Upgrades with a "current" video card

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Upgrades with a "current" video card

Postposted on Thu May 10, 2012 4:41 pm

So I'm helping someone upgrade this:

CPU ________________________________ Intel Core 2 Quad 9550
CPU Cooler __________________________ Stock
Motherboard _________________________ Gigabyte w/ a bunch of stuff that doesn't really matter
Memory _____________________________ 8GB DDR2 1333
Hard Drive __________________________ 1GB Western Digital Black
Blu-ray Drive ________________________ Asus 4x BR Burner (DOA)
Backup Device _______________________ 1GB WD Blue in a USB2 Enclosure
Video Card __________________________ Sapphire AMD 6970 2GB
Sound Card __________________________ Onboard
Power Supply ________________________ Seasonic 500W w/ 8pin+6pin PCIe Connectors
Case _______________________________ Antec Solo - the case is dirty and actually quite bent up

OK So the guy plays various games, some latest cutting edge ones and some older games, also hosts movies for his family to watch all running Winodws 7 Pro. I'm helping him upgrade and his max budget is about $1000 - where does the Tech Report Hive Mind think he should look at upgrading first? I'm thinking Case first since his is just horrible w/o a side (he lost it apparently) and he's getting CPU throttling issues just from this alone - obviously after that he needs to upgrade to a faster processor, maybe a Core i7-2500k + Motherboard and Memory - or should he go IB? I believe other than that he really shouldn't spend the money on Disk or Video since they are quite fine (other than the DOA BR Burner.)
keltor
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Re: Upgrades with a "current" video card

Postposted on Thu May 10, 2012 4:57 pm

Nice writeup, and welcome to TR!

I think you're right on the money- even an inexpensive (Fractal Design Core 1000 for ~$40) case would do him well, as would a platform upgrade to let that HD6970 stretch it's legs. After that, an SSD.

After overclocking, the 2500k is still probably the best bang for buck, especially if you can get it bundled or on sale, or both. I'd still point to IvB if it's affordable; no need to unnecessarily buy the outgoing technology.
Canon 6D||[24-105/4L IS USM|100/2.8L Macro IS USM|70-300/4-5.6 IS USM|40/2.8 STM|50/1.4 USM|85/1.8 USM|Samyang/Bower 14/2.8 Full-Manual Rectilinear Wide-angle|
Canon EOS-M|11-22/4-5.6 IS STM|22/2 STM|EF-M 18-55/3.5-5.6 IS STM|
For sale!|24/2.8 IS USM
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Re: Upgrades with a "current" video card

Postposted on Thu May 10, 2012 5:09 pm

z68 mobo, 2500k, 16GB DDR3 RAM, SSD, Case if he really needs it... (Not in any particular order, just get all 4 or 5 at the same time :D)

With 2TB(assuming you meant TB) of secondary storage he'd have plenty to host movies, music, photos, etc.
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Re: Upgrades with a "current" video card

Postposted on Thu May 10, 2012 5:17 pm

Since the only part you'd really be saving would be the vid card, would he consider building a whole new machine, and keeping the old machine as his home "server" instead? Just pull the vid card and use either onboard or buy a cheap add-in for the old system.

The only additional expenses would be an oem copy of windows, a hdd, and possibly a case/psu (sounds like he plans on buying a new case anyway).

Just off the top of my head (without doing actual pricing):
i5-2500k or equivalent ivy bridge: ~$200
Decent Mobo: ~$150
RAM: ~$80
Case/PSU: ~$140
Windows: ~$100
120GB mid-range SSD: ~$140
Replacement vid card for old machine: ~$40
Aftermarket cooling: ~$40

Total: ~$900
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Re: Upgrades with a "current" video card

Postposted on Thu May 10, 2012 6:08 pm

My opinion (in order of importance):

  • A case without airflow issues. Throttling is bad, m'kay.
  • SSD as a system drive. Systems without SSD's are rapidly becoming obsolete.
  • Look for a 2500K or 2600K + motherboard deal
  • That 500W PSU hasn't really got much overclocking headroom, and even a good-quality PSU will age. I read somewhere that a 3-year old PSU only handles 80% of it's original load.
  • 16GB of RAM (why not? it's dirt cheap).
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Re: Upgrades with a "current" video card

Postposted on Thu May 10, 2012 7:17 pm

keltor wrote:I'm helping someone upgrade...
Welcome to the Tech Report!


How about some of these components?

$167½ Asus P8Z77-M Pro micro-ATX LGA1155 motherboard
$220 -18 combo Intel Core i5-2500K (quad-core 3.3 GHz) LGA1155 CPU + $10 gift card
or $245 -15 combo Intel Core i5-3750K (quad-core 3.4 GHz) LGA1155 CPU + $20 gift card
$35 CoolerMaster Hyper 212 Evo heatsink & fan
or $0 stock Intel HSF
$99 2x8 GiB PC3-10600 Mushkin Silverline 997018 (DDR3-1333, CAS 9, 1.5 V) memory

$0 Existing Sapphire Radeon HD6970 2GB

$170 0.128 TB Samsung 830 series SSD
$0 Existing 1 TB Caviar Black hard-drive
or $110 -20 combo 1 TB Samsung HD103SJ Spinpoint F3
$0 Existing external USB2 1 TB Caviar Blue
$63 Asus BDROM/DVD-RW

$0 Integrated audio

$70 Antec Three Hundred Illusion
or $58 Antec Three Hundred
$0 Existing SeaSonic PSU
or $83 -12 code "EMCNEJN33" Antec EarthWatts EA-650 (54 A @ +12 V)

$140 Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit OEM

$0 Existing monitor
$0 Existing speakers
$0 Existing keyboard and mouse

That's right at your $1000. You'd be well under if your friend can transfer his existing Windows license to the new motherboard (not strictly allowable under the EULA but frequently possible if you call the nice young man in Bangalore).
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
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Re: Upgrades with a "current" video card

Postposted on Thu May 10, 2012 8:20 pm

OK I'm liking the 2nd PC idea - maybe I won't get as many panicky calls right before a movie ...

CPU to a I7-3770k - they are $290 at MicroCenter right now.
Motherboard to a Gigabyte GA-Z77M-D3H which is $115 there as well (same price as Newegg)
Memory to DDR3 8GB (4x2GB) for $50 at Newegg
2 - Fractal Design Core 1000 cases for $80
Another PSU - Seasonic M12II 520W - $80 at the Egg
And another WD Black 1TB for $140
so only $755 (plus some S&H) of the budget spent and we'll use Linux for the file servers so I can not worry about it.
Sounds like a plan to me. :D
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Re: Upgrades with a "current" video card

Postposted on Thu May 10, 2012 8:55 pm

keltor wrote:OK I'm liking the 2nd PC idea.

CPU to a I7-3770k - they are $290 at MicroCenter right now.
Motherboard to a Gigabyte GA-Z77M-D3H which is $115 there as well (same price as Newegg)
Memory to DDR3 8GiB (2x 4GiB) for $50 at Newegg
How about $45 for 2x4 GiB of PC3-14900 ?

keltor wrote: 2 - Fractal Design Core 1000 cases for $94
Those are micro-ATX cases. Is the existing motherboard micro-ATX?
I've been quite pleased with the Antec NSK3480 micro-ATX case. Other than being limited in the number of hard-drives that you can mount without resorting to Velcro tape, it's quite impressive.

keltor wrote: Another PSU - Seasonic M12II 520W - $80 at the Egg
And another WD Black 1TB for $140
The Samsung Spinpoint F3 is cheaper, quieter and cooler than the Caviar Black, while being nearly as fast. All mechanical hard-drives are pokey compared to SSDs.

Your updated list did not include an aftermarket cooler. While Intel's stock CPU cooler works, it has a bad mounting system and is noisier and less effective than a large aftermarket cooler.

Your updated list did not include an optical drive.
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
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Re: Upgrades with a "current" video card

Postposted on Fri May 11, 2012 10:17 am

We actually bought a BR drive last night, so he's good on that front. The existing board is a mATX, so the cases are fine. The memory was 4x2GB rather than 2x4GB :D - I believe with IB you're supposed to have 4 sticks for full bandwidth right? or is that only the 2011 pin IB chips?

About the HDDs: I've personally had a lot of bad luck with non WD drives. I've only had 2 fail in the past 9 years vs like 20 Seagates and 9 Samsungs - I'm sure this is just my experience, but I've got around 500 WDs in my work storage servers and not a single failure in 4 years so far.

The NSK3480 includes a crappier power supply for basically the same cost as the Case+GoodPSU and I've noted a number of user reviews have complained about the front plastic breaking off. The Fractal Design all seems to have good reviews.

I'm thinking a Scythe Mugen 3 - I have a Mugen 2 on my i7-2600k and I love it, so I'm sure it'll work reasonably well in his non-OC'd system.
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Re: Upgrades with a "current" video card

Postposted on Fri May 11, 2012 12:15 pm

keltor wrote:The memory was 4x2GB rather than 2x4GB :D - I believe with IB you're supposed to have 4 sticks for full bandwidth right? or is that only the 2011 pin IB chips?
Ivy Bridge and Sandy Bridge have only two memory channels, so two DIMMs is the best arrangement. You really don't want to buy any low-density 2 GiB DIMMs now that 8 GiB DIMMs have reached mainstream affordability. You want either two 4 GiB DIMMs or two 8 GiB DIMMs.

Ivy Bridge is available only in LGA1155.
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
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Re: Upgrades with a "current" video card

Postposted on Fri May 11, 2012 1:08 pm

keltor wrote:OK I'm liking the 2nd PC idea - maybe I won't get as many panicky calls right before a movie ...

CPU to a I7-3770k - they are $290 at MicroCenter right now.
Motherboard to a Gigabyte GA-Z77M-D3H which is $115 there as well (same price as Newegg)
Memory to DDR3 8GB (4x2GB) for $50 at Newegg
2 - Fractal Design Core 1000 cases for $80
Another PSU - Seasonic M12II 520W - $80 at the Egg
And another WD Black 1TB for $140
so only $755 (plus some S&H) of the budget spent and we'll use Linux for the file servers so I can not worry about it.
Sounds like a plan to me. :D



You're still going to need a replacement video card for the Core 2 Duo system (if the Gigabyte board doesn't have onboard - not too many Core 2 boards did as far as I know). If you are just going to be using the system as a media server, then the cheapest recent one you can find will do. I would look for people who are upgrading and getting rid of used lower end 5 or 6 series Radeons or 4 or 5 series Geforces.

After that, I agree that a 128GB SSD as a system disk would be good to round out the system. If you can find any of those deals for the 256GB Crucial M4 for around $200-$220 that have been popping up lately, that would make a great system disk if you could swing it.
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Re: Upgrades with a "current" video card

Postposted on Fri May 11, 2012 1:22 pm

cynan wrote:You're still going to need a replacement video card for the Core 2 Duo system.
$29 Radeon HD5450
$53 GeForce GT430
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
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Re: Upgrades with a "current" video card

Postposted on Mon May 14, 2012 11:21 am

JustAnEngineer wrote:
keltor wrote:The memory was 4x2GB rather than 2x4GB :D - I believe with IB you're supposed to have 4 sticks for full bandwidth right? or is that only the 2011 pin IB chips?
Ivy Bridge and Sandy Bridge have only two memory channels, so two DIMMs is the best arrangement. You really don't want to buy any low-density 2 GiB DIMMs now that 8 GiB DIMMs have reached mainstream affordability. You want either two 4 GiB DIMMs or two 8 GiB DIMMs.

Ivy Bridge is available only in LGA1155.


I was thinking of the Sandy Bridge-E chips.

We pulled the trigger on ending up with this ...

