later, they all seem to have some issues booting up. This time I intend to not skimp out on the motherboard just to avoid any potential issues later on.

I am hoping to reuse the existing memory. So far I have not run into any games that need more than 8GB memory, but if in the future I do need it, I will get another 8GB kit and add it alongside to the existing memory.

Also, any recommendations for a new ATX case would be good. My existing one is 8 years old and starting to rust.
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Re: Building a new desktop after 5 years

Postposted on Fri Aug 29, 2014 6:36 pm

rahulahl wrote: Intel Core i7-860
Gigabyte GA-P55-UD3
Corsair 4x2 GiB XMP-1600 Memory
750 Watt Cooler Master PSU
Asus Republic of Gamers Swift PG278Q
AMD Radeon HD5870
I intend to buy a GeForce GTX980 when it releases next month.
Core i7-4790K is slightly faster than Core i7-4770K.

I suggest a micro-ATX LGA1150 motherboard that doesn't waste any space on obsolete PCI slots. Choose the Z97 chipset if you want to overclock your "K" processor. I like the features of the Asus Gryphon Z97, but it is priced at a premium compared to other brands.
US$ 98 Asus H97M-E/CSM or US$ 95½ MSI H97M-G43
US$ 115½ MSI Z97M-G43 or US$ 121 -10MIR ASRock Z97M OC Formula or US$ 135 -10MIR Gigabyte GA-Z97MX-Gaming 5 or US$ 150 -10MIR MSI Z97M Gaming or US$ 165 Asus Gryphon Z97 or US$ 210 Asus Maximus VII Gene

Your existing DDR3 memory should work. If you need more, don't bother with 2 or 4 GiB DIMMs. Just get a 2x8 GiB kit.
US$ 148½ 2x8 GiB PC3-14900 G.Skill Sniper F3-1866C9D-16GSR (DDR3-1866, 9-10-9-28, 1.5 V) or US$ 150 2x8 GiB PC3-12800 Crucial Ballistix Sport BLS2K8G3D1609ES2LX0 (DDR3-1600, 9-9-9-24, 1.35 V, low profile) or US$ 180 2x8 GiB PC3-14900 Crucial Ballistix Tactical BLT2KIT8G3D1869DT1TX0 (DDR3-1866, 9-9-9-24, 1.5 V)

For a micro-ATX case, I am very pleased with the Silverstone Temjin TJ08-E. For ATX, take a look at the cases recommended in TR's system guide. Either of these Micro-ATX tower cases is wide enough to accept the tall CoolerMaster Hyper 212 Evo cooler, but the Corsair Obsidian case is much larger on the outside.
US$ 90 -10MIR Corsair Obsidian 350D or US$ 120 Silverstone Temjin TJ08-E
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Re: Building a new desktop after 5 years

Postposted on Fri Aug 29, 2014 7:12 pm

I recommend the 4690K, don't go for the 4790K you wont need hyperthreading for games. For a motherboard I recommend MSI Z97 PC Mate which is cheap but doesn't skimp on features. For a case I recommend the Antec NEW SOLUTION SERIES VSK-4000. I have never had any problems with MSI motherboards and I recommend you get an 8GB Kit(2 x 4GB sticks) of 1600mhz or 1866mhz ram with a cas latency of 9.
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Re: Building a new desktop after 5 years

Postposted on Fri Aug 29, 2014 8:35 pm

Quite honestly, I don't know if it's worth upgrading. Lynnfield is only about 11% slower than Sandy Bridge, and at 1440p it's hard to say if a slightly slower CPU will have any meaningful impact. I think it's worth getting the new card and benching it in your current system to compare against reviews with the latest and greatest CPUs. At that point, you can decide whether it's worth dumping a load of money for 10% more gaming performance at 1440p (or whatever it may be). If you end up going with a new system, moving the card over is pretty trivial.

I don't plan to upgrade my system until after DDR4 is released and drops down to reasonable prices. I do however, plan to upgrade my videocard.
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Re: Building a new desktop after 5 years

Postposted on Fri Aug 29, 2014 8:38 pm

The Egg wrote: I don't know if it's worth upgrading.
I'm thinking that he'd notice a difference going from a 2.8 GHz Lynnfield to a 4.0 GHz Haswell.
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Re: Building a new desktop after 5 years

Postposted on Fri Aug 29, 2014 9:03 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:
The Egg wrote: I don't know if it's worth upgrading.
I'm thinking that he'd notice a difference going from a 2.8 GHz Lynnfield to a 4.0 GHz Haswell.

Of course there will be a difference, but if you restrict the results to gaming only and bump up the res to 1440p, it would be interesting to see exactly how much. At that point, he can decide if he finds that difference worth the cost of a full system upgrade.

Unfortunately, it's very difficult to find a head-to-head comparison of Lynnfield versus anything above a Sandy Bridge in gaming at over 1080p.
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Re: Building a new desktop after 5 years

Postposted on Fri Aug 29, 2014 11:08 pm

I certainly do need to see if its worth the upgrade. I just presumed that my 5 year old 2.8Ghz vs a new 4Ghz should make a pretty big difference.
I know they test CPU for gaming on low resolutions. But I thought it was only to make sure the GPU is not the bottleneck. I didnt realize that CPU becomes less of a bottleneck at higher resolutions.

But if CPU upgrade wont really be that big a deal, then I would rather just save money and not upgrade the rest of my system other than the GPU.
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Re: Building a new desktop after 5 years

Postposted on Sat Aug 30, 2014 7:31 am

rahulahl wrote: I would rather just save money and not upgrade the rest of my system other than the GPU.
You could upgrade your graphics card first and then decide if you want to upgrade your processor and motherboard later. I believe that you've waited long enough that you would notice a performance improvement with a new processor. As you noted in your initial post, the just-released US$ 1050 Haswell-E is not the best gaming CPU. A U$ 340 Core i7-4790K or US$ 240 Core i5-4690K will continue to offer better gaming performance in most situations.

You didn't mention in your original post what storage devices you are using. A solid state drive could be an inexpensive upgrade that would make your old system feel faster on the desktop (but not in rendering graphics).
http://www.amazon.com/Crucial-MX100-ada ... 00KFAGCWK/
http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-Electroni ... 00E3W1726/
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Re: Building a new desktop after 5 years

Postposted on Sat Aug 30, 2014 10:37 am

I have 3 HDD for storage. 1tb, 2tb and 3tb drives.
For booting I have a crucial 128GB SSD. It's not even running at full speed because my motherboard has the older sata slots with less bandwidth. But I am happy enough with it for now. I imagine my next SSD would probably be a M.2 drive.
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Re: Building a new desktop after 5 years

Postposted on Sat Aug 30, 2014 11:55 am

My advice is buy way ahead of the curve. Only need 8 GB ram? Buy 16. Buy an unlocked CPU and a killer cooler so you can overclock it down the road. Buy the fastest GPU you can, with as much RAM on it as possible. Get a 256GB SSD for the OS (I bought a 128, and it filled up FAST, even though I only install programs on my other drives. And buy as many multi-terabyte drives as you can afford. You may not need them now, but you will down the road.

I bought my system 3 years ago, and it still beats the pants off my friends newer systems, since they're hobbled by cutting corners in one area or another. The only upgrades I need to get would be to double my RAM, and maybe an external 2-4TB HDD. Otherwise, I'm good to go for another 3 years, at least.
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Re: Building a new desktop after 5 years

Postposted on Sat Aug 30, 2014 3:28 pm

To be honest, I am still very confused on if I need to upgrade my desktop in the first place.
When I started the thread, I just thought that 5 year old build has to be outdated, and surely there would be better stuff out there now.
But based on what I have been reading, the newer stuff is fast.. yes, but there isn't much software aside from productivity software, that makes use of it.
I am sure photoshop would be faster, but I rarely use that. The most I ever do on my PC is gaming, and web browsing.

So far, I have not had any issues with my CPU being too slow in normal usage. Games are running very slow, but that's presumably due to the older GPU coupled with the fact that the ROG Swift has a horrible scaler. And anything less than 1440p is a blurry mess. I wouldn't have minded a motherboard upgrade so I could finally get USB3 and Sata3 ports, but its not really that important right now.
Maybe I should just hold out for another year or so, and buy the new desktop when DDR4 has matured and is more affordable.

Of course if any of you guys here think that doing the upgrade will yield visible results, then Im all up for it.
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Re: Building a new desktop after 5 years

Postposted on Sat Aug 30, 2014 4:04 pm

Hz so good wrote:My advice is buy way ahead of the curve.


Not as good a rule as you think, I wouldn't buy storage or memory based on that rule unless you get one hell of a fantastic steal of a deal. Certainly no more ahead than a year. Those items typically get cheaper with in a course do a year and often you double your capacity for the same price as you would spend on half the capacity now.
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Re: Building a new desktop after 5 years

Postposted on Sat Aug 30, 2014 4:07 pm

Try the new GeForce GTX980 and see what you think, then. Compare your 3Dmark and other scores to benchmarks for newer processors.

