Current rig, upgrade options?

Discussion in 'Computer Hardware, Devices and Accessories' started by Satangel, Sep 28, 2011.

Sep 28, 2011

Current rig, upgrade options? by Satangel at 3:59 PM (3,330 Views / 0 Likes) 57 replies

  1. Satangel
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    Member Satangel BEAST

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    So my PC is almost 4 years old right now. Just came to the conclusion my graphical card can barely run BF 3. First game that's really going to push it to it's limits, and I don't like it [​IMG]
    I know BF3 is a very high requiring game, but I still want to be on the safe side and I'm thinking of upgrading my PC (mainly GPU and maybe CPU, if you guys deem it worthy?)
    This is my current rig:

    CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 (2,4GHz)
    CPU cooler: Arctic Freezer 7 Pro
    2 x HDD: Samsung Spinpoint 500 GB (7200RPM)
    GPU: ASUS EN8800GTS 512MB DDR3
    RAM: 2x2048MB Corsair DDR2
    Motherboard: ASUS P5E
    Screen: Samsung SyncMaster 2253BW (22inch)
    PSU: OCZ GameXstream 700W

    I think the only things that may need to be upgraded are the GPU and maybe the CPU. To play the newest games I think the GPU is by far the most important thing, I can go another 3 years with the CPU.
    My budget is around 250 euros, so it leaves some space. And how much could I perhaps get for my GPU?
     


  2. Samutz

    Member Samutz Wet Tissue Sample

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    I would say upgrade the GPU to something in the Nvidia GTX line or the ATI/AMD HD line. Don't try to get anything from the most recent series, as your CPU will bottleneck it (unless you plan on upgrading the CPU soon too).
    I don't have any experience with Nvidia GTX as I prefer ATI, so I wouldn't know which one to recommend.
    On the ATI side, I would say a high end HD 5000 series card or budget HD 6000 series.

    Your CPU could use improvement, however the best you could do is upgrade to a Q8200 (depending on your motherboard), but you won't see a huge difference if you do. Anything better than that would have to be an i7 (or i3/i5) and those would require a new motherboard (new socket) and ram (ddr3), so I wouldn't recommend it being that you're limited to 250 euros.

    For example, I recently had a Core 2 Quad Q8200 with a ATI HD 4870 X2 GPU and upgraded to a HD 6950 and saw very little difference because the CPU was holding it back. So I upgraded to an i7-2600 and saw a huge difference, but I had to replace the motherboard and ram too.
     
  3. Chhotu uttam

    Member Chhotu uttam DOH HO HO HO

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    At the most as you know,get a GPU.
    I won't say that the CPU is bottleneck as its pretty much decent(I'd like to say good) and can handle a good GPU.
    Don't know how much 250 euro is (maybe 280-320$ ?) but Nvidia GTX 560 Ti is a good choice or Amd Radeon 6850/70.
     
  4. Originality

    Member Originality Chibi-neko

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    I doubt the CPU will be a bottleneck at all. The only reason you may want to upgrade it is to get a Core i5/7 or AMD Bulldozer when it's out and To get DDR3 RAM. The Q6600 is still a very good CPU and over clocks like a dream.

    For the GPU, a GTX 560 Ti will cost around or under €200 (based on French prices, but I assume Germany is the same). That's all you need really, especially on a 22" monitor.
     
  5. CCNaru

    Member CCNaru Warn-free Since 2005

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    What's your PSU wattage?
     
  6. Satangel
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    Member Satangel BEAST

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    UPdated the first post, its 700W.

    Also, what could I benefit from a SLI set-up? I don't think it's possible to use my current GPU and my next GPU in SLI mode, seeing they are quite different?

    I'm just glad to hear my CPU isn't a bottleneck at all. I haven't even overclocked it once, so it can still improve quite a bit [​IMG] Also, I haven't changed the thermal past since I've originally put it together. It's been over 3 years, could that be a bad thing?
     
  7. marcus134

    Member marcus134 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    actually, the second (older) gpu can be used as a physX card for games that supports it.
    Otherwise, SLI needs 2 identical card to work and is undesirable in your budget range.

    Originality will also tell you that SLI cause micro stuttering which is can be an issue for some people
    - here's an article for more detail: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon...sfire,2995.html
     
  8. Satangel
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    Member Satangel BEAST

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    Can I overclock a GPU?

    Also, how fast do you guys think the SSD drives will drop in price from now on?
    If I could purchase one of 250GB for a price of 100 euros, I would definitely do it. How long will that take?
     
  9. Berthenk

    Member Berthenk Epitome of Awesomeness

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    You can overclock a GPU, there are tools like MSI Afterburner which you can simply run in Windows but I think it's also possible from within the BIOS. If you're not fancy about manually overclocking you can get a factory overclocked card though with increases like 10 or 50 MHz you won't gain much in terms of performance.
     
  10. Originality

    Member Originality Chibi-neko

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    I've never tried overclocking a graphics card, so I can't help there.

    SSD prices were originally fairly cheap (in line with RAM prices) but the sudden spike in demand and resulting shortages in raw materials led to a huge rise in price. The only thing that has slowly made that price start to shrink is reprioritisation of features included and developments in the manufacturing process. Most SSDs on the market now use 32nm process which means less power draw and cheaper production, although 22nm process is starting to become available so, when the manufacturers adopt it, SSDs will get one step cheaper (not much, but it's happening).