............. HTPC.................... Price
Processor.. Pentium G520T (gave) $-
Motherboard ASRock Z68M........... $85.00
Memory.... 2x4GB DDR3............ $38.00
Graphics... Builtin................... $-
Storage.... Corsair M4 64GB....... $80.00
Storage.... Existing WD 1TB drive $-
Case........ Silverstone GD05B..... $60 (from CL)
PSU......... Existing Seasonic...... $-
Total........................................ $263.00

............. Gaming................. Price
Processor.. Core i7 3770K.......... $270 - Returned @ Microcenter
Motherboard Gigabyte GA-Z77M-D3H $115.00
Memory.... 2x4GB DDR3 1600 CAS 7 $52.00
Graphics... Existing HD6970....... $-
Storage.... Crucial M4 256GB SSD $120 (from Frys - probably mismarked but hey)
Storage.... Existing BR Burner..... $-
Case........ HEC 6k28bb8f Case.... $35.00
PSU......... Seasonic S12II 430W... $60.00
Total ........................................ $362.00

Overall Total............................... $625.00
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Re: Upgrades with a "current" video card

Postposted on Mon May 14, 2012 11:50 am

keltor wrote:Storage.... Crucial M4 256GB SSD $120 (from Frys - probably mismarked but hey)


Seriously? Wow. That's the best SSD deal I've heard of to date. Win.

If they have any left could you pick one up for me? :D

The PSU for the gaming build with an HD6970 looks a tad anemic at 430W. But it's a Seasonic and if you don't plan on serious overclocking, should be fine.
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Re: Upgrades with a "current" video card

Postposted on Mon May 14, 2012 2:13 pm

I have a UPS with the watts consumed and it pulls max (running furmark) ~750-775 watts. In games it's more like 550.

But, I have 2 6970s in crossfire, i7-2600k @ 4.5 ghz, 4 WD blacks in Raid 5, H100 water cooling, and some other stuff.

As mentioned, the 430 W might be cutting it somewhat close, but should be alright.
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Re: Upgrades with a "current" video card

Postposted on Mon May 14, 2012 2:20 pm

I couldn't get my HD6950s to pull more than 550w with Furmark and Prime95 with the 2500k at 4.8GHz, but I don't have a stack of drives either.
Canon 6D||[24-105/4L IS USM|100/2.8L Macro IS USM|70-300/4-5.6 IS USM|40/2.8 STM|50/1.4 USM|85/1.8 USM|Samyang/Bower 14/2.8 Full-Manual Rectilinear Wide-angle|
Canon EOS-M|11-22/4-5.6 IS STM|22/2 STM|EF-M 18-55/3.5-5.6 IS STM|
For sale!|24/2.8 IS USM
|
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Re: Upgrades with a "current" video card

Postposted on Mon May 14, 2012 2:50 pm

7200RPM ATA Drives max at what 5-12W during normal R/W, up to 27W a drive (for the worst drive on the market), a HD6970 can apparently use a peak of around 290-330W depending on the CPUs usage (that's the wall wattage) - I've seen CF 6970 numbers all over the place, though when I had them in MY gaming rig, I hit 585W a few times. My current Crossfire 7970 setup peaks at 620W and that's with a dual-proc workstation board (running off a Seasonic X750)
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Re: Upgrades with a "current" video card

Postposted on Mon May 14, 2012 3:44 pm

I've only got a single HD 7970 and, when overclocked to over 1200Mhz, I can get system power peak draw over 600W. Mind you, I'm running a 3930k (TDP of 180W), but most of that power is going to the Radeon. And I also have a Seasonic X platform PSU (XFX Proseries 1050). The only other things I'm running in the system is an 18W pump, 2 mech HDDs and 2 SSDs (and some fans).
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Re: Upgrades with a "current" video card

Postposted on Mon May 14, 2012 7:05 pm

I'm surprised to hear that. My gaming system with the Radeon HD6970 rarely gets as high as 430 watts. Perhaps your UPS metering is not calibrated well?
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
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Re: Upgrades with a "current" video card

Postposted on Mon May 14, 2012 7:14 pm

Possibly; I do have the driver set to allow +20% power (to avoid throttling), but as I said, in games it only draws about 550w. I might not be in the sweet spot for my psu either though; I have a 1250w.
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