In Dizik's similar recent thread, I suggested that he could keep using his overclocked Core i7-875K Lynnfield. Your non-K Lynnfield processor isn't as quick, but it might be okay for the games that you play.
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Re: Building a new desktop after 5 years

Postposted on Sat Aug 30, 2014 5:17 pm

I'd get a new heatsink/fan combo or water cooler and overclock the CPU as far as it will go. Toss in a new video card and an SSD if you need it and you'll be set for at least another year if not more. A higher clock speed on your current CPU will give you the boost you are looking for along with that new video card (Which is the most important part).

Games are largely no longer CPU dependent and with the introduction of mantle, upcoming DX12 and new revision of OpenGL (which really who knows how long it will take the Chronos group to get this done) CPU overhead on games is dropping drastically.

reference for CPU overhead in games: http://techreport.com/review/26977/inte ... reviewed/9

So new system yet? I wouldn't.
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Re: Building a new desktop after 5 years

Postposted on Sat Aug 30, 2014 8:10 pm

Some i7 860's will hit 4ghz and they are not all that hard to keep cool....like sandy bridge CPU's

I say you Get a nice AIO water or AIR cooler and a new 880 or 980 nvidia card "whatever they plan to call them" and see how she performs before and after the overclock. If it gets/seems CPU bottlenecked then a new i7 4790k 1150 platform should last you a long while......or your 860 could last you until Broadwell.

I do not predict the single core performance to jump as high as it did from lynnfield to sandy until the broadwell to skylake jump. Also 14nm might overclock worse then 22nm.

I know it would cost a lot and not be profitable enough for intel but I would like to have seen what a Haswell quad core with no graphics on the die whatsoever made on 32nm a soldered on IHS and maybe even tri gate would do on a Overclock. I know this is fantasy talk but 32nm seemed to be the sweet spot for overclocking. 5.5+ ghz haswell CPUs would be terrific. Wonder if the trigate addition would help in any way??
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Re: Building a new desktop after 5 years

Postposted on Sat Aug 30, 2014 10:35 pm

rahulahl wrote:To be honest, I am still very confused on if I need to upgrade my desktop in the first place.


Tough call. I think a new graphics card is definitely in order; I had the 5870, and while it had a good run, newer cards are much better at tessellation and have much lower frame latencies. One of today's mid-end AMD cards (Radeon R9 280 or 285) could wipe the floor with it, and make a very noticeable difference.

I'd be tempted to do the CPU/mainboard for power savings and new features as much as anything else (improved hardware encryption if you use it, AVX2, QuickSync, assuming you could make use of them). Single-core performance has also gone up a fair amount from first-gen Core to fourth. You might want to see if a friend is upgrading from newer than you have though, if someone else has gotten the upgrade bug, it could be your gain. I got the bug and sold my i7-2600K and mainboard to someone who is very happy with it. However, if you want newer, then I'd probably do Socket 1150 and the i5-4690K others have mentioned. Haswell refresh gets you full virtualization in the K-series processor, and improved thermals over Ivy Bridge and first-gen Haswell. Mainboard options, my suggestion (if you're looking to save a bit) would either be the Gigabyte Z97X-UD3H (the Black edition if you want one that's burned in, standard if that doesn't matter to you) the Z97-UD5H, or the ASUS Z97-Pro.

Keep your RAM at least long enough to see if it will run well with a new CPU (it will probably do fine) as RAM isn't cheap, and I'd stick with what you've got if it works. If your CPU cooler is good quality and can be adapted to Socket 1150, keep that too (I kept my Thermalright TRUE Black from Core 2 Quad through Sandy Bridge through Devil's Canyon and it still works great, though I needed one mounting kit change).

If you're on a budget or want to stretch your dollar, upgrade only the graphics card and wait for what Broadwell has to bring in the CPU department. If gaming is your focus, it will give you the most improvement.
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Re: Building a new desktop after 5 years

Postposted on Sat Aug 30, 2014 10:44 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:
The Egg wrote: I don't know if it's worth upgrading.
I'm thinking that he'd notice a difference going from a 2.8 GHz Lynnfield to a 4.0 GHz Haswell.


He's trying to push a 1440p 144Hz monitor; so not only is JAE right that he'll notice the difference, but he can actually make use of all of the CPU grunt he can get.
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Re: Building a new desktop after 5 years

Postposted on Sun Aug 31, 2014 7:48 am

Thanks for the replies guys.

@Lonewolf The monitor I have is G-Sync, which is why I am waiting for a new Nvidia card, rather than buying an already released AMD one even if that could be a bit cheaper. Really looking forward to getting the experience everyone has been raving about :)

@Airmantharp Does that mean that contrary to what some people have been saying playing at 1440p requires more CPU power? That is what I had presumed initially as well, but a lot of people seem to be saying that at higher resolutions CPU isn't as important. Personally I would have presumed CPU isn't usually a bottleneck because the GPU is, but surely higher resolution means you need more of both GPU and CPU.

As far as overclocking is concerned, I haven't had a good time with it in the past. Since I use the stock intel cooler, I don't think its gonna go much higher in the first place. I suppose I can afford to put in a $50 cooler and try to get an overclock, but in the past when I have tried to get even the smallest overclock on my GPU or CPU, I have always had a bit of system instability problems. Its probably because I don't have much experience in it, and I am sure someone else who is used to doing this could get a much better overclock without the issues I get.

From what I have read, I will keep my ram. I think it should be fine with 8GB.
And if I do decide to upgrade my build, is it better to get i5-4690k with 3.5Ghz or i5-4790k with 4Ghz. Its about $120 difference, but I would have presumed that 500Mhz can be a big deal.
Its just that 2.8 to 3.5Ghz seems less impressive than 2.8 to 4.0Ghz.

As for motherboard, is there much difference between Asus Z97M Plus motherboard (http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1491&products_id=27768) and the Asus Gryphon z97 motherboard (http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=138_1491&products_id=27765)?
I mean, they look similar enough, except that the Plus is cheaper with M.2 slot, while Gryphon page says that its supposedly a very high quality board which went through rigorous testing.
I have no idea if its all market speak or it actually matters. Like I said before that I am gonna try something other than Gigabyte this time, since I had some issues with my last few Gigabyte motherboards, although they were all sub $80 so I don't hold it too much against the brand.

Aside from the brand, available slots and price, is there any other criteria I should be looking at when picking a motherboard?
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Re: Building a new desktop after 5 years

Postposted on Sun Aug 31, 2014 9:14 am

rahulahl wrote: Playing at 1440p requires more CPU power... surely higher resolution means you need more of both GPU and CPU.
You are correct, but certain GPU requirements go up proportionally with pixels, while CPU requirements go up more gradually. You are much more likely to reach a GPU bottleneck at the WQHD resolution of your monitor than you would be with half as many pixels at 1080p. A faster CPU will provide better gaming, but if you have to choose where to allocate your funds for gaming at 2560x1440, a good GPU is more important than the CPU. The new GeForce GTX980 that you have on your shopping list should provide a good gaming experience at your target resolution, so I expect that you would see a measurable performance gain with a good CPU. If you were looking at a weaker GPU, we'd probably suggest upgrading it before your CPU.

rahulahl wrote: If I do decide to upgrade my build, is it better to get i5-4690k with 3.5GHz or i7-4790k with 4GHz? It's about AU$ 120 difference, but I would have presumed that 500 MHz can be a big deal.
If you slap a good cooler like the rather tall AU$ 39 or AU$ 37 or AU$ 66 CoolerMaster Hyper 212 Evo or even a smaller mid-range cooler like the AU$ 58¼ Arctic Cooling Freezer i11 onto either one of these unlocked -K CPUs, you'll probably be able to overclock to 4.x GHz. The hyper-threading in the Core i7 doesn't help much in most games. If the clock speeds are equal, the Core i5 provides similar performance for AU$ 119 less. If your budget can stand the extra outlay then the faster 4.0 GHz CPU will perform better than the 3.5 GHz CPU at stock speed. Even if you don't overclock, a decent aftermarket cooler makes less noise than the stock Intel cooler does.

rahulahl wrote: Aside from the brand, available slots and price, are there any other criteria I should be looking at when picking a motherboard?
Note that the Asus Z97M-Plus has only two PCIe slots. The other two are obsolete PCI slots.
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Re: Building a new desktop after 5 years

Postposted on Sun Aug 31, 2014 11:09 am

Let me clarify what I said above-

If you have the GPU grunt to approach 144FPS at 1440p, you'll need above average CPU grunt to actually run games at that speed.

What I'm saying is that you need the best of both to take full advantage of your monitor.