    Or at least that's how I understand the market. Someone who knows more about electronics may chew me out for misunderstanding the whole chip process thing, but I'm just a system builder/end-user, not an engineer.
     
  11. Satangel
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    Member Satangel BEAST

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    Just wondering, between an i7 CPU and my Q6600 CPU, what's the performance increase? Is it along the lines of 10%, 20%, maybe even 50%?
     
  12. Originality

    Member Originality Chibi-neko

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    I can't remember specifically, but I think the performance increase from C2Q and 1st gen Core i7 was around 40%, not including the Xtreme line in both series. Then there's Core i5-2500K and i7-2600K which were on par with the higher 1st gen Core i7s whilst being a third of the price and power consumption. Unfortunately Sandy Bridge E (LGA 2011) doesn't give enough of a performance increase to justify the price for the X78 chipset.

    My brother is still using his Q9550 to play all games without problems.
     
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  13. Berthenk

    Member Berthenk Epitome of Awesomeness

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    My brother recently upgraded his motherboard, CPU and RAM. He went to a i5 2500 (don't know if it's K or not) with 8GB of 1600 MHz RAM from a Q6600 with 4 GB of DDR2 (I think it was 667 MHz). He had a somewhat big performance increase (Radeon 5770) in BF3 running on 1680*1050. It cost about €330 total, if I recall correctly.
     
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  14. luke_c

    Member luke_c Big Boss

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    The 560 Ti is a good choice, I can run BF3 with most settings on Ultra on my 24" 1080p monitor. It over-clocks really nicely as well.
     
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  15. Satangel
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    Member Satangel BEAST

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    Thanks guys, I'm not updating this year then, will wait at least another year before I try to upgrade. There still isn't any game on the market that can't be run on my PC, that should enough reason to not upgrade IMHO.

    What I'm more worried about though, is the fact that I haven't opened my case in the last 3 years.... I vacuum clean the surroundings of the PC regularly, so dust isn't accumulated too much, and the fans hardly ever run at their maximum when I'm playing Skyrim for 3 hours. Do you guys think it's necessary to open the case, and at least clean the fans from the inside?
    And what about the thermal paste on the CPU? Doesn't that need a new layer?
     
  16. CCNaru

    Member CCNaru Warn-free Since 2005

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    Clean it regularly. cleaning outside doesn't matter at all. more dust = more heat generated = parts wear out quicker = -$$$. Never vacuum the inside parts, use an air blower to blow out the dust. Also you can leave the thermal paste for now, if you don't really know how to it'll do more harm than good. also you won't need it when you upgrade to a new CPU later.

    And not sure if I said this but most of the bottleneck in gaming will be graphics card. so better GPU will get you better gaming experience.

    Also 64gbs are like 100 euros at least right now... it'll be a LONG time until they come out with cheaper ones. I think 256gb ones are like 3-400 bucks... I would just buy a 64gb~128gb one and install Windows and some programs you use there. you'll never go back. and a word of advice - DO NOT, DO NOT get anything that has "Sandforce" in it. it's shit. Intel ones are always good, Samsung 830s and Crucial M4s are great.
     
  17. Originality

    Member Originality Chibi-neko

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    For the thermal paste, if you have a good quality thermal paste (i.e. not the one that came with the stock intel heatsink) then you will probably find it advantageous to replace it with third party thermal paste. If you used third party thermal paste or it came with a third party heatsink, then it will last as long as the CPU does (or at least until you take the heatsink off and break the thermal paste).

    As for dust, you will find the computer gets much quieter and cooler if you clean out the dust. It should be cleaned out once a year (some say once a month, but that's too much effort for me). Less dust generally makes for a happier electronic environment (since dust can both act as a heat insulant and potentially carry a static field). This is especially true with high end cases with multiple intake and exhaust fans - you should see how much dust accumulates on the filters in one year!

    EDIT:
    Re: SSDs... There is no reason to avoid Sandforce SSDs. The first generation of Sandforce controlled SSDs performed very well, and all of the initial problems with the Sandforce 2200 controlled SSDs (mostly BSoDs) have now been fixed with firmware updates. Case in point - my OCZ Vertex 3, which is only beaten by the Samsung 830s in performance. No problems at all, since I'm on the latest firmware. Crucial M4s don't have the raw performance of the higher end SSDs, but a recent firmware update increased their performance by 70%. Considering they're cheaper, they're a very good option for value minded consumers.
     
  18. Satangel
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    Member Satangel BEAST

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    Okay, after 4 years of postponing and whining you guys convinced me :) I'll do it this week, probably on Saturday.
    I'll use a compressor:

    [​IMG]

    It can blow quite hard, I guess I shouldn't come to close to some parts? Else there's nothing to worry about I guess, I'll just do it on a floored floor, less risky than a rugged floor.
     
  19. Satangel
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    Member Satangel BEAST

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    Okay, finally finally done it, after 4 years of procrastinating! It worked out pretty well, happy my PC still works perfectly :) Don't hear that much difference in sound but I can imagine it runs 5/10 degrees Celsius cooler now.
    Maybe I could overclock my CPU now? Q6600 running at 2,6Ghz now.
     
  20. Originality

    Member Originality Chibi-neko

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    Only overclocking if you adequate cooling (e.g a third party cooler) and a good motherboard (e.g. Not from Foxconn or Asrock).
     

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