Personal computing discussed

Moderator: JustAnEngineer

Gerbil In Training
Topic Author
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2012 12:27 am

Name that Upgrade!

Sat Dec 08, 2012 12:52 am

Hey guys! I've come to you in disguise to have a little fun and offer some help and thoughts at the same time.
Here's how this works, I'll present a system i'm working on, and you feed me your thoughts and ideas of the system itself and the best way to upgrade it for a specific task ill give. here goes!

I put this system together in February of 2011

The Case - a CM 690 Nvidia edition(no not the advanced II, the original version)
Motherboard - MSI H55M-E33
CPU - Intel Core i3 550 3.20 Ghz
Graphics Card - MSI TWIN FROZR II Nvidia Geforce GTX 460 768 mb
Memory - PNY DDR3 1333 mhz 2gig(x2, for 4gigs total)
HDD - Samsung spinpoint F3, I think, hold on ahh yes it is.( 7200 rpm 1 TB in size)
Power - gimme just a moment.. Ultra LSP 550W
CPU cooler - Stock
OS - Win 7 OEM 64bit

if you want any additional information just ask

Alright this was a system I built for someone with the focus on gaming, This person is now looking to upgrade their system to match current day specs as well as to be able to handle 3D, he's getting a BENQ XL2420TX and wants his comp to be able to handle the 120hz even in 3D without a problem for of course more than a year on top game settings.
Now I have a fair idea what i'm going to tell him and go over with him to do about this but lets see what you guys think. And hey, maybe you'll save him money, or me money, or both of us money xD

oh also, he's a novice at computer's so overclocking and the such isn't going to be happening therefore the system doesn't need to be able to overclock well, but perform well from the get go!
Last edited by Scurvy on Sat Dec 08, 2012 8:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Lord High Gerbil
Posts: 8140
Joined: Wed Dec 26, 2001 7:00 pm
Location: SouthEast PA

Re: Name that Upgrade!

Sat Dec 08, 2012 1:13 am

There's a lot of stuff there that's borderline, could be kept, but probably shouldn't be.

I'd dump CPU, mobo, RAM, and GPU. Case is a case, it'll work. Hard disk is fine, an SSD is nice but not strictly essential. OS is keeper if you're careful or reactivate post-upgrade.

I'd probably get an Ivy i5, a nice mid-range Z77/Z75 board, a decent 600-700W PSU to get more breathing room, and at least 8GB of decent RAM, since RAM is cheap right now.

Graphics is trickier, there are a lot of good deals going around, both AMD and Nvidia have nice game bundles running.
Behemoth - media server
Galactica - test lab server
Falling Outside the Normal Moral Constraints - MBP 15
Donnager - M4800 DTR
Rocinante - E5530 testing machine
Razorback - E6430 ultraportable
Gold subscriber
Gerbil Elite
Posts: 904
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2008 11:30 am

Re: Name that Upgrade!

Sat Dec 08, 2012 2:32 pm

Why are you in disguise?
Your post sounds like a game show?
COME ON DOWN! YOGIBBEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

*struts down onto the stage, arms held high...*

Assumes question is serious, and they are playing the latest games i.e. Battlefield 3 etc. and not crappy console ports.... then for 120HZ gaming they need minimum:

700W PSU Corsair/Seasonic+
2 x 680 GTX SLI'd or 2 x 7970 or GTX690. or whatever.

And because of that... they might as well ditch everything else they've got as that i3 will be the new bottleneck... so might as well ditch everything but the case...

i7 3770k
Nice CPU cooler for OCing
z77 mobo asus/asrock
Samsung 830 256GB SSD

Keep the HDD and the case.

If they aren't playing Battlefield 3, and are just playing Call of Duty: Cruddy Ops, then they could just get a 7970 and call it a day... but their cpu/mobo/PSU are not capable of 120Hz gaming and have to go. Admittedly though if they have little money just stick a 7970 in there and they'll be happy enough till next year or when they try to play battlefield 3.
Core i7 4770K | eVGA GTX1080 FTW ACX 3.0 | 16GB DDR3 2133mhz | Asus Z87-PLUS | Corsair HX650 | Fractal Define R4 | Samsung 840 Pro 256GB | Windows 10 x64
Silver subscriber
Grand Gerbil Poohbah
Posts: 3649
Joined: Fri Apr 09, 2004 3:49 pm
Location: Europe, most frequently London.