Now, that doesn't make what JAE and others have said about getting the GTX880 first and then deciding on the CPU any less relevant! What's important is how the system feels to you. Your current CPU will yield better than acceptable performance across a broad swath of games and the use of G-Sync will smooth them out nicely, so the possibility does exist that you may find a CPU upgrade unnecessary.
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Re: Building a new desktop after 5 years

Postposted on Sun Aug 31, 2014 11:23 am

If video frames per second matter to you, you can get a graphics card that costs more than a whole system should.
Aside from that, just get a nice SSD and presto! you're upgraded. There is such a thing as drive cloning software. I have not used it yet. I think it clones the OS and everything, and this is OK with Microsoft as long as long as you keep the same motherboard. Doubtless someone here knows more about that.

Factors in choosing a new motherboard: chipset. They will all have the slots you need and more that you do not need. Somewhere there is a review of something like 30 Z97 boards. It may take you away from making Brand your frist criterion.

As for the urge to build, just replacing the stock cooler on your CPU will give the most exciting part of the experience. There is an old Computer Shopper article on the subject. Blood is mentioned. :lol:
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Re: Building a new desktop after 5 years

Postposted on Sun Aug 31, 2014 12:24 pm

Don't put in a $50 cooler; but don't go stock either. Cooler Master's Hyper 212 Plus is $30 shipped right now and does a killer job compared to stock Intel.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... -_-Product

There's plenty of spots where there's a middle ground when you're on a budget, where you don't need the best, but you don't want to cheap out either. Example: The ASUS Z97-A mainboard is $140 at the `Egg right now, and gets a ton of things right, and has great features. The Gigabyte GA-Z97X-UD3H is $138 and does the same. They hit all the high points, and the money you save over another board means it's like getting the Cooler Master heatsink for free.
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Re: Building a new desktop after 5 years

Postposted on Sun Aug 31, 2014 12:27 pm

I'm not sure this is what you're looking for, but it could help you decide whether or not going from your i7-860 to a 4790K is worth it.

http://cpuboss.com/cpus/Intel-Core-i7-8 ... ntel-4790K
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Re: Building a new desktop after 5 years

Postposted on Sun Aug 31, 2014 2:55 pm

Well, that last link actually clinched it for me.
It says that there is a difference of about $20 a year in the running electricity cost.
Considering that electricity in Australia is about 5x more expensive than US, I think its a pretty safe bet that its going to be worthwhile in the long run.

And I certainly will consider a new cooler, rather than using the stock Intel.
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Re: Building a new desktop after 5 years

Postposted on Tue Sep 02, 2014 7:54 am

OC your CPU and get the best graphics card you can afford. I would recommend waiting for the GTX 980 or 970 later this month.

I got my i5 750 to run at 4.0 GHz at 1.375v, you can probably achieve a similar overclock with your i7 860. Get it as high as you can under 1.4v and drop in a new GPU and it should last a couple more years. Just make sure you have a good cooler. At the very least get a Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO, they can often be found under 30 bucks.

If your monitor is feeling underpowered after an OC and new GPU, then perhaps a CPU / mobo upgrade is in order.


P.S. I am super jelly of your ROG Swift monitor, I want one very badly but can't justify dropping $800 on a monitor (BenQ XL2420T 120hz bought 2 years ago for $375).
i7 3820 @ 4.4, Custom Water Loop | ASRock X79 Extreme4 | 8GB G.Skill 1600mhz
EVGA GTX 670 FTW | BenQ XL2420T 120Hz | Samsung 840 250GB |WD Black 1TB | Win 8 Pro x64
X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Pro | Sennheiser HD555 | Corsair TX850V2 | Fractal Arc Midi R2
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Re: Building a new desktop after 5 years

Postposted on Wed Sep 03, 2014 10:25 am

As others have said, wait for a "big Maxwell"

Your CPU is fine - it has decent IPC and enough cores to still be relevant. If you really find it's a problem once you upgrade to a "big Maxwell" you can just grab yourself a 4790K and be done with it.
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Chrispy_
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Re: Building a new desktop after 5 years

Postposted on Fri Sep 05, 2014 11:21 pm

Yep, even though I'm leaning towards a new build, I will wait until Maxwell.
Thanks for all your help guys :)
rahulahl
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Re: Building a new desktop after 5 years

Postposted on Wed Sep 10, 2014 9:31 pm

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
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Re: Building a new desktop after 5 years

Postposted on Thu Sep 11, 2014 10:23 am

If that info is remotely accurate, AMD are boned.
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