Re: Name that Upgrade!

Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:38 pm

I am in complete agreement with Yogi

Scurvy wrote:
wants his comp to be able to handle the 120hz even in 3D without a problem for of course more than a year on top game settings.

Two problems with that:

1) You don't get 120Hz 3D. It's either 120Hz in 2D, or 60Hz per eye, to give you 3D.
2) Some current games like BF3 won't even run at 120fps with a thousand-dollar i7-3960x. Oh no, you have to overclock that thousand-dollar CPU to 4.6Ghz to hit an average of 125fps.

So, if there are some six-month-old games that can't run at the desired framerates on top settings, what hope do you have of building a machine capable of running future games even more smoothly? - Especially now that more developers are finally starting to push PC graphics beyond just a texture-pack for a console port.

So, upgrade options:

Assuming he doesn't have the budget to blow on a massive processor upgrade and a GTX690, my suggestion is to slap in an SSD, double the RAM and get an HD7950.
I wouldn't bother with a more powerful GPU unless he's prepared to boost the processor too, since even the 7950 is going to be occasionally limited by that old Clarkdale processor.

In the unlikely even that he has a couple of grand kicking around, the GTX690 is the best of the dual-gpu solutions because it doesn't suffer from microstuttering the same way as a pair of cards communicating over the PCI-e bus would. TR's review of the 690 makes this abundantly clear, and in my opinion the microstuttering completely defeats the purpose of a dual-gpu solution and should be minimised at all costs. There's absolutely no point in buying a GTX690 without a decent subsystem to go with it, and I suspect a 4GHz quad-core is the minimum investment to not waste the potential in a GTX690. Overclocking is required, but it's a no-brainer for Ivy/Sandy and you ought to get decent performance/noise-levels from a closed-loop watercooler like an H100. Getting either an i5-2500K or i5-3570K to 4.2GHz is practically guaranteed at stock voltage, but if you're investing in a good cooler, you can boost the voltage slightly and 4.5GHz is likely to be a very stable, conservative overclock.
Congratulations, you've noticed that this year's signature is based on outdated internet memes; CLICK HERE NOW to experience this unforgettable phenomenon. This sentence is just filler and as irrelevant as my signature.
Minister of Gerbil Affairs
Posts: 2654
Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2011 12:50 pm
Location: Wisconsin, USA

Re: Name that Upgrade!

Mon Dec 10, 2012 11:27 pm

Hey, this gameshow is a scam. We don't even know what our spending limit is!!

I have to agree with Chrispy. A 7950 or GTX 660 Ti is probably the most I would pair with that i3-550 to still maintain a remotely balanced system. (See here for CPU-limited gaming performance of an i3-560) It would also be a really noticeable bump up from the GTX 460 768 that he's got now. Plus you can probably get one cheaper now with Christmas sales.
Adding another 8GB of RAM for ~$30 wouldn't hurt either. Some games like more than 4GB.
We're kindof in between CPU cycles with Intel. At this point in time, I would be more inclined to wait for Haswell around the end of Q2 2013.

The GTX 690 is definetly the top dog if the budget is infinite, but to do that justice, you're basically talking about replacing the entire system (GPU, CPU, mobo, more RAM, PSU).
Main: i5-3570K, ASRock Z77 Pro4-M, MSI RX480 8G, 500GB Crucial BX100, 2 TB Samsung EcoGreen F4, 16GB 1600MHz G.Skill @1.25V, EVGA 550-G2, Silverstone PS07B
HTPC: A8-5600K, MSI FM2-A75IA-E53, 4TB Seagate SSHD, 8GB 1866MHz G.Skill, Crosley D-25 Case Mod

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests